Former Atlanta Braves top draft pick makes his long awaited season debut

The former top draft pick has officially made his 2024 season debut.

2022 MLB Draft
2022 MLB Draft / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

A former top pick by the Atlanta Braves from the 2022 MLB Draft, right-handed pitcher JR Ritchie, has officially made his 2024 season debut. The right-hander was recovering from an injury that occurred during the 2023 season. This injury resulted in Ritchie undergoing Tommy John surgery and he missed the remainder of that campaign.

Atlanta Braves prospect JR Ritchie makes his 2024 season debut

In that debut, Ritchie's first action of the season came recently back on June 17 in which he started for the FCL Braves against the FCL Pirates. Pitching only two innings, however, Ritchie would allow one hit with a strikeout against his seven total batters faced in the outing.

Ritchie, who was selected with the No. 35 overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft out of Bainbridge High School in Washington, originally made his professional debut during the 2022 season, where he saw limited action after being drafted. There he posted a 1.88 ERA and 14:5 K/BB ratio across 14.1 innings pitched between Rookie Ball and Low-A, which was also five starts.

After that debut, the 2023 campaign was expected to be his first full professional season, but it would be cut short as mentioned previously due to an injury. Ritchie made only four starts with Low-A Augusta in 2023, owning a 0-1 record with a 5.40 ERA and 25:3 K/BB ratio across 13.1 innings.

Atlanta's No. 4 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Ritchie now returns from injury with only 29.2 innings pitched since being drafted in 2022, and will likely begin to see more and more action going forward as he is built back up to full health.

One of the top arms in the Atlanta Braves minor league system as well, don't be surprised if Ritchie makes his way to Low-A Augusta or High-A Rome very soon. However, it will take some time as he has to work back up to full strength.

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