By the start of the season, most potential outlets in the Braves farm system were understandably down. They’ve seen a lot of talent graduate in the last few years and they’ve lost even more in the trade to Matt Olson. However, the top of the system is still rich in talent and there are some under-the-radar guys at the lower echelons who are already starting to break up.
Baseball America talked about two of these lesser-known Braves prospects in their recent article, which broke down the top 20 hottest prospects of the past week.
Royber Salinas (High-A Rom)
Salinas is a Venezuela international who the Braves signed back in 2019 and he’s had a stunning start to 2022. He started the year with the August Green Jackets but was quickly promoted after beating 52 batsmen in just 23.2 innings! His first start in Rome was bumpy; This week, however, he made a splendid recovery, hitting ten batters in five innings of shutout ball, conceding just one hit and one walk. Here’s what Baseball America had to say about Salinas’ performance:
After a failure in his first start in Rome, the Braves’ escape contender remembered who he is – Royber, the bats’ big miss. Four of Salinas’ seven starts this season have ended in double-digit strikeouts, and his 63 Ks lead the minor leagues. Additionally, Salinas leads qualified minor league pitchers in strikeouts per nine innings (19.33), strikeout percentage (53.8%) and swinging strike percentage (23%). Simply put, if you pit against Royber, there’s a pretty good chance he’ll make you look silly before sending you back to the dugout.
Justyn-Henry Malloy (High-A Rom)
Malloy hails from Georgia Tech and was selected in the sixth round of last year’s draft. The 21-year-old first baseman was already impressing in Rome with a batting average of .324 and .909 OPS. Here’s what Baseball America had to say about its performance this past week.
Georgia Tech’s sixth-place finisher debuted at No. 30 on the Atlanta Top 30 Prospects in the May update. He continued his momentum early in the season this week, amassing a hit in all five games he played and on 50% of his at-bats. He hit his highest water mark on Saturday with a 5-on-5 performance in which he scored two doubles and three singles as he crossed the slab twice and rode in twos that day. He enters a streak with Aberdeen batting .324/.423/.486 with three homers and a 13% walk rate.