The early-season success of the Braves, despite their injury-riddled rotation, has shown how much pitching depth the club has in the Major Leagues. Their wealth also extends to the Minor Leagues, and it will be on display Friday.
Led by right-hander Lucas Sims, the Braves' No. 1 prospect and No. 56 on MLB.com's Top 100 list, the scheduled starters for the club's top three affiliates Friday are all ranked on Atlanta's Top 20 Prospects list. Sims is slated to start for Class A Advanced Lynchburg against Salem, while Jason Hursh (No. 3) will go for Double-A Mississippi against Jacksonville and Cody Martin (No. 10) gets the ball for Triple-A Gwinnett against Lehigh Valley. Fans can watch Hursh and Martin on MiLB.TV at 8 p.m. ET and 7:05 p.m., respectively.
Sims, the Braves' first-round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, has started the season modestly. After five starts, he has a 4.78 ERA and an 18-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 26 1/3 innings. Sims won't turn 20 until May 10 and was the second-youngest player in the Carolina League on Opening Day.
Hursh and Martin are off to slightly better starts this year. Hursh, Atlanta's first-round pick in 2013, has a 2.70 ERA and a 15-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 23 1/3 innings. Martin has a 2.66 ERA and a 33-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 23 2/3 innings.
In addition to Sims, a few other pitchers ranked in the Top 100 are scheduled to start Friday, including Kevin Gausman (No. 29) and Jimmy Nelson (No. 77). MiLB.TV will show both of their starts, beginning with Gausman at 7:05 p.m. and Nelson following at 8:05 p.m.
Also among Friday's notable probable starters Friday is Rays' No. 18 prospect Mike Montgomery. In his last start, the left-hander threw the first 8 1/3 innings of a no-hitter for Triple-A Durham. Fans can watch Montgomery face Columbus at 7:05 p.m. on MiLB.TV.
Top prospect probables
- Tim Berry (Orioles' No. 8), Bowie vs. Erie
- Zachary Bird (Dodgers' No. 13), Great Lakes at Bowling Green
- Andrew Chafin (D-backs' No.12), Mobile at Birmingham
- Adam Conley (Marlins' No. 5), New Orleans at Round Rock
- Rafael De Paula (Yankees' No. 16), Tampa at Brevard County
- Kevin Gausman (Orioles' No. 2), Norfolk vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
- Jesse Hahn (Padres' No. 13), San Antonio vs. Frisco
- Jason Hursh (Braves' No. 3), Mississippi vs. Jacksonville
- Jake Johansen (Nationals' No. 12), Hagerstown vs. Lexington
- Felix Jorge (Twins' No. 9), Cedar Rapids vs. Peoria
- Taylor Jungmann (Brewers' No. 8), Brevard County at Montgomery
- Braden Kline (Orioles' No. 16), Frederick at Myrtle Beach
- Cody Martin (Braves' No. 10), Gwinnett vs. Lehigh Valley
- Adalberto Mejia (Giants' No. 3), Richmond vs. Bowie
- Mike Montgomery (Rays' No. 18), Durham vs. Columbus
- Jimmy Nelson (Brewers' No. 1), Nashville vs. Iowa
- Sean Nolin (Blue Jays' No. 10), Buffalo vs. Charlotte
- Braulio Ortiz (White Sox No. 18), Winston-Salem vs. Potomac
- Zach Petrick (Cardinals' No. 17), Memphis at Colorado Springs
- Tyler Pike (Mariners' No. 9), High Desert vs. Visalia
- Sal Romano (Reds' No. 15), Dayton at Lake County
- Angel Sanchez (Marlins' No. 16), Jacksonville at Mississippi
- Luis Severino (Yankees' No. 10), Charleston vs. Delmarva
- Lucas Sims (Braves' No. 1), Lynchburg vs. Salem
- Jake Thompson (Tigers' No. 4), Lakeland at Dunedin
- Logan Verrett (Mets' No. 20), Las Vegas at Tacoma
Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill.