Braves Country had the opportunity to watch Michael Soroka and Kyle Wright grow up in front of their very eyes. Both first round draft picks — Soroka out of high school as a fresh-faced 18-year old, and Wright out of Vanderbilt — they each blossomed into massive contributors at the major-league level at different times. However, they both dealt with their own share of adversity, and eventually, the significant injuries proved too much for the Braves to keep them on the roster.
Their careers in Atlanta will always be followed with, “What if?” Had they been able to stay healthy throughout their tenure with the Braves, they might have become one of the best one-two punches in the game, sharing end of season awards and helping the team to the top of the mountain. Instead, if that’s going to happen, it will be with another organization.
Nobody can doubt their work ethic. They both left it all on the field for the Braves until their bodies wouldn’t allow them to give anymore. They’ll have fans in Atlanta forever because of it. There’s not a single member of Braves Country that won’t be following the rest of their careers closely in hopes they can finally reach their full potential.
As Wright and Soroka move onto the next chapter of their lives, they each took to social media to thank everyone involved in the Braves organization as well as the fans.
— Michael Soroka (@Mike_Soroka28) November 19, 2023
Soroka and the entire Braves organization have been robbed over the last few years. This was one of the bright young stars in the game until injuries decided to cost him three years of his career. A lot of players never return from back-to-back torn Achilles injuries, but Soroka worked his way back and even flashed some of the stuff that made him so dominant early in his career.
Unfortunately, with no options remaining, it became difficult for the Braves to justify paying him $3 million in arbitration, so they made the gut-wrenching decision of dealing him to the White Sox. Nobody likes it; I’m sure Alex Anthopoulos felt sick to his stomach when pulling the trigger on the trade. However, Soroka now has the opportunity to pitch for an organization that can afford to give him consistent starts at the major-league level. It could end up being what’s best for his career.
Thank you to the Braves for giving me the opportunity to play for my favorite childhood team. The memories and friendships I have made are lifelong ones I will cherish forever. To everyone who supported me, it was an honor to get to put on that jersey for you all. I’m thankful for those who believed in me even when I started to have doubts of myself. That truly helped lead me to where I am today.
Ready for this new opportunity with the Royals I promise to show up everyday and give it everything I’ve got. I’m excited for the future of this organization and can’t wait to be apart of helping this team work towards the ultimate goal.
A former 5th overall pick, it took Kyle Wright a little longer than some people expected to find his confidence. However, he played a pivotal role in the Braves bringing home the World Series in 2021, and then followed it up with a season in which he led MLB in wins with 21 and finished inside the top 10 in the NL Cy Young race. A shoulder injury cost him most of 2023 and will keep him out all of 2024. That’s an issue that is incredibly difficult to return from, but if Wright showed us anything throughout his Braves career, it’s that resiliency is not an issue. The Royals got a good one, and I hope he can make it back stronger than ever.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire