The accolades for Atlanta’s farm system and top prospect Ronald Acuna continue to roll in. ESPN.com’s Keith Law released his Top 50 prospects on Tuesday with four Braves players making the cut including Acuna at No. 1. That gives Atlanta 10 prospects in Law’s Top 100 overall.
No. 1 Ronald Acuna
What more can really be said about Acuna? He earned the top spot in Baseball America’s Top 100 on Monday and does so again here.
What sets Acuna apart from most other prospects in the minors, beyond his youth, is his approach at the plate, including outstanding plate coverage and very good ball-strike recognition. He was the only teenage position player to play in Triple-A in 2017, and his average, OBP and slugging all ranked in the top five in the International League (minimum 141 at-bats).
Law adds that if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power then he will be among the best players in baseball.
No. 26 Kyle Wright
Wright was the best college pitcher available in the 2017 draft and fell into the Braves’ laps with the No. 5 pick. He pitched in just nine games between the Gulf Coast League and Danville after being drafted but could move rapidly through the system in 2018. Law points to his good velocity and a slider that is effective against both right- and left-handed hitters as reasons to be optimistic for his success.
No. 48 Ian Anderson
The Braves selected Anderson with the third pick in the 2016 Draft. Law points out that he already has a good fastball to go along with an above-average changeup and average curveball. He thinks he can add velocity in the future and improved control and command. Anderson spent the 2017 season at Rome where he put up a 3.14 ERA in 83 innings while striking out 101.
No. 50 Luiz Gohara
Rounding out Law’s Top 50 is Braves left-hander Luiz Gohara. Atlanta acquired Gohara in the Mallex Smith trade with Seattle. He began the 2017 season in High-A and advanced three levels before earning a September call-up to Atlanta. Law points out that Gohara may still have room for more development especially with his command. If he puts it all together, he has the upside as a No. 2 starter.