- Full name Ozhaino Jurdy Jiandro Albies
- Born 01/07/1997 in
- Profile Ht.: 5'8" / Wt.: 165 / Bats: S / Throws: R
- Debut 08/01/2017
Organization Prospect Rankings
Albies continued his rapid ascent through the organization in 2016. At age 19, he skipped high Class A and led the Double-A Southern League in average (.321) and on-base percentage (.391). Despite struggling during a two-month stint in Triple-A at midseason, he thrived in a return to Mississippi before breaking the tip of a bone in his right elbow on Sept. 9, keeping him out of the SL playoffs. Strictly a shortstop prior to 2016, Albies shifted to second base when he teamed with Dansby Swanson at Mississippi. The definition of a quick-twitch athlete, Albies' first-step quickness, soft hands, above-average arm strength and baseball instincts make him a plus defender at both middle-infield spots. He has work to do making the pivot on double plays, which should come with experience. His offensive strength is his ability to make hard and consistent contact from both sides of the plate, thanks to his plus bat speed and superior hand-eye coordination. He drives the ball better than advertised, draws walks and uses his plus speed to beat out grounders and steal bases, making him an ideal top-of-the-lineup hitter. Atlanta's long-term second baseman, Albies is headed for Triple-A Gwinnett in 2017 with his first big league callup not far off. .
Albies' development led the Braves to trade second baseman Jose Peraza to the Dodgers in the July 30 deal that netted Hector Olivera. The Rookie-level Appalachian League's top prospect in 2014, Albies enjoyed a strong first full season at low Class A Rome in 2015 before a fractured right thumb cost him the final month of the season. He ranked fourth in the South Atlantic League with a .310 batting average. Albies combines quick-twitch athleticism, plus speed and an unbridled exuberance that makes him an ideal table-setter at the top of the lineup. His superior hand-eye coordination and quick swing generate solid bat speed and consistent contact from both sides of the plate. He sprays hits to all fields and does a good job of keeping the ball out of the air. His strike-zone judgment is advanced, but his aggressiveness cuts into his on-base percentage. Defensively, Albies has soft, steady hands with quick feet and above-average arm strength with a quick release and good accuracy. At 19, Albies will again be one of the youngest players in his league in 2016 when he opens the season at high Class A Carolina. He could be in the major league discussion by the end of 2017.
Unlike several other suitors, the Braves ignored Albies' small stature and signed him for $350,000 out of Curacao. In addition to making his professional debut in the U.S. in 2014 as a 17-year-old, he excelled while being named the top prospect in the Rookie-level Appalachian League, which he led in batting (.356) and on-base percentage (.429). Scouts and opponents alike rave about Albies' energy and ability. One of the youngest players in pro ball in 2014, he demonstrated an uncannily advanced feel for the game despite playing it at top speed. A natural top-of-the-lineup batter who should hit for a high average, Albies has a quick swing with plus bat speed from both sides of the plate. He stays inside the ball and makes consistent contact with his superior hand-eye coordination, yet he's strong enough to drive the ball from gap to gap. His strike-zone judgment is far beyond his years, and he keeps the ball out of the air in order to take advantage of his plus speed. Defensively, Albies has soft hands with above-average range at shortstop, which he pairs with a strong, accurate arm with a quick release that led to a league-average .950 fielding percentage in 2014. Albies has already progressed quickly and could continue to move at a rapid rate as he enters the full-season ranks. He will open 2015 at low Class A Rome.
Minor League Top Prospects
Albies made positive defensive strides at second base while showing that his poor first look at Triple-A last season probably was a case of growing pains. He earned his first big league callup in August. The switch-hitting Albies excelled as a righthanded batter (.970 OPS, 12 percent strikeouts) but faces serious questions about his lefthanded swing (.707, 20 percent) in a performance trend that has held steady in his career. Still, IL managers were bullish on his batting potential and think he's young enough to figure out the holes in his swing. Some believe he could grow into average power while being a menace on the basepaths. A plus runner, Albies stole 21 bases at a 91 percent success rate in the IL for his most efficient season yet. At second base he shows the above-average arm, plus quickness and plus range to be a plus defender.
The Braves jumped Albies from low Class A Rome in 2015 directly to Mississippi, much as they once fast-tracked middle infielders Andrelton Simmons and Rafael Furcal through the system. The teenager even spent May and June at Triple-A Gwinnett following Dansby Swanson's promotion to Double-A. While Albies faltered in the International League, he returned to the SL in July and did what he always does: hit. He claimed the circuit's batting (.321) and on-base percentage (.391) titles with terrific barrel control, contact ability and timing. He has the bat speed to turn around any fastball and the patience to wait for his pitch. The 5-foot-9 Albies even began to show power in 2016, with a .143 isolated slugging percentage that was 32 points higher than the SL average. He won't ever be a masher, but he he could approach average power. A plus runner and prolific basestealer who needs to be more efficient, Albies moved to second base in deference to Swanson. Above-average range and arm strength make the position a good fit, though he needs to improve his double-play pivot. His season ended with an injury when he fractured the tip of his right elbow in the SL playoffs.
