The Braves already had a thin farm system entering yesterday. Now, it barely looks like they can field a AAA team. Following the trade for Sean Murphy, which saw Kyle Muller, Royber Salinas, William Contreras, and Freddy Tarnok exit the system, the new crop of top prospects leave much to be desired.
Braves Top 10 Prospects (According to MLB.com)
- Jared Shuster
- Owen Murphy
- JR Ritchie
- Braden Shewmake
- Cole Phillips
- AJ Smith-Shawver
- Victor Vodnik
- Spencer Schwellenbach
- Cal Conley
- Ambioris Tavarez
Outside of Jared Shuster, I’m not sure if any of these guys would be a top-ten prospect in a system that wasn’t one of the worst in the majors. Even Shuster would likely be a borderline top-ten guy. He could contribute as early as 2023, but the rest might not see the field in Atlanta for 5+ years.
Owen Murphy, JR Ritchie, and Cole Phillips were just drafted out of high school this year. Smith-Shawver was selected out of high school the year before, and he’s probably the guy on this list that I’m most excited about. In fact, I would probably put him as the second-best prospect in the system, but he’s far from contributing at the major-league level.
Despite being a former first-round pick, Shewmake hasn’t performed like one in the last couple of seasons. I wouldn’t be shocked if we never see him in Atlanta. Victor Vodnik has some potential as a relief arm, but the fact that he is considered a top-ten prospect is almost laughable. Spencer Schwellenbach is coming off Tommy John surgery and has yet to play professionally. Cal Conley had some success last season, but he is a 23-year-old shortstop that has yet to reach AA, and Ambioris Tavarez has a lot of promise as an international prospect, but he’s still so raw at 19-years-old.
Looking at things from a glass half full perspective, the Braves don’t have much of a need for prospects right now. Most of their core is locked up for at least five years, so they have plenty of time to replenish the system. The Braves are also notorious for developing their talent much better than other teams, so I’m not too worried about its current state, even if things look pretty ugly right now.
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