The Braves have been able to retain most of their former prospects on lucrative contracts. Michael Harris and Spencer Strider were the latest. Austin Riley, Ronald Acuna Jr., and Ozzie Albies are others. Hopefully, Dansby Swanson will join that group this offseason. But the next prospect rocketing through the Braves farm system is Justyn-Henry Malloy, who is raking in the Arizona Fall League.
In 71 plate appearances, Malloy is slashing .281/.423/.386 with four doubles and four RBIs. The figure that really jumps off the page is those 13 walks. For many prospects, the hardest part of getting to The Show is striking out. This kid’s plate discipline is already elite. Last Week, Mallow went 4-for-12 with a triple and three walks.
Chase is incredibly confident that Malloy will make his professional debut with the Braves at some point next season, and I tend to agree. Our own Jake Gordon currently has Malloy ranked 4th among all Braves prospects, but you could argue he deserves the top spot. Prospect guru for The Athletic Keith Law also has some high praise for the Georgia Tech product.
Malloy started in High A this year at age 22 and ended up in Triple A for the last week-plus of the season. Like the other older hitters I mentioned above, Malloy showed excellent plate discipline at all levels, with 97 walks and 138 strikeouts in 133 games this year. He’s the best hitter of this cluster, though, showing better off-speed recognition and ridiculous strength, driving a slider from a right-hander (so he didn’t have the platoon advantage) to right-center for a hard-hit double and turning on average velocity whenever he saw it. I didn’t get him against plus velocity, but didn’t see any issues with his bat speed. I’m surprised he only hit 16 homers this year because everything I saw him hit was loud.
The Braves left field situation with Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario is less than ideal, which is where I assume Justyn-Henry Malloy will fit in. Most, if not all, of the Braves starting lineup is set with not much wiggle room, considering the core Alex Anthopoulos has locked up.
But when a player like Malloy is graduating from Single-A to Triple-A in one season, you find room for him. He crushed pitchers in Rome to the tune of a .888 OPS and 10 home runs. After hitting Mississippi, all he did was blast six bombs with a .824 OPS in 54 games. He got a taste of action in Gwinnett over eight games and posted an .864 OPS. He’ll begin next season with the Stripers and will be on call if Atlanta needs him.
Photographer: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire