Here are Atlanta's 2022 Top 30 prospects
Farm systems can help a team win in two ways. The first is getting homegrown players up to the big leagues. The second is using prospects developed in trades to bring in big league help.
The 2021 World Series champion Braves certainly took a little from Column A and a little from Column B, with homegrown talent like Freddie Freeman, Austin Riley, Ozzie Albies and Ian Anderson making huge contributions. The trades made -- particularly the ones near and at the Trade Deadline, which brought in key pieces to the championship run -- were shrewd in that they did not involve any top prospects.
But winning can be costly. And clearly, the Braves want to keep it going. So they went all in after the lockout ended to bring in Matt Olson from the A’s to replace Freeman at first base. This one cost several top prospects, as Shea Langeliers, Cristian Pache, Ryan Cusick and Joey Estes were all slated to be in the top 15 of the team’s new Top 30 list. Langeliers and Cusick were first-rounders, in 2019 and just this last year.
Needless to say, things are a bit thinned out now. Outfielder Michael Harris ascends to the top spot, as much on merit as anything after a breakout 2021 season. There are number of prospects behind Harris, mostly arms, who could help the Braves try to repeat this season.
After that, Braves fans might have to wait a while to see impact players get promoted from within. The good news is the organization is back to full spending on the international market, its penalty for previous infractions completely served, so there are some exciting young players entering the system, even if it’s going to be several years before they’re ready.
Here's a look at the Braves' top prospects:
1. Michael Harris, OF (MLB No. 65)
2. Spencer Strider, RHP
3. Drew Waters, OF
4. Kyle Muller, LHP
5. Bryce Elder, RHP
Complete Top 30 list »
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2021 preseason list to the 2022 preseason list.
Jump: Spencer Strider, RHP (2021: 24 | 2022: 2)
Getting Strider in the fourth round of the shortened 2020 Draft is looking like it’s going to be a steal. The Clemson product’s stuff ticked up and he pitched his way from Low-A all the way up to the big leagues, striking out 14.6 per nine along the way, leaning heavily on his outstanding fastball-slider combination.
Fall: Daysbel Hernandez, RHP (2021: 20 | 2022: NR)
The right-handed reliever pitched well in Double-A, but struggled in his brief time in Triple-A. He missed a lot of bats overall (12.3 K/9) but the command is a concern (4.9 BB/9 in 2021).
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.
Hit: 55 -- Michael Harris
Power: 55 -- Jesse Franklin (Ambioris Tavarez)
Run: 70 -- Tyler Collins (Justin Dean)
Arm: 60 -- Michael Harris (Drew Waters, Ambioris Tavarez)
Defense: 60 -- Michael Harris (Drew Waters)
Fastball: 70 -- Spencer Strider
Curveball: 55 -- Kyle Muller
Slider: 60 -- Bryce Elder (Spencer Schwellenbach)
Changeup: 60 -- Jared Shuster (Dylan Dodd)
Control: 60 -- Dylan Dodd
How they were built
Draft: 26 | International: 4
Breakdown by ETA
2022: 10 | 2023: 9 | 2024: 4 | 2025: 4 | 2026: 3
Breakdown by position
SS: 6 | OF: 6 | RHP: 13 | LHP: 5