Here's where the Braves' Top 30 prospects are starting the season

April 5th, 2024

With the Minor League season opening this week, here's where the Braves’ Top 30 prospects are projected to start:

1. AJ Smith-Shawver (MLB No. 65), RHP -- Gwinnett (Triple-A)
2. Hurston Waldrep (MLB No. 86), RHP -- Mississippi (Double-A)
3. Spencer Schwellenbach, RHP -- Rome (High-A)
4. JR Ritchie, RHP -- Injured list (Tommy John rehab)
5. Owen Murphy, RHP -- Rome (High-A)
6. Ignacio Alvarez, SS -- Mississippi (Double-A)
7. Jose Perdomo, SS -- Dominican Republic complex
8. Cade Kuehler, RHP -- Augusta (Single-A)
9. Luis Guanipa, OF -- Extended spring training
10. Drue Hackenberg, RHP -- Rome (High-A)
11. Drake Baldwin, C -- Mississippi (Double-A)
12. David McCabe, 3B -- Injured list (Tommy John surgery)
13. Jhancarlos Lara, RHP -- Extended spring training
14. Darius Vines, RHP -- Gwinnett (Triple-A)
15. Dylan Dodd, LHP -- Gwinnett (Triple-A)
16. Douglas Glod, OF -- Extended spring training
17. Adam Maier, RHP -- Augusta (Single-A)
18. Sabin Ceballos, 3B -- Rome (High-A)
19. Diego Benitez, SS -- Augusta (Single-A)
20. Luis De Avila, LHP -- Mississippi (Double-A)
21. Ambioris Tavarez, SS -- Rome (High-A)
22. Isaiah Drake, OF -- Augusta (Single-A)
23. Garrett Baumann, RHP -- Augusta (Single-A)
24. Lucas Braun, RHP -- Rome (High-A)
25. Allan Winans, RHP -- Gwinnett (Triple-A)
26. Jesse Franklin V, OF -- Mississippi (Double-A) -- injured list (shoulder tendinitis)
27. Blake Burkhalter, RHP -- Injured list (Tommy John rehab)
28. Geraldo Quintero, 3B -- Mississippi (Double-A)
29. Seth Keller, RHP -- Augusta (Single-A)
30. Mario Baez, SS -- Extended spring training

Team to watch
The Braves have gone heavy after some pitching in recent Drafts, and they’re not afraid to roll the dice on upside, from both the high school and college levels. High-A Rome will have much of it on display, starting with Schwellenbach, a former two-way player in college who needed Tommy John surgery after signing in 2021. He made his pro debut last year and the stuff is starting really come back as a right-hander who stood out during Spring Training. He’ll be joined by Murphy, a 2022 first-rounder who was also a two-way standout in high school, and Hackenberg, the club’s second-round pick last year.

Teams on MLB.TV and MiLB.TV
Triple-A Gwinnett
Double-A Mississippi
High-A Rome
Single-A Augusta

Players we could see in 2024
Smith-Shawver raced his way from High-A all the way to Atlanta last year. Now he’s back in Triple-A trying to knock down the big league door again. Don’t be surprised if he gets joined at some point by Waldrep, the club’s first-round pick last year, who touched Triple-A in his pro debut last summer. He’s being stretched out as a starter in Double-A to begin the year.

New faces
The Braves’ top seven selections from the 2023 Draft are all on the list and embarking on their first full seasons. The Waldrep-led crew also has Kuehler, Hackenberg, Ceballos, Drake, Baumann and Braun. The international market has netted a new face as well in Perdomo, who got most of the Braves’ bonus pool money ($5 million) to sign in January.

On the shelf
Ritchie and Burkhalter are two arms drafted in 2022 who are recovering from Tommy John surgery. Burkhalter got hurt in Spring Training last year while Ritchie’s surgery came last May. McCabe, a corner infielder, also needed the elbow surgery this year. Franklin is sidelined currently with left shoulder tendinitis.