Braves top prospect Hurston Waldrep to begin season in AA

COLLEGE BASEBALL: MAY 24 SEC Baseball Tournament Florida vs Alabama

After being optioned to minor-league camp a couple of weeks ago, it was already evident Braves top prospect Hurston Waldrep would not begin the year in the majors. However, he won’t be starting in Gwinnett either. According to Justin Toscano of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Waldrep will begin his 2024 campaign in AA Mississippi.

This may come as a surprise to some, especially those hoping to see Hurston Waldrep make his major-league debut this season. However, I wouldn’t be too concerned.

Waldrep only has eight professional starts under his belt and made just three in Mississippi last season before being promoted to Gwinnett for his final outing. Double-A isn’t typically a level many players can afford to skip, but this comes down to numbers more than anything.

As we’ve discussed all Spring Training, the Braves have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to starting pitching options. After deciding to go with Reynaldo Lopez as their fifth starter, Bryce Elder was relegated to AAA, and he was on the NL All-Star team less than a year ago. The Gwinnett Stripers rotation also features highly touted prospect AJ Smith-Shawver, along with Dylan Dodd, Allan Winans, and Darius Vines — all prospects who are older than Hurston Waldrep and have more experience.

It’s impossible to know if Waldrep would have began the year in Gwinnett had their been an open spot. I imagine he would have; however, if he goes out and lights it up in AA over the first month of the season, it won’t take long for Gwinnett to make way for one of the most talented pitchers in the organization.

There’s still a great chance Hurston Waldrep will make his MLB debut in 2024.

Photo: Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: