Welcome back to part two of the Battery Power top 25 Atlanta Braves prospects. We are jumping now into the top 20 prospects, and we’re continuing strong with the theme of new additions to the system. The Braves have added a lot of talent while dealing away a lot of the incumbent top prospects leaving us with a lot of new names to break down this year.
Here are our installments of this list to date:
- Battery Power 2022 Preseason Top 25 prospects: Honorable Mentions
- Battery Power 2022 Preseason Top 25 prospects: 21-25
And with that, let’s jump into the top 20.
20. Adam Shoemaker - LHP
How he got to the Atlanta Braves: 2021 draft, 11th round
Projectability is the name of the game for Adam Shoemaker who was drafted with the 337th pick in the 2021 draft. He has a commanding presence on the mound coming in at 6’6” with a low-to-mid 90s fastball from the left side, along with a solid slider, and developing changeup. Because of strict COVID protocols in Canada while he was in high school, Shoemaker has not thrown a ton of innings, period. Combine that with the fact that he threw just 38 innings last year to the tune of a 6.87 ERA in 13 games and you can see the Braves plan to take it very slow for the southpaw.
With a full, and healthy off-season along with the resources available to him via being a professional player, it will be very intriguing to see what kind of size Adam comes into the season having. Already intimidating, he had room to fill his frame and potentially add more velocity so you could see a very different pitcher this season, but with limited mileage on his arm over the last three years. Expect the Braves to move him slowly through the system.
19. David McCabe - 1B/3B
How he got to the Atlanta Braves: 2022 draft, 4th round
The Braves drafted David McCabe in the 4th round from Charlotte this past year, announcing him as a third baseman. While he was announced as a third baseman and played all 23 pro starts in the field at third (along with five at DH), most expect him to settle in as a first baseman long term as his glove isn’t projected to be good enough to handle the hot corner. That’s fine, because McCabe was drafted for his bat and has more than enough bat to handle first base if/when the eventual move comes.
McCabe had an extremely impressive college career, though just below the level of the top conferences. McCabe has big power, posted a .513 OBP with more walks than strikeouts this year, and projects as a potential impact bat. Some are more mixed on his hit tool and how it will fare against top competition and regular high velocity which is something he didn’t face much of at Charlotte. Over 26 games at Augusta he hit .260/.348/.350 with 15 walks to 27 strikeouts, but that comes with a small sample size warning. Plus he was still making the adjustment to pro ball.
The 6’4” switch hitter will turn 23 by the time spring training is over and has just 28 games in his pro career, none above Low-A, so you can expect him to start in High-A to open 2023 with a chance to hit his way to Double-A by midseason. I don’t think anyone would be surprised to see him knocking on the door of the bigs next season at some point, though 2025 feels like a more realistic goal for him. Out of every bat in the Braves system, McCabe may have the highest ceiling in terms of being a middle of the order slugger.
18. Luis Guanipa - CF
How he got to the Atlanta Braves: 2023 international free agency
Luis Guanipa is this year’s top international signing by the Braves, signing just a couple of weeks ago at this time. Remember in pre-Covid days, he would have signed last July 2 and sat out the remainder of the season, as July 2nd signees did. Guanipa is an interesting prospect in more ways than one. He’s got loud tools, but comes in a bit undersized, and can be found as high as No. 6 in the most recent international class (Baseball America) - but is also much lower on another list (No. 34 at Pipeline).
The 5’9” outfielder is projected to have all average or above tools, and with his natural bat speed you could see potentially above average to plus power at maturity. Guanipa is a prospect who wasn’t highly ranked in this class by most media a year or so ago, but he made real strides with his hit tool in the last year to give him an encouraging boost just prior to being eligible to sign. You could argue that his power and speed combination is the best the Braves have signed in close to 10 years at this point.
Guanipa is an exciting prospect, but one who is very far away, just turning 17 in December and not having made his pro debut yet. You can expect to see him in the DSL to start the year, but he will get a chance to earn his way to the FCL if he can impress enough with the bat.
17. Roddery Munoz - RHP
How he got to the Atlanta Braves: 2018 international free agency
From UDFA to No. 17 on the list, it has been quite the rise for Roddery Muñoz. Between two levels (A+, and AA) Muñoz combined for a 4.66 ERA, 1.385 WHIP, along with a 10.7 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 on a career high 100.1 IP. The mere fact that he went undrafted is a bit perplexing as he possesses a dynamic two pitch mix in his fastball (60), and slider (55) with developing command. Munoz does possess a changeup but struggles spotting it and is still a work in progress. A jump in his ability to throw his changeup would likely lead to a huge rise in his stock.
The Braves will do everything they can to keep Munoz as a starter, but the mere idea of him as an electric reliever is a very intriguing thought. As a starter, he sits mid-to-high 90s with his fastball and then throws a wipe out slider that, when properly controlled, is devastating to righties and lefties so the idea of him unleashing everything he can in a shortened stint could make for something special.
16. Jesse Franklin V - OF
How he got to the Atlanta Braves: 2020 draft, 3rd round
Jesse Franklin had a strong year in 2021, hitting for a .842 OPS in Rome and made a stint in the Arizona Fall Legue at the end of the season. However 2022 was a bit of a lost season for the Braves third round pick from the 2020 draft. An elbow injury and Tommy John surgery cut his season short after just 15 games, where he hit .236/.333/.400 with two homers and six walks to 18 strikeouts over 66 plate appearances in Double-A.
Franklin is still the same guy we thought he was at this time last year, just a year older. A decent fielder, though after the surgery he may be more of a left fielder, good runner, and player with above-average power, but one that will also rack up the strikeouts. Franklin’s hit tool will be his make or break tool, as he will need to make enough contact in order to help at the big league level. He has all the tools to be a starting corner outfielder, with a good shot at being a fourth outfielder if he can’t hit enough to lock down a starting job.
Franklin is likely ticketed for another assignment to Mississippi to repeat the season that he missed out on last year. He is still a player who if everything goes right for, could be nearing Atlanta later this summer. However he has now basically missed essentially two full years out of the last three, with a preseason off-field injury in 2020 before the Covid shutdown, then the elbow injury after 15 games last year.