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TRACK RECORD: After failing to hit a home run over his first two pro seasons, Pache has completely shed his reputation as a glove-first, light-hitting center fielder by getting bigger and stronger and learning which pitches he can drive. After hitting a career high nine home runs in 2018, Pache topped that by hitting 12 in 2019, in a season spent primarily in the pitcher-friendly Double-A Southern League. SCOUTING REPORT: Pache continues to stand out for his elite defensive ability. As a 70-grade runner with a tremendous first step and a 70-grade arm, it's easy to project Pache as a Gold Glove center fielder. He aggressively tracks down balls in the gaps and has well above-average range and impressive route-running ability. What has raised Pache's ceiling, though, is his increased power production. Previously expected to hit between 10-15 homers a season, Pache is now projected by scouts to hit 20-25 home runs. Some have even gone as far as saying 30 home runs are a possibility because of the increased strength and better leverage in his swing. Yet Pache does need to continue refining his approach to get to an average hit tool. He has the physical skills—with electric bat speed, as well as solid pitch selection and strike zone recognition— but he continues to be an extreme pull-oriented hitter who sent more than 55 percent of his batted balls to the left side in 2019. Learning to use the middle and opposite field will help him get on base more frequently and help him avoid being shifted upon. His pure speed will help him leg out infield hits. While Pache is a double-plus runner who clocks times of 4.15 seconds from home to first base from the right side, his speed continues to play better in the outfield. Pache has never been an efficient basestealer, and he showed little progress in that regard in 2019, going a dreadful 8-for-19 (42 percent) in stolen base attempts at Double-A Mississippi, before simply not attempting a stolen base in 26 games at Triple-A Gwinnett. THE FUTURE: Pache made it to Triple-A as a 20-year-old in 2019, and could likely use some more time there in 2020. But he was ready to fill in if necessary with Atlanta in 2019 and should have a chance to break in as a regular in 2020, adding even more excitement to an outfield built around Ronald Acuña Jr.
TRACK RECORD: A local high school product, Waters has steadily climbed the minor league ladder alongside Cristian Pache, and reached Triple-A Gwinnett for the first time in 2019. At Double-A, the athletic, switch-hitting outfielder won the Southern League batting title and MVP award. SCOUTING REPORT: Waters has long been thought to be an above-average hitter thanks to a loose, handsy swing and a proclivity to use the entire field. However, scouts were concerned with the amount of swing-and-miss seen in his game this season—particularly from the righthanded side of the plate, where he also tends to get more pull-heavy. He still has a chance to be a solidaverage hitter and has shown the ability to make adjustments within at-bats, but at the moment he gets beat inside too frequently and his swing can get long from the left side—where he shows plus raw power. Waters could stick in center field as a plus runner with above-average arm strength, and he's also an efficient and smart baserunner. THE FUTURE: Waters should start 2020 in Triple-A, where he'll need to cut down his strikeout rate and improve his approach from the right side. If he does that, he could become a fixture in Atlanta during the season.
