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Braves lead with 8 on Top 100 Prospects list

Atlanta has most representatives of any club, led by OF Acuna (No. 2)
MLB.com @mlbbowman

ATLANTA -- As the Braves look toward what could be a very bright future, their optimism is strengthened by a deep, talent-rich farm system, highlighted by Ronald Acuna and seven other players who were included on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list that was unveiled Saturday night.

MLB Pipeline's 2018 Top 100 Prospects list

ATLANTA -- As the Braves look toward what could be a very bright future, their optimism is strengthened by a deep, talent-rich farm system, highlighted by Ronald Acuna and seven other players who were included on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list that was unveiled Saturday night.

MLB Pipeline's 2018 Top 100 Prospects list

Acuna will enter the season ranked as the second-best prospect, behind only Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani's combined value as an outfielder and a pitcher landed him the top spot. Earlier this week, Acuna was named MLB Pipeline's top outfield prospect. Ohtani ranked fourth on that list.

:: Complete 2018 Top Prospects coverage ::

The other Braves prospects on the updated Top 100 Prospects list are right-hander Kyle Wright (No. 30), righty Mike Soroka (No. 31), left-hander Luiz Gohara (No. 49), righty Ian Anderson (No. 51), lefty Kolby Allard (No. 58), left-hander Max Fried (No. 83) and third baseman Austin Riley (No. 97). With eight players on the list, Atlanta approaches this season with more Top 100 prospects than any other Major League club. The White Sox and Padres both have seven.

The annual ranking of MLB's Top 100 prospects is assembled by MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo and Mike Rosenbaum, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. Only players with rookie status entering the 2018 season are eligible for the list. Players who were at least 25 years old when they signed and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.

After a hand injury limited Acuna to just 40 regular-season games for Class A Rome in 2016, he fast-tracked his way through the Braves' system last year, advancing from Class A Advanced Florida to Triple-A Gwinnett. The five-tool outfielder was just 19 years old as he combined to hit .325 with 21 home runs, 44 stolen bases and an .896 OPS before being named MLB Pipeline's Hitter of the Year.

Video: Callis talks about Acuna's potential with the Braves

Acuna might begin the upcoming season with Gwinnett, but there's certainly a possibility he could join Atlanta's lineup at some point in late April or early May.

Gohara stands as a favorite to win one of the available spots in Atlanta's rotation, and there's a chance Fried could begin the season at the big league level. Soroka, Wright and Allard have the potential to get a call to the Majors at some point this season.

Video: Top Prospects: Luiz Gohara, LHP, Braves

Acuna stands as the only member of this group who joined the organization before former general manager Frank Wren was relieved of his duties near the end of the 2014 season. The rest were acquired during the club's massive rebuild that began before the start of '15.

Atlanta took Wright with the fifth overall pick in last year's MLB Draft and Anderson with the third overall selection in 2016. Allard (14th overall), Soroka (28th) and Riley (41st) were taken in the first round in '15.

Video: Top Prospects: Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves

Gohara was acquired from the Mariners last year in exchange for Mallex Smith and Shae Simmons. Smith and Fried were included in the package the Braves received when Justin Upton was traded to the Padres after the 2014 season.

Video: Anthopoulos on Braves stacked with top prospects

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves