This offseason has been quiet for virtually every team not named the Brewers on the major league front as teams mull their options for next offseason, waiting for free agent prices to come down, and the economic realities of baseball weighing on roster decisions. However, that does not mean that there is not baseball stuffs to talk about as the last couple of weeks have been full of prospect lists and breakdowns.
One of the least surprising parts of the 2017 season was that the Braves’ farm system was considered to be the best in baseball by virtually everyone due to its depth and the presence of high end talent. However, with the emergence of some new contenders (looking at you Padres, Yankees, and White Sox) in addition to some graduations and the penalties imposed on the Braves that impacted its depth, it was much less certain what the overall consensus would be concerning who had the best system. So far, so good for fans of the Braves.
Given how the top 100 prospect lists that we have seen thus far, it is now less surprising that there is an emerging industry consensus that the Braves have the best farm system in baseball despite the graduations of Ozzie Albies and Lucas Sims in addition to the loss of players like Kevin Maitan, Yunior Severino, and Yefri del Rosario. There has yet to be a top 100 prospect list released this offseason that the Braves did not have the most players on it and having arguably the top prospect in baseball in Ronald Acuna doesn’t hurt either.
More than that though, beyond top 100 prospects, you can easily make a list of at least 40 Braves prospects that are interesting and/or have real upside. While obviously not all of those players would make it to the majors, you can make a case for at least that many players in the Braves system for a path for them to get there. That combination of top end talent and depth has allowed the Braves to retain the top spot on organizational rankings at the very least until the next wave of promotions in 2018 hit.
With a big chunk of the Braves’ top farm system talent headed to spring training this year, it will be fascinating to see how these young guys do against major league talent and how the Braves use that information at the start of the regular season.