Braves skipper Brian Snitker on the most impressive player in Spring Training

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“I saw him on the back field and I was like, ‘Who is this Dodd guy?’” Braves skipper Brian Snitker said. Well, Dylan Dodd went from the darkest horse in the race for the final spot in the starting rotation to the favorite this Spring Training. So, it’s no surprise Snitker called Dodd the most impressive player this Spring.

After making 26 starts over three minor league levels last year, Dylan Dodd is primed to contribute in Atlanta. He posted a 3.36 ERA with a remarkable 36% strikeout rate for High-A Rome, Double-A Mississippi, and Triple-A Gwinnett.

Despite being ranked the No. 10 prospect, the Braves are clearly comfortable giving Dodd the opportunity to seize a significant role. It began even before the club started Grapefruit League games.

“I watched this kid throw against Ronald Acuña and all of those guys,” Snitker said. “We had the pitch clock and it was like he was maneuvering the pitch clock by waiting it down and throwing the ball over. You look at the reaction of those guys. If we make a couple plays for him against the Dominican Republic, that story is different against that kind of competition.”

Against a Dominican lineup littered with All-Stars, the former third-round pick surrendered just one hit before allowing five runs in the third inning of a WBC exhibition game. Dodd has been nearly perfect in the Grapefruit League though, allowing five hits and no runs over 8.1 innings while fanning 11.

Despite Ian Anderson’s impeccable postseason resumé and Bryce Elder’s steady presence, the Braves have never been afraid to push players through the system if they’re performing. Dodd is just the latest example of that.

“A few years ago, it took Minor Leaguers a really long time to go through the levels,” Dodd said. “The Braves have shown if you perform well, they’ll push you. I think that’s a great thing.”

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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