Braves Farm System Takes Massive Hit in Update Rankings

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 04: Cristian Pache #25 of the Atlanta Braves slides into second base against the Washington Nationals during the third inning at Nationals Park on May 4, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 04: Cristian Pache #25 of the Atlanta Braves slides into second base against the Washington Nationals during the third inning at Nationals Park on May 4, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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In the recently updated farm system rankings from MLB Pipeline, the Atlanta Braves took a tremendous fall. 

You knew it had to happen at some time with graduations and international signing restrictions, but the Atlanta Braves fell hard in MLB Pipeline’s updated rankings up every team’s farm system.

I wrote last week when they updated their prospect player rankings how I thought the Braves had actually done a great job navigating trying to contend while not blowing up the farm — especially considering their international penalties.

There are times when I think Alex Anthopoulos could have pulled the trigger on a big trade to try and win a World Series, but he didn’t, and as a result, I do still feel like the farm system is in decent shape.

However, the guys at MLB Pipeline did not agree.

Braves Farm System Tanks in Rankings

They ranked the Braves’ farm system 23rd in all of baseball after having them ranked 15th before the start of 2021.

That’s kind of crazy considering Ian Anderson is the only player to graduate off this list. But they mention the struggles of both Cristian Pache and Drew Waters as reasons why they fell — even though they still rank both as top 100 prospects.

The Baltimore Orioles ranked first with five players in the top 100, including the number one overall prospect in Adley Rutschman.

As far as the NL East goes, the Marlins rank third, the Nationals 20th, the Mets 23rd, and the Phillies 27th.

While I’ll concede the Braves system is no longer filled with those high-impact, All-Star caliber players as it was just a few years ago, there is still some really solid depth.

In the last couple of drafts, they’ve made a lot of safe picks like Bryce Elder and Luke Waddell in the early rounds, mixed in with high-upside guys like Jared Shuster and Ryan Cusick in the early rounds.

That’s given them a system full of fourth outfielders and utility-type players along with back-of-the-rotation arms.

I don’t say that as a harsh criticism on the system, it’s great they’ve taken some guys with pretty high floors, even if their ceiling is somewhat limited.

There aren’t a lot of “duds” in the system, but again, there aren’t a lot of guys you feel pretty certain will be superstars.

While it hurts to see the Braves farm system rank so low, you have to keep in mind what has transpired over the last few years.

Generational talents like Max Fried, Mike Soroka, Ronald Acuna Jr., and Ozzie Ablies have been promoted. As well as guys like Ian Anderson and Austin Riley — who could be All-Stars in their own right one day.

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And on top of that, the Braves have signed one international prospect of note since 2016! There aren’t many teams who could survive that type of punishment, still be competitive, and not have one of the worst farms systems in baseball.