Prospect list season rolls on with the release of Kiley McDaniel’s Top 100 prospect list at ESPN.com. The Atlanta Braves have two prospects among the group in outfielder Michael Harris and catcher Shea Langeliers.
As expected, Harris has been the big mover for the Braves during prospect season. There is a lot to like as he showed good defensive ability in centerfield and made some improvements in his plate discipline as the 2021 season progressed. Harris posted a 50% ground-ball rate in 2021 so lifting the ball along with continued improvements in plate discipline would continue to lift his stock. He is likely to spend most of if not all of the season at Double A in 2022.
Harris posted much higher exit velos than I’d expected, suggesting there’s untapped upside here if he can use this newfound pitch selection and also lift the ball more; he had a 50% ground-ball rate while the MLB average is 43%. There’s a world where Harris has all five usable tools (hit, game power, speed, defense, arm) as 55 or better, which is incredibly rare, if this all clicks.
Defense has always been Langeliers’ calling card, but he showed improved power numbers to go along with solid contact. The strikeout rate will be something to keep an eye on in 2022 as he moves up to Triple A, but he has plenty of upside as an everyday catching option.
His contact skills are still fine — good enough to get to his power in games and give him offensive upside as an everyday catcher, since he’s always been an above-average receiver.