TRACK RECORD: The Braves made Anderson the third overall pick in 2016 and signed him for $4 million to forgo a Vanderbilt commitment. After steadily filling out his lanky frame and cruising through the lower levels, Anderson went 8-7, 3.38 at Double-A and Triple-A in 2019 and finished fourth in the minor leagues with 172 strikeouts. SCOUTING REPORT: Anderson's fastball sits 92-94 mph and has touched 96-97 in the past, although he didn't show that top-end velocity much last season. It's still a plus offering thanks to the angle he creates out of an overhand arm slot, and he's been effective pitching both up and down in the zone with his fastball. Anderson's 12-to-6 curveball is an above-average offering he has learned to spot more consistently, but he struggles at times to get hitters to chase it out of the zone. He also has a firm, mid-to-upper 80s changeup he's shown feel for and that projects to be an above-average pitch. Outside of his five-game stint in Triple-A, Anderson showed improved feel for throwing strikes and projects for above-average control despite some stiffness in his delivery. THE FUTURE: Anderson should start 2020 back at Triple-A Gwinnett. He projects as a future a middle-of-the-rotation starter and is in line to make his major league debut in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: The top college pitcher in the 2017 draft, Wright sprinted to the big leagues and made his major league debut in September 2018. Since then, he has shuffled between Triple-A and Atlanta, primarily as a starter, but with a few big league relief outings. SCOUTING REPORT: Wright still has some of the best pure stuff in the system, headlined by a plus fastball that sits around 94-95 mph and gets up to 99 at its best. The Vanderbilt product's slider and curveball each flash plus, but the pitches can blend together and are more consistently above-average offerings. Wright used his slider more frequently than his curve this season—a departure from previous pitch usage—and also showed much better feel for a mid-80s changeup that has solid depth and gives him a more effective secondary against lefties. The gap between his walk rate in the minors and majors continues to be drastic, though coaches believe that's more an issue of settling into a consistent schedule and role. THE FUTURE: Wright should graduate from prospect status in 2020 and become a fixture in Atlanta's rotation, where he has the stuff to become a steady, mid-rotation arm.
TRACK RECORD: No player has come as far in the Braves system as Muller. After failing to reach low Class A in his first full season and seeing his fastball sit in the upper 80s, Muller started training with Driveline Baseball. The results of that work have revitalized his prospect status. SCOUTING REPORT: After trending in the right direction a season ago, Muller now has one of the best fastballs in the system. In 2019, he topped out at 98 mph and sat in the 90-97 mph range at Double-A, with solid downhill angle that makes it an easy plus pitch. He made some progress with both his curveball and changeup, which project as average with increased consistency. Muller's curveball flashes depth and bite and his changeup looks solid with slight fade, though he needs to learn to throw it with more conviction. Muller's control is below-average. He walked the second-most batters (68) in the Southern League and will need to improve his strike-throwing to take advantage of a solid three-pitch mix that overwhelms hitters when he's not overwhelming himself. THE FUTURE: After dominating Double-A batters over a full season, Muller should start 2020 in Triple-A and could spend some time there learning how to sequence pitches more effectively as a starter, though he could help the big league club in a bullpen role right away.
TRACK RECORD: A 2016 fourth-round pick out of high school, Wilson flew through the minors and dominated three levels before making his major league debut in 2018 as a 20-year-old. He spent the bulk of 2019 adding polish at Triple-A and as a big league spot starter. SCOUTING REPORT: A strong, physical righthander, Wilson's fastball has long been his best pitch. It gets into the upper 90s at its best but sits in the 94-95 mph range. His pure velocity, natural sinking life and precision was more than enough to overwhelm minor league batters, but he was susceptible to the long ball in the major leagues. That might be due to the fact that Wilson currently lacks a swing-and-miss breaking ball. His firm, mid-80s slider has progressed, but he rarely generates whiffs with the pitch and relies more on an 84-87 mph changeup with fade and sink to get batters to swing and miss. There are few successful fastball/changeup righthanded starters in the big leagues, so Wilson will need to sharpen his breaking ball, but he has the strike-throwing ability and physicality to be a durable, innings-eating back-of-the-rotation type. THE FUTURE: Wilson has done all he can do in the minors and will look to establish himself in the big leagues in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Langeliers would have rated as the top catching prospect in a typical draft class, but had to settle for No. 2 thanks to first overall pick Adley Rutschman. The best defensive catcher in the 2019 draft, Langeliers missed parts of his junior season at Baylor with a broken hamate bone. He hit well when he returned, giving the Braves enough confidence to make him their first pick SCOUTING REPORT: Langeliers shines on defense. He has an easy plus throwing arm and used that to throw out 41 percent of basestealers in his pro debut at low Class A Rome. Langeliers is also a polished pitch-framer who's handled plenty of premium stuff with USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team. He moves well behind the plate and consistently keeps balls in the dirt in front of him. Those defensive skills led to Austin Hedges comparisons, but Langeliers has a stronger offensive foundation than Hedges, with a chance to become an average hitter thanks to a balanced, fluid swing from the right side with gap power now that could get to above-average. THE FUTURE: Langeliers' defense alone gives him a high floor as a major league backup, and if he reaches his offensive ceiling he could become a first-division regular. Langeliers could move quickly, but the Braves will look to maximize both his and William Contreras' at-bats.
TRACK RECORD: The younger brother of Cubs catcher Willson Contreras, William was one of the better catchers in the South Atlantic League a season ago before pushing to Double-A Mississippi in his age-21 season. SCOUTING REPORT: Contreras has exciting tools on both sides of the ball, but is still maturing as a player. He wasn't as consistent as the team expected with high Class A Florida, but seemed to get energized and refocused after a promotion to Double-A. Contreras has plus raw power with the ability to use all fields with impact, and generally takes good at-bats as well, with a solid two-strike approach. He'll chase a bit at times which will be worth monitoring as he faces upper-level pitching, but he has all the skills to become an average hitter. Contreras stands out for his athleticism behind the dish. He has good hands and moves well for a catcher, with plus raw arm strength that plays a tick down from that thanks to a slightly long arm action. He needs to improve his game as a receiver, but at the moment it's a mental issue more than a physical one. THE FUTURE: Contreras is less polished than Langeliers and is no longer the top catcher in the system but likely has more offensive upside.
TRACK RECORD: A high-level performer at Texas A&M, Shewmake was a two-time All-Southeastern Conference performer who finished his career with a .323/.381/.487 batting line. In his pro debut, he more than held his own at low Class A before moving to Double-A. SCOUTING REPORT: An athletic and lanky, 6-foot-4 infielder, Shewmake has a solid all-around game with impressive instincts and defensive versatility, but what he lacks is a carrying tool. His loudest tool is likely his plus speed, but his most valuable trait might be a polished lefthanded bat. Shewmake has an unorthodox setup, but has above-average bat speed and twitchy hands. While he has a projectable frame one would typically project for increased power, Shewmake was lanky throughout his college career and struggled to put on weight. If he fills out as a pro, scouts could project above-average power. Shewmake has a chance to stick at shortstop, with solid athleticism, hands and leadership traits that fit the position, but many scouts believed that he would be a more natural fit at second or third base. THE FUTURE: Shewmake should start 2020 back at Double-A, where he'll look to continue his progress.
TRACK RECORD: After taking a step back in 2018, Davidson had something of a breakout year in 2019. A 19th-round junior college pick, he took major strides forward with his pitching ability in 2019 and finished the season at Triple-A. SCOUTING REPORT: Davidson's arsenal is led by two plus offerings—a fastball up to 97 mph and a 12-to-6 curveball. After struggling with his fastball control a season ago, Davidson impressed scouts with the pitchability that he showed in 2019. He tended to get into two-strike counts and then nibble around the zone rather than going after hitters, and he's a control-over-command arm. Davidson has an average changeup that should give him every opportunity to start, though there's some effort in his delivery and he pitches exclusively out of the stretch, which leads some scouts to believe he's a reliever. THE FUTURE: Davidson was added to the 40-man roster in November to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. He will likely begin the season at Triple-A Gwinnett, but could make his big league debut later in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: A late-blooming, hard-throwing prospect who signed as an 18-year-old in 2015, de la Cruz developed into an intriguing prospect in Atlanta's low minors thanks to pure stuff and a fast arm but took a step forward with his pitching ability and reached Double-A in 2019. Atlanta started de la Cruz in Rome which gave him a bit of a chip on his shoulder. He quickly advanced to Double-A Mississippi, where he spent the bulk of his time and posted the best walk rate of his domestic career. SCOUTING REPORT: His fastball has touched 100 mph but he typically sits in the mid-90s with a plus fastball that he has learned to throw to both sides of the plate more consistently. De la Cruz has also improved the control of his offspeed offerings, which include a slider that flashes above-average and a previously below-average changeup that could now be projected as average. His arm action is long in the back, but he's shown enough improvement hitting his spots to give himself a shot at starting. THE FUTURE: Some scouts believe de la Cruz is destined for the bullpen due to his demeanor and attacking mentality, but his improvement this year increases his likelihood to become a back-of-the-rotation arm.
TRACK RECORD: The organization's minor league pitcher of the year in 2016, Weigel put himself on a fast track through the minors and pushed to Triple-A in 2017 before blowing out his elbow and having Tommy John surgery that wiped out his 2018 season. Weigel returned to the mound in 2019 and had a successful year while the Braves eased him back into his workload with limited innings and pitch counts. SCOUTING REPORT: His pure stuff got back to the level of his pre-injury self at its best, but the consistency came and went. Weigel's fastball touched 97-98 mph at his best in shorter outings, but he pitched in the low-90s over longer outings. He paired that with a sharp slider that has the chance to be a plus offering and will occasionally mix in an average changeup, but that pitch needs more consistency as well. Weigel's control took a step back in his return and he will need to correct that to profile in a starting role. THE FUTURE: Weigel has a chance to start, but could be a better fit in the bullpen, as his stuff plays up in shorter outings. The team used him in a reliever role in July and August to end the season.
TRACK RECORD: Scouts liked the athletic Harris as a lefthanded pitcher and as a hitter prior to the 2019 draft. Harris preferred hitting and the Braves drafted him in the third round and let him do that exclusively in his debut, where he impressed with a toolsy, high-upside profile. SCOUTING REPORT: Harris might have the most exciting collection of tools in Atlanta's system outside of their top 10 prospects. A switch-hitter, Harris has above-average raw power with impressive bat speed, above-average running ability underway and easy plus arm strength that gives him a chance to be a plus defender in right field. He will need to shorten a swing that gets lengthy at times, with significant wrap, and clean up some of the holes in his swing. Moving forward, Harris will need to refine his approach and learn to trust his natural strength and bat speed to get the most out of his natural tools at the plate. THE FUTURE: The Braves will look for Harris to add strength and return to the South Atlantic League in 2020. His focus will be on developing a professional approach at the plate.
TRACK RECORD: Vodnik impressed as a high schooler thanks to his natural arm strength. The Braves took a shot on him in the 14th round of the 2018 draft and signed him for an above-slot $200,000 bonus despite the crude nature of his game. After a rough pro debut, Vodnik dominated in 2019 at low Class A Rome. SCOUTING REPORT: An undersized but strong righthander, Vodnik had a strong season with low Class A Rome where he went right after hitters with a plus fastball that touches 96-98 mph, but sits in the 94-95 range. The pitch has some cutting action at times and he pairs it with a slider and changeup that both flash plus, but lack consistency. Vodnik's slider varies in shape and sits in the 83-85 mph range, while he showed a better changeup—an 87-89 mph offering with tumble—than he has in the past. Vodnik's delivery is still raw and presently below-average, which could impact his control and consistency moving forward. THE FUTURE: Most scouts see Vodnik as a reliever with late-inning upside. He performed well enough that some think he should get a chance to start, especially with a three-pitch mix that's becoming more viable.
TRACK RECORD: A converted shortstop, the Braves liked Tarnok's raw talent on the mound out of high school and have watched him slowly figure out the nuances of pitching during his first three years with the organization. SCOUTING REPORT: After splitting time as a reliever and starter in 2018, Tarnok started the entire season this year, and progressed to high Class A Florida, where he's focused on simplifying his delivery to improve his control and command. That improvement was borne out in the numbers, as Tarnok's walk rate improved by almost two batters per nine from 2018 to 2019. Tarnok has an average fastball in the 92-94 mph range that touches 95, but he's improved his secondaries this season. His changeup is among the better offerings in the system, and he throws that pitch with confidence to lefties and righties. He's also worked to get more aggressive with a curveball this season after previously throwing a slider, though his breaking ball is still his third-best offering. Tarnok missed a month of the season with a lat injury, but his improvement while on the mound during his second full season was obvious in many respects. THE FUTURE: Tarnok should push to Double-A Mississippi at some point in 2020, where he'll work to improve his breaking ball and increase his chances of starting in the future, though a high-leverage reliever role is still a possibility.
TRACK RECORD: Prior to the 2019 season, Ynoa hadn't pitched above the high Class A Florida State League, but his pure stuff and the improvement of his slider pushed him all the way up the minor league ladder, and he was twice brought up to pitch in relief for the big league club. SCOUTING REPORT: Ynoa's fastball is one of the best in the Braves system, sitting in the 92-97 mph range and touching 99-100 at its best. While the pure velocity is impressive, pitch metrics don't favor the offering, and he doesn't generate as many whiffs on the pitch as you might expect, with little movement or late life. However, that could be helped by a plus secondary offering, which is what scouts are now saying about Ynoa's power slurve in the mid-80s. The consistency of the offering got much better this season, and it features hard vertical movement. Ynoa also has a changeup in his arsenal, though he rarely used it as a reliever, and it is an average offering. THE FUTURE: Ynoa has the pure stuff to project as a middle-of-the-rotation arm or high-leverage reliever, but he's currently a control-over-command type who will need to either miss bats more frequently or spot his fastball and slider more effectively to find success. He should return to Triple-A Gwinnett next year in his age-22 season for further refinement, but Atlanta clearly thinks he can help the big league club now.
TRACK RECORD: Jackson's prospect status dwindled after the Mariners moved him to the outfield and he struggled to hit, but the former BA High School Player of the Year has shown promising signs on both sides of the ball in his third year with Atlanta as a catcher. SCOUTING REPORT: Jackson has steadily improved as a defender over the past couple years, and this season scouts lauded his receiving ability. Framing metrics reportedly reinforce that evaluation. Jackson has always had plus arm strength and this season that translated to throwing out a career-best 50 percent of runners. After his in-game power disappeared a season ago, Jackson had a career offensive year, with 28 home runs and showed over-the-fence power to all fields after being extremely pull-happy previously. While Jackson has double-plus raw power, there are still reasons to be skeptical of him getting to that in-game at the next level. He struggles to identify spin, and scouts believe he is still too pull-oriented. The Triple-A ball inflated plenty of hitters' home run numbers this season, likely including Jackson as well. THE FUTURE: Jackson made his major league debut and played in four games for the Braves, but he was put on the 60-day IL with a left knee sprain at the end of the season. Jackson's defensive improvement should allow him to be a serviceable backup option, but it's hard to project him as a first-division regular with well below-average pure hitting ability, though that bar for catchers is low.
TRACK RECORD: A 24th-round pick out of Dallas Baptist who signed for $197,500, Ball had one of the best debuts of any 2019 draftee, hitting .329/.395/.628 in the Appalachian and South Atlantic leagues, ranking as the No. 15 prospect in the Appy League. SCOUTING REPORT: Ball is the best power hitter in the system, with 70-grade raw power, and has a solid understanding of the strike zone and a clean swing to go along with it. Ball stood out to Appy League managers for his ability to square up both fastballs and breaking balls, and he posted the best isolated slugging (.352) in the league among batters with at least 50 plate appearances. Ball doesn't chase much out of the zone now, but that will be worth monitoring as he progresses to higher levels. For now he has solid control of his long limbs, both at the plate and in the field. Defensively, Ball will be limited to first base where he's got a chance to be average with continued improvements. He's still figuring out the nuances and the footwork of the position but has the frame and power you'd like to see there. THE FUTURE: There will be plenty of pressure on his bat as he progresses, but Ball's pro debut showed he could be a special hitter—and a late-round steal.
TRACK RECORD: A career .318/.430/.487 hitter over three years with Wichita State, Jenista was seen as a polished college bat who would hit in pro ball, with raw power that might be further tapped into with a swing change. SCOUTING REPORT: While Jenista did switch things up at the plate in his first full season and made his way to Double-A Mississippi, he struggled with consistency and most scouts attributed that to too much tinkering with his swing. His defensive profile means more will be expected out of his bat moving forward, as Jenista will be limited to a corner outfield spot, where he's an average defender, runner and thrower. Jenista played first base in the Arizona Fall League, though that's more for versatility's sake than an indictment of his outfield play—which is serviceable. Scouts still believe Jenista has above-average raw power, which is his best tool, but he's yet to show an ability to tap into that consistently in pro ball. THE FUTURE: Jenista should repeat Double-A next year, where he's a bounce-back candidate in the mind of Braves evaluators and will look to find a consistent rhythm at the plate.
TRACK RECORD: Kalich was the first pitcher the Braves selected in the 2019 draft, making him their fourth-round selection after striking out 51 batters in 34 innings in Texas A&M's bullpen. A pure reliever, Kalich is a candidate to be the first 2019 Atlanta draftee to make the majors. SCOUTING REPORT: The Braves liked Kalich's fastball-slider combination enough to give him a $347,500 signing bonus as a draft-eligible sophomore, and he did well in his pro debut. He ran his fastball up to 97-98 mph at its best in college but topped out around 96 mph this summer, sitting in the 92-94 mph range with some tailing life. Kalich's out-pitch is a firm, upper-80s slider that some evaluators call a cutter, though that pitch clocked in the mid-80s during his pro debut. Both pitches are likely above-average now with plus potential and he is working on a changeup and curveball as well—though both pitches are below-average and in a reliever role he shouldn't have to use them much. Kalich showed average control as an amateur but that backed up in his brief pro debut. THE FUTURE: Kalich should move quickly through the system as a straight reliever with arm strength.
TRACK RECORD: Harris didn't hit over .300 in college until his fourth year with Missouri, but after signing for just $10,000 in the 32nd round with the Braves, he's now hit above the .300 mark in each of his first two professional seasons. SCOUTING REPORT: Harris' professional debut was strong, but brief, in 2018. A year later, the Braves aggressively pushed Harris to more age-appropriate leagues, and he continued to hit every step of the way. Harris has a fringe-average hit tool, but he can square up the fastball well and has a good understanding of the strike zone. He brings average power to the table and while most of that is pull-oriented, he can drive the ball out to the opposite field at times as well. An above-average runner now, that grade could go down in the future, as scouts noted increased weight on Harris towards the end of the season. He'll need to monitor that moving forward, but can capably handle either corner outfield spot, with average arm strength that likely makes him a better fit for left. THE FUTURE: Harris should begin the 2020 season in Double-A where he will look to continue proving his hitting ability is strong enough to profile in a corner.
TRACK RECORD: Undrafted out of high school, Walker developed into a prospect over three years at Gardner-Webb, culminating in something of a breakout campaign as a junior. With the Braves, Walker progressed to high Class A Florida before transitioning to a reliever full-time in 2019. SCOUTING REPORT: The transition to the bullpen catapulted Walker to his big league debut this season. Primarily a two-pitch arm with a sinking fastball that sits in the low-90s and a hard, sweeping curveball in the low-80s, Walker debuted with the Braves in July and posted a 1.93 ERA over 9.1 innings and six appearances. An adjustment in his arm slot in 2019 allowed him to improve his control and while he doesn't have the overpowering pure stuff typical of most relievers in this era, his ability to keep the ball on the ground and prevent home runs could be an asset in the bullpen. THE FUTURE: Walker doesn't have the upside of many players on this list, but he's a pretty safe bet to provide major league value out of the bullpen right away.
TRACK RECORD: Hernandez signed with the Braves in September of 2017 after pitching in the Cuban National Series during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.The Braves started Hernandez in the South Atlantic League in 2018 before watching him take a step forward this season with high Class A Florida. SCOUTING REPORT: Hernandez has big league caliber pure stuff, but he previously struggled enough with his strike-throwing to limit his effectiveness. While he still lacks great command, his control took a big step forward in 2019. Hernandez has a plus-plus fastball that sits in the 96-99 mph range and pairs that with a firm slider in the upper-80s that has above-average potential as well. He'll need to improve the consistency of his slider moving forward, but a short arm action and above-average deception that comes from hiding the ball well in his delivery could create uncomfortable at-bats from hitters on both sides of the plate. THE FUTURE: Scouts praise Hernandez's presence and mentality on the mound and think he has the stuff and demeanor to be a high-leverage reliever if he can keep his walk rate in check.
TRACK RECORD: A 35th round pick who signed for $125,000, Brown is the son of Kevin, who was a backup catcher in the majors for seven years and also attended Southern Indiana. The Braves were one of only a few teams interested in Brown during his junior year and loved his defensive skills. SCOUTING REPORT: Brown has easy plus arm strength that will draw 70-grade evaluations on his best days and threw out 38 percent of runners in the Florida State League and 42 percent of runners in the South Atlantic League. Brown also has good hands and does a nice job receiving, blocking and handling a staff. He has all the tools and ability to become an above-average defender, but his bat needs plenty of work. His swing is stiff from the left side and he lacks present strength to impact the ball with much authority, with well below-average power currently. That said, the Braves were impressed with his contact ability and his improvements, and have hope that he will fill out and add strength in the future. THE FUTURE: Brown has a solid backup catching profile, with some upside as a second-division regular who might do enough offensively to survive in the back of a lineup.
TRACK RECORD: Philip played two seasons at San Joaquin Delta (Calif.) JC before transferring to Oregon State for his junior season, where he hit .312 and capably replaced 2018 supplemental first-round pick Cadyn Grenier at shortstop. The Braves signed him to an underslot deal in the second round for $697,500. SCOUTING REPORT: Philip is a defensive-oriented prospect who has advanced abilities and plus tools centered around shortstop. He has reliable hands and glove work, ranges well to both sides and particularly up the middle to his glove side and has plus arm strength. At San Joaquin Delta he threw 95 mph off the mound and could have a real fallback as a pitcher. Philip is also an above-average runner. There's a lot of work he needs to do offensively, however. Philip has always struggled to hit breaking pitches—dating back to his time in junior college and in the Pac-12 — and has below-average raw power. He doesn't project to have much in the future, meaning he'll need to make big strides with his hit tool to provide much value offensively. THE FUTURE: Philip could have some value as a utility infielder or defensive specialist, but it's difficult to project more than that until he shows more promise with the bat.
TRACK RECORD: A speedy center fielder out of Lenoir-Rhyne, the Braves signed Dean for $125,000 in the 17th round of the 2018 draft after a college career that saw him hit .367/.467/.532 over three years. SCOUTING REPORT: Voted the best defensive outfielder in the South Atlantic League this season, Dean's prowess in center field is likely his biggest asset at the moment. He can run it down in the gaps well as a 70-grade runner who also posts 60-grade run times from home to first, and he plays with a lively, infectious energy. Dean uses his speed on the base paths as well, giving him an old school leadoff hitter profile on the surface. Dean could have average raw power in the tank down the line, though it's mostly pull-oriented at the moment—he hit just one opposite field home run in 2019. He's undersized, but pound-for-pound is well put together. Dean's hit tool is still raw, and scouts believe he's more likely to be a solid fourth outfielder type than a regular because of that. THE FUTURE: If Dean continues to hit at more age-appropriate levels—he was old for the Sally League this season—he'll climb in the organization thanks to impressive supplemental tools and the ability to handle a premium position. For now, he profiles as a fourth outfielder.
