With the way Shelby Miller has pitched, our offseason trade that shipped Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden to the Cardinals is looking real good. However, Tyrell Jenkins has the potential to be the icing on the cake in the deal. Jenkins was committed to play baseball and Quarterback for Baylor University, but he was the 50th overall selection in the 2010 MLB Draft and opted to sign with St. Louis. Since then, he has built a name for himself as a prospect. He cracked many top 100 prospect lists until he underwent shoulder surgery that forced him to miss parts of two seasons. Jenkins is still just 22, and while raw, still has time to develop. He has turned in a nice season for AA Mississippi, posting a 3.00 ERA, but don’t be fooled, he still has a lot of work to do. As of now he’s averaging 5.6 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9. Jenkins hasn’t had much success with strikeouts since 2012. In 2011, he led the Appalachian League with 8.84 K/9. It’s just strange to see the dropoff Jenkins has had, despite the higher level of competition. Jenkins may never be a big strikeout guy in the Majors, but he needs to reduce his walks and work on his control. This is the reason he may not hit AAA Gwinnett until next season. Jenkins is still a work in progress, but he’s still having success on the mound. In 7 of his last 10 starts, he has given up 2 or fewer earned runs. He is unbelievably athletic, has a 6’4” frame and his fastball sits in the 93-96 range. He also has a changeup and curveball. Developing his secondary pitches is what could cause Jenkins to break out. I predict that we will likely see Jenkins in Atlanta late next season or Opening Day 2017. The high potential is there, just a little more polish and Jenkins will be ready. Jenkins ranks as my 5th best prospect in the Braves organization.
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