The Braves have undergone a full rebuild, giving them possibly the best farm system in all of baseball. Players like Ronald Acuna Jr., Mike Soroka and Kolby Allard headline the long list of Braves prospects who are considered elite. However, the Braves farm system is not just the best because of the elite names at the top, it also has the depth that should allow this team to continue to get better for years to come.
One of those guys is Bruce Zimmermann. Most of these aforementioned studs have been in the Braves system since they were teenagers. Zimmermann is not one of those guys, as he was selected in the fifth-round of the 2017 MLB draft out of the University of Mount Olive, a small school of just over 3,000 undergraduates, in North Carolina.
Like his college of choice, there was nothing particularly sexy about Zimmermann’s pitching style. He does not possess a high 90s fastball like many pitchers today. Instead he throws in the low 90s with a three-pitch arsenal including a curveball and a changeup. But as baseball has shown us time and time again, it is not always the fireballers that make it to the major league level. All, even average, major league pitchers need to have pinpoint control, and that is what Zimmermann has showcased early on in the minors.
As a Rome Brave, Zimmermann posted a 7-3 record with a 2.86 ERA this season. What is even more impressive is he is averaging over a strikeout per inning, totaling at 99 on the season compared to just 18 walks. He is among the leaders in strikeouts in minor league baseball. His stellar first half with Rome resulted in him getting the call to Mississippi on June 28th. The change in competition did not seem to affect him much either. In his first start, he went 6.1 innings allowing just a single earned run while striking out ten.
With the Braves having a stable of blue-chip pitching prospects, it might be a long shot for Zimmermann to occupy a starting spot in the Braves rotation. It could be more likely that he transitions into a relief role as he continues to climb the ranks. However, as an older prospect, it is not out of the question that he rockets through the minor league levels rather quickly. It is this kind of depth that makes the Braves farm system the envy of baseball. Zimmermann is definitely a prospect to keep your eye on going forward.