The MLB Draft has concluded, and the Braves made some intriguing decisions. They focused on pitching, particularly college pitchers, a formula that has worked out well for them under Alex Anthopoulos. The Braves also went with quality over quantity, spending most of their pool money on a few high upside players rather than spreading it out more equally. We won’t know for years how this draft panned out, but there are already a few new faces on my Braves list of the top 10 prospects.
Braves Top 10 Prospects Post-MLB Draft
- AJ Smith-Shawver
- Hurston Waldrep
- JR Ritchie
- Spencer Schwellenbach
- Luis Guanipa
- Owen Murphy
- Cade Kuehler
- Dylan Dodd
- Ignacio Alvarez
- Darius Vines
AJ Smith-Shawver is undoubtedly the top prospect in the organization. His rise to the majors as a 20-year-old has been nothing short of amazing. He has real front-line starter potential, and I’m not sure how much longer he will be considered a prospect.
Right behind Smith-Shawver slots in the Braves first-round selection, Hurston Waldrep. The former Florida ace has some issues with his control, but his plus-fastball and elite splitter give him arguably the highest ceiling of any pitcher in the system.
Ritchie’s looked promising in limited action, but he’ll be missing quite a bit of time after undergoing Tommy John surgery in May. Schwellenbach is a high powered arm that has looked very good since returning from Tommy John surgery, and Luis Guanipa was the prize of the Braves last international crop of prospects.
Owen Murphy was the 20th pick in last year’s draft and has flashed some elite strikeout stuff this season with the August Green Jackets. Cade Kuehler was the Braves third-round selection in this year’s draft and resembles a lot of the same traits as Waldrep. He features a fastball in the high-90s, but like Waldrep, his control needs harnessing.
Dodd has made his way up the ranks to the majors but has struggled. He wouldn’t be a top 10 prospect in most systems, but the Braves might have the weakest farm system in baseball.
Alvarez is a 20-year-old third baseman that has had a lot of success in Rome this season, posting an .805 OPS. And finally, Vines is a promising pitching prospect that had a 3.77 ERA across AA-AAA last year.
Photographer: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire