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  1. 1. Michael Harris | OF
    Michael Harris
    Born: Mar 7, 2001
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 195
    Drafted/Signed: HS-- Stockbridge, Ga., 2019 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Kirk Fredriksson.
    Minors: .294/.362/.436 | 7 HR | 27 SB | 374 AB

    Track Record: Most of the scouting industry seemed to prefer Harris as a lefthanded pitcher out of Stockbridge (Ga.) in 2019. He touched 93 mph with his fastball and showed feel to spin a big curveball. Harris preferred hitting, though, and the Braves liked his upside enough as a position player to give him a chance with the bat. They drafted him in the third round as an outfielder and signed him for $547,500 to forgo a Texas Tech commitment. After flashing solid tools in his pro debut after signing, Harris impressed Braves officials in 2020 with quality at-bats against many of the team’s top pitching prospects at the alternate training site. He carried that into 2021 with a breakout season at High-A Rome, finishing among the Braves organization leaders in hits (110), doubles (26), RBIs (67), stolen bases (27) and earning a selection to the Futures Game.

    Scouting Report: Harris has developed rapidly into the consensus best pure hitter in the Braves’ system. Officially listed by Major League Baseball as a switch-hitter, he took all his swings from the left side in 2021 and shows impressive feel to hit with loose wrists, easy hands and impressive plate coverage. Harris’ plate coverage is so good that he gives away at-bats at times by being overly aggressive and chasing balls he can’t drive, but he identifies pitches well. When he focused on eliminating his chases on the inner half during the second half of the season, his on-base percentage shot up to .400 over the final two months. Harris has plenty of strength in his filled-out frame and drops the bat head with force throughout the zone. He routinely produces exit velocities in the 110-114 mph range, and while he hit just seven home runs this year, he played his home games in one of the toughest offensive environments in minor league baseball. All of his seven home runs came on the road, and his home (.282/.361/.363) and road (.305/.363/.498) splits suggest above-average power potential his overall numbers might not indicate. Harris combines that power potential with plus speed and aggressive baserunning that make him a dangerous stolen base threat. In addition to his offensive prowess, Harris was voted the best defensive outfielder in High-A East by league managers. He draws praise for his instincts and ability in center field and could be an above-average or plus defender at the position if he maintains his plus speed. His thicker lower half and filled-out frame raise the possibility he will slow down in the future, but he should remain an above-average defender even if he has to eventually move to a corner outfield spot. His plus arm strength will play at any position.

    The Future: With above-average or better tools across the board, Harris has a chance to be an impact, everyday big leaguer. He will move to Double-A Mississippi in 2022, where the Braves would like to see him continue to mature as a hitter. His defense gives him a shot to be a very well-rounded player.

  2. 2. Shea Langeliers | C
    Shea Langeliers
    Born: Nov 18, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 205
    Drafted/Signed: Baylor, 2019 (1st round).
    Signed By: Darin Vaughan (Braves).
    Minors: .256/.339/.494 | 22 HR | 1 SB | 340 AB

    Track Record: Langeliers established himself as top defensive catcher in the 2019 draft class at Baylor and steadily raised his stock throughout his junior spring, leading the Braves to draft him ninth overall and sign him for an under-slot $3.9 million bonus. After making his brief pro debut at High-A Rome, Langeliers impressed at the alternate training site in 2020 and had a standout first full season at Double-A Mississippi in 2021. He finished third in Double-A South with 22 home runs and fourth with an .836 OPS while playing excellent defense behind the plate, earning a billing as the league’s best prospect.

    Scouting Report: Langeliers’ defense is his primary asset, led by his plus-plus arm. He threw out 42% of attempted base stealers in 2021 and routinely records pop times to second base in the 1.90-second range with pristine accuracy. Pitchers love throwing to Langeliers and he has the makeup and baseball IQ to manage a staff, although he still needs to improve his pitch framing and mobility to become a true plus defender. Langeliers has continued to show above-average power as he’s moved further away from a hamate injury in college, and his 22 home runs came while playing his home games in a difficult hitter’s park. Langeliers will have to work to avoid creating holes in his swing—notably with high fastballs and sliders away—but he uses the entire field well and makes enough contact to be a fringe-average hitter. Braves officials have praised his ability to make adjustments.

    The Future: Langeliers has a chance to make his big-league debut in 2022. If he reaches his offensive ceiling, he could be an above-average regular.

  3. 3. Cristian Pache | OF
    Cristian Pache
    Born: Nov 19, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 215
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2015.
    Signed By: Matias Laureano (Braves).
    Minors: .265/.330/.414 | 11 HR | 9 SB | 321 AB

    Track Record: Pache signed with the Braves for $1.4 million as a 16-year-old out of the Dominican Republic and immediately stood out for his defensive prowess in center field. Pache filled out, added strength and became one of the most electric defensive prospects in baseball, but his offensive development has stalled. He began the 2021 season as the Braves’ Opening Day center fielder, but he hit just .111 with 25 strikeouts in 68 plate appearances and was demoted to Triple-A for the rest of the season.

    Scouting Report: Pache’s 80-grade defense in center field is unimpeachable, but his bat remains a question mark. He has timing issues at the plate and often has to decide whether he’s sitting on fastballs or breaking stuff, which creates inconsistencies. He has long had issues with a pull-heavy approach and posted the highest strikeout rate (27.5%) of his minor league career in 2021. Pache has gone back and forth with various handsets the Braves have tried to incorporate to get him in better position to hit, with varying levels of success. He has the strength to hit 20 home runs, but he projects to be no more than a below-average hitter. At the very least, Pache will save plenty of runs with his top-of-the-scale glovework, plus-plus speed and plus-plus arm strength in center field.

    The Future: Pache’s defense is valuable, but barring a step forward with his approach at the plate, he now seems more like a defensive specialist who hits at the bottom of the lineup rather than the potential All-Star of years past.

  4. 4. Kyle Muller | LHP
    Kyle Muller
    Born: Oct 7, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'7" Wt.: 250
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Dallas, 2016 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Nate Dion.
    Minors: 5-4 | 3.39 ERA | 93 SO | 42 BB | 80 IP

    Track Record: Muller was one of the fast-risers of the prep ranks as a high school senior. He’d gone from sitting 87-89 mph to the low 90s when the Braves drafted him. His stuff has steadily progressed as he filled out his 6-foot-7 frame. After five years of strength gains, he flashed some of the best pure stuff in the Braves system in 2021 and received his first big league callup in June. Muller went 2-4, 4.17 in nine appearances (eight starts) with the Braves while striking out more than a batter per inning, but also showed he is still learning to harness his new power arsenal.

    Scouting Report: Muller’s fastball sits around 94 mph and routinely gets up into the upper 90s from the left side. Beyond the pure velocity, Muller’s standout spin metrics and extension from his large frame allow his fastball to generate tons of swings and misses up in the zone. Muller’s mid-80s slider earns plus grades at its best and his low-80s curveball is another above-average pitch, while his firm changeup is an average offering that gives him a complete four-pitch mix. What holds Muller back is below-average control. He stopped going over the top of his head in his windup to simplify his delivery and become more consistent. The changes cut his walk rate a bit, but it still remains below average.

    The Future: The Braves have committed to developing Muller as a starter, but if his control doesn’t improve, he has the stuff to be a closer. He has two options remaining, so there’s still time.

  5. 5. Spencer Strider | RHP
    Spencer Strider
    Born: Oct 28, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 195
    Drafted/Signed: Clemson, 2020 (4th round).
    Signed By: Billy Best.
    Minors: 3-7 | 3.64 ERA | 153 SO | 40 BB | 94 IP

    Track Record: Strider was a high-profile pitching prospect in high school and pitched well when healthy at Clemson, but he missed all of 2019 after having Tommy John surgery and made only four starts in 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic canceled the season. The Braves were high on Strider’s stuff and aptitude despite his limited innings and drafted him in the fourth round, signing him for $449,300. Strider rewarded that faith by vaulting four levels from Low-A Augusta to the majors.

    Scouting Report: Strider uses an upper-90s fastball with riding life at the top of strike the zone to overwhelm his competition, and changes to his pitch mix helped set the stage for his meteoric rise. The Braves largely shelved his changeup and curveball and had him throw his plus-plus four-seam fastball up in the zone paired with a vertical slider down in the zone. Strider’s slider improved with the focus on the pitch and has the potential to be an above-average offering if he improves its consistency. Strider began re-working the changeup into his arsenal in the second half of the season, but it’s a fringy offering that remains a third pitch. He throws plenty of strikes with average control.

    The Future: The Braves view Strider as a starter, although his two-pitch mix makes him a likely reliever in external evaluators’ eyes. He will begin 2022 in Triple-A Gwinnett’s rotation.

  6. 6. Drew Waters | OF
    Drew Waters
    Born: Dec 30, 1998
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Woodstock, Ga., 2017 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Dustin Evans.
    Minors: .240/.329/.381 | 11 HR | 28 SB | 404 AB

    Track Record: Waters was a local prospect from Woodstock, Ga. who the Braves drafted in the second round in 2017 and signed for $1.5 million. He progressed through the minors and won MVP of the Double-A Southern League in 2019, but the canceled 2020 minor league season hampered his development. Waters returned to play at Triple-A Gwinnett in 2021 and hit just .240 with an alarming 31% strikeout rate, leading the Braves to look for other, external options when they needed outfield help in the majors.

    Scouting Report: A 6-foot-2 switch-hitter with long levers, Waters has long had a feel to hit but has struggled to find an approach. That was exploited by more advanced pitchers in 2021 and led to a disastrous season. The Braves want Waters to improve his mental approach at the plate and gain a better understanding of the pitches he can and cannot do damage with. Even with significant improvements, however, he projects to be no more than a fringe-average hitter. Waters’ supplemental toolset is still quite loud. He has average power and is an asset in center field with his plus speed, plus arm strength and overall plus defensive ability.

    The Future: Waters is still young and will enter his age-23 season in 2022. Whether he can make the necessary mental adjustments will determine whether he becomes a regular or never makes enough contact to crack the Braves’ starting outfield.

  7. 7. 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: .228/.271/.401 | 12 HR | 4 SB | 324 AB

    Track Record: The Braves used the second of their two-first round picks in 2019 to select Shewmake after he was a standout hitter in his college career at Texas A&M. He spent 2020 at the alternate training site and began his first full season at Double-A Mississippi in 2021. He got off to a .094/.144/.165 start that weighed down his overall numbers, but adjusted and hit .263/.300/.456 with 11 home runs the rest of the year.

