It has been well-documented that the Atlanta Braves are retooling their organization, specifically the farm system that was once a source of pride for the Braves and then faded into a barren wasteland. President of Baseball Operations John Hart and General Manager John Coppolella have been dealing names such as Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, Craig Kimbrel, and Shelby Miller in order to restock the Braves farm system to get the system back to the power it once was.
Today we will take a look at the third-ranked prospect in the Braves organization (according to milb.com), shortstop Ozzie Albies.
Albies is a native of Curacao and signed with the Braves at the young age of 16. Like most 16 to 17-year-old international prospects, Albies flew under the radar up until 2015, when he was with the Class-A Rome Braves. Last season he batted .310, had a .368 OBP, and slugged at a .771 clip. He also displayed his fantastic speed, as Albies swiped 29 bags. Fielding came natural for the young shortstop, as he posted a .959 fielding percentage last season (all stats according to milb.com).
This year has been a tale of two teams. Albies started the year off in Double-A with the Mississippi Braves, where in a mere 22 games he posted a .369/.422/.439 stat line and set career best .962 fielding percentage.
On April 29th of this year, Albies was called up to Triple-A to showcase his talents with the Gwinnett Braves. Through his first 25 games with the Gwinnett, Albies has posted a .229/.267./375 stat line. His fielding percentage has taken a slight dip at .926, but it is nothing to be worried about, as over time Albies will adjust to the game at a higher level.
Most scouts and executives put Albies’ ETA to the majors at 2018, but with his recent success and the recent struggles of current Braves shortstop Erick Aybar, fans could see Albies get called up to the big club as early as this summer. As he continues to appear on many prospect lists and play consistent baseball at a high level, expect Albies to be a mainstay as the Braves usher in a new era of greatness.