published Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Touted Braves prospects to pitch at AT&T this week against Chattanooga Lookouts

AT&T Field is the home of the Chattanooga Lookouts.
AT&T Field is the home of the Chattanooga Lookouts.
Photo by Doug Strickland.

Two promising right-handed pitchers in the Atlanta Braves organization are scheduled to compete in Chattanooga this weekend when Mississippi faces the Lookouts at AT&T Field.

J.R. Graham, who was rated by Baseball America before the season as the No. 3 prospect in the Braves organization, is scheduled to pitch Saturday night's 7:15 game. Jason Hursh, the No. 4 organizational prospect, is scheduled to pitch Sunday evening's 6:15 series finale.

Mississippi's only visit to Chattanooga this season begins Wednesday night.

Graham is 0-2 with a 4.40 earned run average through his first nine starts this season. The 24-year-old from Livermore, Calif., was a fourth-round pick of the Braves in 2011 and was named Atlanta's minor league pitcher of the year in 2012 after going 9-1 with a 2.63 ERA in 17 starts with the Lynchburg (Va.) Hillcats of the Carolina League.

Baseball America tabbed the 6-foot, 195-pound Graham as having the "best control" in Atlanta's farm system.

Hursh was 3-2 with a 3.38 ERA entering his ninth 2014 start Monday night against the visiting Tennessee Smokies. The 22-year-old from Carrollton, Texas, was Atlanta's first-round pick last year after going 6-5 with a 2.79 ERA and 86 strikeouts at Oklahoma State.

The 6-3, 200-pounder missed the 2012 season at OSU as a result of Tommy John surgery.

Hursh last summer received a $1,704,200 signing bonus, the fourth-largest in Braves history according to Baseball America, behind pitcher Mike Minor ($2.42 million in 2009), outfielder Jeff Francoeur ($2.2 million in 2002) and pitcher Matt Belisle ($1.75 million in 1998). Outfielder Jason Heyward received a $1.7 million bonus in 2007.

Contact David Paschall at or 423-757-6524.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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