How did the prospect rankings stack up?
The Atlanta Braves have had one of the best farm systems in MLB. Also, they have eight players on the top 100 prospect list. This team has turned the franchise over in a relatively short amount of time. Furthermore, hitting on high picks in the draft has helped accelerate the rebuild. Another team trying to duplicate them is the Chicago White Sox, who have traded most of their valuable assets for major prospect talent.
The list also consists of plenty of Rays, Brewers, Padres, Twins, Yankees, etc. It just goes to show the young talent in the game and foreshadows that the future is bright. The MLB has a ton of youth in the big leagues, so the sport is going to get even more competitive really soon. One big reason for the extremely sluggish offseason is that teams place a high value on prospects.
Therefore, teams are more hesitant in dealing them as they can hold the keys for the future. In 2018, the #1 ranked prospect is none other than Braves phenom Ronald Acuna.
Possible five-tool Player
The Atlanta top prospect is a legit future five-tool threat. He was signed as an international free agent in 2014. The outfielder has a cannon for an arm, as well as lightning speed. The Venezuelan ballplayer has good power and has shown he can be consistent. He has risen all the way from Single-A to Triple-A.
Here is a description of his place at the plate: “Acuna swings hard, and the first thing you’ll notice about him is just how quickly he can get his bat through the zone. If a pitcher comes inside with any velocity Acuna can turn on the pitch and square it up, and he is able to use those hands to adjust so well to off speed pitches that even when he is badly fooled he can change his entire bat path and still make solid contact.”
Acuna smacked 21 home runs in 2017, as well as knocking in 82 RBI through all three levels. He also swiped a combined 44 bags to boot. This guy can do it all. It will be fun to watch him in 2018. The stud has definitely earned himself the best prospect in baseball honor. That’s saying something when you beat out Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani.
His projection for next year is .273 with 11 homers and 42 RBIs. He looks like he may become an impact piece in the near future and a possible franchise cornerstone.