Atlanta’s farm system is probably the most depleted it’s been since 2015; FanGraphs even had the Braves prospects ranked dead last in their midseason update. Thankfully, the recent MLB Draft should help replenish the system a bit. Atlanta has done well in the draft in recent years.
Still, there’s some talent creeping up in this system. We’ve seen guys like Vaughn Grissom, Michael Harris II, and Spencer Strider make huge leaps in previous years. So, who are some prospects you should be paying attention to that may be new to the Braves’ Top 30 Prospect Lists?
OF Tyler Collins (ROK)
I’ve been on the Tyler Collins hype train since he was drafted last year. The Braves reached to sign this kid, one of two high schoolers they selected in the 2021 Draft. The Braves are high on him and gave him a big enough bonus to shy away from playing both football and baseball in college. Collins is oozing with athleticism, and although he’s a project at just 19-years-old, the sky’s the limit. He’s only appeared in four games so far in 2022, but he posted an .877 OPS with four doubles, two triples, and twelve stolen bases over 23 games in 2021.
IF Justyn-Henry Malloy (AA)
Another 2021 draft class member, the Braves reached into their backyard at Georgia Tech to grab Luke Waddell and Malloy with back-to-back picks. Malloy has done nothing but hit since being drafted, posting an .822 OPS in 2021. He’s following it up with an .888 OPS and ten home runs in Rome in 2022. Malloy has just been moved up to AA, which will likely be his first true test. If he keeps it up, he’s a Braves prospect that will start making some real noise.
OF Brandol Mezquita (A)
Mezquita originally signed with the Braves in 2017, but his deal was voided when the Braves were put in timeout with their International signing penalties. In Augusta, Mezquita is slashing .297/.379/.406/.785. He has been flying around the bases, collecting twelve doubles, four triples, and eleven steals. His bat speed is really coming around — he’s a guy that could be promoted to Rome soon.
RHP Royber Salinas (A+)
Don’t let the ERA fool you; it may sit at 3.67, but Salinas is legit. After carving up Augusta hitters to the tune of a 1.52 ERA, Salinas has had more of a challenge in Rome. However, he has struck out an absurd 126 batters over 73.2 innings. He lights up radar guns with his fastball and has a big wipeout slider. If he can hone in his command, he’s going to be a really nice looking prospect. Baseball America has Salinas clocking in at 10th overall among Braves prospects.