Yesterday, I talked about how top prospect Hurston Waldrep’s hot start has earned him a promotion to Mississippi. Not to be outdone, second-round pick Drue Hackenberg (brother of Christian), is looking to catch up to Waldrep and rise through this Braves system quickly.
Drue Hackenberg DAZZLED in his pro debut for the @GreenJackets ⭐️
2 2/3 IP | 0 H | 0 R | 1 BB | 5 K
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 30, 2023
This was Hackenberg’s first start, and he made it count. The 59th overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft is a guy who could rise through the system quickly given his experience at Virginia Tech. Baseball America has high praise for Hackenberg, ranking him 9th in Atlanta’s system:
Hackenberg has a solid frame and throws from a three-quarter slot, while primarily pitching off a sinking, 93-94 mph fastball that touches 96 and a low-80s slider that took a step forward this spring and generated a 47% whiff rate. He also throws a firm, upper-80s changeup. Hackenburg drives a high groundball rate and induced ground balls at a 55% rate for his career. He does a nice job filling up the zone with his fastball/slider combination and has been an above-average strike-thrower. He has a back-end starter profile and could get picked among the top five rounds.
That profile sounds a lot like Bryce Elder, and similarly to Elder, Hackenberg could be on the fast track to the majors if he continues to pitch like this.
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire