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Thread: AUGUST 2018 TOP 30 PROSPECTS (new thread!)

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    Director of Minor League Reports rico43's Avatar
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    AUGUST 2018 TOP 30 PROSPECTS (new thread!)

    UPDATING: Acuna no longer a "prospect".


    TRADE DEADLINE EDITION

    1. KYLE WRIGHT (6-4, 200) RHP A neutral scout said Braves' top pick would be MLB ready in 2018, and his age and collegiate experience allow him to realistically be put up this high on the list. Starting low, in GCL, but moved up two levels before year's end. Ignore his record (3-4, 3.40), and weigh his peripherals. Still filling out and gaining speed; strong July indicating his turnaround could be taking place.

    2. TOUKI TOUSSANT (6-3, 185) RHP For his 19th birthday, he was dealt to the Braves. His skills have been in direct contrast to his results, as in 2016: 9.19 ERA in April, 4.61 in May, 1.06 in June. In 2017, that trend continued as he was promoted despite a 5.16 ERA and posoted a sweet 3.18 ERA in Mississippi. Toussaint quite possibly has the best fastball-breaking ball combination in the system. His curveball is of the knee-buckling variety, a virtually unhittable secondary offering that's been equally difficult for catchers to corral. A tease of a possible move: he was called on to throw an inning of relief during the 2016 pennant race and struck out three straight batters.

    3. MIKE SOROKA (6-4, 195) RHP The youngest starter in the Southern League in 2017 was also its biggest first-half winner (8-3). His age did not deter the Braves from calling him up early in the season, but his long-term health issues will be a concern until we see him in September. In 2016 he won seven straight, including his last six starts. Threw over 100 pro innings before allowing a homer. Pitching far beyond his years, but his double stint on the DL this year is a red flag.

    4. BRYSE WILSON (6-1, 225) RHP His MLB debut answered nearly every question. Every bit the equal of the more heralded Wentz at the time of his drafting, was named the SAL's top pitcher (10-7, 2.50) in '17, allowing only 105 hits in 137 innings. Still out of his teens, Wilson, the 4th-round pick and fourth millionaire from the 2016 draft, owned a stunning 2.11 ERA after 23 professional starts. While No. 1 picks Anderson and Wright were having their innings curtailed, Wilson owned a rare nine-inning shutout from July. His main claim to fame is his fastball, which he able to move and control its velocity. He's already polishing his secondary pitches.

    5. IAN ANDERSON (6-3, 170) RHP After seeing so many quirky deliveries (i.e., Alec Wood and Gant), it's almost reassuring that Anderson's textbook style is part of his allure. Tall and projectable with the ability to add strength, Anderson throws in the 91-95 mph range, is generally around the strike zone and attacks hitters. His limited debut reflected that with 36 strikeouts, 33 hits allowed and 12 walks in 40 innings. He has was shut down for 2017 for a time after only 65 innings (he finished with 83 innings).

    6. KOLBY ALLARD (6-2, 175) LHP His arm is as much an object of wonder but his back was concern after needing a second procedure. But that's old news. He dominated what live hitting he faced in 2015 and worked up to 90 pitches most of his late-season outings. The Braves are done nursemaiding him; he won eight of his last nine decisions in 2016 (five straight at Rome) and was consistently allowed to throw 90 or more pitches. He and Soroka were the two youngest pitchers in the SL in 2017.

    7. AUSTIN RILEY (6-2, 230) 3B. The biggest bat drafted in 2015, an 0-for-20 start was quickly left behind; for the rest of 2015, he hit .335 with 12 homers. A gun for an arm made him a pitching candidate for some teams. But Riley the rarest commodity in the system; a power bat. Struck out way too much early in 2016 but began finding his home run swing in July and hit nine of 'em in August! The one constant on a jekyll-and-hyde Florida team, he cut down on his strikeouts but with a loss of his gap power, but found his power stroke in Mississippi to finish the year with 20 homers for the second straight year.

    8. WILLIAM CONTRERAS (6-0, 180) C Finally, a top catching prospect has emerged. Still only 20 going into the 2018 season, Contreras is rated by many as the best catching prospect in the system. Breaking in at age 17, he still played in only 45 games in 2017, 35 behind the plate. But his bat (.290) led to his being used a bit as a DH as well for Danville. He must have a full season behind the plate to be properly valued.

