Hurston Waldrep shines in Braves Spring Training debut

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The hype around Braves top prospect and 2023 first-round pick Hurston Waldrep continues to build, and deservedly so after he shoved in his Spring Training debut, striking out two in a couple of scoreless frames.

Waldrep’s fastball was sitting in the high-90s and touched 99 on the radar gun. The splitter also came as advertised, generating several whiffs.

The competition for the Braves final spot in the rotation is heating up, and Waldrep should be viewed as a legitimate dark horse candidate. A lot of things are working in favor of Reynaldo Lopez, who has also pitched great this Spring, but regardless of whether Waldrep begins the year in Atlanta, he’s someone Braves fans can expect to make his MLB debut sometime in 2024.

The stuff is simply electric. Waldrep’s high-90s fastball and elite splitter give him an incredibly high floor, but he also pairs those offerings with a plus-slider. That’s the makings of a guy who could potentially be a frontline starter at the major-league level.

The Braves have never been an organization to ease their top prospects into things if they feel they are ready to contribute. Don’t expect that to change with Hurston Waldrep. If he continues to pitch like this, it won’t be long before he’s making starts in Atlanta, and once that happens, there’s a chance he may never pitch in the minors again. As far as exciting Braves prospects go, Hurston Waldrep has to be at the top of the list.

Photographer: Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire

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