Under the radar Braves prospect promoted to Gwinnett

Ian Mejia

The Braves arms on the farm have been nothing short of dominant early in the season, much like the big-league club.

Fans got their first glimpse of top prospect AJ Smith-Shawver yesterday afternoon, who tossed 4.1 scoreless innings against the Cubs. The Braves #2 prospect, Hurston Waldrep, has a sub-1.00 ERA for AA Mississippi over his last six starts. Owen Murphy has been nearly unhittable for High-A Rome, and Spencer Schwellenbach has a 13 scoreless innings streak in which he’s struck out 17 batters since his promotion to AA.

Those are the Braves top four prospects and all of them have bright futures ahead, but even some of the lesser known guys on the farm are experiencing gobs of success early on in 2024.

Yesterday, right-hander Ian Mejia received a promotion to AAA Gwinnett. If you haven’t heard of him, that’s no surprise. I didn’t know much about him leading into this season, as he’s not on most top 30 prospect lists for the Braves. However, the 2022 11th round selection has been one of the most impressive arms so far this year.

In eight starts for Mississippi, Mejia posted a 4-0 record with a 1.69 ERA and 54 strikeouts over 42.2 innings, including a no-hitter on May 17th.

This led to a promotion to Gwinnett yesterday.

Unfortunately, Mejia’s first outing with the Stripers didn’t go so smoothly. He only recorded four outs, giving up five earned runs on five hits and three walks.

It was definitely a harsh dose of reality, but it shouldn’t take away from the stellar start to the season. Alex Anthopulos and the Braves have had tons of success finding talent outside of the top rounds in the MLB Draft. Look no further than AJ Smith-Shawver as an example, who was a seventh-round pick and made his MLB debut at 20-years-old.

Ian Mejia is certainly a name to keep an eye on for the rest of the season. Hopefully, he can bounce back from last night, and if he does, perhaps we see him in Atlanta later this year. To this point, none of the Braves’ young arms seem to want to take a stranglehold on the fifth and final spot in the rotation.


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