Atlanta Braves Top Prospects by Braves Journal, #30-26

We kicked off the Atlanta Braves Top Prospects with players that just missed out on the top-30 and you can find that list here. Today, we get to it! A reminder that our list from Karl Ehrsam (snowshine), Ryan Cothran (@baldheaded1der), and Matt Pocza (@Braves_Rumors) is cumulative and some might have had particular players higher or lower in their personal rankings, of which I hope to see explanations in the comments! Alright, we’re really doing it, people!

Braves Journal’s Prospect #30, Beau Philip

(Snowshine) A somewhat surprising 2nd round selection (most had him at least 2 rounds lower), Philip is a 21 year old shortstop with just 1 year of big time college ball (although it was powerhouse Oregon State). He has average to plus tools across the board and Braves developmental people think a swing change can unlock some potential. He will stay at short as his movements are fluid with a strong arm. One suspects he will either be top 10 or off the list by this time next year.

Braves Journal’s Prospect #29, Nolan Kingham

(Snowshine) His season went according to the BABIP gods: when the groundballs were fielded he was great and led the minors in shutouts; when the balls found holes he was shelled. His stuff is good enough that he really should miss more bats which we assume will be his developmental emphasis for 2020, most likely in AA.

Braves Journal’s Prospect #28, Trey Riley

(Matt) After giving up five runs in just one inning of work his freshman year at Oklahoma State, he was stuck riding the pine all season. He decided to transfer and had a phenomenal season in 2018 at the John A. Logan, a JUCO. This earned him the Braves 5th round selection in 2018 and he signed above slot value. Riley’s control is… awful. Last season he walked 46 batters in 58.1 innings, his WHIP was nearly 2.0 and his ERA was 7.67. Despite those numbers, Riley has a lot of potential. His changeup needs some work, but he has a fastball that tops out at 97 that he complements with a wipeout slider. His future is as a reliever due to the control issues, but if he can improve that changeup he could be very successful down the line. Hopefully next year he can progress all around and bring those ERA and WHIP numbers down a good bit. 

Braves Journal’s Prospect #27, Phil Pfeifer

(Ryan) If you didn’t catch our 3 Flags Flying podcast of which I discussed Pfeifer, or my numerous articles/comments of which I also talked Pfeifer, then let me drop something on y’all: I really like Phil pfreakin’ Pfeifer. Drafted in the 4th round by the Dodgers out of Vanderbilt, Pfeifer came to the Braves via trade in the Bud Norris deal of 2016 (along with Caleb Dirks).  Up until last year, Pfeifer had become a bit of an afterthought in the system and had been a full-time reliever, albeit not a great one, for 3 years, due to the abundance of starting pitching prospect riches already in the system. For some reason, that changed in 2019 and the Braves moved him back to starting…and boy did that light a fire as he put up 10.7 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 in 133.1 innings between 3 levels. If a starter, he’ll be a FB/CB/CH guy, all being good pitches, but if he were to become a reliever, I’d bet he’d drop the change and focus on the FB and CB as those are his plus pitches. On a personal note, Pfeifer battled addiction issues when at Vandy and has overcome his addiction which makes me want to pull for him even more.

Braves Journal’s Prospect #26, Jeremy Walker

(Matt) Walker was the Braves 5th round pick in 2016 and has sort of wandered around the Braves farm system since. A starter his entire career, the Braves decided to change him to a reliever in 2019 and he excelled in his bullpen role. Walker’s best aspect is his impeccable control; he issued only 11 free passes in 81.1 innings between AA and AAA in 2019. He made it to the big leagues and pitched well, allowing 2 runs in 9.1 innings. He mainly utilizes a sinker/curveball mix, occasionally throwing in a four-seamer or changeup. He tops out at 98, so he can throw it by someone if need be, but usually stays in the low/mid 90s. Now that he has been in the Braves system for the past 4 seasons, I’m expecting Walker to be a bullpen candidate or trade bait this offseason. He’s proven all he can in the minors and he’s shown he can be successful at the major league level.

Thanks for Reading!

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In case you missed it, here’s former top prospect, Mike Soroka’s Player Review!

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Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

43 thoughts on “Atlanta Braves Top Prospects by Braves Journal, #30-26”

  1. Minor correction: Pfeif was actually a third-rounder, not a fourth-rounder.

    Best thing about him is that he went to Farragut in Knoxville, yet chose to pitch at VU.

  2. And because it’s not letting me edit my comment, I’ll add a second one here:

    The best thing about him is that he went to Farragut in Knoxville, yet chose to pitch at VU. One of the most decorated high school athletes in Tennessee history.

  3. RE: Andujar – I (irrationally I’m sure) do not trust Yankees players, never have, never will. On top of that, Andujar’s “successful” season still had him with a very BA dependent .328 OBP and much of his offensive value came at home in that joke of a ballpark they now call Yankee Stadium. Also a terrible defender.

    Again zero interest, give me Camargo or Riley over him.

  4. How fun should the Angels be to watch? Trout, Rendon, Simmons, Ohtani, Adell should be there soon. If they only had any pitching. Wonder if Atl could work a deal for Adell to balance them out a little?

  5. Rule 5 draft in less than an hour! Excited for all the draftees who’ve been stuck in a system that will finally get their chance in another system.

  6. I’m excited about Pfeifer. Rule V protection, pitching well in the Aussie league, lefty with velo. Sign me up.

  7. Don’t forget about upton and la stella on the angels, both should have pretty good years. and pujols still has a little bit left in the tank… ohtani/heaney is a solid 2/3 but if they could add ryu or bumgarner and maybe keuchel they’d be in much better shape.

  8. I’m going to mention some scouting grades here. These are on a scale of 20-80 where 20 sucks and 50 is about MLB average. grades with a / between 2 numbers denoting current Vs future values.

    Beau Philip — hit 35/50 power 30/50 field 50/55 run 60/55 arm 55/55
    Kingham — 2 seam 45/55 slider 45/55 change 50/60 command 45/45
    Trey Riley — fastball 55/60 slider 55/60 curve 50/55 change 40/50 command 30/40
    Pfeiffer — can find no data. Has a plus fastball and a good change. Breaking ball is very inconsistent
    Walker — fastball 55/55 slider 45/50 curve 45/50 change 40/45 command 40/45 and this is all wrong now that he is in the pen! He showed fastball 60/60 curve 55/65 command 55/55 this year in the shorter stints (he still averaged about 10 batters faced per appearance) He threw no sliders and only 3 changeups during the 2019 season

  9. A little surprised the Braves didn’t select anyone in the Rule V draft. Would have thought they might with the bench vacancies and the new 26th man.

  10. People at baseballthinkfactory, where I also lurk, think acquiring Sestanovich is something of a coup. Apparently he is thought pretty well of in the industry in the context of player assessment and development.

  11. If we’re poaching guys from the Padres’ and Astros’, I think we’re doing pretty well. That’s about as much information as I can probably possess about behind the scenes front office guys. With Fast, it’s pretty easy because you could literally read the guy’s work and see clearly that he was a genius ahead of the game (based on when it was written).

  12. @6 I really, really doubt that the Angels would deal Adell. They’re incredibly high on him, from all accounts; and clearly with good reason. They’d probably almost give Upton away though, just to move some money.

  13. One thing I’m noticing with some of the site updates is I now have to clear my cache and browser history before every visit to see new comments and articles.

  14. @king

    We’re not quite sure why as neither me or Matt initiated it but there was a big WordPress update last night and I had to clear cache and cookies again. Matt then had to go fix a bunch of stuff, but I truly do think we are in the clear now.

  15. @19 & 20 Refresh wouldn’t even do the trick before for me, but I was able to see both your comments without doing a thing just now. Think it’s peaches.

  16. I’m having the same issues as King and, when I do open up the site page, the font starts jumping down several sizes.

  17. @23 and @24 – Have y’all cleared the cache on whatever device you’re using? If on a computer, hold down the Shift key and refresh the page giving you problems 3-4x (while holding Shift). Neither one of those steps should ever need to be done again for this site once completed.

  18. I’m finding that clearing the cache works temporarily, but has not yet been permanent. Having issues again on my pc and on my phone.

  19. I wrote this on the previous post because I was having the browser refresh issue too, but I’ll repost my comment here: I really like the changes to the website. However, I miss the “House that Mac Built” header. Was wondering if we could get some kind of tribute to him on the site. I know I speak for a lot of people when I say that it was Mac’s writing that got me hooked on this blog in the first place.

  20. Ok, I promise you I’m as frustrated as yall are. Let’s get to the bottom of this. Here’s a form for anyone having issues. I have to figure out the common link between the ones having problems, and I WILL do that. It would really help if everyone having issues would fill out this short form so I can work this out and we can move past it all.

  21. Totally agree about bringing back reference to Mac. “The House that Mac Built” was actually quite deliberate.

    And I have to refresh every time I visit the site. Have cleared the cache multiple times, and it works only at the time of the clearing. When I return later, I still have to refresh.

  22. @39 Shouldn’t have to clear cache again. Made a discovery on the backend that is currently propagating. Seems to have fixed issue for admins and users should see it within the hour (if not already).

  23. I just tried without clearing, and I’m still having the issues. Maybe just need more time? I’ll try again in the morning and post results for you, Matt.

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