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Player Outlook
Despite some notable control issues as an amateur, Atlanta bet on Hurston Waldrep's stuff and upside with the 24th overall pick in 2023, and his stock has continued to climb. While pitching for Florida, he had the three best starts of his life in June of 2023 (vs. Connecticut, South Carolina and Oral Roberts) before crashing back to earth against eventual College World Series winner LSU in his final start as an amateur. He logged a 1.53 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 62.1 percent groundball rate and 41:16 K:BB in 29.1 innings across all four full-season leagues after signing. His splitter is one of the best offspeed pitches in the minors, and his mid-to-upper-90s fastball and mid-to-upper-80s slider give him two more plus pitches. Other than general injury risk that applies to all pitchers, the make-or-break skill for the 6-foot-2 righty will be his control (13.0 BB%). If he throws enough strikes, he could be a No. 2 starter. Atlanta has not been shy about the idea that Waldrep could join the rotation sometime in 2024, and he has a very high ceiling whenever he arrives due to his strong team context and ability to pile up strikeouts.

Fantasy News

  • Braves' Hurston Waldrep: Clicking at Double-A

    Waldrep allowed one run on six hits over eight innings for Double-A Mississippi on Wednesday, striking out eight without walking a batter. The 22-year-old right-hander had a bumpy beginning to his season, coughing up 10 runs in seven innings over his first two starts, but since then Waldrep has been on fire. Over his last five outings, the 2023 first-round pick has produced a 1.16 ERA and 26:9 K:BB through 31 innings while giving up zero homers. Atlanta would like to see more strikeouts out of Waldrep, but he's put himself back on track to potentially compete for a big-league rotation spot in 2025, and an MLB debut later this summer isn't out of the question.
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  • Braves' Hurston Waldrep: Beginning season at Double-A

    Waldrep will begin the season at Double-A Mississippi, Justin Toscano of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The 22-year-old right-hander ended last season by making one start for Triple-A Gwinnett, but he'd made only three starts for Mississippi prior to that, so this isn't a demotion. It does mark Waldrep as firmly behind AJ Smith-Shawver and Bryce Elder in the pecking order for a potential call-up to the majors, however. Waldrep zoomed through four levels last year after being selected with the 24th overall pick in the 2023 First-Year Player Draft, posting a 1.53 ERA and 41:16 K:BB over 29.1 innings, but he didn't work five or more innings in any of his outings. He'll focus on improving his stamina and command at Double-A, and a midseason bump to Triple-A seems likely.
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  • Braves' Hurston Waldrep: Reassigned to minor-league camp

    Waldrep was reassigned to minor-league camp by Atlanta on Friday, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports. Waldrep had an impressive spring debut March 3, when he pitched two scoreless innings with two strikeouts and two walks. The 24th overall pick in the 2023 Draft could make his major-league debut this season if he pitches well in the minors.
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  • Braves' Hurston Waldrep: Solid spring debut

    Waldrep walked two and struck out two without giving up a hit over two scoreless innings during Saturday's Grapefruit League game against the Blue Jays. One of Atlanta's top pitching prospects had a good showing in his spring debut, entering the game in the fifth inning and promptly fanning Danny Jansen. Waldrep wound up tossing 19 of 34 pitches for strikes, and improving his control will be a point of emphasis for the 22-year-old right-hander this season after he posted a 41:16 K:BB in 29.1 innings across four levels last season in his pro debut. While he almost certainly won't break camp on the Opening Day roster, Waldrep appears poised to see action with Atlanta at some point this summer after being the 24th overall pick in the 2023 Draft.
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