Prospects have been a big part of the Atlanta Braves string of success over the past three decades. Those teams in the early '90s may have had players who were big free agents or acquired in big trades, but the core of the team was always built from players developed through the Atlanta minor league system.
That strong minor league system has been fruitful in recent years, and it has produced yet another strong core of young players. These key players—Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, Craig Kimbrel, Julio Teheran and Andrelton Simmons—who were all signed to long-term contracts this offseason, were each called on at one point in the past when they were just prospects.
As the 2014 season gets set to begin, let’s take a look at the next group of prospects that will be called upon by Atlanta to fill important positions on the major league roster this season. Atlanta fans have suffered through a spring in which many holes have been created because of injuries, and the Braves minor league system will need to fill the void with quality players.
This is not a typical top-10 prospect list, but rather it is a list of 10 prospects who could help the Braves at the big league level this season. As you’ll soon realize, many of these guys are pitchers—especially relief pitchers, which is an area of the team that may see a lot of turnover in 2014.