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Track Record: When the Braves' futures stars played the big league club in an exhibition game, Pache gave a hint of what was to come by hitting a pair of home runs off Sean Newcomb. Before that, he had gone homerless in his first 176 pro games. Pache demonstrated that newfound power during the season with nine home runs and a late-season promotion to Double-A Mississippi. Scouting Report: Pache can make a case that he's the best defensive center fielder in the minor leagues. He is a plus-plus defender who combines plus-plus speed with a belief that every fly ball is his to catch. He's especially good at running down balls hit over his head. He has a great first step, though his routes can meander at times. Scouts are more mixed on whether Pache is going to hit. He showed improved power and he can now punish pitchers for their mistakes, but he's too aggressive for a potential top-of-the-order hitter and has become pull-focused, while his skills are more suited to using the whole field. He could become an average hitter with 10-12 home run pop, but he strikes out too much and doesn't draw the walks needed to lead off. His speed hasn't paid off as much on the basepaths, as he is not an effective basestealer. The Future: Pache's age and athleticism give him plenty of potential. Scouts generally see him as a future regular, but not a future star, because they don't see an impact bat. He'll return to Double-A Mississippi to begin the season, but with his defensive ability, he could fill a big league role at any point in 2019 if the Braves needed a fill-in. Ender Inciarte's contract (he's signed through 2021 with a team option for 2022) means either Inciarte or Pache will likely need to be moved at some point.
Track Record: As the third pick in the 2016 draft, Anderson tied Steve Avery and Ken Dayley as the highest-drafted pitcher in club history. Given a chance to throw more innings in 2018, Anderson made every start. He finished his season at Double-A Mississippi with two of his best outings of the year, including a 10-strikeout outing in his season finale. Scouting Report: Anderson has the pieces to be a frontline ace if his control and command catch up to his stuff. He has a n excellent pitcher's frame with further room to fill out and a fluid, fast arm. His foundation is a plus-plus 92-97 mph four-seam fastball. Working from an over-the-top delivery, when he's on he can consistently get plenty of plane on a fastball that tickles the bottom of the zone and he has enough life to elevate for swings and misses. His 75-79 mph curveball is a plus pitch with 12-to-6 movement. He also throws an 86-88 mph changeup that flashes above-average with deception and occasional late drop. Anderson has started to feel comfortable enough to throw his changeup to righthanders as well as lefties. He stays direct to the plate in his delivery, but his fastball command is scattershot. There's nothing in his delivery that indicates long-term control concerns, but his currently below-average control needs to improve by more than a grade to reach his lofty ceiling. The Future: Anderson will head back to Double-A in 2019. He could be ready for a September callup, but the Braves have a full rotation of starting candidates ticketed for Triple-A who will be ahead of him.
Track Record: Waters comes from an athletic family. His father played on the offensive line at Georgia Tech in the mid-1980s. Drew is more of a quick-twitch athlete. He was the first prep outfielder the Braves have signed out of Georgia since they drafted Jason Heyward in 2007. In 2018, he was one of the best hitters in the South Atlantic League. He would have ranked in the top five in the league in batting average (.303) and slugging (.513) if not for an August promotion to the Florida State League. Scouting Report: Waters has the tools to be an above-average or even plus hitter as a switch-hitter with a loose, handsy swing, especially from the left side. He uses the entire field and consistently squares up balls. But he has a good bit of work to do to become a mature, refined hitter. Right now, he too often looks to ambush the first hittable fastball he can find, leading to too many quick at-bats. It's worked so far, but pitchers working backwards can take advantage of his aggressiveness. Waters might eventually outgrow center field, but he's an above-average defender for now. His plus arm would fit in right field if he fills out too much to stay in center field. He's a plus runner and knows how to pick his spots to steal. The Future: The Braves have two center field prospects moving up in lockstep, with Cristian Pache one level ahead of Waters. Waters has more offensive potential and Pache has more defensive aptitude.
Track Record: The top college pitcher in his draft class, Wright became just the fourth college pitcher the Braves have selected with a top-10 pick in the June draft and the first since fellow Vanderbilt Commodore Mike Minor in 2009. He became the first player from the 2017 draft to reach the big leagues when he was called up in September. The Braves moved him to the bullpen at Triple-A Gwinnett in August to see if he could help in Atlanta, but he pitched only sporadically in September and was not added to the postseason roster. Scouting Report: Wright has the most varied arsenal of the Braves' top-tier pitching prospects. His fastball and curveball are both plus pitches, and he mixes in a slider that flashes above-average potential as well as an average changeup. His slider and curve sometimes merge together, but his power 82-85 mph breaking ball is a downer out pitch. His 92-96 mph fastball has excellent armside run. Scouts like his delivery, but Wright has yet to show the above-average control that many scouts expect him to develop. The Future: Wright has already reached Atlanta, but he could use further time in Triple-A as he works to refine his control. He heads to spring training with a shot to break camp with the big league club, but more likely he's a midseason callup. Wright projects as a future mid-rotation starter.
Track Record: A year ago, Muller seemed on his way to becoming the rare whiff among Braves' high-dollar prep pitching picks. He lost 4-5 mph off his fastball and was put on a much slower track than the typical Braves pitcher. Muller responded by paying his way to spend part of the offseason working at Driveline Baseball in Washington. It paid off when he regained his fastball and flew through the system, pitching successfully at three levels. Scouting Report: Muller was an entirely different pitcher in 2018 thanks to his recovered velocity. He still lacks a true plus weapon, but he now has the chance to have a lot of average to above-average offerings. He attacked hitters with his 92-95 mph fastball that was an above-average pitch. His improved arm speed helped his slider flash above-average more regularly, and he'll mix in a fringe-average curveball that works as a get-over pitch. His changeup shows some late tumble at times and is a future average pitch. Muller has more control than command. The Future: As a lefthander with a lot of options to attack hitters, Muller projects as a solid mid-rotation starter. He's headed back to Double-A, where he'll be part of a very talented rotation stuck behind a similarly talented Triple-A rotation.
Track Record: The Braves move their pitchers fast, but no one has moved faster than Wilson. He was an excellent high school football player as a wide receiver, quarterback, running back and linebacker. In 2018, Wilson began the season by allowing one run in five starts at high Class A. He blitzed through Double-A, dominated Triple-A (including an eight-inning, one-hit, 13-strikeout gem) and threw five scoreless innings in his major league debut. Scouting Report: Wilson's success depends on his 92-98 mph fastball, which is one of the best in an organization filled with quality fastballs. It's a future plus-plus pitch, largely because of its late life and his above-average control. He can sink or cut it as needed. He can locate it armside and gloveside. When he's on, Wilson can dominate with just his fastball, and that's often what he did in 2018. That may be to his minor detriment developmentally, because he's yet to find a need to develop his less advanced secondary offerings. His slurvy curveball flashes plus when he tightens it, but some scouts believe his arm action will prevent the pitch from ever being consistent. His fringe-average changeup needs to improve. It has some fade, but he tips it at times. The Future: It's hard not to enjoy watching Wilson pitch because he attacks hitters with ferocious competitiveness and self-confidence. The Braves have pitchers with better secondary pitches, but Wilson's strength, fastball and makeup give him a shot to be a durable No. 4 starter for a long time.
In a typical draft class, Langeliers would be a safe bet as the top catching prospect in the class, but this year he’ll have to settle for the No. 2 spot behind Adley Rutschman. Langeliers has a well-rounded arsenal across the board, but his strengths are on defense, where he has plus arm strength and threw out nearly 70 percent of basestealers as a sophomore. He also handled plenty of premium pure stuff last summer with USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team and handled it well. Langeliers is a polished pitch-framer, and he moves well behind the plate and shows impressive blocking ability from his 6-foot, 190-pound frame. If Langeliers never hits, he still profiles as a solid backup option in today’s game that focuses on pitch-framing ability. But he does have potential as a hitter as well, despite a down sophomore season when Langeliers hit just .252/.351/.496. Scouts think he can become an average hitter thanks to a balanced swing and solid understanding of the strike zone. While Langeliers struggled to hit in 2018, he still got on base at a decent clip thanks to a 13 percent walk rate. Last summer, Langeliers was second on Team USA in hitting with a .346/.393/.500 line, and he has solid-average raw power, most of which comes easier to the pull side. A broken hamate bone forced Langeliers to miss parts of February and March this season, but he has hit well since returning. His .322/.366/.494 slash line through his first 20 games of conference play has given scouts further confidence that his 2018 season was more of an outlier than the norm. Langeliers defensive toolset is too appealing for him to fall much further than the middle of the first round, and depending on how a team views his offensive upside, he could go among the top-15 picks.
