Down on the Farm - 2024

Brandon Brown's Blog

Moderator: Braves

User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

From BP's Yankees Top Prospects: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/pros ... prospects/
(missed from a couple weeks ago)

2.Jasson Domínguez
Pos: OF
Born: 2003-02-07
B: Switch
T: Right
H: 5′ 9″
W: 190 lbs.
History: Signed July 2nd, 2019 by the Yankees out of the Dominican Republic for $5,000,000.
Previous Rank: #4 (Org), #63 (Top 101)
Major League ETA: Debuted in 2023

Dominguez is a muscle hamster who could be confused for a bodybuilder were he not a ballplayer. As he’s thickened out, it’s impacted his footspeed only slightly. The speed he’s maintained will allow him to play an average defensive center field and disguise underwhelming reads off the bat. That might become a concern as he gets older and slower, but for now, he’s a 50 out there. Dominguez has always had a keen eye that he’s paired with burgeoning power—his 90th percentile exit velocities are very good, especially when you adjust for age, and his max exits are slowly improving. He has more power from the left side thanks to a bit more natural lift, and his combination of bat speed and brute strength result in plus game power overall, giving him a plus power-speed combo. It’s a really nice baseline to work from.

Here’s the issue: He doesn’t make enough contact. Despite his compact frame, Dominguez’s swing is long, leading to huge peaks and valleys in production. When he isn’t hitting homers, he’s pounding the ball into the ground because his attack angle is way too low. And while he’s never had trouble picking up heaters and improved against breaking pitches last season, his off-speed recognition is a mess. It’s not often such a ballyhooed player picks up most pitch types so well and struggles so much against a specific pitch type in the same breath. As the book gets out, pitchers will pick up on this and force him to produce against changeups and the like. This is an improvable skill, but pitch recognition is one of the most difficult aspects of positional player development and has muted the careers of many promising players.

Dominguez is a baseball obsessive and it’s well within his reach to make the necessary adjustments to achieve superstar status—but as currently constructed, his fringe-average hit tool and plus-but-not-elite current power stand in his way. The potential is there to hit for 30 homers in a peak year, with a fair amount of stolen bases while manning center.

OFP: 55 / Above-average, earthling center fielder who can make a couple of All-Star games
Variance: Medium. He’s a major leaguer at 20, which is significant. But the next steps in his development are obvious, but not easy.
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

From BP's Phillies Top Prospects: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/pros ... prospects/

1.Andrew Painter
Pos: RHP
Born: 2003-04-10
B: Right
T: Right
H: 6′ 7″
W: 215 lbs.
History: Drafted 13th overall in the 2021 draft, Calvary Christian HS (Fort Lauderdale, FL); signed for $3.9 million.
Previous Rank: #1 (org), #12 (Top 101)
Major League ETA: Whenever he is done with Tommy John rehab, maybe late 2024, but more likely Opening Day 2025.


The Report: Painter was a real threat to jump directly from Double-A to the Opening Day Phillies rotation. And that understates the leap as he only made five starts for Reading in 2022. He would have still been 19 when he made his first major-league start, and the arm talent is certainly that level of precociousness. “Would have” was the key phrase for Painter in 2023 though, as elbow woes in spring eventually led to Tommy John surgery in the summer, and he’s likely to miss most, if not all, of 2024 as well.

Even with the surgery and missed time, Painter remains one of the best pitching prospects in baseball—granted it’s a shallower class riddled with injury concerns. You just can’t find this kind of elite stuff in the minors. He regularly touched triple-digits with bat-missing carry at the top of the zone. Painter’s sweeper and curve can overlap a bit, but there’s enough difference in shape to put hitters off, both should play above-average and he has good feel for a chance well. Now it’s just a matter of waiting, and as Tom Petty wrote, the waiting is the hardest part, but Tommy John rehab isn’t easy or routine either.

OFP: 70 / no. 2 starter
Variance: High. Painter should be in the majors shortly after he gets an all clear from his Tommy John rehab, but that’s so far away at this point, that we’re still unsure what he will be once he gets the green light.
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

From Bleacher Report's Updated 2024 Top 100 Prospects: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/101 ... rt-of-2024

Honorable Mentions: Osleivis Basabe (TB), Juan Brito (CLE), Tyler Locklear (SEA)

96. OF Samuel Zavala, SD

92. OF Enrique Bradfield Jr., BAL
-Speedy outfielder Enrique Bradfield Jr. hit .311 with 130 steals in 143 attempts as a three-year starter at Vanderbilt, and he continued to show off those wheels in his pro debut after going No. 17 overall in the 2023 draft. He hit .291 with a .473 on-base percentage and 25 steals in 25 games across three minor league levels.

