3 Atlanta Braves prospects land on Fangraphs' list of names to know in 2024

They haven't gotten the superlatives that Smith-Shawver and Waldrep have gotten but these three players look to have strong 2024 campaigns and put themselves on the map.

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Another day, and more news involving significant Atlanta Braves prospects - this time three that have not been in the limelight yet. Eric Logenhagen and Tess Taruskin over at Fangraphs put together a list of 100 prospects that maybe aren't top 100, but sure as heck are close.

It's been Hurston Waldrep this and A.J. Smith-Shawver that so far this off-season and with good reason, but the trio of Spencer Schwellenbach, Drake Baldwin, and Ignacio "Nacho" Alvarez are three to watch this upcoming season. So, let's talk about each one a little more.

Spencer Schwellenbach

A two-way player at Nebraska, the Braves drafted Spencer in the second round of the 2021 draft and indicated that it was his arm that impressed them the most. They had to play wait-and-see with him as Tommy John surgery was needed and caused Spencer to sit out the 2021 and 2022 seasons. We got our first look at Spencer in 2023 and he put together 16 solid starts, across two levels (A, A+), to the tune of 65 innings with a 2.49 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP.

At 23 years of age, Spencer was a bit older than his competition so a talent of his is expected to play well, but after nearly two years away from pitching in real games it was extremely surprising to see his command play up so well. After being promoted to A+ ball, Spencer's strikeout rate rose from 7.19 to 9.22 and his walk rate decreased from an already impressive 2.63 BB/9 to 0.66 - again, especially impressive for someone who was that far removed from pitching in real games.

Now we enter 2024 where the real fun begins for Spencer. With the injury behind him, it's time for the leash to be dropped and for the Braves to fully push Spencer. I expect that Spencer starts the season in Rome, with a quick promotion should he continue to show the types of numbers they saw from him last year.

With his fastball and slider already plus pitches, if Spencer shows continued improvement on his changeup and more importantly an increase in his durability, fans can expect Spencer to quickly rise on Top 100 lists. This could be a special year for Spencer so make sure to pay attention to his starts this season. Whether he makes it as a starter, or potentially as a high-leverage relief option, there is a lot to like about what he brings to the mound.