    Scouting Report: Despite the ugly numbers in his full-season debut, Shewmake hits velocity well, has natural bat-to-ball skills and shows a knack for shooting the ball the other way. The Braves were happy with the in-season adjustments he made and he has the traits to be an average hitter overall. Shewmake is a lean player who needs to add more weight to increase his power production and better handle the rigors of a full season. He has struggled to add weight dating back to his college career. Shewmake’s defense is a bright spot no matter how he’s going offensively. He has the physical tools and instincts to be an above-average shortstop with good body control, an advanced internal clock and enough arm strength to make all the necessary throws.

    The Future: Shewmake may begin 2022 back in Double-A, where he will try to put together a complete offensive season. His contact skills and shortstop defense give him the potential to be an everyday regular if he makes the necessary strength gains.

  8. 8. Bryce Elder | RHP
    Bryce Elder
    Born: May 19, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 220
    Drafted/Signed: Texas, 2020 (5th round).
    Signed By: Darin Vaughan.
    Minors: 11-5 | 2.75 ERA | 155 SO | 57 BB | 138 IP

    Track Record: Elder emerged as Texas’ ace as a sophomore and was off to a strong start as a junior in 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic canceled the college season. The Braves drafted him in the fifth round and signed him for an over-slot $847,500 bonus. Elder made his pro debut in 2021 and rocketed up the system, jumping from High-A and Triple-A to leading the minors with 137.2 innings pitched on his way to being named the Braves’ minor league pitcher of the year.

    Scouting Report: While the Braves have no shortage of pitchers with elite fastballs, Elder is a different type of pitcher with a five-pitch mix and arguably the best pitchability in the organization. He is a cerebral pitcher who has an advanced level of preparation, understands what he does well and knows how best to attack opposing hitters. Elder primarily uses a 90-94 mph sinker, a mid-80s slider with standout depth and an above-average changeup he is comfortable throwing in any situation. He also throws a four-seam fastball and an average curveball. Elder induces plenty of ground balls (56.9% ground ball rate) and has the secondary stuff to miss bats as well. He has the potential for above-average control but still adjusting his game to the professional strike zone, which doesn’t allow him to work side-to-side as much as he did in college. Elder is very durable and has demonstrated his ability to work efficiently deep into games.

    The Future: Elder is the safe bet to be a back-of-the-rotation starter with enough quality offspeed stuff to miss bats. He’s in position to make his major league debut in 2022.

  9. 9. Ryan Cusick | RHP
    Ryan Cusick
    Born: Nov 12, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 235
    Signed By: Billy Best (Braves)
    Minors: 0-1 | 2.76 ERA | 34 SO | 4 BB | 17 IP

    Track Record: The Braves drafted Wake Forest lefthander Jared Shuster in 2020 and went back to the Demon Deacons pitching well in 2021. The Braves drafted Cusick with the 24th overall pick after he showed arguably the best fastball in the draft class as Wake’s top starter and signed him for $2.7 million. Cusick reported to Low-A Augusta after signing and had a standout pro debut, posting a 2.76 ERA with 34 strikeouts against just four walks in 16.1 innings.

    Scouting Report: A massive, 6-foot-6, 235-pound righthander, Cusick has thrown hard since his prep days in Connecticut. His fastball sits in the upper 90s and touches 102 mph with life, making it a dominant, plus-plus pitch that gets swings and misses in the strike zone. His fastball command has underwhelmed at times, but the pitch is overpowering enough to dominate hitters even without pinpoint accuracy. Cusick threw both a curveball and slider in college, but the Braves have emphasized throwing hard, vertical sliders with several of their pitching prospects. Cusick’s slider flashes above-average and will be a focus early next year, with his average curveball and firm, below-average changeup options for another pitch down the road. Cusick showed below-average control throughout his college career, but a simplified approach in pro ball yielded average control in his debut.

    The Future: Cusick is tentatively slated to begin 2022 at High-A Rome. He has mid-rotation potential with the fallback of a hard-throwing reliever.

  10. 10. 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: .244/.320/.522 | 24 HR | 19 SB | 360 AB

    Track Record: After two solid seasons at Michigan that included a 2019 trip to the College World Series finals, Franklin didn’t get to play his junior season in 2020 after breaking his collarbone. The Braves still drafted him in the third round and signed him for $497,500. Franklin rewarded their faith in his pro debut at High-A Rome in 2021. He led the Braves system with 24 home runs and finished second with 188 total bases.

    Scouting Report: Franklin has shown a contact-oriented, all-fields approach in the past, but the Braves wanted to let him cut loose and see how hard he could drive the ball in his pro debut. The change in approach revealed borderline plus-plus raw power in Franklin’s bat, and he is now the best power prospect in their system. Franklin now projects to hit for plus power in games, but the tradeoff came in his hitting ability. His approach change resulted in more chase swings and an increased strikeout rate, dropping him to a potential fringe-average hitter. Franklin is an instinctive defensive outfielder. He can fill in as a center fielder with his impressive first step and clean routes, but his average speed and fringy arm strength make him a better fit for left field. He is an efficient basestealer despite his average pure speed.

