We are just days away from the 2023 MLB Draft where the Atlanta Braves hold the 24th pick of the first round. Most early chatter has had the Braves linked to hitters with their first pick, but FanGraphs’ prospect writer Eric Longenhagen projects college lefty Joe Whitman to Atlanta in his first mock draft of the season.
Breaking ball command is incredibly important to the Braves and Whitman arguably has the best slider feel in the whole draft. Plus, they tend to like guys who might just be scratching the surface and Whitman has very few college innings compared to many other juniors.
Whitman made 15 starts for Kent State in 2023 while posting a 2.56 ERA. He struck out 100 batters and walked just 29 in 81 innings while allowing just two home runs.
Baseball America ranks Whitman as the 46th best prospect in their Top 500 citing his performance in the Cape Cod League which has pushed him into Day 1 consideration. He averaged 92 mph with his fastball during the spring and has touched 96 mph. His best pitch though is his slider which has spin rates per BA in the 3,000 rpm range.