3 Gwinnett Stripers to watch for as 2024 Triple-A season gets underway

Keep an eye on these three Gwinnett Stripers as the 2024 Triple-A season begins.

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As the 2024 Triple-A season begins, there are a few members of the Atlanta Braves organization that will start the year with the Gwinnett Stripers that you need to keep an eye on in the coming weeks. A group that includes multiple names that could make an impact in the MLB at some point this season, here are three names from Gwinnett that you need to watch for to begin the year, as well as why.

3 Gwinnett Stripers to watch as 2024 Triple-A season gets underway

Bryce Elder, RHP

We begin with Elder, who will start the 2024 season in Triple-A after not making the MLB rotation due to a rough spring training in which he held an 8.25 ERA and 13:6 K/BB ratio across 12 IP. The 24-year-old is also coming off a solid 2023 campaign in which he made his first-ever All-Star appearance in only his second MLB season, owning a 12-4 record with a 3.81 ERA and 128:63 K/BB ratio across 174.2 IP, which was also 31 starts.

When breaking down Elder's potential 2024 season, the right-hander likely makes his return to Atlanta at some point this year. Assuming the former fifth-round pick starts the Triple-A season pitching extremely well, that return to Atlanta and the big leagues could come sooner rather than later.

Ken Giles, RHP

Another noteworthy name with MLB experience to watch for is Giles, who impressed at times during spring training by posting a 3.00 ERA and a 5:3 K/BB ratio across three innings pitched. Signed to a minor league deal as well, the 33-year-old right-hander has a significant amount of MLB experience across an eight-year MLB career, owning a career stat line of a 14-18 record with a 2.71 ERA, a 484:114 K/BB ratio, and 115 saves across 355.1 IP with four different teams.

After competing for a bullpen spot during spring training, Giles is also likely to see the MLB level at some point in 2024, and that could certainly come sooner than later for the veteran right-hander. Yes, Giles has only eight combined innings pitched in the major leagues since 2020, but don't count out the right-hander making an impact in 2024, especially with a strong start to the year.

AJ Smith-Shawver, RHP

We conclude with Smith-Shawver, who begins the 2024 season in Triple-A as the No. 1 prospect in the Atlanta Braves organization according to MLB Pipeline. After competing for the fifth spot in the rotation during spring training, Smith-Shawver starts the year in Triple-A coming off a season where he made his MLB debut, owning a 1-0 record with a 4.26 ERA and 20:11 K/BB ratio across 25.1 IP.

Similar to Elder previously, Smith-Shawver is a name that will likely see time in Atlanta's rotation at some point in 2024. With a strong start to the year as well, Smith-Shawver could be set for a call-up very, very soon.

Will we see any of Elder, Giles, or Smith-Shawver in Atlanta at some point this season? Time will ultimately tell, with their start to the season in Triple-A likely a factor in determining just how soon that could possibly be.

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