Braves top prospect emerging as potential budding star

Hurston Waldrep Braves hat AJ Smith-Shawver

Because of trades and graduations, the Braves farm system has not been highly regarded for quite some time, but that hasn’t stopped them from producing young stars year after year. This season, everyone expects AJ Smith-Shawver and Hurston Waldrep to eventually make some sort of impact, with several other prospects set to also get an opportunity.

However, the top end of the farm system isn’t the problem. It’s the lower levels that need to be re-stocked if the Braves want to avoid any kind of rebuild in the future. There aren’t too many names that have stood out, but one that is beginning to separate himself is Owen Murphy.

Through his first two starts in High-A Rome, Murphy allowed just one run with 16 strikeouts over 12 innings. On Friday night, the 2022 first-round pick toed the rubber for the third time this season, and he delivered perhaps his most impressive outing yet. Murphy did allow a couple of runs on a homer, but he only gave up two hits over five innings and struck out 11. He now has 27 strikeouts on the young season, tying him with Paul Skenes for the minor-league lead.

Murphy, who is still just 20 years old, is striking out over 40% of the batters he’s faced with a 1.59 ERA and 1.96 FIP in 17 innings.

It’s early, but those kinds of numbers are difficult to argue with. Murphy has clearly taken the next step in his development and is now a prospect every Braves fan should be keeping an eye on moving forward. We’ve seen how quickly the Braves have promoted their talented prospects through the system in the past. It might not be long before Owen Murphy finds himself in AA Mississippi, where the competition really begins to pick up and we’ll find out just how far ahead of the curve he is.

Photo: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire

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