Assuming Charlie Morton is ready for the start of the season, the top three in the Braves rotation will be Max Fried, Charlie Morton, and Ian Anderson. After that, it’s anyone’s best guess. I think Alex Anthopoulos will add at least one more starter to the mix via free agency or trade, but no matter what, the Braves will have an open competition amongst their young arms for at least one spot. So, let’s take a look at which guys have the best odds at making the rotation to begin the 2022 campaign.
I’m not completely closing the book on Toussaint because he does have an effective pitch mix. But so far, his control just hasn’t allowed him to put it together, and he’s running out of opportunities. Toussaint is going to really have to turn some heads to receive another opportunity as a starting pitcher, and it may be time for the Braves to make him a full-time reliever or move on altogether.
4. Huascar Ynoa
You probably didn’t expect Ynoa to be this low on this list after he was the Braves fourth-best starting pitcher this past season. However, I’m still of the viewpoint that Ynoa is better suited in the bullpen than he is in the rotation — at least until he develops a consistent third offering. His fastball-slider combination is filthy, but that can only get you so far as a starting pitcher. The Braves are also in desperate need of some bullpen help from the right side, and Ynoa could be the answer.
3. Kyle Muller
I had a tough time choosing between Kyle Muller and the next guy on this list, but I’m putting Muller third because he still needs to work on his control. His stuff might be the best of the bunch, but you can’t be a starting pitcher if you can’t throw strikes.
Davidson came out of nowhere in 2019 and hasn’t stopped impressing ever since. Injuries limited him in 2021, but in four starts for the Stripers last season, he posted a 1.17 ERA with a 0.696 WHIP and was equally as effective in four starts with the Braves, recording 3.60 ERA. Davidson’s stuff still needs to improve, but you know what you’re going to get out of him every time he toes the rubber, which is why the Braves were willing to turn to him in Game 5 of the World Series.
1. Kyle Wright
I am a Kyle Wright stan, but I don’t even think this is a debate. The Braves stopped yanking the former fifth overall pick up and down between AAA in the majors, and instead gave him a full season with the Stripers to develop. It worked. Wright looked fantastic when called upon in the World Series, and that could give him the confidence he needs to finally make the mental jump to the majors. It’s always been apparent he has the stuff. If he finally puts it together in 2022, watch out.