Spring training is right around the corner and with it comes the speculation about who we could see in big league camp. By no means does an invite to the major league side of spring training guarantee anything for 2019, but it does give some indication of what the organization thinks about players’ development and potential chances of them eventually contributing at the big league level.
Once you get past the 40 man roster guys who will be in big league camp, you get to the prospects to don’t have 40 man roster spots. We saw Austin Riley in big league camp last year and with the talk of him getting some work in the outfield in spring training, it does seem likely we will see him there again. However, sources within the organization have given us a few names to work with leading up to spring training.
As of right now, it appears that Ian Anderson, Kyle Muller, Joey Wentz, Tucker Davidson, Corbin Clouse, and Thomas Burrows will be in big league camp during spring training for the Braves.— Eric Cole (@leprekhan) January 26, 2019
These names are not huge surprises and it is highly likely that we will see more names included in the coming days and weeks, but this is a strong group of names to start with. Ian Anderson is widely considered to be among the top prospects in the Braves’ farm system and is among the better pitching prospects in baseball, so his inclusion is hardly surprising. Few starting pitching prospects increased their stocks more in 2018 than Kyle Muller who, after a rough 2017 that saw his velocity dip and him being held down in rookie ball, started the season in low-A and never looked back as he blasted his way all the way to Double-A Mississippi.
A couple of interesting names are Joey Wentz and Tucker Davidson although they have both been highly regarded by the organization despite having relatively rough 2018 seasons. Wentz pitched very well when he was on the mound (2.28 ERA, .206 BAA), but he had 67 IP as he missed extended stretches of time. Tucker struggled to replicate the success he had in Rome in 2017 as he posted a 4.18 ERA and 3.98 FIP in 118.1 innings last year. However, Davidson has long been thought highly of by the organization, has good stuff, and it seems likely that he will still start the season in Double-A.
We also have a couple of relievers of note in Thomas Burrows and Corbin Clouse as invitees. Burrows inexplicably started the 2018 in Rome, but proved quickly that he did not belong down there as he crashed his way first to high-A and then to Double-A on his way to a 2018 season that saw him post a collective 2.66 ERA with 86 strikeouts in 67.2 innings. Meanwhile, Clouse has continued his steady march towards the majors in 2018 as he started the season in Double-A before getting promoted to Triple-A in August. Clouse posted a 1.94 ERA in 65 innings while striking out 83 batters against 25 walks during the 2018 season.