A year ago today, the Braves made a trade that would ultimately turn their entire season upside down, leading to their first World Series since 1995. That trade, of course, was for Joc Pedersonwho was acquired from the Cubs in exchange for a left-handed first baseman Bryce Ball. Now even if Ball becomes the next Freddie Freeman, it is impossible for the Braves to be considered losers in this trade. They won the damn World Series after all, but it’s always fun to see how the former top prospects who were traded fare with their new organizations.
Ball was one of my favorite Braves prospects, so I was a little disappointed when we moved him. Not only was he a super talented individual, but he was also kind enough to be one of my first guests on the SportsTalkATL podcast (shameless take, but we just recorded a new episode that you should definitely check out) .
The new episode of the Podcast is online!
We recap the series with the Mets, we talk about the All-Star snub of Austin Riley, the maturity of Kyle Wright, the Hawks’ offseason, John Collins, Desmond Ridder and more! https://t.co/HiCtgQnFKr
— The SportsTalkATL Podcast (@SportsATLPod) July 15, 2022
A super nice guy and a stallion in the field, so I’m glad to see him having a very respectable year at AA.
So far in 2022, Ball is hitting .272 with eight home runs and 15 doubles — good for a .778 OPS over 81 games. If you’re a Chicago fan, that’s a very encouraging slash line because it’s actually his slugging percentage (.409) that lowers his OPS. This will increase over time; If there’s one tool Bryce Ball has up his sleeve, it’s power. More importantly, he gets on base at a clip of .370 in his first AA ball season. If it continues, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in AAA before the end of the year.
Like many minor leaguers, Bryce Ball has had a tough few years. COVID has cost him the whole of 2020, and he hasn’t come back as the same guy in 2021, hitting just .206 in 107 High-A ball games. So it’s nice to see it bounce back in 2022; this could end up being one of those trades where both parties got what they were looking for.
Photo: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire