After littering the top prospect lists of both ESPN and MLB.com, the Atlanta Braves are back at it again. On Friday, Baseball America announced their top 100 list for 2017 and included on it were a whopping eight Braves farmhands.
Braves Prospects on BA Top 100:
- Dansby Swanson (3)
- Ozzie Albies (11)
- Kolby Allard (37)
- Mike Soroka (48)
- Ian Anderson (66)
- Ronald Acuna (67)
- Kevin Maitan (77)
- Sean Newcomb (78)
For the most part, this aligns with the other lists that have been published so far.
While Swanson will lose his prospect status after his next big league at-bat, he remains a consensus top five prospect entering the season. On this list, only Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada ranked higher.
Albies, Allard, Anderson, and Newcomb all fell roughly within the same range that they did on earlier top 100s.
BA joins Keith Law as big believers in Acuna. Though MLB.com left him off their list entirely, the industry as a whole seems to have high hopes for the young outfielder.
The most interesting ranking is Soroka all the way in the top 50.
The 2015 first-rounder looked excellent in his first taste of full-season professional baseball. As part of the highly touted pitching staff for the Low-A Rome Braves, Soroka recorded a 3.02 earned run average in 143 innings over 25 appearances (24 starts).
While some have docked him for not having a superstar ceiling, others have praised his workmanlike attitude and mature approach to diet and conditioning. Clearly, BA thinks highly of the 19-year-old.
Though they rated Maitan lower than other prospect evaluators, that isn’t necessarily a knock on the Venezuelan phenom. While the industry seems to agree that he is an intriguing prospect, it’s hard to accurately rate a guy before his first professional at bat.
As we’ve said before, prospect rankings are more for entertainment than anything else. Stars like Josh Donaldson and Paul Goldschmidt never appeared on any of these lists while consensus top prospects like Delmon Young and Brandon Wood never panned out. It just happens.
Regardless, with Spring Training right around the corner, Atlanta surely appreciates yet another reason to be excited for the future.
Scott Ferris covers the Braves as a Staff Writer for Outside Pitch MLB. You can follow him on Twitter @ScottHFerris