89. LHP Robert Gasser, MIL

78. SS Matt Shaw, CHC

73. 3B Tyler Black, MIL

70. OF Owen Caissie, CHC

67. RHP Hurston Waldrep, ATL
-Another early standout from the 2023 draft, Hurston Waldrep logged a 1.53 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 41 strikeouts in 29.1 innings across four minor league levels, closing out the year with 4.1 scoreless innings in his Triple-A debut. The 21-year-old has an electric fastball-splitter-slider combination.

54. 3B Brady House, WAS
-Brady House is still working to tap into the tremendous power potential in his 6'4", 215-pound frame, but he took a step forward offensively in 2023. The 20-year-old hit .312/.365/.497 with 21 doubles, 12 home runs and 47 RBI in 88 games over three minor league levels, closing out the year at Double-A.

34. C Jeferson Quero, MIL
-Catcher Jeferson Quero spent the entire 2023 season as a 20-year-old at the Double-A level, hitting .262/.339/.441 with 12 doubles, 16 home runs and 49 RBI in 90 games. One of the best all-around defensive catchers in the minors, he could be a franchise backstop if his offensive game continues to develop.

22. LHP Kyle Harrison, SF
-Left-hander Kyle Harrison has work to do refining his command, evidenced by his 48 walks in 65.2 innings at Triple-A last season. The 22-year-old threw the ball well in seven late-season starts in the majors, posting a 4.15 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 35 strikeouts in 34.2 innings, and he is currently penciled into an Opening Day rotation spot.

19. RHP Andrew Painter, PHI

16. OF Jasson Dominguez, NYY
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

From BP's Pirates Top Prospects: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/pros ... prospects/

5.Braxton Ashcraft
Pos: RHP
Born: 1999-10-05
B: Left
T: Right
H: 6′ 5″
W: 195 lbs.
History: Drafted in the second round of the 2018 draft, Robinson HS (Robinson, TX); signed for $1,825,000.
Previous Rank: NR
Major League ETA: late 2024

The Report: Ashcraft has been a bit of a prospect resurrection story this year following a series of injury-riddled seasons. It’s been five years since hs has ranked on one of our org lists—we had him as a draft follow who “ha[d] the kind of lean, limby frame you can bet on adding some more [velocity] over the years.” Score one for physical projection. The towering Ashcraft now sits in the mid-90s and gets into the upper 90s consistently with his high-spin fastball, albeit generally in relatively short outings. He only exceeded three innings on a few occasions this past season, but showcased really good stuff and he only stepped up his dominance following the promotion to Altoona. He throws his curve a lot, and with good reason. It’s a plus pitch with both big vertical shape and late razor-sharp movement that makes it a weapon against both lefties and righties. A hard upper-80s slider also has real utility, with a rare changeup rounding out the ensemble. There are the command lapses you might expect from a pitcher who has only thrown in fits and starts over the past several years, but the Texan shows good feel for locating the heater up and burying the breaking stuff down. Ashcraft’s triumphant return is an exciting development for the organization, and he should be contributing to the Pirates in the near future.

OFP: 55 / Mid-rotation starter or high-end reliever
Variance: Medium. He’s nearly big-league ready, it’s essentially now a matter of being able to throw the requisite number of innings. —Ben Spanier


8.Tsung-Che Cheng
Pos: SS
Born: 2001-07-26
B: Left
T: Right
H: 5′ 7″
W: 173 lbs.
History: Signed July 2, 2019 out of Taiwan for $380,000.
Previous Rank: #17 (org)
Major League ETA: late 2024

The Report: Cheng experienced a dip in performance upon leaving the friendly Greensboro air and leveling up to Altoona, but he still carries an intriguing enough package of tools to forecast a big-league contributor role. These tools generally land in the average range, though, and he will need to wring every last bit of value out of each of them. With good barrel feel and an ability to keep the bat in the zone, Cheng is comfortable lashing pitches all over the field, whether turning on one or serving it the other way. His bat speed is a bit fringy, however, which leads to some swing-and-miss on in-zone fastballs and, in addition, he didn’t draw nearly as many walks against Double-A pitching compared to the lower levels. He has improved at lifting the ball, but his small frame has him already pushing the upper limits of his tappable power. Cheng runs well, will swipe a base, and is better than playable at both short and second (though he often needs to max-effort throws to get the job done at short). There is a low-end everyday regular ceiling present if he bounces back in his second Eastern League go-around.

