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  1. 1. AJ Smith-Shawver | RHP
    AJ Smith-Shawver
    Born: Nov 20, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 205
    Signed By: Trey McNickle
    Minors: 3-4 | 5.11 ERA | 103 SO | 39 BB | 69 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: Smith-Shawver was a quick-twitch, multi-sport athlete in high school who was a college prospect as a hitter and pitcher, but the Braves loved his arm enough to sign him for just under $1 million in the seventh round in 2021. Smith-Shawver spent 2022 with Low-A Augusta, where he showed perhaps the highest upside in Atlanta's farm system.

    Scouting Report: Smith-Shawver is a powerful and athletic righthander who has shown legitimate frontline starter stuff, according to scouts both inside and outside the organization. It all starts with his four-seam fastball, a beast of a pitch that averaged nearly 95 mph and peaked at 98. It has excellent life, with 20 inches of induced vertical break and both cutting and running action at times. He's still developing his command of the pitch, but when he's hitting the zone, it can be overpowering. Similarly, Smith-Shawver's slider has the potential to be a wipeout offering. It's an upper-80s pitch with short and hard biting action that disappears at the bottom of the strike zone when it's on. Smith-Shawver throws a changeup in the same velocity range that remains a work in progress. The pitch flashes solid fading life, but he has below-average feel for it presently. Smith-Shawver has reduced the violence of his delivery since high school, but there are still needed refinements. His arm speed is electric, but it's such that he's not often synced up, and he also features plenty of cross-fire action and a heavy fall-off to the first base side--all of which will limit his control and command.

    The Future: The Braves will likely take the Spencer Strider approach with Smith-Shawver, prioritizing fastball command and slider consistency. If his command doesn't improve, his stuff could play in a big league bullpen.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70 Slider: 70 Changeup: 45 Control: 50

  2. 2. Owen Murphy | RHP
    Owen Murphy
    Born: Sep 27, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 190
    Signed By: Jeremy Gordon
    Minors: 0-1 | 4.50 ERA | 17 SO | 6 BB | 12 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: Murphy ranked as the No. 45 prospect in the 2022 draft class thanks to his impressive pure stuff and natural athleticism. He was also a star football player and legitimate prospect as a shortstop. The Braves drafted Murphy 20th overall and signed him to a bonus just over $2.5 million--hoping he would follow in their long line of successfully developed former two-way players. Murphy pitched in Rookie ball and with Low-A Augusta for 12 combined innings after signing.

    Scouting Report: A 6-foot-1, 190-pound righthander, Murphy has a strong foundation as a strike-thrower and a four-pitch mix, though the Braves will likely have him focus on his fastball, curveball and slider during his first full season as a pitcher. His fastball sits in the low 90s and touches 94-95 mph at peak velocity, with high spin rates of 2,500-2,600 rpm and impressive carry. He had more than 19 inches of induced vertical break on the pitch in his brief pro debut. Murphy throws a hammer curveball in the upper 70s that earned plus grades from amateur scouts, and he also threw a hard, slider/cutter in high school in the mid 80s. The Braves are turning that slider into more of a gyro-slider--the same slider Spencer Strider employed to great effect--and will have him scrap an infrequently used but promising 80 mph changeup, at least initially. Atlanta has praised Murphy's makeup and control, and believe he has a good chance to profile as a starter.

    The Future: Murphy will likely begin the 2023 season at Low-A Augusta, where he will work on getting adjusted to the rigors of a pro schedule and full-time pitching role. He has the stuff and polish to move relatively quickly--particularly given his multi-sport and two-way background--and has No. 3 or 4 starter upside.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60. Curveball: 60. Slider: 50. Changeup: 45. Control: 55

  3. 3. Jared Shuster | LHP
    Jared Shuster
    Born: Aug 3, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 210
    Drafted/Signed: Wake Forest, 2020 (1st round).
    Signed By: Billy Best.
    Minors: 7-10 | 3.29 ERA | 145 SO | 38 BB | 140 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/Medium

    Track Record: The shortened 2020 draft has proved to be an exceptional one for the Braves, who drafted Shuster in the first round at No. 25 overall as well as Jesse Franklin, Spencer Strider and Bryce Elder. Strider and Elder have already established themselves as big leaguers just two years later. Shuster could be knocking on the door after a strong overall season in the upper minors.

    Scouting Report: Shuster has impressive feel for a solid three-pitch mix, which includes a fastball, changeup and slider. During his final college season at Wake Forest, Shuster showed improved fastball velocity and was touching 96-97 mph, but that velocity has never fully carried over to pro ball. In 2022, Shuster sat around 90-92 mph with solid carry and cut, with a max velocity around 94-95. His changeup remains his best offering and his go-to secondary, a plus pitch that averages around 80 mph. The pitch continues to generate whiffs at a high rate, as well as ugly swings as it falls below the zone. Shuster's changeup features double-digit velocity separation from his fastball. Shuster tried throwing his slider harder during the 2022 season, and Braves officials were happy with the progress of the pitch--which sat in the 82-87 mph range--though external scouts view it as a fringy pitch that will play up with good command. Shuster is an above-average strike-thrower with a career minor league walk rate of 6.8%. In 2022 he threw all three of his pitches for strikes more than 64% of the time.

