Braves Take Wake Forest Left Hander Jared Shuster With First Round Pick
(press release) ATLANTA – The Atlanta Braves tonight selected left-handed pitcher Jared Shuster of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. with the 25th overall pick in the 2020 First-Year Player Draft.
Shuster, 21, made four starts for Wake Forest during the 2020 season and went 2-1 with a 3.76 ERA (11 ER/26.1 IP). He struck out 43 batters and walked just four, while limiting opponents to a .221 batting average (21-for-95) serving as Wake Forest’s Saturday starter. He fanned at least eight batters in all four of his starts this season.
“[Shuster] has both size and strength with a three-pitch mix, including a plus changeup and up to 95 [mph] on the fastball,” said Dana Brown, Atlanta’s vice president, scouting. “We feel it’s a nice package with a combination of some upside.”
Shuster, who bats and throws left-handed, was a three-year contributor for Wake Forest and combined to go 6-8 with a 6.17 ERA (88 ER/128.1 IP) in 41 career appearances, including 22 starts for the Demon Deacons. The left-hander logged 169 career strikeouts against just 62 walks in 128.1 innings, and his 12.4 strikeouts per 9.0 innings during his sophomore campaign rank as third most in program history. He earned a pair of ACC Pitcher of the Week honors during the 2019 season after spending most of the campaign in the weekend rotation.
Following his sophomore season, Shuster pitched for the Orleans Firebirds of the Cape Cod League and went 4-0 with a 1.36 ERA to earn All-Star honors.
A native of New Bedford, Mass., the 6-foot-3, 210-pound left-hander entered the draft tabbed by MLB.com as the No. 77 overall prospect, while Baseball America named him as the 43rd-best prospect in the draft class.
Shuster becomes the first collegiate left-hander chosen by Atlanta with its first selection since Sean Gilmartin was picked 28th overall out of Florida State University in 2011. The Braves have now selected pitchers with their first selection in four of the last five drafts.
The Braves have three selections tomorrow to conclude the 2020 First-Year Player Draft. They next pick in the third round with the 97th overall selection. Atlanta forfeited its second-round selection when they signed LHP Will Smith to a three-year contract in November. Coverage for rounds No. 2-5 begins Thursday at 5:00 p.m. on MLB Network and ESPN2.