The Braves, like the Padres, are incredibly stacked in the minor leagues. This is scary, considering they’re also in the mix to repeat as NL East champions and sport young stars like Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna on their MLB roster. tl;dr – Good team that’s probably gonna be good for a while.
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1. Christian Pache, OF | Age: 20 | ETA: 2020
At first glance, my ranking probably looks like crazytown. I’ll admit the profile right now reads as one that is better for reality than fantasy – brilliant defense, great speed but poor SB/CS ratio, and good bat skills but not much power to show for it. I’m betting on this player to figure some of those things out over the next year or two in the minors, turning him into an extremely high floor prospect with at least average power and a chance for 20-30 steals near the top of the batting order.
2. Austin Riley, 3B | Age: 21 | ETA: 2019
Donaldson is going to delay Riley until later this summer or even next, but he’s a profile most will still be comfortable investing in for dynasty leagues. He has plus power and hit 19 homers in 2018 between AA and AAA. He also hit .294 on the year, which is super. Only blemish is a 28% strikeout rate, but there will be some more seasoning in AAA this year for him to work on that.
3. Touki Toussaint, RHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2019
Soroka might have more upside but Touki looks like he’ll give you a quicker return on your investment. He’s currently duking it out for the final spot in the Braves rotation and with a full season could be a cheap source of strikeouts (9.0 K/9). The ERA and walk rate will – like most rookies – be shaky. He’s currently getting drafted as a crapshoot in the late rounds, which is where he belongs.
4. Mike Soroka, RHP | Age: 21 | ETA: 2019
Long term, Soroka is the better investment than Toussaint, but with only 50 innings pitched last year I doubt we see Soroka in the rotation before midseason or even later, and then my guess is he’ll have his innings limited. The Braves have no reason to push their best pitching prospect with so many other options on the table.
5. Kyle Wright, RHP | Age: 23 | ETA: 2019
Here’s one of those other options mentioned above. Although, my guess is he’ll also spend most of the season in AAA. Wright could play as a back end starter who offers average strikeout numbers and good control. The downside is he gets boxed out of the rotation and eats innings in middle relief.
6. Drew Waters, OF | Age: 20 | ETA: 2021
Waters is a similar profile to Pache – table setter but with a little less defensive prowess, a grade less speed, but a touch more in-game power. He hit .303 with nine homers and 20 steals in 2018. That’s likely the MLB ceiling (closer to .280 on the average though). He’ll hit the upper minors this season, which should be a good test against better arms.
7. Ian Anderson, RHP | Age: 20 | ETA: 2020
Anderson put up some killer numbers in the FSL in 2018 – throwing 100 innings with 118 strikeouts and a 2.52 earned run average. That’s a league that favors arms, but still. Like a lot of prospects who have success at the lower levels, I’m saving some of my excitement until he does similar work against the bats in Double and Triple-A.
8. Luiz Gohara, LHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2019
Fun fact. I lived in Brazil for a month doing some research prior to the Olympics. Beautiful country. Muito legal. That’s where Gohara is from, and he’s a horse with a nasty fastball/slider combination. Of all the pitchers mentioned here, he probably has the biggest risk to end up in the pen, but even there I think his numbers could be fantasy relevant in some leagues – especially if he ends up in high-leverage situations that yield saves/holds.
9. William Contreras, C | Age: 21 | ETA: 2021
Contreras is a hit/defense profile that probably can’t be counted on for much more than 12-15 homers down the road. However, if he can pair that with an average of .280 or higher at the catcher position, that’ll indeed play in some deeper formats.
10. Bryse Wilson, RHP | Age: 21 | ETA: 2019
Wilson being last on this list might look like I’m down on him, but remember this farm is stacked and we’re still in Grade B territory. Wilson’s numbers in 2018 were excellent, and he may even get some reps in the Braves rotation this year. It’s just a really deep system, and one that is deep with arms as well.