While the Braves do enjoy the envy of every other franchise – 30th farm system out of 30! – such things do not necessarily mean a bleak future or that no one on the farm can play. What these rankings actually mean is that the system is lacking in upper level talents with star potential and I’m certain that isn’t correct either as we have several breakout candidates, some ready as early as next year. In this “Where Do We Go From Here” piece, we will look at those Minor Leaguers who could be called upon during the 2023 season.

Braves Minor League

OK, this area is a bit bleak but there are a couple potentially useful guys and one possible breakout, so even here there is hope!

Position Players
1. Rylan Bannon’s mother can tell you he is on the Braves 40 man roster even if nobody else knows it. He projects as minor league depth with a bit of pop but too much swing and miss to ever be even a decent backup in non-emergency situations.
2. Greyson Jenista was a 2nd round pick dog years ago who has been working on a swing change for the last 2 seasons. Limited to corner OF or 1B he really needs to start hitting to have a future. As it is he is another guy who projects to strike out 40% of the time in the show but can make pitchers pay if they groove one. Is Rule 5 eligible this year and may get taken just because of the power. I can see him doing about what Travis Demerritte did last season.
3. Braden Shewmake, SS, suffered a PCL tear in his knee due a collision with his left fielder and missed much of the minor league season. He started out cold (batting under .100 for April and most of May) before righting the ship and hitting about .260/.340/.420 the rest of the way. Tall and rangy, he does not take advantage of his long levers to generate power although the organization keeps trying. He makes contact, but not good contact, so the future is limited despite his plus D at short. I cannot see him as an alternative to Dansby, even in an emergency but he may come up should Arcia get hurt.
4. Justyn-Henry Malloy, however, is the guy. A 6th round draft pick from G Tech who barely played at Vanderbilt, scouts are unanimous on two issues with Malloy: he will have a high OBP with decent power and he has no defensive position. A third baseman when drafted, Malloy was shifted to the outfield where he looked as natural as the proverbial fish on a bicycle. Hope he works on this during the offseason! Spending some time at A+, AA and AAA during 2022, Malloy put up a .289/.408/.454 in parks that are not at all conducive to that kind of thing. While he got just 9 games at Gwinnett the Braves have shown they don’t worry about such things too much and they have sent him to the Arizona Fall League for some outfield reps. I’m guessing AAA to start the year unless Ozuna goes bye-bye and then up by the All Star break or as needed.

Starting Pitchers
We don’t look to need too many of these, but the team may be looking to corner the market on 5th starters.

Group 1: Ian Anderson, Kyle Muller, Mike Soroka are the ones we know well. There’s not much to say here other than Muller is the minor leaguer most likely to go all Kyle Wright on the league in 2023. I wish I had optimism on Anderson and Soroka at this point but we just may decline arbitration on both of them.

Group 2: Jared Shuster, Dylan Dodd, Nolan Kingham, Darius Vines are others that have great potential. . Shuster needs to find 2 MPH on his fastball to be a factor but he just might as he threw much harder in college. Dodd is another lefty whose repertoire is eerily similar to Shuster’s. He could use more oomph too. Kingham is a groundball guy who looks like the perfect swingman/opener/long reliever hybrid. He could free up Jackson Stephens for higher leverage usage in ‘23. Vines is a thin guy who has the classic league average stuff/slightly better than average command who could thrive in a 5-inning starter role. I’m surprised Tampa or Oakland hasn’t traded for him as yet.

Relief (or Tums?) Pitchers
Our in house selection is mostly old, injured, or velocity impaired so we shall concentrate on the few with future potential.
1. Freddie Tarnok was finally moved to the pen midway through this last season. 96-98 in relief with good secondaries he would project as a good set up man.
2. William Woods has been up a couple of times and throws 100mph but his movement has been diminishing and he is currently being pounded in the AFL. Woods has a great arm and he could be something if he could both get his movement back and control it.
3. Indigo Diaz, in addition to having a great name (and can you imagine the scene if he actually found El Pulpo…), was a fast moving righty until he stalled this year in Mississippi due to control issues. If he gets his mojo back I can see him getting a chance in the 2nd half.