Atlanta Braves: Is No. 11 Prospect Bryce Elder a 2022 Rotation Option?
By Matt Melton
When looking toward the 2022 Atlanta Braves season, how will the club fill the big league starting rotation that is full of potential candidates?
Looking ahead to next season, the Atlanta Braves starting rotation barring any offseason additions will feature three 100% guarantees – Max Fried, Charlie Morton, and Ian Anderson.
With the possibility that Huascar Ynoa potentially fills a bullpen role next season, there is a potential for two open spots in the rotation entering next season with one likely taken when Mike Soroka returns from injury.
Until then, however, the Braves will likely fill those two open spots in the rotation with some of their younger arms with a combination of Touki Toussaint, Kyle Muller, Tucker Davidson, and Kyle Wright likely playing a big role. However, could some other notable Braves prospects play a role, in particular No. 11 prospect Bryce Elder?
Is Atlanta Braves prospect Bryce Elder a 2022 starting rotation option?
While current top prospects such as Muller and Davidson stick-out most, Elder could 100% feature a role in the rotation at some point next season.
Atlanta’s 2020 fifth-round pick out of Texas, Elder began the 2021 season in High-A with the Rome Braves. Making nine starts with the club, the 22-year-old posted an impressive 2.60 ERA with an 11 K/9 quickly earning a call-up to Double-A.
Enjoying similar success in Mississippi, Elder reached Triple-A this season where he made six starts in Gwinnett posting a 2.20 ERA across 32.2 innings pitched [ed. note: 1 more solid start came just yesterday]. Across those three levels combined, the right-hander has posted an 11-5 record with a 2.76 ERA across 24 starts with 52 walks and 151 strikeouts this season.
One of the fastest rising prospects in the Braves system, Elder’s impressive 2021 minor league season is making the 22-year-old a legit rotation candidate next season. No, he likely won’t begin the season as a part of the big league rotation, but it is possible we could see him in Atlanta at some point.
The Atlanta Braves 2021 minor league pitcher of the year, Elder will likely begin the 2022 campaign in Triple-A. It is very possible we could see Elder early on with the Braves next season in some form, especially if this seasons’ success continues.