Track Record: Contreras is the younger brother of Cubs catcher Willson Contreras. While the older Contreras didn't make it to full-season ball until he was 21, William was one of the best catchers in the South Atlantic League as a 20-year-old. He shared the job at low Class A Rome with Drew Lugbauer, and the Braves ensured he didn't wear down by playing him at DH, too. He received a late-season bump to high Class A Florida. Scouting Report: Contreras has plus raw power that he already turns into productive power, and his hands work well enough that he can also drive the ball to right-center field. That gives him a chance to hit .270 or so. He has some young player hitting habits he must break.He tends to pull off the ball and step in the bucket, leaving him vulnerable to being pitched away, but those are correctable flaws and he shows solid strike-zone awareness. Defensively, he has good hands, moves well and shows more athleticism than most catchers. He has a plus arm but sometimes struggles with his transfer when he rushes. The Future: The Braves position player prospect depth is much thinner now than it was a couple of years, which makes Contreras' development even more important. Contreras is still multiple years away from being big league-ready, but he has all the tools to be the rare catcher who can handle the job defensively while producing offensively.
A lanky, 6-foot-4, 190-pound shortstop, Shewmake can handle any infield position but started all 61 games at shortstop for Texas A&M as a sophomore and has continued to hold down the position as a junior in 2019. He’s been among the most consistent hitters in the SEC over his three collegiate seasons, starting with a loud freshman campaign when he hit .328/.374/.529 with 11 home runs and 11 stolen bases and was voted first-team all-SEC. He has continued to hit at a high level, although Shewmake has not replicated his power numbers from his freshman season. Scouts wonder when he will start to physically fill out his frame and begin hitting for more power. He has good bat speed and some twitchiness with his hands at the plate, but he’ll eventually need to add more strength to tap into additional power with a wood bat. He struggled in 44 at-bats for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team last summer (.136/.250/.205), though his track record in the SEC will likely be emphasized compared to a much smaller sample with a wood bat. Defensively, Shewmake has all of the intangibles necessary to play shortstop, and he is a terrific in-game leader with athleticism. However, if he does begin to fill out physically, he has a chance to outgrow the position, and he doesn’t currently have the hands of an everyday, major league shortstop. Because of those concerns, many scouts are mixed as to where Shewmake fits best, defensively. He’s a plus runner who could handle all three outfield positions, if necessary, but teams will likely look to keep him in the infield before running him out to the grass. Shewmake is something of a conundrum to teams who view him as a player with a skillset that’s greater than his tools, and he might be best served in a super-utility role down the line. Either way, his track record of hitting should have him selected on Day 1 of the draft, and there’s more projection here if and when he starts to fill out physically.
Track Record: Davidson was one of the Braves' biggest breakout prospects in 2017, but in 2018 his control took two steps backward. His attempts to fix the problems didn't pay off until late in the season. Scouting Report: Davidson's fastball lacked the high-end pop it showed at times in 2017, when he touched 95-97 mph in shorter stints. More often in 2018 he was 91-94, but that is still plenty of fastball if he can locate it like he did in 2017. Davidson's control and command of his fastball backed up, which left him too often behind in counts. His 12-to-6 curveball is a potentially plus weapon, but he didn't rely on it enough, as he wasn't comfortable enough to throw it for strikes when behind in counts. Similarly, he tried to muscle up with a fastball at times when his average changeup would have likely been more effective. The Future: Davidson took a step back, but he still has the three-pitch arsenal that gives him a chance to start. His delivery has some effort, leading some scouts to believe he'll eventually be a power reliever.