OFP: 50 / Second-division middle infielder
Variance: Medium. It’s mostly on the negative-side here, as we haven’t yet seen him translate his A-ball offensive skills to the upper levels. —Ben Spanier


20. Kyle Nicolas, RHP (Pittsburgh Pirates)
Nicolas transitioned to relief over the second half of 2023 and got some major-league time with the Pirates in September. His power stuff fits well in the pen, where he can unleash upper-90s heat and two potential above-average breakers, including a plus power slider. It’s not the easiest velocity you’ll ever see, but he’s generally around the zone and the fastball shows pretty good ride up at the top of zone. It’s an incontrovertible truth that 98-and-a-slider is better than 95-and-a-slider, and Nicolas should be a good middle reliever with some low-end setup potential if the fastball command cooperates. —Jeffrey Paternostro
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

From BP's 2024 Top 101 Prospects: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/pros ... e-top-101/

19. Andrew Painter, RHP
21. Matt Shaw, SS
30. Hurston Waldrep, RHP
38. Jeferson Quero, C
39. Jasson Dominguez, OF
44. Kyle Harrison, LHP
53. Masyn Winn, SS
58. Tyler Black, 3B
65. Owen Caissie, OF
69. Brady House, 3B
82. Enrique Bradfield, OF
100. Juan Brito, IF
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

From BA's 2024 Top 100 Prospects: https://www.baseballamerica.com/ranking ... prospects/

12. Andrew Painter, RHP
16. Jasson Dominguez, OF
26. Kyle Harrison, LHP
31. Matt Shaw, SS
33. Jeferson Quero, C
39. Masyn Winn, SS
47. Owen Caissie, OF
49. Hurston Waldrep, RHP
55. Brady House, 3B
70. Tyler Black, 3B
98. Robert Gasser, LHP
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

And from BA's Players Primed to Rise: https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories ... s-ranking/

Jeferson Quero, C, Brewers (Current Rank: 33)

Elite defensive catchers tend to have bright futures, and Quero is one of the very best backstops in the minors. He earns double-plus grades for both his overall defense and arm strength, the latter of which helped him throw out 35% of runners in a season spent as one of the youngest players in the Southern League. If he were a pushover at the plate, his glovework alone might lead to a long big league career. He’s not. The 20-year-old Quero has plenty of juice and could raise his hit tool—which currently projects as below-average—by becoming a bit more selective. William Contreras is under team control until 2028, which should give Quero plenty of time to develop into Milwaukee’s catcher of the future.
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

From BA: https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories ... prospects/

Ramon Ramirez, C, Royals

The Royals do not have any players on the 2024 Top 100 Prospects list. But there are a pair of catchers to keep an eye on for 2025. Blake Mitchell, the team’s 2023 first round pick, is a solid candidate, but also watch for Ramirez, a low-cost 2023 signing who is yet another backstop in what looks like an exceptional year for international catchers. Ramirez has a shot to be a catcher who’s solid defensively with above-average offensive tools.
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

From BP's Padres Top Prospects: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/pros ... prospects/

8.Samuel Zavala
Pos: OF
Born: 2004-07-15
B: Left
T: Left
H: 6′ 1″
W: 175 lbs.
History: Signed January 2021 out of Venezuela.
Previous Rank: #2 (org)
Major League ETA: 2026

The Report: Zavala’s slide down the Padres list is more a function of the system improving around him than anything he did “wrong” in 2023. He didn’t turn 19 until the second half of the season, and more than held his own against much older pitching. The lean, 6-foot-1 Zavala has the swing of a much larger and stronger slugging type, but he generally makes it work. He utilizes a very big, mechanical-looking leg kick, but the swing itself is loose, with above-average bat speed already. Even with the rather exaggerated moving parts, Zavala can put a charge into one to right field on occasion already. He can also get out of timing and balance against slower stuff, and tends to make a bit too much choppy or slashy contact. His approach is reasonably good for a teenager in full-season ball, but Zavala does struggle at times with offspeed moving north/south, so he can look very bad when he does go fishing. He has at least flashed the ability to stay back and go get breakers at the bottom of the zone, and there’s enough of a semblance of pitch recognition and tracking that I’d expect that to improve with more reps.

Zavala’s 2023 home run total was fueled by the friendly confines of the Cal League, but given his age, frame, and present ability to get the ball in the air to the pull side, it’s not unreasonable to project average game power in time. The hit tool should land about there too. Defensively, while he’s not a burner he’s almost always breaking in the right direction and tracks every kind of fly ball well. While his foot speed might limit him to only average or perhaps solid-average in center, he should stick there. Zavala is a nice balance of present skills and physical projection and while there isn’t a ton of upside in the bat, his broad base of tools makes him a reasonably safe bet for his age and limited level of pro experience.

