12. Freddy Tarnok
Personal Rank: 7
The Atlanta Braves took Freddy Tarnok in the 3rd round of the 2017 MLB draft out of Riverview High School. The Braves have been very patient with Tarnok. The highly touted high school arm has methodically worked his way up the minor league ranks.
It was mixed results for a few years, but Tarnok finally showed the potential many believed was there in 2021. There was worry the 2020 Covid year would hurt Tarnok and cause him to fall down rankings, instead, he came out and put up his best year ever.
In High-A Rome, Tarnok’s pitched to a 4.76 ERA, 4.72 FIP, 3.72 xFIP, and 1.20 WHIP. Not the best at first glance, but it was mostly inflated to a weak start to the year. He finished strong in Rome, including a 40.7% strikeout rate which got him the promotion to AA.
In Mississippi is where Tarnok really shined. In 9 games, he pitched 45 innings, totaling a 2.60 ERA, 2.27 FIP, 3.45 xFIP, 1.11 WHIP, 33.7% strikeout rate, and 8.3% walk rate.
In total, Tarnok pitched 73.1 innings, with a 3.44 ERA, 1.145 WHIP, 36.5% strikeout rate, and a 9.4% walk rate. A breakout season that showed why so many are high on Tarnok’s future.
Tarnok features three pitches and the belief is all three could end up being plus offerings in the future. The fastball is strong, and he became more confident in throwing it for a strike in 2021. Being able to command the fastball will be key for Tarnok to continue making strides in his development.
He also features a curveball and changeup. The curveball plays extremely well off the fastball velocity and is a reliable secondary offering.
The biggest key in his development has been the improving changeup. Some scouting reports believe that the changeup could end up as his best pitch down the line. The fastball changeup combo holds the potential to be an elite one-two punch.
Tarnok might start the year back in Mississippi, but should be able to work his way into Gwinnett fairly quickly with a strong start.
The talent is there to be a top of the rotation pitcher. There is also reliever risk.
I come in as the highest on Freddy Tarnok. I love the potential and would not be shocked to see him getting an opportunity in Atlanta by year’s end.