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2021 Braves MiLB prospect review: Mahki Backstrom

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Backstrom struggled at the plate in 2021.

Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Rich Pilling/Getty Images

One of the biggest Braves first base prospects, Mahki Backstrom spent his season down in Orlando as he continued to refine his skill set. The promising slugging first baseman will be entering his age-21 season in 2022 and looking to make a name for himself.

Midseason Report Card

Backstrom, despite not being seen too much, came in at 18th on the Talking Chop Midseason top 30 list. He possesses big bat potential, and enough defensive prowess to more than hold his weight at first.

2021 Stats

Backstrom appeared in 41 games and hit .172/.301/.320 with three home runs in 146 plate appearances for the FCL Braves.

What we saw in 2021

It was a bit of a down year for Mahki as we hoped he would have made his fullseason debut for the Braves, however they felt he should work on some things down at the Braves complex in Florida. The hit tool didn’t play as well as hoped, but he did show his advanced eye at the plate as he walked 15.1% of the time, though the strikeouts were a problem sitting at 38.4%.

What the future holds

With all the tools in the bat that you could want, 2021 was a down year for Mahki as he did not make it to full-season ball. However, there is still plenty of promise in him, and at just 20 years of age, plenty of time to allow for his development. When drafted, it was known he was going to be a project and he was destined to go to Fresno State, a great baseball school, and even better baseball school for infield prospects. Between needing time to develop, and the canceled 2020 season due to COVID-19, Backstrom lost a lot of key developmental time. He will look to come into 2021 with a vengeance and to try and put his stamp on the Braves organization.