Braves Rumors: Marcell Ozuna trade, first-round pick promoted, call-ups looming

Marcell Ozuna, Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Atlanta Braves General Manager Alex Anthopoulos, MLB rumors, Braves rumors, Cardinals, Red Sox
Atlanta Braves General Manager Alex Anthopoulos (Photo by Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/Getty Images) /

Braves Rumors: Top pick Hurston Waldrep promoted after one start

When the Braves selected Hurston Waldrep out of Florida, it was expected that he would make his way up the minor-league ranks quickly. Lo and behold, after just one start with Augusta, Atlanta has promoted Waldrep to High-A Rome. It turns out they under-estimated their ace in the making.

Waldrep had a strong start in Low-A Augusta, which doesn’t really compare to life in the SEC. Alex Anthopoulos and the Braves front office is all about challenging their prospects so they can grow into their potential. Waldrep will likely spend a significant amount of time in Rome as he adjusts to facing better hitters on a regular basis.

Waldrep went to high school in Georgia before attending Florida for his collegiate play. He was the third-ranked college pitcher in the 2023 draft class. While Waldrep has a relatively simple windup, due to the movement on his pitches he does have some control issues. In Rome, he’ll be forced to stay in the strike zone, which should help correct some of that inconsistency.

Still, despite those control issues, MLB Pipeline sees a bright future for the former Gator:

"“The right-hander has a legitimate three-pitch power mix, with all three offerings having the potential to be at least above-average. He was 95-99 mph in his looks this fall and that’s carried over this spring, though he’s struggled to command the heater at times. His best secondary offering is his split-change, a well-above-average pitch that misses an extraordinary amount of bats. His hard upper-80s slider also flashes plus and can be an out pitch.”"

That baseline movement, as well as his three-pitch mix, gives Atlanta’s development staff plenty to work with.