The 2022 Mississippi Braves roster is loaded with must-watch prospects

Vaughn Grissom

Fresh off a championship, the Mississippi Braves released their 2022 Opening Day roster, and it’s loaded with players that could be gracing Truist Park sooner rather than later.

The big name here is top-ranked prospect Michael Harris. Some people may have hoped he would begin the year in AAA, but it was always improbable the Braves decided to let him skip a level this early in his minor-league career, despite how well he handled himself during Spring Training. Harris is oozing with potential, but he just turned 21-years-old, and the Braves outfield is currently full. There’s absolutely no reason to rush him. I expect Harris will get a shot in Gwinnett this season, but it won’t be until much later in the year.

Also, starting in the outfield with Harris is another prospect to keep an eye on — Jesse Franklin. The former University of Michigan standout led all Braves minor leaguers last season in home runs, smacking 24 of them in just 101 games for High-A Rome. Given he’s a college bat and already 23-years-old, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Franklin receives the call to Gwinnett before Harris.

Another collegiate product to watch out for is former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Luke Waddell. He burst onto the scene last season for the Rome Braves and was quickly promoted. Now, it’s time to see if he can continue that success at the upper levels of the minors.

On the pitching side of things, the staff is stacked with players that could be in Atlanta within a couple of years. Freddy Tarnok and Jared Shuster are two guys I’ll be watching very closely. The Braves hope they will eventually be part of the rotation, but I’ve also got my eyes on Indigo Diaz and Jake Higginbotham, who could end up being two critical pieces to Atlanta’s bullpen.

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