The Atlanta Braves chose Hurston Waldrep in the first round of the year’s draft and seven weeks later, the right-handed pitcher out of the University of Florida will make his debut at Triple-A tonight a when he starts for the Gwinnett Stripers.
Four levels in seven weeks. Hurston Waldrep is rising.— Gwinnett Stripers (@GoStripers) September 23, 2023
Join us in welcoming the Braves No. 2 prospect and 2023 first-round pick to Gwinnett as he starts tonight. pic.twitter.com/Ter3hPE2ZU
When Waldrep takes the hill for the Stripers, it will mark the fourth minor league level at which he has pitched since becoming part of the Braves organization. In seven games - three each with Double-A Mississippi and High-A Rome, and one with Single-A Augusta - Waldrep has combined to pitch 25 innings while striking out 36 with a 1.120 WHIP.
In his three most recent starts with Mississippi, Waldrep tossed 10 innings while striking out 11. He has dealt with some control issues, walking 4.7 per nine innings, across all levels, but that is in-line with his collegiate career when he averaged 4.2 BB/9. Offsetting the walks is his strike-out rate, which is sitting at 13 per innings as a professional, similar to the 13.5 SO/9 he averaged in college.
Given his swing-and-miss arsenal - and the injuries Atlanta is dealing as the regular season winds down - it is worth keeping an eye on Waldrep’s performance tonight as it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that the Braves could give Waldrep a look at the major league level before the end of the regular season or add him as an extra arm for the NLDS.