Braves 2020 Top 20 Prospects

Braves 2020 Top 20 Prospects

Written by: John Storey
Follow him on Twitter: @JohnStorey_
Follow Prospects Worldwide on Twitter: @ProspectsWorldW


**Right below is the Braves Top 20 list simplified. Scroll further down for FULL Present/Future Grades, FV, ETA, and summaries on EACH PLAYER ranked in the system! Tons of Statistics on each player as well! Some player highlights, future outlooks and more enjoy!**

RankNamePositionHow Acquired
1Ian AndersonRHPDrafted, 2016, 1st Round
2Christian PacheOFInternational FA, 2015
3Drew WatersOFDrafted, 2017, 2nd Round
4William ContrerasCInternational FA, 2015
5Shea LangeliersCDrafted, 2019, 1st Round
6Tucker DavidsonLHPDrafted, 2016, 19th Round
7Jared ShusterLHPDrafted, 2020, 1st Round
8Braden ShewmakeSSDrafted, 2019, 1st Round
9Kyle MullerLHPDrafted, 2016, 2nd Round
10Freddy TarnokRHPDrafted, 2017, 3rd Round
11Michael HarrisOFDrafted, 2019, 3rd Round
12Jasseel De La CruzRHPInternational FA, 2015
13Victor VodnikRHPDrafted, 2018, 14th Round
14Vaughn GrissomSSDrafted, 2019 11th Round
15Greyson JensitaOFDrafted, 2018, 2nd Round
16Bryce ElderRHPDrafted, 2020, 5th Round
17Bryce Ball1BDrafted, 2019, 24th Round
18Tyler OwensRHPDrafted, 2019, 13th Round
19Terone HarrisOFDrafted, 2018, 32nd Round
20Daysbel HenandezRHPInternational FA, 2017

1. Ian Anderson – RHP – Atlanta Braves
22 Years Old – Bat: R Throw: R – Ht: 6’2 Wt: 185 – ETA: 2020

FastballCurveballChangeupCommandFuture Value
60/6050/5560/6050/5560
Present/Future Grades
IPGGSERAWHIPK%BB%HR/9
135.226263.381.2529.9%11.3%0.86
SwStr%xFIPGB%LD%FB%Pull%Cent%Oppo%
13.0%3.3743.4%19.3%37.3%43.6%21.5%34.9%
**Combined stats from the entire 2019 season**

Anderson is a traditional pitcher who’s got the tools to contend as one. His curveball works really well with his fastball, and that shouldn’t surprise anyone. One of Ian’s most valuable talents is his ability to spin a baseball. It’s not always a high spin rate, instead being effective in its direction and implementation.

Again, he’s a guy who’s going to combine his command with expert pitch selection to outsmart hitters, to go with great stuff. With clean, refined mechanics and plus command Anderson boasts a high floor to go with a sky high ceiling.

It makes him the most polished pitcher in the Braves’ system and he’ll only get better as he continues to complete his development at the major league level.

2. Christian Pache – OF – Atlanta Braves
21 Years Old – Bat: R Throw: R – Ht: 6’2 Wt: 215 – ETA: 2020

HitRaw PowerPowerSpeedFieldArmFuture Value
35/4550/5535/5060/6070/7070/7060
Present/Future Grades
AVGOBPSLGOPSHRSBCSK%BB%
.277.340.462.8021281122.7%8%
ISOwRC+SwStr%GB%LD%FB%Pull%Cent%Oppo%
.18512614.741.1%23.1%35.8%56.9%18.5%24.5%
** Combined stats from the entire 2019 season**

Pache’s primary tool is his ability to play the field. He’s a tremendous center fielder – he’s going to save runs regardless of his offensive output. That’s paired with good speed (that allows him to cover a ton of ground) and an arm that’s as strong as his glove. His future isn’t as certain on the other side of the ball.

There’s no question he can hit, he’s just not going to match the offensive potential that most #1 position-playing prospects will. He’s got a good sense of the strike zone and can take pitches well.

He uses his hands really well and is effective at putting barrel to ball. Much of his power is limited by his propensity to hit line drives (or ground balls) versus fly balls. But he’s made strides from where he once was, notably a quieter swing. So there’s no reason to believe he can’t develop further. And even if he isn’t productive at the plate, his value is floored by that defensive ability. In some way another, he’s going to contribute for the Braves, and soon.

