19. LHP A.J. Minter
Size: 6’0 205
Bio: The Braves drafted Minter 75th overall in the 2015 draft after a three-year career at Texas A&M. When healthy, Minter was one of the top pitchers in the country while at A&M, but he dealt with both shoulder (Thoracic Outlet Syndrome) and elbow issues (Tommy John surgery in March 2015) that caused his draft stock to slip in ’15. Once a likely 1st rounder, Minter slipped to the Braves at #75 and they felt like they were getting a steal.
Scouting Report: Minter has a strong lower half that helps him generate plenty of velocity on his sinking fastball, which usually sits around 95-97 MPH. His slider is one of the the top offspeed pitches in the Atlanta system. It has a very sharp, late break, and is consistently in the upper 80’s and occasionally hits 90. He featured an occasional changeup in college, but has pretty much scrapped the pitch now that he’s working exclusively out of the bullpen as a pro. Over Minter’s brief minor league career, he limited his walks to 3.57 per nine innings.
Future: The Minter era began three weeks ago when Atlanta brought him up to join the bullpen for the remainder of the 2017 season. So far, the results have been strong. Minter is expected to be a big part of the Atlanta bullpen going forward, and may eventually be Atlanta’s closer. With the injury history, there is always the chance that the elbow issues could return. Having said that, he has the upside to be the best LHP in the Braves bullpen since a healthy Jonny Venters.
Minors (A/A+/AA/AAA): 3.33 ERA, 3.39 FIP, 11.10 K/9, 4.44 BB/9 over 24.1 IP
Majors (as of 9/14/17): 3.12 ERA, 1.88 FIP, 12.46 K/9, 0.00 BB/9 over 8.2 IP
Video courtesy of @Fangraphs: