A way too early 2024 Atlanta Braves top-ten prospect list: Part one

Atlanta Braves roster reductions last week exposed just how thin the 28th-ranked minor league system in baseball is on high-level talent.

Atlanta Braves right Drue Hackenberg comes in at 9 on this 2024 top-ten prospects list.
Atlanta Braves right Drue Hackenberg comes in at 9 on this 2024 top-ten prospects list. / Eakin Howard/GettyImages
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Baseball Prospectus ($), Baseball America ($), and The Outfield Fly Rule posted the early version of their 2024 Atlanta Braves prospect list over the last two weeks; MLB Pipeline and Fangraphs have yet to publish a new list.

The departure of so many well-known players is bound to leave a void, so many of the names are new, and the players are very young. While most names are the same from those three sources, the order is very different, which also means there’s no consensus on any player at any rank. So, I created a list by averaging the ranks of the sites. It isn’t a perfect list, but rankings are nebulous things to begin with. 

Today I’ll cover prospects ranked 10 to 6 in reverse order. Just to confuse things a bit, two players were so close at 9th that I couldn’t separate them. So, my top-ten list has eleven players. (Sue me.)

10: Luis Guanipa 18 – OF–DSL, BA- unranked, BP – 7th, OFFR 13th.

BP and the OFFR agree Guanipa's bat has a long way to go, but his speed and power give him a chance to make the trip, and his age gives him the time to do it without being rushed.

BP said his “under-the-hood qualities can’t be ignored…good bat speed from a compact frame and surprisingly short swing.”

BA: Guanipa packs explosive athleticism into a strong, compact frame (and has) an impressive mix of power and speed

FV 45/50 Average outfielder with occasional big pop.

9: Drue Hackenberg 22 – RHP – Low A, BA 9th, BP 8th, OFFR 9th.

Hackenberg features a low 90s FB that touches 96 with hard arm side run and a low 80s slider that flashes plus, but is still a work in progress. He also throws the occasional 80mph change against lefties to keep them off balance. His strong suit is a 55% GB rate off the sinker-slider combo. He projects as a back-of-the-rotation starter, but it’s early days as he’s only thrown 6.1 innings in three games.

FV/45 Back of the rotation starter. 

9: Drake Baldwin 23 – C – AA, BA 7th, BP 10th, OFFR 8th. FV/45

While the sites are split on his defense, BP likes his blocking, and BA says his setup looked “unique," but both like his framing and agree his arm is “fringy.” 

All agreed that Baldwin’s bat is his carry tool. He understands the zone, takes his walks, and hits to all fields. BP points out that he played college ball in a minor league ballpark, so there’s “an abundance of batted ball data that suggested Baldwin was a potential steal.” He has time to develop but currently projects as a backup catcher.

FV/45 First-division backup catcher.