Despite the Atlanta Braves clearing payroll and shipping off their big names at the beginning of the 2015 season, the real rebuild began with the 2015 MLB Draft. They made a huge haul in that draft and they are starting to see the results with the majority of them playing an integral part in the surging first place Rome Braves fantastic second half run.
Between my work as editor at Grading on the Curve and now with John Sickels over at SB Nation’s minorleagueball.com, I have done a lot of work on the Atlanta Braves farm system. I’d like to think I have become pretty familiarized with their farm system, which was no easy task as it completely revamped itself under John Hart last season.
Hart and the Braves went pitcher happy in the offseason, trading away big time contracts for Manny Banuelos, Max Fried, Tyrell Jenkins, Matt Wisler, and Mike Foltynewicz and now seemed primed with an exciting arsenal of young arms heading up the pipeline. When you add 2012 Braves first round draft pick Lucas Sims and Touki Toussaint into the mix — whom they acquired for Phil Gosselin — they have an endless supply of cannons.
The scary thing is that they added even more to that arsenal in this year’s MLB draft. In the first round alone, the Braves were able to nab two highly regarded pitchers. One was Mike Soroka. The other was Kolby Allard.
Over at minorleagueball.com, I have been compiling a series of prospects that I am excited to watch in this coming 2016 season. Allard was my most recent installment. Only 18-years old, Allard is far away from the Majors, but hopefully I get to see him and meet with him in Rome this coming season.
Allard could easily be the steal of the draft. He was widely considered the best prep school pitcher in America, but because of a senior season spent on the shelf due to stress issues in his back, Allard’s draft stock fell. Some even felt the Braves gambled too much taking him at 14th overall, but by season’s end, Allard looked like everything advertised in is MiLB debut.
I know you want to know why I am excited about Allard, and you know you are as well. It’s all provided in the link below, so take a read.