3 Atlanta Braves minor league signings to watch during Spring Training

Keep an eye on these three Atlanta Braves minor league signings during Spring Training.

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With the start of Spring Training just around the corner, let's take a look at three Atlanta Braves minor league signings from this offseason that you should be watching for across the coming weeks ahead, as well as why.

3 Atlanta Braves minor league signings to watch during Spring Training

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RHP Taylor Widener

We begin with a right-handed pitcher in Widener, who originally signed a minor league deal with the Braves back on December 11.

Widener, a 29-year-old right-hander, comes to Atlanta after spending the 2023 season in Korea by playing in the KBO, splitting time between the NC Dinos and Samsung Lions. Prior to 2023 however, Widener was a long-time member of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, where he spent three seasons in the major leagues from 2020-22.

A former 12th round pick from the 2016 MLB Draft, Widener owns a combined 4.26 ERA across 49 appearances at the major league level, 13 of which were starts in 2021. Across those 107.2 IP, the right-hander also owns a combined 2-3 record with a 109:54 K:BB ratio, and most recently held a 3.63 ERA and 14:5 K:BB ratio across 17.1 IP with the Diamondbacks in 2022.

Widener now joins the Braves organization with a notable amount of MLB experience, as well as the potential to be either a starter or reliever. The Braves could potentially use the right-hander in a few different ways during Spring Training, making Widener an intriguing name to watch for, even despite likely beginning the year in Triple-A.

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UTL/RHP Charlie Culberson

A familiar face talked about often this offseason, Culberson was brought back by the Braves back on January 12 on a minor league deal, as well as shortly after assigned to Triple-A Gwinnett.

Known to Braves' fans as "Charlie Clutch," Culberson is an 11-year MLB veteran who has endeared himself to this fanbase. From 2018-20, Culberson slashed a combined .267/.315/.456 with 17 HR, 66 RBI, and four SB across 230 games, while also seeing time at numerous positions defensively.

However, he now enters Spring Training with the Braves as a pitcher, which he has done a few times during his MLB career. In fact, the veteran has 7.1 IP during his major league career, which has translated to a 1.23 ERA and 1:3 K:BB ratio across eight appearances, each of which came as a relief pitcher.

So, not only is Culberson a must-watch player in Spring Training because he is a clear fan favorite, but also because of the position-change. How will "Charlie Clutch" look as a pitcher this spring?

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RHP Ken Giles

Atlanta signed Giles, a veteran MLB reliever, to a minor league deal that included an invite to Spring Training on February 2.

An eight-year MLB veteran, Giles comes to Atlanta having pitched only a combined eight innings at the major league level since 2020. The most recent of those came in 2022 with the Seattle Mariners in which he pitched 4.1 scoreless innings with the club, and then spent all the 2023 season in the minor leagues of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization by struggling with a combined 8.55 ERA across 20 IP, a majority of which came in Triple-A.

Across his MLB career, Giles has over 350+ games of major league experience, with a majority of his action having come as a closer. Over his career, Giles has a combined 2.71 ERA with a 484:114 K:BB ratio across 355.1 IP, along with 115 saves and a World Series title with the Houston Astros in 2017.

Yes, Giles is coming off a season in which he struggled in the minor leagues. However, there is no denying that the right-hander has extensive MLB experience, and will be an interesting name to watch for during Spring Training to see if he can factor into Atlanta's bullpen plans to start the year.