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Braves Composite Preseason Prospect Rankings

It’s a battle for second place

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

With three weeks before the season starts, all of the most relevant ranking groups have selected their top Braves prospects. Those lists are Keith Law’s The Athletic, Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs, MLB Pipeline, Kiley McDaniel’s ESPN, and ours. The top ten Braves prospects are as follows:

  1. Cristian Pache - OF
  2. Ian Anderson - RHP
  3. Drew Waters - OF
  4. Kyle Wright - RHP
  5. Bryse Wilson - RHP
  6. Shea Langeliers - C
  7. William Contreras - C
  8. Kyle Muller - LHP
  9. Braden Shewmake - SS/UTIL
  10. Tucker Davidson - LHP

Cristian Pache is overwhelmingly the crowd favorite, drawing the No. 1 ranking from every ranking group. Ian Anderson and Drew Waters each received three No. 2’s. The only thing separating the two are Waters’ No. 7 ranking from Keith Law. Kyle Wright and Bryse Wilson are clear cut at No. 4 and No. 5. The rest of the top ten have ranking from ESPN No. 4 ranking for Shea Langerliers to TC’s No. 14 ranking for Braden Shewmake.

Not every ranking entity places a fair value or tier placement on prospects, but it would be fair to place Cristian Pache all alone at the top, Anderson and Waters behind him, with Kyle Wright and Bryse Wilson behind them. Muller, Shewmake, Davidson, de la Cruz, Harris, Weigel, and perhaps Ynoa form the fourth tier. You can make the argument for Langeliers and Contreras to be in either the third or fourth tier. Every Braves prospect that made one of the seven lists are accounted for on the list at the bottom. (It’s at the bottom of the page to make this prettier for mobile users.)

It might be useful to look at the list and notice some of the differences between rankings for individual players. Some groups place more confidence versus the doubts of other groups. Let’s examine some of these below:

Atlanta Braves v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Drew Waters ( three No. 2 rankings, No, 7 from Keith Law)

From Talking Chop:

Thus far, he has lived up to the hype that preceded him coming out of Etowah HS in Woodstock, Georgia, and some might say he has even surpassed it. Coming off his eye-opening 2018, his 2019 was equally impressive, winning the Southern League MVP (despite only playing there for ¾ of the season), and slashing .309/.360/.459 with 40 doubles, nine triples, seven home runs, 132 wRC+, and a .368 wOBA. He even took time to steal 16 bases.

From Keith Law:

From the just-missed list: Waters keeps hitting for average and seems to have good hand-eye, but he has no approach to speak of, and it’s hard to see how he’s going to make that work against better pitching. He can play center field and has speed, although he doesn’t steal bases, and his above-average power doesn’t translate into homers.

Braden Shewmake (No. 5 from ESPN, No. 6 from Keith Law, No. 14 from Talking Chop)

From Keith Law:

Shewmake was expected to end up at third base out of the draft, but opposing scouts who saw him during the summer now think he can stay at short. His approach now is geared toward contact, but he has 60 raw power, and the thinking is that he can get to that in time as he adjusts to pro ball.

From Talking Chop:

It isn’t like Shew can’t hit home runs, but that his swing isn’t geared to do so just yet. Now he’s not likely going to put on much more weight given that we are talking about a college age player and not a prep kid still growing into his body, so if he wants to tap that power, he’s going to have to make an adjustment to lift the ball more.

MLB: MAR 13 Spring Training - Pirates at Braves Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Kyle Muller (No. 4 from Baseball Prospectus,No. 10 from Fangraphs, No. 13 from Keith Law)

From Baseball Prospectus:

Big man, big fastball, big strikeouts, but also big walks. “Big” is the appropriate word when describing Kyle Muller — including his potential — but within a good 2019 campaign a troubling trend lurked. A slight up-tick in fastball velocity led to elevated strikeout totals but also an alarmingly high amount of walks issued compared to his previous body of work.

From Fangraphs:

Muller’s delivery has become less staccato, less deliberate, and more athletic, but his max-effort style and difficulty repeating likely pushes him to the bullpen, or at least keeps his innings count down if he ends up starting.

Patrick Weigel (No. 8 from Keith Law, No. 25 from Fangraphs)

From Keith Law:

From July 1 on, he looked more like his pre-injury self, striking out more guys and cutting his walk rate versus the first half. He has been up to 99 in short bursts, and his long arms (he’s 6-foot-) give him a little extra deception...

