Take a look at the transactions log at the bottom of this post and you will notice a flurry of 2021 draft picks and signings receiving their first or second pro assignments, including a few from the first 10 rounds.
The highest Braves pick to receive an assignment so far is fourth-round infielder Cal Conley, who was sent to Low-A Augusta and has appeared at the top of the lineup in three games so far. Conley is a scrappy contact hitter with a steady glove up the middle. A similar pick, fifth-round infielder Luke Waddell, was assigned to High-A Rome and has a double and walk in three games.
Sixth-round third baseman Justyn-Henry Malloy was assigned to Augusta and has a double, RBI and walk in three games. Malloy has a steady glove at third and some pop from a quick stroke.
Eighth-round outfielder Tyler Collins is the highest prep pick to receive an assignment so far, going to the FCL complex roster. The 18-year-old with leadoff traits, including a contact stroke and big speed, had a memorable first pro game by going 2-3 with a double and three RBI. Dylan Spain, a 10th-round right-hander, joined Collins at the complex and has one scoreless inning.
Andrew Hoffmann is one of the bigger names to get assigned so far. He’s a 12th-round selection, but he is a rare upside play from the college ranks with deception, a good frame and stuff that plays up. His first start came Saturday for Augusta, allowing one run with two strikeouts in two innings.
Adam Zebrowski, a 13th-round college catcher, went to the FCL and picked up a double and RBI in his first game. He was joined at the complex by 14th-round college shortstop Caleb Durbin, who picked up a walk in his first game.
Christian Robinson has become a regular in the Augusta lineup. The 15th-round outfielder from Stanford is a toolsy pick for that late in the draft with some pop and good range for a corner. He has two walks in three games.
Tyler Tolve, a 17th-round catcher from Kennesaw State, was first assigned to the FCL on July 31 and was moved to Augusta last Tuesday. Tolve is an athletic receiver with quick actions, a strong arm and a frame that could allow the Braves to move him around the field if needed. He has a walk and RBI in four games at Augusta.
Austin Smith is a solid upside pick in the 18th round as a filling-out right-hander from Arizona with a fastball into the mid-90s with carrying life. He has three strikeouts in two scoreless innings with Augusta. He could move fairly quickly in relief.
Samuel Strickland, a 19th-round lefty from Samford, was recently assigned to the FCL and had a tough debut.
First-rounder Ryan Cusick remains without an assignment, but he has signed and is in the org. The same goes for third-rounder Dylan Dodd. Two of the higher upside picks, seventh-round prep right-hander A.J. Smith-Shawver and 11th-round prep lefty Adam Shoemaker, are also signed and in the org but without an assignment so far.
Second-round right-hander Spencer Schwellenbach will need Tommy John surgery, so we won’t see him for a while. While it’s tough to see this news right after the draft, Schwellenbach is in the org and will be under the direction of the Braves rehab guys. We should expect to see him at some point in 2022.
Aug. 10-15: vs. Durham (Rays)
Aug. 10-13 at 7:05 p.m., Aug. 14 at 6:05, Aug. 15 at 1:05
Aug. 10-15: vs. Biloxi (Brewers)
Aug. 10-13 at 7:35 p.m. ET, Aug. 14 at 7:05, Aug. 15 at 3:05
Aug. 10-15: at Hickory (Rangers)
Aug. 10-14 at 7 p.m., Aug. 15 at 3
Aug. 10-15: vs. Kannapolis (White Sox)
Aug. 10-13 at 7:05 p.m., Aug. 14 at 6:05, Aug. 15 at 5:05
Prospects to Watch This Week
At Triple-A Gwinnett, Cristian Pache is producing a good swing at the moment, shortened on a good path, and is getting hard contact to all fields. He has six hits in his past five games, including two doubles, a home run and two walks. At Double-A Mississippi, Spencer Strider had one of the best outings of his career to this point last week, throwing 6.1 shutout innings with one walk to 12 strikeouts. That marks two positive outings in a row for Strider after striking out nine with one walk in his previous start. At High-A Rome, Michael Harris has found his power stroke lately, picking up three doubles and a home run in his past six games. He hit a monster shot over the batter’s eye at Greenville on Saturday.
Aug. 8: I didn't need confirmation for my Michael Harris eval at this point, but seeing him clear the batter's eye and go to deep LCF for a 2B in Greenville last night were "yep" moments.
Aug. 6: The final lines still aren't pretty, but it's two positive starts in a row for Jared Johnson. Two straight into the 5th, keeping the ball around the zone, throwing with a little more conviction. It's been a rough stretch in A-ball, but baby steps.
