Another draftee from the Braves’ 2023 class, Lucas Braun was a draft pick out of California State University-Northridge.
The Braves selected Braun in the sixth round of the 2023 Draft. He was given a signing bonus of $347,500, which was slightly above the slot value for the pick.
Preseason report card
Since he was a 2023 draftee, we had no preseason report on Braun.
What we saw in 2023
Braun made six starts for the Braves in his debut year. Four of them came in A-ball, where he pitched 17 ⅓ innings, struck out 19, and walked just two. Over those four starts, he was more than dominant as well from a run prevention standpoint as his ERA was a minuscule 1.04. Things kind took a turn though when he got promoted to High-A. It was only two starts, so the sample size couldn’t be much smaller, but in those 9 ⅔ innings his ERA was a 5.59 and he walked three batters compared to 13 strikeouts. As a result, he had a 4.66 FIP but a stellar 2.70 xFIP. As such, the rough landing in High-A really wasn’t, and his strikeout stuff didn’t take a hit at all when advancing levels. In fact, he struck out over a third of the High-A batters he faced in those two starts.
It is safe to assume that Braun will start the year at High-A, considering that he only started two games there so far. The Braves will probably try to get him to Double-A at some point during the season, though, since he’s already 23 and has a college career under his belt. Braun’s status as a prospect as middling, given his size and lack of a plus offering, but he can creep up on lists if he has a solid effort in 2024.