Ozzie Albies has long been one of the Braves’ more promising prospects in what has become one of the game’s best farm systems. In 2017, we should get our first glimpse of the talented infielder from Curacao.
Albies, who turns 20 next month, transitioned to 2nd base in 2016. He crushed Mississippi with a .321/.391/.467 line while swiping 21 bases. He was promoted to Gwinnett rather quickly, where he saw a decrease in production but still managed to hold his own. He was ranked as the Braves’ No. 1 prospect by Talking Chop last month. (Dansby Swanson was not included in the rankings.)
Despite the strong year, a broken elbow towards the end of the year ended his season prematurely. The good news is he’s reportedly ahead of schedule after undergoing elbow surgery, and he should be good to go for spring training.
Even with Ozzie ready to go, It would seem likely he opens the year in Gwinnett. With Jace Peterson already in the mix and the signing of Sean Rodriguez, who can play just about everywhere on the diamond, there are other options for the short-term.
Opening the year in AAA would give Albies more time to develop — again, he’s still a teenager as of writing this — and delays his service time clock.
It’s certainly possible the Braves could promote Ozzie with a strong showing this spring, but I’d be surprised. A highly-anticipated mid-summer debut seems likely at this point.