The Braves made a lot of moves that I was a fan of during the 2021 MLB Draft, and getting Spencer Schwellenbach in the second round was one of my favorites. However, according to Kiley McDaniel, there’s likely a reason the Braves got him where they did:
Schwellenbach was rumored to be a Braves 1st round target and a source tells me he would’ve been the pick until it was discovered he would need surgery. He had a brace procedure in 2019, didn’t pitch in 2019 or 2020 for Nebraska, then stood out in 31.2 relief IP this spring.
— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) August 3, 2021
I’m not really concerned about Schwellenbach needing surgery; it’s not uncommon for this to happen to players in the draft. From my profile on Schwellenbach:
Schwellenbach is an exciting prospect, and the Braves grab another guy like Michael Harris and Austin Riley that have potential in the field and on the mound. Schwellenbach didn’t start pitching until the Spring of 2021 due to an elbow injury, but scouts rave about his potential on the mound and as a hitter.
He featured a solid fastball, changeup, and slider as a closer for the Cornhuskers, and he has some of the best exit velocity off his bat in the entire class. Even though he pitched less than 32 innings, scouts like his projectability as a mid-rotation starter. His fastball can hit 99, and his changeup and slider have excellent movement. He won Big Ten Conference player of the year honors and the John Olerud Award as college baseball’s top two-way player. Scouts gave MLBPipeline the comparison of… Jacob deGrom.
Now, those are high expectations, but I think Schwellenbach will be just fine if he sticks in the field. He’s a plus runner with some pop in his bat, and I truly think the Braves nailed this pick. Schewellenbach was a guy getting first-round chatter.
Hopefully, he will be ready to go to start 2022.