Friday, November 12, 2021
The offseason is here and it’s a perfect time to recap the 2021 season of each of the Braves top 30 prospects. In this series, I’ll discuss each player’s performance from this past year, as well as what’s needed for them to continue to rise in the organization. All rankings are derived from my most-recent 2021 Braves Top 30 Prospect List, which came out this past August. Following this series, a fresh top 30 will be constructed, primarily based on the notes I’ll provide in this column.
#29. BRANDOL MEZQUITA, OF
2021 stats (Rk): 43 G, .308 AVG, 13 XBH, 15 SB, 132 wRC+
Starting 2021 as more of a top 50-type player in the organization, Mezquita made huge strides with the FCL team, winding up inside my Top 30 this past August and most likely headed for an even higher ranking once I redo the list this offseason. Still just 20-years-old, this will be yet another talented outfielder in Atlanta’s system.
Mezquita had already impressed during his first two pro seasons, posting right under a 100 wRC+ in 2018 and ’19 combined with both the DSL team and the FCL club (formerly the GCL). As a teenager, the kid tallied 12 XBH and stole 12 bases in 86 total games during those pair of seasons, and it looked like, if he could just make a bit more contact, he’d become the real deal.
Well, he did that in 2021. The Dominican outfielder hit over .300, and his eight doubles is a career best (to go along with his 15 stolen bases, which was fifth in the league). Another Cristian Pache… or Drew Waters? Who knows, but at this point, there’s very little doubt that Mezquita is the real deal.
Even though it was only rookie ball, Mezquita’s strong 2021 numbers — and the fact that he met expectations as an all-around player – should allow him to move up within the Braves Top 30. With a career .255 AVG and .724 OPS so far, the kid hasn’t been other-worldly with the bat, but given his other tools (speed and defense), if he continues to develop, Mezquita could become an outfielder that moves rather quickly in the Braves system.
I’ve seen no official word, but I’d imagine that Mezquita starts 2022 in Single-A Augusta. With nearly 130 games under his belt within the rookie ranks, it’s time to see what he can do in full-season ball. And hey, if Mezquita can post strong numbers with the GreenJackets during the first-half of next year, a High-A Rome assignment could come with a lot more attention next summer. As of right now, Mezquita is on the cusp of becoming a top-tier prospect in the organization. We’ll know more by next July or August.