By my count, the Braves have 15 prospects in their 60-man pool that have yet to make their MLB debut. Now, the hope is many of these guys are in camp just to get some experience since there will be no minor league season. However, with everything going on, I don’t think you can count anyone entirely out. Everyone on the 60-man taxi squad needs to be ready at a moment’s notice, but a few of these guys could be critical contributors even if there aren’t any injuries or positive tests.
15. Michael Harris
The Braves added Michael Harris to their 60-man player pool this week. However, the 19-year-old local product out of Stockbridge High School is the least likely prospect to make his major league debut this season, as he has only played in just over 20 games of A-ball to this point.
14. Jared Schuster
The Braves added their first-round pick from this season to the player pool to give him a chance to feel what it is like to be apart of a professional organization, but considering he has yet to throw an inning in the minors, there are no plans for him to make his debut unless a slew of positive coronavirus tests curses the Braves.
13. Logan Brown
Brown was included in the 60-man player pool primarily for catcher depth. If there are several injuries at the position or positive tests, they have him, but he would be the last catcher chosen to make his debut.
12. Bryce Ball
Ball was added late to the player pool after he tore up Rookie-ball and Rome last year, but he still has yet to play a full professional season. It would take a miracle for him to end up debuting this year. Even with Freddie Freeman out, the Braves have a ton of options that can play first base.
11. Jasseel De La Cruz
Jasseel De La Cruz is not as talked about as much as the other starting arms in the Braves system, but he’s ultra-talented. However, for him to make his debut this year, many things would have to go wrong.
10. Braden Shewmake
Shewmake’s a college bat and had success in his first taste of professional ball last year. However, like Ball, he’s yet to complete a full year in the minors. I give him an edge over Ball because the Braves lack middle infield depth, and Shewmake could provide some upside if spots begin to open.
9. Shea Langiliers
Defensively, Langiliers could hold his own in the majors today, which is why there is an outside shot he could make his MLB debut. However, there are a few catchers in front of him that would have to go down.
8. Kyle Muller
Muller probably already has the stuff to make it in the majors, but his control has held him back. Next year, we will most likely see him debut, but if the Braves get desperate, they could turn to the lumbering lefty.
7. Drew Waters
Some might have expected Waters — the Braves second-ranked prospect — to be a bit higher on this list. However, he’s only 21-years-old and has just a month of experience under his belt at the AAA level, where he struggled a bit with strikeouts. The ceiling is still sky-high for Waters, but the Braves have a loaded group of outfielders, especially after the addition of Yasiel Puig.
6. William Contreras
Contreras showed improvement at the plate in Spring Training 2.0 and has been one of the standouts among prospects. If a couple of catchers go down, he’s in line to make his MLB debut ahead of a guy like Langiliers.
5. Ian Anderson
Some also probably thought Anderson — the Braves third-ranked prospect — would have been higher on this list. However, like Waters, he only has a month of AAA experience under his belt and struggled a bit. Also, just like the outfield, the Braves have several starters they can turn to before relying on Anderson.
4. Philip Pfeifer
Yes, he may be 28-years-old, but he’s still considered a prospect, and he’s coming off his best year as a pro, posting a 2.97 ERA over three levels of the minors. The Braves are short on reliable lefty relievers, so there’s a high chance we see Pfiefer make his MLB debut.
3. Cristian Pache
A week ago, I might have had Pache at number one on this list. However, after a sprained ankle and the addition of Yasiel Puig, it’s looking less and less likely he makes his MLB debut in 2020. Still, I wouldn’t count it out. A positive test, injury, or slumping bat, and the Braves won’t hesitate to bring him up.
2. Tucker Davidson
Davidson has impressed so much over the last year and a half that there is now an outside shot he begins the year on the major league roster. I still think that’s a stretch, given he only has a month of AAA experience, but he’s the prospect with the best chance of making his first major league start this year, ahead of Ian Anderson.
1. Patrick Weigel
Without a doubt, Weigel is the most likely player to make his MLB debut this year. He was electric before Spring Training came to a screeching halt in March and has done everything he can to earn a spot on the 30-man Opening Day roster. Not only do I think he will make his debut this year, but I also believe he will become a critical piece to Atlanta’s bullpen.