Braves fans got to see a lot of exciting young talent come up last summer. This spring, they'll get to see another wave.Atlanta invited 20 non-roster players to big league camp Monday, including top prospects Ian Anderson, Cristian Pache, Austin Riley and Drew Waters.
Braves fans got to see a lot of exciting young talent come up last summer. This spring, they'll get to see another wave.
Atlanta invited 20 non-roster players to big league camp Monday, including top prospects Ian Anderson, Cristian Pache, Austin Riley and Drew Waters.
Two years after being selected third overall in the Draft, Anderson put up big numbers in 2018. MLB.com's No. 32 overall prospect went 4-7 with a 2.49 ERA, 142 strikeouts and 49 walks in 119 1/3 innings over 24 starts between Class A Advanced Florida and Double-A Mississippi. Anderson handled the August promotion with ease, finishing the season with 19 punchouts over 12 2/3 scoreless frames in his final two outings. This was the right-hander's first invite to Major League Spring Training.
Before turning 20 in November, Pache worked his way up to Double-A. The No. 37 overall prospect drilled nine homers in 122 games for Florida and Mississippi after not leaving the yard at all in his first two pro seasons. Pache then showcased his well-above-average speed, arm and defense while patrolling the outfield in the Arizona Fall League.
While a knee injury cost Riley most of June, the 21-year-old third baseman posted strong stats in 2018. Riley collected 19 long balls and 70 RBIs -- both very close to his 2017 numbers, despite having 76 fewer at-bats. The No. 38 overall prospect hit .294 -- his best mark since Rookie-ball -- while advancing from Mississippi to Triple-A Gwinnett.
Waters, who sits at No. 86 in the new Top-100 rankings, settled in nicely during his first full season. The 20-year-old outfielder batted .293 with nine homers, 39 RBIs and 39 doubles between Class A Rome and Florida. Waters, who also received his first big league camp invite, swiped 23 bases in 28 attempts across the two levels.
Ranked left-handed pitchers Joey Wentz (Braves No. 11 prospect), Kyle Muller (No. 12), Thomas Burrows (No. 19) and Tucker Davidson (No. 24) also will be at camp, joined by batterymate William Contreras (No. 13). Outfielder Greyson Jenista (No. 14) comes off a big season in which he advanced to the Florida State League shortly after being selected 49th overall in the June Draft.
Atlanta also extended non-roster invites to left-handed reliever Corbin Clouse; catchers Carlos Martínez and Jonathan Morales; infielders CJ Alexander, Andrés Blanco, Pedro Florimón, Sean Kazmar and Luis Marté; and outfielders Ryan LaMarre and Rafael Ortega.
Kelsie Heneghan is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kelsie_Heneghan.