OFP: 55 / Above-average center fielder
Variance: High. “Reasonably safe bet” for a 19-year-old in full-season ball is not the same thing as “has a major-league floor.” Zavala was badly overmatched in his brief stint in the Midwest League and may not have a carrying tool in his profile.
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

From BP's Giants Top Prospects: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/pros ... prospects/

2.Kyle Harrison
Pos: LHP
Born: 2001-08-12
B: Right
T: Left
H: 6′ 2″
W: 200 lbs.
History: Drafted in the third round of the 2020 draft, De La Salle HS (Concord, CA); signed for $2,497,500.
Previous Rank: #2 (org) #20 (Top 101)
Major League ETA: Debuted in 2023

The Report: If it weren’t for his own hamstring strain just before the All-Star break, Harrison probably would’ve debuted in mid-July and easily exceeded rookie eligibility while trying to boost an ultimately doomed team to the playoffs. Instead his debut had to wait for late August. Harrison held his own in his debut against Philadelphia, then flat out dominated the Reds, striking out 11 in his first start in San Francisco. His final five starts included allowing seven home runs, four of them in one game against the Padres, and five no-hit innings against the Dodgers on the last day of the season. In between, there were some mechanical hiccups and fewer walks than you might expect given Harrison’s reputation for scattershot command.

The upshot is that Harrison’s flat fastball and slurvy, sweeping breaking ball looked as crisp as ever and made very good hitters like Max Muncy and José Ramírez take some ugly, defensive swings. He also worked in an improving changeup and, in the second half of the season, a nascent cutter that should eventually give him a firmer, above-average option to use off the bread and butter that is his four-seamer and breaking ball. Given that his issues with the automated strike zone and correlative walk rate in the PCL didn’t translate to the majors, Harrison will be better served continuing to work on his mechanical consistency and game management in the majors in 2024. The Giants have given every indication he’s ticketed for a rotation spot to start the season and it may not be too long before he forms a legitimate 1-2 punch with Logan Webb.

OFP: 60 / no. 2/3 starter
Variance: Medium. Despite learning some early lessons in how talented major league hitters can be, Harrison looked the part of a big-league pitcher in his first seven starts. That said, we’d still need to see his fastball command take another step forward before saying he will lead a rotation.
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

From BP's Mariners Top Prospects: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/pros ... prospects/

6.Tyler Locklear
Pos: 1B
Born: 2000-11-24
B: Right
T: Right
H: 6′ 1″
W: 210 lbs.
History: Drafted in the second round of the 2022 draft, Virginia Commonwealth University; signed for $1,276,500.
Previous Rank: #8 (org)
Major League ETA: 2024

The Report: Better contact, better outcomes, Papa Locklear. For much of 2023, Locklear was evoking that mantra. In spite of a broken bone in his throwing hand from a hit by pitch that wiped out two months of his campaign, the righty slugged and walked his way through High-A and held his own in Double-A despite the offense-sapping traits of that cavernous, headwind-laden park. Locklear’s funky pre-pitch waggle became more exaggerated in 2023. It now resembles a pitcher-facing chop that seems to help encourage a short, low load. This enables his bat to make contact consistently, as well as engage his sturdy trunk and lower half. While Locklear may be sacrificing some additional power in his minimal coil, his raw strength creates above-average power while he delays his swing decisions slightly and avoids chases and whiffs at a healthy clip. The profile is simple and tidy: A lumbering slugger who does not strike out too much and should make for a quality big-league bat. On draft day there was some thought Locklear might stick at third, but defensively the righty is anchored at first, where he is passable. And so he must slug to survive.

OFP: 55 / Quality big-league first baseman who overcomes his right-handedness to merit everyday play.
Variance: Low. Locklear’s performance and underlying metrics all suggest an above-average bat capped by the least useful defensive designation. Even if he cannot handle full-time duties, he’ll be a forceful platoon bat.
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

From MLB Pipeline's Newly Released 2024 Top 100: https://www.mlb.com/prospects/top100/

23. Kyle Harrison, LHP
27. Andrew Painter, RHP
35. Jeferson Quero, C
41. Jasson Dominguez, OF
43. Masyn Winn, SS
46. Tyler Black, 3B
47. Owen Caissie, OF
48. Brady House, 3B
54. Matt Shaw, SS
90. Hurston Waldrep, RHP
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

From BP's Nationals Top Prospects: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/pros ... prospects/

3.Brady House
Pos: 3B
Born: 2003-06-04
B: Right
T: Right
H: 6′ 4″
W: 215 lbs.
History: Drafted 11th overall in the 2021 draft, Winder-Barrow HS (Winder, GA); signed for $5 million.
Previous Rank: #5 (org)
Major League ETA: Late 2024/Early 2025

The Report: The back issues that affected House’s 2022 season were nowhere to be found in 2023, and the former first-round pick started hitting the ball harder and in the air more often at all three of his minor-league stops. Power potential was always the calling card for the former prep shortstop, and now he seems to be actualizing it, although it’s currently more in the form of doubles than over-the-fence pop. As House doesn’t turn 21 until well into the 2024 season, we’d expect more than a few of those mere extra bases to turn into bombs, and he projects for 25+ home runs at his peak, assuming the hit tool cooperates. The 2023 progress on that front was more mixed. House has a fair bit of pre-swing motion, treating the bat like a shake weight as he waits for his pitch. That’s followed by a fairly deep hand load to start his swing, but above-average bat speed can cover for some of the length here. His barrel control in the zone is just okay, however, and he’s looked vulnerable against offspeed or fastballs in the shadow zone. The chase rate is the larger concern with the hit tool at present, as House can struggle to recognize better spin, something that was more obvious once he got to Double-A and started seeing more of it. If House can tamp down the aggressiveness out of the zone moving forward in the upper minors, he could settle in quickly at third base for the Nats, where he projects as a solid defender with an average hit/plus power offensive tool set.