From Fangraphs:

He returned late in 2018 and in instructional league with velo that peaked in the mid-90’s, but he wasn’t all the way back yet... He was best when in relief in Triple-A late in the year, and is likely a big league middle reliever with a little more in his toolbox than the average two-pitch bull in a china shop.

MLB: FEB 24 Spring Training - Braves at Blue Jays Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Alex Jackson (No. 11 from Fangraphs, No. 22 from MLB Pipeline, No. 25 from Talking Chop)

From Fangraphs:

Not only does Jackson have the highest hard hit rate (95 mph or above) in this system, he has one of the highest in the minors, as 51% of his balls in play last year were scorched... The league average wRC+ at catcher before framing quantification was in the low 90s. If things return to that level, Jackson’s power should enable him to profile everyday.

From Talking Chop:

Pitchers seem to like working with him, but back-to-back seasons of double-digit passed balls are worrisome, although almost everybody will tell you his receiving skills are vastly improved since he moved back behind the plate after coming to the Braves in 2017. Jackson is reliable depth which is exactly why he is on the 40 man roster already and if he can become a little more consistent with the hit tool — a big if at this point — Braves fans can feel confident with AJax as a reliable backup.

The complete composite ranking is below. I have included an average ranking that is not really a ranking, in the sense that it doesn’t account for prospects not appearing on some lists. Each ranker has a different number of prospects ranked, from 5 to 30. So if a prospect appears on a list, it is included. But there is no penalty for omissions. The average is a rough tool to compare prospects. The ESPN ranking is not included in the average, because Kiley did not release an official ESPN list of only Braves prospects. Those listed are the members of the Braves that were ranked in his top 100. However, his input is included in the Fangraphs list. Enjoy!

1 Cristian Pache - OF 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
2.5 Ian Anderson - RHP 2 3 2 3 3 2 3
3.2 Drew Waters - OF 7 2 3 2 2 3 2
4.2 Kyle Wright - RHP 3 4 6 4 4 4
6 Bryse Wilson - RHP 4 6 7 5 6 8
6.8 Shea Langeliers - C 9 7 5 8 5 7 4
7 William Contreras - C 5 8 8 6 9 6
7.5 Kyle Muller - LHP 13 5 4 10 8 5
9 Braden Shewmake - SS/UTIL 6 9 9 9 7 14 5
9.4 Tucker Davidson - LHP 10 10 7 10 10
11 Jasseel de la Cruz - RHP 12 11 10 12 12 9
14 Michael Harris - OF 18 13 13 14 12
14.4 Patrick Weigel - RHP 8 12 25 16 11
14.4 Huascar Ynoa - RHP 11 16 16 11 18
15.2 Victor Vodnik - RHP 15 14 14 18 15
16.4 Freddy Tarnok - RHP 14 15 17 13 23
18 Vaughn Grissom - SS/3B 15 23 16
18.4 Trey Harris - OF 19 21 24 15 13
18.4 Alex Jackson - C 17 17 11 22 25
19.3 CJ Alexander - 1B/3B 18 19 21
20 Bryce Ball - 1B 20 18 22 21 19
20 Daysbel Hernandez - RHP 23 HM 17
21.5 Justin Dean - OF 26 HM 17
22 Tyler Owens - RHP 16 27 25 20
22 Mahki Backstrom - 1B HM HM 22
22.2 Greyson Jenista - OF/1B 19 21 20 29
23 Jeremy Walker - RHP 22 19 27 24
23 Ricky DeVito - RHP 23
24 Kasey Kalich - RHP 20 HM 28
25 Beau Philip - SS 25 HM
25.5 AJ Graffanino - SS 27 HM 24
26 Hayden Deal - LHP 26
26 Thomas Burrows - LHP HM HM 26
27 Philip Pfeifer - LHP HM 26 28 27
27 Stephen Paolini - OF 28 20 33
27 Logan Brown - C 24 30
29 Trey Riley - RHP 29 29
30 Riley Delgado - SS/INF 30
30 Jefrey Ramos - LF 30 HM
Kadon Morton - OF HM HM
Jared Johnson - RHP HM HM
Greg Cullen - 2B HM HM
Joey Estes - RHP HM
Darius Vines - RHP HM
Corbin Clouse - LHP HM
Andrew Moritz - CF HM
Roddery Munoz - RHP HM
Josh Graham - RHP HM
Brendan Venter - 3B HM
Alex Barger - RHP HM
Luis Mora - RHP HM
Drew Lugbauer - C HM
Lisadro Santos - RHP HM
Kurt Hoestra - RHP HM
Justin Yeager - RHP HM
Troy Bacon - RHP HM
Brad Roney - RHP HM

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