Atlanta Braves dominate ESPN's Top 100 list for 2024

When almost all of your position players rank in the Top 100 - you probably have a good team.

Milwaukee Brewers v Atlanta Braves
Milwaukee Brewers v Atlanta Braves / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
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#15 Spencer Strider

A lot has happened since Spencer was a hurt pitcher out of Clemson selected in the fourth round of the 2020 MLB draft. All he has done is morph himself into one of the best pitchers in baseball thanks to one of the best fastballs and a dynamite slider combination. Due to his extension, and tunneling, hitters have all types of fits reading his pitches and when you combine that with truly special stuff you get a player with a 13.55 K/9 rate, a 3.09 ERA, and a 2.85 FIP.

Spencer entered Spring toying around with his pitch types and as a result, he's begun to incorporate a rather good curveball to further upset hitters around the league. If Strider is truly able to get a firm grasp of the curve, while also flashing his changeup when needed, you are looking at a perennial 300 strikeouts and constant Cy Young hopeful. At just 25, the upside for Spencer remains to be seen. What is known, is that he will be a true staple in the rotation for however long the Braves can afford to keep him.

#29 Austin Riley

What else is there to say about a two-way player out of DeSoto Central High School in Mississippi that hasn't been said already? Back in 2015, there were plenty of teams that were interested in Austin because of his arm and what he could have done on the mound but ever since the day they drafted him - the Braves say Austin is a true third baseman but I doubt even they imagined what the young man would turn into. He's got the full potential to win a National League MVP at some point.

Fast forward to 2024 and Austin has had three straight 4.5+ fWAR seasons, with the last two worth a combined 10.8 fWAR. He matched almost every number from his fantastic 2022 campaign where he was worth 5.6 fWAR. He has shown he consistently walks around 8% of the time while striking out right around 24% of the time and the rest of the time? He's hitting the ball and hitting it hard. Austin hit .281/.345/.516 last year which was good enough for a 127 wRC+ and 5.2 fWAR. I think he will be the first to say he can do even better than that including an uptick in his power numbers. Whatever he does, expect greatness out of Austin heading into 2024.

#31 Max Fried

The main piece of the Justin Upton trade, Max Fried has lived up to all the predictions and expectations on him as a talented LHP out of Harvard-Westlake High School. While he has struggled with injuries throughout his career (dang you blisters!) nobody can dispute his gift on the mound when healthy. Last year Max only pitched 77 innings - a number you know angers him. Despite just 77 innings, Max was still incredibly effective with a 2.55 ERA, 9.27 K/9, and a 2.09 BB/9 rate. Fully healthy, and a pending free agent, who knows just what 2024 has in store for Max. An ace by every definition, the 30-year-old is primed for a massive year leading to an extremely lucrative contract.