Albies began the season with Double-A Mississippi and was promoted to Gwinnett at the end of April. He had been the youngest player in the Southern League on Opening Day and struggled in the more advanced IL. After two months with Gwinnett, he returned to Mississippi at the end of June to team with Dansby Swanson. Though his production dipped during his stint at Gwinnett, Albies' upside was still readily apparent. He makes a lot of contact thanks to his quick swing, excellent hand-eye coordination and feel for the barrel. He is an aggressive hitter, but his contact skills and plus speed make him a threat at the top of the order. Power will never be a big part of his game, but he drives the gaps well for extra-base hits. Albies has good infield actions, soft hands and above-average arm strength. He split his time this season between shortstop and second base, and is a solid defender at both position.
In a league filled with quality middle infielders, including the top two prospects, some evaluators believe Albies has the brightest future. The switch-hitter has exceptional bat control from both sides of the plate, combined with excellent hand-eye coordination. He's a career .328 hitter in his young career, and he finished fourth in the SAL batting race (.310). Albies, who missed the final month with a broken thumb, has only one pro home run, and power will never be a significant part of his game. He has the strength to line the ball to the gaps, but projects as a quick-twitch leadoff hitter. Albies has double-plus speed and an above-average arm, but it's his understanding of the game and feel defensively that impresses even more. "He has as good a game clock as you will ever see," Greenville manager Darren Fenster said. "Everything is under control. Every throw arrives a split second before the baserunner."
Unlike some other teams, the Braves looked past Albies' small stature and focused on his combination of tools and baseball savvy when they signed him for $350,000. That could turn out to be a bargain, for the Curacao native cruised through an aggressive assignment to the GCL, then continued to dominate at Rookie-level Danville after a promotion. Albies is an advanced hitter for his age with a quick, simple swing, terrific bat control and a mature understanding of the strike zone. He makes consistent contact and takes advantage of his plus-plus speed to hit for a high batting average. With his plate patience, he could hit at the top of the order. Albies has minimal power, with a swing geared for hitting the ball on the ground and using his speed to help him get on base. He impressed GCL observers with his defense at shortstop, where he shows plenty of range, a good arm and a sound internal clock. "You talk about smooth, this guy plays with no panic," Phillies manager Roly De Armas said. "He was very impressive--range, arm, accuracy. This guy's got all the tools to be a really good shortstop."
No Appy League team has showcased more high-end shortstop prospects than Danville, who from 2010 to this season have featured Andrelton Simmons, Nick Ahmed, Jose Peraza, Johan Camargo and now Albies. Albies has natural instincts for the game and tools, a combination that enabled him to be one of the top performers in the league despite being the youngest qualified player for this list. He profiles as a shortstop with a plus arm from a quick release, soft hands and at least plus speed and range. His defensive polish and efficiency was apparent with the second-highest fielding percentage (.950) among league shortstops. Albies offers plus bat speed from both sides of the plate and led the league in both average (.356) and on-base percentage (.429). His loose, quick stroke works inside the ball and hits to all fields. He is particularly adept at driving the ball to the opposite field while hitting lefthanded. Scouts project him to be an above-average hitter because of his precious contact ability. His strikeout rate (10.6 percent) was the lowest for any 17-year-old Appy Leaguer since Jimmy Rollins in 1996. His discerning eye also drew as many walks as strikeouts. Albies' high-contact, high on-base skillset profiles to hit at the top of a lineup. While Albies combination of speed and savvy will likely make him an impact baserunner who steals at an efficient clip (83.3 percent this summer). Albies has more power from the right side and his 5-foot-9 frame limits his power potential. But scouts project him to hit 8-12 home runs with 30-40 doubles. His size and skill set have drawn comparisons to Rollins.
Top 100 Rankings
Background: Albies continued his rapid ascent through the organization in 2016. At age 19, he skipped high Class A and wound up leading the Double-A Southern League in average (.321) and on-base percentage (.391). Despite struggling during a two-month stint in Triple-A at midseason, he thrived in a return to Mississippi before breaking the tip of a bone in his right elbow Sept. 9, keeping him out of the SL playoffs. Scouting Report: Strictly a shortstop prior to 2016, Albies shifted to second base when he teamed with Dansby Swanson at Mississippi. The definition of a quick-twitch athlete, Albies' first-step quickness, soft hands, above-average arm strength and baseball instincts make him a plus defender at both middle-infield spots. He has some work to do in making the pivot on double plays, which should come with experience. His offensive strength is his ability to make hard and consistent contact from both sides of the plate, thanks to his plus bat speed and superior hand-eye coordination. He drives the ball better than advertised, draws walks and uses his plus speed to beat out grounders and steal bases, making him an ideal top-of-the-lineup hitter.
The Future: Albies will be in the hunt for a big league job in 2017. If he does not earn the starting nod for Opening Day, he will make a short return to Gwinnett. Either way, he is Atlanta's long-term answer at the keystone sack.