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BA Grade: 65/Medium Tool Grades: Hit 45 Power 60 Run 70 Field 70 Arm 70 Track Record: After failing to hit a home run over his first two pro seasons, Pache has completely shed his reputation as a glove-first, light-hitting center fielder by getting bigger and stronger and learning which pitches he can drive. After hitting a career high nine home runs in 2018, Pache topped that by hitting 12 in 2019, in a season spent primarily in the pitcher-friendly Double-A Southern League. Scouting Report: Pache continues to stand out for his elite defensive ability. As a 70-grade runner with a tremendous first step and a 70-grade arm, it’s easy to project Pache as a Gold Glove center fielder who should become one of the better defenders in baseball as soon as he reaches the majors. He aggressively tracks down balls in the gaps and has well above-average range and impressive route-running ability. What has raised Pache’s ceiling, though, is his increased power production. Previously expected to hit between 10-15 homers a season, Pache is now projected by scouts to hit 20-25 home runs. Some have even gone as far as saying 30 home runs are a possibility because of the increased strength and better leverage in his swing. It wouldn’t be shocking to see that sort of power given the current home run environment in the majors, but Pache does need to continue refining his approach to get to an average hit tool. He has the physical skills--with electric bat speed as well as solid pitch selection and strike zone recognition--but he continues to be an extreme pull-oriented hitter who sent more than half of his batted balls to the left side in 2019. Learning to use the middle and opposite field will help Pache get on base more frequently and help him avoid being shifted upon. His pure speed will help him leg out infield hits. While Pache is a double-plus runner who clocks times of 4.15 seconds from home to first, his speed continues to play better in the outfield. Pache has never been an efficient basestealer, and he showed little progress in that regard in 2019, going a dreadful 8-for-19 (42 percent) in stolen base attempts at Double-A Mississippi, before simply not attempting a stolen base in 26 games at Triple-A Gwinnett. The Future: Pache made it to Triple-A as a 20-year-old in 2019 and could likely use some more time there early in 2020 to continue refining his approach. But he was ready to fill in if necessary with Atlanta in 2019 and should have a chance to break in as a regular in 2020, adding even more excitement to an outfield built around Ronald Acuña Jr.
BA Grade: 60/Medium Tool Grades: Hit 55 Power 60 Run 60 Field 60 Arm 55Track Record: A Georgia high school product, Waters has steadily climbed the minor league ladder and reached Triple-A Gwinnett for the first time in 2019. At Double-A, the athletic, switch-hitting outfielder won the Southern League batting title (.319) and MVP award. Scouting Report: Waters has long been thought to be an above-average hitter thanks to a loose, handsy swing and a proclivity to use the entire field. However, scouts were concerned with the amount of swing-and-miss seen in his game this season--particularly from the righthanded side of the plate, where he also tends to get more pull-heavy. He still has a chance to be a solid-average hitter and has shown the ability to make adjustments within at-bats. In 2019 he got beat inside too frequently, and his swing can get long from the left side, where he shows plus raw power. Waters would get more credit for his defensive work if he weren’t routinely compared to system-mate Cristian Pache. Waters could stick in center field as a plus runner with above-average arm strength, and he’s also an efficient and smart baserunner. The Future: Waters should start 2020 in Triple-A where he'll need to cut down his strikeout rate and improve his approach from the right side, but could become a fixture with the big league club during the season.
BA Grade: 55/Medium Tool Grades: Fastball 60 Curveball 55 Changeup 55 Control 55.Track Record: Anderson continued to dominate Double-A batters over 21 starts and ranked third in the Southern League with 147 strikeouts, before earning an August promotion to Triple-A Gwinnett, where his control backed up and he struggled. Scouting Report: Anderson's stuff wasn't quite as electric in 2019 as he had shown in the past. While he previously had thrown a fastball in the 92-97 mph range, the pitch didn't have that sort of top-end velocity in 2019, sitting mostly in the 92-94 range. It's still a plus offering thanks to the angle that Anderson creates out of an over-the-top arm slot, and he's been effective with it pitching both up and down in the zone. Similarly, Anderson's 12-to-6 curveball did not show the bite it had in the past. It's more of a 55-grade offering he has learned to spot more consistently, but he struggles at times to get hitters to chase it out of the zone. Anderson also has a firm, mid-to-upper-80s changeup that he's shown feel for and projects as an above-average offering. Outside of his five-game stint in Triple-A to end the season, Anderson showed improved feel for throwing his entire arsenal for strikes and projects for above-average control despite some stiffness in his operation.The Future: Anderson should start 2020 in Gwinnett and should make his major league debut at some point during the season. He projects as more of a mid-rotation arm than a No. 1 or 2.
