24. Cal Conley
Personal Rank: 27
The 4th round selection in the 2021 draft out of Texas Tech, the Atlanta Braves liked the value Cal Conley brought as an already experienced college bat.
Conley headed straight to Augusta where he played in 35 games with some mixed results. Offensively, it was not the greatest. In 161 plate appearances, Conley hit .214/.304/.307 2 HR, 21 R, 9 RBI, 8 SB, .295 wOBA, and 73 wRC+.
Not the best. He did show a decent eye at the plate, walking only 8.7% of the time, and a lower strikeout rate of 20.5%.
One of the bigger issues is the 50% ground ball rate from Conley. He will need to start hitting the ball in the air more to hit for a little more power than a .093 ISO.
Conley was phenomenal at Texas Tech, so the hope is he will turn it around for the Braves.
Now it was a quick transition for Conley, so there is a possibility that after a winter with the organization he will be more comfortable at the plate in 2022.
The biggest positive for Conley was his defense last year, proving he can be versatile with either middle infield position. He showed that he can play solid defense at both spots, which will benefit him as he moves through the minors allowing him to play nearly every day.
Conley does not necessarily have one elite skill though, rather he projects as someone who will do everything really well. If he can add some power, and show he can play multiple defensive positions well, he will become more valuable in the Braves system.
The Braves can afford to be patient with Conley, and he could start 2022 back in Augusta if they chose. A quick start should see him find his way to High-A Rome. It may be a year too soon to see him in AA Mississippi in 2022, but if Conley gets going, he might force the Braves’ hand at the end of the year.