Braves: Could Jared Shuster begin the season in Atlanta?

Braves roster moves

Jared Shuster was a first-round pick in 2020 out of Wake Forrest, taken ahead of a couple of players you might be familiar with — Spencer Strider and Bryce Elder. Shuster has yet to make his MLB debut yet, but he’s widely considered the top prospect in the Braves farm system, and he’s shown why through his first few outings of Spring Training.

Jared Shuster came into yesterday’s start with a perfect 0.00 ERA through five innings. He had allowed just one hit. Unfortunately, he did give up his first run against the Pirates on Sunday — a home run off the bat of Bryan Reynolds. But other than that, he was perfect (literally). Shuster finished 3.2 innings on the afternoon, surrendering just the one hit and one run to Reynolds while striking out five. He now owns a minuscule 1.04 ERA through 8.2 innings of work this Spring with nine punch outs.

Outside of the numbers, there was something else that kept catching my eye on the gamecast while Shuster was on the mound. His fastball was sitting in the 95-97 range. Typically, he’s been known to throw it 93-94. I’m not sure if the radar gun on this particular afternoon was a little hot, but that’s something to watch out for in his future outings this Spring. If Shuster is touching the high-90s with his heater, his potential at the next level could be much greater than most people imagined initially.

The Braves have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to their starting pitching depth, and we are seeing early on why that is such an important aspect of a ball club. Ian Anderson continues to struggle in Spring Training. It might be best for him to begin the year in AAA to improve his confidence on the mound. Kyle Wright and Mike Soroka still haven’t appeared this Spring. They will both likely be excluded form the Opening Day roster, and Kolby Allard will also begin the year on the IL. There’s a world where Jared Shuster is asked to start the year in Atlanta. Based on what we’ve seen so far this Spring, I think he’ll be up for the challenge.

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