SportsTalkATL’s Braves 2023 Prospect Rankings: 30-26

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The Braves have lost a LOT of talent in their farm system, that’s just a natural result of being a successful team. Players like Vaughn Grissom and Michael Harris II that could normally keep a system like this afloat have contributed in Atlanta, but trust me — I’m not complaining. Baseball America, Fangraphs, and MLB all have their different rankings — and I think each one is good for different purposes. Typically, I align more with Baseball America, but this is going to be my personal ranking of the Top 40 guys in Atlanta’s system. It won’t be pretty, especially towards the bottom, but I’m a big fan of Atlanta’s 2022 draft class. With another strong showing in the draft and some international signings, the Braves can get right back into the middle of the pack — especially if they continue to develop guys like Harris and Grissom at the rate they have been. This is a group that is going to feature multiple 2022 MLB draft picks. Enough talking, let’s get to the rankings. Previous Editions are listed below:

 

 

30. RHP Brooks Wilson (AAA)

Injuries have hampered Wilson, but other than that, he has been fantastic so far since being drafted in 2018. Wilson owns a career 2.24 ERA, including a strong showing in Gwinnett in 2022. However, he only has 165 career innings under his belt. If he can keep this up, he’ll firmly be in Atlanta’s Top 30, but he has got to get healthy.

#29 SS Luke Waddell (AA)

A trend that you’re going to notice here — Waddell is a utility middle infielder that profiles as a bench piece. Waddell had a nutty stretch in 2021, clubbing six home runs in six games. That stretch included two multi-home run games, and a 365 WRC+. Waddell has been fine this year, posting a .734 OPS in Mississippi. His ceiling doesn’t look to be too high, but he profiles as a very high-floor player that can potentially contribute off the bench in the majors.

#28 C Drake Baldwin (A)

Baldwin may not be able to stick behind the plate, but he should get every opportunity with Atlanta’s poor depth at catcher. His hit tool has never been in question, and that’s probably why the Braves made him a third-round pick. I don’t see Atlanta rushing him, so he should have every chance in the world to develop.

#27 RHP Blake Burkhalter (ROK)

We didn’t get to see much of Burkhalter after being drafted out of Auburn, but the Braves were high enough on him to use a compensation pick on him at the end of the second round. He posted an eye-popping 71/7 strikeout to walk ratio at Auburn, and his slider/cutter combo is a big reason for that. He has the potential to rise through the system quickly, especially if he can have a good offseason and start off 2023 strong, likely in A or A+. AJ Minter clocked in the mid-20s after being drafted, and he was taken with the 75th pick. Burkhalter was 76th. Guys like this can rise quickly.

#26 RHP Indigo Diaz (AA)

Diaz had one of the best seasons in recent memory for a prospect in 2021, striking out an absurd 83 batters over 45 innings. Only allowing 21 hits and a 1.20 ERA, Diaz was named an All Star for his efforts. He has been solid in 2022, although nowhere near as impressive (3.08 ERA, 29.6 K%). He still profiles as a future bullpen piece if he’s needed.

 

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