Recent Atlanta Braves first round pick is having a breakout season

The Braves 1st Round Pick in 2022 is starting to show how high is ceiling is with a phenomenal start to his campaign
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The Braves farm system has picked up a reputation in the last couple years for being lacking in talent. In MLB Pipeline's most recent farm system ranking Atlanta ranked 26th. Be that as it may it can easily be argued that the drop in its reputation from the halcyon days of the mid 2010s is due simply to quick promotions for players like Michael Harris II and Spencer Strider rather then a drop-off in the system's developmental abilities.

Perhaps no player emblemizes this better than RHP Owen Murphy. The Braves first round pick two years ago has already reached High-A Rome, and his start there has been nothing short of spectacular. On Thursday night Murphy pitched 7 innings while allowing only 1 hit, no walks and striking out 10. It was his best start of the season which is saying something as he entered it with a 1.59 ERA on the year.

Owen Murphy is making his case to head to Mississippi

While it's still early in the season, Murphy has now reached 24 innings on the year which is around the point where the small sample size caveat is much less pertinent. Not only has Murphy dominated to the tune of a 41.6% strikeout rate over his first 4 starts but he has kept his walks to an exceptional 6.7% rate. On top of this Murphy is still just 20 years old and is over 3 years younger than the average pitcher in High-A.

The numbers Murphy is putting up at the level of the minors at which he is playing is the recipe that vaults prospects into Top 100 status. Entering the year MLB Pipeline had RHP Hurston Waldrep and RHP AJ Smith-Shawver as the only Braves representatives on that elite list but Murphy is well on pace to join them for the midseason update.

Murphy's breakout start is just another reminder that the Braves have not lost the ability to develop young talent even if their farm system has taken an unavoidable hit over the last few years. Taking a high school pitcher and having him on the doorstep of Double-A within two years is not something that happens very often but through Murphy's hard work and talent the Braves can say they've done just that.

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