Though he manned a rotation spot to start the season merely due to the injuries of Kevin Gausman and Mike Foltynewicz, it seemed like it was Kyle Wright’s time to make an impact back in April. The highly touted prospect had opened many eyes in Spring Training after getting his first taste of the big leagues in September of 2018. Things haven’t quite panned out that way, but we are starting to see the former Vandy ace turn things around.
From the start of the season, Wright got demolished, regardless of whether it was in the majors or the minors. He has spent most of the season starting games for Gwinnett and coming up as an extra arm for the Braves’ pen, though he has rarely been used. The shuffling of Wright is pure mismanagement and is an attribute to his struggles, but it has been more than that, causing him to tumble down prospect charts. However, recent showings indicate the Braves should be patient with the former first-round pick.
Wright has been phenomenal over his last four starts, including two shutout efforts, and three of which he had at least 8 strikeouts. He only issued four runs in those outings, with three of them coming in a start against the Louisville Bats.
His peripheral numbers check out. He has a lower walk rate from last season and the same strikeout rate. Hitters have hit just .246 against him, a stat that has exponentially deflated from the start of the season. All things considered, Wright is a positive regression candidate who is already showing signs of a turnaround, which is fantastic news for the Braves.
The organization thought he was very close to being a part of this rotation, but even if it takes some more time, they will be depending on him soon. Julio Teheran has a $1 million buyout and Dallas Keuchel will be a free agent at the end of the season. All eyes will be on Wright and Ian Anderson to step up and man spots in the rotation by the end of 2020, as they are the highest touted arms in the system going forward.