In case you missed the first 4 installments of our Atlanta Braves Top Prospects, you can find them here:
- Braves Journal’s Top 30 Prospects: Just Missed
- Braves Journal’s Top 30 Prospect, 30-26
- Braves Journal’s Top 30 Prospects, 25-21
A reminder that this is a cumulative list from 3 Minor League followers, Karl Ehrsam (snowshine), Matt Pocza (@Braves_Rumors), and Ryan Cothran (@baldheaded1der), and the rankings might not be reflective of each person’s opinion, of which I hope they’ll share their thoughts in the comments! Let’s get to it, shall we?
Braves Journal’s Prospect #20, Mahki Backstrom
(Ryan) Matt Powers is one of the Braves prospect gurus whose opinion that I seek out. He was remarkably high on Backstrom coming out of the draft as he felt he was a first round talent with his exit velocity that ranked 99.74th percent at Perfect Game. Pre-draft, his stock dropped significantly, and according to our own Snowshine, it was vision related, something that the Braves have corrected for him. This leads Snowshine, Matt Powers, and myself to believe that the Braves could have snagged a 1st round talent in the 18th round. He’s a HUGE LH hitting first baseman and he carried an .860 OPS in his professional debut. The Braves haven’t really had any good 1B prospects in a while. Now, there’s 2. Watch this guy closely…2 eyes, as often as you can spare them.
Braves Journal’s Prospect #19, Patrick Weigel
(Snowshine) I will take some heat for this as on my personal list, I have him 15-20 spots lower than most everyone else. Tommy John is a horrible thing and not everyone recovers from it to be what they were before. Usually you know within 18 months or so but sometimes guys can take 3 or 4 seasons (see Weigel’s Rome teammate Max Fried for example) to get their stuff back. Unfortunately, by this stage of the journey, most of them never do come back. I have chatted with Patrick several times and he comes across as well spoken, intelligent and with remarkable modesty for a pro athlete. I really hope I’m wrong on this one.
Braves Journal’s Prospects #18, Freddy Tarnok
(Snowshine) Converted to a full time starters role in 2019, Tarnok’s statistics took a major step back. This was expected as he was challenged with an assignment in Florida and asked to throw more than 3 inning stints for the first time in his career. 2020 will tell us far more on his future. Vodnik will face this same challenge next season.
Braves Journal’s Prospects #17, Daysbel Hernandez
(Snowshine) Vies with Luis Mora and Huascar Ynoa for the title of “best fastball” in the Braves organization. He has never had a healthy season before but is definitely in the closer-of-the-future picture. Will begin 2020 in Mississippi but could see Atl if all goes well.
Braves Journal’s Prospect #16, Bryce Ball
(Matt) Taken in the 24th round of the 2019 draft, Ball is one of the Braves more interesting prospects. The Braves system hasn’t seen a first base prospect like Ball since Freeman. He has the pure power down, as he hit 17 homers in only 61 games since being drafted. To go along with the home runs he also hit .329 with a near-.400 OBP. It’s no secret why the Braves love this guy, at 6’6, 235 lbs he has the build of a first baseman. First base is obviously taken in Atlanta for the foreseeable future, but if the DH is added to the NL? Maybe Ball is the man for the job.
Thanks for reading!
Long live Braves Journal
In case you missed it, here’s Freddie Freeman’s Atlanta Braves Player Review from yesterday.