Not long ago, the Braves farm system was pretty barren. Most of the high impact players had graduated to the big leagues or had been traded to other clubs in a series of moves designed to "win now". That's certainly a valid strategy if the team actually, you know, wins...but last year showed that the team as constituted wasn't in a position to win in the present or the future. As a result, John Hart's focus since he took over has been to reinvigorate the minor leagues with prospects, in particular with pitching and up the middle position players.
Whats interesting, then, is that while the Braves did have two players in the top 50 of Baseball America's midseason prospect list, the prospects that were on the list were from the Frank Wren era as Jose Peraza (#26) and Ozhaino Albies (#32) made the top 50.
Jose Peraza has somewhat quietly (in particular given all the hype around Ozhaino Albies and Mallex Smith) had an excellent year at Gwinnett. With a triple slash of .288/.313/.369 along with 22 stolen bases, 37 runs, and 34 RBIs, the only real cause for concern is the low on-base percentage given his batting average. Baseball America seemed to agree
Scouts worry how much impact a slap hitter who doesn't walk can have, but they love his speed and defense
Ozhaino Albies, on the other hand, has gotten a lot of attention of late with his inclusion on the World Team at the Futures Game in addition to his torching of Single A pitching. His line in 2015 of .333/.387/.428 with 25 stolen bases, 54 runs, and 106 hits in 77 games is almost comical given that he just turned 18 in January and would need platforms to threaten 6 feet in height. This is what Baseball America had to say about him
He's undersized, but Albies has an exceptional feel for getting the barrel of the bat on the ball
For the full list of prospects, you can click here. It is worth noting that this IS the midseason list which doesn't include 2015 draft picks or guys who were called up recently, but its still nonetheless exciting to see some Braves prospects being highly regarded in the scouting community. Don't be surprised if, in the offseason when prospect lists come out again, you see names like Mallex Smith, Touki Toussaint, and others climbing those lists as well. Congrats Jose and Ozzie!