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Hurston Waldrep leads ESPN’s top Braves prospects

Waldrep is the only Braves in the top 100, but five players come in between 101 and 200

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Florida vs Oral Roberts Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Kiley McDaniel of ESPN dropped his top 30 prospects for each of the National League organizations, and the Atlanta Braves are by his count the second-barest farm system in the league. Hurston Waldrep landed as the top prospect for obvious reasons as he was the only player in the top 100, but beyond that the list got a bit interesting. McDaniel puts much more stock in the Braves offensive pieces than what is generally seen nationally, with two of the top three prospects and four of the eight being position players. Notably, this means a slide to fourth for AJ Smith-Shawver, who by many is seen as either the best or second best prospect in the system.

Despite rankings just one prospect in ESPN’s top 100, in the rankings provided the Braves landed five 45+ FV prospects who all fit in as top 200 prospects overall. Four of these are right handed pitchers, with the only left handed pitcher in the top 15 being Dylan Dodd a 14th. New addition to the system Jose Perdomo sits as the 8th best prospect for McDaniel, and fourth among the position player crop. McDaniel notes that JR Ritchie was likely to land as a top 100 prospect prior to his injury, an opinion I share strongly and one that brings excitement to his eventual return be that in 2024 or 2025. I encourage those with a subscription to check out the rest of the list, where McDaniel also discusses Perdomo and Luis Guanipa, his thoughts on the evaluation of Drake Baldwin and Nacho Alvarez nationally, and the recent college draftees in Spencer Schwellenbach, Cade Kuehler, and Drue Hackenberg.

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