Not much is going on with the MLB lockout expected to continue on through the new year, but since Minor League Baseball isn’t part of the MLB Player’s Union, they will play as scheduled. With that in mind, let’s talk about a Braves farm system that is still fairly strong despite graduating and trading away a decent amount of talent.
20. SS Ambioris Tavarez (ROK)
Not much is known about Tavarez, but the Braves have done a good job of developing their limited International talent. Tavarez has gotten rave reviews from scouts, mostly for his bat speed and arm strength. He’s 6’2 at only 18-years-old and has tons of potential as a power hitting shortstop with a rocket arm. Be on the lookout for Tavarez when the Minor League season begins; he’s a guy who could rise up these rankings quickly.
19. OF Tyler Collins (ROK)
I’m a big fan of this draft pick for the Braves, as Collins was one of the few high school players targeted by the Braves in 2021. They paid over slot for Collins, and so far, he has paid dividends. The former Texas Tech football and baseball commit has a ton of athleticism, and he’s a true five-tool prospect that could blossom in a system that has developed gobs of prospect outfield talent. In his first 23 professional games, Collins slashed .347/.424/.453/.877 with four doubles, two triples, and twelve stolen bases. If he can continue to hit to the gaps, the Braves will have another stud outfield prospect in their arsenal.
18. LHP Dylan Dodd (A+)
Dodd only threw 14 innings in 2021, but his makeup is what makes him really appealing. He has a nasty changeup with a four-pitch mix and is a solid athlete with a good 6’3 frame. The third-round pick in 2021 should move through Atlanta’s farm quickly. He was drafted as a fourth-year senior after being named the Ohio Valley Pitcher of the Year in 2021.
17. LHP AJ Smith-Shawver (ROK)
Along with Collins, Smith-Shawver was a 2021 draft pick out of a Texas high school that the Braves paid a pretty penny for. Smith-Shawver has some projectability at third, but it appears the Braves like his potential on the mound. He’s a hard throwing lefty that will have to develop his mechanics, but they sky is the limit for this kid if he puts it all together.
16. RHP/SS Spencer Schwellenbach (N/A)
Speaking of two way players (and 2021 draft picks), Nebraska product Spencer Schwellenbach could either stick at shortstop or as a closer. Unfortunately, Braves fans will have to be patient, as Schwellenbach just underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery after being drafted. The second-round pick has a hard fastball with a slider and sinker, but he also posted a .862 OPS for the Cornhuskers. He is a very interesting prospect that I’m excited to see when healthy.
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