It doesn’t seem like these CBA negotiations between MLB and MLBPA are going to end any time soon. Don’t worry, we feel your pain. To help you get your Atlanta Braves fix while we wait for SOMETHING to happen, the Talking Chop minor league team put together a roundtable series about the upcoming minor league season cleverly titled Talking Prospects.
So the Braves are World Series Champions. That is still awesome to type. The TC MiLB staff now turns their attentions to 2022 and the prospects that we think could contribute towards the Braves’ efforts to repeat in 2022.
Eric: So I feel pretty strongly that Cristian Pache and at least one of Kyle Muller or Tucker Davidson are going to graduate from prospectdom because they will be at the major league level. As for guys that I think could be helpful to the 2022 Braves assuming they actually get to play baseball, gimme Bryce Elder, Spencer Strider, Indigo Diaz, and Brooks Wilson. I also wouldn’t sleep on Drew Waters finding some time in the majors this year especially since he is already on the 40 man roster.
Garrett: This list is easy. Safe bets: Cristian Pache, Bryce Elder, Spencer Strider, Kyle Muller, Tucker Davidson, Indigo Diaz, Brooks Wilson. The former five are very close to the major league level (with four having already debuted) and seem very likely to get a long look if they have good seasons. The latter two had phenomenal seasons and the Braves have been struggling to find consistent right handed relief pitching. They’re the guys to look for. Unlikely but possible: Shea Langeliers, Drew Waters, Freddy Tarnok, Ryan Cusick, Victor Vodnik, Luke Waddell. In the case of Langeliers and Tarnok, a sensational season could get them interest, though I think the Braves prefer to have them at Triple-A. I think Waters gets a taste of the MLB level but is unlikely to be ready to contribute positively. Waddell has a chance to play a bench role especially if there are injuries. Cusick and Vodnik both will be considered if the Braves are in desperate need of right handed relief pitching.
Matt: I see Cristian Pache, Kyle Muller, Tucker Davidson, and Spencer Strider all being near-locks to see meaningful time in Atlanta, assuming they are healthy. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Shea Langeliers and Indigo Diaz make their big league debuts this season, though unless there is significant injury trouble it would be hard to see how Langeliers sees any meaningful time. There are a few other guys who could end up seeing the majors, but that will depend on their own development, injuries and inconsistency with the big league team, or maybe changing a role(ie a starter being used out of the pen). That list would include Drew Waters, Brooks Wilson, and Bryce Elder. Then there are the wild cards of Jared Shuster and Ryan Cusick. I wouldn’t say either of them is close to being ready to start, but if the Braves see fit it wouldn’t be hard to imagine a Garrett Crochet like promotion for one of these Wake Forest arms.
Gaurav: Cristian Pache, Kyle Muller, Tucker Davidson, Spencer Strider, Indigo Diaz, Brooks Wilson are all but locks to make some kind of impact in Atlanta. They have all succeeded at the highest levels of Triple-A and are looking to make a meaningful impact in Atlanta. I would love to see Elder battle for a rotation spot out of Spring Training, and if there are any injuries you could see the likes of Victor Vodnik, or Freddy Tarnok coming in relief for the Braves.
Wayne: It’s hard not to agree with any of the names already given. That’s not really an “easy way out” comment either. Much of the Braves’ hopes in their minor-league system is not ready for prime time. Cristian Pache should see plenty of time in the bigs and I think one of Tucker Davidson or Kyle Muller will be up a lot, but I agree with what Eric said on Road to Atlanta: If we see BOTH Davidson and Muller a lot, something has gone terribly wrong. If Indigo Diaz comes out hot, he will be a prime candidate for the Gwinnett shuttle. We know the Braves like Spencer Strider – and so do we at Talking Chop – and Bryce Elder and his rubber arm are perfect to fill injuries if needed. And while I definitely think Brooks Wilson sees some innings this season, I’m not sure it will be enough to graduate.