In the couple of months after the Braves took Waldrep with the No. 24 overall pick, the University of Florida pitcher posted a 1.53 ERA over 29 1/3 innings across four levels. He struck out 41 batters and walked 16.
Earlier this year, Waldrep hurled 101 2/3 innings for the Florida Gators, who advanced to the College World Series finals, where they lost to LSU. When Waldrep entered their system, the Braves managed his workload, as they do with any pitcher.
The Braves never had Waldrep pitch five innings this year. He went 4 2/3 frames in one start.
Waldrep made one start for Low-A Augusta before the Braves promoted him to High-A Rome. He started three games for Rome, then three for Double-A Mississippi before pitching once for Gwinnett.
On Saturday for Gwinnett, Waldrep hit 97 mph and averaged 95 mph on the radar gun.
After a job well done, Waldrep can go into his offseason and focus on preparing for next year.
He’s someone who should certainly excite Braves fans. The team felt fortunate to take him in the draft.
“I think looking at where we picked, we got a really athletic college starter with power stuff,” said Ronit Shah, Atlanta’s assistant director of amateur scouting, on the first night of the MLB Draft. “He’s been 95 to 99 (mph) with two plus breaking balls, and one of the best secondary pitches in the draft, perhaps, with (his) splitter.”
Waldrep, a Braves fan, was really excited the club selected him – especially because he’s aware of the Braves’ success in player development.
“Especially over the last couple of years, seeing the way they’ve handled their players, and just overall, the level of talent they’ve brought through the system and continue to bring through the system, it’s really unmatched in the league and it’s awesome to be a part of,” he said.
Waldrep will be a name to watch next season. If he continues developing, he might not be far away from the majors