    The Future: Shuster's upside and ceiling are limited if he cannot rediscover the power he showed in flashes as an amateur, but he's also one of the most probable big leaguers in the system, with back-end starter or middle reliever upside.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 50 Slider: 45 Changeup: 60 Control: 55

  4. 4. JR Ritchie | RHP
    JR Ritchie
    Born: Jun 26, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 185
    Signed By: Cody Martin
    Minors: 0-0 | 1.88 ERA | 14 SO | 5 BB | 15 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: A polished high school pitcher out of the Northwest, Ritchie was the back-to-back Washington Gatorade Player of the Year and worked with the same pitching coach as 2021 Phillies first-rounder Mick Abel. Ritchie ranked as the No. 52 prospect in the 2022 draft and signed with the Braves for $2.4 million in the supplemental first round. Atlanta acquired the 35th overall pick when it traded Drew Waters, Andrew Hoffmann and CJ Alexander to the Royals about a week before the 2022 draft.

    Scouting Report: Ritchie is nearly physically maxed out at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, but he requires less projection than most prep pitching prospects thanks to an advanced three-pitch mix and solid command. Ritchie sits in the low 90s with his fastball but touched 97-98 mph during the spring and got into the mid 90s during his pro debut, which culminated in three starts for Low-A Augusta. His fastball has just modest life and carry, though he has shown an ability to locate the pitch to both sides of the plate and change eye levels. Ritchie's secondaries are a low-to-mid 80s slider and a changeup in the same velocity band. Both are at least solid-average pitches that--like his fastball--he's shown impressive feel for. His slider has flashed above-average or plus potential in the past, though the shape of the pitch has come and gone depending on the start. Ritchie's slider generated a ton of whiffs in his brief pro debut and will likely be his most reliable out pitch moving forward.

    The Future: The Braves rave about Ritchie's advanced pitchability and mentality. He could start the 2023 season in either Low-A or High-A and it wouldn't be surprising to see him push to Double-A quickly in his age-20 season. Ritchie has back-of-the-rotation upside and a clear path as a starter.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55 Slider: 55 Changeup: 50 Control: 55

  5. 5. Darius Vines | RHP
    Darius Vines
    Born: Apr 30, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 190
    Signed By: Kevin Martin
    Minors: 8-4 | 3.77 ERA | 156 SO | 44 BB | 141 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: The Braves signed Vines for $130,000 in the seventh round of the 2019 draft after he transferred from junior college and established himself as one of the best pitchers in the Western Athletic Conference with Cal State Bakersfield. Vines impressed with his feel for secondary stuff in 2021 and continued to perform while testing himself against upper-minors competition in 2022.

    Scouting Report: Vines isn't a hard-thrower, but he has excellent feel for a pitch mix that previously included four different options and is now down to three. The Braves had Vines remove a curveball from his arsenal in 2022 to focus on his fastball, changeup and slider. He pitches off a 90-92 mph fastball that touches 94 with above-average carry, but his go-to secondary is a low-80s changeup that has developed into the best such pitch in the system. While Vines' curveball was his bread-and-butter offering as an amateur, he didn't throw it much for strikes in pro ball. The opposite is true of his changeup. He has exceptional command of the pitch and threw it for strikes more than 70% of the time in 2022, with excellent whiff rates, chase rates and analytical and traditional scouting grades.. Vines' changeup is at least a plus offering, and some scouts have put 70-grade evaluations on the pitch. He also throws a slider in the low-to-mid 80s with solid spin that should be an average breaking ball. Vines has consistently been a good strike-thrower as a pro and his exceptional feel to land his changeup indicates above-average or better control moving forward.

    The Future: Scouts previously wondered if Vines had the sort of stuff to miss upper-level bats. He proved he could in 2022. He profiles as a back-end starter given his command of three pitches.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55 Slider: 50 Changeup: 65 Control: 55

  6. 6. Dylan Dodd | LHP
    Dylan Dodd
    Born: Jun 6, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 210
    Signed By: JD French
    Minors: 12-9 | 3.36 ERA | 153 SO | 31 BB | 142 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 40/Medium

    Track Record: The Braves signed Dodd to an under-slot bonus of $125,000 in the third round of the 2021 draft, using the savings there to go over slot to sign players such as seventh-rounder AJ Smith-Shawver and 11th-rounder Adam Shoemaker. The organization liked Dodd's talent, and he moved from High-A Rome to Triple-A Gwinnett in 2022, while posting a 5.4% walk rate. That was the third-best in the system among pitchers with at least 50 innings. His 142 innings ranked top 20 in the minors and speaks to his efficiency.

    Scouting Report: Dodd is regarded more for his pitchability than pure stuff, but his standout command of four-seam and two-seam fastballs sets up the rest of his arsenal. Dodd throws in the 91-92 mph range with his fastball and touches 95, with modest four-seam carry, but he threw each variant of his fastball for strikes more than 73% of the time in 2022. He uses his fastball to set up a slider and a changeup that are both in the low-to-mid 80s. Both pitches flash solid-average to above-average grades, though scouts think the slider is more of a gradual breaking pitch that will play up thanks to his ability to command it and mix it in with his other offerings. Dodd's changeup could be a tick ahead, though he throws the slider for strikes more often. If he can add more power to his breaking pitch, Dodd could improve his upside. But his stuff was good enough to miss bats even as he progressed to higher levels of the minors where he was more age-appropriate as a prospect.

