A left-hander in his second season with the organization, Luis De Avila moved up to Double-A in 2023 and did okay.
How was he acquired?
The Braves selected the southpaw in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft after the 2021 season.
Preseason report card
Entering the season, De Avila’s potential impact for the organization was largely unknown. He only had 214 ⅓ professional innings since signing all the way back in 2017 and the highest level he had appeared at was High-A. He pitched reasonably well in 2022, spinning a 3.96 FIP and 3.70 xFIP in 2022, where he started all 24 games he appeared in. While he did manage to have a strikeout rate approaching a quarters of batters faced and kept his walk rate in the single digits, those numbers weren’t all that impressive for anyone, much less a 21-year-old in High-A.
What we saw in 2023
De Avila moved up the ladder to Double-A and saw his numbers slide in response. In 25 starts spanning 123 1⁄3 innings at Mississippi, he managed a 4.05 FIP and 4.33 xFIP. His strikeout rate stayed steady, but his walk rate ballooned from 8.4 percent in High-A to 11.7 percent in Double-A. He made one short start for Triple-A Gwinnett at the end of the year, where he got blasted with more walks than strikeouts.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, he will almost surely start the 2024 season at Gwinnett. It remains to be seen whether he’ll find even a cup of coffee role in the majors, however. The Braves currently have the 40-man space, but there isn’t too much exciting about De Avila to make him more likely to grab, say, a doubleheader spot start than anyone else. Still, he’s there in case of injury, but he’ll need to show some development at Gwinnett to become more than that.