MLB names their Rookie of the Year candidate for the Braves in 2023

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The Braves had some incredible efforts out of their rookies in 2022. At different points of the season, Michael Harris II and Spencer Strider both made massive impacts on the club when they needed a spark. When naming a Rookie of the Year candidate for each team, went with the safe and obvious choice — former first round pick Jared Shuster out of Wake Forest:

I don’t necessarily disagree, especially when you look at Shuster’s numbers from 2022. He dominated Mississippi to the tune of a 2.78 ERA and 0.96 WHIP over 90.2 innings. He didn’t have as great of a start in Gwinnett after being promoted, but that’s fairly natural, and Shuster has been a slow starter at every level he has been promoted to.

Shuster’s main issue is going to be actually getting to the majors with the logjam and competition the Braves have for their fifth starter. Here’s what MLB had to say about Shuster:

It’s pretty much an annual occurrence, the Braves having a ROY candidate, with a player getting votes for five straight seasons, with two winners (Ronald Acuña Jr., Michael Harris II). In 2023, we could see Kyle Muller and Braden Shewmake compete, but we’ll put a marker on Shuster, the 2020 first-rounder who pitched his way to Triple-A last year and finished with a combined 3.29 ERA, .212 BAA and a solid 3.82 K/BB ratio.

I think Muller has a much better chance, and I also think there’s a better candidate overall — Justyn-Henry Malloy. Malloy crushed pitchers last year in the notoriously pitcher-friendly Trustmark Park. He earned a promotion to AAA and didn’t slow down, putting up an .864 OPS in eight games. I think Malloy will cool off a bit, but stranger things have happened, and he could very easily see the majors in 2023 if the Braves need the help in left field.

If you have a keen eye, you’ll notice former Braves Drew Waters and Joey Wentz made this list as well. Those two are definitely guys to watch for their respective clubs in 2023.

Hopefully the Braves can continue to get contributions from their rookies, especially with the uncertainty of this free agency period looming.

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