In what was maybe the most important move of the 2021 World Series run, the Braves acquired Joc Pederson from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for 1B/OF Bryce Ball. Due to his age, potential, and overall raw game — he was once heralded as a potential Freddie Freeman replacement in a few seasons. Ball had some serious power and was a fair price to pay in exchange for Pederson. However, he didn’t have a great 2023, and the Cubs released him.
#Cubs have released the following minor league players:
RHP Jordan Holloway
C Jose Herrera
C Dilver Gomez
1B Bryce Ball
OF Daniel Ferreira
OF Raul Guzman
Ball was always a boom-or-bust type prospect, he has light tower power, but he has a very long, unorthodox swing. It has worked for guys like Cody Bellinger in the past, but not every guy is Cody Bellinger. Ball was only slashing .214/.323/.305/.628 this season with one singular home run. He really struggled when he was promoted to AA, and the Cubs had decided they had seen enough. I’m sure Ball will get another chance somewhere, and who knows, it might be with the Braves.
This is a stark reminder that prospects, regardless of their potential, aren’t guaranteed to contribute at the major league level. Clubs with championship aspirations, especially the Braves who are World Series or bust, should always prioritize talent that can provide value in the bigs. Still, it seems Alex Anthopoulos always knows which buttons to push. Not many are better than Atlanta at evaluating their own talent, constantly hanging on to the right prospects.