Former Braves top international prospect released by Angels

Braves roster moves

It’s somewhat amazing the Braves have been able to piece things together the way that they have in recent years. They are in a prime position to win their sixth straight NL East title, and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight.

Atlanta has become the class of the entire league and should be among the World Series favorites for years to come. It’s a testament to the job Alex Anthopoulos and company have been able to do in the drafting and development department because before he took the job as the Braves general manager, former GM John Coppolella left a mess behind after committing multiple infractions surrounding international signings.

Coppolella was temporarily handed a lifetime ban from baseball, a ban that has since been lifted after nearly six years away from the game. The Braves also were severely limited in their pursuit of international prospects for several years after, and they lost a slew of prospects they had already signed, most notably a switch-hitting shortstop named Kevin Maitan, who was already considered a top-100 prospect in baseball when he was just 17-years-old.

At the time, losing Maitan seemed like gut-punch. He would go on to sign with the Angels, but he never came close to the player people expected him to be when he was a teenager. Maitan struggled with weight gain, forcing him to move to third base, and his offense was just as discouraging, even at the lower levels of the minors.

Now, six years later, Maitan has been released by the Angels at the age of 23, never making it past the AA level. The 23-year-old was hitting just .192 this season with one homer and a .556 OPS. We will see if he catches on with another organization, but it feels highly unlikely that he ever reaches the major-league level, and we are way past the point of Maitan ever realizing the potential many felt like he had before he signed with the Braves. It’s been a dramatic fall off, which just goes to show how unpredictable prospects can be, especially ones that are so young.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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