Big week for the Braves top three prospects

MLB: JUN 09 Nationals at Braves

When it comes to the Braves prospects, they have a clear top three and then a pretty significant dropoff. All the talk coming into the season surrounded AJ Smith-Shawver and Hurston Waldrep. Deservedly so, but Owen Murphy has quickly entered his name into the conversations as well. All three were on the bump over the last couple of days, each of them turning in an impressive performance.

Smith-Shawver’s line was nothing to write home about, finishing just 4.1 innings and giving up three runs, but it’s a little better when you dive into it. He gave up back-to-back homers to start the game then settled in nicely, retiring the next six batters he faced. The stuff is major-league ready; that’s clear as day, but the walks are a concern. The control needs to improve before he’s ready to take over in Atlanta.

Hurston Waldrep’s really begun to turn things around after a rough start to the season. In his first two starts, he surrendered ten earned runs over seven innings. Since then, he hasn’t given up more than one earned run over his last four appearances. It hasn’t been quite as dominant as last season, but we have to remember this is a young man who doesn’t even have a half-season of professional starts under his belt. This time last year, he was pitching in the SEC. Waldrep is still well ahead of schedule in his development.

Owen Murphy has quickly turned into must-watch television every time he toes the rubber if you have MiLB TV. The 20-year-old is making a mockery of the High-A level, which continued last night with eight strikeouts over five innings. The two earned runs he allowed tied his season high, as he currently boasts a 1.82 ERA with 49 strikeouts over 34.2 innings.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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