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

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

May 20th, 2014 by David Paschall in Sports - Professional

AT&T Field is the home of the Chattanooga Lookouts.

Photo by Doug Strickland/Times Free Press.

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 dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.