Braves: 2020 first-round pick is showing out on the farm

Hurston Waldrep Braves hat AJ Smith-Shawver

Many outlets want to rank the Braves farm system the worst in baseball, but the constant talent this system brings up to the majors every season would say otherwise. Spencer Strider, Michael Harris, and Vaughn Grissom have been vital to Atlanta’s success in 2022. Some would say that’s a reason the Braves farm system is depleted, but there are several others chomping at the bit for their opportunity next year, and their 2020 first-round pick, Jared Shuster, is one of those individuals.

Shuster made his professional debut last season, spending most of his time with High-A Rome, where he posted a respectable 3.70 ERA. Eventually, he received a promotion to Mississippi at the end of the year, but he was rocked in the three AA starts he made, recording a 7.36 ERA.

Understandably, Shuster began 2022 at the same level, but the results were much more promising. In 17 appearances (16 starts) for Mississippi, he posted a fantastic 2.76 ERA, striking out 106 batters over 90.2 innings, which led to a promotion to Gwinnett a couple of months ago.

Things have been a little more difficult with the Stripers, but that’s to be expected from a pitcher in his second professional season. Shuster is still putting up more than respectable numbers. After his eighth appearance last night (seventh start), in which he completed four innings and allowed just one earned run with four strikeouts, his ERA is down to 3.96 in Gwinnett.

Jared Shuster isn’t a fireballer by any means. He sits in the low-90s and doesn’t strikeout a ton of batters, which likely limits his upside, but this was a very promising year for the 24-year-old. I expect him to begin next season with the Stripers, and as long as he continues to improve, he will probably make his major-league debut at some point in 2023.

Photo: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire

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