The Braves’ season stands just 31 games old, and at 11-20 it’s safe to say preseason expectations here in Atlanta were a bit higher than the results thus far. But news isn’t all bad as the Braves head to Miami for a weekend series and focus on improvement over their final 131 contests.
Baseball America released an update to its Top 100 Prospects list on Thursday and youngsters from the Atlanta organization appeared throughout release.
Eight Braves made this version of the list (the original was published in February of 2017) with middle infielder Ozzie Albies the highest at No. 8. Here are all eight Atlanta players:
8. Ozzie Albies, 2B/SS
28. Kolby Allard, LHP
44. Mike Soroka, RHP
60. Ian Anderson, RHP
62. Ronald Acuna, OF
71. Kevin Maitan, SS
72. Sean Newcomb, LHP
94. Luiz Gohara, LHP
Albies has 14 hits in his last 10 games, including a home run and a triple. He’s hitting .359 in that span and has a .248 average with 12 extra-base hits ini 32 games this season at Triple-A Gwinnett. Albies has also swiped nine bases.
Allard has an amazing 1.38 ERA in seven starts this season at Double-A Mississippi. He’s struck out 31 batters and walked nine in 39 innings of work. Opposing hitters have managed just a .200 batting average against Allard. He tossed a gem on May 4, striking out 11 and allowing just three hits in six innings of work.
Mississippi opponents are also struggling to succeed against Soroka too. He’s managed a 3.45 ERA in six starts and held hitters to a .212 average. At 31 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings, Soroka’s almost one punch put per inning is impressive.
If fanning better than a better per inning is of interest (and if you like great pitching it should be), keep an eye on Anderson in Single-A Rome. He’s struck out 37 hitters in just 28 innings and has allowed only 21 base hits.
Acuna was just promoted from Advanced-A Florida to Double-A Mississippi on May 9. In three games since arriving, Acuna is 6 for 12 with two home runs and four RBI. Put his entire 2017 season together and he’s blasted five home runs in 31 games at a .307 clip.
How huge is the hype surrounding Kevin Maitan? He’s still not put on his spikes in a minor league game and he landed at No. 71 on this list.
Another big strikeout guy for the Braves, Newcomb has 46 punch outs in 37 1/3 innings of work this season in Gwinnett. He’s sporting a 2.89 ERA in seven starts and has held batters to a .227 average. Over his last three starts, Newcomb has more strikeouts (22) than hits allowed (12) and befuddled Pawtucket on April 30 with 11 strikeouts and only one hit allowed in seven innings.
Gohara has a minuscule 1.98 ERA over seven starts in Advanced-A Florida. He’s got 39 strikeouts in 36 1/3 inning s and just got promoted to Double-A Mississippi.