Former Braves top prospect makes MLB debut in brilliant fashion

Spencer Schwellenbach Braves hat Ray Kerr Owen Murphy

Earlier this week, I talked about Justyn-Henry Malloy — who used to be a top prospect in the Braves organization but was flipped in a trade for Joe Jimenez — getting called up to make his MLB debut for the Detroit Tigers.

The move was a long time coming. Malloy really began to make a name for himself in 2022 when he started the season in High-A Rome and finished the year in AAA Gwinnett, recording an .862 OPS over three levels. His power was beginning to become apparent, but his best trait has always been his ability to get on base.

By the end of 2022, Malloy had become arguably the top prospect in the entire Braves organization; however, the Braves decided to flip him for Joe Jimenez. I didn’t love the deal at the time, but Jimenez did end up re-signing with Atlanta and has become an ultra-reliable set-up guy for Brian Snitker. Still, if Justyn-Henry Malloy turns out to be 20-30 home run guy that can get on base at a high clip, flipping him for a reliever is going to look like a terrible move.

We will have to wait and see on that, but what we don’t have to wait on any longer is Malloy’s first big-league home run, as his first hit left the yard at Globe Life Field.

Justyn-Henry Malloy has experienced incredible success at every level of the minors. He’s essentially been a .900 OPS guy his entire minor-league career. There is absolutely no reason he shouldn’t carve out a long major-league career for himself, which will sting a bit as a Braves fan.

But if that does happen, this trade still might not even be the worst one of the 2022-2023 offseason. Around the same time, Alex Anthopoulos also flipped William Contreras and several of the Braves top pitching prospects for Sean Murphy. Murphy hasn’t been bad by any means, but Contreras has turned into an MVP candidate at the same position. In hindsight, these two moves could go down as some of Alex Anthopoulos’ worst work, but not every general manager can bat 1.000.

Photographer: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire

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