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Michael Harris cracks the Top 5 of FanGraphs’ Top 30 Braves prospect list

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MLB: JUL 21 Marlins at Braves Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

FanGraphs released their annual Top 30 list of Atlanta Braves prospects and while there were no real surprises at the top, outfielder Michael Harris vaulted into the Top 5.

Before we get to Harris, Cristian Pache and Ian Anderson top the list and have a Future Value of 60 according to FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen. Anderson is a lock to open the season in the rotation and Pache is closing in on being the Opening Day centerfielder.

Drew Waters comes in third on this list and is a 55 Future Value. The presence of Pache, emergence of Harris and an oblique injury during the spring have many forgetting about how good of a prospect Waters is. It will be good to see him back on the field once the minor league season gets underway in May.

Harris lands at No. 4 after he turned heads with his performance at the alternate site in 2020 and then again in the spring. He’s still really young and will need time but looks like he will be topping Braves prospect lists soon enough.

The industry knows less about Harris because aside from PG National, he did not participate in the big showcases before his draft year, and his first full season was lost to COVID. There’s a slice of the industry that thinks elite players just perform all the time, with any kind of extended failure or statistical hiccup evidence that a player won’t be elite. If that’s true then Harris is one of a handful of players who has a chance to be elite because he technically hasn’t failed yet, in part because he’s had fewer opportunities to. He’s a fantastic athlete who has looked like a terrific all-around baseball player when he’s been able to play, and he’s gone from a third rounder to someone who we value on par with a mid-first rounder in the span of two years.

Other notables include Shea Langeliers and William Contreras at five and six. Jared Shuster at 10, Bryce Ball at 11 and Braden Shewmake at 12. Click through to check out the whole list.