    The Future: The Braves want to see Franklin continue to show this sort of power while improving his contact and walk rates. His best-case scenario is an everyday left fielder, although he is more likely to end up a lefty-hitting, platoon power bat.

  11. 11. Freddy Tarnok | RHP
    Freddy Tarnok
    Born: Nov 24, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Riverview, Fla., 2017 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Justin Clark.
    Minors: 6-4 | 3.44 ERA | 109 SO | 28 BB | 74 IP

    Track Record: A two-way player out of high school in Florida, the Braves drafted Tarnok in the third round as a pitcher and signed him for $1.4 million. His development was slow going for his first four years, but in 2021 Tarnok took a step forward and reached Double-A Mississippi, where he dominated and posted a 2.60 ERA.

    Scouting Report: Tarnok has come into his own physically and as a pitcher this year, and now gets his fastball up into the 95-98 mph range at times, with one of the best true curveballs in the system—a 12-to-6 downer that gets plus grades. Tarnok added strength, velocity and more comfort with his delivery during the 2020 covid season. He primarily pitched off that fastball/curveball combination in 2021, but as the year progressed, he worked in a slider and a changeup. Both pitches need more work to get consistent above-average grades, but Braves officials were happy with how comfortable he seemed with both by the end of the year. Previously, Tarnok’s changeup was viewed as one of the best in the system, but it regressed this year while his curve improved. Among Braves minor leaguers with at least 10 starts, only Spencer Strider posted a better strikeout percentage than Tarnok (36.5%).

    The Future: Tarnok is now close to or inside the top tier of Braves pitching prospects after showing the best bat-missing stuff of his pro career. He’s got plenty of positive indicators between his size, deep pitch mix and command. Now he needs to do the same against more advanced hitters.

  12. 12. Vaughn Grissom | SS/3B
    Vaughn Grissom
    Born: Jan 5, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Oviedo, Fla., 2019 (11th round).
    Signed By: Jon Bunnell.
    Minors: .319/.418/.464 | 7 HR | 16 SB | 317 AB

    Track Record: The Braves liked Grissom’s bat enough to sign him for $347,500 in the 11th round in 2019 and he just had one of the better offensive seasons in Atlanta’s system, posting a 143 wRC+ between Low-A and High-A.

    Scouting Report: Grissom has showcased impressive contact ability since he joined pro ball, and that continued in 2021. He pairs that natural bat-to-ball ability with a solid understanding of the strike zone, and his walk-to-strikeout rate was one of the best marks in the system. While Grissom possesses solid foundational hitting skills, scouts have been wanting to see him drive the ball for more impact and home run production. He has raw power that shows up more in batting practice, and his top-end exit velocities stack up with some of the better sluggers in the system (113.2 max EV) but some evaluators believe he’ll always hit for more average than power. His slugging numbers progressed as the year went on and he has room to add weight to his frame still, but some scouts note a lack of freedom in his swing that could limit his impact. He’s stretched at shortstop due to limited range and athleticism. He has the arm strength for third and the hands to handle second.

    The Future: Grissom should get his first test against upper-level minor league arms in 2022 where he’ll look to hit for more impact. For now he profiles as a contact-oriented utility infielder.

  13. 13. Tucker Davidson | LHP
    Tucker Davidson
    Born: Mar 25, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 215
    Drafted/Signed: Midland (Texas) JC, 2016 (19th round).
    Signed By: Nate Dion.
    Minors: 2-2 | 1.17 ERA | 28 SO | 5 BB | 23 IP

    Track Record: Davidson became the first Midland (Texas) JC draftee to make the majors when he debuted in 2020, and he threw 20 innings in 2021 before a forearm strain sidelined him for most of the season. Davidson did come back for the postseason and made a spot start in game five of the World Series, though he allowed four runs in two innings.

    Scouting Report: While healthy, Davidson showed a better ability to attack the strike zone at the major league level this year. Establishing his 93 mph fastball allowed his secondary stuff to play up. It’s a low-spin fastball, but Davidson pairs that with a firm slider in the upper 80s. The slider is now his go-to breaking ball, with above-average potential and his curveball features solid vertical depth that could give him a third average offering. He largely scrapped a mid-80s changeup (1% usage) in 2021 and the pitch is a distant fourth offering compared to his fastball and breaking pitches. Previously, Davidson’s control has led opposing scouts to view him as a reliever, but the Braves have stuck with him as a starter and he looked to take a step forward in his control this year, albeit in a brief sample.

    The Future: Davidson’s playoff start suggests the Braves trust him, and he should be back in the mix for the team’s pitching plans in 2022.

  14. 14. Joey Estes | RHP
    Joey Estes
    Born: Oct 8, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 190
    Signed By: Kevin Martin (Braves)
    Minors: 3-6 | 2.91 ERA | 127 SO | 29 BB | 99 IP

    Track Record: Estes ranked as the No. 239 prospect in the 2019 class, but the Braves managed to sign him in the 16th round with a $497,500 bonus. He’s a competitive pitcher who was one of the better Low-A arms in the minors as a 19-year-old, finishing sixth with 99 innings and fourth with 127 strikeouts at the level.

