We’ve grown accustomed to seeing the Atlanta Braves’ lovingly assembled prospects lighting up the various minor-league rankings. (This happens when you have the No. 1 farm system for a second year running.) But our pals at Baseball America have dealt us a bit of a curveball, as it were.
Four of those eight being non-pitchers? Slight shock.
The elite eight: Dansby Swanson is No. 3 overall, behind outfielder Andrew Benintendi of the Red Sox and infielder Yoan Moncada of the White Sox. (Swanson kept his rookie eligibility by the slightest margin, we stipulate.) Then, at No. 11, is infielder Ozhaino Albies. (We around here just call him “Ozzie,” as in Nelson or Osbourne.)
Then come three teenage pitchers: Lefty Kolby Allard at No. 37, righty Mike Soroka at No. 48 and lefty Ian Anderson at No. 66. Then, at No. 67, is outfielder Ronald Acuna. Then, at No. 77, shortstop-for-the-moment Kevin Maitan. Then, at No. 78, is lefty Sean Newcomb.
Also of note: Our pals at Baseball Prospectus just released their top 100. (Top 101, actually.) The same eight Braves are included, in a slightly different order.
Keith Law of ESPN Insider released his top 100 in January. He included seven of those eight Braves — Soroka just missed — and added lefty Max Fried at No. 50 and newly acquired lefty Luiz Gohara at No. 77. So, if you’re keeping score, that’s 10 Braves prospects in somebody’s top 100.
Oh, and pitchers and catchers report tomorrow.