The Braves are garnering a lot of attention with their surprisingly hot start to the season, and the early polling results for the All-Star seem to indicate that fans are back on board. After four seasons of middling (at best) results, the Braves are finally beginning to show the potential that many believed would shine through, and fans seem to be flocking to reward those players responsible for the quick turnaround. Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, and Nick Markakis are currently in line for starting spots, and several others are in the running, with Ronald Acuna Jr., Ender Inciarte, Dansby Swanson, Johan Camargo, and Kurt Suzuki all within striking distance. The mid-summer classic is shaping to be quite the showcase for the Braves and their budding young roster.
Yet another list prominently featuring an exorbitant number of Braves, this time in the form of top prospects. On Monday, FanGraphs unveiled their updated top 131 prospects, with the Braves placing 14 prospects within the top 105.
Yes, you read the title correctly. 14 Braves players were in the top 131 prospects in baseball according to Fangraphs. At over 10% of the pool of best prospects in baseball, that is quite good. The players put on the list are Ronald Acuna Jr. (1), Mike Soroka (23), Kyle Wright (24), Luiz Gohara (26), Cristian Pache (28), Austin Riley (40), Ian Anderson (41), Touki Toussaint (51), Max Fried (90), Joey Wentz (92), Drew Waters (94), Carter Stewart (98), Brett Cumberland (99), and Kolby Allard (105).
As mentioned above, the Braves are, deservedly, garnering a great deal of attention around baseball. Their combination of pitching, speed, and timely hitting have endeared many to a youthful roster littered with former top prospects. Bradford Doolittle of ESPN.com notes that the Braves are following a familiar blueprint to success, and while the results will be tough to replicate, the future looks bright. If you have enjoyed this season, take a look at this piece and enjoy its thorough coverage of a golden era for Braves baseball and a look at how the current team has outperformed its preseason projections.
In recent days there have been reports that Angels star Shohei Ohtani may need Tommy John Surgery, which would effectively end his season both on the mound and at the plate. The Angels front office has since refuted the report, and cautioned that those diagnoses may be premature. The loss of Ohtani would be detrimental not only to Los Angeles, but to baseball itself, as no player since Babe Ruth has shown the type of two-way abilities displayed by the 23-year-old through the first two months of his major league career.