Spencer Schwellenbach might be a star for the Braves

Spencer Schwellenbach Braves

The Braves are coming off a much-needed win against the Philadelphia Phillies in a game that I don’t think too many people gave them a chance of winning.

The Braves offense has been stuck in reverse for nearly three months, and they were up against arguably the leading candidate for the NL Cy Young award in Ranger Suarez. Atlanta was sending a rookie in Spencer Schwellenbach to the mound in what was pretty much a must-win game if the Braves wanted any chance of winning the NL East for a seventh consecutive season.

What we got was a masterclass from the 24-year-old right-hander. With 41,000+ fans in attendance and many more cheering outside of Truist Park, Schwellenbach showed incredible poise and attacked a dangerous Phillies lineup for six straight innings, allowing just one run while striking out six batters. It was the first time the Braves offense really gave Spencer Schwellenabch an opportunity to pitch from ahead, and if that’s a trend that continues, I’m not sure there’s another candidate that can compete for the fifth and final spot in Atlanta’s rotation.

Ozzie Albies started the party with a single in the first frame to bring in Jarred Kelenic, an inning that was capped off by Marcell Ozuna‘s 23rd homer of the season, a two-run shot. The Phillies would respond in the third inning with a run of their own, but that’s really the only time they threatened against Spencer Schwellenabach, and in the bottom of the fifth, Ozzie Albies came up again, delivering a two-run homer that really put the game to bed.

Against a Phillies staff that has arguably been the best in all of baseball through the first three months, a struggling Braves offense has held its own, scoring 11 total runs over the first two games of the series. Perhaps that’s a sign of things to come, but the story of Saturday night was Spencer Schwellenabach.

This is a young man that doesn’t just look like he belongs in the majors. He is performing like someone with frontline starter potential. The 5.02 ERA isn’t exactly sexy, but a deeper dive shows just how outstanding he’s been through his first seven big-league starts.

Per Baseball Savant, Spencer Schwellenabach is in the 99th percentile for Chase Rate. He’s in the 94th percentile for Barrel %, 83rd percentile for Average Exit Velocity, and 82nd percentile for BB%. ┬áThis is a guy with above average velocity, a wide array of weapons in his arsenal, and the poise of a ten-year veteran.

Spencer Schwellenbach isn’t just here to stay as a back of the rotation guy; he could be a key piece to a Braves team that still has hopes of bringing home another World Series.

Photo: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire

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