The Braves have put a focus on pitching as it has rebuilt it’s farm system and that focus is starting to pay dividends.
Yesterday, MLB Pipeline released its Top 10 right-handed pitching prospects and no Braves prospects appeared in that list, however right-handed pitching is easily the most represented position on top 100 lists and is also the most top heavy. It is plausible that the 10th ranked RHP prospect (Reynaldo Lopez) could be in the top 30 overall so there is no shame there.
However, the Braves did not get blanked today as two of their best pitching prospects made the top ten LHP pitching prospects in all of baseball.
Hat tip to our buddy on Twitter Braves Options Guy for catching this super early (seriously, if you don’t follow him...do so immediately). Kolby Allard and Sean Newcomb got the widely expected nod as two of the best LHP prospects in baseball.
The big story here is that Allard easily outranked Newcomb on the list despite Newcomb being the more highly touted prospect during most of 2016. This certainly reflects a change of thinking by Pipeline regarding the likelihood that Newcomb can reach his potential as a frontline starter, but also an upgrade of Allard’s chances given his dominance after a bit of a rusty start to 2016 at Rome.
It is worth noting that as guys like Josh Hader and Amir Garrett get promoted, the Braves will have plenty of guys competing to jump on this list as well with Max Fried already knocking at the door and 2016 draftees Joey Wentz and Kyle Muller having the potential to burst on to the scene as well. The right-handed list could easily feature Ian Anderson and Mike Soroka sooner rather than later if they show out in 2017.
In short, this is good news for Braves fans who want to see dividends from all the moves and rebuilding over the last couple of years. We still have a ways to go, but it looks more and more like real help is coming for the big league club even if it is still a little ways away.