As we lead up to both the start of the 2008 season and our “Diamond Cutter” top 100 prospects list, I will be taking a look at the top five prospects from every single Major League team. Each team will have its top five prospects along with a brief scouting report on each player that I have pulled from my scouting notes. Today we start off with the Atlanta Braves who are overloaded with talented young outfielders. As always, let me know how you feel about the rankings in the comments section below or via email.
1.) Jason Heyward, OF: Talented young outfielder has harnessed very strong plate discipline with huge power potential. Looks to be a potential 30-35 home run hitter. Has the tools to be a star in the Majors and will shoot through the Atlanta system fairly quickly. While he is a plus right fielder he may slide over to first base with Jeff Francoeur holding down right field for the foreseeable future.
2.) Jordan Schafer, OF: Schafer is yet another solid young outfield prospect in the Braves system. He possess the ability to hit for both average and power and the ball seems to just jump off his bat. While he does have a few mechanical issues in his swing (pulls the ball too much and slower bat speed based on his approach) it isn’t anything that can’t be tinkered with as he moves through the ranks. Has an above average arm and a pretty good outfielder. Looks to be a very serious threat offensively for the Braves in their future lineup.
3.) Brandon Jones, OF: While Jones’ bat may not be as fierce as Heyward or Schafer, he definitely has the edge on defense. Great glove out in center and can handle himself very well at the plate with his scrappy approach. Looks to get more seasoning in the minors this year but he will be the starting center fielder for the Braves for a long time to come.
4.) Jair Jurrjens, RHP: Picked up in a trade with Detroit, this athletic youngster has two plus fastballs and a strong change up that he has excellent command of. Has an incredible make up and looks to prove he’s ready to join this Braves rotation this spring.
5.) Tommy Hanson, RHP: The Braves are hoping this kid turns out to be their future ace. Has a plus-fastball with good movement in the mid-90’s, a solid change, and and “knee-buckling” curve to top things off. Some say he may even get a shot a closing first.
Catch my column “Twins Killings” every day only on the Most Valuable Network.