MLB Pipeline projects Braves’ 2020 rotation

MIAMI, FL - JULY 09:  Mike Soroka #45 of the Atlanta Braves and the World Team delivers the pitch against the U.S. Team during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Marlins Park on July 9, 2017 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Credit: Rob Carr

Credit: Rob Carr

MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Mike Soroka #45 of the Atlanta Braves and the World Team delivers the pitch against the U.S. Team during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Marlins Park on July 9, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The Braves have more pitching prospects than any other team, possessing perhaps the deepest group of arms in this era.

MLB Pipeline's minor league expert Jim Callis took a shot at Braves fans' favorite exercise: projecting the 2020 starting rotation.

Callis settled on Kyle Wright, Mike Soroka, Kolby Allard, Joey Wentz and Ian Anderson. Interesting, because that would mean each of them supplanted the current major leaguers, and none of the up-and-comers pitching at SunTrust Park now would be pieces of the future.

“Though pitching prospects are volatile, and some certainly will fall by the wayside, I like the long-term future of the prospects more than those of the big leaguers,” Callis sadi. “(Julio) Teheran is under contract with a very affordable $12 million option in 2020, but he's also in the midst of his worst season and I wonder if he will get traded before then. To me, (Mike) Foltynewicz, (Sean) Newcomb, (Lucas) Sims and (Luiz) Gohara don't project as well as the minor leaguers. If the prospects stay healthy, I think they'll push that group to the bullpen or to different organizations via trade.”

That’s not unreasonable, though if the Braves plan to contend by that point, it’s unlikely their rotation is made completely of pitchers who likely will need innings limits, even if Wright, Soroka and/or Allard crack the majors in 2018.

The Braves have been willing to move Teheran, as the AJC has reported. While better lately, his overall performance has clouded the picture.

Foltynewicz had a 14-start streak in which he showed every bit of potential the team has wanted, but as the innings piled up, he’s fallen back to earth. Newcomb has looked like a rookie while being plagued by the same control problems he had in the minors. Sims was bumped to the bullpen this month, at least temporarily, and Gohara is only three starts into his career.

It’s too early to make statements on who these players are. Callis simply offered his opinion that what the Braves have ascending is better than what’s there now. Not a bold take, but as with any prospect, what matters is how they perform when they reach the top level.

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