Braves' Bryce Elder Could Make His Way To MLB Soon
It won’t be long for righthander 22-year-old Bryce Elder.
Elder once prioritized golf before ascending toward the top of the rotation for the University of Texas. Atlanta selected him in the fifth and final round of the truncated 2020 draft.
Braves vice president of scouting Dana Brown lauded Elder's makeup and character, expressing confidence he could at least become a back-end starter.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Elder had his breakthrough last season. In his pro debut, he produced a 2.75 ERA across three level to earn the organization's minor league pitcher of the year award.
Elder rose from High-A Rome to Triple-A Gwinnett, which is where he opened 2022.
The Texas native had 155 strikeouts in 137.2 innings last season. Opponents hit .193 against him, including a .143 mark across 36.2 innings in Triple-A.
Elder has four potentially average or above-average pitches. His slider continues to impress, drawing rave reviews in the organization. He also uses a mid-90s fastball, curveball and budding changeup.
“We still have a long way to go,” Elder said. “It was a good (2021). I thank (catchers) Shea (Langeliers), Logan Brown and Jonathan Morales, who caught me all year. Without them, the success I’ve had up to this point wouldn’t have been there.
"I’m pleased with where we are, and we’re going to try to continue down that path.”
Elder drew praise from Braves manager Brian Snitker during the spring. With Spencer Strider opening in the majors, Elder is now Atlanta's top pitching prospect in the minor leagues.
The Braves have ample pitching depth, but baseball has a way of sorting jams out. It’s entirely possible Elder makes his way to MLB this summer.
— The Braves’ 2020 draft class didn’t generate much buzz at the time, but it has shown promise in little time. Along with Bryce Elder and Spencer Strider, the Braves also have first-round lefthander Jared Shuster and third-round outfielder Jesse Franklin, both of whom could become major leaguers in the next two years.
— The buzz surrounding shortstop Vaughn Grissom is real. Grissom, listed 6-foot-3, 180 pounds at 21 years old, could end up a third baseman. Regardless of his future position, he’s routinely mentioned among the organization’s most intriguing prospects. He hit .319/418/.464 in 87 games last season spanning Low-A Augusta and High-A Rome.