While the Braves have typically not invested heavily in prep talent on day one of the MLB Draft in recent years, they have generally done well on days two and three with finding high level talent that they can develop in the long-term from the high school ranks. One such arm that looks like he could be a really interesting pick is LHP Adam Shoemaker out of Canada who they selected in the 11th round of the 2021 draft.
Midseason Report Card: After he was drafted, we got enough good reports on him to put him at No. 28on our midseason Top 30 Braves prospects list. He didn’t really play enough to justify moving him up or down too much from that spot for our next list, so expect him to be somewhere in that range for the next go-around.
Adam Shoemaker 2021 MiLB Stats: 3 G, 5.1 IP, 6.75 ERA, 3 H, 4 ER, 7 BB, 6 K
What we saw in 2021: The short answer is not a lot as he only threw 5.1 innings this year and in one of the three games he played in, he walked five batters which was...less than ideal. One particularly intriguing development is that he he saw a big velocity jump this year in the prep ranks where he went from throwing his fastball in the high 80’s to hitting 95 mph which is a significant development. When you take that and combine it with the fact that Adam is 6’6 and 205 and you have a guy that has a ton of projection on his frame. We could see more velo out of him in the years to come. The delivery needs work as it is violent enough that seeing him as a starter in his current incarnation doesn’t seem likely, but if he can clean up his mechanics, he could be a diamond in the rough. It is all going to come down to what his secondary pitches end up looking like. He currently features a slider and a changeup, but both are raw and will need some work to become big league offerings. However, if he could get a workable changeup and a maybe a hard slider, he could be a very tough pitcher to go against with all of that coming from a 6’6 lefty.
What to expect in the future: We do not expect Adam to moving quickly through the minor leagues at first. While the arm talent is significant, we do think he is quite raw and will need to potentially put on some more muscle and make some refinements to his delivery and to a couple of his pitches. We would not be shocked if he doesn’t start the season in full season ball as the Braves work with him on those adjustments. We do expect him to eventually make his full season debut in 2022 and if he can adapt quickly, he could find significant success in low-A. However, we are tempering our expectations a bit as he is a bit of a long-term project arm albeit a very talented one.