    The Future: Dodd has pitched just 53 innings in the upper levels of the minors, but he's entering his age-25 season and could make his MLB debut in 2023. He has the command and stuff to serve as a swingman or middle reliever. If he develops more power, he could be more than that.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 50 Slider: 50 Changeup: 50 Control: 60

  7. 7. Blake Burkhalter | RHP
    Blake Burkhalter
    Born: Sep 19, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 204
    Minors: 1-0 | 3.86 ERA | 7 SO | 1 BB | 5 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: Burkhalter was one of the most effective college relievers in 2022 for Auburn. His 16 saves were second most in the country, and he posted a 3.69 ERA over 46.1 innings while striking out 71 batters (38.6%) and walking just seven (3.8%). The Braves selected him with the 76th overall pick in the supplemental second round and signed him for $650,000. He ramped up later in the year and threw just 4.2 innings in pro ball, but his final appearance was dominant--a three-inning outing on Sept. 11 where he struck out six batters and allowed no hits and no walks.

    Scouting Report: A strong, 6-foot righthander, Burkhalter is going to be developed--at least initially--as a starter with the Braves. He didn't start a game in college, but the control he showed in 2022 is more than enough for the role, with loud pure stuff to go with it. He throws a flat-plane fastball in the 93-96 mph range that has touched 98, with the sort of characteristics that should allow him to rack up buckets of whiffs at the top of the zone. He also throws a hard cutter/slider that the Braves are attempting to make a true slider and a mid-80s changeup that looks like a viable third pitch. His slider earns plus grades, while his changeup could be solid-average.

    The Future: Burkhalter will attempt to get acclimated to a starting role during the 2023 season, where attacking with his fastball/slider combination will be prioritized.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60. Slider: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 50.

  8. 8. Cole Phillips | RHP
    Cole Phillips
    Born: May 26, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 200

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: Phillips was one of the most prominent helium prospects in the 2022 draft class during the spring after he showed increased physicality and velocity that boosted his draft stock into first round territory. That helium deflated a bit after Tommy John surgery ended his season, but the Braves still signed him for $1.5 million in the second round.

    Scouting Report: After pitching in the low 90s during the 2021 summer, Phillips was routinely in the mid 90s and touching upper-90s velocity during the 2022 spring before his injury. That improved power translated to his breaking ball as well--a mid-80s slider with traditional downward, three-quarters bite that was sharp and late, giving him an above-average secondary. Phillips also flashed a firm, mid-to-upper-80s changeup that looks like a serviceable third pitch, though he rarely needed to use it against his high school competition. Phillips still needed to sharpen his command, but his control around the zone was also improved in the spring, and he earned comparisons with Rays righthander Shane Baz thanks to his frame and the shape of his fastball/slider combination. He showed a clean and loose delivery and should have more than enough athleticism and control to begin his pro career as a starter.

    The Future: Phillips spent the offseason rehabbing, but the Braves think he has a chance to start pitching at some point in the second half of the 2023 season.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70. Slider: 55. Changeup: 45. Control: 55.

  9. 9. Spencer Schwellenbach | RHP
    Spencer Schwellenbach
    Born: May 31, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 200
    Signed By: JD French

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: Schwellenbach was one of the best two-way prospects in the 2021 draft class and ranked as the No. 51 overall prospect after hitting .284/.403/.459 and playing shortstop for Nebraska. He also showed 99 mph velocity as a reliever. The Braves' scouting staff loved his upside potential as a two-way player and his phenomenal pure arm talent, with relatively little experience pitching, and signed him for $1 million.

    Scouting Report: Schwellenbach needed Tommy John surgery after the 2021 draft and was still in the recovery process. He hasn't pitched yet in pro ball, leaving scouts to look back on what he did in college and hope he returns as the same player. With Nebraska, Schwellenbach posted a 0.57 ERA over 31.2 innings out of the bullpen and threw a three-pitch mix. He sat 94-95 mph with a fastball that touched 98-99. He had good feel for a low-80s slider and low-80s changeup as well. Despite being a primary shortstop at the time, Schwellenbach threw all three pitches for strikes 67-68% of the time and scouts viewed each as potentially above-average--while Braves officials think they could be plus. Atlanta initially planned to stretch Schwellenbach out as a starter, where they believe his athleticism, easy operation and three-pitch mix could serve him nicely. There's no reason to think that course has changed just yet.

    The Future: Atlanta expects Schwellenbach to be ready for spring training in 2023, where he'll look to make up for lost time and remove some of the uncertainty from his profile.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60. Slider: 50. Changeup: 50. Control: 55.

  10. 10. Braden Shewmake | SS
    Braden Shewmake
    Born: Nov 19, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: Texas A&M, 2019 (1st round).
    Signed By: Darin Vaughan.
    Minors: .259/.316/.399 | 7 HR | 9 SB | 278 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: The Braves signed Shewmake for just over $3 million in the first round of the 2019 draft after three standout seasons with Texas A&M. He pushed to Double-A in his first pro season as a 21-year-old in 2019 but has been a below-league average hitter with Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett. In 2022, Shewmake spent the entire season at the Triple-A level, where he hit .259/.316/.399 with seven home runs.

    Scouting Report: Shewmake has tinkered with his swing throughout his pro career and has solid pure bat-to-ball skills but an approach that has held him back. He expands the zone too frequently--particularly against secondaries--and struggled to do damage on velocity 93 mph or higher. Shewmake has below-average power potential, in part because he's never been able to fill out a lanky frame that's still listed as the same 190 pounds he weighed in college. Some scouts are optimistic he has more coming offensively, while others are skeptical of his swing. It's a flat path and that combined with a tendency to drop his hands in his load leads to popped balls and high infield fly rates in each of the last two seasons--18.4% in 2021 and 21.7% in 2022. Scouts who are higher point to solid top-end exit velocities that could indicate more power on the way. Shewmake has continued to get most of his innings at shortstop, where he remains a solid defender with good instincts and hands, as well as above-average arm strength.

    The Future: Shewmake will need to improve his approach and impact ability to become an everyday player, and currently profiles as a utility infield type.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 45. Power: 40. Speed: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55.

  11. 11. Cal Conley | SS
    Cal Conley
    Born: Jul 17, 1999
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 185
    Signed By: Trey McNickle
    Minors: .251/.318/.420 | 16 HR | 36 SB | 486 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: The son of former pro player and coach Brian Conley, Cal was signed for $425,000 in the fourth round of the 2021 draft after serving as the sparkplug for Texas Tech. After a modest pro debut in 2021, Conley improved on both sides of the ball in 2022, where he played at both Class A affiliates and showed impressive on-base ability and speed in the Arizona Fall League.

    Scouting Report: While Conley remains a prospect who impresses more for his collection of his solid tools, grinder mentality and high baseball IQ, scouts in 2022 saw a player with plus speed and above-average defensive potential at shortstop. Both are improved grades from a year ago, when most evaluators thought he was a better fit for second base. He has solid actions at the position and is one of the more polished and reliable defensive infielders in Atlanta's system. Offensively, he'll have to rely on plate discipline and speed more than power. While his in-game power production was up significantly year-over-year--he slugged .420 in 2022 and .307 in 2021--Conley has modest exit velocity numbers and below-average raw power. Without adding more power, he might have to cut down his chase rate at higher levels to sustain solid offensive production. But he showed impressive baserunning ability and went 36-for-44 (82%) in stolen base attempts--the most in the Braves system.

    The Future: The 2022 season was a step forward for Conley, who now has a better chance to provide big league value thanks to his defensive ability. His next test will be proving his bat against upper minors pitching.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 45. Power: 30. Speed: 60. Fielding: 55. Arm: 50.

  12. 12. Luis Guanipa | OF
    Luis Guanipa
    Born: Dec 15, 2005
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 188

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: Guanipa, who hails from Venezuela, was the Braves top signing in the international free agent period that opened on Jan. 15.

    Scouting Report: There are few players in this class who can match Guanipa's combination of power and speed. He has a strong, compact frame with explosive athleticism, which is evident in the way he moves in center field with plus-plus speed, albeit with a below-average arm. That explosiveness also shows up at the plate, as Guanipa generates impressive bat speed combined with significant strength gains over the last two years that has led to plus raw power. Guanipa often trains at the professional stadium in Margarita, and he shows the ability to hit balls out of the park to all fields. While his swing once had a bigger hitch to it, he has toned that down, showing more fluidity and better balance in the box.

    The Future: Guanipa will make his debut in the Dominican Summer League.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 45. Power: 60. Speed: 70. Field: 50. Arm: 40

  13. 13. Jesse Franklin | OF
    Jesse Franklin
    Born: Dec 1, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 215
    Drafted/Signed: Michigan, 2020 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Jeremy Gordon.
    Minors: .236/.333/.400 | 2 HR | 2 SB | 55 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: A third-round pick in 2020 who signed for $500,000, Franklin impressed in his 2021 debut season with the Braves when he led the system with 24 home runs while playing at High-A Rome. Franklin started the 2022 season at Double-A Mississippi but played just 15 games before his season ended with Tommy John surgery. The surgery adds to a reasonable injury history for Franklin, who also missed the 2020 season at Michigan with a broken collarbone.

    Scouting Report: Franklin has some of the best raw power in Atlanta's system and in his first pro season he showed a tweaked setup and pull-oriented approach that yielded impressive in-game power. His exit velocity numbers were all solid in his 15-game sample at Double-A, where he hit .236/.333/.400 before his season ended in late April. Contact could prevent Franklin from being an average hitter in the big leagues--he has a 28% minor league strikeout rate-- but his swing decisions are solid, and he doesn't expand the zone at a particularly worrying rate. Franklin has continued to play in all three outfield positions, though he was mostly playing right field in 2022. Scouts believe he's more of a corner outfielder who can play center in a pinch--with left field being most likely thanks to fringy arm strength even before his Tommy John surgery.

    The Future: Franklin should be ready early in 2023. He will get another chance to test his bat against upper-level pitching. He profiles as a lefty-hitting platoon power bat and fourth outfielder.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 40. Power: 60. Speed: 50. Fielding: 55. Arm: 40.

  14. 14. Victor Vodnik | RHP
    Victor Vodnik
    Born: Oct 9, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Rialto, Calif., 2018 (4th round).
    Signed By: Kevin Martin.
    Minors: 2-0 | 2.34 ERA | 47 SO | 19 BB | 35 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 40/Medium

    Track Record: The Braves liked Vodnik's natural arm strength in high school and signed him for $200,000 as a day three pick in the 14th round in 2018. He showed flashes in the lower minors but struggled in 2021 in his first challenge at Double-A, where control and injuries, including a forearm strain and blisters, limited him. He moved to a full-time reliever role in 2022 and had the best pro season of his career, posting a 2.34 ERA between Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett.

