MLB Pipeline released their MLB-wide farm system rankings and the Braves have taken quite a fall on the list and find themselves ranked 15th with four players in the Top 100-Cristian Pache (14th), Drew Waters (27th), Ian Anderson (41st), and Shea Langeliers (74th). This is in line with the mid-teens ranking the Braves have on Fangraphs Prospect Board where they ranked 18th. For Pipeline this is a huge drop off for the Braves as they came into 2020 ranked 8th overall with five top 100 prospects.
The graduation of Kyle Wright took a hit to the system, as did their inability to add significant talent. With the shortened draft only allowing Atlanta to net four players and with no second rounder they were severely limited in their flexibility to add in top talent. Factor in the few years they’ve gone with the severe international sanctions and there simply hasn’t been the influx of talent necessary to maintain their high status in the league. 2020 First rounder Jared Shuster is the highest ranking on pipeline’s list as the 10th best prospects, and fifth rounder Bryce Elder (17th) is the only other Top 30 prospect the organization has added in the past calendar year.
With the minor leagues taking a season off the Braves late round talent from the 2019 were not able to establish themselves in the minor leagues and potentially add themselves into prospect talks to boost the system. If a few have the seasons we’re expecting, namely Michael Harris, Mahki Backstrom, Tyler Owens, and Vaughn Grissom, the team should start to see a lot more love. Of course, the soon-to-be loss of Ian Anderson will add another hit to that system though it seems as if the Braves will be retaining prospect status for top prospect Cristian Pache.
Now that the sanctions have lifted on the international front we’ll finally be able to see the Braves add some real talent there which will boost the back end of the system and hopefully inject more life into the organization down the road. The team will see a lot of losses over the next few years with much of their top talent either playing their way out of prospect status or being traded away for other players, so don’t be surprised to see this become a more long term speed bump for the team. The organization is slowly rebuilding its previously immense depth, but it is going to take time as prospects are a long game to play. Still, with a solid scouting and development department and a normal coupl of seasons of drafting and signings the Braves expect to see themselves on the road to returning to their previous glory.