Yes…it’s true. The Braves farm is weak. But as we’ve seen with several call-ups in the last 2-3 years, it’s weak for a reason. John Coppolella is definitely part of that reason, but it’s also due to Alex Anthopoulos. And no, that’s not a bad thing. As we’ve seen with Ronald Acuna Jr., Spencer Strider, Michael Harris II, Vaughn Grissom, and the latest, AJ Smith-Shawever, AA will promote players when his team deems them ready. So, yes…AA is responsible for taking players who are showing ready for the bigs from the minors, and in turn, creating a weaker farm. And that’s a good thing.

However, whether it’s Gwinnett, Mississippi, Rome, or Augusta, there are still players that are deserving of taking the next step. In today’s Braves Farm piece, I’ll take a look at those players who are deserving of moving up a level with eyes on the prize. In today’s Braves Farm piece, we will look at the players who are ready for a promotion from the Braves Low and High A affiliates

Augusta Greenjackets

Ethan Workinger: A post draft signee back in 2021, Workinger is a little old for Low-A, but is really putting up some solid numbers. He’s added some muscle and it has proved to be the difference maker as he’s carrying a .516 SLG% to go along with his 11 HRs. He’s an OFer capable of playing all 3 OF positions and has even spent time at 1B.

Spencer Schwellenbach: Schwellenbach has started 11 games for the Greenjackets and really doesn’t need to start anymore with them. He’s carrying a 2.95 ERA and a GB rate above 50%. He’s also 23. I hope his next start is in Rome.

Tyree Thompson: I lived in New Orleans for 10 years and I remember a friend telling me that a kid from New Orleans was drafted by the Rangers. Since then, I’ve kept up with Tyree. He’s 26 and too old to be at Augusta, but he’s seemingly figured things out, at least enough to get a shot at High-A. His 1.69 ERA is heavily aided by a .109 BABIP, but even so, is still deserving to see Rome.

Rome Braves

David McCabe: McCabe is a BIG dude, 6’3, 240 and can smack the living daylights out of a baseball. Drafted in the 4th round of the 2022 MLB draft out of UNC of Charlotte, McCabe is now strictly a 3B, which is N/A at the MLB level. He has played other positions in his baseball career, but 1B & DH are the only 2 that he’s played since becoming a professional. He’s already 23 and has only played in 12 games at Rome, but he needs the challenge at Pearl to either prove or disprove his MLB worth.

Ignacio Alvarez (*Nacho): This dude is so much fun to watch. He truly has very little power to speak of, but likely has one of the best eyes in the system and comes equipped with good speed and a good glove. He’s only 20, but like McCabe, needs to see Pearl to test the waters of his future.

Ian Mejia: Sometimes one has to trust the eye and not the results. Mejia looks the part of a big leaguer, but his 4.13 ERA doesn’t reflect the quality of his stuff. The Braves like athletic types for the pitchers and Mejia lettered in 3 sports coming out of high school. He has 2 high end pitches, a curve and fastball, and it wouldn’t surprise me that his future is bullpen rather than starting. However, the Braves have a policy, especially in the lower minors, of keeping these guys as starters as long as possible and Mejia deserves that opportunity at Pearl. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Mejia makes the top 10 prospect list for midseason 2023. I enjoyed watching this piece on Ian. It’s a few years old, but I think it shows his mentality