TRACK RECORD: A polished defender with major league bloodlines—his father Tony had a 13-year career—Graffanino was a needed addition to a system that lacked shortstop depth a year ago. Graffanino played in just one game this season after undiagnosed gastrointestinal issues sidelined him for the entirety of the season. The ailment lingered for Graffanino throughout the year before he started to recover in September, but at that point the season was lost. The injury left Graffanino behind in at-bats, which are sorely needed for the glove-first infielder. SCOUTING REPORT: Graffanino has above-average range at shortstop with twitchy athleticism and above-average running ability, to go along with solid hands and above-average arm strength that will allow him to stick at the position long-term. His bat is the bigger question, as Graffanino has well below-average power and lacked much history hitting at a high level. He's leaned into being a slap-and-dash hitter too frequently in the past and will need to improve on that in the future. THE FUTURE: He'll have to make up for lost time in 2020 and he should have his first full minor league season.
TRACK RECORD: The Braves were one of only a few teams interested in Paolini out of high school in the 2019 draft, but they believed in his swing, future power potential and center field profile enough to buy him out of an Elon commitment for $597,500 in the fifth round. SCOUTING REPORT: Paolini was an under-the-radar prospect out of the Northeast who wasn't seen on the travel ball circuit during high school, but he checks a lot of boxes that look good on paper. He is a left-left centerfielder with plus speed and a projectable and athletic, 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame. The true ability of Paolini's hit tool will decide whether or not Atlanta's gamble will pay off, but he looked overmatched in a brief pro debut in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League despite some solid on-base skills. Paolini has a chance to get to average raw power as he fills out physically, with solid bat speed, but he will need to quiet a swing that is aggressive and built from a big leg kick in his load that could lead to timing issues. THE FUTURE: Paolini played all three outfield positions in his debut but should have the speed and athleticism to stick in center field. There's plenty of risk here, but if Paolini does improve his hitting ability there are a lot of supplemental tools and skills to get excited about. He should move slowly through the system.
TRACK RECORD: A popup arm in the 2018 draft who excelled at John A. Logan (Ill.) JC and showcased premium pure stuff, Riley signed for $450,000 in the fifth round before showing his control had a long way to go in his professional debut. SCOUTING REPORT: After starting for most of the 2019 season, Riley moved to the bullpen during his last five games, where he struggled to find the strike zone, throwing just 47 percent of his pitches for strikes out of the bullpen compared to around 59 percent in a starting role. His pure stuff suits a reliever role, with a fastball that's been up to 96-97 mph at its best but this season was down into the low 90s more frequently. The slider is his best secondary, and it has a chance to be above-average, while Riley's curve and changeup lag behind. THE FUTURE: Mechanically, Riley has a clean delivery and arm action, but his control is still limiting him from making the most of his pure stuff.
TRACK RECORD: After sanctions, Ramos is now the highest-ranked prospect in Atlanta's 2016 international class, which originally included players like Kevin Maitan (Angels) and Yunior Severino (Twins). SCOUTING REPORT: Ramos faces a difficult path to the majors as a free-swinging right-right left fielder whose entire profile is dependent on his hit tool and power production. His raw power stacks up among the best in Atlanta's system, with scouts giving him plus grades or better in that department, but he has struggled to translate that into games consistently in two years of full-season ball. Ramos will need to make adjustments at the plate and get to at least fringe-average hitting ability to make up for below-average defensive ability that includes below-average speed and arm strength. THE FUTURE: Ramos should start 2020 back in the Florida State League, where he'll hope to get the bat on the ball more and take advantage of his sole carrying tool.
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