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MLB Pipeline recently updated their prospect lists following the MLB Draft, and Vines clocked in at #10. As far as ceiling, that’s a pretty fair evaluation, but he’s by far the most MLB ready prospect not named AJ Smith-Shawver in Atlanta’s system.

The 25-year-old began the year on the injured list, but he’s consistently turned heads with each passing outing. To this point in the season, he’s made nine starts, five of which most recently occurred in Gwinnett, where he owns a 2.86 ERA over 28.1 innings.

Vines was drafted in the seventh round of the 2019 draft. He’s much more cut from the same cloth as Bryce Elder than someone like Spencer Strider or AJ Smith-Shawver. He’s not going to overpower opponents with his fastball, but he does possess some swing and miss, posting 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings over his minor-league career.

Vines fastball is probably considered below average in today’s game, topping out in the mid-90s, but he has a legitimate three-pitch mix, featuring a changeup and slider. His best offering is that changeup, which some scouts have as a 70-grade pitch (on a 20-80 scale). He’s not afraid to switch things up to keep opponents off balance, and most importantly, throws strikes.

Vines’ ceiling is probably a back of the rotation arm. He has some trouble with the long ball, which means it could potentially be a long day at Coors Field, but he’s definitely a prospect that could make an impact in Atlanta over the next few seasons, whether it be as a starting pitcher or out of the bullpen.

Jared Shuster

Shuster was the Braves first-round pick in the shortened 2020 MLB draft, which only consisted of five rounds. Despite that, the Braves made great use of it, as that draft has already produced two major-league talents in Spencer Strider and Bryce Elder. Shuster could be next. He spent last season primarily in Mississippi but ended it in Gwinnett, posting a very respectable 3.29 ERA in 27 appearances (25 starts) across the two levels. The Braves have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to their rotation depth, so it will be difficult for Shuster to earn a permanent role, but if he continues to make strides in Gwinnett, he should at least earn a spot start or two in Atlanta during the season.

Dylan Dodd

Dodd was a third-round selection in the 2021 draft, but while he might not have the first-round status of a guy like Shuster, he’s just as likely to make his MLB debut at some point in 2023. He’s a 6-2 southpaw that recorded a 3.36 ERA across three levels last season (A+-AAA). In his only start for the Stripers in 2022, Dodd struck out seven over 6.2 innings. I expect him to begin the year with Gwinnett, and if he thrives, he has just as much of a chance as Shuster to make a spot start at some point next season.

Victor Vodnik

Vodnik has the potential to make an appearance out of the Braves bullpen in 2023. The excitement surrounding him stems from his fastball, which tops out in the high-90s. Vodnik is a high strikeout guy that went 2-0 with a 2.93 ERA and 10.7 K/9 over 27.2 innings with the Stripers last season. He’s one of the more exciting arms in the system, but he will need to harness his control if he wants to make a significant impact this season.

Braden Shewmake

Shewmake was a first-round draft pick in 2019, but he hasn’t panned out as the Braves hoped to this point in his career. He followed up a dismal 2021 campaign with a respectable season in Gwinnett last year, hitting .259 with a .715 OPS over 76 games. The power the Braves thought he would grow into hasn’t been realized, but there’s a chance he figures it out and makes his MLB debut in 2023.

 Darius Vines

Vines is another spot start candidate for the 2023 season. He really impressed after being called up to Gwinnett, posting a 3.21 ERA over seven appearances (five starts). What’s impressive about Vines is his control. He’s only walked 2.6 batters per nine innings over his minor league career while striking out 10.1 batters per nine.

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