    Scouting Report: A short and strong righthander, Vodnik primarily worked with a two-pitch mix in 2022 as a reliever. He throws a plus fastball around 95-96 mph that touched 99 and has earned plus or better grades internally and externally. The pitch comes at hitters with a flat approach angle, though it is a lower-spin fastball with below-average carry and 12.5 inches of induced vertical break. His firm, upper-80s changeup has terrific, plus-plus movement with sink and run and was a bonafide swing-and-miss pitch during the 2022 season (33% whiffs). He will tip the pitch at times with a different arm slot, and he also needs to learn how to throw it more consistently for a strike. Feel for spin has been a challenge for Vodnik dating back to his prep days, but the Braves are working to establish a short slider/cutter for him to have a third pitch that can be thrown for strikes and offer a different look.

    The Future: Vodnik is more stuff-over-pitchability and how his command improves will determine whether he becomes a higher-leverage reliever or not. For now, he profiles as a low-leverage, groundball-inducing reliever.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 65. Slider: 35. Changeup: 60. Control: 40.

  15. 15. Ignacio Alvarez | 3B/SS
    Ignacio Alvarez
    Born: Apr 11, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 190
    Minors: .287/.451/.394 | 1 HR | 8 SB | 94 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: Alvarez helped lead Riverside (Calif.) JC to a state championship in 2022, while hitting .370/.494/.582 with five home runs and establishing himself as one of the top junior college players in the draft class. Amateur scouts were split on him, with some believing he was a top 10 rounds talent and others believing he didn't have a carrying tool for pro ball. The Braves were one of the former clubs and signed 'Nacho' for $500,000 in the fifth round.

    Scouting Report: Alvarez displayed his strike-zone discipline in junior college by walking 36 times compared to 16 strikeouts, and that keen batting eye translated to the pro game during his debut season as well. His chase rate was among the lowest of any Braves hitter, and he walked at a 21% clip compared to a 12% strikeout rate in 30 games between the Florida Complex League and Low-A Augusta. On top of a strong batting eye, Alvarez has pure bat-to-ball skills and a high contact rate, with above-average raw power, though he still needs to learn how to elevate more frequently to tap into that power consistently in game. Some Atlanta officials compare him with Vaughn Grissom offensively, though his defensive game is better at the same age at all three infield positions. Alvarez could be an above-average third baseman with above-average arm strength and he also played 10 games at shortstop in his pro debut.

    The Future: Alvarez's well-rounded tool set and excellent makeup and work ethic make him one of the more interesting sleepers in the lower levels of Atlanta's system.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 50. Speed: 45. Fielding: 55. Arm: 55.

  16. 16. Brooks Wilson | RHP
    Brooks Wilson
    Born: Mar 15, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 205
    Signed By: Justin Clark

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: Wilson was a two-way player at Stetson--where he played alongside Mariners first-rounder Logan Gilbert--and signed for $80,000 as a seventh-round senior sign with the Braves in 2018. Wilson's minor league career has been superb. He has posted a 2.24 ERA over 165 total innings, with the bulk of that work coming out of the bullpen. The Braves placed him on the 40-man roster following the 2021 season. His 2022 season was cut short before it began thanks to Tommy John surgery.

    Scouting Report: Wilson found success with a three-pitch mix that featured a four-seam fastball with solid carry, a devastating split-changeup and a get-me-over curveball in the upper 70s. In 2021, Wilson sat in the 92-94 mph range and touched 96, but his fastball featured plus riding life with nearly 19 inches of induced vertical break. His low-80s split-change was his go-to secondary and his best bat-misser, generating whiffs over 50% of the time. The pitch falls out of the bottom of the zone, has around 10 mph separation from his fastball and an 1819-inch gap in IVB. Wilson's split-change was the primary reason he set a career best in strikeout rate in the upper minors in 2021. His curveball is more of a fringe offering he can land in the strike zone as a change-of-pace pitch.

    The Future: Wilson likely would've gotten a chance to make his MLB debut in 2022 if he was healthy. The Braves have been impressed with his work ethic throughout the rehab process. He profiles as a multi-inning or low-leverage reliever if he comes back with the same stuff.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 50. Curveball: 40. Changeup: 60. Control: 50.

  17. 17. Adam Maier | RHP
    Adam Maier
    Born: Nov 26, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 203

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: Maier was one of the most heavily anticipated college pitchers in the 2022 class after a stellar 25.2 innings in the Cape Cod League in 2021. He transferred from British Columbia to Oregon for the 2022 season and stepped into the team's Friday night role but threw just 15.2 innings before his season ended with an elbow injury. Maier didn't have Tommy John surgery; instead, he had a brace surgery to stabilize his ulnar collateral ligament and the Braves signed him for $1.2 million in the seventh round.

    Scouting Report: As his price tag likely suggests, Maier flashed exciting pure stuff when healthy. He generated almost a 70% groundball rate with a sinking, low-90s fastball that touched 97 mph at peak, and he has a pair of secondaries that have plus potential. The first is a high-spin slider in the low 80s that gets to 2,900 rpm and both misses bats and generates weak, groundball contact. The second is a mid-80s changeup with impressive run and tumbling action that he did a nice job keeping at the bottom of the zone. Maier's stuff could play up thanks to a lower-than-average release point and he has been a solid strike-thrower in his admittedly brief college career--just 34.2 total innings between British Columbia, the Cape and Oregon.

    The Future: Given the timeline of Maier's injury, he has a chance to start his pro career early in 2023. As a Canadian-born player who began college early, he will be in just his age-21 season.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 50. Slider: 55. Changeup: 55. Control: 50.