    9. CRISTIAN PACHE (6-2, 185) OF Each move has amped up the excitement about this outfielder, who received a $1.4 million signing bonus. Much has been made about the face had over 700 pro at-bats before he homered, but after debuting in 2016 with a .283 average in the GCL (bypassing the DSL), he moved to Danville and whacked the ball at a .343 clip his final 17 games to finish with a .333 average at his second stop. Stolen 11 bases and has an impressive nine outfield assists from CF in his debut season. He has begun polishing his strike recognition and speed in 2017, and found his power stroke in 2018. The sky is his limit.

    10. MAX FRIED (6-4, 185) LHP It took some time for the lights to come on, but overmatched hitters during the 2017 Arizona Fall League season. A slow start was left behind: 6.23 ERA last May, 4-1, 1.29 in June. Had a brief bout with a dead arm in August but struck out 10 in both of his final two outings. His inconsistent 2017 was directly related to a blister problem, which surfaced again this year. In fact, knowing that it is always on his mind makes them a major concerns and keeps him out of the top five.

    11. DREW WATERS (6-2, 185) Has handled everything the Braves have thrown at him. The onetime Georgia Class 7A Player of the Year in Georgia (Etowah), his plans to go to Georgia were trumped by the Braves making him their second round pick with $1.5 million bonus. For years a switch-hitter, his speed and throwing arm are among the elite. His instincts are perfect for center field, and had a huge day the first time he batted leadoff as a pro. Only spent 14 games in the GCL (.347) and held his own at Danville even though his strikeout totals spiked. Certainty for Rome Opening Day 2018.

    12. JOEY WENTZ (6-5, 210) LHP. Start off with his 0.00 ERA his senior high of high school. A huge get with the 40th pick, a brief bout with a "dead arm" scared enough scouts to drop him from the top 10-15 picks. Similar troubles have slowed his progress in 2018, and are an ongoing concern. A throwing program nursed his arm back to health the first time elevating his fastball to 90-95 mph last spring and was also unscored upon over his first four pro appearances (12 innings), not giving up a run until he was promoted to Danville. He was still a force at Rome in '17, showing a knack for holding runners close on top of his strikeout-per-inning velocity. Not facing the innings restriction of Anderson, he worked over 130 innings with a sterling 2.60 ERA, but arm ailment and bad weather has limited his 2018 activity to 62 innings so far.

    13. ALEX JACKSON (6-2, 215) C-OF. Upside improved considerably with his move back to catcher, which he'd previously played as a teen, and has been pushed all the way to AAA this season. Was Seattle's No.1 pick in 2014 (6th overall), cashing a check for a cool $4.2 million. John Hart called him the best prep power prospect coming out of that draft, but did not deliver on that promise unitl his half-season with the Fire Frogs. Struck out a ton with the Mariners, but was young for his league and was still only 21 in 2017. Jackson enjoyed a reversal in 2017 with 19 homers. Defensively, his 12 errors and 21 percent caught stealing were plenty acceptable to the Braves, and his tools have earned him a move to AAA.

    14. DREW LUGBAUER (6-3, 220) C-3B The breakout star from the 2017 draft, this Michigan Wolverine seems like a steal in the 11th round after hitting five homers in his first nine professional games for Danville and had 10 in 29 games when promoted. He finished with 13 in his short-season and had a healthy .865 OPS. Started 23 games at first, 14 behind the plate and 13 at third. A lefty hitter, he's still only 21, so his spiking strikeout totals in '18 are not that serious a concern.

    15. KYLE MULLER (6-6, 225) LHP A beast who struck out a national high school record 24 straight batters over two starts and once recorded 36 consecutive outs on strikeouts, he was held behind his fellow 2016 prep draftees. While he'd be a legitimate prospect as a first baseman/outfielder with well-above-average righthanded power (he hits righthanded but throws lefthanded), the choice to allow him to pitch has worked just fine: his debut line was 1-0, 0.65 with 38 strikeouts, 12 walks in 28 innings in 2016. But in Danville, the long ball was a problem and his ERA soared to 4.15 in 48 innings. His stint at Rome lasted all of six games (3-0) and he's kept going strong when weather has allowed him to pitch in Florida.

