PHILADELPHIA -- The Atlanta Braves will send eight players -- seven regulars and one taxi-squad player -- to the 2017 Arizona Fall League, including two of their top 10 pitching prospects and their top prospect overall, Ronald Acuna.Acuna is the No. 8 overall prospect in the game according to MLBPipeline.
PHILADELPHIA -- The Atlanta Braves will send eight players -- seven regulars and one taxi-squad player -- to the 2017 Arizona Fall League, including two of their top 10 pitching prospects and their top prospect overall, Ronald Acuna.
Acuna is the No. 8 overall prospect in the game according to MLBPipeline. Only the Nationals' Victor Robles (No. 5) is a more highly touted prospect of those headed to the Arizona Fall League.
The Arizona Fall League is a "finishing school" for prospects who are close the Majors. Most often, if a team sends a player to the Fall League, it's an indication that the club thinks he has the chance to contribute in the big leagues in the near future. It's usually a short leap from the AFL to MLB.
• Braves' Top 30 Prospects
Acuna has torn up three levels of the Minors in just his age-19 season. He hit .287 with a .336 on-base percentage in a month for Class A Advanced Florida and hit even better in two months at Double-A Mississippi, slashing .326/.374/.520 with nine homers, 30 RBIs and 19 stolen bases.
2017 Arizona Fall League rosters
Acuna has been with Triple-A Gwinnett since July 13 and in 46 games, Acuna blossomed, topping his already impressive numbers from Double-A. With Gwinnett, he's posting a .347 batting average, .397 OBP and a massive .563 slugging percentage, his most at any stop in his three-year Minor League career.
The league has six teams with five organizations represented on each team. The eight Braves players will play for the Peoria Javelinas. Every MLB team is required to send at least six players from its organization.
Joining Acuna on the Javelinas will be left-handers Max Fried, left-hander Kolby Allard, 2015 first-round pick Austin Riley (third baseman and No. 11 on Braves Top 30), right-hander Touki Toussaint (No. 15), outfielder Anfernee Seymour (No. 25), lefty Corbin Clouse, righty Josh Graham and former Mariners' first-round pick Alex Jackson. Seymour was designated as the taxi-squad player.
Fried, the Braves' No. 10 prospect, who debuted briefly in Atlanta in August spent April through July with Double-A Mississippi, where he posted a 5.93 ERA in 19 starts, striking out 85 batters in 86 2/3 innings and walking 43. Fried made four relief appearances for the Braves allowing four earned runs in 6 2/3 innings, and has made one start in Triple-A Gwinnett since being demoted from the big league club. For Fried, the opportunity will allow him to rack up more innings, as he's never hit even 120 in any season.
Allard, Atlanta's No. 3 prospect, has spent the 2017 season in Double-A, logging a 3.34 ERA in 26 starts with 124 strikeouts and 44 walks.
On the Javelinas, Braves Minor Leaguers will play alongside those from the Blue Jays, Padres, Mariners, and Red Sox under the direction of Double-A Mississippi manager Luis Salazar.
Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia.