This past season, we saw progression from Cristian Pache, Ian Anderson, and especially Drew Waters. These guys all have a shot at making the MLB Roster early next season, so who will be the guys to step up in the system next year? MLB Pipeline’s rankings were updated about a month ago, and I’m pulling from our Post Trade Deadline Top Prospect List
Bryce Ball: (MLBPipeline.com NR) (SportsTalkATL #25)
It’s no secret that we’re big Bryce Ball fans on this site. If you missed our interview with him, check it out here. Bryce has been going nuclear since being taken in the 24th round, slashing .329/.395/.628 with a 1.023 OPS over his first 62 games. 17 home runs for any rookie is impressive, but for a 24th round pick it’s almost unheard of. Look for the coaches to possibly experiment with Ball in LF or RF; this kid is going to be knocking on the door of the big league club in the coming years. When we update these rankings, Ball might crack our top 15.
Trey Harris: (MLBPipeline.com #18) (SportsTalkATL #13)
Named Atlanta’s Minor League Player of the Year, Harris has already broken out on a smaller scale. The 32nd round pick hit .323 across three minor league levels with 26 doubles, seven triples, and 14 bombs. Trey has decent speed and swiped eight bags this season as well. The McEachern product proved it in A, A+, and AA in 2019 with plus defense and an .887 OPS; watch for him to move to Gwinnett early next season if he can keep this up.
Kyle Muller: (MLBPipeline.com #7) (SportsTalkATL #5)
I am a huge Kyle Muller fan. He’s been mentioned as trade bait recently, and for a good reason, but I hope we keep this kid. The 6’6″, 225-pound lefty hits 95 on his fastball with ease, and if he can find his control, he could be a great #3 starter for the MLB club. Muller spent last season in Mississippi, throwing 111.2 innings and posting a 3.14 ERA with 120 Ks. Opposing hitters only hit .208 against him. I think Muller is sneakily a top 3 pitching prospect in the system. He could be a great insurance policy if Dallas Keuchel walks.
Braden Shewmake: (MLBPipeline.com #9) (SportsTalkATL #9)
A lot of Braves fans raised their eyebrows when Atlanta selected Shewmake 21st overall, but he has done nothing but hit since being drafted. The former SEC Freshman of the Year had an .862 OPS in A+ before being promoted to Mississippi. He started slowly in a small sample size for the M-Braves, but he still has room to grow into his 6’4″ frame and develop some gap to gap power. Three bombs and 13 stolen bases in his first short season is promising. I think at worst; he’s a Ben Zobrist clone. That’s a pretty high floor.
Tucker Davidson: (MLBPipeline.com #13) (SportsTalkATL #11)
Another late-round pick, the Braves took a flier on Davidson in the 19th round. The former relief prospect dominated Mississippi this season, posting a 2.03 ERA in 110.2 IP to go along with 122 Ks. The Braves saw enough to promote the lefty to Gwinnett, where he continued to thrive in a limited sample size. 2.84 ERA in 19 innings over four starts is a fantastic beginning to a AAA career, and I think Davidson could be one of the best young back-end starters in the MLB.