The Atlanta Braves selected Clemson right-handed pitcher Spencer Strider, a 6-foot-1, 195-pounder, with their fourth-round pick.
Strider made four starts in 2020 before the pandemic ended the season. Strider threw in 12.0 innings, allowed 13 hits, had three walks and struck out 19.
Some Braves fans might have been alarmed that Strider was not ranked by Baseball America or MLB.com. But he was coming back from Tommy John surgery he had in February 2019.
Strider had pitched well as a freshman for Clemson, leading the team with 70 strikeouts in 51.0 innings. Then, he pitched in the Cape Cod League and did well.
But his sophomore season ended before it began when he felt a pop in his left elbow. Strider knew immediately what had happened.
Like many pitchers who have Tommy John surgery, Strider had to reconstruct his pitching style. In the time off, Strider learned a lot about what he needed to do to reach that next level.
In a way, the Tommy John surgery and the recovery period was almost like a blessing in disguise. It slowed Strider down and allowed him to prepare to pitch without pain in some time.
Now, we just have to wait on Strider to sign with the Braves and get that opportunity to have a full season. Then, perhaps Strider can show us exactly what he can do on the mound.
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