Welcome to our 2022 team top prospect rankings series. Leading up to Minor League Opening Day, Eric Cross and Chris Clegg will go through all 30 Major League organizations, continuing today with their Atlanta Braves Top Prospects for dynasty leagues. In each installment of this series, you’ll find the top-20 rankings from both Eric Cross (AVG) and Chris Clegg (OBP) along with one prospect each that they’re targeting heavily in dynasty leagues right now. Hopefully, these rankings will help you in your dynasty leagues, and maybe give you some new trade targets to consider.
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Atlanta Braves Top Prospects
|Eric Cross (AVG)||Rank||Chris Clegg (OBP)|
|Michael Harris (OF)||1||Michael Harris (OF)|
|Vaughn Grissom (SS)||2||Vaughn Grissom (SS)|
|Spencer Strider (RHP)||3||Spencer Strider (RHP)|
|Drew Waters (OF)||4||Drew Waters (OF)|
|Jesse Franklin (OF)||5||Bryce Elder (RHP)|
|Bryce Elder (RHP)||6||Jared Shuster (LHP)|
|Diego Benitez (SS)||7||Diego Benitez (SS)|
|Jared Shuster (LHP)||8||Freddy Tarnok (RHP)|
|Kyle Muller (LHP)||9||Kyle Muller (LHP)|
|Luke Waddell (SS)||10||Jesse Franklin (OF)|
|Ambioris Tavarez (SS/3B)||11||Tucker Davidson (LHP)|
|Freddy Tarnok (RHP)||12||Darius Vines (RHP)|
|Braden Shewmake (SS)||13||Spencer Schwellenbach (SS/RHP)|
|Tucker Davidson (LHP)||14||Ambioris Tavarez (SS/3B)|
|Spencer Schwellenbach (SS/RHP)||15||Braden Shewmake (SS)|
|AJ Smith-Shawver (RHP)||16||Mahki Backstrom (1B)|
|Victor Vodnik (RHP)||17||AJ Smith-Shawver (RHP)|
|Tyler Collins (OF)||18||Victor Vodnik (RHP)|
|Darius Vines (RHP)||19||Luke Waddell (SS)|
|Cal Conley (SS)||20||Cal Conley (SS)|
Cross’ Prospect to Target: Spencer Strider
After trading away several top prospects over the last year, including four to Oakland in the Matt Olson deal, this Atlanta farm system is a bit baron at the moment. On the pitching side of things, the most intriguing arm by far is Spencer Strider. The moustached right-hander made his Major League debut late last season for Atlanta and has impressed this far in spring training, tossing 4.1 shutout innings with five strikeouts. But it’s his 100mph heat that has been turning heads the most.
Strider has added velocity over the last year or so and now sits in the mid-90’s consistently, often touching the upper-90s and now triple-digits this spring. Offsetting that is a sharp slider with plenty of late break and a solid changeup with fade that has improved and could be a 50/55 grade offering with further refinement.
Strider has had no issue missing bats at a high clip, recording a 39.3 strikeout rate in the minors, but he also had a 10.3% walk rate to go along with it and a 13.3% rate in college. That’s not a terrible rate, but improving that further should be highly beneficial to Strider who has mid-rotation upside along with exciting strikeout potential.
Clegg’s Prospect to Target: Vaughn Grissom
It is surprising that there isn’t more hype around Vaughn Grissom as of yet. I projected him as a breakout before the 2021 season and he certainly came through on that. Grissom spent time between Low and High-A last season posting a slash line of .319/.418/.464 with seven home runs and 16 stolen bases. Grissom makes great contact, posting an 82.5 percent contact rate in Low-A and upped it to 86.5 percent in High-A.
Some may think Grissom lacks power, which is understandable considering he has just ten professional home runs in 564 MiLB plate appearances. Grissom has a max exit velocity of 113.2 which stacks up with some big MILB sluggers. At 6’3/180, there is plenty of room for him to add more muscle to his frame. Grissom will get to experience his first test against higher-level pitching this season as he likely starts in Double-A. He will be worth monitoring because there is potential for his stock to soar.
Media Credit: Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire
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