Baseball America is rolling out their midseason Top 30 for each team, and the Braves have a few interesting choices:
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Make sure to subscribe to Baseball America, they’re updating these regularly with in-depth scouting reports. Here’s a couple things that stood out to me:
Kyle Muller takes the Second Spot
In what shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, super-prospect Michael Harris has the top spot in Atlanta’s system. But what might surprise you is that Spencer Strider, who’ll lose his prospect status pretty soon, is actually third behind Kyle Muller on Baseball America’s list. It’s easy to understand why; Muller is a massive lefty with easy gas, which isn’t something you can really teach. His potential is sky high, but he’ll have to cut down on the walks. I’ve seen Spencer Strider prove it, but with Muller’s build and pitch repertoire, you can argue his potential is higher. However, whether or not he reaches that potential is still to be determined.
Jesse Franklin makes a big jump
If you’ve been following our coverage of Braves prospects, you won’t be too surprised Jesse Franklin is getting some love. Part of a special-looking 2020 draft class for the Braves, Franklin has a lot of pop in his bat. The former Michigan Wolverine is up to #7 on this list, no doubt partially because of his 24 home runs and 24 doubles in 2021. He still needs to cut down on his strikeouts, especially after a so-so start in AA in 2022, but he could be another big-time outfield bat developed by the Braves.
Two Rising Young Stars
Now that the Braves are out of “timeout,” so to speak, when it comes to International Signing Sanctions, they wasted no time picking up 17 year old SS Diego Benitez. Benitez is MLB.com’s 10th overall ranked International Prospect, and Baseball America has him ranked 15th in Atlanta’s system already. We won’t see him in action for another year or so, but he’s a guy to keep an eye on.
Additionally, I was a big fan of Tyler Collins coming out of the 2021 Draft. He was one of the two high school players signed by the Braves, and Baseball America has him ranked 26th. I like his five-tool potential, he could be another toolsy outfielder the Braves develop into an upper echelon prospect. Collins is extremely fast, which helps him profile as a top tier defender in center field. He posted a .877 OPS in Rookie Ball as an 18 year old — he’s a guy I’ll have my eye on.
An old friend makes an appearance
It was a bit shocking when the Braves designated Jasseel De La Cruz for assignment, as he was considered a top fifteen prospect in their system according to a lot of media outlets. De La Cruz had a bad season marred by injury, but the Braves signed him back after clearing the 40-man roster spot. De La Cruz is back on Baseball America’s list at 26, but with an 8.03 ERA, he may not be there much longer if things don’t improve.