Baseball America today re-ranked the Braves farm system. Here is the list, along with my commentary of their decisions.
1. Jose Peraza - Not a shock, although some believe Lucas Sims should be the top prospect.
2. Max Fried - From the Padres, he's off a year but who has the higher upside? I give a slight edge to Fried.
3. Lucas Sims - Headed to AA to prove he's the better pitching prospect. A good season will end the argument.
4. Christian Bethancourt - He'll start in Atlanta after seeing time last season.
5. Jason Hursh - This is too high in my book. Still not convinced he's not a reliever.
6. Ozhaino Albies - Atlanta's version of Jose Altuve. Headed to Rome to see if he can hit at the full-season level.
7. Ricardo Sanchez - This one is so hard to pick cause he's so young. Number 2 Angels prospect but their system is awful.
8. Jace Peterson - Glad he's getting attention. Will likely contribute quicker than anyone not named Bethancourt on this list.
9. Braxton Davidson - Can't wait to see him in Rome this season to see how good that bat really is.
10. Tyrell Jenkins - New arm in system from Cardinals. Can he got to AA and dominate?
11. Manny Banuelos - Hard to know where he goes, too. Former top prospect may be fifth starter. Probably a good spot here.
12. Johan Camargo - They are higher on Camargo than I am. Decent prospect but not this high.
13. Garrett Fulenchek - Shows you how poor the system is for him to be this high. It's too high. Maybe upper-teens.
14. Arodys Vizcaino - Is he still considered a prospect? Can he be the next Neftali Feliz?
15. Shae Simmons - Please be healthy so we can see if you can replace Kimbrel when he's traded.
16. Mauricio Cabrera - The modern day Jose Cappellan. Throws hard but what else? He's trade bait for me.
17. Mallex Smith - I hope he proves us all wrong and that he should be higher on this list. What a coup if that happens.
18. Dustin Peterson - A little low for me. Didn't they trade Kubitza because of this guy being around?
19. Daniel Winkler - I'm glad he was included. An under-the-radar move that could work out if he comes back from TJ.
20. Wes Parsons - Liking him more and more. Good frame. Could be higher - maybe in low-teens.
Who should have been left out? I probably would have left Camargo out and dropped Cabrera. Should Simmons and Vizcaino be left out since they've exceeded rookie status? I think so. I would have included Williams Perez, Alex Grosser Tanner Murphy and Dion Toscano in my Top 20.
This is not an easy exercise. The Braves have brought so many players in, and since we haven't seen them yet it's difficult to even compare them to the other Braves prospects. But to know seven of their Top 20 have come in moves this offseason tells you all you need to know about how bad the Atlanta system was the day Frank Wren walked out the door as the general manager.
Improvements have been made. It's going to be fun to see how strong the farm system will be in midseason and at the end of the season.
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