Monday, November 15, 2021 – Daily Notes: Baseball America releases Braves Top 10 prospects for 2022 season, along with a projected starting lineup for 2025

-Clint Manry

I’m in the middle of my offseason prospect review series, but I just had to take a moment to check out Baseball America’s latest Braves list – a top 10 ranking published on Monday.

Boy have the times changed. Not only is outfielder Cristian Pache no longer the top prospect in the organization, but he drops all the way to third, behind both Michael Harris II and Shea Langeliers…

  1. Michael Harris II, OF
  2. Shea Langeliers, C
  3. Cristian Pache, OF
  4. Kyle Muller, LHP
  5. Spencer Strider, RHP
  6. Drew Waters, OF
  7. Braden Shewmake, SS
  8. Bryce Elder, RHP
  9. Ryan Cusick, RHP
  10. Jesse Franklin V, OF

That’s one helluva top 10, and honestly, save for Harris at no. 1, I could probably get on board with the entire list (I think, if not Pache, than Muller should be the top dog).

Speaking of Harris: though I’m not completely sold on him carrying the title as top prospect, he most certainly lived up to the pre-season hype from this past spring. At just 20-years-old, he slapped 26 doubles and totaled 27 stolen bases in 101 games with Rome, all while sporting a strong .294/.362/.436 slash-line (good for a 114 wRC+). Also, his 25.9% line drive rate was the fifth-highest mark in all of High-A, which is pretty good indication that he was absolutely locked in at the plate. Similar numbers in Double-A in 2022… and yeah, I’ll be ready to call him the best prospect in the Braves system.

BA also provided a look at what the Braves 2025 starting lineup could look like (in a perfect world where no prospect is ever traded), and let me tell ya, it looks awesome.

Catcher: Shea Langeliers (27)
First Base: Freddie Freeman (35)
Second Base: Ozzie Albies (28)
Third Base: Austin Riley (28)
Shortstop: Dansby Swanson (31)
Left Field: Michael Harris (24)
Center Field: Cristian Pache (26)
Right FieldRonald Acuna Jr. (27)
Designated HitterDrew Waters (26)

No. 1 Starter: Max Fried (31)
No. 2 Starter: Mike Soroka (26)
No. 3 Starter: Ian Anderson (27)
No. 4 Starter: Kyle Muller (27)
No. 5 Starter: Huascar Ynoa (27)
Closer: Spencer Strider (26)

I don’t know about Waters being the DH, but other than that, Freddie Freeman leading the charge as a 35-year-old sure looks nice. And what’s crazy, the starting rotation above is still a young group, even with Max Fried, Mike Soroka, Ian Anderson and Huascar Ynoa all several years into their big league careers. Oh, and Spencer Strider as the closer needs to happen ASAP. That could be one of the best pitching groups in decades.

Anyways… cool stuff.

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