Braves: The Biggest Surprises in Baseball America’s Midseason Prospect Update

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Baseball America features their midseason top 30 for each team, and the Braves have a couple of interesting choices:

Make sure you subscribe to Baseball America, they update it regularly with in-depth scouting reports. Here are a few things I noticed:

Kyle Muller takes second place

Unsurprisingly, super prospect Michael Harris has the top spot in Atlanta’s system. But what might surprise you is that Spencer Strider, who will soon lose his status as a potential player, is actually third on Baseball America’s list behind Kyle Muller. It’s easy to see why; Muller is a massive left-hander with easy throttle, which is something you can’t really teach him. His potential is sky high but he needs to limit the walks. I’ve seen Spencer Strider prove it, but with Muller’s build and pitch repertoire, it’s arguable that his potential is higher. However, whether he will reach this potential remains to be seen.

Jesse Franklin takes a big leap

If you’ve been following our coverage of Braves prospects, you won’t be too surprised that Jesse Franklin is getting some love. Part of a special looking 2020 draft class for the Braves, Franklin has a lot of pop in his racquet. The former Michigan Wolverine sits at No. 7 on this list, no doubt due in part to his 24 homers and 24 doubles in 2021. He has yet to trim his strikeouts, especially after a so-so start in AA in 2022, but he could be another big outfield hitter , which was developed by the Braves.

Two rising young stars

Now that the Braves have no “time off,” so to speak, when it comes to international signing sanctions, they wasted no time picking up 17-year-old SS Diego Benitez. Benitez is MLB.com’s 10th overall ranked International Prospect, and Baseball America has already ranked him 15th on the Atlanta system. We won’t see him in action for another year or so, but he’s a guy to watch.

I was also a big fan of Tyler Collins, who was drafted in 2021. He was one of two high school players signed by the Braves and is ranked 26th at Baseball America. I like his five-tool potential, he could be another tooly outfielder the Braves are developing into an upper-tier prospect. Collins is extremely quick, which helps him set himself apart as a top-notch defender in midfield. He posted an .877 OPS in Rookie Ball as an 18-year-old — he’s a guy I’ll be keeping an eye on.

An old friend shows up

It was a bit of a shock when the Braves named Jasseel De La Cruz for the assignment as he was considered by many media outlets to be one of the top 15 prospects in their system. De La Cruz had a poor season marred by injuries, but the Braves re-signed him after vacating the 40-man roster spot. De La Cruz is back on Baseball America’s roster at 26, but with an 8.03 ERA, he may not be there much longer unless things improve.

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