With their final day one pick, 70th overall in the 2023 MLB Draft, the Atlanta Braves selected right-handed pitcher Cade Kuehler out of Campbell. For the third consecutive pick, the Braves opted to go with a college arm, giving them three total across the first day of the draft.
Weight: 215 lbs
Baseball America: #53
MLB Pipeline: #59
Introducing Cade Kuehler
What's another pitcher? Kuehler is coming off of a strong season where he had a 2.71 ERA in 13 starts and 73 innings for Campbell University. Kuehler is a pitcher with a deep arsenal as he throws a low 90s fastball that at times has reached the upper 90s giving us a peek into the future as he continues to develop. Besides his fastball, he also features a plus slider that has an ability to miss bats in addition to a curveball which has the potential to become a third plus pitch. His final two offerings are a changeup in addition to a splitter that has some changeup like action to it. Due to an extremely violent delivery with a lot of moving parts it is likely that he will be converted to a reliever down the road. With his stuff he does have the potential to be a true back end of the bullpen weapon, though the Braves will develop him as a starter for now.
The Braves took the pick they got as compensation for Dansby Swanson and used it on a guy that makes a ton of sense for them. Kuehler is a fastball-first pitcher with mid-90s velocity and great verticality on his fastball, something the Braves have coveted in recent drafts. Yes, there is reliever risk but the organization has shown time and again they are willing to take those risks. Kuehler’s full arsenal gives the organization a ton of flexibility in his development, and they will put a lot of effort into modifying his mechanics in order to improve his command. He has the body and talent of a mid-rotation starter and would be a great pickup at this point if the Braves can unlock his potential. Otherwise, he has the makings of a player who could make an impact quickly in relief.