You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Rome Braves named baseball’s top minor league team in 2016

Strengthening their farm system was a top priority for the Braves in a rebuilding project they began two years ago, and further proof they’ve succeeded in that area just arrived in the form of a prestigious award for the Rome Braves.

The low Single-A affiliate was named by Baseball America as its Minor League Team of the Year, the first time a Braves farm team has won the annual award since BA created it in 1993.

“The Rome Braves and their success, in many ways, are a microcosm of the commitment we as an organization made to building around young, upside, impact talent,” Braves general manager John Coppolella said. “We are so proud of what the players and staff at Rome accomplished, and so excited for what the future holds for them and our entire organization.”

Making the honor even more impressive: Rome’s roster was the youngest in all of full-season minor league baseball in 2016 and the youngest in the South Atlantic League in more than a decade, according to Baseball America.

After limping to the All-Star break with a 27-42 record, the Rome Braves went 43-27 in the second half, after standout center-field prospect Ronald Acuna got healthy and power-hitting third-base prospect Austin Riley got hot. But it was a terrific pitching staff that was the biggest key for the South Atlantic League champions.

Rome had seven players on Baseball America’s top 20 prospects list including five starting pitchers: left-handers Kolby Allard (No. 4) and Max Fried (No. 6) and right-handers Mike Soroka (No. 7), PatrickWeigel (No. 10) and Touki Toussaint (No. 15).

Acuna and Riley came in at 12th and 13th on the list, respectively.

Baseball America managing editor J.J. Cooper wrote that years from now the 2016 Rome squad “might be remembered as one of the better minor league teams of the early 21st century. The rotation featured prospects in all six spots; that’s because it had too many prospects to settle for a five-man rotation.”

Braves infield prospect Dylan Moore, traded from the Rangers in late August, said during the recent Arizona Fall League that the talent level in the Braves’ minor league system had him and others in it fired up about the future.

“It’ll be exciting to see in the next few years what we can do as an organization; I’m excited to be a part of it,” said Moore, who was particularly impressed with Rome’s pitchers after facing them frequently in 2016 when he played 101 games for the Rangers’ Hickory affiliate in the South Atlantic League.

“Facing those guys, like Weigel and them — very good,” Moore said, then repeated: “Very good. It is exciting.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Atlanta Braves

Braves’ Phillips leaves game with knee contusion
Braves’ Phillips leaves game with knee contusion

SAN FRANCISCO – As Braves players finished eating from the postgame spread and started dressing for the bus to the airport and flight to Anaheim, second baseman Brandon Phillips limped from the training room to his locker in shorts, his right knee wrapped from about six inches above to six inches below the joint. Right fielder Nick Markakis saw...
Braves’ Dickey gives up 7 runs early, Giants cruise
Braves’ Dickey gives up 7 runs early, Giants cruise

Braves catcher Kurt Suzuki corrected a reporter Saturday when it was suggested the veteran seemed more comfortable lately catching knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey. “It’s a new adventure every time he goes out there,” Suzuki said. “Like (Dickey) said, he can find it in one inning, then lose it, and find it again. It’s pitch...
Teheran hopes current road prowess trumps past West woes
Teheran hopes current road prowess trumps past West woes

SAN FRANCISCO – When Julio Teheran faces the Angels in Monday’s series opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, it will be the 26th different team he’s faced in his major league career and 24th stadium. The Braves veteran will try to make sure his performance mirrors his previous road starts this season rather than many of his other starts...
‘Folty’ gives up 5 runs early, Braves lose to Giants
‘Folty’ gives up 5 runs early, Braves lose to Giants

SAN FRANCISCO – If anyone figured the Braves would catch a break this series with Giants ace Madison Bumgarner on the disabled list, Ty Blach had other ideas. Blach, the rookie left-hander filling in for the big lefty, did something of a Bumgarner impersonation by taking a three-hit shutout to the eighth inning in a 6-3 Giants win Saturday night...
Pitcher Garcia puts some Kemp hitting tips to good use
Pitcher Garcia puts some Kemp hitting tips to good use

SAN FRANCISCO – After Braves pitcher Jaime Garcia drove in the winning run with a two-out single in the seventh inning of Friday night’s 2-0 win against the Giants, the left-hander gave credit to Matt Kemp for providing some recent hitting tips. “I don’t hit as much as other (pitchers) do between starts, but I like to talk to...
More Stories