Our Updated Braves Top 25 Prospect List (6/1)

(Please note that Mike Foltynewicz, Christian Bethancourt and Jace Peterson are no longer prospect eligible, which is why they are not present on the updated list. In the Trending Up and Trending Down sections, if a player was moved up due to others’ removal from the list they will not be mentioned.)

  1. Matt Wisler
  2. Jose Peraza
  3. Lucas Sims
  4. Max Fried
  5. Tyrell Jenkins (Previous Ranking: 7)
  6. Manny Banuelos (Previous Ranking: 8)
  7. Mallex Smith (Previous Ranking: 12)
  8. Ozhaino Albies (Previous Ranking: 16)
  9. Cody Martin (Previous Ranking: 14)
  10. Dustin Peterson (Previous Ranking: 15)
  11. Rio Ruiz (Previous Ranking: 9)
  12. Arodys Vizcaino (Previous Ranking: 10)
  13. Jason Hursh (Previous Ranking: 11)
  14. Braxton Davidson (Previous Ranking: 18)
  15. Williams Perez (Previous Ranking: Unranked)
  16. Jordan Paroubeck (Previous Ranking: 19)
  17. Ricardo Sanchez (Previous Ranking: 20)
  18. Jose Briceno (Previous Ranking: 17)
  19. Dilmer Mejia (Previous Ranking: 21)
  20. Alec Grosser (Previous Ranking: 22)
  21. Garrett Fulenchek (Previous Ranking: 24)
  22. Andrew Thurman (Previous Ranking: Unranked)
  23. Aaron Kurcz (Previous Ranking: Unranked)
  24. Daniel Winkler (Previous Ranking: Unranked)
  25. Daniel Castro (Previous Ranking: Unranked)

Trending Up:

Mallex Smith sees a huge bump up, going from 12th to 7th. Smith has been absolutely dynamic this season for AA Mississippi, hitting .338 with 2 homers, 18 RBI and 16 steals. Sure, Smith will never hit for power, but he is the leadoff man Atlanta has needed for years. I think this kid has Michael Bourn written all over him. Ozhaino Albies moves up 8 spots from 16th to 8th. Part of this is due to me initially lowballing Albies due to how raw he was, and the other half is the solid campaign he’s putting together. He has a .298 average with 20 steals in Rome and he’s just 18. This is a kid who is a serious dark horse in the farm system due to how young he is and how small he is (5’9”, 150 lbs.), but I see serious potential in this kid. Cody Martin is not the most highly touted prospect in the system, and he’s yet to really carve out a role. He was a reliver in college, a starter in our farm system, and this season he’s relieved for the big league club and dominated in a few starts in Gwinnett. His 4.12 ERA out of our bullpen was inflated by a few rough outings before he was sent back down to AAA. Martin was left unprotected in the rule 5 draft, and many aren’t too high on him, but I think he has solid stuff. With our stockpile of starting pitching prospects, I see Martin being a highly effective reliever for the team. Dustin Peterson has made the move to left field from third base, and has done well. Peterson has a .314 average on the year, and if he can get his power stroke going he can really move up this list. I see a ton of potential in this kid, and he is capable of playing two positions that look like question marks for the Braves in coming years. Braxton Davidson got off to a really slow start this season, but the 2014 1st Round pick had a .405 OBP in May. Just 18 years old, Davidson is starting to show his keen eye at the plate while he boasts a build that can transform him into a power hitter. He bumps up from 18th to 14th. Oh, how a month changes things. Last time I updated this list, my #25 spot was up for grabs between Juan Jaime and Williams Perez. I very, very foolishly chose Jaime, and Perez has proved me wrong. I couldn’t be any happier. Perez got off to an incredible start with AAA Gwinnett this season, tossing a 1.33 ERA in 5 starts. He got the call up from the Braves to work out of the bullpen (where he admittedly did not pitch at his best) before he eventually replaced Eric Stults in the rotation. Perez has a 1.00 ERA in his first 2 starts as a Brave. He won’t blow anyone away with his velocity, but has impeccable movement on his pitches. Andrew Thurman, who was acquired in the Evan Gattis deal, cracks the list at #22. He has pitched well this year for A+ Carolina. Aaron Kurcz was acquired from the Red Sox this offseason for Anthony Varvaro, and has pitched well in relief for Gwinnett as a closer. It’s just a matter of time until the Braves give him a shot at the big leagues. Daniel Winkler likely won’t play this season, which is actually good news for Atlanta. He was claimed in the Rule 5 Draft, but will sit on the team’s DL all season, making him Braves property. No spring chicken for a prospect at 25, but he had solid numbers in the Rockies’ farm system. Daniel Castro comes in at #25. He has killed the ball all year for Mississippi and Gwinnett.


Trending Down:

Rio Ruiz continues to fall further and further down the list as he struggles mightily this season. Ruiz has hit just .179 in Mississippi this season. Arodys Vizcaino gets knocked down due to others leaping him while he’s serving his suspension. He could give Atlanta’s bullpen a much needed boost if he can come back with his good stuff. Jason Hursh moves down a couple spots as well as he has struggled while repeating AA. Jose Briceno gets knocked down the list as well, and he has just been plain abysmal at the plate this season, hitting just .152 in A+ ball. With Christian Bethancourt struggling at the plate for the big league club, the future at the Catcher position is slowly starting to look cloudy for Atlanta.

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