Coming into the season, most prospect outlets were understandably down on the Braves farm system. They’ve seen a ton of talent graduate in recent years, and they lost even more in the trade for Matt Olson. However, the top of the system remains rich with talent, and there are some under-the-radar guys at the lower levels that are already beginning to separate themselves.
Baseball America talked about two of those lesser-known Braves prospects in their recent piece breaking down the top 20 hottest prospects from last week.
Royber Salinas (High-A Rome)
Salinas is an international prospect from Venezuela that the Braves signed back in 2019, and he’s off to an eye-popping start in 2022. He began the year with the August Green Jackets but was quickly promoted after striking out 52 batters in just 23.2 innings! His first start with Rome was a bumpy one; however, he bounced back this week in outstanding fashion, striking out ten batters in five innings of shutout ball, allowing just one hit and one walk. Here’s what Baseball America had to say about Salinas’ performance:
After a clunker in his first start with Rome, the Braves’ breakout prospect remembered who he is—Royber, the Great Misser of Bats. Four of Salinas’ seven starts this season have ended with double-digit strikeouts, and his 63 Ks lead the minor leagues. Moreover, Salinas also leads qualified minor league pitchers in strikeouts per nine innings (19.33), strikeout percentage (53.8%) and swinging-strike percentage (23%). Simply put: If you step in the box against Royber, there’s a pretty good chance he’s going to make you look silly before sending you back to the dugout.
Justyn-Henry Malloy (High-A Rome)
Malloy hails from Georgia Tech and was selected in the sixth round of last year’s draft. The 21-year-old first baseman is already impressing in Rome, to the tune of a .324 batting average and .909 OPS. Here’s what Baseball America had to say about his performance this past week.
The sixth-rounder out of Georgia Tech debuted in the Atlanta Top 30 Prospects at No. 30 in the May update. He continued his early season momentum this week, collecting a hit in all five games he played and in 50% of his at-bats. His high watermark came on Saturday with a 5-for-5 performance, roping a pair of doubles and three singles, as he crossed the plate twice and drove in a pair on the day. He enters a series with Aberdeen batting .324/.423/.486 with three home runs and a 13% walk rate.
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