    16. LUIZ GOHARA (6-3, 240) LHP. With his MLB success, he seemed close to a sure thing a year ago. But deeply personal issues and a deep dish (yes, cheap shot) has derailed his express train to success. Gohara received $800,000, as a 16-year-old in 2012, but struggled following his debut, particularly with his conditioning, but after improving his work ethic and losing weight, he had a big 2016 season and excelled in full-season ball. The Braves liked what they saw and acquired him from the Mariners. Still just 21 years old, Gohara's pure stuff is plenty good, leading to his major league debut last September. It was hoped his maturity matched his stuff, and was unable to stay in shape.

    17. RAY-PATRICK DIDDER (6-1, 170) OF Actually took a backward step on paper, but his potential is still the subject of much buzz. Strikeouts soared while after plunged in 2017; it was thought he was trying too hard to hit for power. Hit by a pitch 21 times in '17 after an alarming 39 the year before.

    18. DUSTIN PETERSON (6-2, 180) INF The breakout hitting prospect the first half of 2016, might have already reached the majors if not for injuries. Peterson was leading the Carolina League in hitting last year when the Carolina bus crash put him on the DL, then had hand surgery after hamate bone injury this spring. Driving in over 40 runs the first half of 2016, became the team's biggest offensive threat after a .337 June last season. Followed up with strong AFL season. Braves figure this was a season of rehab and expect him to break out in 2018.

    19. PATRICK WEIGEL (6-6, 240) The big college (Houston) righty was on the MLB doorstep when Tommy John surgery detailed him. Expected back late this season, he should be good to go in 2019. He started throwing from a mound in June, 369 days after his surgery and has been dominant in his rehab starts.

    20. FREDDY TARNOK (6-3, 185) RHP Another young pitcher who raised eyebrows with his selection (80th overall). Held back due his age (19 in November) and worked only 14 innings in eight starts (10 strikeouts, three walks). One scouting report had him hitting 98 as a prep senior with an effective curve. Needs innings, but after being lights out as a reliever early in 2018, he has struggled every time out as a starter. Will shoot up this list if left in relief.

    21. GREYSON JENISTA (6-4, 220) OF Braves grabbed a first-round talent in the second round with college slugger Jenista, who hit three homers in his first 10 pro games with Danville -- earning him a quick promotion to Rome, where he hit .300 in his first month. A lefty hitter, his special bonus is his eye: in his first 26 pro games, he's walked 10 times against 17 strikeouts (and 26 hits). He also has a good enough arm to project as a right fielder, but he must watch his weight (estimated a closer to 220-plus).

    22. TRAVIS DEMERITTE (6-0, 180) 2B Another seeming steal, acquired for a pair of reclamation projects, he struggled mightily the first part of 2018, but seemed to be back on track toward year's end. If the Georgia native can somehow find away to cut down on his prolific strikeout totals (175 in '16, 134 last year), the sky is the limit for him. As is, he has shown power traits that infielder can match in the system. At age 22, Demeritte has been given looks all over the field. Reports are he is so happy to be in Braves system, he'll play anywhere they ask. Did OK in AFL as replacement for Albies. Dropoff to 15 homers (from 25) meant a return to AA, but has been a more productive hitter.

    23. TUCKER DAVIDSON (6-2, 215) LHP A lefty with a devastating changeup, Davidson has became the fast-rising below-the-radar guy in the farm system. Only a 19th round pick in 2016, he showed a knack for both starting and relief in his first full pro season. Skipping over A+ was a very real possibility, but pitched better for Florida than his record showed on a bad Advanced Class A team.

    24. CJ ALEXANDER (6-5, 215) 3B Forget the 20th round that the Braves stole him in this June. He was projected by many as a 4th-5th round talent and was committed to Central Florida when plucked out of his JuCo powerhouse. Braves were in the right place at the right time, as he was about to turn 22 and knew it was time to begin his career. So the Braves got him for a reported $125 K and got one of the best hitters in the draft, period. As befit his draft placement, he began in the GCL, but left there after only nine games with a .412 average. He has similarly overmatched Appy League pitchers with a .354 average. He needed further promotion and bypassed Rome to wreak havoc in the Advanced Class A Florida club with a .357 average in his first 10 games there.

    25. CORBIN CLOUSE (6-0, 230) LHP The top closer in the minors -- even though the Braves have been reluctant to use him in that role -- the lefty has a 2.03 combined ERA a in his three pro seasons. He has begun saving games for Mississippi of late, but also has a 5-2 record with a 2.00 ERA. He is the system's Minor League Pitcher of the Month for July with a 3-1 record, a save and an 0.77 ERA over nine appearances. Was a lowly 27th-round pick in 2016 from tiny Davenport College.

    26. LUCAS HERBERT (6-1, 195) C Considered the most polished defensive catcher in the '15 draft, high school or college, Herbert began his pro career with a home run and his first full season bypassed the rookie leagues. If his huge June (.410) is legit, he could be on the doorstep of the majors within three seasons. Injured (menescus) in just his third pro game, wiped out 2015. Pushed to full-season Rome at age 19, but spent more time on the DL than anyone would have wanted. Repeating Rome, he began throwing out base stealers at a 40 percent clip in midseason -- he was becoming the complete player.

    27. JEFREY RAMOS (6-1, 185) Holding his own in Rome at age 19. Righty hitting outfielder is enjoy his best month in his first full season with four homers and 16 RBIs in 29 games. He has been a clutch RBI guy, but recently three home runs in a week's span. Arm will limit him to left field.

    28. RILEY DELGADO (5-10, 175) SS Was surprised the Braves were so quick to lavish praise on the SAL all-star shortstop, who signed in 2017 for a paltry $1,000 as a college senior (MTSU). Serviceable defense, and has hit a combined .322 in Rome and Florida as an ideal No. 2 hitter. Only 35 strikeouts in 91 games.

    29. AJ GRAFFANINO (6-2, 170) SS A "legacy" Brave who has delivered from Day One since his June, 2018 draft. Coming off a College World Series, he hit .407 in six games with Danville before the quick bump to full-season Rome. He did not miss a beat, hitting .361 in his first month in the SAL. He his safely in his first eight pro games, and already has 15 multi-hit games -- including five straight from August 9-13 that pushed him back over .400 foR A DAY.

    30. RICARDO SANCHEZ (5-11, 170) LHP His 11-strikeout, one-hit showing as a 20-year-old reminds us of his upside. The Angels' No. 3 prospect before his trade, his international experience in his native Venezuela rated as one of the top international pitching prospects when signed in July of 2013. He had an excellent 2.82 ERA over the final three months for the 2016 champion R-Braves, and his biggest needs, as is the case for most pitchers is age, are polishing his secondary pitches. Has had to overcome shoulder ailment.

    HONORABLE MENTION: Tyler Neslony, Braulio Vasquez, John Curtis, Huascar Ynoa, Jaseel De La Cruz, Raysheandall Michel, Michael Mader, Ricardo Rodriguez, Brad Roney (DL), Kyle Kinman (DL), Isranel Wilson.
    Last edited by rico43; 08-21-2018 at 03:07 PM.

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    Mashin' to Mississippi chipchildress's Avatar
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    touki is far and away the braves best prospect at this point.

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    You are bizarre

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    10 yr, $185 million Extension zbhargrove's Avatar
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    This list is... interesting...
    Enscheff is the most brilliant baseball mind of our time. No seriously. he's fantastic and really remarkable. You're going to love him. Magnificent. Really great.

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    Osuna and Baez were released a while ago.

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    Expects Yuge Games nsacpi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ9 View Post
    Osuna and Baez were released a while ago.
    shows you how deep our system is
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    Even before Tuesday’s, I would not have had Allard so high. His velocity is at least as concerning as Soroka’s injury.
    "For all his tattooings he was on the whole a clean, comely looking cannibal."

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    Yeah I....cannot agree with this list. I have already said that Kolby Allard is an old schooler's dream even though he's likely not going to live up to what he was originally billed for, but he's not #2 at all and I believed that even before that start he made.

