There has been a lot of hype surrounding the Atlanta Braves and their 2022 draft, as they got a plethora of talented arms mixed with hitters who have had low level success. Among what seems to be a strong group of players the Battery Power crew picks which one they think will stand out the most in 2023.
Which player from the 2022 draft class do you think will have the best season?
Matt: I want to say Nacho, but I have to go with Owen Murphy. I just believe his maturity, both physical and mental, will give him an edge over where you’d expect a prep pitcher to come in during his first full pro season. This could just as easily be Nacho though and I don’t think it would surprise many if it was JR Ritchie either.
Devin: I have spoken about him twice, so I have to do it a third time, JR Ritchie. Besides him though, I think Igancio Alvarez has a shot because of his ability to make consistent contact, generate walks and limit strikeouts.
Brady: Echoing Matt and Devin’s responses a bit, I really am looking forward to seeing a full season of what Nacho Alvarez can do. And I’m also to see how far guys like Drake Badlwin and David McCabe stack up offensively. But I’m going to go back to another arm from the draft. While I believe J.R. Ritchie has some of the highest upside among the arms taken in the draft, I’m going to stick with Owen Murphy. He has the highest floor of all the pitchers the Braves selected and I think he has the potential to make a run through the system this year.
Garrett: A few weeks ago I would have said Blake Burkhalter, but with his Tommy John surgery he is probably going to have the worst season of the draftees. I mentioned this yesterday, but Owen Murphy just has all of the markers of a guy who can take a huge step in 2023. Lower level hitters aren’t prepared for a guy with four pitches and solid command and if you want an example of what that looks like see Joey Estes from 2021. Alvarez is a great pick as well, though my biggest question is how much he looks to drive the ball this season and whether he can do more than just draw walks and not strikeout.