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Braves Reassign Top Position Player Prospect & Two Others to Minor League Camp

The Atlanta Braves keep aggressively cutting down their spring roster

The Atlanta Braves have trimmed their spring training roster by a few, narrowing the options to make the Opening Day roster.

The three players, all non-roster invitees, were reassigned to minor league camp this afternoon. Shortstop Nacho Alvarez Jr., infielder Luke Waddell, and outfielder Luis Liberato are all moving over to the backfields, where they'll get more everyday playing time. Atlanta now has only 36 players in camp. 

Alvarez, who got into fourteen games, was the most prominent of the three to be reassigned. A 5th rounder in 2022 out of Riverside Community College, he got plenty of spring training run at shortstop, batting .263 in Grapefruit League action. 

And Alvarez's ability to stick at short defensively will be key for his future - with a power profile that's not really suited for third base, playing at shortstop will not only give him a clear path to major league playing time but also come with a lower floor to clear. 

Last season, spending all 116 games in High-A Rome, Alvarez batted .284/.395/.391 with seven homers and sixty-six RBIs while playing all but one game at shortstop. He's expected to begin the year at AA Mississippi. 

Waddell, a 5th rounder in 2021 out of nearby Georgia Tech, played in sixteen Grapefruit League games and batted .316 with a .435 on-base percentage. 

Mostly a middle infielder by trade, he's believed to be able to play both shortstop and second base at a major league level. There's not a lot of pop in the bat, with 16 career homers across three minor league seasons, but he has a potential future as a utilityman at the next level. He's expected to report to either AA Mississippi or AAA Gwinnett, where he finished last season, to open 2024. 

Liberato, 28, was one of the depth options competing for Atlanta's backup outfield job this spring. Originally with the San Diego Padres, where he debuted in the majors in 2022, he batted only .185 this spring in his 14 games. He'll likely be assigned to AAA Gwinnett, where he'll join J.P. Martinez and the losers of the bench outfielder role, currently expected to be Eli White and Jordan Luplow.