If someone would have told you two years ago that the Atlanta Braves would now have one of the best, if not the best, farm system in baseball, you likely would have laughed at them. For reference, Keith Law’s annual farm system rankings, which were released last week, featured the Braves as the top minor league system in baseball, an astounding feat considering they ranked just 22nd on the same list two years ago.
The condition of the farm system at that time left the Braves little choice but to hedge their bets for the future, as they had very few high-impact prospects and little depth at key positions. Following the 2014 season, the front office set out to replenish that system, and that is just what they have done. Despite the costs, which include key major league contributors like Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, and Craig Kimbrel, the state of the franchise is an enviable one. The Braves have not only enriched their farm system to heights that would have been seemingly unimaginable in years past, but they have minimized their future contractual obligations to allow for a lot of flexibility from a personnel perspective.
It’s going to be ugly this season. There’s no denying that, but the Braves are set up to rebound very quickly when all of their minor-league talent gels.
With all of the transactions that the Braves have executed over the past 16 months, much of their farm system is comprised of players they have acquired through trades, including eight of the top 10 on this list. There is no question that fans will be tuning in to prospect reports this season in an effort to keep tabs on some of the newly acquired talent, and this list should provide a baseline for the most impactful players to watch. While there are 20 prospects highlighted here, the Braves’ system features enough depth that there are several prospects of note who fall outside of the top 20, which lends some credence to the opinion that the Braves have one of the deepest and most fruitful systems in baseball.
Let’s take a look at which players did make the cut in this year’s top 20 Atlanta Braves prospects.