The Atlanta Braves promoted lefthander Cole Rohrbough from Rookie-level Danville to low Class A Rome last night.
Rohrbough has been one of the best pitchers in the minor leagues this season, striking out a gaudy 15.66 batters per nine innings with a 2.16 walks per innings rate and a 1.08 ERA in 33.1 innings. The 20-year-old has overmatched Appalachian League hitters with a 90-94 mph fastball, a hard spike curveball and a good changeup. While his move to low Class A puts him in a league with slightly more experienced hitters who are more appropriate for Rohrbough’™s age, his utter dominance in Danville should translate into success at the next level.
The Braves drafted Rohrbough in the 22nd round in 2006, and Rohrbough ended up being one of the highest-profile draft-and-follows this year. Playing for Western Nevada Community College this spring, Rohrbough struck out 92 batters and walked 16 in 66 innings, posting a 1.63 ERA.
Should he finish the year healthy, Rohrbough will likely challenge Brandon Jones and 2007 first rounder Jason Heyward for top prospect status in a Braves’ farm system depleted by the acquisition of first baseman Mark Teixeira.