    Scouting Report: Estes works quickly on the mound and comes right at hitters with a solid, if unspectacular, three-pitch mix. His fastball gets up to 96-97 mph and typically sits in the 91-95 mph range, with standout riding life up in the zone and a flat approach angle. Estes also throws a low-80s slider with 8 o’clock tilt and an 83-86 mph changeup that he shows confidence in already. Both secondary offerings made progress this season, but neither flashes more than above-average at times, with most evaluators favoring the slider over the changeup for now. Estes’ best skill is his feel for filling up the zone. He gets ahead in counts frequently, though as he climbs the minor league ladder he’ll need to do a better job finishing off hitters with quality chase pitches. Despite his strike throwing and three-pitch mix, some scouts believe he profiles best as a reliever, with a bit of effort in his delivery.

    The Future: Estes likely could have been promoted to Rome in 2021 given his performance. He should begin the 2022 season there, where he’ll continue to be exceptionally young for the level.

  15. 15. 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: 2-0 | 4.44 ERA | 90 SO | 20 BB | 73 IP

    Track Record: The Braves made Shuster their first-round pick in 2020 after the southpaw saw a significant uptick in velocity during the shortened 2020 season, signing him for just under $2.2 million. That velocity didn’t hold up in his first taste of pro ball this year, and while he pushed to Double-A, Shuster is still adjusting to the rigors of pro ball.

    Scouting Report: Shuster stands out for his pitching ability and a devastating changeup that multiple Braves officials have said is better than righthander Ian Anderson’s. The pitch is an easy plus offering that generates ugly swings and is thrown with confidence and 12 mph separation from his fastball. While that velocity gap is solid, Shuster sat with a fastball in the 88-92 mph range, touching 94. The shape of the pitch is solid, but so far it looks like his draft-year spike in velocity was more of a flash in the pan than a sign of a new normal. Shuster’s slider is a low-80s breaking ball that generated whiffs at a decent clip this year, but scouts think it’s more of an average offering at best. Shuster looked like he was still acclimating to the pro schedule, and he got hit around over three starts in Double-A (11.7 H/9), though he has continued to throw quality strikes.

    The Future: Shuster’s ceiling is somewhat limited given his velocity, though an out-pitch changeup and above-average control give him a chance to be a backend starter.

  16. 16. Darius Vines | RHP
    Darius Vines
    Born: Apr 30, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 190
    Signed By: Kevin Martin
    Minors: 6-4 | 2.92 ERA | 129 SO | 29 BB | 111 IP

    Track Record: Vines was drafted twice (by the Astros out of high school and Cubs out of junior college) before the Braves eventually signed him as a seventh rounder in 2019. After struggling in rookie ball, Vines took a step forward in 2021.

    Scouting Report: Vines was older than his competition to start the year, and overwhelmed hitters with an ability to land his quality secondary offerings for strikes. His fastball averages 92 mph and has touched 95-96, but is average at best. He shines with secondary stuff and took a big step forward with a low-80s changeup that looks like an above-average offering. Vines has excellent feel to spin the ball and throws both a low-80s slider and a downer, mid-70s curveball with plenty of depth that was his calling card as an amateur. He has feel for both offerings, but went to the slider more frequently in 2021 and lands it in the zone consistently. Vines was a high school quarterback and is a good athlete who has shown strong ability to throw strikes with his entire arsenal.

    The Future: How Vines’ stuff plays against hitters in the upper minors will add more clarity to his future role, but for now he seems like a depth arm who could be a back-end starter or pitch in the pen.

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

    Track Record: Schwellenbach was one of the best two-way prospects in the 2021 class. A shortstop and righthander, he strolled to the mound as a reliever for Nebraska—with little to no pitching prep—and put 99 mph fastballs and solid secondaries over the plate. Atlanta’s scouting staff drooled over his upside and signed him for $997,500.

    Scouting Report: Schwellenbach is one of the better pure athletes in Atlanta’s system, with incredible natural arm talent. However, he needed Tommy John surgery after the draft and has few innings under his belt. The 6-foot-1 righty has a chance to throw 100 mph in the future, and despite how little time he’s spent honing his craft, showed impressive command of his fastball and a slider and changeup. Amateur scouts saw the secondary offerings as average or above-average pitches, while Braves officials think both pitches have a chance to be plus. The Braves are planning to stretch him out as a starter, where his athleticism and easy operation could serve him well.

    The Future: Schwellenbach’s surgery means he might not get into games until 2023 and there might not be a player in the system with higher variance. The Braves will try to continue adding to their reputation for developing arms and identifying two-way talents with the Nebraska product.

  18. 18. 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: 0-1 | 8.64 ERA | 16 SO | 10 BB | 9 IP

    Track Record: A twitchy, multi-sport athlete out of high school, the Braves took a chance on Smith-Shawver’s explosive arm speed, signing him to just under $1 million in the 7th round.

    Scouting Report: Given Smith-Shawver’s current stuff, athleticism and arm speed, there are officials in Braves camp who think the 6-foot-3 righthander could be one of the top prospects in the system in a few years. There’s some refinement that needs to happen—particularly with his command—before that, and he did struggle in a brief pro debut but the toolset is tantalizing. Smith-Shawver touched 94-95 during the spring but with Atlanta he’s been sitting in that range, getting up to 97 mph with solid vertical life. The spin on both his breaking balls is impressive as well. He threw a mid-80s gyro slider more frequently this summer than a 7 o’clock tilt, downer curve in the upper-70s—but both pitches have a chance to be above-average. On top of that, Smith-Shawver showed feel for a mid-80s changeup that was well beyond his years and experience level on the mound, forcing hitters well beyond his level to ground out on ugly swings in live at-bats.

