The Atlanta Braves initial list includes just four players, and zero of them are pitchers- something that will change before the start of competition in the desert. Among the four candidates there are some surprise inclusions, as well as some names that you might expect not on the roster for the Peoria Javelinas. The Braves are splitting Peoria with the Padres, Brewers, Mariners, and Rays this year.
Easily the biggest name the Braves are sending is potential five tool outfielder Cristian Pache, who joins an outfield including Joe McCarthy, Trent Grisham(formerly Clark), and Buddy Reed. Pache has spent most of the year in High A, but was recently promoted to Double A Mississippi. Pache has played 93 of his 117 games at Florida and on the year has hit .285/.314/.420. His power has ticked up quite as bit as in his first two years he went 750 plate appearances without a single home run to go with a combined 17 doubles and 15 triples. This year to date he has 23 doubles, six triples, and nine homers in 482 plate appearances- at the same time as he managed to cut his strikeout rate from last season.
Isranel Wilson joins Pache in that packed outfield. The winner of the 2015 GCL home run title as a 17 year old, Izzy’s path to the big leagues hasn’t been completely smooth. This year he’s combined to hit .222/.303/.347 with 14 doubles, eight homers, and 16 steals between Low A and High A. He was better in Low A,posting a .688 OPS against a .582 OPS in the 37 games since moving to High A, but he is a very high upside five tool guy even though he is a bit raw.
Ray-Patrick Didder and Braxton Davidson join an infield filled with prospects, as Evan White, Keston Hiura, Lucius Fox, and Hudson Potts. Davidson was the final first round of the Frank Wren era, and while he’s struggled with high strikeouts and low batting averages he has shown a bit more power this year. This year in High A Davidson has hit .171/.283/.365 with 19 doubles and 19 homers- but has also struck out 204 times in 467 plate appearances. There’s power in his bat, but he has been the definition of a three true outcome hitter.
Didder started the year in High A and posted just a .608 OPS in 76 games for Florida before a promotion to Double A. He has been much better in Double A over 40 games, hitting .277/.370/.378. Didder is an excellent defender with plus plus speed and plenty of defensive versatility that has a strong chance to be a big leaguer in a utility role.
Among the Braves not on the list are Austin Riley, Touki Tousaint, Kyle Wright, Bryse Wilson, and Ian Anderson. Some of these guys may not be on the list because they will be on the Braves roster in September, while others may be added later. And of course some may not make the AFL due to limiting their innings on the season. Stay tuned for further updated on the AFL rosters.