Atlanta Braves: 1 pitching prospect to watch entering the 2022 season

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 09: Baseballs and a glove on the field before a game between the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on September 9, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 09: Baseballs and a glove on the field before a game between the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on September 9, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images) /
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The Atlanta Braves have a system full of young arms that could all make an impact at the major league level across the next couple of years. Entering the 2022 season, you can add yet another name to that list.

With uncertainty surrounding when the upcoming 2022 Atlanta Braves season will begin, it never hurts to look back at what-was a historic 2021 season for the franchise.

While everything involved with winning the World Series may garner a majority of the attention, and rightfully so, there were also a few Braves prospects who enjoyed phenomenal 2021 seasons, a group that includes names such as Langeliers, Harris, Strider, and Elder.

However, after taking a look back at last season, there is another name from Atlanta’s system that quietly had one of the best 2021 seasons of any Braves prospect – Darius Vines.

Atlanta Braves prospect Darius Vines is a name to watch entering the 2022 season

A former seventh round pick by Atlanta back in the 2019 MLB Draft out of Cal-State Bakersfield, Vines may be a name that not too-many Braves’ fans are familiar with.

Having struggled in a limited sample-size during his professional debut in 2019, combined with no 2020 minor league season, Vines entered the year unranked among Atlanta’s Top 30. That however as you likely know has since changed, with the right-hander currently ranked at No. 22 in Atlanta’s system by MLB Pipeline.

When looking at the 23-year-old’s 2021 season, Vines made a combined 22 starts between Low-A Augusta and High-A Rome, posting a combined 2.92 ERA across 111 IP. Included across this span were a few other notable numbers such as a combined 1.018 WHIP, as well as a combined 29:129 BB:K, which translates to a 2.4 BB/9 and a 10.5 K/9.

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The 6-foot-1 right-hander has a legit four-pitch mix, and is beginning to quickly emerge as one of the fastest-rising arms in the Atlanta Braves system. With the 2022 minor league season right around the corner, Vines is a name to watch, with a call-up to Double-A Mississippi likely happening early in the year.