OFP: 55 / Above-average third-baseman
Variance: High. 2023 was a good step forward for House—or if you prefer, a step back towards his pre-draft projection, but he still needs to translate more of his raw power into game power and improve his approach against upper minors pitching to be a good every day player. —Jeffrey Paternostro


20. Mitchell Parker, LHP (Triple-A Buffalo)
Parker is a well-built, 6-foot-4 lefty who can run his fastball up into the mid-90s with good ride from his almost true over-the-top slot. He had some success in Double-A in 2023 by firing the fastball up in the zone and then trying to drop a low-80s, 12-6 curve down and out of it. The curve doesn’t always have true bat-missing depth and can be a bit too obvious out of the hand. Parker also has a split-change that tends to be a bit too firm. This all might work better in short bursts as a lefty middle reliever, and Parker should be ready for such an assignment in the major leagues some time in 2024.. —Jeffrey Paternostro
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

From MLB Pipeline's Prospects Who Just Missed the Top 100: https://www.mlb.com/news/prospects-who- ... e-coverage

Samuel Zavala, OF, Padres
There were only nine players aged 18 or younger who got more than 300 plate appearances at Single-A in 2023. Zavala led that group with a .420 on-base percentage, 19.4 percent walk rate and 14 homers during his 101-game spin with Lake Elsinore. (A late-season push to High-A Fort Wayne didn’t go nearly as well but was perhaps too aggressive for the teenager.) While his approach is undoubtedly advanced, Zavala has a broad-based profile with a mix of 50s and 55s. That’s certainly valuable for a player heading into his age-19 season, and he adds to that by way of being a solid center fielder. We just need to see a skill truly pop at the middle levels before finding him a Top 100 spot among players with higher ceilings.



And from their Best Non-Top 100 Prospect for each club: https://www.mlb.com/news/best-prospects ... e-coverage

Brewers: Robert Gasser, LHP (No. 9 LHP)
The 24-year-old southpaw led all Triple-A pitchers and finished sixth in the Minor Leagues with 166 strikeouts over 135 1/3 innings for Nashville. His 3.79 ERA was also second-best among qualifiers at the Minors’ highest level. Gasser’s best pitch is a 79-82 mph slider that works well against batters from both sides, and he sports a pair of low-90s fastballs and an upper-80s cutter that keeps hitters guessing. He should get a look in Milwaukee’s rotation quickly in 2024 and has the ingredients of at least a backend starter.
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

From Keith Law's Top 100 via The Athletic: https://theathletic.com/5245693/2024/02 ... keith-law/

11. Kyle Harrison, LHP
12. Jeferson Quero, C
16. Masyn Winn, SS
21. Jasson Dominguez, OF
26. Matt Shaw, SS
34. Andrew Painter, RHP
44. Tyler Black, 3B
53. Brady House, 3B
64. Enrique Bradfield, OF
80. Hurston Waldrep, RHP
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

From BA: https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories ... -for-2024/


While it might not yet be clear where Tyler Black plays for the Brewers this season, the 23-year-old is expected to impact the major league team for the first time.

“I see him fitting,” Brewers manager Pat Murphy said. “Where? I don’t know. But I see him fitting. I like the player.”

The Brewers liked Black enough to have drafted him 33rd overall out of Wright State in 2021.

He battled the injury bug in 2022 but broke through in 2023 by batting .284/.417/.513 with 18 home runs and 55 stolen bases in 123 games. He spent the first four months with Double-A Biloxi and the last two with Triple-A Nashville.

Black focused on playing third base in 2023 but has experience at second base and center field. He added first base last season.

This offseason, the Brewers signed first baseman Rhys Hoskins and traded for versatile infielder Joey Ortiz to complement a middle infield of Willy Adames and Brice Turang. That could mean a return to Triple-A for Black.

While Black’s arm isn’t considered ideal for third base, he’s athletic and agile enough to compete there. And his lefthanded bat, on-base skills and speed should at the very least keep him in the conversation as a multi-position regular.

“I think he can do a lot of things,” Brewers GM Matt Arnold said. “His ability to play third, first and even outfield if needed. He’s so athletic. He’s just really talented. He’s got a lot of upside.

“We’re really excited about him, wherever he ends up.”
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

From BA's 10 Players Who Impressed This Offseason: https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories ... offseason/

Aidan Curry, RHP, Rangers
Age: 21

The Rangers not only had one of the better drafts in 2020, but they also landed Curry as a nondrafted free agent. A tall, projectable righthander from a New York high school, Curry has developed into one of the Rangers’ top pitching prospects.

Curry mixes four pitches, but his fastball and slider account for 90% of his usage. Despite sitting 92-93 mph on his fastball, the pitch garners plus grades due to its excellent shape, as Curry generates 18 inches of induced vertical break with 12-13 inches of run on average. Curry’s slider is his best pitch, sitting 82-84 mph with around eight to nine inches of horizontal break. The pitch was rarely hit by opposing hitters, and when it was, it wasn’t for damage. Curry generates whiffs in and out of the zone with the pitch, and uses it as an effective weapon when he gets ahead in the count.

His development of a third pitch and added power to his arsenal should be his focus in the coming years. Curry is 21 years old entering 2024 and has plenty of time to add strength and refinement.
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

From FG's Top 100 Prospects: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/2024-top-100-prospects/

11. Andrew Painter, RHP
25. Masyn Winn, SS
27. Kyle Harrison, LHP
32. Matt Shaw, SS
40. Jeferson Quero, C
53. Jasson Dominguez, OF
65. Owen Caissie, OF
85. Hurston Waldrep, RHP
89. Brady House, 3B
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

From MLB Pipeline's Prospects to Watch in Spring Training: https://www.mlb.com/news/one-prospect-f ... e-coverage

Braves: Hurston Waldrep, RHP (MLB No. 90)
The Braves’ first-round pick out of Florida last year, not only was Waldrep a rare college arm who pitched more than a small handful of innings last summer, he made it all the way to Triple-A, striking out 12.6 per nine along the way. He also walked 4.9 per nine and his command is the one thing that would keep him from being a starter. One thing is certain: His splitter can get big league hitters out right now and fans will get to see it in Florida this spring. Seeing him make an impact as a reliever, at least in the short-term this year, is very realistic.
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

From MLB Pipeline's Top Power Prospects: https://www.mlb.com/news/top-power-hitt ... e-coverage

Yankees: Jasson Domínguez, OF (MLB No. 41)
The most hyped international amateur ever, Domínguez signed for $5.1 million out of the Dominican Republic and dealt with outsized expectations to reach New York at age 20 last September. He went deep off Justin Verlander in his first big league game and homered three more times in the next seven contests before blowing out his left (non-throwing) elbow and having Tommy John surgery that will sideline him until mid-2024. He has the potential for solid or better tools across the board and stands out most with his tremendous bat speed and huge strength from both sides of the plate.

Cubs: Owen Caissie, OF (MLB No. 47)
Though he's just 21, Caissie already generates exit velocities that rank with the best in the Majors and his raw power earns top-of-the-scale grades from some evaluators. Acquired from the Padres in the 2020 Yu Darvish trade, he ranked in the top five in all three slash categories (.289/.398/.519) and homers (22) in the Double-A Southern League as its sixth-youngest regular last summer.
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

BA Reports on the Braves Recent Draftees:

3. Matt Shaw https://www.baseballamerica.com/teams/2 ... =preseason
SS

Ht: 5'11" | Wt: 185 | B-T: R-R

Age: 22

BA Grade: 55/High

Track Record: Shaw had a storied three-year career at Maryland. He set the program’s all-time home run record with 53, won the 2023 Big Ten Conference player of the year award and won the 2022 Cape Cod League MVP award after leading the league with a .360 batting average for Bourne. He became the highest-drafted player in Maryland history when the Cubs drafted him 13th overall in 2023 and signed for $4,848,500. Shaw continued to mash after signing, batting .357/.400/.618 with eight homers, 28 RBIs and 15 steals in 38 games while vaulting to Double-A in his pro debut.

Scouting Report: Shaw isn’t particularly big at 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, but he’s strong in his frame and packs a punch at the plate. His quick hands, strong forearms and exceptional barrel accuracy allow him to consistently drive balls hard to all fields. He regularly squares balls up and is particularly adept at driving the ball the other way to right-center field. Shaw is an aggressive hitter and doesn’t walk much, but his natural feel for the barrel helps keep his strikeouts down. He projects to be an above-average hitter despite his aggressive approach and makes enough hard contact to envision above-average power with lots of doubles. He further enhances his offensive game as an above-average runner with elite basestealing instincts. Shaw primarily played shortstop at Maryland and is serviceable there, but his fringy arm strength plays better at second base. The Cubs experimented with him at third base and were encouraged by the early results. He plays extremely hard and is a polished, mature player for his age.