RT from Kiley McDaniel (Aug. 3): Braves 2nd round pick RHP Spencer Schwellenbach will need Tommy John surgery, sources tell @JeffPassan and me. He was the 59th overall pick, signing for nearly $200,000 under slot value.
Aug. 3: Easily one of the best swings I've seen from Pache for a double to the CF wall. Stayed back with hands in and was on time. KEEP DOING THAT.
Aug. 3: Another quick, compact stroke from Pache to get his hands in and line a single in his second AB. Solid night at the plate with good swings.
Recent Prospect Performances
8/8: Drew Waters 2-4, 2B, SB
8/8: Cristian Pache 2-2, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, BB
8/8: Jasseel De La Cruz 4 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 3 BB, K
8/5: Drew Waters 1-4, BB
8/5: Cristian Pache 1-5, RBI
8/3: Cristian Pache 2-5
8/3: William Contreras 2-4, 2 RBI
8/8: Bryce Elder 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, BB, 7 K
8/8: Daysbel Hernandez 1 IP, H, BB, 3 K
8/7: Shea Langeliers 1-3, 2B
8/7: Victor Vodnik 4 IP, 2 H, 4 BB, 3 K
8/6: Justin Dean 2-6, 2B, 2 RBI
8/6: Trey Harris 2-5, HR, 5 RBI, BB
8/6: Shea Langeliers 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI, BB
8/6: Spencer Strider: 6.1 IP, 4 H, BB, 12 K
8/5: Justin Dean 1-4, BB
8/5: Braden Shewmake 3-4, RBI
8/4: Braden Shewmake 2-5
8/4: Shea Langeliers 1-4, BB
8/4: Freddy Tarnok 6 IP, 3 H, 4 BB, 6 K
8/3: Trey Harris 1-4, RBI, BB
8/3: Shea Langeliers 2-5, 2B, RBI
8/3: Bryce Elder 7 IP, 9 H, 4 R/ER, BB, 9 K
8/3: Indigo Diaz 1 IP, 3 K
8/8: Michael Harris 1-4, 2B, RBI, SB
8/7: Michael Harris 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI
8/6: Beau Philip 2-4
8/6: Darius Vines 5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R/ER, 3 BB, 7 K
8/4: Michael Harris 1-4, BB, SB
8/4: Jared Shuster 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R/ER, 2 BB, 7 K
8/8: Stephen Paolini 1-3, BB
8/8: Joey Estes 4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R/ER, 4 BB, 8 K
8/7: Andrew Hoffmann 2 IP, 2 H, R/ER, BB, 2 K
8/7: Lisandro Santos 1 IP, H, 3 K
8/6: Stephen Paolini 1-2, 2 BB
8/6: Jared Johnson 4.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R/ER, BB, 5 K
8/5: Vaughn Grissom 3-4
8/5: Willie Carter 1-4, HR, 3 RBI
8/6: Tyler Collins 2-3, 2B, 3 RBI
8/6: Kadon Morton 1-4, BB
8/6: Antonio Barranca 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB
8/6: Mahki Backstrom 1-3, 2B, RBI, BB
8/6: RHP Huascar Ynoa sent on rehab assignment to Triple-A
8/6: LHP Samuel Strickland assigned to FCL
8/5: RHP Ian Anderson sent on rehab assignment to Triple-A
8/5: 2B Ryan Goins activated from temporarily inactive list at Triple-A
8/4: 2B Jason Kipnis placed on 7-day IL at Triple-A
8/4: SS Luke Waddell assigned to High-A
8/3: RHP Alan Rangel assigned to Double-A from High-A
8/3: RHP Emmanuel Ramirez assigned to High-A from Double-A
8/3: RHP Austin Smith assigned to Low-A
8/3: C Tyler Tolve assigned to Low-A from FCL
8/3: RHP Andrew Hoffmann assigned to Low-A from FCL
8/3: SS Cal Conley assigned to Low-A
8/3: 3B Justyn-Henry Malloy assigned to Low-A
8/3: OF Christian Robinson assigned to Low-A
8/3: RHP Estarlin Rodriguez assigned to FCL from Low-A
8/3: OF Brandon Parker placed on 7-day IL at Low-A
8/3: SS Anderson De Los Santos assigned to FCL
8/3: OF Tyler Collins assigned to FCL
8/3: RHP Dylan Spain assigned to FCL
8/3: RHP J.J. Niekro assigned to FCL
8/3: SS Caleb Durbin assigned to FCL
8/3: C Adam Zebrowski assigned to FCL
8/3: OF Charles Reyes released
8/3: SS Carlos Paraguate released
8/2: 3B Cody Birdsong released
8/2: OF Jose Bermudez released