Projecting the stats of the Braves Top 30 prospects: 20-16

Braves: Jeremy Walker dealing with shoulder issue

We continue this series with prospects 20-16. If you missed the previous two parts, click the links below:

20. CJ Alexander (3B)

Level: AA

2021 stat predictions: .277, 10 HRs, 67 RBIs

Alexander looked like he might end up being the steal of the 2018 MLB draft. He hit .354 with a .924 OPS in his first 52 professional games. However, 2019 was a year to forget. Tommy John surgery limited him to 43 games in which he hit just .117. Now, he’s 24 and hasn’t played in over year. This may be a make or break season for Alexander, but I have him making it. I still think he possesses quite a bit of upside and will have a bounce-back 2021 campaign.

19. Patrick Weigel (RHP)

Level: AAA-MLB

2021 stat predictions: 110 innings, 3.65 ERA, 120 Ks

The Braves have taken things slowly with Weigel after his Tommy John Surgery. Following a season in which he only pitched 0.2 innings (thanks to the pandemic), I expect them to loosen the reigns a bit. The Braves have to figure out whether he is a starter or reliever in the future. I expect him to start games in AAA, but he probably has a better chance of contributing in Atlanta this season out of the bullpen. Spring training will be telling for Weigel.

18. Victor Vodnik (RHP)

Level: A+-AA

2021 stat predictions: 82.2 innings, 3.75 ERA, 94 Ks

Vodnik has some of the best stuff in the Braves system, and he showed that in 2019, holding opponents to a .233 batting average against to go along with his 2.93 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 67.1 innings. He should begin the year in Rome again; however, this year, Rome will be the Braves A+ affiliate.

17. Freddy Tarnok (RHP)

Level: A+-AA

2021 stat predictions: 122 innings, 3.68 ERA, 108 Ks

Tarnok showed a good amount of promise in his first-year-plus of pro-ball, but he struggled in 2019 with his promotion to the Florida Fire Frogs, posting a 4.87 ERA over 98 innings. After a year off, this season will be a good indicator of what the Braves have in Tarnok.

16. Jeremy Walker (RHP)

Level: AAA-MLB

2021 stat predictions: 65.1 innings, 2.65 ERA, 64 Ks

I thought Walker would be a permanent member of Atlanta’s bullpen in 2020, but unfortunately, a shoulder injury cost him the entire season. Still, he remains the Braves best bullpen prospect. His two-seam fastball is absolutely filthy, and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he made the major-league team out of spring training and never looks back.

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