A new MLB.com article by Jim Callis titled ranking this year’s rookies by long-term value was written and prominently features some of the young members of the Braves organization in high places. Three Braves made the list of 30 names, tied with the Royals for the most in the league.
It should surprise no one that the top two choices from Callis are Julio Rodriguez of Seattle, followed by Baltimore catcher Adley Rutschman. It’s hard to argue with either of those players in these spots after JRod turned in a historically great age-21 season this year, and Rutschman is already entering the conversation for the top catcher in all of baseball.
It also shouldn’t surprise anyone to see Braves own Michael Harris at third overall, a spot ahead of Royals shortstop Bobby Witt (4th) and then Tigers outfielder Riley Greene (5th). Especially when the short writeup on Harris mentions “In the last 40 seasons, the only rookies age 21 or younger to top Harris’ 5.3 bWAR are Trout (10.5 in 2012) and Rodríguez (6.0).” You could argue his numbers were pretty close to JRod’s in a per plate appearance rate, but this does feel about right for his placement.
Spencer Strider came in sixth, ahead of the following group that finished out the Top 10: Oneil Cruz, Gabriel Moreno, CJ Abrams, and Spencer Torkelson. Seeing Strider rank above those names is always a good thing, though you could make an argument that he belongs in the Top 5 - likely ahead of Greene. Though based on where he ranks and looking at other pitchers on the list in general, it does feel a bit like pitchers are a little penalized due to the extra injury risk that comes from being an arm.
Vaughn Grissom was the third member of the Braves to make the list, coming in 22nd overall. While this may sound low on the surface, it is important to realize he was still above some impressive names like Edward Cabrera, Roansy Contreras, and Bryson Stott. It’s also fair that the names directly above him were Steven Kwan and MJ Melendez - promising players in their own right. Grissom is another player who feels pretty accurately ranked overall.
Former Braves prospect Shea Langeliers, who was traded to Oakland in the Matt Olson deal this past spring, came in at 19th in the rankings while former Braves draftee Reid Detmers came in at 23rd - one spot behind Grissom.