Seven Braves prospects among Baseball America's top 100

Marietta High product Dasby Swanson is the Braves' top prospect, according to Baseball America. (HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM)

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Marietta High product Dasby Swanson is the Braves' top prospect, according to Baseball America. (HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM)

Pitchers and catchers report to major league camps this weekend, which means Baseball America is out with its revised prospect rankings. The lists offer further confirmation that the Braves have revamped their farm system from one of the worst to one of the best in baseball.

Baseball America ranked the organization's farm system as the third-best behind the Dodgers and Astros. The Braves ranked 14th in 2015, after the first phase of their major-leaguers-for-prospects swaps, and 26th in both 2013 and 2014.

Baseball America lists seven Braves players among the Top 100 (actually top 90) in baseball. That’s after just one Braves prospect still with the organization at the end of last season (Touki Toussaint) made the list in 2015. The top three Braves prospects as ranked by Baseball America were all acquired via trade since the end of last season: infielder Dansby Swanson, left-hander Sean Newcomb and right-hander Aaron Blair.

Name Position BA ranking
High 2015 level
Dansby Swanson
ss
17 A (short)
Sean Newcomb
lhp 24 AA
Hector Olivera
3b/of 55 MLB
Aaron Blair
rhp 60 AAA
Ozzie Albies
ss/2b 63 A
Kolby Allard
lhp 84 Rookie
Touki Toussaint
rhp 90 A

Braves prospects Lucas Sims and Max Fried have appeared on previous Top 100 lists. Adding seven more Top 100 prospects in the last year is significant for the Braves’ rebuilding.

Blogger Matt Perez, expanding on previous work by Victor Wang and Scott McKinney, analyzed the major league success rate of Baseball America's top 100 prospects from 1990-2006. He found that 70 percent of those prospects "fail" by his empirical criteria but that players high in the BA rankings do well. Players ranked in the top 20 go on to be successful in the big leagues nearly half of the time, while those ranked from 21 to 60 become successful about a quarter of the time and those ranked 61 to 100 make it about 20 percent of the time.

Obviously projecting major-league success for young prospects is difficult to do. Baseball America’s John Manuel notes that the Braves acquired a lot of “high-ceiling talent” but took on some risk with several raw arms and the 30-year old Olivera.

But with nine Braves prospects now having appeared in the Baseball America Top 100 at some point, the franchise can probably count on perhaps four or five of of them becoming (or being traded for) solid major league players. That's a good foundation for the future.