Atlanta Braves 2024 Top 30 Prospect Rankings: Pitching reigns supreme

Here is a look at the top prospects down in the Braves' farm system heading into the 2024 season.

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20. David McCabe - 1B/3B

McCabe would have ranked higher here based on his performance in the minor leagues, but the recent announcement that he needed Tommy John surgery hurt him. While McCabe did post an .835 OPS last year with 17 homers as a switch hitter, there are some concerns about him external of his injury and the subsequent loss of development time. He somewhat lacks in bat speed and is definitely not a burner on the basepaths which puts a lot of importance on his ability to identify and time pitches up. Losing a big chunk of playing time due to his TJS at 23 years old was far from ideal, but he hit enough previously to still hold some hope that he could become a bat of note in the Braves' system.

19. Diego Benitez - SS

There is still hope that the $2.5 million that the Braves gave Benitez as an IFA signing in 2022 will work out, but the early returns have left something to be desired. In his first look at rookie ball in 2023, Benitez slashed .261/.332/.392 with a couple homers. Benitez is a hit over power guy at present, but he has some real bat speed and Atlanta thinks he will grow into more power as he gets older and more accustomed to the grind as a pro. Consider us cautiously optimistic that he will round into form in 2024 while acknowledging that he struggles to impact the ball could end up being problematic.

18. Luis De Avila - LHP

This ranking could end up looking quite low given that De Avila is already at Triple-A, but his lack of power stuff and size holds us back from going any higher for now. The Braves snatched up De Avila in the Rule 5 draft back before the 2022 season and moved him back into the rotation. De Avila has rewarded the Braves' faith in him with two straight solid seasons in the minor leagues. He gets a lot of groundball outs and his breaking stuff gets some swing and miss, but we'll need to seem more proof that his low to sometimes mid 90's fastball can get more advanced hitters out before we get too excited.

17. Garrett Baumann - RHP

The Braves have not been afraid to hand out overslot bonuses in the draft to high school arms they like in recent years and Garrett Baumann was a recipient of such a bonus as a fourth round pick in the 2023 draft. The 6'8 righty has a ton of projection and he has already touched the mid to upper 90's with his fastball that also pairs well with his changeup which is surprisingly advanced for a prep arm. Baumann will need to develop a solid breaking ball and improve his command going forward, but there is a lot to like so far.

16. Adam Maier - RHP

Adam Maier has yet to throw a pitch as a pro since being drafted in 2022 due to his recovery from elbow surgery prior to being drafted, so ranking him this high is a risky proposition. However, when he is right, his slider is absolutely nasty, he spins the crap out of his mid-90's fastball, and he sells his changeup well. Time will tell if he will continue to throw strikes and be able to spin the ball like he did before his surgery, but his upside is high enough that we are willing to go out on a limb and rank him this high.