If you’re familiar with my work, you know how high I have been on Justyn-Henry Malloy. The Braves farm system is continually ranked near the bottom of baseball, but it’s pretty ironic how they continue to churn out high quality talent to the majors. Collecting assets is one thing, but developing them is something entirely different, and the Braves have proven to be one of the best organizations when it comes to grooming their players. We saw that with Michael Harris II, Spencer Strider, and Vaughn Grissom this year, and Malloy is a guy to watch out for in 2023.
After a stellar season spanning across three levels, Malloy is one of the Braves prospects participating in the Arizona Fall League, where he has continued to thrive. Through 11 games, he’s hitting .314 with four doubles. But more impressively, and this has become a trend at every level of the minors for him, he’s getting on base at a .467 clip. Malloy has walked ten times and struck out just nine.
Malloy started in High A this year at age 22 and ended up in Triple A for the last week-plus of the season. Like the other older hitters I mentioned above, Malloy showed excellent plate discipline at all levels, with 97 walks and 138 strikeouts in 133 games this year. He’s the best hitter of this cluster, though, showing better off-speed recognition and ridiculous strength, driving a slider from a right-hander (so he didn’t have the platoon advantage) to right-center for a hard-hit double and turning on average velocity whenever he saw it. I didn’t get him against plus velocity, but didn’t see any issues with his bat speed. I’m surprised he only hit 16 homers this year because everything I saw him hit was loud.
I’m very excited for the future of Malloy, and we may not have to wait much longer to see him at the major-league level. He’s primarily been a third baseman during his minor-league career, but the Braves started playing him in left field later in the season. Given that’s one of their biggest holes on the roster entering 2023, Malloy could receive the call earlier than expected if he continues to rake at the beginning of next season.
Photographer: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire