Fans of the Atlanta Braves have endured a couple of rough seasons. The organization began a full-blown rebuild following a disappointing finish in 2014. Atlanta has not won more than 79 games over the past three seasons, and they are just 24-32 so far this year. The focus has undoubtedly been on the future while stockpiling many prospects. Now, that future may be starting to take shape.
Sean Newcomb Will Debut Saturday
Source confirms Sean Newcomb will start one of the games during Saturday's doubleheader against the Mets.
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) June 7, 2017
It was confirmed earlier today that the talented Newcomb will make his MLB debut this Saturday. Newcomb is Atlanta’s fifth ranked prospect and the 70th ranked prospect in all of baseball according to MLB.com. The southpaw has been impressive this season. Newcomb holds a 2.97 ERA across 11 starts at Triple-A Gwinnett with a .212 BAA and 74 strikeouts in 57.2 innings pitched.
The biggest issue for Newcomb across his career has been walks. Newcomb has walked 70+ batters in two straight seasons and has already walked 33 this season. His WHIP is not too inflated at 1.35, but his long-term success will hinge on his walk rate. Newcomb has all the makings of an effective pitcher, but lowering his number of walks could elevate his talent into a front line starter.
Arrival in Atlanta
Newcomb arrived in Atlanta as part of a trade with the Angels involving Andrelton Simmons. Every rebuild involves some tough trades and difficult decisions, but the Simmons trade was especially hard for Braves fans. Simmons was a fan-favorite who routinely turned in web gems, and he was also under a long-term, team-friendly contract. Losing a player of Simmons’ caliber raises the expectations for a player like Newcomb.
The next wave of great Braves players is already under way. Dansby Swanson is competing in his first full MLB season, and third baseman Rio Ruiz has shown some flashes at the plate. Other players, such as Ozzie Albies, Dustin Peterson, and Lucas Sims, remain on the cusp of a debut. Newcomb will make his debut on Saturday, while expectations will remain high for the talented southpaw.