Part of that championship Double-A Mississippi Braves club last season, righty Brooks Wilson very rarely was hit, let alone hit hard. As a 25-year-old in 2021, Wilson struck out a whopping 73 batters in 44 innings with the M-Braves, a ridiculous average of 15.1 K/9, which among all minor league pitchers — starters and relievers — with at least 40 IP last season, ranked among the top 20. The dominance earned Wilson a late-season promotion to Triple-A Gwinnett, where he continued his whiff-inducing work, even increasing his K rate all the way up to 16.5 K/9 in six appearances out of the Stripers bullpen.
Unfortunately, though, it’s been reported over at SportsTalkATL that Wilson has undergone Tommy John surgery, likely keeping him off the mound for at least the next 12 months.
Wilson is a little old to be considered a prospect in the Braves system, but given his breakout in 2021 there was a realistic possibility that he could’ve debuted in Atlanta at some point this season. He isn’t a hard thrower, sitting in the low-90s MPH most of the time, however, Wilson owns a secret weapon in his splitter, which is the pitch that’s allowed him to rack up the punch outs. He also has a solid breaking ball that has received great reviews, making him a three-pitch, high-leverage-type arm that doesn’t necessarily need high velo.
The former seventh-round pick by the Braves (in 2018 out of Stetson) has accrued exactly 165 career innings as a pro. And after pitching extremely well with Rookie-level Danville during his draft year, the promotions came rather quickly as he finished ’18 in Single-A Rome, than spent all of 2019 in High-A Florida. Following a canceled 2020 season, Wilson went straight to Double-A, where he hasn’t missed a beat, and in 2022 he was expected to be one of the main arms for a Gwinnett bullpen. Sadly, that will have to wait until some time in 2023.