Braves: Risers and Fallers in MLB Pipeline Rankings Update

VENICE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 20: Shea Langeliers #88 of the Atlanta Braves poses for a photo during Photo Day at CoolToday Park on February 20, 2020 in Venice, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
VENICE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 20: Shea Langeliers #88 of the Atlanta Braves poses for a photo during Photo Day at CoolToday Park on February 20, 2020 in Venice, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

MLB Pipeline recently updated their top 100 prospects ranking and team rankings. We’ll see who rose and fell for the Atlanta Braves. 

Let’s first start with the fact it’s so awesome to have Minor League Baseball back and to be able to evaluate these talented Atlanta Braves prospects.

While there are now many great prospect sites out there, MLB Pipeline is still the go-to for most fans. Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo, and the guys there are very intuned with scouts and what’s going on with these prospects.

Recently they updated their top 100 list and also rearranged each team’s top 30.

There was a lot of movement, which is to be expected with little-to-no information from last season and many prospects graduating to the big leagues.

Adley Rutschman, catcher for the Baltimore Orioles, is the new number one with the Rays Wander Franco getting promoted.

They still rank Cristian Pache with the highest field tool of any Minor League prospect grading him at the max of 80. He also remains the Braves’ top prospect according to MLB Pipeline coming in at 40.

In total, the Braves have four players ranked in the top 100.

Shea Langeliers ranks 75th, Drew Waters 86th, and Michael Harris Jr. joins the list at 98.

Most Braves fans are aware of Harris Jr. who displayed some loud tools in Spring Training and is having a great season at High-A Rome batting .302 with 6 home runs, 53 RBI, 21 stolen bases, a .352 OBP, and a .445 SLG.

The left-handed hitter is still just 20 years old and is a bit raw, which is why you haven’t seen the Braves aggressively promote him as many fans have wanted.

While he grades above average in power at 50, I’m not sure he’s actually earned that rating just yet. But when he does, we could be looking at a five-tool player.

Langeliers jumped Waters as the second-best prospect in the system, which is not a surprise.

The catcher has been awesome at Double-A this year with 19 home runs — second-most in Double-A South — and has thrown out 27 base runners.

He’s currently slugging .524 with a .346 OBP. If he can continue to provide that kind of power while being one of the best defensive catchers in the league, we’re talking about a perennial All-Star.

The top 10 for the Braves looks like this:

  1. Pache
  2. Langeliers
  3. Waters
  4. Harris
  5. Muller
  6. Cusick
  7. Davidson
  8. Shewmake
  9. Shuster
  10. Strider

Strider, along with Bryce Elder, have really impressed this season and shot up rankings.

Elder has a 2.94 ERA over 18 starts with 115 strikeouts in 101 innings with exactly nine starts each in High-A and Double-A. The righty just recently got promoted to Triple-A, so he’s moving fast.

Strider isn’t far behind him starting out 2021 in Low-A and is currently at Double-A where things haven’t gone as smoothly. The strikeout numbers are eye-popping though with 121 punchouts in 75 innings.

Freddy Tarnok, Jesse Franklin, and Joey Estes are also having big years and moving up the rankings.

Jasseel De La Cruz, Trey Harris, and Daysbel Hernandez are among those who have been passed over.

Recent draft picks Ryan Cusick (6), Spencer Schwellenbach (15), Cal Conley (16), AJ Smith-Shawver (18), Dylan Dodd (19), and Luke Waddell (29) all join the top 30.

Next. Infield Anchoring Offense. dark

Despite all the big promotions in recent years with guys like Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, Max Fried, Ian Anderson, and Mike Soroka joining the big league roster, and international signing restrictions, the Braves farm system remains solid.

Of course, part of that is Alex Anthopoulos’ unwillingness to swing the big trade. Perhaps this is the offseason we finally see him do that, but either way, things are looking good down on the farm.