Braves: Recent first-round pick turning heads on the farm

Drew Lugbauer

The Braves farm system is consistently ranked near the bottom of the league, which is understandable, considering how many players have graduated in recent years and how many other prospects have been traded away. It’s extremely rare for a team competing for championships to also have a highly rated farm system. However, despite their poor ranking from prospect evaluators, the Braves continue to churn out high quality players. Spencer Strider, William Contreras, and Michael Harris are just a few that have burst onto the scene this year, and more could be on the way.

I’ve wrote several times about Kyle Muller‘s wildly successful June. If Ian Anderson doesn’t turn it around, expect Muller to receive another opportunity in Atlanta very soon. Bryce Elder is another recent draft pick that has rocketed through the system; he could be back with the Braves before long. However, this article is focused on Atlanta’s 2020 first-round selection, Jared Shuster, who turned heads again last night with a spectacular performance.

Shuster hit a couple of bumps in the road last month, but overall, this has been an extremely productive season for him with AA Mississippi. Over 15 starts, he’s boasting a very respectable 3.13 ERA, and his 1.04 WHIP and .209 batting average against are even more impressive. Shuster has shown a tremendous ability to pound the strike zone and keep the ball in the park this season, recording just 2.4 BB/9 and 0.9 HR/9. That will play at every level and could earn him a promotion to AAA Gwinnett sooner rather than later.

The MLB draft is generally a crapshoot, and in 2020, the Braves only had four picks. If none of them ended up panning out at the major-league level, it wouldn’t have been much of a surprise. However, so far, it is looking like a fantastic class for the Braves. Spencer Strider is a leading candidate for the NL Rookie of the Year award, Bryce Elder has already made his MLB debut, Jesse Franklin has flashed a lot of pop, and now Jared Shuster is creeping up on a call up to AAA. He’s a name to keep an eye on. It may not be long before he’s contributing in Atlanta.


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