People constantly want to rank the Braves farm system among the worst in all of baseball, and it’s easy to do when considering all of the unbelievable talent they’ve graduated in the last few seasons. Who really needs a farm system when nearly your entire team is 25 or younger? However, the lack of talent in the minor leagues for the Braves is overblown. Because while they’ve been dealt a disadvantageous hand with their international signings restrictions, they’ve consistently been one of the best teams at drafting and developing, which is why guys like Michael Harris, Spencer Strider, and Vaughn Grissom have emerged so quickly.
The Braves don’t have any prospects that will crack the Top 100, but many of the stars we are watching today never did until it was too late. This farm system has some under-the-radar guys that are rocketing through the system, and Justyn-Henry Malloy is quickly becoming one of my personal favorites.
A sixth-round pick out of Georgia Tech, Malloy began the year in High-A ball with Vaughn Grissom, and like Grissom, he tore the cover off the ball. Through 71 games, he hit .304 with 10 homers and 16 doubles — good for an .888 OPS and a promotion to AA Mississippi, where his success has continued. Through 45 games, Malloy is batting .281 with five long balls.
Now, those numbers in Mississippi may not jump off the page, but I want to focus on Malloy’s on-base percentage. It’s currently at a ridiculous .410 in AA, and he’s gotten on base at a .405 clip for his career. Malloy has walked at least 14.7% of the time at every level, and he’s currently walking 18% of the time in Mississippi. That’s unbelievable.
The biggest concern about Justyn-Henry Malloy is where he fits into the puzzle in Atlanta. As it stands, there is already a logjam of players fighting for nine starting spots. But that’s not something we should be worrying about right now. Things change so quickly in this sport; if Malloy continues to rake, the Braves will find a place for him.
Photo: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire