Albies, 20, played mostly shortstop until this season, but he’s played 82 games at second base and just 14 at shortstop this year as the Braves have began planning for a future in which they envision Dansby Swanson as their everyday shortstop and Albies as their starting second baseman.
Albies is hitting .285/.330/.440 with nine homers in 448 plate appearances at Triple-A Gwinnett this season. He’ll presumably take over for Brandon Phillips as the Braves’ everyday starter at second, leaving both Phillips and Sean Rodriguez to battle for at-bats off the bench. Though Swanson was sent back to Triple-A last week, Johan Camargo has been performing capably as the Braves’ starting shortstop and will likely continue in that role going forward.
Albies is rated as the Braves’ No. 2 prospect and the 19th-best prospect in baseball overall by MLB Pipeline. Baseball America ranks him as the Braves’ third-best prospect and the No. 25 prospect in baseball.
With Albies set to get the majority of the starts at second going forward, it should be interesting to see if the Braves float Phillips as a waiver trade candidate this month. While there isn’t much of a need for second basemen among the current contenders, Phillips is having a strong season, hitting .290/.333/.435 with eight homers in 385 plate appearances, and he could be a solid contributor off the bench for a team in the playoff race.