3. Drew Waters – OF – AAA
21 Years Old – Bat: S Throw: R – Ht: 6’2 Wt: 185 – ETA: 2021

HitRaw PowerPowerSpeedFieldArmFuture Value
40/5555/6035/5060/6045/5560/6050+
Present/Future Grades
AVGOBPSLGOPSHRSBCSK%BB%
.309.360.459.819716628.6%6.8%
ISOwRC+SwStr%GB%LD%FB%Pull%Cent%Oppo%
.15013217.1%46.1%26.2%27.6%43.3%23.0%33.7%
**Combined stats from the entire 2019 season**

It wouldn’t be crazy to call Drew Waters a Christian Pache lite. He’s got more pop at the plate, however lacks the plate discipline or on-base ability you might expect from a player with his profile.

However, he’ll collect his share of hits. Especially from the left side, more than likely his hand as a switch hitter. Here, he generates a ton of rotational power. As a switch hitter, he’s a little less closed off from the right-handed hitter’s batter’s box, and just doesn’t look quite as comfortable there.

From a development standpoint, being able to elevate batted balls may help carry Waters. But overall he’s a good bat. He can hit for power at the top of the zone while defending the lower half. All that while playing a very capable centerfield.

4. William Contreras – C – Atlanta Braves
22 Years Old – Bat: R – Throw: R – Ht: 6’0 Wt: 180 – ETA: 2020

HitRaw PowerPowerSpeedFieldArmFuture Value
40/4550/5045/5040/4050/5555/6045+
Present/Future Grades
AVGOBPSLGOPSHRSBCSK%BB%
.255.315.354.66960020.2%7.0%
ISOwRC+SwStr%GB%LD%FB%Pull%Cent%Oppo%
.1009814.4%48.1%18.8%33.1%51.0%22.1%26.8%
** Combined stats from the entire 2019 season**

The younger brother of the Cubs’ backstop (Wilson), William has a ton of pop. He generates his power from a fairly basic stance that culminates in an explosive acceleration toward the ball.

His plate discipline limits his profile. But he’s got strength in his swing, a powerful base allows him to effectively drive the ball when he’s able to make contact. Again, he’s got plenty of power – it’s just bottlenecked by his plate discipline.

He’s a good receiver as well. He may not contend for any Gold Gloves (although catchers can develop well defensively) but he’s a soft, quiet, confident receiver, and maybe there’s some upside there. He could be a valuable pinch hitter or defensive patch but his plate discipline may prevent him from earning a starting role.

5. Shea Langeliers – C – A
22 Years Old – Bat: R – Throw: R – Ht: 6’0 Wt: 205 – ETA: 2022

HitRaw PowerPowerSpeedFieldArmFuture Value
35/4560/6040/5030/3050/6055/6045+
Present/Future Grades
AVGOBPSLGOPSHRSBCSK%BB%
.255.310.343.65220023.0%7.1%
ISOwRC+SwStr%GB%LD%FB%Pull%Cent%Oppo%
.0889213.1%40.4%19.3%40.4%48.5%21.8%29.7%
** Combined stats from the entire 2019 season**

Shea’s a more well-rounded backstop than Contreras. He does a really great job of using the end of the barrel to leverage some power out of his swing. When he’s able to maintain and implement this he can generate some exit velocity and pop – this doesn’t come without some extra strikeouts as well.

Furthermore, his long swing will not play well against inside pitches when he’s unable to get out in front – which is critical to his success in any right. This places him at a stark disadvantage against hard throwers with control. Thus, he may disproportionately feed off of poor pitchers.

Considering his limitations, he will have to be twice as productive against pitchers and pitches that conform to his strengths to be successful. His power will help to supplement some of these shortcomings, and he’s still not as disadvantaged contact wise as Contreras. But he does require a bit more development.

He’s got a strong lower half that supports his abilities behind the plate. He’s a good receiver with plus blocking abilities. But his best defensive asset is his plus arm.