  18. 18. Drake Baldwin | C
    Drake Baldwin
    Born: Mar 28, 2001
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 210
    Minors: .258/.396/.315 | 0 HR | 1 SB | 89 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 40/High

    Track Record: Baldwin ranked as the No. 7 college catcher and No. 143 draft prospect in the 2022 class after a 19-homer season with Missouri State and a long track record as a strong on-base percentage player. The Braves made him their first hitter selected in the 2022 class when they signed him for $633,300 in the third round.

    Scouting Report: Baldwin has an athletic background as a multi-sport athlete who was also a standout hockey player during high school in Wisconsin. He turned into a bat-first catching prospect with Missouri State, where he showed strong swing decisions throughout the course of his college career, with power showing up during his 2022 junior campaign. Baldwin derives his power from strength more than bat speed, but he posted impressive exit velocities (89.3 average) during his pro debut, while continuing to show a patient and selective approach at the plate, with most of his games coming at Low-A Augusta. Baldwin earned fringy grades for his defensive ability behind the plate in college, but the Braves are high on his aptitude at the position and believe he will do enough to stick at the position. Amateur scouts thought he had adequate hands, with average arm strength and blocking ability that needed more consistency.

    The Future: Baldwin will look to be another amateur catcher who exceeds his amateur defensive evaluations, a la the Twins' Ryan Jeffers or the Mariners' Cal Raleigh, while bringing a strong lefthanded stick to the plate.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 45. Power: 50. Speed: 30. Fielding: 45. Arm: 50.

  19. 19. Ambioris Tavarez | SS
    Ambioris Tavarez
    Born: Nov 12, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 168
    Signed By: Jonathan Cruz/Luis Santos.
    Minors: .277/.304/.385 | 1 HR | 3 SB | 65 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/Extreme

    Track Record: Tavarez was the centerpiece of the Braves' 2021 international class, and the first prominent international prospect the organization signed since its international sanctions. Atlanta signed the power-hitting shortstop for $1.5 million. He made his pro debut in 2022 but played just 17 games in the Florida Complex League.

    Scouting Report: Tavarez was praised for his raw power and bat speed as an amateur, and his 88.5 mph average exit velocity was one of the system's best at the Rookie level. While his power is encouraging, Tavarez needs plenty of refinement as a hitter. He struck out 28 times compared to just three walks, and his 40% whiff rate was one of the highest in the system. He employs a large leg kick to start his swing and brings the barrel through the zone with plenty of speed and force. Tavarez played all his innings in the field at shortstop, where he impressed Braves officials with his defensive actions and arm strength. He's been called a no-doubt shortstop in 2022, which is a significant uptick from his previous defensive evaluations, where scouts thought he might fit best at third base or corner outfield, where an easy plus arm would fit nicely. Atlanta currently views him as the organization's best defensive shortstop and best infield arm.

    The Future: Tavarez likely would have reached Low-A Augusta in 2022 if it weren't for his injury. He'll likely play at the Low-A level in 2023, where he'll need to log more at-bats and continue improving his offensive approach.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 40. Power: 55. Speed: 50. Fielding: 60. Arm: 60.

  20. 20. Luis De Avila | LHP
    Luis De Avila
    Born: May 29, 2001
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 160
    Minors: 6-8 | 3.49 ERA | 129 SO | 45 BB | 127 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 40/High

    Track Record: Originally signed by the Rockies out of Colombia for $250,000, De Avila has already played for three organizations before turning 22 or reaching Double-A. The Rockies released him following the 2019 season, and the Royals signed him about a month later. The Braves selected De Avila in the minor league phase of Rule 5 draft in 2021 based on solid-strike throwing for a 20-year-old.

    Scouting Report: Atlanta immediately converted De Avila to a starting role after he pitched in the bullpen for the Royals' Low-A affiliate in 2021. He posted a 3.49 ERA over 126.1 innings at High-A Rome--good for his best pro season in his age-21 season. De Avila is not a power-oriented pitcher. He throws a three-pitch mix that features a two-seam fastball, curveball and changeup. Some days he will throw his fastball around 93-94 mph, but others it will be more 90-91. Overall, he averaged 91 mph and peaked at 95 during the 2022 season. His curveball is around 80 mph and his changeup checks in around the mid 80s, though scouts describe both pitches as just fringy at the moment. His success has mostly come from the fact that he locates both his secondaries well and induced a lot of weak groundball contact with a 61% groundball rate.

    The Future: De Avila has a short and squatty frame without much physical projection left, so his upside is limited barring big steps forward with his curveball and changeup. Being lefthanded and young with feel for a three-pitch mix keeps him alive as an interesting depth starter.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 45. Curveball: 45. Changeup: 45. Control: 55.

  21. 21. Geraldo Quintero | SS
    Geraldo Quintero
    Born: Oct 10, 2001
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'8" Wt.: 155
    Minors: .258/.356/.412 | 8 HR | 34 SB | 442 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 40/High

    Track Record: Quintero signed with the Braves out of Venezuela in 2019 and made his U.S. debut in 2021, when he struggled to a .207/.312/.273 slash line in 40 games in the Florida Complex League. The 2022 season was a better showing for the 20-year-old infielder, who started showing flashed offensively, while playing multiple infield positions.

