The Athletic’s Keith Law released his updated farm system rankings for the 2024 season Friday and the Atlanta Braves are in the lower third coming in at No. 26. It isn’t that surprising given that the Braves had just one prospect on Law’s Top 100 list in 2023 first round pick Hurston Waldrep.
Atlanta has traded everyone, almost. There’s some pitching still here, more if J.R. Ritchie comes back 100 percent from Tommy John surgery, but most of those guys, even their top pitching prospects like Hurston Waldrep (No. 80), carry significant reliever risk, and Nacho Alvarez might be the only position player here who has a reasonable chance to be a regular.
Law points out that the Braves have traded a number of their top prospects in recent seasons to supplement the major league roster which is exactly what they should be doing at this stage. We saw that again this offseason as Vaughn Grissom was dealt for Chris Sale in hope of filling a hole in the rotation. Grissom of course was blocked on the major league roster and had no clear path to playing time.
The Braves did resist the urge to deal either of their top two pitching prospects in Waldrep and AJ Smith-Shawver. There are several other pitchers in the system that could take steps forward in 2024 including Spencer Schwellenbach and Owen Murphy. Atlanta also signed infielder Jose Perdomo, who was one of the top international talents available, when the signing period opened last month. Perdomo will make his major league debut in 2024 and will be interesting to see what kind of prospect buzz he garners.