Atlanta Braves Prospects – Second Basemen
- Updated: March 6, 2017
Second base is a position that has a lot of Braves fans very excited for the future. With Dansby Swanson set at the shortstop position for years to come, it seems as though all of the attention has turned to his potential future double play mate, Ozzie Albies. While Albies is the front runner to come out of the rebuild as the starting second baseman, there is a lot of notable depth still behind him in the system.
For now, the Braves are content with veteran Brandon Phillips taking the field as the starting second baseman on opening day, but do not be surprised if he does not finish the season in that role. The trade for Phillips goes along with the theme of the rebuild, a veteran name that sparks some interest among fans, but not a long term solution. The addition of the Redan High School (GA) product should be viewed as a positive in a couple of ways. First off, Phillips will make some exciting plays and will still be pretty competitive in 2017, but most importantly, it gives Albies a little bit of extra time to recover from an elbow injury he suffered last season, as well as continue along with his steady development.
- Ozzie Albies – (Gwinnett)
2016 Statistics (Double-A, Triple-A) .292/.358/.420, 6 HR, 53 RBI, 30 SB
No surprise here. Albies is the most talked about position player in the Braves farm system whose name is not Swanson. He ranks number two on almost every Braves prospect list and I have yet to see him lower than number four anywhere. Just 20 years old, Albies split the 2016 season between Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett. The former shortstop turned second baseman won the Southern League batting title last season, while performing extremely well defensively and stealing 21 bases in 82 games at the level. Albies has the tools and appeared to be a major league ready player prior to a highly unusual injury he sustained late in 2016 when he fractured a bone in his elbow during a swing. While the injury may have slowed down the plans for him, it hasn’t halted them. Albies is expected to be ready to play in games at some point during spring training and will likely start the season in Triple-A Gwinnett while knocking on the door of the big leagues. The most fascinating stat when it comes to Albies is the fact that he has never faced a pitcher that was younger than him in his professional career. The minor league career .310 hitter has always been at least three years younger than the average player of the league he was in. That includes last year when he was seven and a half years younger than the average player in the International League and six years younger than the average player in the Southern League.
- Travis Demeritte – (Carolina)
2016 Statistics (A-Advanced) .266/.361/.554, 28 HR, 70 RBI, 17 SB
The Winder, GA product came to the Braves system last year in a deal with the Rangers that sent Lucas Harrell and Dario Alvarez west to Texas. Demeritte spent 2016 in High A, splitting time between the California and Carolina League. The 22 year old is most known for his power, both raw and in-game, and also has plus speed to go along with it. Like many young power hitters, he has a high strikeout rate, but he has been making strides towards improving it as he has continued to develop on the farm. It is no secret that Albies is the plan for second base in the future, but because of Demeritte’s handful of plus tools and overall potential, there have been some rumblings about him possibly changing positions. He is very good defensively at second base and has logged over 2,000 innings there in his professional career. He has had some chances at other spots in the infield, but has not had as much success. I think Demeritte’s biggest goal of 2017 will be improving his defense. The offensive potential is so high that the Braves will certainly be looking for alternative spots to put him in the field while second base is occupied by Albies.
- Johan Camargo – (Mississippi)
2016 Statistics (Double-A) .267/.304/.379, 4 HR, 43 RBI
Camargo is a 23 year old switch hitter out of Panama City, Panama who is widely viewed as a utility infielder. He split time between third and short for the first four years of his pro career before moving over to second for the majority of his appearances while in Double-A Mississippi last year. During the course of Camargo’s career he has always been praised for his excellent defensive ability. He has great range up the middle as well as a plus glove. He proved to be an extremely high contact hitter during his two years in rookie ball, but the offensive production had been trending downward as he was moving up to tougher pitching, at least until last year. 2016 saw Camargo post his best slash line since his Rookie ball days, while facing some of the most challenging pitching in the minors. The numbers at the plate will not jump off of the page at you, but coupled with the excellent defensive ability, they were good enough to make the Braves add him to the 40-man roster ahead of last years rule 5 draft.
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