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Hurston Waldrep headlines Braves AA opening day roster

Apr. 8—THOMASVILLE — After an electric start to his professional baseball career in 2023, Thomasville native and former THS Bulldog Hurston Waldrep has been named to the opening day roster of the Braves AA affiliate, the Mississippi Braves. Waldrep is the headliner of the M-Braves last season in Mississippi as the No. 2 prospect in the Braves farm system.

It is unlikely that he will stay in AA for too long as many believe he will make the Atlanta roster this year. Another stellar arm in an already stacked Braves bullpen, Waldrep will likely make his Major League Baseball debut as a bullpen option.

This will not be Waldrep's first trip to Mississippi as he raced through the Braves farm system last year. Just three months after being draft, Waldrep made his AAA debut with the Gwinnett Stripers. The former Bulldog played three games in Mississippi last year where he was phenomenal, striking out 11 batters in 10 innings pitched.

In his 2023 campaign, Waldrep made a name for himself as one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. He pitched 29.1 innings throughout the minors and finished 2023 with a 1.53 ERA and struck out 41 batters, more than any other draftee out of the 2023 class.

Waldrep got a chance to wear Atlanta across his chest when he secured a non-roster invite to spring training in February of 2024.

During that time he played in two games, didn't give up a single run through 4.1 innings and struck out five batters. His splitter was on full display as he showed off the famed pitch that has been deemed a "nightmare" by fellow Brave Cade Keuhler.

He did show a need for development in his command. That is likely the reason he will be spending some time in the minors this year.

However, many believe Waldrep will make the Atlanta roster this year, joining one of the best pitching staffs in the MLB. He will join legends like Spencer Strider and AJ Minter, along with veteran stars like Chris Sale and Jesse Chavez.