When the Atlanta Braves selected Adam Maier in the 2022 MLB Draft, they knew that he would miss a bunch of time recovering from elbow surgery.
The Braves selected Maier in the seventh round of the 2022 MLB Draft, handing him a signing bonus of $1.2 million.
Preseason report card
From a preseason standpoint, the main question surrounding Maier was whether or not the former Oregon Duck was going to pitch in 2023. Rather than undergoing a traditional Tommy John Surgery, Maier opted to go with the internal bracing of his UCL, which often results in a quicker recovery time. This is a surgery that we traditionally see non-pitchers get, but it is becoming a bit of a trendy option for pitchers who want to get back on the mound quicker. As a result, there was some hope that the Braves would be able to get some early returns on the investment that they made in Maier, as his potential fastball-slider mix continues to intrigue.
What we saw in 2023
Nothing. It was heavily expected that Maier would debut within the Braves organization at some point in 2023. However, that debut never came as his recovery has gone on longer than expected.
Maier’s 2024 outlook is up in the air. We should expect him to start in A-ball, but what his role will look like is unclear. Because he has hardly pitched over the past few seasons, there is a chance the Braves handle him with kid gloves and only let him throw around 70 innings. They will probably try him as a starter, but this might look like brief, 1-2 inning starts at first, as they get him ramped up to a regular workload.