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Track Record: In high school, Riley was a thick-bodied, strong-armed pitcher/third baseman. Because of Riley’s thick trunk and arm strength, most scouts viewed him as a pitching prospect, and he would have played both ways if he had made it to Mississippi State. But the Braves believed in his bat and his work ethic and drafted him as a hitter. Riley has cut out junk food and focused on conditioning as a pro. As a result, he has slimmed down and is more athletic and nimble. After hitting 20 home runs in his first full season and 20 again in 2017, he had to settle for 19 in 2018. He would have likely topped his previous career high if not for a knee injury he suffered at Triple-A Gwinnett when diving for a ball. He missed almost all of June and saw his power sapped for another month. But in August, he finished by hitting eight home runs in a 13-game stretch. Scouting Report: Riley’s plus-plus raw power has always been his best attribute. He has the potential to hit 25-30 home runs regularly in the majors. He has a pull-heavy approach when he gets into advantageous counts but has the strength and power to drive the ball out to right and right-center field. Riley’s approach leads to strikeouts, but he has always managed to stay on the right side of the line that separates free-swingers who can’t hit from those who hit enough to get to their power. Riley’s bat-to-ball skills give him a chance to be an average hitter to go with his excellent power. He’s shown an ability to make adjustments. His swing is now more direct to the ball, and he has sped up his hands as a pro. Defensively, Riley’s conditioning and work has helped him turn himself into a plus defender. His plus-plus arm is a key to his success at third base, but he also has developed the quick feet and quick hands scouts look for at third base. His quickness is more of the first-step variety because his raw speed is below-average and will likely get worse as he ages. The Future: Riley should factor in the Braves’ big league plans in 2019, but the emergence of Johan Camargo and the free agent signing of Josh Donaldson cloud the picture. The Braves could be patient and let Riley get additional time at Triple-A, but they have said he will get a look in the outfield at spring training.
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: Wherever he has gone, Soroka has been the youngest player on the field. And when he made his MLB debut in early May he was the youngest player in the majors. Less than three years after he was drafted, Soroka was in the big leagues holding the Mets to one run over six innings. He made four more starts for the Braves before being shut down with shoulder soreness. He didn't return until a brief instructional league outing.Scouting Report: Soroka attacks hitters with a sinker/slider combination that generates more weak contact than strikeouts. He mixes a plus 92-94 mph two-seamer that he works down and in to righthanded hitters (and down and away from lefthanders) with a 92-94 mph four-seamer that he elevates. He is at his best when he's keeping the ball down, which sets up his above-average 85-87 mph slider that he turned into a harder, sharper pitch in 2018. Soroka mixes in an average changeup sporadically against lefthanded hitters. What makes it all work is Soroka's plus control and above-average command. He has a clean delivery and has long impressed with his competitive, mature makeup.The Future: Soroka showed his normal velocity at instructs, and the Braves expect he will be at full strength for spring training. But Soroka's shoulder injury was a first hiccup for a pitcher who had never suffered a setback as a pro. He should pitch in the Braves rotation in 2019. His command, stuff and outstanding makeup fit the mold of a mid-rotation starter.
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: The Braves essentially paid for an extra first-round pick when they acquired Toussaint in 2015 because of their willingness to take on the $9 million salary of the injured Bronson Arroyo. Toussaint has taken a little longer to develop than some of his fellow Braves prep pitching prospects, but he still reached the majors at age 22. Scouting Report: Below-average control has always been Toussaint's biggest hiccup. He has consistently struggled to locate his fastball. It's a quality pitch as it sits 93-97 mph and earns plus grades. He generally works his sinker down in the zone to his arm side, but to succeed he needs to be able to spot his four-seamer to his glove side. If Toussaint can develop even average control and command, he could dominate because of his plus curveball that has long been a weapon and a more recently developed plus split-changeup. He has steadily improved his control, but he still lands hard in his finish and struggles to maintain his direction to the plate. Toussaint is extremely athletic, so there is reason to believe that he can add the final refinements to reach his high ceiling. The Future: Toussaint made big strides in 2018, and he could develop into a mid-rotation starter. His stuff would play up even more in the bullpen, which may be a useful short-term role for the Braves since they have a surplus of quality big league ready starting pitchers.