    The Future: Smith-Shawver was a prep quarterback and hasn’t spent much time focusing on pitching, but Braves officials rave about his early progress and believe he is a potential breakout candidate.

  19. 19. Daysbel Hernandez | RHP
    Daysbel Hernandez
    Born: Sep 15, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 220
    Drafted/Signed: Cuba, 2017.
    Signed By: Rolando Petit.
    Minors: 3-2 | 3.83 ERA | 58 SO | 23 BB | 43 IP

    Track Record: After spending two years in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, Hernandez signed for $190,000 in 2017 and took a big step forward in High-A in 2019. The Braves challenged Hernandez this year and assigned him to Triple-A, where he struggled initially before rebounding with Double-A Mississippi and finding more success in a return to Triple-A.

    Scouting Report: Hernandez has never started a professional game and works with a hard two-pitch mix. His fastball sits with plus velocity for a reliever in the 96-99 mph range and he gets to 100 mph at peak. The pitch comes from a flat approach angle thanks in part to his 5-foot-10 frame and has impressive vertical life. He pairs the fastball with a hard slider that sits in the 87-89 mph range and will get into the low 90s, with sharp downward bite. The breaking ball is also a plus offering and he used both to rack up plenty of whiffs. What has held Hernandez back is his control. He’s walked 11.3% of batters in the minors and that rate was worse in Double-A and Triple-A this season.

    The Future: Hernandez has the two-pitch mix to be a middle-leverage reliever, but he’ll need to sharpen his control to step into that role. If he’s throwing strikes, he could debut in 2022.

  20. 20. Brooks Wilson | RHP
    Brooks Wilson
    Born: Mar 15, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 205
    Signed By: Justin Clark
    Minors: 3-1 | 2.34 ERA | 84 SO | 19 BB | 50 IP

    Track Record: Wilson was a two-way player at Stetson—where he was teammates with Mariners first rounder Logan Gilbert—and signed for just $80,000 as a seventh-round senior sign. His first two years in pro ball were sound, but he was outstanding in 2021, so much so that the Braves placed him on the 40-man roster after the season.

    Scouting Report: Among Braves minor leaguers, only Indigo Diaz managed a better strikeout rate than Wilson’s 41.4% mark in Double-A and Triple-A. Wilson throws from a high, three-quarter slot and has a 92-94 mph fastball that touches 96, a low-80s split-change and an upper-70s curveball he uses as a get-me-over pitch. The splitter is Wilson’s bread-and-butter, a pitch that racked up tons of whiffs this year and falls out of the bottom of the zone. That pitch was the primary reason he was able to set career-bests in strikeout rates against upper-level minor league hitters. He struck out more than 40% of batters at both levels.

    The Future: Braves officials have lauded Wilson’s competitiveness, and given his performance, three-pitch mix and strike throwing, think he can be a multi-inning or low-leverage reliever.

  21. 21. Indigo Diaz | RHP
    Indigo Diaz
    Born: Oct 14, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 250
    Signed By: Freddy Perez
    Minors: 6-2 | 1.20 ERA | 83 SO | 16 BB | 45 IP

    Track Record: A 27th-round pick in the 2019 draft, Diaz had a strong—albeit brief—pro debut in Rookie ball. In his first full season in 2021 he was one of the best pitchers in the Braves’ system. His 47.4% strikeout rate led all minor league pitchers with at least 40 innings.

    Scouting Report: A big, physical reliever, Diaz put in plenty of work over the offseason to get stronger and that resulted in louder pure stuff. The Braves always liked the carry on his fastball and now he’s throwing the pitch in the 93-94 mph range and touching 97. That velocity doesn’t stand out among relievers, but the traits of the pitch are solid and he does a nice job living in the top of the zone where he generates a ton of whiffs. His secondary offering is an 83-84 mph vertical slider that gets slurvy at times, but at its best plays off his fastball nicely at the bottom of the zone. He’ll need to continue sharpening the breaking ball, because he isn’t the sort of flamethrower one typically sees in big league bullpens and he tended to get fastball-reliant in 2021.

    The Future: It’ll be hard to replicate the season Diaz just had as he starts to face upper-level bats, but he has a chance to become a medium-leverage reliever with continued progress.

  22. 22. Jasseel De La Cruz | RHP
    Jasseel De La Cruz
    Born: Jun 26, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 195
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2015.
    Signed By: Matias Laureano.
    Minors: 1-3 | 7.03 ERA | 55 SO | 33 BB | 57 IP

    Track Record: De la Cruz was a low-profile signing who Atlanta signed to a $55,000 bonus out of the Dominican Republic, but as he progressed through the system his stuff took big steps forward. He showed an ability to start with effectiveness against Double-A pitching in 2019, but his control regressed significantly in 2021, where he struggled against Triple-A hitters.

