MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Where the Braves' Top 30 prospects are starting the season

Where the Braves' Top 30 prospects are starting the season

With the 2016 season getting started, here's a look at where the Braves' Top 30 Prospects are projected to start the season:

1. Dansby Swanson -- Carolina Mudcats (A Adv)
2. Sean Newcomb -- Mississippi Braves (AA)
3. Ozhaino Albies -- Mississippi Braves (AA)
4. Aaron Blair -- Gwinnett Braves (AAA)
5. Kolby Allard -- Extended spring training
6. Touki Toussaint -- Rome Braves (A)
7. Austin Riley -- Rome Braves (A)
8. Tyrell Jenkins -- Gwinnett Braves (AAA)
9. Manny Banuelos -- Atlanta Braves (MLB) -- DL
10. Max Fried -- Rome Braves (A)
11. Mallex Smith -- Gwinnett Braves (AAA)
12. Lucas Sims -- Mississippi Braves (AA)
13. Mike Soroka -- Rome Braves (A)
14. Chris Ellis -- Mississippi Braves (AA)
15. Braxton Davidson -- Carolina Mudcats (A Adv)
16. Rio Ruiz -- Gwinnett Braves (AAA)
17. Zach Bird -- Carolina Mudcats (A Adv)
18. Andrew Thurman -- Mississippi Braves (AA)
19. Ricardo Sanchez -- Rome Braves (A)
20. Lucas Herbert -- Rome Braves (A)
21. Dustin Peterson -- Mississippi Braves (AA)
22. John Gant -- Atlanta Braves (MLB)
23. Ronald Acuna -- Rome Braves (A)
24. Jason Hursh -- Mississippi Braves (AA)
25. Johan Camargo -- Mississippi Braves (AA)
26. Max Povse -- Carolina Mudcats (A Adv)
27. Rob Whalen -- Mississippi Braves (AA)
28. Mauricio Cabrera -- Mississippi Braves (AA)
29. Wes Parsons -- Carolina Mudcats (A Adv)
30. Daniel Winkler -- Atlanta Braves (MLB)

Team to watch
With a system as deep as the Braves', it's hard to go wrong, but heading to Rome wouldn't be a bad call at all. With a rotation that includes four in the organization's top 20 -- with a fifth, Kolby Allard, coming later -- not to mention a third baseman (Austin Riley), a catcher (Lucas Herbert) and a center fielder (Ronald Acuna), all with considerable upside, this might be the best South Atlantic League team to watch.

Top prospects' starting spots
Division Teams
NL East ATL, MIA, NYM, PHI, WAS
AL East BAL, BOS, NYY, TB, TOR
NL Central CHC, CIN , MIL, PIT, STL
AL Central CLE, CWS, DET, KC, MIN
NL West ARI, COL, LAD, SD, SF
AL West HOU, LAA, OAK, SEA, TEX
Top 100 Prospects

Teams on MiLB.TV
Gwinnett Braves
Mississippi Braves
Carolina Mudcats
Rome Braves

New faces
The offseason trade frenzy brought in a ton of new talent, starting right with three of the top four prospects: Dansby Swanson, Sean Newcomb and Aaron Blair. Chris Ellis, who joined Newcomb as the return in the Andrelton Simmons deal with the Angels, also makes his Braves debut. And while Max Fried came from the Padres a year ago, recovery from Tommy John surgery kept him from making his organization debut until 2016.

On the shelf
Manny Banuelos was competing for a spot on the big league pitching staff this spring, but elbow soreness shelved him after he was ineffective during Grapefruit League action. Arm troubles have kept the southpaw from living up to what was once his considerable potential. Kolby Allard, the 2016 first-round pick, has a clean bill of health, but the Braves are being extra cautious with the lefty after a back injury forced him to miss nearly all of his senior season of high school and resulted in what was termed a minor procedure. Look for him to start pitching in May at some point.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @JonathanMayo, and listen to him on the Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.