Atlanta Braves Prospects: Keith Law Reveals his Top 20 Braves Prospects

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Spring training in coming up fast and with that is going to be a renewed interest in what is going on in the Atlanta Braves farm system (or isn't in this case) as we are about to see some of these guys in camp. Keith Law released his top 20 Atlanta Braves prospects over on the Athletic. Here is a quick look.

1. Jared Shuster
2. JR (Ian) Ritchie
3. Cole Phillips
4. Owen Murphy
5. Braden Shewmake
6. Cal Conley
7. AJ Smith-Shawver
8. Spencer Schwellenbach
9. Victor Vodnik
10. Dylan Dodd
11. Blake Burkhalter
12. Adam Maier
13. David McCabe
14. Drake Baldwin
15. Darius Vines
16. Tyler Tolve
17. Geraldo Quintero
18. Kevin Kilpatrick
19. Jesse Franklin
20. Adam Zebrowski

My first takeaway here is... oof. Every time I see a Braves farm system ranking, it helps me understand why the Braves farm system is considered a bottom three system in baseball. However, that is alright because the Braves have traded several top prospects to Oakland for a star first baseman in Matt Olson and a stud catcher in Sean Murphy. There is also the trade for Joe Jimenez. As well as the trades from the 2021 trade deadline.

Oh, and the Braves also had the top two rookies in the National League in 2022. Michael Harris & Spencer Strider graduating from prospect status will hurt any prospect list.

So is the Braves farm system in a good place? No. However, are the Braves in a bad spot as an organization? Absolutely not. Plus, a silver lining is that the area the Braves may need the most in the coming years, pitching, is the area the organization has plenty of depth in.

Secondly, how does it compare to the House that Hank Built's prospect list? Well, at first glance, Law views Shuster as the Braves top prospect, while he came in at 6th on Eric's list. Meanwhile, Murphy came in at the top here while he was 4th for Law. A big difference is seen in Shewmake & Conley. They are ranked 5th & 6th respectively for Law while they come in at 12th & 24th here. Law believes in them and thus has them ranked much higher. He also loves Baldwin much more currently than Eric, who ranked him down at 29. On the flip side, we love AJ Smith-Shawver more than Law does as we have him at 2 while Law places him down at 7. We also have Dodd (7) & Vines (8) higher than where Law has them.

Third, Law does not have many international guys ranked in his top 20. Outside of Quintero, there is zero international prospects in his top 20. I find that odd. I would personally have Ambiores Tavarez, Diego Benitez, and probably even Luis Guanipa and Douglas Glod in my top 20. At the very least, I would have them ahead of Quintero (who I admittedly am a fan of for my own personal reasons). However, it is likely that Law has these players right outside of his top 20 for the Braves, in which, I would not really argue too much. Prospect lists are subjective.

Finally, the Braves system is really really thin. A few of these guys we are mentioning towards the backend of these lists are guys that would not crack most team's top 30 lists. However, the Braves have arguably the best young core in the entire league and have them locked up for most of the decade. A good spot to be in.

I do think there is potential for a few of these guys to break out in a big way. A guy I really think could rise up lists fast is AJ Smith-Shawver. I think if he puts it all together, we could see him fly up prospect lists and maybe even crack a top 100 list. Adam Maier could be a great prospect to watch if he can regain his stuff before his college injury. Any of the international guys I mentioned could easily fly up rankings once they come stateside and if they perform at a high level.

However, it is always important to note that prospect lists are subjective and prospects are never a guarantee. Even the "top prospects" bust from time to time. We already mentioned the top two NL rookies from last year, Harris & Strider, neither was a particularly highly ranked prospect across the league when they were first drafted. They flew up rankings and still surpassed expectations. A testemant to the Braves player development system. Which should give us some hope that they can develop the next young talent that could make an impact in an Atlanta uniform.

As always, it was fun to review another Braves top prospect list. There will be more in the next few weeks and I will gladly review each and every one of them.