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Braves Promote Infield Prospect to Triple-A, Hopeful To Find Future Starter

The Atlanta Braves promoted Nacho Alvarez Jr., their fifth-round draft pick from the 2022 draft, to Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday. The now-21-year-old shortstop was taken with the 155th pick and is getting his opportunity at the Triple-A level. Alvarez is ranked as the Braves’ number 6 prospect and their highest-ranked position player currently.

Alvarez has shown why the Braves were ecstatic to take him in the 2022 draft. The 21-year-old infielder posted a .786 OPS and was successful on 16 of 21 stolen base attempts for High-A Rome last year. He played shortstop in all but one of the 108 games in which he appeared. In Double-A this year, he has slashed .265/.381/.693, while going 16 for 17 in stolen base attempts. In 48 games this season at Double-A, Alvarez did not record a home run but has a total of eight career home runs in the minors.

Braves Prospect Nacho Alvarez Jr. Promoted to Triple-A

Atlanta went into the 2023 season needing to address the need at shortstop after the departure of Dansby Swanson. Many fans believed that this would have been Vaughn Grissom‘s opportunity to secure the starting job. However, the Braves’ front office went in a different direction. GM Alex Anthopoulos had concerns about Grissom’s defense and decided to go with infielder Orlando Arcia as the Opening Day starter. Arcia has held down the shortstop job since then and even signed a three-year, $7.3 million extension. However, since the All-Star break last season, Arcia has statistically been one of the worst hitters in all of baseball. The only bright side to Arcia this season is his glove, as he ranks in the 95th percentile in OAA. This is where the Braves are hopeful with Alvarez, as he has shown signs of productive offense so far in the minors.

In his minor league career, he has maintained a very impressive .400 OBP with a .772 OPS and .280 BA. Manager Brian Snitker was quoted as saying, “Everybody who was with him last year said he can really hit. He might look like a catcher when he’s out there playing short, but he makes the plays. Everything I’ve seen with his bat and glove has been really impressive.” With Grissom being traded this past off-season for pitcher Chris Sale, the question seems to have arisen again about shortstop. If Orlando Arcia continues his offensive struggles, the Braves will be forced to go with an offensive player, and Alvarez seems to be that player.


Photo Credit: © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK


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