Over the weekend, the Braves promoted both Huascar Ynoa and Patrick Wiegel to AAA Gwinnett. Every successful bullpen requires power arms in today’s game. There is a reason guys like Josh Tomlin are suited for low-leverage situations. No one fears 88MPH heaters anymore. Tomlin has proven to be effective at times, but his brand of pitching is dying in today’s era of bullpen specialization. The Braves are looking for flamethrowers (that throw strikes) to revamp an area of their team that has been underachieving for a few years. The bullpen issues this season are well-documented, but help is inching its way to Atlanta.
This is familiar territory as Patrick was in AAA a few seasons ago before he had to have Tommy-John Surgery on his elbow. Wiegel has been working his way back through the system and appears poised for Atlanta as early as 2019. The 6’6” fireballer has been working multiple-inning stints with the intent of becoming a starter, but the Braves might have other plans considering the plethora of arms at their disposal. Wiegel’s fastball sits upper-90s with two distinct breaking pitches and a changeup. However, he could look to hone in on 1-2 pitches if he is a late-inning candidate.
Huascar Ynoa is a bit of a surprise given his age and performance to this point. At 20 years-old, Ynoa has jumped from High-A, to AA, to AAA in the span of two months. During his time in AA, the righty was either striking guys out or getting hit. In 13.2 innings, Huascar had 15 strikeouts and 17 hits allowed — giving him a .298 BAA. That’s not good. With that being said, he is the 13th-ranked prospect in the Braves organization and throws GAS. Ynoa sits mid to upper-90s with a hard slider.
Wiegel will likely be the first of the two to be promoted due to his age and seasoning, but here are two power arms that will be knocking down the door to Atlanta very soon.