Atlanta Braves left-handed pitching prospect, Max Fried, pitched in a game on Friday afternoon and threw very, very well. The 22-year-old was acquired by the Braves when they traded Justin Upton to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Max Fried, Jace Peterson, Dustin Peterson, and Mallex Smith.
Obviously you’ve heard the names Jace Peterson and Mallex Smith from this trade, but according to many media outlets, the centerpiece of the deal was Fried. He’s a 6’4″ 170 pound lefty pitcher who was the #7 overall pick in the 2012 MLB draft.
Fried hasn’t pitched in a competitive game since 2014 for the Single-A Padres affiliate because he needed to have Tommy John surgery. At the start of the 2014 season he missed the first three months with left forearm soreness before eventually making five starts between Rookie ball and Class A. His last appearance on the mound was July 21st after being sidelined again with what was called elbow soreness.
He had surgery in August and has been sidelined since. There’s hope though! He’s not an imaginary figure like we all think of Dian Toscano…he actually pitched on Friday afternoon. It’s the first time in 18 months he’s pitched in a live game.
Max Fried in his first live game in 18 months since Tommy John surgery just punched out 5 of the first 6 hitters he faced with ++ CB #Braves
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN) March 18, 2016
So wow, five strikeouts against seven hitters…not to shabby. Fried struck out the first three batters he faced on Friday. In the second inning he pitched, he gave up a long home run. He then settled back down and totaled up two more K’s.
He’s known for having a high-volocity pitches and totaling up many strikeouts. Here’s a quote from our own Ben Chase on this prospect
The reports on Fried coming out of high school into the draft were that he could be a very fast mover. He was not a high-velocity guy, had good control, and he showed a lot of composure on the mound for a teenager. Fried was touted as having an incredible curveball and the type of polish that could allow him to move quickly to the major leagues.
We should keep an eye on Fried as he’ll be progressing through the rest of minor league Spring Training. He’ll most likely start at a pretty low level with the Braves, but could progress quickly.
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) March 18, 2016
Fried being on the mound and pitching in a live environment is great news for the Braves as he could very well be the centerpiece of that Justin Upton trade and make a huge impact in Atlanta.