6. Tucker Davidson – LHP – AAA
24 Years Old – Bat: L – Throw: L – Ht: 6’2 Wt: 215 – ETA: 2021

FastballCurveballSliderChangeupCommandFuture Value
55/6055/6045/5045/5045/5045+
Present/Future Grades
IPGGSERAWHIPK%BB%HR/9
12925252.151.2525.2%10.2%0.35
SwStr%xFIPGB%LD%FB%Pull%Cent%Oppo%
9.9%3.5250.0%20.2%29.8%44.5%22.4%33.1%
**Combined stats from the entire 2019 season**

It only takes one look at Davidson’s curveball to know Tucker is a high upside arm for the Braves. It’s a sweeping pitch that’s sure to collect Ks.

He’s also got a strong fastball, but lacks the pinpoint command he’ll need to maximize it and set up the curveball. One step to achieve this may be working toward a more repeatable delivery.

While his somewhat violent roll off the mound helps him generate upper 90s velocity with his fastball, it also exposes him to inconsistency. His changeup is in a similar camp. It can be effective, however, he’ll be unable to implement it to its potential without command backing it.

Ultimately, his current makeup may work best in the bullpen. Being able to throw that curve more frequently and air out his fastball could help compensate for less command. Either way, Davidson’s got stuff that’s going to play – he’ll be an asset.

7. Jared Shuster – LHP – 2020 Draftee
22 Years Old – Bat: L Throw: L – Ht: 6’3 Wt: 210 – ETA: 2022

FastballSliderChangeupCommandFuture Value
55/6040/5050/6045/5545
Present/Future Grades

NO PROFESSIONAL STATS

Shuster is a classic helium guy. He built up a ton of stock before being drafted by the Braves in the first round just this June, so he’s fairly green, but he’s still one of the highest upside arms in this system, even if he doesn’t have an extensive college track record.

A strong, well-built mound presence accompanied by a clean delivery and plus offerings are just part of the reason to get excited about Jared.

One of his better pitches is a very effective two-seamer, a pitch that will collect strikes and miss bats. His slider trades horizontal movement for vertical movement, it’s lollipop break is sure to help Shuster increase strikeout totals.

But none of these rival his Changeup that was one of the best in the entire 2020 Class.

Jared’s fastball and his ability to use it to collect outs in a diverse array of methods should carry him to a big-league mound in the near future.

8. Braden Shewmake – SS – AA
22 Years Old – Bat: L – Throw: R – Ht: 6’4 Wt: 190 – ETA: 2021

HitRaw PowerPowerSpeedFieldArmFuture Value
40/5550/5035/4555/5550/5555/5545
Present/Future Grades
AVGOBPSLGOPSHRSBCSK%BB%
.300.371.425.796313314.4%9.0%
ISOwRC+SwStr%GB%LD%FB%Pull%Cent%Oppo%
.12613312.5%47.5%17.6%34.8%37.8%24.9%37.3%
**Combined stats from the entire 2019 season**

Shewmake has a strong stroke with a plus ability to drive the ball. Both his swing and his stance appear to be well situated to make adjustments which will help to maintain Braden’s contact rates. This has played out in practice, he’s shown a strong ability to make contact.

Combined with his good bat speed makes Shewmake a strong all-around player. His power may be limited but it could develop. He’ll make pitchers pay for mistakes. At shortstop, he’s smooth and fluid but could be a bit hastier, especially with his glove to hand transfer. Forcing himself to rush throws could cause trouble. A strong arm will, however, help to compensate here.

9. Kyle Muller – LHP – AA
22 Years Old – Bat: R – Throw: L – Ht: 6’6 Wt: 225 – ETA: 2021

FastballCurveballChangeupCommandFuture Value
60/6040/5055/6035/4045
Present/Future Grades
IPGGSERAWHIPK%BB%HR/9
111.222223.141.3325.6%14.5%0.40
SwStr%xFIPGB%LD%FB%Pull%Cent%Oppo%
12.3%4.1939.1%17.7%43.2%36.1%22.3%41.6%
**Combined stats from the entire 2019 season**

Muller uses a short delivery to toss from a three quarter arm slot. He’s got plus movement on all his pitches.

His changeup drops out and falls very effectively. He pairs that with a curveball that shows some promise, even if it’s a few strides from being especially effective. His fastball is a good weapon. It’s not as reliable as you would like, but he’s shown he can give it some run.