BA Grade: 55/Medium Tool Grades: Fastball 60 Slider 55 Curveball 55 Changeup 55 Control 50Track Record: The top college pitcher in the 2017 draft, Wright sprinted to the big leagues and made his major league debut in September 2018, thus becoming the first player from his draft class to reach the majors. Since then, Wright has shuffled back and forth between Triple-A Gwinnett and Atlanta, primarily as a starter, but with a few relief outings for the big league club in September.Scouting Report: Wright still has some of the best pure stuff in the system, headlined by a plus fastball that sits around 94-95 mph and gets up to 99 at its best. The Vanderbilt product has a pair of breaking balls that flash plus in a slider and curveball, but the pitches can blend together at times and are more consistently above-average rather than plus offerings. Wright used his slider more frequently than his curve this season--a departure from previous pitch usage--and also showed much better feel for a mid-80s changeup that has solid depth and gives him a more effective secondary to use against lefthanded hitters. The gap between his walk rate in the minors (2.8 per nine innings) and majors (5.9) continues to be drastic, though coaches believe that's more an issue of settling into a consistent schedule and role than any sort of problematic mechanical issue.The Future: Wright should graduate from prospect status in 2020 and become a regular fixture in the Braves' rotation, where he has the stuff to become a steady, middle-of-the-rotation arm.
BA Grade: 50/Medium Tool Grades: Fastball 60 Curveball 50 Changeup 50 Control 45 Track Record: No player has come as far in the Braves system than Muller. After failing to reach low Class A in his first full season and seeing his fastball sit in the upper 80s, Muller started training with Driveline Baseball in the offseason. He has regained the velocity he showed in high school to revitalize his prospect status and pro potential.Scouting Report: Muller has one of the best fastballs in the system now after trending in the right direction in 2018. This year he was up to 98 mph and anywhere in the 90-97 range consistently, with solid downhill angle from the left side. It's his best pitch and an easy plus offering now, while he continues to figure out his curveball and changeup. He made some progress with both, and with increased consistency they can become average offerings. Muller's curveball flashes depth and bite at times and his changeup looks solid with slight fade, though he needs to learn to throw it with more conviction. Muller's control is below-average. He walked the second-most batters (68) in the Double-A Southern League and will need to improve his strike-throwing to take advantage of a solid three-pitch mix that overwhelms hitters when he's not overwhelming himself.The Future: After dominating Double-A batters over a full season, Muller should start 2020 at Triple-A and could spend some time there learning how to sequence pitches more effectively as a starter, though he could help the big league club in a bullpen role right away.
BA Grade: 50/Medium Tool Grades: Fastball 60 Slider 45 Changeup 55 Control 55 Track Record: A 2016 fourth-round pick out of high school, Wilson flew through the minor leagues and dominated three separate levels in 2018 before making his major league debut as a 20-year-old. He spent the bulk of 2019 refining his craft at Triple-A and serving as a spot starter for the big league club. Scouting Report: A strong, physical righthander, Wilson's fastball has long been his best pitch and gets into the upper 90s at its best, but sits around 94-95. His pure velocity, natural sinking life and precision was more than enough to overwhelm minor league batters, but he was susceptible to the long ball in the majors. That might be due to the fact that Wilson currently lacks a swing-and-miss breaking ball. His firm mid-80s slider has progressed, but he rarely generates whiffs with the pitch and relies more on an 84-87 mph changeup with fade and sink to get batters to swing and miss. There are few successful fastball/changeup righthanded starters in the big leagues, so Wilson will need to sharpen his breaking ball. But he has the strike-throwing ability and physicality to be a durable innings-eating, back-of-the-rotation starter. The Future: Wilson has done all he can do in the minors and will look to fully establish himself with the big league club in some capacity in 2020.