    Scouting Report: De la Cruz looked great in May when he threw strikes 65% of the time but fell off significantly after that and split time as a starter and reliever, with better results out of the bullpen. He has a firm fastball in the 94-96 mph range that gets to the upper 90s and has touched 100 mph in the past. The pitch has ordinary life, however, and missed a below-average number of bats. His slider is his go-to secondary, a mid-80s breaker that receives above-average and plus grades at times and has been up to 92 mph with big spin in the 2,700 rpm range. De la Cruz rarely uses a firm changeup that doesn’t have much separation from his fastball and is predominantly a two-pitch righty. After improving his control in 2019, he walked a career-high 12.5% in 2021.

    The Future: Without a consistent third offering and below-average control, De la Cruz profiles best out of the bullpen, where perhaps his fastball/slider combination can play better.

  23. 23. 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: 1-4 | 5.35 ERA | 41 SO | 22 BB | 34 IP

    Track Record: The Braves took a shot on Vodnik’s natural arm strength out of high school, despite plenty of rawness to his game, and signed him for $200,000 in the 14th round. He pitched well in his first full season in 2019, but struggled with Double-A Mississippi this year, and also dealt with a forearm strain and blisters that limited him to 33.2 innings.

    Scouting Report: While Vodnik had some bright spots in the Arizona Fall League, his struggles largely carried over in his 23.2 innings there as well. Vodnik is a short righthander with a three-pitch mix led by an easy plus fastball that sat 95-96 and has been up to 100 mph. He also throws a firm changeup in the upper 80s and a slurvy slider in the low 80s. The former looked like his best secondary this season and features plenty of arm-side running action. The breaking ball has been crude going back to his prep days and is a question mark moving forward. After showing solid control during his first two years, Vodnik walked 14.7% of the batters he faced this year.

    The Future: Vodnik will look to get back on track next year, where scouts will look to see if his regression in control was health-related or an accurate reflection of his skill in putting the ball over the plate. He projects as a reliever moving forward.

  24. 24. Cal Conley | SS
    Cal Conley
    Born: Jul 17, 1999
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 185
    Signed By: Trey McNickle
    Minors: .214/.304/.307 | 2 HR | 8 SB | 140 AB

    Track Record: Conley is the son of former professional player and coach Brian Conley and was the sparkplug of Texas Tech’s lineup and the anchor of the team’s defense this spring. The Braves signed him for $422,500 in the fourth round and assigned him to Low-A Augusta, where he struggled with the bat while playing shortstop and second.

    Scouting Report: A tough, but smaller switch-hitting infielder, Conley stands out more for a collection of average-ish tools than any individual carrying tool. He’s shown consistent contact ability and some pop from both sides in the past, though in his debut he swung and missed at an average rate and scouts don’t believe his 15-home run power in college will translate to a wood bat. His top end exit velocity numbers this summer don’t suggest average power production, though Conley should stick at a middle infield position where that’s less of an issue. He’s a solid runner with reliable hands and the Braves were happy with how he handled shortstop, though his arm strength and range fit better at second base. He has solid instincts and a good internal clock.

    The Future: Conley will need to add more power to profile as anything more than a utility infield-type player who looks stretched as an everyday shortstop.

  25. 25. William Woods | RHP
    William Woods
    Born: Dec 29, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: Dyersburg (Tenn.) JC, 2018 (23rd round).
    Signed By: JD French.
    Minors: 0-1 | 4.22 ERA | 8 SO | 4 BB | 11 IP

    Track Record: Woods was one of the most anticipated lower-level prospects in Atlanta’s system after improving his stuff in 2020. A forearm injury in 2021 sidelined him until mid-August and he threw 31.2 innings on the year.

    Scouting Report: Woods has explosive pure stuff, headlined by a fastball that has consistently ticked up over the years and is now touching 99-100 mph and sitting in the mid-90s. In a bullpen role, Woods has the sort of arm strength to regularly throw in the 97-100 mph range in one-inning stints. He’s gotten above-average grades on a mid-80s slider in the past, and that was his most frequently used secondary in his limited time in 2021. He also throws a firm changeup around 90 mph that could use more separation from his fastball but has looked like a promising third offering. Woods has shown scattered control at times, though he is athletic enough to improve in this area given more innings.

    The Future: Woods is difficult to project given his injuries, lack of innings this year and with the lost 2020 season. Scouts haven’t seen much of him at full strength and he’s an entirely different pitcher today than he was in 2019. He has a chance to start, and the Braves continue to develop him in that role but might fit best as a power-armed reliever.

  26. 26. Greyson Jenista | 1B/OF
    Greyson Jenista
    Born: Dec 7, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 210
    Drafted/Signed: Wichita State, 2018 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Nate Dion.
    Minors: .216/.343/.465 | 19 HR | 7 SB | 273 AB

    Track Record: Jenista was a standout hitter at Wichita State and was named MVP in the Cape Cod League prior to being drafted for $1.2 million in the second round. Amateur scouts wondered if Jenista would ever tap into his impressive raw power in games. After struggling to do so in 2018 and 2019, he broke out with 19 home runs in Double-A in 2021.

    Scouting Report: The physical, 6-foot-4 lefthanded slugger has standout raw power and posted some of the better top-end exit velocities in the organization. Jenista does plenty of damage on contact, but he whiffs at a high clip and is susceptible to big velocity. Fortunately, Jenista’s swing decisions seem to be good ones and he used a career-best 15.5% walk rate to get on base at a .343 clip despite a .216 average. He struck out at a career-high rate as well, but those extra whiffs came with the best HR/FB ratio (26.8%) he’s posted in full-season ball and a more pull-heavy approach. Jenista is a fine defender in a corner outfield spot with arm strength for right but with few first base prospects in the system, he played most of his innings in the infield this year.

