Prospect list season officially began Tuesday with the release of Baseball Prospectus’ annual top 101 list. The Atlanta Braves were shutout in last year’s offering, but had two prospects make the cut this time around. 2023 first round pick Hurston Waldrep debuted at No. 30 on the list while infielder Ignacio Alvarez snuck in at the end at No. 98. Right-hander AJ Smith-Shawver is a notable omission.
Waldrep is expected to get plenty of top 100 buzz around the industry after a sterling debut. The Braves took him with the 24th pick in the 2023 Draft and he looked like a steal advancing four levels to finish the season at Triple A. In all, Waldrep posted a 1.53 ERA and recorded 41 strikeouts across 29 1⁄3 innings. He is expected to go to spring training with the Braves next month and could be knocking on the door to make his major league debut later this summer.
The Braves drafted Alvarez out of Riverside Community College in the fifth round of the 2022 Draft. He spent last season at High-A Rome where he hit .284/.395/.391 with seven home runs and a 123 wRC+. Alvarez is one of the more accomplished hitters in the system and spent most of last season at shortstop, but could eventually settle in at third base.