BA Grade: 55/High Tool Grades: Hit 50 Power 55 Run 40 Field 70 Arm 60 Track Record: Langeliers would have rated as the top catching prospect in a typical draft class, but had to settle for No. 2 thanks to first overall pick Adley Rutschman. The best defensive catcher in the 2019 draft, Langeliers missed parts of his junior season at Baylor with a broken hamate bone. He hit well when he returned--including a three-homer game in NCAA regionals--giving the Braves enough confidence to draft him ninth overall with the compensation pick they earned for failing to sign 2018 first-rounder Carter Stewart. Scouting Report: Langeliers shines on defense. He has an easy plus throwing arm and used that to throw out 70 percent of basestealers as a sophomore, before throwing out 41 percent in his pro debut at low Class A Rome. Langeliers is also a polished pitch framer who has handled premium stuff with USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team. He moves well behind the plate and consistently keeps balls in the dirt in front of him. Those defensive skills led to Austin Hedges comparisons, but Langeliers has a stronger offensive foundation than Hedges, with a chance to become an average hitter, thanks to a balanced, fluid swing from the right side with gap power now that could get to above-average. The Future: Langeliers’ defense alone gives him a high floor as a major league backup, and if he reaches his offensive ceiling he could become a first-division regular. Langeliers could move quickly, but the Braves will look to maximize both his and William Contreras’ at-bats.
BA Grade: 55/High Tool Grades: Hit 50 Power 60 Run 40 Field 55 Arm 60 Track Record: The younger brother of Cubs catcher Willson Contreras, William was one of the better catchers in the South Atlantic League a season ago before pushing to Double-A Mississippi in his age-21 season. Scouting Report: Contreras has exciting tools on both sides of the ball, but is still maturing as a player. He wasn’t as consistent as the team expected with high Class A Florida, but seemed to get energized and refocused after a promotion to Double-A. Contreras has plus raw power with the ability to use all fields with impact, and generally takes good at-bats as well, with a solid two-strike approach. He’ll chase a bit at times which will be worth monitoring as he faces upper-level pitching, but he has all the skills to become an average hitter. Contreras stands out for his athleticism behind the dish. He has good hands and moves well for a catcher, with plus raw arm strength that plays a tick down from that thanks to a slightly long arm action. He needs to improve his game as a receiver, but at the moment it’s a mental issue more than a physical one. When Contreras is locked in and focused, he has all the talent to project as an above-average defender, he’s just inconsistent in doing that currently. The Future: Contreras is less polished than Langeliers and is no longer the top catcher in the system but likely has more offensive upside.
BA Grade: 55/High Tool Grades: Hit 55 Power 50 Run 60 Field 50 Arm 50 Track Record: A high-level performer at Texas A&M, Shewmake was a two-time All-Southeastern Conference performer who finished his career with a .323/.381/.487 batting line and missed only one game over three years. In his pro debut, he more than held his own at low Class A (.862 OPS) before moving to Double-A. Scouting Report: An athletic and lanky, 6-foot-4 infielder, Shewmake has a solid all-around game with impressive instincts and defensive versatility, but what he lacks is a carrying tool. His loudest tool is likely his plus speed, but his most valuable trait might be a polished lefthanded bat. Shewmake has an unorthodox setup, but has above-average bat speed and twitchy hands. While he has a projectable frame one would typically project for increased power, Shewmake was lanky throughout his college career and struggled to put on weight. If he fills out as a pro, scouts could project above-average power, but until then 50-grade juice seems more realistic. Shewmake has a chance to stick at shortstop, with solid athleticism, hands and leadership traits that fit the position, but many scouts believed that he would be a more natural fit at second or third base, and he has the skills to handle the outfield. The Future: Shewmake should start 2020 back in Double-A where he'll look to continue his progress. The Braves will likely leave him at shortstop until he forces himself off the position or is needed in a super-utility role. The Braves were thin at shortstop in the minors before drafting Shewmake, so he filled a organizational need.
BA Grade: 50/Medium Tool Grades: Fastball 60 Curveball 60 Changeup 50 Control 50 Track Record: After taking a step back in 2018, Davidson had something of a breakout year in 2019. A 19th-round junior college pick, he took major strides forward with his pitching ability, posting a 2.03 ERA in the Southern League before getting his first taste of Triple-A. Scouting Report: Davidson’s arsenal is led by two plus offerings—a fastball up to 97 mph and a 12-to-6 curveball that also flashes plus potential. After struggling with his fastball control a season ago, Davidson impressed scouts with the pitchability that he showed in 2019. He located the pitch to both sides of the plate and also elevated for strikeouts. He tended to get into two-strike counts and then nibble around the zone rather than going after hitters, and he’s a control-over-command arm. Davidson has an average changeup that should give him every opportunity to start, though there’s some effort in his delivery and he pitches exclusively out of the stretch, which leads to some scouts to believe he’s a reliever despite his strides in the strike-throwing department. The Future: Davidson will be Rule 5 draft eligible in December if not added to the 40-man roster. He will prompt an interesting roster decision, given the Braves’ wealth of upper-level pitching talent.
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