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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8: Cade Kuehler (Key-ler) 21 – RHP – Low A, BA 10, BP 8, OFFR 5

When the Atlanta Brave selected Kuehler, OFFR said:

"“The profile here — big fastball, crazy slider, violent delivery, mustache — makes the Spencer Strider comps (are) probably unavoidable…”"

Kuehler features a mid-to-high 90s fastball that had 20” of vertical break in college ball, a gyro-slider, and a curve. His pitches move so much that, in his two games in Low-A, it had minor league hitters shaking their heads.

Unlike Strider, Kuehler has a funky delivery with a lot of things moving. I’d call him a short-arm pitcher; the ball appears from behind his head and arrives at such a high velocity it’s hard to track. He strikes out a lot of batters but can be wild and walk too many as well.

FV/45 Back of the rotation starter.

7: David McCabe 2B – 3B – A/A+, BA 6, BP unrated, OFFR 10.

Nominally a third baseman, McCabe’ has an arm strong enough for the role, but OFFR says he’s only an “adequate” defender at third, while BA suggests that he’ll eventually move to a corner outfield slot or first base.

At the plate, he’s a switch hitter who strikes out at a 22% rate and walks 15% of the time. His walks inflated the OBP of his impressive a .276/.385/.450 line. He was drafted as a power bat and displayed most of that power from the left side. However, he saw a lot more RHP than LHP, so that may not tell the story.

McCabe is the closest thing to a potential power-hitting outfielder in the system, even though he’s never played there, and the Atlanta Braves haven’t mentioned a position change.

FV/45 Likely somewhere besides third base.