Despite being 2023 signee with a smaller signing bonus, hype is building around shortstop Mario Baez amongst Braves fans. In our community prospect list, Baez was voted as the organization’s 13th best prospect.
The Atlanta Braves signed Baez on January 15, 2023, out of the Dominican Republic for $240,000.
Preseason report card
Initially, there was not much hype around Baez. Teams handle every young international prospect differently because of their age and rawness. As a result, Baez’s deployment by the Braves this season was something that was up in the air at the time of his signing.
What we saw in 2023
Baez only got 206 PAs in 2023 in the Dominican Summer League, but the hype around him is understandable based on his performance. Over those DSL appearances, Baez posted a triple slash line of .311/.393/.422 (121 wRC+). He tallied 12 extra base hits, three of which were home runs. Moreover, Baez swiped 24 bags while being thrown out five times, and had an impressive 25/20 K/BB ratio.
It is more than likely that we will once again see Baez used in a summer ball league this season, before a potential promotion to A-ball. The main thing for Braves fans to keep an eye on with Baez is his plate discipline. If he is able to continue to put the bat on the ball and keep a low strikeout rate, while doing damage at the plate, the hype level will likely rise more and more. Still, it’s not clear how much power he’s going to generate, given his 5’9”, 175-pound vitals and his .111 ISO from 2023. If and when Baez gets promoted, keep an eye on his quality of contact and power production to get a sense of his trajectory through the system.