2015 Atlanta Braves Top Preseason Prospects
The Atlanta Braves went from having a farm system in despair to having one of the best in baseball this offseason, with the additions of Max Fried, Tyrell Jenkins, Mallex Smith, Dustin Peterson, Manny Banuelos, and Arodys Vizcaino. Atlanta has also seen rises from two prospects in Jose Peraza and Ozhaino Albies. The Braves still need to add a big time power bat and I think they’ll add one with their first pick in the 2015 draft, but watch out for Braxton Davidson in that department.
Check out our prospect database. We list every site that ranks your favorite team’s top prospects.
★★★★★★ – Superstar player that has the potential to make an instant impact in the Major Leagues. This player is a future MVP or Cy Young Candidate.
★★★★★ – Great player at his respected position. Has the potential to be a number one starter if he’s a pitcher. Has All-Star potential, but isn’t on the superstar level.
★★★★ – A good everyday player, but not on the great level. A good number two or three if he’s a pitcher.
★★★ – Major League potential, but most likely just a bench player or number 4 or 5 starter. A chance they will spend most of their career in the minors.
1. Jose Peraza, SS/2B
I think Peraza is one of the most underrated prospects in all of baseball, he hit .339 last year in High-A and Double-A combined and on top of that he stole 60 bases. I have Peraza listed as the number nine prospect in all of baseball and it’s for good reason, he can flat out play the game. He’s a great defender with a good arm, but I see his future being at second base. Atlanta will have to call him up sometime this season, as they continue to look for contact hitters, they’ll have no choice but to bring up their best contact hitting prospect.
2. Christian Bethancourt, C
Bethancourt is expected to start in the big leagues in 2015, but for now he’s still a prospect and one with a lot of potential. He isn’t the greatest hitter in the world, but many believe he will get better with experience just like Yadier Molina did. Like Molina, Bethancourt is a great defender and has a tremendous arm.
3. Lucas Sims, RHP
Sims struggled in High-A ball last season, posting a 4.19 ERA in 28 starts for Lynchburg, but he’s still very young and had a great 2013 season. Sims will need a big year in 2015, if he wants to play at the major league level anytime soon. He still needs to work on his command, but overall he’s a really good pitcher with a great fastball, good curveball, and an above average changeup.
4. Matt Wisler, RHP
5. Ozhaino Albies, SS
Another speedster in the Braves farm system is Ozhaino Albies, who hit .364 and stole 22 bases in just 57 games in 2014, and I almost forgot to mention that he’s just 18 years old. Albies has all the tools to be a great leadoff hitter, but he might be looking at a position change, since Andrelton Simmons will be controlling shortstop until 2021. He’s an average hitter right now and a good fielder with a great arm that I could see moving to center field.
6. Max Fried, LHP
Fried has tremendous upside, but missing most of last season and having to miss all of 2015 with Tommy John Surgery will hurt him in the rankings. We will have to wait until the Fall to see if the surgery was successful, so don’t be shocked if he’s the Braves number one prospect this time next year. Fried fastball sits in the low 90s, with his curveball being his best pitch. He also has the command to be a dominant pitcher for years to come.
7. Michael Foltynewicz, RHP
The Braves acquired Foltynewicz in the Evan Gattis trade and he might be the best player they picked up this offseason. The 23-year old has a fastball that consistently sets in the upper 90s and will hit triple digits from time-to-time. He already has a little big league experience, working out of the pen for the Astros last season. I think he will continue to work out of the pen until he can fix his command issues without losing velocity on his fastball.
8. Braxton Davidson, OF
The Braves picked Davidson with the 32nd pick in the 2014 draft and he’s just 18 years old, which means he should only get better. Davidson is a left-handed power bat that can also hit for average that might remind a lot of people of current player Anthony Rizzo or former Brave star Fred McGriff. Davidson is better suited for first base, but with Freddie Freeman having that under control 2022 the Braves will have no choice but to try Davidson out in right field. Davidson lacks speed which will make it hard for him to be a good defensive outfielder.
9. Tyrell Jenkins, RHP
Jenkins was traded to the Braves in November in the Jason Heyward trade. Jenkins might be a few years away from the majors, but it’s well worth the wait. He has a mid-90s fastball to go with a nice curveball and changeup. He does have command issues and I think he’s best suited for the bullpen at this point. If he can get his command under control than I could see him being a great starting pitcher.
10. Rio Ruiz, 3B
Ruiz like Foltynewicz came over from Houston in the Gattis trade. His bread and butter is his ability to get on base posting a slash line of .293/.387/.436 last season in High-A ball. Ruiz still needs to work on his defensive skill but I think he can still be a decent defender by the time he reaches the majors.
11. Manny Banuelos, LHP
Banuelos was once the Yankees top prospect, but missed most of the 2012 and all of the 2013 season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. Banuelos has made strides and is starting to look like the pitcher we saw in 2011. He still struggles a little with his command and I could see Atlanta working him out of the pen some this season.
12. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
13. Jason Hursh, RHP
14. Mallex Smith, OF
15. Garrett Fulenchek, RHP
16. Dustin Peterson, 3B
17. Ricardo Sanchez, LHP
18. Alec Grosser, RHP
19. Wes Parsons, RHP
20. Mauricio Cabrera, RHP