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.
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: 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: 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.
Track Record: Few players had a rougher 2018 than Gohara. Acquired from the Mariners for Shae Simmons and Mallex Smith, Gohara climbed from high Class A to make five major league starts in 2017. His father died in his arms during the offseason, and he left with team permission during the season to be with his mother as she had heart surgery. He missed most of spring training with an ankle injury and finished the season on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. Scouting Report: Gohara's conditioning was a problem in 2018. It affected his arm speed, and his fastball dipped from 95-99 mph to 91-95. His slider also backed up. It's impossible to know if his previously top-of-the-scale fastball and plus-plus slider will return, but even if he finds a midpoint between 2017 and 2018, he would have a pair of plus pitches. He needs to improve his below-average changeup if he's going to work as a starte. The Future: The Braves said that Gohara lost 35 pounds while working out in Orlando after the season. When everything is working properly, He has one of the best arms in baseball. He rarely showed his best stuff in 2018, but between the injuries and off-field tragedy, there is reason to hope he can return to form in 2019. With so many pitching prospects in the upper minors, 2019 may be Gohara's last chance to show the Braves what he can do.
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: About the only thing that slowed down Wentz in 2018 was the disabled list. He missed significant time with an oblique injury, but when he was on the mound he was among the most effective pitchers in the Florida State League. He had a 29-inning scoreless streak at one point in 2018. Scouting Report: Wentz lost a little velocity in the adjustment to the five-day schedule of pro ball, but he's regained it. His 90-95 mph fastball plays even better than its radar gun reading because he gets good plane from his high overhand release point. Wentz spots his fastball precisely with above-average command even if he has only average control because he doesn't give in. Wentz mixes in a future above-average curveball and plus changeup. He's a solid fielder and limits the running game. The Future: Wentz would have likely made it to Double-A last year if not for his oblique injury. There are many, many starting pitchers in the farm system between Wentz and the big leagues, but it's hard not to be impressed with his feel and solid stuff. His ceiling is as a solid mid-rotation starter.
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: Wherever Allard has pitched, he's been one of the youngest players, if not the youngest, in the league he's pitching. And until he reached Atlanta, he's always been one of the best pitchers in wherever he's pitched. But Allard's lack of velocity makes it hard to be confident in lasting big league success, even though he's posted a 2.93 ERA in 65 career minor league starts. Scouting Report: Allard made his major league debut in August 2018 and in doing so confirmed some of the fears that dogged him even when he was having success in Triple-A. Allard's fastball is a below-average pitch. It sits 88-90 and rarely bumps 91-92. He locates it well and pitches backward, allowing him to try to sneak a fastball by a hitter after slowing their eyes with his curveball or changeup. But against big league hitters, Allard's margins of error are so small that he has to do everything almost perfectly to have success. He has an above-average curveball and an average changeup, but he has has to nibble with all of them because he lacks a pitch to get swings and misses in the strike zone. The Future: Allard doesn't have much more to prove in Triple-A. He was third in the International League in ERA in 2018. Still, he needs to find 2-3 extra mph that he's been losing in pro ball. Unless he adds more oomph, his ceiling is as a No. 5 starter.
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.
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.
