3 Braves spring training overreactions after first week of action

There are some hot takes flying around already from the Braves' spring training games.

Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves
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AJ Smith-Shawver is going to be just fine

Spring training overreactions are never more apparent than when it comes to pitchers. These guys only throw an inning or two early on in spring training and if those innings go really well or really not well, fans can start calling for some pretty wild things. AJ Smith-Shawver's first spring start is a classic example of this.

In his first appearance on the mound this spring, Smith-Shawver gave up a pair of home runs to the Phillies in two innings of work. The start coming against the hated Phillies didn't help matters, but fans are also notorious for just looking at a guy's stat line and what they see is three runs in two innings of work and not taking the time to understand the purpose of spring training games and see what actually happened.

Sure, JT Realmuto and Alec Bohm took Smith-Shawver deep, but what the box score doesn't tell you is that he was also already hitting 99 MPH and made three other Philllies hitters look foolish while striking them out. Smith-Shawver is still very young and, like many pitchers, he is still experimenting a bit this spring and trying to get in game shape. That is he already throwing absolute gas and punching guys out is a huge win even if he threw a couple breaking balls he wish he could have back.

At the end of the day, spring training is where you want guys to make mistakes. This is the time to figure out where your stuff stands and make adjustments accordingly. Smith-Shawver remains one of the Braves' best prospects and no one should be writing him off due to a couple bad pitches to some good hitters. Unfortunately, that isn't going to stop people from doing just that anyways.

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