5 Atlanta Braves prospects who made big impressions in Spring Training
By Steven Teal
3. Max Fried
Max Fried has continually improved since he was included in a trade for former Braves slugger Justin Upton. Fried was traded to Atlanta along with Jace Peterson, Mallex Smith, and Dustin Peterson. Fried is the only one that currently remains with the organization.
I’m sure Fried has felt a lot of pressure to succeed when included in a deal for a guy as good as Justin Upton. Fortunately for Max, he has started to live up to the hype. We saw the flashes of his talent in 2018 and he was one of the better relievers in the NLDS for Atlanta.
His ERA has improved in both of his seasons with Atlanta and it’s only going to get better.
This Spring has been no different at all for Fried and it appears that he is going to be in the starting rotation come Opening Day. He’s been one of the most efficient starters for the Braves as they prepare for 2019. He currently sports a 2.35 ERA in 15 1/3 innings pitched.
In those games, Fried has struck out 16 batters, only allowed 4 earned runs, and has only walked 5 batters. As we noted when talking about Kyle Wright, hat’s the sort of consistency the Atlanta Braves need from their starting rotation.
Max has commanded his 94 mph fastball extremely well and his curveball is absolutely devastating. He looks to be (and has said himself) as comfortable as he’s ever been on the mound.
The way he can control his breaking ball is going to help him strike out a lot of hitters. He brings with him one of the best curveballs in the organization.
Max could find himself in the rotation as Sean Newcomb has struggled mightily to find the strike zone this Spring. However, he could function just as well in a long relief role and reminds me a bit of Andrew Miller.