Track Record: After pitching for three colleges in three seasons, the strong-armed Weigel leapt through the Braves' farm system and was not far away from Atlanta when he blew out his elbow in June 2017. He spent a year and a half rehabbing, but should be at full speed for the 2019 season. Scouting Report: Weigel's delivery is never pretty and sometimes his arm works to catch up to his lower half, but he's strong enough that he makes it work. He got back on the mound during instructional league and he showed plenty of signs that he was rusty. He showed solid velocity (91-95 mph) but he struggled to throw strikes and his slider didn't have its usual break, but that was just a chance to get back on the mound. Pre-injury, Weigel touched up to 98 with a plus fastball, generally sitting 92-95 mph over the course of an outing. His slider flashed above-average and he showed he could manipulate its break and work it to both sides of the plate. His changeup was a below-average pitch that was often too firm. The Future: Weigel's injury might end up pushing him to the bullpen because the Braves have so many starting pitching prospects. He has a starter's frame, but his stuff could play even better in short stints.
Track Record: The Braves found the late-blooming de la Cruz as an 18-year-old in 2015. He's developed into one of the best arms the Braves have in the low minors. Scouting Report: All too often when the going gets tough, de la Cruz rears back and hopes for the best. His 90-96 mph fastball is hard enough to blow hitters away, but it's much more effective when hitters aren't waiting for it. Too often in 2018, de la Cruz fell behind in counts and then got away from mixing pitches, become too predictably fastball-reliant. He also would get into habits of overthrowing. But when he's cruising, he has an above-average fastball and a slider that flashes plus. His control is below-average. His delivery is long in the back, but he uses his legs well in his delivery. The Future: Understandably de la Cruz is developmentally behind many of his peers because he got a late start to pitching in pro ball. But he has the pieces of a future power reliever thanks to two pitches with plus potential.
Track Record: Jackson was once considered the best high school bat in the 2014 draft class. Seattle moved him from catcher to right field, but that swing never translated to pro ball. The Braves acquired him in a buy-low trade (sending Rob Whalen and Max Povse to Seattle) and moved him back to catcher. Scouting Report: Jackson still hasn't proven he can hit, but more disturbingly his power largely disappeared in 2018. Jackson has plus-plus raw power, but his all-pull all-the-time approach was an easy mark for a pitcher with a plan. Every one of Jackson's home runs last season was hit to left field. When he was in high school Jackson was known for loose hands and a fast bat, but he's tightened up and now has modest bat speed. Defensively, Jackson is catching up for lost time as a receiver, but his biggest hurdle is getting more flexible and improving his game calling. One of the reasons the Braves promoted him to Triple-A was to get him acclimated to more in-depth scouting reports. He does have a plus arm. The Future: Jackson was added to the 40-man roster. He has a long way to go to prove he can fill a backup role. He'll get to work at Triple-A Gwinnett.
Track Record: It's been quite a transition for Tarnok. Until his senior year in high school he was a shortstop who barely pitched, but a well-timed move to the mound had turned him into a top 100 pick. Scouting Report: The Braves slowly stretched Tarnok into a starting role over the course of the season, but his long-term role is very much up in the air. His lack of pitching experience is apparent at times as he has further work to do to repeat his delivery more consistently and his secondary offerings are often immature. Tarnok will show flashes of potential with his 85-87 mph slider and his 84-86 mph changeup, but neither are consistent at this point and both rarely flash better than average. His 91-94 mph average fastball can generate swings and misses. His command and control are both below-average as well. The Future: Tarnok's prospect status is all about projection. If he fills out, gets stronger and adds polish he could end up as a high-leverage reliever. He's ready to move up to high Class A Florida.
Harris is an athletic, two-way player with legitimate pro potential on both sides of the ball. On the mound, the 6-foot, 195-pound lefty has been up to who is up to 93 mph on the mound and has shown some feel to spin a big curveball that has shape and depth but lacks power presently. He sits in the 88-92 mph range but the velocity has been up and down this spring. His ceiling is higher on the mound, but Harris seems to prefer hitting, where he is a plus runner and can chase them down well in center field, with above-average bat speed from the left side and raw power. There are questions about the quality of his hit tool, and if Harris wants to hit at the next level he might have to prove it first at Texas Tech.
