Who doesn't like top ten lists?
Okay, they are definitely arbitrary and ultimately a guessing game, but it is fun to see what the various "experts" in the field have to say about prospects and farm systems. Luckily for those of us who are avid followers of such things, Baseball America had plenty for us to look at as they released their Top Ten Braves Prospects lists today.
The link to the actual Top 10 list is right HERE although to get the full article with analysis you have to be a BA subscriber. Hector Olivera gets the top spot on the list, although his status as a true prospect is a little questionable. Of note is that Ozzie Albies is pushed all the way down to #3 in their rankings with Kolby Allard getting second place billing. Touki Toussaint and Austin Riley round out the top 5 with Max Fried, Mallex Smith, Mike Soroka, Braxton Davidson, and Lucas Sims following in order after that.
JJ Cooper did put together a video where he says that if a few of the Braves high risk, high reward players pan out that by this time next year the Braves could have the best farm system in baseball (he does clearly point out that they do not have that distinction yet). Austin Riley, Kolby Allard, and Touki Toussaint are all listed as players that Braves have placed some speculative bets on, but have the stuff to become top flight prospects if they can overcome their respective risks (sticking at 3rd, injury, and control respectively).
Bill Ballew followed with a chat about the Braves prospects which I highly recommend everyone go back and read the transcript of (link is HERE). Of note is that Ballew says that in terms of prospects, getting a lot of help from the farm system by 2017 could be difficult as a lot of the high-upside players in the system are in the lower minors. He also said that Lucas Sims has the best curveball in the system over Kolby Allard and Touki Toussaint which is...a bold assessment. He also compares a top of the order of Mallex Smith and Ozzie Albies to Otis Nixon-Deion Sanders which is certainly a heartening assessment. Ballew answered a bunch of questions about many of the prospects in the top 10 list as well as more than a few who aren't, so folks should definitely look at the chat transcript which can be found HERE and see what he has to say.