    If you include Soroka (I didn't when I did my for fun list as I considered him as graduated but I'll now include him and Fried), this is what my top 15 is (it might be different from my list I posted then):

    1. Mike Soroka
    2. Touki Toussaint
    3. Kyle Wright
    4. Ian Anderson
    5. Drew Waters (very high on him, he doesn't have Pache's defense but before he was promoted he was posting one of Rome's best seasons in a long time, not over Pache in any list but I think he will be after next year)
    6. Cristian Pache (having a very credible season after making swing adjustments but he has questions since his plate discipline tanked after moving up to A+)
    7. Bryse Wilson
    8. William Contreras
    9. Austin Riley
    10. Max Fried
    11. Joey Wentz
    12. Kolby Allard
    13. Luiz Gohara
    14. Kyle Muller
    15. Freddy Tarnok

    I gotta be honest, this is tough but I go upside over results and safety 10 times out of 10. I think this system is still pretty excellent through 20 and there are some sneaky players past then.

    Mike Soroka is the old schooler's dream that is much more likely to work out.

    Edit: How the heck did I forget about Gohara, let me change that.
    Last edited by GeorgiaGirl; 08-02-2018 at 12:28 PM.
    Aggression with prospects is fine, but being stupid is not. There should be a way to find a happy medium between a Pirates like idea of being overly cautious with prospects and going stupidly fast with prospects.

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    There is just no way that I put Kolby that high. I'm not sure I would have him in my top 12 at this point. My top 10 would go something like this:

    1. Toussaint
    2. Soroka
    3. Wright
    4. Pache
    5. Anderson
    6. Riley
    7. Waters
    8. Gohara
    9. Fried
    10. Contreras

    After that I would likely go Wentz>Wilson>Allard>Muller>Jackson

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    Fried is no longer a prospect. Gohara needs 1.1 more IP and he’ll be off the list. I’d go

    1. Soroka
    2. Anderson
    3. Touki
    4. Pache
    5. Wright
    6. Riley
    7. Waters
    8. Wilson
    9. Contreras
    10. Gohara
    11. Wentz
    12. Muller
    13. Allard
    14. Tarnok
    15. Jenista

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    My list --

    1. RHP Ian Anderson
    2. RHP Mike Soroka
    3. RHP Kyle Wright
    4. LHP Luiz Gohara
    5. RHP Touki Toussaint
    6. OF Cristian Pache
    7. OF Drew Waters
    8. RHP Bryse Wilson
    9. 3B Austin Riley
    10. LHP Joey Wentz
    11. C William Contreras
    12. LHP Kyle Muller
    13. LHP Kolby Allard
    14. OF Dustin Peterson
    15. C Alex Jackson
    16. RHP Patrick Weigel
    17. OF Greyson Jenista
    18. RHP Freddy Tarnok
    19. RHP Tristan Beck
    20. RHP Jasseel De La Cruz
    21. RHP Huascar Ynoa
    22. OF Isranel Wilson
    23. OF Jefry Ramos
    24. LHP Tucker Davidson
    25. RHP Trey Riley
    26. RHP Jacob Webb
    27. RHP Odalvi Javier
    28. LHP Ricardo Sanchez
    29. 3B CJ Alexander
    30. SS Riley Delgado
    31. UT Travis Demeritte
    32. C Drew Lugbauer
    33. 2B Derian Cruz
    34. LHP Corbin Clouse

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    CJ. Killing me with Clouse at 34.
    Coppy

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    No 2018 picks on there yet? You know your system is strong when you don't want to figure out how to add more guys to your lists.

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    Does Soroka still count as a prospect?

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    FG has Waters up to 54 on their latest update of their board.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Super View Post
    FG has Waters up to 54 on their latest update of their board.
    Waters is shooting up lists. I think him and Pache have a chance to be top 20 prospects by this time next year.

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    ^Allard has to be plummeting down that new list, right?

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    Director of Minor League Reports rico43's Avatar
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    Tried to answer most concerns with this new list from 8-20. Got to see more from Beck, but Weigel has shown me he has recovered.

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    I still don't understand how you have Allard over guys like Riley, Contreras, and especially Waters/Pache. Even if you are unreasonably high on Allard, I think having him that high is tough to reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeanieAntics View Post
    I still don't understand how you have Allard over guys like Riley, Contreras, and especially Waters/Pache. Even if you are unreasonably high on Allard, I think having him that high is tough to reason.
    I've pushed the Pache narrative and now the Contreras one. Seriously as good of a catching prospect we've had in ages.

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