Every season there are guys on the top prospect list that we circle in the hopes to get early looks at them. Be it due to information we have from within the organization, an interesting stint in rookie ball, or a player coming back from injury there are always a few that tickle our fancies early in the season. So on the second installment of the prospect roundtable the Battery Power crew will answer who they are looking forward to seeing this season and who you should be watching as well.
Which player overall are you most excited to see play this season?
Matt: It’s gotta be Spencer Schwellenbach. Taken in the 2021 draft and not yet making his pro debut due to an elbow surgery has built up some anticipation to see him. That’s partly because when he was at Nebraska he split time as a two way player and wasn’t practicing as a pitcher during the week due to injury concerns with that elbow. Now two years removed from his draft we finally get a look at him as a full time pitcher and as a healthy arm.
Devin: Victor Vodnik. He was almost my answer as to who I can see making the biggest impact for the big league club this season. But, I think he has too much work to do with his command to see the majors for an extended period this season. He showed flashes with his stuff last year, striking out 47 batters in 34 ⅔ innings last season and pitching to a 2.34 ERA across AA and AAA. His big problem though was he walked 19 batters last season which is way too many. I am excited to see what he will do in his second consecutive season of being a full time reliever assuming the Braves let him stick in the ‘pen.
Brady: I’m very excited to see a full season of Nacho Alvarez. He put up excellent numbers in 30 games between the FCL and Augusta, slashing .287/.451/.394 with 6 extra base hits and 11 RBIs. Position-wise, the Braves are relatively thin when it comes to top prospects in the system. But I truly think Alvarez has a good shot to be the top positional prospect the Braves have by the end of this season. If he continues to improve defensively and he can stick at the hot corner while putting up stellar numbers at the plate, Atlanta may have gotten one of the top steals of the draft last year.
Garrett: I’m going to have to agree with Matt here that it is Spencer Schwellenbach. We have consistently heard how much the Braves organization loves his potential and having him on the shelf for a year and a half now has made for a bit of a frustrating wait. I’ll probably watch at least his first three to four starts in full just to get as much of a look on him as possible early. He is the prospect with easily the most variability going into the season as a good performance could make him a top five player while too much rust could finally push him down. Another that will be interesting to watch is Adam Maier. A similar situation of a guy with very little information and video to go off of, but one whose amateur performances give me a lot of hope for his future.