With his solid command, he’ll make that mix work. So while Muller doesn’t have the most exciting arsenal, limiting his ceiling, he’s got the composure to be an effective arm.

10. Freddy Tarnok – RHP – A+
21 Years Old – Bat: R – Throw: R – Ht: 6’3 Wt: 185 – ETA: 2022

FastballCurveballChangeupCommandFuture Value
55/6050/5040/5040/5040+
Present/Future Grades
IPGGSERAWHIPK%BB%HR/9
106.022224.751.3719.7%8.0%0.59
SwStr%xFIPGB%LD%FB%Pull%Cent%Oppo%
12.1%3.8738.4%20.9%40.6%46.3%21.6%32.1%
**Combined stats from the entire 2019 season**

Tarnok offers a strong arm with some serious upside. However, he’s far from polished. As with many pitchers in his camp, he struggles to command his pitches effectively. Despite this, he’s got a clean delivery that should lend itself to being repeatable, and thus the polishing required to transform

Tarnok into a major league pitcher is very possible. His upside sits in both his breaking pitches, particularly the slider. They will produce more swings and misses but may be most effective when they are inducing weak contact.

Again, that’s not a reality for Tarnok until he’s able to set those pitches up with some well-placed fastballs. If he can put it all together he’s a potential back end starter or multi-inning reliever. Alternatively, he could contribute as an opener.

11. Michael Harris – OF – A
19 Years Old – Bat: S – Throw: L – Ht: 6’0 Wt: 195 – ETA: 2023

HitRaw PowerPowerSpeedFieldArmFuture Value
35/5045/5520/4050/5045/5560/6040+
Present/Future Grades
AVGOBPSLGOPSHRSBCSK%BB%
.277.344.393.73728219.8%8.5%
ISOwRC+SwStr%GB%LD%FB%Pull%Cent%Oppo%
.11511418.1%49.3%21.6%29.1%47.3%21.3%31.3%
**Combined stats from the entire 2019 season**

Harris has great plate coverage with strong contact ability. He’s a switch hitter, however, he’s much better from the right side of the plate. His power is limited by his bat speed – something that contributes to his contact ability. If he wanted to build out his profile, improving that bat speed may be step one. When he is successful he’ll be lifting balls over the heads of infielders. Overall, he’s a toolsy player who will find a way to contribute. At worst he’s a utility bench bat. At best he could develop into a mediocre leadoff hitter. In the field, he has a plus arm with overall good defensive abilities. Originally thought of as a better pitcher than hitter, he’s quickly proving many wrong.

12. Jasseel De La Cruz – RHP – AA
23 Years Old – Bat: R – Throw: R – Ht: 6’1 Wt: 195 – ETA: 2022

FastballSliderChangeupCommandFuture Value
55/6055/6035/4040/4540+
Present/Future Grades
IPGGSERAWHIPK%BB%HR/9
133.025243.251.1422.2%9.0%0.54
SwStr%xFIPGB%LD%FB%Pull%Cent%Oppo%
12.4%3.7747.6%15.1%37.4%39.6%27.2%33.2%
**Combined stats from the entire 2019 season**

Jasseel hides the balls really well. He’s got a powerful delivery and a strong arm. It’s his command that limits his upside. He’s found success in the lower half of the strike zone, however, that many not play (or play as effectively) as he climbs higher in the Braves’ organization. In terms of his pitches, his fastball certainly has potential. He can throw it in the upper 90s, but his inability to command it makes it a far less effective pitch. His slider has impressive movement and would make an excellent strikeout pitch, however, he won’t be able to use it in such a fashion if he’s unable to get ahead in the count. If he can develop some command he could be a dangerous bullpen weapon. But until then, he will only go as far as his command.

