ESPN leaves Atlanta Braves hanging — only two prospects in top 50
Other prospect lists
I took some time to check out several other sites, as I can definitely be guilty of simply relying on certain locations. We all have our go-to websites and blogs that we depend on when choosing a destination to gain more knowledge on a certain subject.
But for this exercise, a mixture of opinions is required, being that we need to find out whether or not Law’s particular list is an unfair assessment of the Atlanta Braves and their farm system.
I retrieved four different prospect rankings for the 2019 season, three of them have been recently updated as a midseason update while one is a pre-2019 list.
- MLB Pipeline (updated in May)
- Fangraphs’ THE BOARD! (updated in July)
- Baseball Prospectus (January edition)
- Prospects Live (updated in July)
Also worth noting, these four lists are not specifically top 50 rankings. MLB Pipeline is a top 100; THE BOARD! is actually a top 200; Baseball Prospectus is a top 100; and Prospects Live is a top 100.
The size of the list obviously shouldn’t matter. Where a player ranks is where he ranks. But to prevent any misconceptions, just know that Law’s list is the only list of 50 in this activity.
- OF, Christian Pache (#14)
- SP, Kyle Wright (#25)
- SP, Ian Anderson (#26)
- OF, Drew Waters (#44)
As you see, MLB Pipeline has four Atlanta Braves prospects in their top 50.
To me, this is the best ranking out of the bunch, as the list properly rewards Waters for his outstanding play in Mississippi this season, after only playing 30 games in High-A in 2018.
Anderson is another player that deserves some quality recognition, as he’s working on his fourth year in the Braves organization and has never finished a season with an ERA over 3.74. He’s also finished with at least 9 strikeouts per nine in all but one season during his tenure as a pro pitcher.
Kyle Wright and Christian Pache are a given, though Wright has cooled a bit this season, allowing a few more home runs than usual (8 HR in 64 IP).
Even so, the righty is excellent in terms of preventing walks, running a 2.5 BB/9 right now.
THE BOARD! (Fangraphs)
- OF, Christian Pache (#14)
- SP, Ian Anderson (#33)
- SP, Kyle Wright (#42)
- C, William Contreras (#45)
Again, four inside the first 50, though Fangraphs is showing some extra love with Contreras at No. 45. Their high-ranking of the young catcher is interesting, if a little aggressive, but I think he’s definitely capable of becoming such a player.
- SP, Ian Anderson (#29)
- 3B, Austin Riley (#30)
Wow, where to begin? First of all, where the heck is Pache? It’s almost laughable that they don’t have him as a top 20 prospect, let alone inside the top 50 — they have Pache ranked at No. 62.
There’s just so much wrong with this list, and when you look even further into it, it just gets worse:
- SP, Mike Soroka (#53)
- SP, Kyle Wright (#58)
- SP, Bryse Wilson (#60)
- OF, Christian Pache (#62)
- OF, Drew Waters (#65)
- SP, Touki Toussaint (#70)
Law didn’t consider any players that are currently on a big league roster, so there’s going to be a bit of a difference with Baseball Prospectus’ list (meaning players may rank a tad lower than they should, due to a larger player pool).
- OF, Drew Waters (#27)
- OF, Christian Pache (#29)
Prospects Live’s list is compelling. Not only is Waters currently ranked ahead of Pache (their list was updated this month), but he was ranked ahead even before the season (Waters was No. 49 while Pache was No. 66).
Further down the list, they ranked Ian Anderson at No. 52, up two spots from the beginning of 2019.
I would agree Waters has played a bit better than Pache this season, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to say Waters is the better prospect yet. If he keeps it up, then yeah, sure.
So overall, out of the four lists that I’ve included, two of them have four Braves’ prospects in the top 50 and two, like Law’s rankings, have just two listed.