4. Signing Veteran Starters To Short Deals, Letting Young Starters Grow
Since undergoing the rebuild in the middle of the last decade, the Braves have been stockpiling young arms through the draft and trades of major league talent, like Justin Upton or Shelby Miller. It’s nice to have young, talented arms in the organization but that’s only half the battle. Those young arms must also be given the room and time to develop into their talent. AA has done a great job of that since joining the Braves.
Mike Soroka, Sean Newcomb, Max Fried, Mike Foltynewicz, Touki Toussaint are just a few of the names that have graduated from the Braves minor league system to become big-league players since Alex Anthopoulos took over in 2017. Soroka is now the Braves’ undisputed number one starter on the team. Folty and Fried are two names that are cemented in the starting rotation going into the current season. Those names are there because AA has let those young pitchers grow into what they are today.
With all of that said, the young pitchers haven’t been the only names getting starts for the Braves in the last three seasons. Veterans like Julio Teheran, Annibal Sanchez, Dallas Keuchel, and Cole Hamels have all been brought in as the veteran presence for the young staff. Anthopoulos has done a good job of signing these veterans to short-term deals that won’t hamper the growth of the young pitching prospects. This season, it will be Cole Hamels to fill in that role of the veteran trying to guide this young staff to success.