2013 MLB Draft: Atlanta Braves Continue Tradition With Jason Hursh

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves have a history of great pitching. That tradition continued in the first round of the 2013 MLB Draft when they took Jason Hursh with the No. 31 pick.

The Oklahoma State right hander went 6-5 and a 2.79 ERA with 86 strikeouts and 106 1/3 innings. He has already had Tommy John surgery and looks to me like a pitcher who could become a dominant reliever. If that happens, the Braves have found themselves a player to put with Craig Kimbrel late in games to shut down the opposition.

He led the Cowboys in innings pitched this season but I have a fear about a player who has already had the Tommy John surgery. Is it possible that he breaks down again? It could easily happen and that’s why I would have him in the bullpen from day one. Hursh can easily become the eighth inning set-up man before Kimbrel within a year or two. He has the fastball to get away with pitching just one inning out of the bullpen for years to come.

Atlanta always finds a way to get a quality pitcher one way or another. They have done it yet again in drafting Hursh. There should be a lot of other teams who should be worried about the possibility of the Hursh-Kimbrel combination. I’m sure the Braves will try to have him be a starter first because of some depth issues and he could turn into a middle of the rotation pitcher. I wouldn’t suggest that idea though.

We will have to see what the plan ends up being for Hursh, but he could find himself playing at Turner Field before the 2014 season is over.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports, like his Facebook page or add him to your network on Google.

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