Nacho Alvarez and Drake Baldwin stay scorching hot in Gwinnett

Spencer Schwellenbach Braves hat Ray Kerr Owen Murphy

The Gwinnett Stripers must be feeding their players well because ever since Braves top prospects Nacho Alvarez and Drake Baldwin received a promotion from AA Mississippi, they’ve been two of the hottest players in AAA.

Alvarez, a shortstop that a lot of Braves fans are hoping to see at some point this season because of the way Orlando Arcia is struggling, launched a three-run homer in this afternoon’s game. He’s now hitting .323 in 23 games for the Stripers with six homers, 22 RBIs, and a .963 OPS.

A fifth-round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, I’m not quite sure if the Braves are ready to hand Nacho Alvarez the keys to the starting shortstop job in Atlanta. That’s a tall task to ask of someone so green, with only 217 minor-league games under his belt.

On the flip side, if the Braves don’t make a move for a shortstop at the trade deadline and Orlando Arcia continues to play like the worst qualified player in baseball as he has been for the last three months, they might not have a choice but to give him an opportunity.

But as impressive as Nacho Alvarez has been since being promoted, his running mate Drake Baldwin has been even better, and he had a huge game for the Stripers this afternoon. The 2022 third-round selection got on base four times — two hits and two walks — including a homer with a couple of RBIs. Baldwin now has five homers and 17 RBIs in 23 games with the Stripers to go along with a .995 OPS.

Drake Baldwin has some crazy pop, and his hit-tool for a catcher is extremely encouraging. The Braves aren’t going to need him this season unless an injury arises, but Travis d’Arnaud isn’t going to be around for too much longer. Perhaps as early as next season, Drake Baldwin could be paired with Sean Murphy behind the plate.

Photographer: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire

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