Sean Newcomb, Atlanta’s fifth ranked prospect in the farm minor leagues, will reportedly be making his major league debut. He will debut in one of the Saturday double header games against the Mets.
The 6’5″ 255-pound strikeout oriented lefty was drafted 15th overall in the first round by the Los Angeles Angels in 2014, but traded to Atlanta as the headliner in the Andrelton Simmons trade of 2015. Since then, he’s developed well in the Braves system. Newcomb was in Double A Mississippi last year has earned a promotion to Triple A Gwinnett this season.
Newcomb has been better this season than last, and impressive in his last few outings. His increased strikeout rate and lower ERA made the decision for the front office easy. The front office had no problem deciding between either Lucas Sims or him for the major league call up.
Aside from Dansby Swanson, Newcomb is the first of several pitchers that the Braves’ rebuild depends heavily on.
This call up in early-June isn’t what John Coppollela & Co. planned for 2017. Colon‘s awful performance and trip to the DL forced their hand at a time when the Braves desperately need a rejuvenation to their starting rotation.
If the big lefty brings his strikeout rate and low home runs allowed per nine innings from Gwinnett’s Cool Ray Stadium to Cobb County’s SunTrust Park, he will stay at the major league level. SunTrust Park has turned into a hitter friendly ballpark, which can be a tough place for a nervous rookie looking to build confidence.
But this time seems right for Newcomb to face the Mets, who are sliding with five losses in their last six before Wednesday night. The offense still ranks in the top 10 in runs scored and 9th in home runs hit, but 19th in batting average.
Keeping the ball down in the zone and inside the ballpark is key for Newcomb. The Mets need the long ball to score enough runs to win. Newcomb seems to have tamed the control and command issues from eariler in his development.
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