Atlanta Braves: Max Fried listed as dark horse candidate to win NL Cy Young

Lazy loading placeholder
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 09: Max Fried #54 of the Atlanta Braves delivers during Game Five of the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at SunTrust Park on October 9, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

A recent list from MLB.com gave us five dark horse candidates to win the NL Cy Young in 2020 and they listed Atlanta Braves lefty Max  Fried.

An Atlanta Braves pitcher hasn't won the NL Cy Yong award since Tom Glavine did it back in 1998. In fact, the Braves owned the NL Cy Young award in the 90s winning it seven times.

It would certainly be nice to get back to those days when Atlanta had a perennial Cy Young contender or two in their starting rotation.

We believe Mike Soroka will be that guy as he finished sixth in the Cy Young voting in his rookie season.

But Max Fried has also shown flashes of being someone who could compete for the Cy Young award someday.

Related Story:Will Fried take another step forward in 2020?

In fact, he was probably among the frontrunners through the first two months of the 2019 season when he was 7-2 with a 2.88 ERA after his May 22 start.

But after a rough June and July, those dreams quickly went away. He still had a very good season finishing with a 4.02 ERA in 165.2 innings with 173 strikeouts.

The 26-year-old is primed for a breakout year in 2020, and some projections out there think he will be the team's ace this season.

MLB.com thinks that his curveball, which they liken to Clayton Kershaw's, is the reason Fried could turn into a Cy Young contender.

They also love his mid-90s fastball and think his slider has developed into a plus pitch that is capable of keeping hitters off his curve.

With a veteran lefty like Cole Hamels on the team, that can only help Fried become a better pitcher.

Next: Kakes: Underrated and angry

Whether or not he wins the Cy Young award in 2020, I do think we see him take another step forward in becoming a top of the rotation pitcher.