The Braves have 10 active players in camp with less than one year of service time, including their top two prospects, Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies, ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, by Baseball America.
Last season, the Braves used 22 rookies (15 pitchers and seven hitters), which for the second year in a row tied their highest total in franchise history.
Albies is a significant part of the Braves’ future and didn’t disappoint in Friday’s game against the Astros. In two at-bats, the 5-foot-9, 160-pound second baseman singled, walked, stole a base and was flawless in the field. In seven spring training games, he is hitting .364.
Another highly touted prospect, third baseman Rio Ruiz, may be playing for Triple-A Gwinnett come April, but he seems destined for future promotion to the parent club. The 22-year-old California native saw only limited action for the Braves last season — seven at-bats in five games. But Friday, Ruiz banged out two hits and drove in two runs in the 5-4 loss to Houston.
“Albies looked good and Ruiz looked good,” manager Brian Snitker said. “We are expecting big things for them, and so far so good.”