The Braves will host the Blue Jays for a quick two-game set at SunTrust Park, with Julio Teheran taking on Marcus Stroman in the opening game. Atlanta has yet to announce a starter for Wednesday, but it is widely expected that Mike Foltynewicz will get the call.
Braves beat writer Mark Bowman answers fan mail, with readers asking about potential deadline moves, position groups, and the possibility for lineup changes.
Especially now that Austin Riley, who is the team’s No. 6-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, has lost a month with a right knee injury, there’s no doubt it makes perfect sense to put Machado at the top of this offseason’s free-agent wish list. The 26-year-old veteran could also make a significant offensive impact over the final couple months of this season. But to acquire him, the Braves would need to use some of the pieces necessary to address the glaring and primary need to improve the pitching staff. We’ll get into the starter or reliever pursuit in the next question.
Garrett Spain takes a look at how top prospect Drew Waters compares to previous players who produced similar numbers in the minor leagues at 19 years old. Waters is quickly establishing himself as a household name for prospect followers with his loud tools and moderate strikeout rate.
Waters is not going to get labelled as a “super prospect” or receive any of that attention, at least not yet, but he’s not undeserving and the scouting has given reason to believe in the numbers. Many scouts consider Waters the best prospect in the South Atlantic League, and it’s hard to argue with his combination of power and speed. The step forward he’s made with his hitting ability has allowed him to explode onto the scene. The biggest question for Waters coming out of the draft was whether he would ever hit enough to tap into his raw power, and he’s already managed to do that at 19 years old. Waters is showing off this game power at this stage and still has room to grow into his frame, potentially adding more power as he matures like many on this list did, with an average of .012 added to isolated power over a major league career.
To understand how the Braves may operate at the Trade Deadline it is important to first establish market prices, which have reportedly fluctuated for players like Manny Machado. The needs of American League teams could greatly affect the structure of a potential deal for Atlanta or any other team.