Track Record: Jenista was a career .318/.430/.487 hitter for the Shockers, and his stat line didn't change much from his freshman season through his junior year. He also was the Cape Cod League MVP in the summer before his junior season. Primarily a first baseman in his first two college seasons, he played center field as a junior before moving to right field in pro ball. Scouting Report: Scouts have long believed that Jenista will hit and have seen him put on impressive power displays in batting practice, but there are plenty of questions about how easily Jenista can translate that power into actual games. Braves officials say they believe that he will eventually learn to loft the ball more frequently. His bat path is pretty level through the zone right now, emphasizing contact over lift and power. He'll likely have to trade away some of that contact ability to reach his 20-plus home run potential, but he'll need to make that trade as a corner outfielder. Jenista is an average runner now, but will likely slow down as he matures. He's fine in right fielder as a fringe-average defender with an average arm. The Future: Jenista will return to high Class A Florida to begin 2019. Jenista has gotten stronger, but his biggest focus for 2019 will be to start driving the ball in the air more consistently.
Philip played two seasons at San Joaquin Delta (Calif.) JC, where he hit .354 with 10 home runs and 30 stolen bases before joining Oregon State for his junior season in 2019. He’s done well in his transition to the Pac-12, hitting .312/.362/.475 through 39 games for the Beavers, though his gaudy stolen base numbers from the JuCo ranks didn’t translate. He’ll need to improve his approach against breaking balls at the next level. And while it would typically be a tough task to replace Cadyn Grenier, who was drafted in the supplemental first round in 2018, as Oregon State’s shortstop, Philip has risen to the occasion and played well defensively. He moves side to side well and does a particularly nice job of making plays up the middle to his glove side. He has plenty of arm strength for the position, so much so, in fact, that if Phillip struggles with the bat at the next level, he could have a realistic fallback option on the mound.
Track Record: The Braves' farm system is top-heavy. The vast majority of the team's best pitching prospects are ticketed for Double-A or Triple-A in 2019. Ynoa is one Class A arm with a sky-high ceiling. Scouting Report: Ynoa has some of the best pure stuff in the Braves system. He sits 92-96 mph and has touched 100 mph at his best, and both his slider and changeup have at least average potential. Ynoa's changeup is inconsistent but at its best it has excellent late fade and sink, and it dives away from lefthanded hitters' bats. Ynoa's 83-86 mph slider has potential as well, with solid tilt. Too often at this point it is just a chase pitch. Ynoa has a strong frame and he's gotten more direct to the plate, but he still has below-average control and command. He is really aiming at this point to just get his fastball over the plate rather than trying to hit spots. The Future: Ynoa needs plenty of further refinement, but he has the stuff and durability to be a mid-rotation starter and he has a solid fallback option as a power reliever. He's set to return to high Class A Florida.
Track Record: Parsons had been ignored in back-to-back drafts before the Braves liked his work in the Northwoods League and signed him as a nondrafted free agent. Scouting Report: There is nothing sexy about Parsons' approach or stuff, but he's crafty, consistent and durable. Parsons doesn't have an above-average pitch, but his 91-93 mph fastball and 85-87 mph slider are both average offerings and his changeup is fringe-average. He gets armside run on his fastball. It doesn't lead to swings-and-misses as much as poor contact. His slider trades depth for power, and gets under the hands of lefthanded hitters. The Future: The Braves are so loaded in starting pitching prospects that Parsons will be fighting to make the Triple-A rotation out of spring training. He just may have to contribute in another organization.
A transfer from Blinn (Texas) JC, Kalich is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound righthander who has had success in his first year in the Texas A&M bullpen. With a fastball that tops out at 98 mph and works well up in the zone, Kalich is striking out a robust 14.3 batters per nine innings through his first 26 appearances. His main secondary offering is a slider that looks more like a cutter when he throws it in the upper 80s. His two-pitch mix and arm speed profiles well as a reliever at the next level.
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