13. Victor Vodnik – RHP – A
20 Years Old – Bat: R – Throw: R – Ht: 6’0 Wt: 200 – ETA: 2022

FastballSliderChangeupCommandFuture Value
55/6045/55 40/5040/5040+
Present/Future Grades
IPGGSERAWHIPK%BB%HR/9
67.12332.941.1725.2%8.8%0.13
SwStr%xFIPGB%LD%FB%Pull%Cent%Oppo%
13%3.3952.6%16.6%30.9%41.6%20.8%37.6%
**Combined stats from the entire 2019 season**

Victor Vodnik has the potential to be one of the biggest climbers on this list. Physically, he doesn’t present a menacing mound presence. To go along with that his fastball velocity sits a little lower than would be ideal, especially for a pitcher with his skillset. It’s serviceable but lacks the velocity or movement to give it any extra upside.

His slider may be his best pitch, showing the potential to be his best at the very least. Its depth makes it a strikeout pitch. Getting his body under control and better implementing his weight in his delivery could make a huge improvement for Vodnik.

For the most part, he’s worked out of the bullpen but should be developed as a starting pitcher over the next few seasons.

14. Vaughn Grissom – SS/3B – Rookie
19 Years Old – Bat: R – Throw: R – Ht: 6’3 Wt: 180 – ETA: 2020

HitRaw PowerPowerSpeedFieldArmFuture Value
30/5050/6035/5050/4545/5055/5540+
Present/Future Grades
AVGOBPSLGOPSHRSBCSK%BB%
.288.361.400.76133014.7%8.7%
ISOwRC+SwStr%GB%LD%FB%Pull%Cent%Oppo%
.11312019.5%47.8%23.1%29.1%43.5%21.7%34.8%
**Combined stats from the entire 2019 season**

An 11th round pick by the Braves in 2019, Grissom could be a sneaky candidate to breakout in 2021. Vaughn’s best tool is his raw power. While there is still potential room to fill out in his frame, his present raw power is already showing out in games. Grissom’s bat speed is already pretty electric, but his flat bat path could hinder him to tapping his full power potential. Once he makes his bat path steeper, he can be a good run producer because he’s also shown an already solid approach at the plate.

Because I see Grissom fill out his frame after a couple of years, he will shift to the hot corner eventually where his strong arm does play at the position. While Grissom might not be as impactful as Austin Riley, he does have everyday Major Leaguer potential once he makes improvements in his swing and him continuing to mature at the plate.

15. Greyson Jenista – OF – AA
23 Years Old – Bat: L – Throw: R – Ht: 6’4 Wt: 210 – ETA: 2022

HitRaw PowerPowerSpeedFieldArmFuture Value
35/4055/6045/5035/3550/5050/5040
Present/Future Grades
AVGOBPSLGOPSHRSBCSK%BB%
.233.318.349.66793829.8%11.1%
ISOwRC+SwStr%GB%LD%FB%Pull%Cent%Oppo%
.1169914.5%41.6%19.4%39.1%34.6%30.1%35.3%
**Combined stats from the entire 2019 season**

Jenista is an outfielder with sneaky power. He has pull power and can hit powerful line drives with his productive bat speed. He has real potential, an Austin Riley type, but may struggle to stand out without the extra tools. Becoming a more pure, well-rounded hitter may aid in building out his profile and making him a bit more of an attractive option coming off the bench or otherwise, of course, doing so may also damage his power game.

16. Bryce Elder – RHP – 2020 Draftee
21 Years Old – Bat: R – Throw: R – Ht: 6’2 Wt: 220 – ETA: 2022

FastballCurveballSliderChangeupCommandFuture Value
50/5540/5045/5540/5040/5040
Present/Future Grades

NO PROFESSIONAL STATS

Right now, Elder’s biggest obstacle may be his stage of development. He’s yet to make his minor league debut being a 2020 draft pick. None of his pitches are especially exciting but he offers broad value in that he doesn’t have an obvious weakness (or strength). His curveball doesn’t offer a ton of break but has some feel for it.

His changeup is maybe his best pitch. It’s a good change of speed with some subtle movement. Command can be an issue for Bryce, however, he’s indicated that he can get it under control. With plenty of opportunities to develop ahead of him, Elder has a solid foundation to build on.

