Before heading into the regular season’s stretch run, here is an update on each of the Braves’ Top 5 prospects.
No. 1 RHP AJ Smith-Shawver
Smith-Shawver made the rise from High-A to the Majors within the first two months of this season. He’s posted a 4.57 ERA in five appearances (four starts) for Atlanta, but it was apparent he needed more seasoning. The 20-year-old hurler produced a 4.58 ERA over seven starts for Triple-A Gwinnett before being shut down two weeks ago with right shoulder inflammation.
No. 2 RHP Hurston Waldrep
Because he threw more than 100 innings while leading the University of Florida to the College World Series, the Braves have been limiting Waldrep to approximately 55-65 pitches per appearance. The 21-year-old hurler threw three scoreless innings after being promoted to Double-A Mississippi on Saturday. Opponents have hit .143 and he has registered a 40.3 percent strikeout rate over 18 combined innings at the Single-A, High-A and Double-A levels.
No. 3 RHP Spencer Schwellenbach
Schwellenbach was drafted in 2021 with the knowledge he would undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the 2022 season. He posted a 2.63 ERA through his first 13 starts for Single-A Augusta this year and then threw a scoreless inning in the Futures Game before being shut down for six weeks. He has made two appearances for High-A Rome since being activated from the injured list. He tossed five scoreless innings against Winston-Salem on Wednesday.
No. 4 RHP Cade Kuehler
Kuehler threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings in his professional debut for Augusta on Thursday. The right-hander was taken out of Campbell University in the second round of this year’s MLB Draft.
No. 5 RHP Owen Murphy
Murphy, the Braves’ top selection in the 2022 MLB Draft, posted a 4.71 ERA in the 18 starts he made before he was promoted from Augusta to High-A Rome. He produced a 37.6 percent strikeout rate over his final eight starts for Augusta. The 19-year-old pitcher has lasted at least five innings and allowed three runs or fewer in both of his first two starts for Rome.