The Braves are back, and we are only a month away from Opening Day. Through one week of Spring Training, we’ve had the opportunity to see a ton of young prospects show off their talent, and several of them have taken advantage of their first crack at major league competition. We’ve also watched some older players prove their worth, and one of Atlanta’s stars already looks in midseason form. Here’s the group of guys that have made the most out of some lovely February baseball:
I don’t think anyone has been more impressive than the Braves’ first selection from last year, Shea Langiliers. In his Spring Training debut, the #9 overall pick showed off his pop-time, which was an absurd 1.87 — elite for major league standards — but then it was his bat that stole the show in his second appearance. He has a home run, two hits, and two RBI in just four plate appearances this Spring. That’s fantastic to see, especially considering how poor he was with the stick in his first stint of pro-ball last year.
So far, so good for the wily veteran Hernandez, who is the only Braves pitcher to make two starts so far this Spring. In both outings, he looked like he is deserving of that final rotation spot, tossing 4.2 combined innings, allowing just one earned run and striking out six. With Hamels sidelined for at least three weeks of the season already, expect Hernandez in the rotation on Opening Day, as long as he continues to look like this.
Bryce Ball may only have one hit in four at-bats so far this Spring. However, that one hit exemplified why so many are excited about last year’s 24th round selection. He is already the best power bat in the Braves’ system and could rocket through levels of the minor leagues rather quickly. Ball’s the type of player that requires attention every time he steps to the plate.
d’Arnaud made his Spring debut the other day, and while he was rusty behind the plate, he looked in mid-season form with the bat. d’Arnaud homered in his first plate appearance and later hit a scorching single. He should provide a significant upgrade at the catcher position compared to last season.
The Braves haven’t eased Dansby Swanson into things. He’s already appeared in four games and has three hits in eight plate appearances. It’s nothing ridiculous, but his approach at the plate and willingness to go the other way this early in the season has to give Braves’ fans some confidence moving forward.
Like Swanson, the Braves haven’t been hesitant giving their star second baseman some at-bats early on in the Spring. He already has nine of them, resulting in five hits. Despite being an All-Star in 2018, last year was really Albies’ breakout campaign, and I’m not sure he was even close to his ceiling. 2020 could be something special for the 23-year-old star.
If you follow the site, you know we are HUGE on Tucker Davidson. We currently have him ranked as the #5 prospect in the Braves system, much higher than most. The lefty has appeared two times this Spring, throwing 3.2 scoreless innings with two strikeouts. Expect to see him in Atlanta this season as either a starter or a reliever.
Another prospect that will get the call this year, Weigel has been spectacular early on in spring training. In two outings, he’s tossed three innings, striking out two and allowing no runs. In the future, he may be a starter, but I’d expect to see him out of the ‘pen sometime this season.
Ynoa made his debut somewhat surprisingly last season and struggled a bit, but the hard-throwing righty has been perfect thus far in two Spring appearances. He’s thrown 2.1 scoreless innings with four strikeouts and only one hit allowed.
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