    The Future: Accessing his raw power more frequently was a step forward for Jenista. He now looks like a three-true-outcomes (57%) slugger who could be a power bench bat or platoon corner option.

  27. 27. Alan Rangel | RHP
    Alan Rangel
    Born: Aug 21, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 170
    Signed By: Manuel Samaniego
    Minors: 7-7 | 3.87 ERA | 136 SO | 26 BB | 105 IP

    Track Record: Rangel signed with the Braves out of Mexico in 2014 and has largely been an unnoticed, under-the-radar arm who took his time progressing through the system. He repeated Low-A Rome three consecutive years from 2017-2019 but broke out in 2021 with more strikeouts and pushing to Double-A Mississippi in his age-23 season.

    Scouting Report: Braves pitching coaches worked with Rangel to trust his stuff more, and that paid off with career high strikeout rates, topping 30% in both High-A and Double-A. He has a three-pitch mix featuring a fastball, changeup and curveball. His fastball ranges from 92-95 mph and touches 96, but the pitch has solid vertical life and some arm-side run. His best secondary is a low-80s changeup with good fastball separation. The pitch earned above-average grades and allowed him to dominate hitters and rack up whiffs. Rangel also throws a 12-to-6 curveball in the mid 70s that draws solid-average grades. Rangel has been an above-average strike thrower over his minor league career and his 6.1% walk rate in 2021 was one of the best marks in Atlanta’s system.

    The Future: Rangel’s season was loud enough for the Braves to place him on the 40-man roster. He’ll try to keep missing Triple-A bats in 2022, with a chance to be a big-league depth starter option.

  28. 28. Tyler Collins | OF
    Tyler Collins
    Born: Mar 6, 2003
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 180
    Signed By: Trey McNickle
    Minors: .347/.424/.453 | 0 HR | 12 SB | 75 AB

    Track Record: A speedy, up-the-middle player out of McKinney Boyd High in McKinney, Texas, Collins signed for $447,500 in the eighth round. He was assigned to the Florida Complex League, where he was one of the more impressive 2021 draftee hitters.

    Scouting Report: Speed is Collins’ carrying tool at present. He’s a double-plus runner who can cover plenty of ground in the outfield and turn lightly hit balls into the gaps into extra base hits. His production this summer was likely buoyed in part because of that standout running ability, and his .500 BABIP is unsustainable moving forward. He’s a contact hitter who can spray the ball around the field, but at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds he lacks strength and power. His speed should allow him to play center field with improvement in his reads, but he also played shortstop in high school and could get some time at second base as a professional. His arm is a bit light. At either corner he would need to add significantly more power to profile as an everyday bat.

    The Future: Collins has a carrying tool with his running ability, but scouts will get a better idea of his overall offensive profile in 2022 during full-season ball.

  29. 29. Brandol Mezquita | OF
    Brandol Mezquita
    Born: Jul 14, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 170
    Signed By: Jonathan Cruz
    Minors: .308/.402/.452 | 3 HR | 15 SB | 146 AB

    Track Record: Mezquita signed with the Braves in 2017, a year after the class that had 13 players’ contracts voided and resulted in former general manager John Coppolella being banned for life. Mezquita has been one of the only bright spots on the international front for the organization over the last few years.

    Scouting Report: Mezquita impressed Atlanta hitting coaches with his power potential and gap-to-gap hitting ability. He currently has an aggressive approach that features some swing-and-miss (29% strikeouts) but he has posted impressive top-end exit velocity numbers which should continue to improve and translate into more game power. A plus runner, Mezquita has played all three outfield positions but has increasingly logged more time in left and right over the years. He has an above-average arm. Braves officials are impressed with his cultural adjustment and English skills, and believe he has the mental acumen to make the necessary adjustments as he climbs the minor league ladder.

    The Future: After spending a few years in rookie ball, Mezquita should begin the 2022 season in Low-A Augusta. He is one of the organization’s more intriguing, lower-level hitting prospects.

  30. 30. Ambioris Tavarez | SS
    Ambioris Tavarez
    Born: Nov 12, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 168
    Signed By: Jonathan Cruz/Luis Santos.

    Track Record: Tavarez is the first prominent international signing the Braves have made since their international sanctions, and there will be pressure on him given his $1.5 million price tag. Tavarez has yet to make his pro debut, but he did go to instructional league.

    Scouting Report: Tavarez is one of the bigger question marks in the system given his lack of playing time, but international scouts were excited about his power potential from the right side. He has lots of strength in his arms and wrists, with bat speed that should allow him to develop plus power in the future as he fills out a projectable frame. Tavarez hasn’t had much in-depth hitting instruction and will need to make improvements with his lower half and get a better understanding of the foundation of his swing. However, his hands work well and the swing is loose and easy. Tavarez will likely begin his career at shortstop, and he’s got more than enough arm strength, but some evaluators think his actions and limited range fit at third base.

    The Future: Tavarez should make his pro debut in 202. He’s a high-upside bat.

View Players 11-30

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