Atlanta Braves: Where have all the prospects gone?!
As with any new regime, since Alex Anthopoulos took over for the Atlanta Braves, he’s made adjustments for the players he wants in the organization.
Any new general manager will make changes in the organization. While many in the media focus on the staff changes, like manager, scouting director, coaching staff, etc., there are players throughout the Atlanta Braves organization who have felt the effects of a new GM for the Braves.
I have been putting out top 100 prospect lists for the Braves organization for a few years now, and that means that a good portion of the players that moved were players that had been ranked prospects in the organization at some point.
We’re going to review 50 former players that have now left the organization, starting with the two guys who were never ranked in a list due to being already established as major leaguers when that first top 100 came out:
Adonis Garcia, 3B/OF
While Adonis Garcia may no longer have been a rookie by the time that first top 100 came out, he certainly was covered plenty in minor league coverage over the years. The Atlanta Braves signed Garcia after he had been in the Yankees farm system for 3 years after coming over from Cubs. His first year with the Braves in 2015, he used up his rookie eligibility, hitting .277/.293/.497 with 10 home runs over 198 plate appearances.
That would really be Garcia’s shining moment with the Braves, though, as he struggled the next two seasons, getting sent down or suffering significant injuries in 2016 and 2017. In his three years with the Braves, he played 244 games, hitting .267/.300/.414 with 29 home runs.
Adonis was released in order to sign a contract in Korea in January. He is hitting .381/.432/.597 with 7 home runs and 5 steals over 150 plate appearances with a 7/19 BB/K ratio for the LG Twins in the KBO.
Matt Wisler, RHP
When he was acquired by the Atlanta Braves before the 2015 season, Matt Wisler was a highly-regarded prospect, ranked in pretty much all top 100 lists, as high as #34 (Baseball America) entering the 2015 season.
Known to be a sinker/slider guy, Wisler didn’t put up dominant strikeout numbers in Gwinnett in 2015, but he controlled his stuff well enough to earn a promotion to Atlanta, where he tossed 109 innings, with a 4.71 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, and a 40/72 BB/K ratio. Sadly, that would end up being his best season.
Wisler seemed to fall victim to Roger McDowell, who constantly tinkered and adjusted the young pitcher’s repertoire, leaving him very obviously unsure of himself on the mound. A change in pitching philosophies in 2017 saw a change in Wisler at the minor league level, but he could not translate that when he would get to the major league level.
The Atlanta Braves traded Wisler as part of the deal to bring in Adam Duvall in July. Wisler finished his Braves career with a 5.27 ERA over 324 2/3 innings, posting a 1.41 WHIP and a 107/230 BB/K ratio. The Reds have focused on using Wisler as a multi-inning reliever since acquiring him, and he’s responded very well to that role, with a 1.23 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 2/17 BB/K over 14 2/3 IP with the Reds’ AAA club since the trade.