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Strider taking strides with M-Braves

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 8:54 PM CDT
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PEARL, Miss. (WLBT) - Spencer Strider has not really had a place to call home since he began his professional baseball career a year ago.

The transactions column on his player bio page on MiLB.com already has six entries in it since signing his rookie contract with the Atlanta Braves on June 17, 2020 after getting drafted in the fourth round. In fact, in just the last 30 days, Strider has been a part of three different teams in the Braves farm system, which is obviously good news for the 22-year-old pitcher as he keeps moving up the chain, but also a little tough to be constantly on the move.

“Sometimes it’s difficult logistically,” he said. “Trying to get settled into a place and then once you do, you pack up and do it again.”

Strider’s current home for his suitcase is with the Mississippi Braves, having made the jump from single-A Rome on June 1, and the Clemson-alum announced his presence in Pearl with authority on his third double-A start, striking out 11 in a win over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. It led the M-Braves to the first victory in a huge six-game series with both teams entering the week tied atop the Double-A South division standings and it gave Strider visual confirmation that he is pushing all the right buttons in this early stage of development.

“It’s just good to see the adjustments that I’ve made in spring training and the offseason are paying off,” said Strider, who currently ranks at the Braves’ 20th overall prospect according to MLB.com.

“The biggest upside now is being at a higher level and seeing how my stuff is playing.”

With 10 appearances under his belt as a part of the M-Braves, Rome Braves and Augusta Greenjackets, Strider has yet to really blink. In 43.2 inning pitched, his earned run average is at 2.27 to go along with 80 strikeouts to just 18 issued walks, while opponents are only hitting for a .170 average off of him.

Its the fruits of his labors after spending time at the Atlanta Braves alternate site last season where a couple of things the coaching staff worked with him were a refined breaking ball and fastball command, particularly in the top of the zone. That pitch arsenal allowing for him with a pair of double-digit strikeout games this season, which is a big reason why he was coveted by the Braves organization.

“The longest running struggle for me in my career has been staying in the zone,” explained Strider. “It’s just good to be throwing strikes. Usually that’s when you get the best results.”

Still new to Mississippi, if Strider had to guess, he thinks he’ll probably be finishing the 2021 season in double-A considering another promotion this season would be the third of his first full professional season. If that is the case, he welcomes this rare chance at stability in a calendar year that has been nothing short of a whirlwind.

“It’s been fun,” he said. “Gotten to play at a lot of places and be on a lot of teams, meet a lot of good people.

“Stability at the big league level, that’s where everybody wants to be, so whatever you got to do to get there is part of the journey.”

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