Atlanta Braves Prospect Report: Mississippi Braves Edition

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Tyler Tolve

The Georgia boy was drafted out of Kennesaw State in the 17th round of the 2021 draft and has been a pleasant surprise for the most part. Tyler Tolve makes loud contact from the left side of the plate. Unfortunately, there are some contact issues due to the high strikeouts.

That can be seen through his 53 plate appearances in Mississippi where he is hitting .178/.283/.222 0 HR, 8 R, 5 RBI with a .251 wOBA & 50 wRC+. The 13.2% walk rate is encouraging in this small sample but the 32.1% strikeout rate is not.

Defensively though, he has shown to be extremely athletic behind the plate. He grades as a solid receiver with an above average arm. The defense will give him more time to fine tune the bat.

Tolve is probably a backup catcher at best at the major league level. If he can keep up the defensive work that scouts are currently reporting, he will have a shot to reach the majors one day.

Luis De Avila

Luis De Avila came to the Braves organization thanks to the minor league portion of the Rule-5 draft from the Kansas City Royals. This makes the Braves his third organization as he originally signed with the Colorado Rockies back in 2017.

The 30th-ranked prospect for the Braves is showing some intrigue in Mississippi. In 9 starts, he has pitched 37 innings with a 3.89 ERA, 3.73 FIP, 3.81 xFIP, 23.5% strikeout rate, and 11.1% walk rate. He does not strike out a ton, and the walks are high, but the stuff looks decent. He throws a low 90s sinker, a power curve that generates swings and misses, and a nice changeup to pair with the slider. His 2.84 GB/FB ratio is extremely encouraging, as well as a 55.1% groundball rate.

Avila has a long road ahead of him but there is some potential in the arm. Maybe the Braves' player development department can continue to tap into that potential.

Cody Milligan

Cody Milligan is a super under-the-radar name in the Braves system. The ninth round pick from the 2019 draft is unranked but has turned some heads in Braves country with his play over the last two years.

This year, he is currently hitting .333/.467/.521 1 HR, 15 R, 6 RBI, 5 SB with a .447 wOBA, & 174 wRC+ over 60 plate appearances. It is more doubles power than home run power and he relies on spraying the ball across the field with good contact skills. The 15.0% walk rate is phenomenal. While the 31.7% strikeout rate is not ideal, it is much higher than his other stops in the minors and I wonder if it will drop as he gets more plate appearances.

Milligan has played second base, left field, center field, and right field in the minors. He has primarily played second and center field, with a slight edge to center.

There may not be a high ceiling with Milligan, but that is not preventing him from making a name for himself down on the farm. He could potentially turn into an intriguing utility player with the proper development.

Drew Lugbauer

Going to end with Mr. Mississippi Brave himself, Drew Lugbauer. The 26-year-old was drafted back in the eleventh round of the 2017 draft. For the last three years, he has made a name for himself in Pearl, Mississippi.

He is putting together another solid year, hitting .222/.347/.548 10 HR, 23 R, 31 RBI, and three-outcome1 SB with a .394 wOBA, & 140 wRC+. Lugbauer has 56 career home runs in a Mississippi Braves uniform. He is a true three-outcome hitter, sporting a 14.7% walk rate and 38.7% strikeout rate.

He is primarily a first baseman or DH but could maybe play some left field if needed. If the Braves have yet to move Lugbauer to AAA Gwinnett, it shows us that he probably does not have much of a future within the organization.

It will be interesting to see if he ever finds his way to the major leagues with any organization. The power is something a team might take a chance on.