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Player Outlook
The second-youngest pitcher to make five-plus starts in the majors last year (only Eury Perez was younger), A.J. Smith-Shawver has an impressive combination of youth, size and stuff. He dominated over three starts at High-A and two starts at Double-A before spending the bulk of his age-20 season going back and forth between Triple-A and the majors. The 6-foot-3 righty sat 93-96 mph with his plus fastball while touching 98 mph in the big leagues. He has touched triple digits in the past, but command and control have been lacking at times, so he may have dialed back his velocity in favor of more control during his 25.1 innings in the majors. Smith-Shawver threw his mid-80s slider 22 percent of the time while throwing his upper-70s curveball and fourth-pitch changeup each over 10 percent of the time, so it's a true four-pitch mix. All three secondary offerings can flash plus, but his breaking balls are more consistent than his changeup. He missed over two weeks with shoulder inflammation in the second half but returned to make four appearances in September. All told, he tallied 87.1 innings across four levels, so we can hope for around 140 innings in 2024 with good health. The main thing to keep in mind with Smith-Shawver is that he is still developing and could be far from a finished product. His command, secondary offerings and sequencing could all improve over the next couple years.

Fantasy Stats

Year fpts
Fantasy Points
Fantasy Points per Game
Innings Pitched
Base on Balls (Walk)
Earned Run Average
Walks and Hits Allowed Per Inning
2024 0.00 0.00
2023 528.7 25.3 1 20 11 4.26 1.11

Fantasy News

  • Braves' AJ Smith-Shawver: Sent down to Triple-A

    Atlanta optioned Smith-Shawver to Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday. Smith-Shawver finished with an 8.22 ERA over three Grapefruit League starts but also boasted an 11:2 K:BB across 7.2 innings of work. The young right-hander was always pegged for Gwinnett's rotation to open the season but could wind up making a good number of starts with the big club in 2024.
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  • Braves' AJ Smith-Shawver: Fans five against Twins

    Smith-Shawver struck out five batters over 2.2 scoreless innings in Monday's Grapefruit League game against the Twins, allowing just one hit and one walk. Facing most of Minnesota's likely Opening Day lineup, Smith-Shawver fired 32 of 48 pitches for strikes in a dominant outing that saw him count Carlos Correa and Carlos Santana among his strikeout victims. The 21-year-old righty is expected to begin the season at Triple-A Gwinnett, but after making his big-league debut in 2023, it may not be much longer before he's pushing his way into the Atlanta rotation for good. Through 4.2 innings this spring, Smith-Shawver has an 8:2 K:BB.
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  • Braves' AJ Smith-Shawver: Mixed bag in spring start

    Smith-Shawver gave up three runs on four hits and a walk over two innings during Wednesday's Grapefruit League game against the Phillies. He struck out three. He was facing most of Philly's Opening Day lineup, and while the strikeouts were encouraging, Smith-Shawver got taken deep by J.T. Realmuto and Alec Bohm in the first inning. The 21-year-old right-hander is competing for a rotation spot in camp after a meteoric rise through the Atlanta system in 2023 -- he began last season at High-A Rome but made his big-league debut in early June. He has enticing upside thanks to a high-90s fastball complemented by a slider and curve that can both flash plus. Given the organization's pitching depth though, Smith-Shawver would likely need to dominate this spring to avoid beginning the season with Triple-A Gwinnett.
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  • Braves' AJ Smith-Shawver: Part of NLDS roster

    Smith-Shawver will be on Atlanta's roster for the NLDS against the Phillies, Mark Bowman of reports. Spencer Strider, Max Fried and Bryce Elder are locked in as the NLDS starters for the NL East champions, but Smith-Shawver can be a piggyback option if any of those three run into early trouble versus Philadelphia. The 20-year-old right-hander registered a 4.26 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 20:11 K:BB over his first 25.1 major-league innings during the regular season.
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  • Braves' AJ Smith-Shawver: Optioned to Triple-A

    Smith-Shawver was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday. Smith-Shawver's latest stint in the majors lasted just a couple days and he did not make an appearance. Atlanta has swapped him out in favor of Jared Shuster.
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  • Braves' AJ Smith-Shawver: Struggles with command in return

    Smith-Shawver did not factor into the decision Sunday, allowing three runs on four hits and four walks over five innings in an 8-6 win over the Brewers. He struck out three. Smith-Shawver issued a season-high four walks in his first MLB start since June 23. While the 20-year-old right-hander was largely able to limit the damage, he'd ultimately get stuck with a no-decision. Smith-Shawver has been decent through five major-league starts, pitching to a 4.57 ERA with a 1.25 WHIP and 18:10 K:BB across 21.2 innings. However, he could head back to the minors as Max Fried (forearm) is expected to return to Atlanta's rotation next week.
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  • Braves' AJ Smith-Shawver: Rejoining Atlanta rotation Sunday

    Smith-Shawver will be recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to start Sunday's game against the Brewers, Mark Bowman of reports. Smith-Shawver was demoted in late June after making four appearances in the majors, and he'll rejoin Atlanta's rotation for Sunday's series finale versus Milwaukee. The 20-year-old had a 4.32 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 15:6 K:BB across 16.2 frames in his first taste of the big leagues, and he pitched well in his past two starts for Gwinnett with two runs allowed and 10 strikeouts over nine innings, though he also issued seven walks. With Atlanta potentially looking for rotation depth at the trade deadline and Max Fried (forearm) nearing his return from the injured list, this could be a short stay in the majors for Smith-Shawver.
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  • Braves' AJ Smith-Shawver: Demoted to minors

