Baseball America (subscription required) just released their list of 30 MLB Prospects Who Improved Their Stock In 2021 — nominating one player per farm system. The Braves have a number of talented young players that could have made this list. Bryce Elder, Indigo Diaz, Shea Langeliers, and many others have all had tremendous seasons down on the farm, but nobody should have a problem with Spencer Strider, who was Baseball America’s choice.
Of the Braves’ five 2020 MLB draft picks, Bryce Elder has actually moved up the system the quickest. He’s already in Gwinnett in his first professional season, but Strider is the arm many believe has the highest ceiling. He’s surprised many with his high-90s fastball, allowing him to dominate with Augusta and Rome. Strider’s run into a bit of a rough patch with Mississippi, posting a 4.71 ERA over 14 starts. However, he’s still striking out a ton of batters. Through 63 innings with the M-Braves, Strider has racked up a ridiculous 94 punch outs, and opponents are still hitting just .211 off him. Across all levels this season, he’s struck out 39% of the batters he’s faced.
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) September 20, 2021
In response to this tweet, Braves pitcher Tucker Davidson also gave Strider some sky-high praise.
Easiest 98 I’ve ever seen..
— Tucker Davidson (@tucktuck6) September 20, 2021
I imagine the plan is for Strider to wrap up his season in Mississippi, and he’ll probably start 2022 there as well. He’s given up a few too many walks at the AA level and needs to work on his overall run prevention, but there’s no questioning his upper echelon arm talent. If he keeps progressing at this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw him and Bryce Elder make their respective debuts in Atlanta next season. That would be some pretty impressive stuff from the Braves scouting department, considering both of these players were drafted just a year ago in a draft that consisted of just five rounds, and neither player was allowed to play until 2021.