Track Record: The Braves targeted Beck when he was a high school senior at Corona (Calif.) HS, but moved on when it was clear he wanted to head to Stanford. He was a draft-eligible sophomore but fell to the 29th round after he didn't pitch all season while recovering from a stress fracture in his back. Beck got on the mound for an effective junior season (8-4, 2.98), but concerns over his back and his durability meant the Braves got him several rounds later than they hoped to pick him in 2015. Scouting Report: Beck's stuff was not as consistent in 2018. He can still touch 96-97 mph early in games and he can snap off an above-average slider or curve, but he has significant trouble maintaining that velocity. He normally quickly slides back to 90-92 mph and his fastball flattens out. The Braves were very cautious with his innings in his pro debut. Beck has always been a craftsman more than a power pitcher, but his slider and curveball also backed up this year. At his best he has four average or better pitches, but early in his pro career, he's lacking a plus pitch. If his stuff can come close to what it is at its best and he maintains his average control, he's a mid-rotation starter. But that's a big if. The Future: A healthy Beck could move quickly. He should be ready for high Class A Florida in 2019.
Track Record: The track record of junior college hitters is not good. While there are some draft finds, there are also plenty of high draft picks whose success at the plate did not translate to pro ball. Alexander, the older brother of D-backs shortstop Blaze Alexander, was collateral damage for that. Even after hitting .405/.488/.785, he had to wait until the 20th round to hear his name called. Scouting Report: From the day he became a pro, Alexander has shown that his hitting ability translates to pro ball and a wood bat. He adjusted his approach in pro ball as he went from a pull-heavy hitter to one who can wear out the left-center field gap. He's an above-average hitter and there's average power potential as well, although he's yet to show he can hit for average and power at the same time with a wood bat. His swing is designed to lift the ball and it is short and compact. Defensively, Alexander is fine at third with average range and a plus arm and he's an average runner. The Future: Alexander was a revelation. He'll head to low Class A Rome to prove he can keep hitting against more advanced pitching. If his 2019 season comes close to matching his 2018 production he'll quickly climb these rankings. He has the pieces to be an everyday third baseman.
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: A high school outfielder/infielder, Webb moved to the mound while playing for the NAIA's Tabor (Kan.) College. He quickly became the school's ace and its second-ever draftee. He missed all of 2015 recovering from Tommy John surgery. He's steadily improved his fringy control since and cemented a spot on the 40-man roster with a dominant start to the Dominican Winter League season. Scouting Report: Webb's 95-97 mph fastball and tight 80-83 mph curveball give him a pair of plus pitches, with some scouts giving his fastball plus-plus grades. The two pitches work well together as uses the full height of the strike zone. He likes to work his fastball up and down in the strike zone, while his curve has a short, tight 12-to-6 break. He's shown he can bury it or throw it in the zone. Webb hides the ball well with a hip turn to help begin a compact delivery. He rarely mixes in a changeup. Webb's control is fringe-average. His stuff is good enough that he just has to be around the zone. The Future: Webb should fit in the Braves' bullpen at some point in 2018. If he can continue to improve his control, he has the stuff to pitch in the late innings.
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: The Braves showed plenty of patience with Sobotka. They picked him in 2014 despite the fact that he'd missed the entire season with a back injury. Then, when he got back on the mound, he struggled. But after three up-and-down seasons in the minors, Sobotka put it all together in 2018, jumping from Double-A Mississippi to a spot on the Braves' playoff roster. Scouting Report: Sobotka's delivery is designed to give him the best chance possible to throw strikes. He sets up as far to the first-base side of the rubber as he can to give him a shot to locate his fastball armside as well as gloveside. He also uses a very simple delivery from the stretch at all times. Even with that, Sobotka struggles to throw strikes. When it all works, he can blow hitters away with a lively, 96-99 mph fastball with modest run and a hard, 86-88 plus slider that is short and tight with more depth than sweep. When it doesn't, his well below-average command leads to long counts and walks, although his stuff is still good enough that his problem is more walks than hits--righthanders had just seven extra-base hits against him all season. Sobotka thrived in 2018 despite well below-average control, and his stuff is good enough for him to survive fringe-average control. But he has work to do to get there. The Future: Sobotka will be part of the Braves' bullpen plans in 2019. His control will determine whether he's a low-leverage arm guy or someone who can eventually be trusted with high-leverage work.
