The Braves top prospect isn’t all the way back, but there’s signs of progress. On Aug. 14 he pitched 8 dazzling innings, striking out nine and allowing just one run. He repeated those numbers Saturday night, though in his previous start he didn’t make it out of the third, allowing 7 runs. Don’t be surprised if he’s in the parent club’s rotation next April.
J.R. Graham may not be far behind. The 2011 4th round draft pick, whose fastball has been clocked as high as 100 MPH, has put together an impressive season: 12 wins, 2.71 ERA, 1.049 WHIP. And he’s pitched even better since his promotion to Mississippi, raising his K/9 IP from 6.0 to 8.5 and lowering his H/9 IP from 7.7 to 6.5 in 8 starts. At 6’0 and 185 pounds he doesn’t have the build of your typical power pitcher but otherwise there’s little separating him from the game’s best mound prospects.