Top prospects highlight non-roster invitee list

Braves give 27 players chance to earn roster spot

January 7th, 2016

ATLANTA -- The Braves will get a taste of their future when they welcome shortstop Dansby Swanson, left-handed pitcher Sean Newcomb, shortstop Ozzie Albies, right-handed pitcher Aaron Blair and a handful of other top prospects to Spring Training as non-roster invitees.

Swanson, Newcomb, Albies and Blair rank as the Braves' top four prospects, according to This talented quartet headlined the list of 27 non-roster invitees the Braves announced Thursday afternoon. The Braves will bring 10 of their top 13 prospects to Spring Training. Two of the club's former first-round selections (right-handed pitcher Lucas Sims and outfielder Braxton Davidson), third baseman Rio Ruiz and right-handed pitcher Chris Ellis will also go to camp as non-roster invitees. Right-handed pitcher Tyrell Jenkins and left-hander Manny Banuelos are the only members of this prospect group who are already on the 40-man roster.

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This year's list of non-roster invitees also includes right-handed veteran pitchers Jhoulys Chacin and Kyle Kendrick, who will both have a chance to compete for a rotation spot. David Carpenter, Alexi Ogando and Alex Torres are among this year's invitees who will attempt to earn a roster spot and begin the season in Atlanta's bullpen.

Swanson will certainly draw a lot of attention as he experiences his first Spring Training since being selected with the top overall pick in last summer's Draft. Swanson ('s 10th-best overall prospect) and Blair ('s 61st-best overall prospect) were both acquired from the D-backs in December.

While Swanson and Albies ('s 30th-best overall prospect) are both at least a year away from being deemed Major League-ready, Blair, Newcomb, Sims and Ellis will go to camp with the understanding that there is a chance they could end up in Atlanta's rotation at some point during the 2016 season. ranks Newcomb as its 19th-best overall prospect and the game's third-best left-handed pitching prospect. The talented southpaw and Ellis were the two highly regarded pitching prospects the Braves received when they traded Andrelton Simmons to the Angels in November.

This will also be the first big league Spring Training for Davidson, whom the Braves took with their first pick (32nd overall) in the 2014 Draft. The 19-year-old outfielder stands as one of the few legit power-hitting prospects within the farm system. He has spent this winter working out with former Atlanta outfielder Cameron Maybin.

Sims, who was selected by the Braves in the first round of the 2012 Draft, made a few Grapefruit League appearances as an extra pitcher last year. Coming off a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League, the 21-year-old suburban Atlanta native will now get his first chance to truly experience Spring Training with his hometown team.

This year's list of non-roster invitees also includes right-handed pitchers Ryan Kelly, Chris Volstad and Madison Younginer; left-handed pitchers Hunter Cervenka and David Holmberg; catchers Willians Astudillo, Matt Kennelly, Ryan Lavarnway, Joe Odom and Braeden Schlehuber; and infielders Reid Brignac, Chase d'Arnaud, Nate Freiman and outfielder Matt Tuiasosopo.