Touki Toussaint set for major league debut

Touki Toussaint is the next Braves pitching prospect to debut, doing so Monday afternoon in game one of a doubleheader against the Marlins.

Toussaint, 22, boasts a three-pitch arsenal highlighted by his curveball. He began last season in High-A Florida, and much of his rapid growth can be attributed to an improving changeup.

“You look at his numbers, he’s had a really solid year,” manager Brian Snitker said. “He’s getting it. All the guys who’ve been around him ever since we got him (talk about) how much he’s grown up, how he’s starting to get a handle on things.

“We’ve loved his arm from the beginning. But the kid’s starting to mature, starting to get it. I’m excited. He came in this morning and I didn’t remember him being that big. He’s a big, stout kid.”

Toussaint will be the seventh-youngest pitcher to start a game in the majors this year, yet only the fourth-youngest Brave (Mike Soroka, Kolby Allard, Luiz Gohara). Some view Toussaint as the highest-ceiling arm of them all.

Toussaint posted a 2.68 ERA with 139 strikeouts in 117-1/3 innings across Double-A and Triple-A this season. His 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings is the best rate of his career.

Coaches and teammates rave about Toussaint’s charisma and energy. He stood out in the Futures Game last month in Washington, when he was a last-minute add and pitched a scoreless inning.

He joins a young clubhouse that includes friends Max Fried and Allard. Soroka and Gohara are injured, but Toussaint already had an established relationship with them.

“It’s always good when you come up here and former teammates come up here making their debuts,” Snitker said. “Guys grow up together and go through the minor leagues together. You develop a kinship and bond. You spend a lot of time together and grow close with each other over a big part of a year. So I think it’s a little more comforting when they go in there and see some familiar faces.”