While Ball was just a 24th-round pick a year ago, he did nothing but produce in his first action as a minor leaguer. Across a combined 263 plate appearances between the rookie and Single-A levels, the 22-year-old put together a video game-like line of .329/.395/.628 with 17 home runs. Ball now ranks as one of the Braves’ 30 best prospects at Baseball America (No. 16), MLB.com (21) and FanGraphs (22). BA calls Ball the top power hitter in the team’s farm system and writes that he as a chance to wind up as “a late-round steal.”
Considering Ball has so little minor league experience, it seems unlikely he’ll get to the majors this year. Of course, that’s if health issues don’t take a toll on too many hitters ahead of him in the Braves’ 60-man pecking order. They’ve been without one of their top players, fellow first baseman Freddie Freeman, who tested positive for the coronavirus last week. And outfielder Nick Markakis opted out of the season a few days ago because of COVID-related concerns.