The Future: The Cubs internally see similarities between Shaw and Dustin Pedroia in both ability and playing style. Shaw is on the fast track and has a chance to make his major league debut in 2024.


2. Hurston Waldrep https://www.baseballamerica.com/teams/2 ... =preseason
RHP

Ht: 6'2" | Wt: 205 | B-T: R-R

Age: null

BA Grade: 55/High

Track Record: Waldrep started his career at Southern Mississippi, where he showcased some of the best pure stuff and arm speed in the country. After a stint with USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team, Waldrep spent his junior season at Florida, where he finished third in the country with 156 strikeouts in 2023. The Braves signed him to an under-slot deal just under $3 million with the 24th pick and he moved from Low-A Augusta all the way to Triple-A Gwinnett in his pro debut.

Scouting Report: Waldrep has a chance for three plus pitches, starting with a fastball that has easy plus velocity and averages 95-96 mph but has been up to 99 in the past. The pitch has just average life and carry and will primarily play thanks to its velocity and his quality secondaries. Waldrep threw both a slider and curveball in college, but the Braves had him scrap the curve and focus on his slider in his pro debut--a common theme of their pitching development. He throws the slider in the mid-to-upper 80s and the pitch features sharp, two-plane bite at its best. His most devastating pitch is an upper-80s splitter that completely falls off the table and generates ugly swings against hitters unable to hold back. Waldrep generated whiff rates north of 50% with both his slider and splitter in his pro debut. He has a violent delivery with a sharp head whack and below-average control.

The Future: The Braves worked with Waldrep to improve his rhythm and tempo in his pro debut, and continued refinement of his control and command will be crucial for him to profile as a midrotation starter. If not, he has the stuff to pitch in a high-leverage reliever role. Atlanta’s fast-tracking of him indicates he could make his big league debut in 2024.


7. Enrique Bradfield https://www.baseballamerica.com/teams/2 ... =preseason
OF

Ht: 6'1" | Wt: 170 | B-T: L-L

Age: null

BA Grade: 50/High

Track Record: Bradfield was in the mix for the top two rounds of the shortened 2020 draft, but bonus demands meant he went to Vanderbilt, where his elite speed made him one of college baseball’s most dynamic players. He signed for a slot $4.17 million as the 17th overall pick in 2023 and performed largely as advertised. Bradfield had an .802 OPS over three levels with more walks (26) than strikeouts (16) and 25 steals in 27 tries.

Scouting Report: Bradfield has a pair of elite carrying tools in his 80-grade speed and center field defense, which together create a pretty high floor for his major league future. Advanced baserunning instincts could put him near the top of the league in stolen bases throughout his prime. He was drafted into an organization that has a track record for improving hitters with particular traits, and when it comes to the ability to manage the strike zone and make consistent contact without much whiff, Bradfield certainly qualifies. He had an astonishing 2% whiff rate in his pro debut, and walked nearly a quarter of the time. Another of those traits the Orioles work with is consistent hard contact, which isn’t yet a part of Bradfield’s game and may not ever manifest. The Orioles hope Bradfield’s above-average hit tool can play up as he focuses on hitting the ball at good angles and producing line drives, which can make up for his well below-average power, even as he projects to add some strength in pro ball.

The Future: Provided he makes enough quality contact to let his speed and on-base capabilities shine through, Bradfield has the traits to be a high-level table-setter as an everyday center fielder with Gold Glove capabilities. He’ll start 2024 at High-A Aberdeen, with the potential to move quickly through the Orioles’ system.
User avatar
Braves
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Raynham, MA
Name: Brett Degen

Re: Down on the Farm - 2024

Post by Braves »

And the same from BP:

2.Matt Shaw https://www.baseballprospectus.com/pros ... prospects/
Pos: SS
Born: 2001-11-06
B: Right
T: Right
H: 5′ 11″
W: 185 lbs.
History: Drafted 13th overall in the 2023 draft, University of Maryland; signed for $4,848,500.
Previous Rank: NR
Major League ETA: 2024

The Report: In past years Shaw likely would have been a top-five selection, however the 2023 draft was remarkably deep and flush with talent, which helped the former Maryland star slide down the board. The Cubs were ecstatic to land him at 13 and promptly signed him to a deal for slot. The bat is for real, and Shaw has proven it at every stop, from the prep level to the Big Ten to the Cape. The transition to the professional ranks was seamless as well, with Shaw laying waste to minor league pitching during his brief post-draft stint. There’s near-elite level contact ability and Shaw has an advanced approach at the plate, recognizing spin well and commanding the zone. It’s not just weak contact either, his strong, compact frame and lightning-quick bat produce above-average exit velocities and while the swing is geared for hard line drives, he should be able to produce above-average power numbers at the big-league level. Shaw will need to continue to refine the approach as he advances up the ladder, choosing his zones better and becoming more selective in when to attack in order to fully get to that pop.