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: 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.
Track Record: Graffanino, the son of former big leaguer Tony Graffanino, immediately became the team's best minor league shortstop the day he was drafted, after impressing with his glove for three years at Washington. Scouting Report: Graffanino missed two months during the college season with a hamstring injury, but he showed a significantly better bat when he was healthy. Graffanino showed a pesky approach focused on putting the ball in play with very few attempts to drive the ball. A former switch-hitter, Graffanino now hits exclusively from the left side. He has bottom-of-the-scale power. He's still a better glove than bat. Defensively, Graffanino has a shortstop's twitchy range and an above-average arm. The Future: Graffanino is the only player in full-season ball for the Braves who projects as a potential big league shortstop, although his light bat limits his upside. He's ready for high Class A Florida.
Track Record: The Braves' 2016 international class was supposed be a foundation of the farm system. After sanctions, Ramos as one of the few remaining players from that class who could reach Atlanta. Scouting Report: Ramos' path to the big leagues is difficult because he's a free-swinging left fielder who is limited defensively. Ramos' selectivity needs to improve, but he makes solid contact and his simple swing gives him a path to being a fringe-average hitter. That may be enough if he can get to all of his 20-25 home run power potential. Ramos is limited to left by a below-average arm. Ramos has improved defensively, but he's limited by fringe-average speed and poor jumps. He's a below-average left fielder. The Future: Ramos will move up to high Class A Florida. He has to keep a close watch on his conditioning, but if he can figure out a better plan at the plate, he could be a big league regular.
Track Record: Riley transferred to John A. Logan (Ill.) JC after throwing one game at Oklahoma State. His career with the Vols went much better as he struck out 117 in only 77.2 innings at Logan. Scouting Report: Riley's best is really impressive. He sits 92-94 mph and touches 96-97 with a plus fastball that has above-average life. Riley's slider is also a plus pitch and he's quickly refined his curveball into a potentially above-average downer as well. He has toyed with a below-average changeup. Riley struggled to throw strikes in his pro debut and he's prone to spinning off toward first base, but he has solid athleticism and a relatively clean delivery. The Future: Riley is one of the higher-upside, but riskiest arms in the low minors for the Braves.
Track Record: Wilson has the kind of tools that make scouts dream. He and White Sox outfielder Micker Adolfo grew up together in St. Thomas but moved to the Dominican Republic to train in preparation for their baseball careers. Wilson has long had athleticism, strength and speed, but his immature approach was readily apparent when he struggled after a promotion to high Class A Florida. Scouting Report: Wilson was a shortstop when he signed, but he quickly moved to center field as a pro and now plays right field predominantly, where he's an average defender who is limited by his routes. His tools are excellent. He's an above-average runner with a plus arm and plus raw power. But his hitting approach is simplistic to the extreme and leads scouts to project him as a below-average hitter. He is looking to attack and pull a fastball whatever the count, which leads him too often hacking at three pitches and then heading back to the dugout. If he can develop selectivity, he has the tools to be a useful big leaguer. The Future: Wilson is a high-risk prospect, but one who has the tools to be a regular if he puts it all together. A return to high Class A Florida will be a big test.
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: As a pro, Didder has played five different positions and could plausibly play anywhere other than catcher or pitcher. And with a plus arm, he'd even be credible in a mop-up role on the mound. Scouting Report: Didder is an excellent athlete. The Braves moved him to center field full-time in 2016, but started playing him at shortstop again in 2017. He's a plus defender in center or either outfield corner and he's an average defender at shortstop, second or third base. His plus arm is handy wherever he plays. His plus speed also plays well on the basepaths. The limiting factor for Didder is his bat. Didder has below-average pitch recognition and his barrel control is unexceptional. Didder doesn't get the bat knocked out of his hand, but he's a below-average hitter with well-below-average power. The Future: Didder will likely never hit enough to be a regular, but his speed and defense makes him a potentially useful player for the last spot on the roster.
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