The Braves announced that left-handed pitching prospect Kyle Muller has been called up to the Major League roster. Muller will take the spot of southpaw Tucker Davidson, who (as expected) was placed on the 10-day injured list due to left forearm inflammation.
Baseball Prospectus gave Muller solid rankings (60th in 2020, 62nd this year) in their last two preseason top-prospect listings, and MLB Pipeline lists Muller as the fifth-best prospect in Atlanta’s farm system. A second-round pick in the 2016 draft, Muller posted solid numbers in his first four pro seasons and pitched at the Braves’ alternate training site in 2020, though he has hit some bumps in his first stint at Triple-A this year.
Muller has a 4.60 ERA through 31 1/3 frames for Triple-A Gwinnett, with a troublingly large number of homers (six) and walks (19) that undermines his 28.9% strikeout rate. The home runs are a new issue for Muller, who gave up just 18 home runs total in his first 326 2/3 innings in Atlanta’s organization, though his control problems also began to creep up at Double-A in 2019. MLB Pipeline’s scouting report cites Muller’s command as his chief issue, though also praises the 23-year-old’s ceiling as a potential four-pitch starter. He already possesses a 65-grade fastball that sits in the high-90’s and a 55-grade curveball, and Muller has been working on improving his changeup and slider as well.
The Athletic’s David O’Brien (Twitter links) notes that Muller’s last three Triple-A outings have been very strong, which could explain why the Braves turned to Muller over Kyle Wright and Bryse Wilson, who have both have started games for the Braves this season. Muller is slated for bullpen work for now, O’Brien writes, though it remains to be seen who will start in Davidson’s place on Sunday.