Mike Foltynewicz

#26 SP / Atlanta Braves / EXP: 3YRS Height: 6-4 Weight: 200 lb Age: 25 College: None Bats/Throws R/R

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    He should be nicknamed "Mike Filthynewicz" with his repertoire: a mid-90s heater, a piercing slider, a hammer curve and an emerging changeup. He's still figuring it all out, but his 2016 was a nice step forward. He set career-bests in ERA, WHIP, strikeout rate, walk rate, groundball rate and HR/9. It's not a great sign when 4.31 ERA is your best ever, but it's still legitimate progress for the one-time top-100 prospect who was starting to look like a bit of a bust, even in the small 105-inning sample he had prior to 2016. He should enter his age-25 season with a firm handle on a rotation spot, eyeing his first full season and hoping to build on his '16 gains. A baseline 9-10 percent swinging strike rate is a good foundation and the raw stuff portends more. Go an extra $1 on ol' Filthynewicz.

    Player News
    • Foltynewicz gave up one run on six hits and a walk while striking out two over five innings during Tuesday's Grapefruit League game against the Nationals. He has yet to allow more than a single run in any of his spring appearances, leaving Folty with a tidy 2.00 ERA through 18 innings along with a 1.22 WHIP and 14:5 K:BB. The 25-year-old will begin the season as the Braves' fifth starter, but he has the talent to end it at the top of their rotation if everything clicks.

    • Foltynewicz will be the Braves' fifth starter to begin the season, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. There's no real surprise here, especially given his impressive performance this spring, but Folty's fantasy value did get a small boost when manager Brian Snitker indicated that his turn would not be skipped despite a couple of off days during the first couple weeks of the season. Foltynewicz threw a career-high 150.1 innings across 27 starts between Triple-A Gwinnett and the majors in 2016, and if the 25-year-old continues to develop, he should easily be able to top that workload this year.

    • Foltynewicz gave up one run on five hits and a walk while striking out seven over four innings during Thursday's Grapefruit League game against the Tigers. Other than a solo home run by prospect JaCoby Jones, Foltynewicz dominated a patchwork Detroit lineup and now sports a 2.08 ERA and 12:4 K:BB through 13 spring innings. The 25-year-old righty has all but locked up a rotation job, and he has all the makings of a breakout candidate in 2017.

    • Foltynewicz tossed two shutout innings in Tuesday's Grapefruit League game against the Cardinals, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out one. He worked his way out of trouble in the first inning, picking Magneuris Sierra off first base after a leadoff single then starting a double play by catching Kolten Wong straying too far off second base with runners on first and second. Foltynewicz is the favorite to win the fifth starter role for the Braves to begin the season, but if he stumbles this spring Matt Wisler or Aaron Blair could push their way into the mix.

    • Foltynewicz is the favorite to break camp as the Braves' fifth starter, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports. Despite the offseason additions of R.A. Dickey, Bartolo Colon and Jaime Garcia, Foltynewicz is still expected to hang onto a spot in the starting rotation. His filthy mid-90s fastball has yet to produce great results in the majors, but the 25-year-old did improve on his walk and HR rates last season, and he has the stuff and talent to have a breakout campaign if the pieces begin to fall into place for him. Having some veteran pitchers around to give him advice can only help Foltynewicz's development.

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    2016 ATL 22 22 123.3 9 5 0 111 35 125 4.30 1.29
    2015 ATL 18 15 86.7 4 6 0 77 29 112 5.74 1.63
    TOTAL 56 37 228.7 13 12 0 202 71 260 4.92 1.44