Atlanta Braves Prospects: Ignacio Alvarez's Breakout Season

The biggest breakout in the entire Atlanta Braves organization belongs to none other than Ignacio Alvarez

Atlanta Braves v Boston Red Sox
Atlanta Braves v Boston Red Sox / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

The biggest breakout of anyone in the Atlanta Braves organization comes from Ignacio Alvarez. Yes, an even bigger breakout than AJ Smith-Shawver, a guy who at 20 reached the major leagues. We knew the Braves were very high on AJSS, we did not know how high of a ceiling Nacho had coming into 2023. He has raised the expectations and his status with his play in 2023.

Through 93 games at High-A Rome, Alvarez has 398 plate appearances, hitting .292/.405/.410 with 6 HR, 51 R, 54 RBI, 14 SB, .380 wOBA, & 129 wRC+. He has an impressive 14.6% walk rate while only striking out 17.6% of the time. The .117 ISO power is a slight concern because we would like to see more power. Look at what he has done since the beginning of July though.

In 27 games, 104 plate appearances, he hit .298/.376/.510 4 HR, 22 R, 14 RBI, 2 SB, with a .397 wOBA & 140 wRC+. The .212 ISO is much more appealing. He does not even need to provide that much power consistently either, he just needs to show more than .117 ISO power.

A big factor in a prospect's value, especially one that plays shortstop, is whether they actually play shortstop. He has played both shortstop and third base this year and has shown flashes of being able to handle both positions. He moves well and shows a plus glove. The biggest concern is he might grow out of being able to handle shortstop.

As we know, one of the few positions the Braves do not have an answer for is shortstop. Orlando Arcia has been much more than anyone expected in 2023 but he is not viewed as the long-term answer. He is giving guys like Alvarez more time to develop, and not forcing the Braves to rush him.

There is a shot that Nacho could find himself in Atlanta by late 2024 if all goes well. I imagine AA MIssissippi is in his future soon. Maybe the Braves give him a taste of AA over the last month. He definitely should begin 2024 in AA, which is always where the real prospects begin to separate themselves from the others.

If he performs there, whenever he does get to Mississippi, we will have a better idea of when he might reach the majors.

For now, Alvarez is showing plenty of promise and might be the next shortstop for the Braves within the next few years. An under the radar prospect coming into 2023, he is now without question in my top 4 in the organization. There is a strong case he could be the top prospect if the power surge turns out to be legit.