The Atlanta Braves Top 100 Prospect series last season was the first time I had seen a list of that depth posted within one organization. Let’s take a look at the guys highlighted in that list!
I figured it’s about time to get everyone ready for the upcoming top 100 that releases next week by reviewing last year’s list. When I put together the contacts I had at that time and made last year’s list, it was the first time I’d ever seen a single team’s prospect list go to 100 deep anywhere online. I’ve since see a few attempts to go there from other blogs, but typically just in a list format, not really in any sort of descriptive information on the player.
I updated the list in January, and that is the final list that we will be going from for this review. Enjoy this review, and I hope you get all your Braves fan friends to come on over for the top 100 to come out starting Monday, October 17th!!
Once again, this is not a NEW list. This is a review of the previous list that was posted in January of 2016.
The Review: 76-100
100. Trey Keegan – 2015 14th round selection that repeated Danville, hitting .200/.313/.236. Still good walk rate, but looking more like an org guy.
99. Zach Quintana – Spent the season in Carolina as a long man before getting dinged up and spending the rest of the season on the DL. Stuff may be too “average” to stick out in system and could end up as org arm.
98. Jorge Zavala – Breakout relief season in 2015 on deception with slower fastball than most. Released in spring training. Picked up by Brewers and assigned to their advanced rookie league team, but never made it out of extended spring before they also released him.
97. Bradley Roney – Pop-up reliever in 2015 continued progress, blowing through AA and having a positive season in AAA. Walks will be the only thing that keeps him from getting a big league shot in the bullpen. Stock is up among relievers, though that’s a very loaded crop now.
96. Luis Gamez – Up and down results at Danville for the 20 year-old as he had a 2.93 ERA, but also continued control issues, walking 15 to 16 strikeouts.
95. Jose Pina – Broke extended spring with Danville, but released a week later due to numbers crunch.
94. Gilbert Suarez – Repeated GCL and threw very well out of the bullpen with a 0.76 ERA and 0.85 WHIP, but has not refined secondary stuff and may end up remaining a reliever.
93. Alex Aquino – Moved up from DSL to GCL and still hit while showing solid defense. Empty batting average with minimal power, but very solid glove.
92. Ryan Lawlor – Drafted out of Georgia in the 8th round in 2015, Lawlor moved to the bullpen in 2016 after getting injured in early May. He threw well in the bullpen, but the lefty has much more value in the rotation if he can get back there.
91. Luis Barrios – Colombian native repeated GCL and was simply not any better than the previous year and was released on July 21st.
90. Jose Ramirez – Big velocity guy who ended up traded to the Braves as he was out of options, Ramirez threw very well with Gwinnett before having a fine season in the big league bullpen. Control may limit him to a 7th inning role as a ceiling, but a 7th inning guy with high-90s velocity and some idea where it’s going is a weapon.
89. Jake Lanning – Showed good OBP and defense at 3B after 24th round selection in 2015, but was released March 21st during spring training and never caught on with another major league club affiliate.
88. Sean McLaughlin – Drafted out of Georgia in 2015, reliever spent the entire year at Carolina, taking some reps as closer, but also throwing 61 1/3 innings in 41 games, so he was trusted with multiple innings as well. Heavy sinker/slider combo keeps K-rate lower than most, but has a chance to make it as a grounder-inducing reliever.
87. Anthony Guardado – Has yet to eclipse 9 innings thrown as a pro since being drafted in the 3rd round in 2015 out of high school. Still just 18 until mid-November, but has an 8/5 BB/K ratio so far in his limited innings.
86. Evan Rutckyj – Rule 5 pick was returned to the Yankees, where he was banged up most of the year and only threw 10 innings on the year.
85. Alec Grosser – Unknown part of the Bud Norris trade with the Dodgers this season, Grosser had thrown 3 1/3 innings with Danville when he was named the PTBNL in the Norris deal. He never pitched again on the season for the Dodgers organization.
84. Joseph Daris – Daris was a 4th outfielder profile guy drafted in 2014 whose bat took a bat turn in 2016 and ended up cut by Carolina on July 29th.
83. Kelvin Estevez – In between my initial list and my revised list, Estevez was released by the club, and I missed it. He was not signed by an MLB affiliate in 2016.
82. Chad Sobotka – Tall righty struggled with injuries the past two seasons, but the move to the bullpen in 2016 suited him well, and he jumped up the system all the way to AA Mississippi after starting the year with low-A Rome. Great power sinker from a 6’7 frame will give him lots of chances in the bullpen.
81. Wes Parsons – Undrafted out of college, Parsons has long been a Braves scouting success story, but the story added a new chapter in 2016 as Parsons recovered from a rough, injury-filled 2015 to claim a rotation spot in Carolina and run with it, even earning a spot start in Mississippi.
80. Dilmer Mejia – One of the more impressive talents in the system before the 2014-2015 offseason overhaul, Mejia gets lost in the shuffle at times now. Repeating GCL, he flashed excellence at times with a good K/BB rate and solid ERA, but found his stuff hittable to GCL hitters as well. Still just 19.
79. Matt Withrow – Big step forward in 2016. Ace of the Carolina staff, striking out 131 in 120 2/3 innings. Projects more as a 3/4 type, but big body that could lean into it and be even more.
78. Sander Boeldak – Curacao native moved up to GCL in 2016 and found it not as inviting as the DSL and struggled to beat out fellow outfielders for playing time.
77. Tyler Brosius – DNP this year as he still is suffering from the concussion side effects after the Carolina bus crash of 2015.
76. Chase Johnson-Mullins – Talent on the mound is obvious, but had disciplinary action multiple times on the season, including a suspension and a demotion. Huge (6’8, 275+ pounds) lefty could move fast if he can simply get out of his own way.