Braves 2022 first-round pick dominates in season debut

Spencer Schwellenbach Braves hat Ray Kerr

The Braves have one of the worst farm systems in baseball according to every prospect outlet. That’s what happens when you graduate essentially an entire team and trade the rest away for star players like Sean Murphy and Matt Olson. The Braves don’t have a need for a bunch of guys to come up right now, but eventually, they’ll need to start stockpiling talent again, and there’s some hope brewing with some of their younger guys in the minors.

Yesterday, 2022 first-round selection JR Ritchie made his season debut for the Augusta Green Jackets, where he put on an absolute masterclass, striking out seven batters over three perfect innings.

Ritchie’s a promising prospect that his currently ranked third in the Braves system according to MLB Pipeline. He’s only 19-years-old with a fastball in the high-90s, and as you can see from the video above, he boasts two impressive breaking pitches in a curveball and slider. Ritchie also throws a 50-grade changeup, giving him four plus offerings at such a young age. He was taken with the 35th overall pick in last year’s draft, which the Braves acquired from the Royals in the Drew Waters trade. It will be a little while before he’s deemed major-league ready, but he’s a prospect that could continue to rise through the ranks quickly over the next few years.

Photographer: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire


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