Atlanta Braves RHP Prospect Mike Soroka to Make MLB Debut

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WEST PALM BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 24: Mike Soroka #79 of the Atlanta Braves throws the ball against the Houston Astros during a spring training game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on February 24, 2018 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

The Atlanta Braves are less than one week removed from the debut of Ronald Acuña Jr., and the team is already making waves with another young star set to debut Tuesday evening. This time, it is 20-year old pitcher Mike Soroka who will get the call and make his big league debut for Atlanta. The team confirmed the news on Twitter and announced Soroka would wear number 40 for the Braves.

Atlanta Braves RHP Prospect Mike Soroka to Make MLB Debut

Draft and Early Career

Soroka was a first-round selection by the Braves in what looks to be a talent-loaded 2015 draft class. He was selected 28th overall while LHP Kolby Allard and 3B Austin Riley were selected 14th and 41st overall respectively. While Soroka will make his debut Tuesday, it is worth noting that all three of these players may be together in Atlanta by season’s end. Fellow 2015 draftee A.J. Minter (75th overall selection) is also in Atlanta as part of the Braves bullpen.

For Soroka, he showed flashes of his potential in 10 appearances (nine starts) during the 2015 season before establishing himself as a must-watch prospect in 2016. He was a staple in Rome’s rotation during their 2016 SAL Championship season with a 3.02 ERA in 24 starts. His success in Rome earned him a Double-A assignment to start 2017, despite being just 19-years old.

Breakout Season

While all eyes were on Acuña’s ascent through the farm system last season, Soroka put up impressive numbers in Mississippi. He made 26 starts with a 2.75 ERA and 125 strikeouts over 153.2 innings pitched. Not only have the numbers and abilities displayed by Soroka been impressive, but he has also demonstrated a knowledge of his craft beyond his age. Wayne Cavadi with MinorLeagueBall.com recently noted that he was impressed with Soroka, particularly with his tempo, accuracy, and command of all of his pitches.

Outlook

It is becoming increasingly difficult for Braves fans to temper the expectations around some of Atlanta’s top prospects. Soroka is no exception as he has elite stuff and the mentality and knowledge to maximize his potential. Growing pains are sure to hit at some point, and he will be tossed right into the fire against the New York Mets and Noah Syndergaard, but Soroka has all the makings of a front-line starter for years to come.

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