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Braves to Promote #2 Prospect to Start vs. Nationals on Sunday

The Atlanta Braves will reportedly promote their 2023 first-round pick, Hurston Waldrep, to make his major league debut on Sunday against the Washington Nationals. The 22-year-old right-hander will make the start, pushing Max Fried‘s next start to Tuesday for additional rest. Waldrep started the season as the 90th-ranked prospect overall, according to, in spring training and is currently the 72nd-ranked prospect. He is currently the Braves’ number two overall prospect, only behind right-handed pitcher AJ Smith-Shawver.

Braves Promote Hurston Waldrep

After being drafted less than a year ago, Waldrep has been through four levels of the minor leagues, only pitching 84 2/3 innings. His most recent outing this past Sunday was only his second Triple-A start, recording 11 strikeouts and three earned runs over six innings.

The Braves believe this is a great opportunity to get an extended look to see if Waldrep’s success in the minor leagues can translate to the major leagues. The fifth starter role has found little success this season for Atlanta. Waldrep will be the second pitcher in the last two weeks to make his debut for the Braves. Spencer Schwellenbach, the Braves’ number three prospect, also made his debut against the Nationals on May 29th.

What Braves Fans Can Expect

Anyone who follows college baseball is aware of the University of Florida pitcher as they advanced to the 2023 College World Series against the LSU Tigers. But for those who don’t, Waldrep features a quality fastball-splitter combination and also includes a slider. His fastball sits in the mid to high 90s with a high of 99. His signature splitter, which is his best pitch that he uses to generate swing and miss, will reach the mid-80s. According to Baseball America’s scouting report, his splitter “completely falls off the table.” However, the main knock on Waldrep has been that he needs to work on his command. In 2023, his walk rate eclipsed a 13% rate in his first 29 1/3 innings. In 2024, it has improved to a 7.56% rate in 55 1/3, a major improvement.

Many believe that Waldrep has the potential for front-of-the-line starter stuff, which would be helpful for Atlanta going forward. Because of the looming free agency of Max Fried and Charlie Morton this offseason, the Braves are taking advantage of getting eyes on their pitching development.


Photo Credit: © Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports


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