Braves’ top prospect Hurston Waldrep has successful spring training debut

NORTH PORT, Fla. — On Friday, Hurston Waldrep turned 22 years old.

On Saturday, Waldrep gave himself a nice little birthday present.

In the first major-league spring training game of his career, Waldrep pitched two scoreless innings. He struck out two batters and walked two versus the Blue Jays in Dunedin.

Waldrep, the Braves’ first-round pick last summer, threw 34 pitches, and 19 were strikes.

Waldrep’s four-seam fastball topped out at 98.9 mph. He also hurled fastballs at 97.7 mph, 97.6 mph and 97.3 mph.

Waldrep averaged 96.6 mph with the 14 four-seamers he threw. He tossed 16 splitters and four sliders. His splitter, which is his calling card, looked good. He averaged 87.3 mph with the offering.

Waldrep, who pitched the fifth and sixth innings, began his outing with a strikeout looking. He struck out one batter and walked one in each frame.

Reynaldo Lopez has another strong start

In his second start of the spring, Reynaldo Lopez tossed three scoreless innings. He gave up two hits. He struck out three batters and walked one.

Lopez, who is competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, has allowed a run over five innings in spring games.

Another competitor for that job, Bryce Elder, gave up three runs over three innings Friday. But this line was a bit deceptive: Baltimore scored all three of those runs with two outs in the third inning. Otherwise, Elder was great.

Max Fried pitches

While the Braves were in Dunedin, ace Max Fried stayed back and threw a simulated game in the main stadium in North Port.

Among the hitters who faced Fried: Matt Olson and Austin Riley.

Sunday starter

Chris Sale will start Sunday’s spring game versus the Phillies at CoolToday Park.

Sale threw two clean innings in his Braves debut earlier this week.