The list is long regarding Atlanta’s organizational pitching depth, and today’s installment features an arm that should make some sort of impact for the Braves this coming season, in righty Patrick Weigel.
Check out the site’s updated Top 30 list as well as my post on the organization’s potential under-the-radar prospects for 2021. Also catch up on our profile series if you’ve missed the latest write-ups.
- 2021 Braves Top 30 Prospect Rankings
- Potential risers and under-the-radar prospects for 2021
- Braves 2021 Prospect Profile: No. 9 Michael Harris
- Braves 2021 Prospect Profile: No. 26 Tyler Owens
- Braves 2021 Prospect Profile: No. 12 Bryce Ball
- Braves 2021 Prospect Profile: No. 8 Tucker Davidson
- Braves 2021 Prospect Profile: No. 24 Alex Jackson
- Braves 2021 Prospect Profile: No. 7 Braden Shewmake
#19. Patrick Weigel, RHP
- 6’6″, 240 lbs.
- 7th RD / 2015 MLB Draft
Coming up in a system so packed full of pitching talent has meant less attention for Weigel, but now going into year seven of his pro career in the Braves system, perhaps it’s Weigel’s time to shine in 2021.
What has Weigel done so far?
Having been part of the Braves organization for quite awhile now, at times Weigel has flashed absolute brilliance on the mound. Before his Tommy John surgery in June of 2017, the big-bodied righty moved through the Braves minor league system rather quickly, moving from Danville (Rookie-Advanced) in 2015 to eventually Double-A Mississippi just a year in a half later. Unfortunately, after a promotion to Triple-A Gwinnett in May of ’17, Weigel’s elbow just simply wouldn’t let him go any further.
It’s been a long road to recovery for Weigel, but looking at his entire body of work over the last two years, it’s safe to say he’s still a top-tier pitching prospect (even if his future role has changed a bit). In 2019, he finally got his shot in Gwinnett, and despite a drop in K rate, wound up posting a crisp 2.98 ERA over 63.1 innings there (split almost evenly between starting and relieving). Last season was a whole lot of mostly nothing, but Weigel did make a September MLB debut against the Nationals, in which he attempted to secure the 7th inning. It didn’t go very well as he allowed two quick runs, but given the small sample, his 0.2-inning performance is anything but noteworthy.
What to expect from Weigel in 2021?
From his usage in 2019 and given he was never really in the discussion to earn a start at the big league level last season, it appears the Braves look at Weigel as more of a bullpen option; and right or wrong that’s probably his best route to earning a consistent role in Atlanta. Lefties Tucker Davidson (who debuted in 2020) and Kyle Muller seem to be the “next” crop of prospects to make the big league jump, and even before that there’s still depth pieces like Kyle Wright and Bryse Wilson.
Entering his age-26 season, Weigel’s time as a potential starter may very well be running out, and barring an injury epidemic for the Braves rotation this coming season, I expect to see the majority of his major league innings going forward to come out of the bullpen. As a member of Atlanta’s 40-man, we should see Weigel open the season with the big league club.