04 Apr

(very) young guns

The Atlanta Braves have chosen the fast track for three of their prized young pitchers. Kolby Allard, Mike Soroka and Max Fried are jumping the high Class A level to start 2017 with the Double-A Mississippi Braves, who released their official roster today. They are rated the Nos. 3, 4 and 8 prospects in the system by MLB Pipeline. Fried, whose career was slowed by injury, is 23 and has been in pro ball for six years. Allard and Soroka are just 19, very young for Double-A. “The good ones get there early and these are two really good ones,” Braves GM John Coppolella told Baseball America. Both were first-round picks in 2015 and are among the six first-rounders on the M-Braves’ roster. Soroka is a big right-hander, Allard a slender lefty. Soroka, featuring a hard sinker, went 9-9 with a 3.02 ERA for low-A Rome’s 2016 championship club. “He goes right after hitters, throws a ton of strikes and makes outstanding adjustments on the mound,” according to the MLB Pipeline scouting report. Allard, blessed with a superb breaking ball, was 8-3, 2.98 for Rome and threw 12 scoreless innings in the South Atlantic League playoffs. “His stuff plays up even more because of deception in his delivery and his outstanding command,” MLB Pipeline notes. Are the young guns ready for Double-A? M-Braves fans will have a front row seat as this question is answered. The opener is Thursday at Trustmark Park. P.S. Among several returnees from last year’s M-Braves team, which reached the Southern League finals, is Kade Scivicque, the former Southwest Mississippi Community College (and LSU) star. The 24-year-old catcher is a .273 hitter over two minor league seasons and had eight hits in four games in the SL postseason last year after coming to the Braves in a trade with Detroit.

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