Our 2023 player season reviews have launched in full force this afternoon. We kicked things off by looking at Max Fried's injury plagued 2023, as well as dipping our toe in the prospect circle with Hurston Waldrep. Now, we get to a guy who spent time with the big league club as well as being considered one of Atlanta's top 30 prospects (Yes he actually is listed).
From sub to Major League starter
Not often do you see a guy be listed in a teams top 30 prospects at 28 years-old, although that's probably more of indictment of the lack of talent in the Braves minor leagues. However, Allan Winans has battled through a lot of obstacles to finally make his MLB debut in 2023. It took a lot of hard work and great pitching to get there, let's break it down.
Winans was actually drafted by the Mets in the 2018 draft, but when New York left him unprotected in the minor league rule five draft in 2021, the Braves nabbed him up for organizational pitching depth. After a solid year pitching in mostly Double-A, Winans began 2023 with the Braves Triple-A affiliate, the Gwinnett Stripers.
Winans doesn't have the electric stuff to make a lot of noise, but rumblings began when he kept posting great outings for Gwinnett. On the year with Gwinnett, Winans had a 9-4 record, 2.85 ERA, and 1.084 WHIP in 126.1 innings pitched.
That great work and the depletion of the back end of the Braves' rotation at the big league level created the opportunity for Winans to get the call to Atlanta. He debuted on July 22nd in Milwaukee, and he went 4.1 IP, while allowing just two earned runs.
For the rest of the season Winans was pretty much used as that emergency starer for the big league club. Multiple times he was the 27th man when the Braves had a doubleheader. At seasons end his numbers with the big league team worked out to a 5.29 ERA, 4.09 FIP, and 34 strikeouts across 32.1 innings pitched in six starts for Atlanta.
All in all not bad for a guy who was substitute teaching to make ends meat prior to the baseball season starting. He is a long way from becoming the professor, but if Winans continues to churn out good results the Braves will have no choice but to give him another shot.
His high groundball rate, plus changeup, and high-quality control give him a good floor of at least an organizational emergency arm. Given how often the Braves spell both relivers and starters with a breather over the 162 game season, Winans is good pitcher to have in the organization.