The Atlanta Braves are the defending World Series champions. Even if they were not the favorites heading to the postseason, they prevailed over the more talented Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS and Houston Astros in the World Series. The fantastic combination of veterans and youth, masterful pitching, and immense power catapulted the Braves to the top for the first time since 1995.
The nucleus of that team was composed of individuals from their farm system, led by Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, and Austin Riley. Even with Freeman heading to Los Angeles, Atlanta still has that deep bag of prospects who made an immediate impact this season, such as Michael Harris II and Spencer Strider. The New York Mets are still ahead in the NL East, but the Braves will be legitimately dangerous, especially if these few prospects can find a consistent role with the squad.
Having myriad relievers in the bullpen to help Kenley Jansen will be critical in the postseason. Promoting Seth Elledge would give him a chance to crack a spot in the big leagues after signing him to a minor league deal last March. Elledge possesses a high strikeout rate, but he is also susceptible to giving up an above-average BB.
Seth Elledge relies a ton on his fastball and can have terrific control and command on that pitch. Having that late-life on the fastball is integral because it will force batters into some strikeouts. Furthermore, Elledge also mixes it up with a hard curveball as an off-speed pitch.
Calling up SS Vaughn Grissom was an excellent move for the Atlanta organization, so focusing on another SS when the expanded rosters begin would be brilliant. Cal Conley will provide that pinch-running option in these crucial games heading to the postseason, as he has swiped 30 bags in the minors this season.
Being in Single-A this season indicates Conley still needs a ton of experience and repetitions in the minors to find his groove for the majors. This one month playing alongside Dansby Swanson and Vaughn Grissom would be necessary for his development as he will be in the clubhouse learning from an NL East franchise that is primed for a deep playoff run.
Starting the season in Double-A, Jared Shuster was recently promoted to AAA because of his exceptional performance. His 2.87 ERA and spectacular K: BB ratio of 98:21 validated his promotion toward the end of July. Many of the youngsters in the majors now prefer having a high velocity, but their command is abysmal. That is not the case with Shuster because he can locate his pitches incredibly and force batters to swing and miss.
The profound depth of the Braves pitching staff may limit his opportunities when rosters expand, but they could use a lefty asset in the bullpen. With his remarkable numbers, Jared Shuster had that rare opportunity of playing in the Future Games during the All-Star Weekend this season. Being part of that 2020 class wherein Spencer Strider was a fourth-round pick, first rounds selection Jared Shuster is on pace to become a lethal pitcher in the next few years.
The Atlanta Braves are a deep squad set with their core for their postseason run. The prospects will unlikely receive consistent playing time in September, but they will get the necessary experience of gaining exposure in the majors. These prospects may become unknown to the casual fan, but this call-up for a month could be essential in their development by 2023 or 2024.