Braves 2021 Player Review: Kyle Wright

If Kyle Wright never pitches for the Atlanta Braves again, his last outing for the team that drafted him couldn’t have gone much better for the righthander.

With Atlanta holding a 2-1 series lead over the Houston Astros in the World Series and veteran righty Charlie Morton out of the picture with a broken leg, prospect Dylan Lee started Game 4 about as poorly as possible. So with the bases loaded and one out, the Braves turned to Wright.

Most Braves fans probably cringed and began figuring out what the team would need to do to win a new three-game set after the Astros inevitably tied the series that night. After all, Wright made only two appearances for the Braves in the 2021 regular season, surrendering seven earned runs on seven hits, five walks and a pair of homers in just 6 1/3 total innings of work. He had previously fanned all three batters he faced in Game 2, but inconsistency has been the theme with Wright in the past.

This time, though, the Vanderbilt product delivered.

After allowing an inherited run to score on a groundout by Carlos Correa, Wright fanned Kyle Tucker to limit the first-inning damage to one run. From there, he pitched 4 2/3 innings of one-run ball, surrendering a solo home run to Jose Altuve in the fourth. That kept the Braves in the ball game enough that an RBI single from Austin Riley and solo shots from Dansby Swanson and Jorge Soler were enough to take the 3-2 win in the game and a 3-1 lead in the series Atlanta eventually won in six games.

The team needed him, and on the biggest stage, Kyle Wright showed the home crowd what he was capable of.

From here, Wright’s future with the team is uncertain. He was drafted No. 5 overall in 2017, and by 2019, he was part of the early-season rotation mix. By 2020, the general feeling from throughout the Braves’ fanbase and media outlets was that it was time for Wright to establish himself, whether that was fair or not.

Regardless, Wright will turn 27 this season and has pitched in parts of four MLB seasons. He’s also got more than 400 innings of minor-league work, including 278 at the AAA level. In 2021, the righty pitched 137 innings in Gwinnett with a 3.02 ERA, a 1.182 WHIP, 137 strikeouts and 45 walks. Whether it’s with the Braves or another franchise, Wright needs to be on a major-league roster sooner rather than later.

There will surely be some temptation in the front office to pencil in Wright as an option for the opening-day rotation, particularly with the uncertainty surrounding Mike Soroka. The wiser choice, though, might be to hope that other organizations will see his postseason work and target him as part of a trade package.

But no matter how Wright’s story ends in Atlanta, he’ll always have Game 4.

8 thoughts on “Braves 2021 Player Review: Kyle Wright”

  1. It definitely takes a little sting out of it knowing that we’re World Champeens and the rebuild paid off in exactly the way we all hoped, but Keith Law’s top 100 prospects are out and we’ve only got three guys on there: Cristian Pache, who fell from #3 all the way to #38; Michael Harris, who rose from being unranked to #61; and Shea Langeliers, who rose from unranked to #80.

    Clearly, Contreras and Waters have both officially been lapped. They have much to prove this year, as does Kyle Muller. Time for the next generation to start doing some work! We’re finally past the Latin American sanctions, so I’d like to see the Braves get back to being active on that front, and see some more of our picks from the last couple of years start to rise the way that Harris did.

    Our total of three prospects isn’t great, but it isn’t awful; in our division, the Mets have five (#8, #40, #41, #71, and #100); the Marlins have three (#33, #47, #64); the Nats have just two (#46 and #48) and the Phillies have just two (#66 and #91).

    On the other hand, among playoff teams, the Dodgers have six, the Giants have five, the Rays have four, the Red Sox have four, the Padres have four, the Blue Jays have four, and the Cardinals have four. Obviously, teams that struggled more have more hands still on the farm, as the Pirates have six men on the list, the Diamondbacks have five, the Orioles have five, the Royals have four, the Guardians have four, and the Mariners have four.

    Thankfully, the Astros have zero.

  2. Stan Kroenke…a good few days at the office.

    Everything’s up to date in Kansas City, particularly if its something that now belongs to him. Doubly gratifying as he awaits the prestige of hosting the Super Bowl with one of his many owned teams, in this case in their own 76,000 seat stadium.. He won’t win it but the rare twofer bends him toward Valhalla.

    Arsenal he would likely prefer not to have to talk about but, hey, HOW ABOUT THEM BRAVES!!

    BRAVOS- Signed, sealed, delivered. HOSANNA IN EXCELSIS!!!!

    And they said he was cheap, a tightwad. Some tight, some wad.

    Humble Pie will be served to all and sundry, half time, at the Super Bowl.

  3. I read Law’s prospect stuff and important takeaways: he thinks the player everyone thought Pache was is still in there, just hurt more than most by losing the pandemic season–he still expects a .300 OBP .450 slug gold glove CF kinda player, though maybe after a full year of AAA. He noted Harris showed real progress in his approach, and also said he played 70 defense in center, which I’m not sure I’ve seen reported before. He’s a little worried about Langeliers’ ability to hit good pitches, describing him as a mistake hitter, and thinks he lacks a little agility, despite his good hands and great arm.

  4. Fan Graphs has team ZIPS projections up. No unsigned players are treated as part of any team. So, no Freeman on the Braves. Braves project for 92 wins and nobody else in either league at or above that except for Dodgers at 94.

    SO, sign Freeman and work around the ages and go deep again. The best time to be a Braves fan since the late 90’s.

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