Braves: Hurston Waldrep continues to shine in Gwinnett debut

Hurston Waldrep Braves hat AJ Smith-Shawver

Over the weekend, 2023 first-round selection Hurston Waldrep was promoted to Gwinnett, and on Sunday, he made his season debut for the Stripers, which went about as well as anyone could have possibly hoped. Waldrep was downright dominant, striking out 11 batters over six innings with just one walk.

Hurston Waldrep’s streak of seven straight starts with two or fewer runs did come to an end, but the Braves have to be more than pleased with the swing-and-miss he displayed paired with elite control. He’s now recorded seven or more strikeouts in four straight starts and has 34 strikeouts to just four walks over that span.

For my money, Hurston Waldrep is the most talented arm in the Atlanta Braves farm system. He has a fastball that can run up into the high-90s and one of the most devastating splitters on the entire planet. That’s not a typo. It’s already good enough to induce swing-and-miss at any level, and if he can continue to showcase this kind of control, there’s little doubt he’s going to have a lot of success at the major-league level.

Given the Braves current situation, it’s fair to assume Waldrep is very close to making his MLB debut. The Braves fifth spot in the rotation has been a revolving door. The hope is that Spencer Schwellenbach can change that after his impressive MLB debut last week, but even if he sticks with the major-league club, an opportunity should arrive soon for Waldrep.

The Braves have been consistently giving converted reliever Reynaldo Lopez extra days rest to limit his workload, creating a need for a sixth starter. We could also see them do something similar with Chris Sale as the season continues because of his injury history, and some extra rest for a veteran like Charlie Morton here or there couldn’t hurt as well. The MLB debut for Hurston Waldrep could come any moment now.

Photo: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire

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