    Scouting Report: Listed at 5-foot-8, 155 pounds, Quintero is a small grinder type who began making more contact and showing a solid offensive approach at Low-A Augusta. Quintero has above-average bat-to-ball skills, but his power is below-average, and he doesn't look like the sort of player who will grow into much more in the future. A switch-hitter, Quintero hit for better average, got on base more and showed power from the left side in 2022, though his offensive value will be driven by contact and speed more than impact. He was second in Atlanta's system with 34 stolen bases and is a plus runner. Defensively, some scouts think Quintero could be an above-average shortstop, but he played third base and second base in 2022 in deference to Cal Conley, and most evaluators think he is a good enough defender at enough positions to provide super utility value.

    The Future: Quintero will struggle to profile as an everyday player without showing more power, though his speed, contact ability and defensive versatility could give him major league value in a reserve role with continued improvement.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 40. Power: 30. Speed: 60. Fielding: 55. Arm: 50.

  22. 22. Roddery Munoz | RHP
    Roddery Munoz
    Born: Apr 14, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 190
    Minors: 8-4 | 4.66 ERA | 119 SO | 42 BB | 101 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 40/High

    Track Record: Munoz signed with the Braves out of the Dominican Republic in 2018, then spent his first two years in the Dominican Summer League as a teenager. After the Covid pandemic, Munoz came to the U.S. and made his domestic debut with Low-A Augusta where he showed solid stuff in a brief stint. The 2022 season was a strong one for Munoz. He racked up plenty of strikeouts with High-A Rome and was promoted to Double-A Mississippi for three starts at the end of the season.

    Scouting Report: Munoz has a solid, 6-foot-2 frame with a strong lower half and has explosive pure stuff out of a longer arm action that isn't always synced up. Munoz mostly pitched off a loud two-pitch combo: a 95-mph fastball that gets up to 98-99 mph with average carry and a potentially wipeout slider in the 88-91 mph range. His slider is his best pitch currently and had heavy usage during the 2022 season with solid spin in the 2,400-2,500 rpm range with power and bite that led to a 45% whiff rate. It's a plus or better offering now. Munoz has also used a firm changeup in the 89-91 mph range, but it's a distant third pitch that doesn't have enough separation from his fastball--in either velocity or shape.

    The Future: Munoz has pitched well as a starter to this point in his career, but he has the sort of power arm and scattered control that could lead to a better role in the bullpen, where he could scrap his changeup and add more power to his fastball in shorter outings.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60. Slider: 65. Changeup: 30. Control: 40.

  23. 23. Luke Waddell | 2B
    Luke Waddell
    Born: Jul 13, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'9" Wt.: 180
    Minors: .272/.364/.370 | 2 HR | 3 SB | 162 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 40/High

    Track Record: A long-time performer with Georgia Tech, Waddell spent four years with the program and was draft eligible in three straight years beginning in 2019 before signing with the Braves as a fifth-rounder in 2021 for $250,000. Waddell stood out for his contact ability and zone control skills as an amateur, and after two pro seasons, those remain his calling cards.

    Scouting Report: Waddell has the best pure bat-to-ball ability in Atlanta's system, with a miniscule 13.5% miss rate. He connects with virtually everything in the zone, missing only 6% of the time on strikes. On top of his excellent hand-eye, Waddell makes good swing decisions and walked more than he struck out for the first time in his pro career in 2022 after making a habit of it at Georgia Tech. What holds the 5-foot-9 middle infielder back is his lack of power. Waddell is mostly a singles hitter who lacks raw power--his 90th percentile exit velocity was just 99 mph--and doesn't project to add much in the future. He's a reliable defender at multiple infield positions, with good game awareness and baseball IQ but isn't the sort of player who will threaten to win Gold Gloves.

    The Future: Waddell's season ended in late May thanks to injury, but he'll look to get more upper-level time in the minors in 2023 and could be an emergency infielder who will grind out at-bats at the plate if necessary.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 30. Speed: 40. Fielding: 50. Arm: 50.

  24. 24. David McCabe | 3B
    David McCabe
    Born: Mar 25, 2000
    Bats: S Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 230
    Minors: .245/.336/.330 | 1 HR | 0 SB | 106 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 40/High

    Track Record: A Canadian native who spent three seasons mashing for UNC Charlotte, McCabe signed with the Braves as a fourth-rounder in 2022 for $476,400. He dealt with plenty of injuries throughout college that limited his playing time, but when he was on the field, he always hit well and in 2022 finished the season with more extra-base hits (29) than strikeouts (28). McCabe struggled in his pro debut and slashed .245/.336/.330, mostly with Low-A Augusta.

    Scouting Report: McCabe is a physically imposing switch-hitter with a big frame and huge raw power to go with it. Internal evaluators have put double-plus raw power on McCabe, and amateur scouts thought his power production was much better from the left side, which is typically the case with switch-hitters. McCabe produced more offense batting lefty in his pro debut but didn't produce much impact, despite solid underlying numbers such as an 88.5 mph average exit velocity. McCabe has a solid understanding of the strike zone and will take his walks when necessary while also making contact at a solid clip. Mostly a first baseman in college, the Braves played McCabe at third base in 2022 and he has a huge arm that would be more than enough for the position. However, his size, agility and glovework might end up pushing him back to first.

    The Future: McCabe has big tools with his arm strength and raw power, but he faces a high offensive bar to clear and will look to hit for more game-power in a full 2023 season.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 40. Power: 55. Speed: 30. Fielding: 40. Arm: 65.

  25. 25. Kadon Morton | OF
    Kadon Morton
    Born: Nov 19, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 195
    Minors: .226/.337/.383 | 13 HR | 12 SB | 368 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 40/High

    Track Record: Morton was a standout athlete in the 2019 draft class, with upside as a pitcher who threw a low-90s fastball, as a hitter with raw power and as a quarterback on the football field. The Braves bought into his upside and signed him for $500,000 in the 19th round, and he has become one of the best defensive outfielders in the system.

    Scouting Report: Morton's offensive game hasn't quite kept pace with his defense. He's a career .207/.322/.351 hitter in the lower minors and has consistently struggled to make enough contact. There is raw power in his lean, 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame, with solid exit velocity numbers to back it up, but he hasn't yet been able to find the barrel enough to access it. Morton struck out at a 33.5% clip between Low-A Augusta and High-A Rome, and he has never gotten his strikeout rate below 30% in any season. His pitch selection doesn't seem to be the problem as much as his lack of adjustability with the barrel. Morton draws walks, but scouts have critiqued him as being either too passive or simply not having much of a plan at the plate. The same scouts have said Morton looks like BJ Upton in center field--with above-average defensive ability and one of the best throwing arms in the system that could also fit in right field.

    The Future: It would be easier to be optimistic about Morton if he were younger, but he'll enter his age-22 season in 2023 and has yet to be tested at Double-A. If he can find a way to make more contact, he has interesting power, speed and defensive tools.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 30. Power: 40. Speed: 55. Fielding: 60. Arm: 60.

  26. 26. Mahki Backstrom | 1B
    Mahki Backstrom
    Born: Oct 10, 2001
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 220
    Minors: .205/.355/.414 | 10 HR | 8 SB | 263 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/Extreme

    Track Record: One of the youngest players in the 2019 draft, Backstrom had impressive bat speed and raw power but lacked refinement in all phases of the game. The Braves took a shot on his power potential and signed him for $400,000 in the 18th round, and in three years he's struggled to make contact but shown impressive impact when he does so. He hit 10 home runs with Low-A Augusta in 2022 but hit just .205.

    Scouting Report: Backstrom is a large and physical, lefthanded-hitting first baseman listed at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds. The power that comes from that build is Backstrom's calling card, and he can boast some of the best raw power in the minor leagues, evidenced by a near 110 mph 90th percentile exit velocity mark that was the best in Atlanta's system in 2022. His contact ability is at the opposite end of the spectrum with his 45.9% whiff rate among the worst for Braves minor leaguers. He has a career 37.5% strikeout rate in Rookie ball and Low-A. Backstrom still managed to be an above-average hitter with a 117 wRC+ with Augusta, thanks to a 17% walk rate and solid eye. He provides little value defensively and on the bases, with a first base-only profile and well below-average speed.

    The Future: Backstrom is a three true outcomes hitter who has eye-popping power potential, but it's hard to see him finding a way to access that power against upper-level arms without significantly improving his bat-to-ball skill.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 25. Power: 60. Speed: 30. Fielding: 40. Arm: 50.

  27. 27. Austin Smith | RHP
    Austin Smith
    Born: Jun 22, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 198
    Minors: 2-3 | 4.62 ERA | 61 SO | 18 BB | 49 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/Extreme

    Track Record: Smith was a standout starter for Division III Southwestern, but after transferring to Arizona his struggles with control limited him in a split starter/reliever role. The Braves took a chance on his power arm and signed him for $80,000 in the 18th round in 2021. Smith closed games for High-A Rome in 2022 and showed swing-and-miss stuff in the Arizona Fall League after the season.

    Scouting Report: Smith has a solid pitching frame at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, but he's a straight reliever who pitches with a high-effort, violent delivery that features plenty of head whack and recoil. He pitches with a fastball and slider, and both offerings have plus potential. His fastball sits in the 94-95 mph range and touches 97, with solid riding life. His slider is a firm, upper-80s breaking ball that features tight and hard sweeping shape at the bottom of the zone and generated whiffs more than 35% of the time in 2022. His stuff is good enough to miss bats, and he has pitched to nearly a 30% strikeout rate overall with Low-A Augusta and High-A Rome in two seasons. That remained the case against AFL hitters when he struck out 14 of the 47 batters he faced.

    The Future: Smith improved his walk rate from 14.7% in 2021 to 8.7% in 2022 and will need to sustain that sort of control moving forward to get a shot in a big league bullpen.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Slider: 60. Control: 35.

  28. 28. Diego Benitez | SS
    Diego Benitez
    Born: Nov 19, 2004
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 183

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/Extreme

    Benitez was Atlanta's top international signing of the 2021-22 class and was praised for his advanced offensive abilities. He struggled in his Dominican Summer League debut, hitting .196/.363/.283 in 43 games.

  29. 29. Drew Lugbauer | 1B
    Drew Lugbauer
    Born: Aug 23, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 220
    Minors: .213/.328/.443 | 28 HR | 0 SB | 474 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 40/High

    Lugbauer's raw power is plus or better, and he led Atlanta's minor league system with 28 home runs, but scouts worry about him being a mistake hitter and not handling consistent velocity.

  30. 30. Seth Keller | RHP
    Seth Keller
    Born: May 26, 2004
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 180
    Minors: 0-0 | 18.00 ERA | 1 SO | 5 BB | 2 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/Extreme

    An undersized righthander, Keller was young for the 2022 class and wowed scouts at USA Baseball's National High School Invitational. He throws a low-90s fastball and has two promising secondaries with tons of horizontal movement in a slider and split change.

View Players 11-30

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