Four Braves prospects make The Baseball Prospectus Top 50

Braves farm system taking a hit

Baseball Prospectus (subscription required) recently released their mid-season top 50 prospects, and four Braves were included.

Still the highest-ranked prospect in the organization, Cristian Pache came in at #34. However, he did fall 16 spots from his pre-season #18, which will become quite common as prospect lists continue to update. Pache has had a miserable 2021, which began in Atlanta, where he batted .111 before landing on the injured list. Once he returned, the Braves chose to option him back to AAA, where he’s been equally as disappointing. His four hits in Thursday’s double-header were encouraging, but he entered Thursday with an average barely over the Mendoza line and is still hitting just .234 with a .695 OPS.

Shea Langeliers was the next highest-ranked Brave, which might be surprising to some, but it’s well deserved. He’s been absolutely brilliant in AA-ball, both behind the plate and with the stick. Langeliers is throwing out a ridiculous 51% of base stealers and is leading the Southern League in homers with 14 while sporting an .898 OPS. That caused him to jump 40 spots in Baseball Prospectus mid-season rankings from 81 to 41.

Kyle Muller also crashed the top 50 after an impressive beginning to his 2021 campaign. It started shaky with Gwinnett, but eventually, he settled down there and was called up to Atlanta, where he’s done everything the Braves could have asked so far. Muller currently sports a 3.45 ERA over four appearances with the Braves, but in his three starts, he’s only allowed four earned runs over 14.2 innings. He now sits at #44 in Baseball Prospectus’ rankings after being ranked #61 before the season.

Owning the final spot in the top 50 was Michael Harris, who might have stolen the mantle as the most exciting prospect in the organization. For High-A Rome this season, he owns a .310 average with five homers and 15 doubles. Harris is also 14/15 in the stolen base category with the ability to play outstanding defense in the outfield. At just 20-years-old, he’s proving to be a true five-tool prospect that could rocket through the system, which is why he’s already getting clout as a top 50 prospect in baseball after missing out on Baseball Prospectus’ top 100 before the season.

All four of the players mentioned above, but there is one notable name missing — Drew Waters. The winner of the 2019 Southern League MVP award was not a part of The Baseball Prospectus Top 50. Waters isn’t having the best start to his 2021 season, but a slow start and an untimely thumb injury can be blamed for that. He’s still sporting a respectable .733 OPS and looks to be turning it around as of late. His willingness to take more walks is encouraging as well, even if he’s still striking out 30% of the time. I think most people would still have Waters as a top 50 prospect, but I also understand leaving him off the list.

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