    Atlanta optioned Smith-Shawver to Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday. Though Smith-Shawver was fast-tracked to the big leagues after he began the season at High-A Rome and pitched just 19 innings above the Double-A level, Atlanta evidently decided that the 20-year-old needed some more seasoning in the minors. Over his three starts and one extended relief appearance, Smith-Shawver struck out 15 batters in 16.2 innings and submitted a 1.14 WHIP, but he was stung by the long ball, as he allowed five home runs during that stretch. Atlanta called up Dereck Rodriguez from Gwinnett in a corresponding move to give the club a fresh relief arm heading into a three-game series with Minnesota, but Michael Soroka is likely to be called up from Gwinnett on Wednesday to start against the Twins in what would have been Smith-Shawver's turn through the rotation, according to Mark Bowman of
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  • Braves' AJ Smith-Shawver: Only 3.1 innings in Cincinnati

    Smith-Shawver did not factor into the decision Friday, allowing five runs on four hits and two walks over 3.1 innings against the Reds. He struck out four. Atlanta staked Smith-Shawver to an early 5-0 lead, but the right-hander gave it all back before exiting with one out in the fourth. He served up three home runs, more than he allowed in his first three appearances combined (two). It was an outing to forget in one of the game's most hitter-friendly parks, but Smith-Shawver still has a 4.32 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 16.2 total innings -- impressive for a 20-year-old in his first exposure to big-league hitters. He tentatively lines up to face the Twins at home next week.
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  • Braves' A.J. Smith-Shawver: Sleeper pitchers for Week 13 (June 19-25)

    A.J. Smith-Shawver unveiled a much fuller arsenal in his second career start Thursday against the Rockies and saw his whiff rate spike as a result. His matchup this week at Philadelphia isn't the most favorable, but it's reasonable to take a shot on the upside.
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  • Braves' AJ Smith-Shawver: Picks up first MLB win

    Smith-Shawver (1-0) earned the win Thursday, allowing three runs on six hits and one walk over 5.2 innings against the Rockies. He struck out six. Smith-Shawver was solid Thursday, earning his first major-league win in his second start. Through his first two outings (13.1 innings), Smith-Shawver has a 2.03 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 11:4 K:BB after pitching to a 1.09 ERA in 33 innings in Triple-A. He's certainly earned a spot in Atlanta's rotation while Max Fried (forearm) and Kyle Wright (shoulder) are sidelined. Smith-Shawver tentatively lines up for a road matchup with the Phillies in his next outing.
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  • Braves' AJ Smith-Shawver: First MLB start Friday

    Smith-Shawver will make his first major-league start Friday against the Nationals, Mark Bowman of reports. Smith-Shawver worked 2.1 hitless innings of relief in his big-league debut Sunday versus the Diamondbacks and will now officially step into Atlanta's rotation for the recently demoted Michael Soroka. The fast-rising 20-year-old was a seventh-round pick out of high school in 2021 and a 1.09 ERA with 45 strikeouts through 33 innings (seven starts) this season between High-A Rome, Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett. He's a must-add for a favorable matchup in Atlanta against the visiting Nats.
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  • Braves' A.J. Smith-Shawver: Possible waiver wire pickups

    A.J. Smith-Shawver, as you may well know, has been a pitcher for less than three years. He's been a good pitcher for approximately 35 innings, the 33 he threw between three minor-league stops plus his 2 1/3 hitless innings from Sunday's debut. He was very much still learning the craft last year, and so the numbers are too poor to mention. Still, it makes him more of a mystery than anyone would like heading into his first start. Though the line from his first relief appearance was good, he had just two swinging strikes on 39 pitches. While he's limited damage on contact across all levels this year, he's also had a tendency to issue free passes. The Braves have a good track record with prospect promotions, which itself is reason enough to add him, but who can honestly say how it'll go?
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  • Braves' AJ Smith-Shawver: Impressing with Gwinnett

    Smith-Shawver gave up two runs on four hits and three walks over seven innings for Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday. He struck out eight. The 20-year-old right-hander has finally been tagged for some runs -- four in 12 Triple-A innings -- after firing 21 scoreless frames between High-A and Double-A to begin the season, but Smith-Shawver is still having little trouble dominating minor-league hitters. Thursday's seven innings represented his longest start of the year, and across all three levels he sports a 45:12 K:BB through 33 frames. The 2021 seventh-round pick has taken a massive leap forward this year while flashing two plus pitches in his fastball and slider, and a big-league debut later in the summer can't be ruled out if he continues to impress.
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  • Braves' AJ Smith-Shawver: Promoted to Triple-A

    Smith-Shawver was promoted to Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday, Carlos Callazo of Baseball America reports. The 20-year-old righty started the season in High-A and has now become the youngest player at the Triple-A level. Smith-Shawver boasts a perfect 0.00 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP through 21 innings between the High-A and Double-A levels. It's unlikely that his hot streak propels him into the majors anytime soon, but he could be someone to keep an eye on in Triple-A.
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