25-man Prospect Roster: The Pitching Staff

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As stated earlier, it would be too easy to have a rotation of Mike Soroka, Touki Toussant, Bryse Wilson, Luiz Gohara, and Kyle Wright. This is a group comprised of the next wave of young starting pitching, and it still looks better than most farm system’s top five guys.

The Rotation

Ian Anderson (AA)- The #3 overall selection in 2016 is a natural choice as the Ace of the prospect rotation. Anderson will strike out a bunch of guys with three developed pitches and has the potential to be a frontline starter in Atlanta. His fastball sits in the mid-90s with a changeup that flashes as a plus-pitch, but his out pitch is his curveball.

Joey Wentz (AA)- Wentz is the type of pitcher that can pitch 10+ years in the bigs, and be consistently good. He throws a low-90s fastball with a changeup and curveball that both have the potential to be above average pitches — Wentz profiles as a mid-line starter in the big leagues.

Kyle Muller (AA)- The Braves 2nd round pick in 2016, Kyle Muller is an electric southpaw. He throws a mid-90s fastball with a decent changeup and curveball. Like most young lefties, the primary issue is his walk rate is high. Muller has #2 or #3 in the rotation potential, and maybe more if he pounds the strike zone more efficiently.

Tristan Beck (High A)- Beck is a polished college pitcher who fell to the Braves in the 4th-round of the 2018 draft. Beck’s fastball sits in the low-90s but can increase as he adds size to his 6’ 4” frame. The former Stanford Cardinal throws four pitches with his changeup being his best.

Jaseel De La Cruz (Low A)- Jaseel may project as a closer or bullpen option in the future, but remains as a starter for the moment. The 21-year-old Dominican has a fireball for a fastball. He sits upper-90s consistently. Cruz offers a slider that flashes as a dominant pitch to compliment his fastball. He has a live arm but will need to develop his secondary pitches more if he wishes to stay in the rotation.

The Bullpen

To have a successful bullpen; there need to be guys who can do multiple things. You need at least one pitcher who can throw more than one inning. There need to be 3-4 guys who can come in for an inning. You need to have two set-up men who can pitch the 7th and 8th innings in high-leverage situations. Finally, a closer is a must. A guy who can shut it all down and send the opposing team home sad. There needs to be a mix of righties and lefties

Long relief

Tucker Davidson (AA)- Tucker is a beautiful developmental story, working his way up the ranks since being drafted in the 19th round. The southpaw sits in the low to mid-90s but can elevate in shorter stints. Tucker also has a curveball with plus-pitch potential and a changeup that needs some work.

Freddy Tarnok (High A)- Tarnok is considered a project, which is why he is in the pen as a long-relief option. The 20-year-old was a 3rd-round pick in 2017 and is currently a starting pitcher. Tarnok sits in the mid-90s with a power slider and a developing change. That development will determine whether or not Freddy stays in the rotation as he advances.

Middle Relief

Huascar Ynoa (AA)- Ynoa does not quite have the power fastball you look for in the 9th, but his combination of a 93-95 MPH fastball and a solid slider profile well in the bullpen.

Corbin Clouse (AAA)- Corbin Clouse is not on the top-30 list, but all he does is get people out. Over three full seasons and 161 career minor league innings pitched, Clouse sports a 2.29 ERA with 219 strikeouts. At 12.2 K/9IP, this southpaw projects for late-inning duties.

Victor Vodnik (Low A)- In a few years, it is a real possibility that Vodnik will either be in the setup or closer role for the Braves. For now, he is slotted into a middle relief spot. Vodnik has a live arm. He sits mid to upper-90s with an explosive slider. Still only 19 years old, Vodnik has some more seasoning to go through. Remember his name in a few years.


Thomas Burrows (AAA)- Burrows is currently the AAA closer, so why isn’t he the closer on this list? My preference is the guy who can throw it up around 100MPH to be the one who shuts the door. Burrows has a low-90s fastball and a reliable slider. His low ¾ arm-slot provides a level of deception to his fastball which masks the lower velocity. Burrows has closer experience but may profile in Atlanta better as a setup man.

Jacob Webb (AAA)- Webb was the saves leader in the minors with 18, so he could pitch in the 9th if needed. I feel he projects better as a set-up man. Webb has a mid-90s fastball that compliments a power slider with good movement. He’s now in the majors and got his first save a couple of nights ago. Consistent command will determine how long he stays in Atlanta.


Patrick Weigel (AA)- This is simple for me. Give me the guy who throws GAS. Patrick Weigel is currently a starter in Mississippi but could make a perfect closer in the future. With a fastball that sits 97-98 in shorter stints and two separate breaking balls, Weigel has the kind of stuff that plays well for the role. Standing at 6’ 6” and 240lbs, the intimidation factor is also apparent.

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