What’s the most impressive aspect of Spencer Schwellenbach?

Braves Spencer Schwellenbach

A critical Fourth of July weekend series against the division-leading Philadelphia Phillies got off to a sloppy start, as the Braves fell in Game 1 in large part to a three-run inning that was highlighted by three Atlanta errors.

However, things would end up swinging in the other direction on Saturday night, with rookie Spencer Schwellenbach pitching a gem to even up the series. The 24-year-old right-hander struck out six batters over six innings and allowed just one run in what felt like a must-win game for the Braves if they want any chance of coming back and winning their seventh straight division title.

If that’s to happen, Schwellenbach looks like he could be a huge part of it. He has poise beyond his years on the mound and a big arm, but perhaps what stands out the most is his wide array of offerings. Schwellenbach has a legit six-pitch mix, and he throws just about all of them at the same rate, which Ken Rosenthal noted in his latest piece for The Athletic.

Check out Atlanta Braves rookie Spencer Schwellenbach’s pitch breakdown Saturday night, when he allowed only one run in six innings against the Philadelphia Phillies,” Ken Rosenthal writes for The Athletic.”His mix was all the more impressive, considering it was only his seventh major-league start:

Four-seam fastball: 17
Splitter: 16
Slider: 14
Curveball: 14
Sinker: 13
Cutter: 7

Spencer Schwellenbach’s 5.02 ERA through his first seven starts may not turn many heads, but a closer look at the details paints a picture of a pitcher with legitimate frontline starter potential. His 3.57 FIP suggests he’s in line for significant positive regression, and he’s in the 99th percentile for Chase Rate. He’s also in the 94th percentile for Barrel %, 83rd percentile for Average Exit Velocity, and 82nd percentile for BB%.

That’s pretty remarkable for a young man who’s only made seven big league starts and barely pitched over 100 innings in the minors — none above the AA level — since being selected in the second round of the 2021 MLB Draft out of Nebraska as a two-way player. The Braves saw the potential he had as a pitcher, especially former Director of Scouting and current Houston Astros General Manager Dana Brown, who called the selection of Spencer Schwellenbach one of the most exciting draft picks of his career.

“This is probably one of my favorite picks, I could say, of my career,” Brown said. “I was so excited to get this guy.”

That’s quite the compliment when considering all of the talent Dana Brown helped the Braves acquire through the draft over the years, but the entire baseball world is now beginning to see his vision. Right now, Spencer Schwellenbach is helping ease the concerns of the fifth and final spot in the rotation, but he could mean so much more than that later in the year.

Photo: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire

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