17. Bryce Ball – 1B – A
22 Years Old – Bat: L – Throw: R – Ht: 6’6 Wt: 240 – ETA: 2023

HitRaw PowerPowerSpeedFieldArmFuture Value
20/4070/7035/5540/4045/5045/4540
Present/Future Grades
AVGOBPSLGOPSHRSBCSK%BB%
.329.395.6281.023170019.0%9.9%
ISOwRC+SwStr%GB%LD%FB%Pull%Cent%Oppo%
.2991738.4%38.3%23.3%38.3%49.2%19.5%31.4%
**Combined stats from the entire 2019 season**

Bryce Ball is an interesting player. He’s done an excellent job of transitioning from college to pro ball, sustaining impressive production. His biggest tool is his power. He can provide a lot of pop, especially to the gaps. He may not be completely one dimensional, but there’s not a great deal of depth beyond that. Ball was strong in 2019 splitting the season between rookie ball and A ball.

However, that success came with a less than robust swing. Bryce’s hips rotate much earlier than his hands and barrel. And as a result, while he’s evaded lofty strikeout rates thus far, it’s difficult to see him continuing to do so. Difficult but not impossible.

The ceiling is high for Ball. But it’ll take significant development and refinement to get him there. Ultimately, it comes down to whether or not Ball’s profile and aggressive approach will remain competitive at higher levels.

18. Tyler Owens – RHP – Rookie
19 Years Old – Bat: R – Throw: R – Ht: 5’10 Wt: 185 – ETA: 2023

FastballCurveballChangeupCommandFuture Value
50/5540/6040/4530/4535+
Present/Future Grades
IPGGSERAWHIPK%BB%HR/9
27.11094.281.1010.3%10.3%0.66
SwStr%xFIPGB%LD%FB%Pull%Cent%Oppo%
13.6%4.0151.5%14.7%33.8%55.1%18.8%26.1%
**Combined stats from the entire 2019 season**

Tyler is an intriguing prospect. He’s shown some really impressive stuff, most notably his wipeout Curveball..

His fastball is good but will need to be commanded better if it’s to be effective at higher levels. In addition, he could be more fluid in his delivery. Part of that will reduce his exposure to injury and part of that will set him up to begin to tunnel his pitches.

Currently, his varying arm angle may be too indicative of his offerings. But this is a 19-year-old pitcher. He’s got plenty of time to develop. His upside – and the amount of time he has to realize that upside – contribute to his ranking here in the Braves system.

19. Terone Harris – OF – AA
24 Years Old – Bat: R – Throw: R – Ht: 5’11 Wt: 220 – ETA: 2021

HitRaw PowerPowerSpeedFieldArmFuture Value
45/5055/5540/5050/5045/5050/5035+
Present/Future Grades
AVGOBPSLGOPSHRSBCSK%BB%
.323.389.498.887148617.3%6.9%
ISOwRC+SwStr%GB%LD%FB%Pull%Cent%Oppo%
.17415911.5%44.2%18.5%37.3%38.8%26.5%34.6%
**Combined stats from the entire 2019 season**

Terone’s potential is going to depend on his ability to defend and succeed against better pitching. He’s shown he can put bat to ball and avoid strikeouts. But he’s done all that with relatively higher BABIPs. Considering he puts a lot of balls in play there’s a lot of room for variance. He’s got a lot to prove yet.

Trey’s a guy who knows how to develop so it’s possible that he successfully builds on his current profile and sustains his production at higher levels – but he’s got a way to go to get there. That will involve being able to apply his adaptive approach at upper levels which is not an easy task.

20. Daysbel Hernandez – RHP – A+
24 Years Old – Bat: R – Throw: R – Ht: 5’10 Wt: 220 – ETA: 2022

FastballSliderCommandFuture Value
60/6050/5040/4035+
Present/Future Grades
IPGGSERAWHIPK%BB%HR/9
52.23501.711.0831.8%10.5%0.34
SwStr%xFIPGB%LD%FB%Pull%Cent%Oppo%
17.5%3.0133.3%20.2%46.5%42.6%26.2%31.1%
**Combined stats from the entire 2019 season**

Daysbel is an exciting player to watch. He’s got a powerful, electric arm. His delivery is explosive and he restricts the batter’s vision of the ball well. His fastball is a plus pitch with mid-upper 90s velocity and some sneaky movement. Having struggled to keep the ball in the zone will limit Hernandez’s upside considerably. He has that vibe of being effectively wild. If he can develop even just a bit more control, he would be a valuable asset at the back end of the Braves bullpen.


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