Braves: Reaction to FanGraphs Top 30 Prospects

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One of my favorite sites, FanGraphs, released their Braves Top 30 Prospects for the 2021 season late last week, and they are… interesting. I highly suggest you go check out their complete list, but I’ll break down some of their most controversial takes when comparing them to our rankings.

Michael Harris breaks the top-five

FanGraphs has been high on Harris for quite some time, so I’m not surprised he landed inside the Braves’ top-five prospects, coming in at #4. He turned heads in his first stint of professional ball after he was drafted in 2019. So much so that the Braves selected him to be apart of the team’s taxi squad last season, where he continued to impress. Harris was also fantastic in limited action at Spring Training this year, and many people believe it won’t be long before he makes his MLB debut, even though he just turned 20. We had Harris inside our top-ten Braves prospects, coming in at #9, but I don’t blame anyone who has him much higher.

Alex Jackson comes in at #8

As I said in the opening, FanGraphs might be my favorite baseball site, and I think they do an unbelievable job covering prospects, but this is just ludicrous to me. Somehow, Alex Jackson is comfortably in the top-ten. We currently have A-Jax at #24, which might be a little low, but #8 is insanely high for a player who strikes out as much as Jackson does. However, we should have a fantastic idea of who is closer to the mark after this season. Jackson is set to begin the year in Atlanta as the backup catcher; however, Contreras could take his spot if Jackson doesn’t show more with the stick.

Braden Shewmake lands outside the top-ten

Outside of Alex Jackson breaking the top-ten, this was the most surprising ranking on the entire list. Most people are pretty high on Shewmake. He raked in college and has continued to do so in limited minor-league action. It only took him 51 professional games to earn a promotion to AA, which is why he came in at #7 on our list. However, FanGraphs isn’t nearly as high on him, placing him 12th among the Braves prospects — three spots lower than they had him last year.

Ambioris Tavarez is ranked 20th

Ambioris Tavarez was the Braves’ first significant international signing since 2016, when penalties were enforced on the organization because of violations that happened under John Coppolella’s watch. Tavarez is a big right-handed bat that is expected to grow into some power and play third base. He’s a prospect to keep an eye on in 2021 and beyond, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is much higher on the list this time next year.

William Woods is introduced the list

Coming in right behind the Tavarez is William Woods. The 22-year-old is a hard-throwing right-hander that showed a lot of potential in Spring Training this year. Even though he allowed four runs in just four innings, he struck out seven and impressed with his fastball/slider mix. We will see where he begins the season, but he could just be a year away from making his MLB debut.



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