The Braves clearly place high value on these two prospects

MLB: JUN 04 Braves at Diamondbacks

The Braves didn’t make any significant moves at the trade deadline, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Alex Anthopoulos left no stone unturned, even contacting the rival Mets about Justin Verlander‘s availability. Unfortunately, nothing came to fruition, and one of my main takeaways is the value the Braves have placed on two of their top prospects.

The first being Vaughn Grissom. Now, technically, Grissom lost his prospect status last season after filling in for the injured Ozzie Albies, but he’s just as much of a prospect as any other 22-year-old minor-leaguer. Like many, I thought he was the most likely piece to be moved at the trade deadline, because he still has a lot of trade value, and I’m not sure where he slots into the Braves’ future plans if he can’t play shortstop.

However, as the old saying goes, worry about tomorrow’s problems tomorrow. The Braves made it clear they aren’t going to sell low on Grissom just because he performed poorly defensively in his stint in the majors this season. He’s tearing the cover off of the ball in Gwinnett, hitting .317 with an .865 OPS. For a 22-year-old middle infielder, that’s outstanding, and the Braves weren’t going to give that up for a two-month rental to put in the middle of their rotation.

Whether Grissom is able to play shortstop in the future has yet to be determined. If he can, I imagine he will eventually take over for Orlando Arcia. If he can’t, he will probably be moved when the right opportunity presents itself, but that didn’t happen at this trade deadline.

The Braves also opted to hold onto top prospect AJ Smith-Shawver. The 20-year-old has elite stuff and has rocketed through the system this season, making his MLB debut and having some success at the top level. Now, nobody is untradeable, but I imagine the Braves received a boatload of calls from selling teams regarding his availability, and I highly doubt those conversations went much of anywhere.

Alex Anthopoulos hasn’t been afraid to pull the trigger on blockbuster trades during his tenure as Braves GM, but he knows which prospects to trade and which ones to hold on to. Smith-Shawver is one to hold onto. He has frontline starter potential. Unless a star pitcher becomes available with several years of control, don’t expect to see Smith-Shawver going anywhere.

Zac BonDurant/Icon Sportswire

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