15. Spencer Schwellenbach
Personal Rank: 17
The Braves were rumored to be interested in Spencer Schwellenbach in the first round of the 2021 draft but instead went with Ryan Cusick. The Braves were thrilled when their second pick came back around and Schwellenbach was still available.
He played shortstop and pitched while at Nebraska. As a position player, he hit .284/.403/.459 6 HR, 43 R, 40 RBI, & 9 SB. He would most likely need to move off of short eventually, but the bat is certainly talented enough to make him a top draft pick.
However, the Atlanta Braves drafted Schwellenbach with the intention of using him primarily as a pitcher. Something he had never done before this past spring.
In 31 2/3 innings, Schwellenbach tossed a 0.57 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and struck out 34 of the 123 batters he faced (27.6% strikeout rate).
Atlanta loves the potential he possesses as an arm that does not have many miles on it. Plus, he has the ability to revert back to a position player if pitching does not work out.
Unfortunately, it will be a while before we see Schwellenbach pitch as he will need Tommy John surgery. The injury concerns are what some believe pushed him into the 2nd round. Meaning it will be some time before we see his big league debut.
A lot of scouts really love the potential Schwellenbach possesses, and think he could be special if he figures out how to pitch. He can hit 99 on his fastball, and he pairs it well with a plus slider when it’s on. His third pitch is a changeup which most believe could become another plus pitch as he gains more experience as a pitcher.
Schwellenbach gained some comparisons to another pitcher who was a primary shortstop in college with little miles on the arm in college, Jacob deGrom. That is a lofty comparison.
It may be a while before we figure out Schwellenbach’s full potential, but the hype is there that the Braves may have grabbed a good one in the 2nd round.