Atlanta Braves: Top 5 international free agent signings since 2013
Across the last decade, the Atlanta Braves have made some noteworthy international free agent signings, even despite being limited at times due to penalties and sanctions. Here are some of the biggest signings that have happened since 2013, headlined by a pair of current major league stars in Atlanta.
Top 5 Atlanta Braves international free agent signings since 2013
5. SS Diego Benitez
We begin here with Benitez, who is one of the most recent international signings by the Braves, signing with Atlanta nearly a year ago on January 15, 2022 out of Venezuela. While still very early in his career, Benitez projects to be one of the top names in Atlanta’s minor league system in the coming years, and is currently ranked as the organization’s No. 15 prospect according to MLB Pipeline.
4. OF Cristian Pache
Atlanta had at-least two notable names come out of the 2015 international free agent class, the first of which is Pache, whom the Braves signed on July 3 of that year. Pache would rise to top prospect status with the Braves prior to making his MLB debut in 2020, and would appear in only 24 games in the major leagues with Atlanta prior to being traded to Oakland in the Matt Olson deal.
3. C William Contreras
The second of those two noteworthy signings in 2015 came through Contreras, who signed with the Braves on February 10 of that year. Contreras, whom Atlanta recently traded to Milwaukee in the Sean Murphy trade, made his MLB debut with the Braves in 2020, and appeared in 153 games with the organization, slashing .260/.338/.471 with one All-Star appearance.
2. 2B Ozzie Albies
There are two clear-cut top names on this list, the first of which is Albies, who signed with Atlanta as a 17-year-old out of Curacao back on July 2, 2013. Albies would quickly rise through the minor leagues to be considered as one of the Braves top prospects prior to his MLB debut in 2017, and has since slashed a career line of .271/.322/.470 across 624 games, along with having made two All-Star appearances, as well as winning two Silver Sluggers.
1. OF Ronald Acuña Jr.
The most impactful international free agent signing that the Atlanta Braves have made over the last decade is Acuña, who signed with the organization back on July 2, 2014 as a 17-year-old outfielder out of Venezuela. Acuña would also quickly rise throughout the minor leagues on his way to top prospect status, and has done nothing but shine with the Braves since making his MLB debut in 2018, slashing .277/.370/.517 across 514 games, while also having received honors such as a three-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger, and the 2018 NL Rookie of the Year.