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Braves calling up RHP AJ Smith-Shawver, team’s No. 4 overall prospect

The Atlanta Braves are calling up pitching prospect AJ Smith-Shawver.

A view of the Atlanta Braves logo on a bag in the dugout before the game between the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on April 02, 2023 in Washington, DC. Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves announced on Tuesday that they are promoting right-handed pitcher AJ Smith-Shawver to the big league club. The 20-year-old has most recently been with the Mississippi Braves but hopefully can breathe some fresh life into a bullpen that has been getting knocked around recently. In a corresponding move, the lefty Lucas Luetge was designated for assignment.

Smith-Shawver was drafted in the seventh round of the 2021 MLB Draft. After being drafted, he spent the 2022 season with the Augusta GreenJackets, which is the team’s Single-A affiliate. Smith-Shawver began the 2023 campaign with the franchise’s High-A affiliate in Rome, Georgia. He spent a month there before being promoted to Double-A. Smith-Shawver impressed yet again and, after two weeks, was assigned to the Gwinnett Stripers. It has been a meteoric rise as the young talent has now been called up to the MLB after only two weeks in Triple-A.

Smith-Shawver has predominantly been a starter. This year he has started in seven games across the minor leagues. Smith-Shawver has combined for a 2-1 record with a 1.09 ERA in 33 innings of work. He has allowed only four earned runs but has struck out 45 hitters. Atlanta could ease him into his big-league career by using him in the bullpen, or they could shuffle the rotation and give him a starting opportunity.