Defensively, he shows solid actions in the field with good instincts and soft hands but lacks the range to stick at short long term. Wherever he winds up in the field, the bat will be strong enough to handle the move.

OFP: 60 / First-division infielder who hits his way to an All Star game or two
Variance: Low. The professional track record is short but Shaw is an advanced hitter who can hold his own on the infield. It’s a combination that should have him in Wrigley very soon. —Nathan Graham


1.Hurston Waldrep https://www.baseballprospectus.com/pros ... prospects/
Pos: P
Born: 2002-03-01
B: Right
T: Right
H: 6′ 2″
W: 210 lbs.
History: Drafted 24th overall in the 2023 draft, University of Florida; signed for $2,997,500.
Previous Rank: NR
Major League ETA: 2024

The Report: The University of Florida product arguably had the most lively arm in the draft, which made his slide to pick 24 confounding then and even more so now. As if the Braves didn’t already get a steal, they somehow got him to sign a below-slot deal and he proceeded to shove across his 29 ⅓ innings of pro ball. So why did he fall to 24th? His delivery is vicious—an over-the-top like the one James Karinchak employs. He’s struggled to throw enough good strikes as a starter, but this is the kind of arm talent you simply don’t teach.

Waldrep bulldozes hitters with a hellacious fastball/slider combination. His fastball has enough life to go with premier velocity as a starter, sitting 95-97 and touching 99. His slider is of the gyro variety, sitting in the mid-80s with tremendous spin and tunneling action off his heater. But dare I say neither is his best pitch? I do: His split-change is a devastating offering that batters either swing over or pound into the ground. The spin or lack thereof on the pitch, as well as the downward action it generates, is pleasing to the eye and nearly impossible for hitters.

Waldrep is an atypical selection for the Braves, who usually prioritize pitchers in the first couple of rounds with clean arm action and attractive pitch characteristics. It generally works out for them, but given that Waldrep is a far cry from a mechanical darling, thanks to his head whack from an overhand slot, it speaks to how highly they think of him. If Waldrep develops, he’ll be a Cy Young candidate with an elite trio of pitches and will look like the right-handed version of Blake Snell. The command is the only—and I mean the only—thing that could hold him back from being a star. God forbid the command falls well short as a starter, he’ll be a d-a-w-g at the back of any bullpen. The OFP—or 75th percentile outcome—falls in the 60 range, but his ceiling is right there with the best pitching prospects in the minors.

OFP: 60 / Occasional All-Star, occasional Cy Young candidate
Variance: High. Look, I wanted to push Waldrep up to a 70, but the command simply won’t allow me to get there just yet. I’ll probably be kicking myself for being too low on him six months from now.


6.Enrique Bradfield Jr. https://www.baseballprospectus.com/pros ... prospects/
Pos: CF
Born: 2001-12-02
B: Left
T: Left
H: 6′ 1″
W: 170 lbs.
History: Drafted 17th overall in the 2023 draft, Vanderbilt University; signed for $4,169,700.
Previous Rank: NR
Major League ETA: Late 2025/Early 2026

The Report: Bradfield was one of the more famous NCAA baseball players coming into the 2023 season. A three-year starter at Vanderbilt with advanced bat-to-ball skills and top-of-the-scale speed, he was a perfect fit for the college game. His draft stock took perhaps a bit of a hit his junior year, as he didn’t even hit .280, and there were questions about his ability to lift the ball or do damage in the air. Bradfield has a pretty flat swing plane, and while his exit velocities in college weren’t all that bad—significantly better than, say, Jacob Wilson—he tends to hit the ball on the ground a lot. Given his speed and the general state of college infield defenses, he could rack up base hits in the SEC, but that might not play as well in the pros. His swing decisions are good, but will also get tested against better pitching. Bradfield could use a swing change to tap into a bit more gap or pull-side power, and he’s in the right org for that, but even if he settles in as a .260/.330/.370 type hitter, the speed is game-changing and the glove is plus-plus in center. So he only needs to hit a little bit to be an above-average regular.

OFP: 55 / Speed-and-defense center fielder with enough bat to hit first rather than ninth
Variance: High. A lot of this runs to the positive side. The glove in center field and game-disrupting speed—especially with the new rules—means Bradfield should have a long career as a bench/platoon outfielder even if he doesn’t have much impact with the bat against major league pitching. But he’s got potentially average power if he starts lifting the ball more and cleans up his swing decisions some. Those are two improvements the Orioles have proven to be subject matter experts in. So while we can’t bake that into the report/projection quite yet, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on for 2024 and beyond.
Post Reply

Return to “The Brave Blue Ballers”