I wrote this yesterday, so pardon the lateness. Was waiting on the Stripers roster.
Maybe for some, this is just an ordinary, boring off day. However, for me, it’s akin to the day before Opening Day. Coming off a year where there was no Minor League Baseball, it was brutal to track any progress made for the prospects and many that put out prospect lists were working with guesswork from the few videos running amuck on social media. Needless to say, we didn’t put out our top prospect list this year and that was the sole reason. I need video of real games. I need real stats. I need real clips. Anything less and I would’ve been making it up. But that ends…tomorrow! So, if you’re like me and have been super frustrated with the MLB team, there’ll be more Braves baseball to watch and a really good group of prospects to keep tabs on.
The Gwinnett Braves Roster
Breakdown: From high-end prospects to spot starters to emergency fill-ins to bench candidates to high-upside lottery tickets, this is the perfect AAA team. There are so many players on this list that could get called up or cut at any point in time. I really like Riley Unroe as the 5th man on the bench type as he’s got positional flexibility, is a switch hitter, and can run. My only question…where the heck is Jason Kipnis?
Mississippi Braves Roster
Breakdown: The pitching here is pretty meh with the exception of Victor Vodnick and Kurt Hoekstra. From there, it gets intriguing with Shea Langeliers at catcher, 2 make or break IFers in CJ Alexander and Greyson Jenista, and Braden Shewmake (who could very well make his MLB debut if he continues to show a strong hit too). For the outfield, both Justin Dean and Trey Harris are intriguing as 4th OFer/bench pieces with potential as platoon players.
Augusta Green Jackets Roster
Breakdown: Honestly this is where I’m a bit lost. Past a few names like Vaughn Grissom, Tyler Owens, and Stephen Paolini, there’s a lot to learn about here. Grissom likely moves to 3B this year and Tyler Owens could also be one of those guys that moves remarkably fast in the system.
Rome Braves Roster
Breakdown: Can I be disappointed and still be super excited about this roster? My disappointment lies in Michael Harris’s assignment. With all the hype surrounding his performance at the alt-site in 2020 and the work he put in during Spring Training 2021, I thought he’d be at AA. I’m still ok with this decision and bet he’s there by the time 2021 is over. Jared Shuster, Bryce Ball, Bryce Elder, Kasey Kalich, Jesse Franklin and Beau Philip are the other players to watch out for, especially early on, as they could also be fast tracked to the upper minors.
A Notable Omission
Mahki Backstrom is one of my prospects to watch for the year and, unfortunately, he’s not listed on any of these rosters. Luckily, I have a guy in the know. Ask and you shall receive:
This will also serve as today’s game thread.