One of the biggest risers on my Midseason Braves Top 30, going from 23rd to 15th in just the span of a few months this year, former 16th round pick Joey Estes earned a well-deserved accolade today as he won Pitcher of Week, according to MiLB.com.
Joey Estes family was at SRP Park Saturday. His mom threw out a first pitch. It was the first time his family had seen him pitch in-person as a pro. Awesome story. https://t.co/vEQ40tikxE
— Rylan Kobre (@RylanKobre) August 16, 2021
Estes, still only 19-years-old and pitching with the Single-A Augusta GreenJackets, won the weekly award for his performance this past Saturday when he tossed a complete game that featured just two runs from four hits and a whopping 14 strikeouts. Following a pair of earned runs in the third (from a two-run homer), of the final 21 batters he faced, only two Kannapolis batters managed to reach base, including a stretch by the righty that featured six-straight punch outs in the seventh and eighth innings combined.
As you can see from the clip below, Estes’ high-octane fastball was just too much for opposing batters… and has been all season long down at the lowest full-season level.
Joey Estes has four strikeouts through five scoreless innings. His ERA is down to 2.42 on the season. He has 61 strikeouts to 12 walks in 52 innings this season pic.twitter.com/ImdCHLGXv8
— Atlanta Braves Farm System Updates (@BravesMILB) July 10, 2021
For 2021, it’s clear that Estes is ready for more of a challenge, even if the Braves are in no rush to promote him. The righty is enjoying some of his best pitching of the campaign over these last 4-6 weeks. Right now, he leads Single-A’s East League in multiple categories, including strikeouts (116), innings-pitched (87), ERA (2.69), WHIP (0.97), AVG (.187), and now complete games (1).
As it stands now — even though the list is likely to change a bit by season’s end — I have Estes as the eighth-ranked pitching prospect in the Braves system, just behind Augusta teammate and Braves 2021 top pick, righty Ryan Cusick. There’s certainly much more to development in the future for Estes, for he is indeed a raw pitcher, however, if it keeps this up he’ll likely work his way into the top-10 in no time.