Braves: Who is the next Michael Harris or Vaughn Grissom?

Spencer Schwellenbach Braves hat Ray Kerr Owen Murphy

The casuals will tell you the Braves farm system is one of the worst in baseball, and there’s a reason for that. Atlanta has seen young star after young star graduate to the majors, including four this season alone in William Contreras, Spencer Strider, Michael Harris, and Vaughn Grissom. However, I wouldn’t get too down on what the Braves have waiting in the wings.

What this organization has that most others fail at is a fantastic scouting department and an even better development team. It’s no accident that guys like Michael Harris (3rd round) and Vaughn Grissom (11th round) were selected well after the first round and needed only a couple of years in the minors before becoming significant contributors at the major-league level. The Braves are one of the most well-run organizations from top to bottom, and the next Harris or Grissom is likely blossoming at the lower levels of the minors as we speak.

Justyn-Henry Malloy

Malloy is currently the 13th-ranked prospect in the Braves system, according to But of Atlanta’s top 13 prospects, only two of them are position players. The rest are pitchers, and I would actually have Malloy as the top-ranked position player prospect — ahead of Braden Shewmake, who is currently the Braves 7th-ranked prospect.

I think Malloy is a top-ten prospect in Atlanta’s system. He was recently promoted to AA after hitting .304 with an .888 OPS in Rome, and like Vaughn Grissom before him, not much has changed in Mississippi. In 33 AA games, Malloy is hitting .286 with an .839 OPS. In 104 minor-league games this season, he has 14 bombs and 23 doubles, but his power might not even be his most impressive trait.

Throughout his career on the farm, Malloy has managed to walk over 15% of the time. That’s generally the mark of a hitter whose success will translate as he continues through the minors. A sixth-round selection in last year’s draft out of Georgia Tech, Malloy may be closer to the majors than many believe. There’s not much room in the Braves outfield for him right now, but as we’ve seen this season, opportunities will arise, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he made his debut at some point next year.

Ambioris Tavarez

These are two players on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to development. Malloy is 22 and decently close to being major-league ready if he keeps producing. Tavarez, on the other hand, is 18 and just began his first stint in Rookie ball. In 17 games, he’s hit .277 with a homer and four doubles. He is far from making his MLB debut; however, he’s oozing with potential, and we’ve seen guys rocket through this system time and time again.

Following their international signing restrictions, the Braves used most of the money they had last year on Tavarez. Currently a shortstop, he has a lot of raw power, athleticism and a fantastic arm. The Braves are excited about what he could potentially grow into in the coming years.

Photo: Photographer: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire

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