Yesterday, I predicted when each member of the Braves’ top 10 prospects would make their MLB debut. The Braves’ farm system is much thinner than in years past, but the top is still solid. However, that means several more prospects from this year’s top 10 are on the cusp of graduating, so what might 2023’s group look like?
10. Joey Estes
Estes showed a lot in his first professional season as a 19-year-old with the August Green Jackets. Over 99 innings, he recorded a 2.91 ERA while striking out 11.5 batters per nine.
9. Freddy Tarnok
Tarnok finished 2021 nicely with Mississippi, posting a 2.60 ERA over nine starts. If he keeps that up in 2022, he will undoubtedly be apart of the Braves’ top 10 prospects.
8. Braden Shewmake
I was incredibly high on Braden Shewmake going into 2021, but he couldn’t have started the season any worse. He did bounce back decently to end the season, but he will still have to repeat the level in 2022. I’m projecting him to make some strides because if he struggles again in Mississippi, he will be much further down Braves prospect lists.
7. Jared Shuster
As of now, I’m not incredibly high on Shuster, but with so many prospects graduating, he’ll have an opportunity to establish himself as a top 10 prospect. Shuster, the Braves first-round pick in 2020, posted a respectable 3.70 ERA in high-A Rome last season before struggling a bit in Mississippi to the tune of a 7.36 ERA. 2022 will be a telling year for the Wake Forrest product.
6. Vaughn Grissom
Grissom will likely begin 2022 in high-A Rome, so he’s still got a long way to go before he reaches the majors. However, he could receive a quick promotion to Mississippi if he starts next season as hot as he ended 2021. In Grissom’s first 12 games of high-A ball, he hit .378 with a 1.114 OPS.
5. Jesse Franklin
I think Franklin is a prospect that could boom up the system quickly. In his first year of professional ball, he showed a ton of pop, mashing 24 homers in high-A Rome. If that continues next season in Mississippi, look for Franklin to receive some consideration within the Braves’ top-five prospects.
4. Ryan Cusick
The Braves 2021 first-round selection, we haven’t seen much of Cusick yet, but that will change in 2022. This is a prospect with a ton of upside, which is why I believe he will be firmly inside the Braves’ top-five prospects in 2023.
3. Drew Waters
I’m going out on a limb and saying that Waters has a nice bounce-back year in Gwinnett. I’m not sure it will be enough to receive the call in 2022, given how many outfield options the Braves have, but there will once again be hype surrounding Waters heading into the 2023 season.
2. Shea Langeliers
I might be higher on Langeliers than most. He has a chance to be an elite defensive catcher that can hit 25+ homers, something that is so rare in today’s game. If Langeliers builds on his 2021 campaign next season in Gwinnett, he’ll have a case to be the top prospect in the system.
1. Michael Harris
Harris is already the Braves’ top prospect, and while I expect him to continue to ascend through the system in 2022, it would be shocking for him to end up in Atlanta at any point next season. He’s a couple of years away, but there’s no reason he shouldn’t still be the Braves’ top prospect this time next year.
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