Braves righty Ryan Weber is one of several recent call-ups with an under-the-radar minor league career, John Manuel of Baseball America writes. Weber was a standout in high school, starring for USA Baseball national teams as a teenager despite his small frame. He wound up at junior college, though, and then was selected in the late rounds in 2009. He made his way through the Braves’ minor league system slowly, posting unspectacular statistics and not reaching Double-A until last season. But he pitched well in the high minors this year, posting a 2.35 ERA, 5.3 K/9 and a terrific 0.9 BB/9 over 99 2/3 innings split between Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett, and he’s now started three games for a rebuilding Braves club. Here’s more out of Atlanta.
- The Braves focused on high school talent in last year’s draft, MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo notes. They used their first four picks on youngsters Kolby Allard, Mike Soroka, Austin Riley and Lucas Herbert. “We’re getting back to the Braves way,” says assistant GM John Coppolella. “When you build a skyscraper, you build it from the bottom up, you don’t build it from the top. We wanted to get the most impact talent we could. We got away from that and we’re paying for it now with a bit of a talent drain at the upper levels.” All four top draftees are now in instructional league play, although Coppolella notes that No. 14 overall pick Allard won’t pitch much — the Braves are taking it slow with him because of the stress reaction in his back that he suffered in high school. (Allard pitched just six innings in his first pro season, but as Mayo notes, they were terrific — he struck out 12 of the 20 batters he faced in six innings in the GCL.) Allard should be “good to go” next season, Coppalella says.
- The Braves have hired Mike Maroth as their minor league rehab pitching coordinator, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution tweets. Maroth will replace Dan Meyer, who will remain with the organization in a role that has yet to be determined. Maroth pitched parts of six seasons with the Tigers and Cardinals, and he spent the last four seasons working as a pitching coach in the Tigers system.