Braves, Rockies Promote Top-100 Prospects Waldrep, Amador

A pair of Just Baseball's top 100 prospects – Hurston Waldrep (ATL) and Adael Amador (COL) – are set to make their major league debuts.

NORTH PORT, FL - MARCH 08: Relief pitcher Hurston Waldrep (93) stares down a batter during the Friday afternoon MLB Spring Training game between the Atlanta Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates on March 8, 2024 at CoolToday Park in North Port, Florida. (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

If you love to watch top prospects make their MLB debuts, then Sunday, June 9 is shaping up to be an exciting day of baseball.

The Atlanta Braves are calling up Just Baseball’s No. 80 overall prospect Hurston Waldrep to make the first start of his big league career this afternoon. The young right-hander will get the ball in Washington as the Braves try to avoid a series loss at Nationals Park.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Rockies are bringing up their organizational No. 1 prospect (and Just Baseball’s No. 47 overall prospect) Adael Amador. He, too, could make his MLB debut this afternoon as the Rockies take on the Cardinals, although manager Bud Black has not yet revealed his starting lineup.

In one more bit of exciting prospect news, the Seattle Mariners are planning to select Tyler Locklear from Triple-A. Locklear is not one of Just Baseball’s Top 100 Prospects but ranks No. 8 in a deep Mariners system.

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Hurston Waldrep, SP, ATL

The Braves selected Waldrep out of the University of Florida in the first round of the 2023 draft. Following a strong start to his minor league career, he will make his MLB debut less than a year later.

In 10 starts this year between Double and Triple-A, Waldrep has pitched to a 3.09 ERA and 3.01 FIP over 55.1 innings of work.

Chris Sale, Max Fried, Reynaldo López, and Charlie Morton have been excellent for the Braves this year, but the team has had difficulty filling the rotation slot that was supposed to belong to Spencer Strider. Bryce Elder struggled in five starts (6.46 ERA) before his demotion, while AJ Smith-Shawver only made one start before suffering an oblique strain that could sideline him for two months.

Spencer Schwellenbach joined the rotation (and made his MLB debut) at the end of May, but the 24-year-old has given up nine earned runs over 9.2 IP in his first two starts.

The Braves will hope that Waldrep, a Georgia native who grew up rooting for his local team, can provide some stability at the back of the rotation.

Adael Amador, 2B, COL

Amador made quick work of the low minors over his first three seasons in the Rockies system, showing off excellent contact skills and strong plate discipline, and eventually growing into some sneaky power.

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Unfortunately, the young infielder seemed to hit a wall upon his promotion to Double-A, where he has an 87 wRC+ in 56 games. He has begun to heat up as of late, with a 168 wRC+ over his last 18 contests. Still, it is surprising to see a player so young (he turned 21 in April) head to the majors despite such little success at Double or Triple-A.

While Amador might not be ready for this next challenge, it seems as if the Rockies simply ran out of options. Second baseman Brendan Rodgers suffered a hamstring injury on Friday, and Amador is the final infielder remaining on Colorado’s 40-man roster.

Tyler Locklear, 1B, SEA

Locklear got off to a hot start at Double-A this year (156 wRC+ in 41 games) and has continued to hit since his promotion to Triple-A (128 wRC+ in 10 games).

The young first baseman could be coming up to replace Ty France, who is nursing a heel injury after taking a pitch off his right foot. It is unclear if France will require a stint on the injured list, but ultimately – whether France misses time or not – the Mariners could use Locklear’s bat in the order.

Seattle ranks 16th in MLB in isolated power and 25th in on-base percentage this season. If Locklear can make a smooth transition to the majors, his plus power and plate discipline tools would certainly help a mediocre Mariners lineup.

Unlike Waldrep and Amador, Locklear is not on the 40-man roster. The Mariners will need to make a corresponding move before officially selecting his contract.

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To learn more about all three of these promising young players, check out what Aram Leighton had to say about each of them in his latest prospect write-ups:

47. Adael Amador – 2B – Colorado Rockies

From Just Baseball’s Top 100 Prospects

Height/Weight: 6’0″, 190 | Bat/Throw: S/R | IFA: $1.5M – 2019 (COL) | ETA: 2025


A switch hitter who also happens to be one of the best bat-to-ball prospects in the Minor Leagues, Amador boasts sneaky power as well, making him a potentially dynamic top-of-the-order threat.


Amador is a polished hitter who repeats his moves well with great timing. From the left side, Amador utilizes a gathering leg kick in tandem with a rhythmic hand load with impressive control. The way he is able to duplicate his swings and approaches at-bats is reminiscent of a big league veteran.

From the right side, Amador’s lower half is a bit less involved, resulting in a little less power output. Amador makes up for it with elite bat-to-ball skills and low chase rates. You’ll see Amador use his leverage counts to swing more frequently from the left side, but he is adept at adjusting within at-bats and catering his approach to the situation.

From the left side, Amador is a plus-plus hitter, running some of the best contact rates in the Minor Leagues (94% zone contact and 89% overall contact). For reference, the only qualified hitters at the MLB level with a zone contact rate above 93% in 2023 are Miami’s Luis Arraez and the Cubs’ Nick Madrigal. Of course, it’s much harder to make contact at those rates at the MLB level compared to High-A, but Amador already puts up higher exit velocities than the aforementioned two.

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Amador has steadily put on some muscle since signing and has room for a bit more strength as well. His 90th percentile exit velocity is just a hair above average at 102 MPH, but he will surprise evaluators (and opponents) with exit velocities as high as 110 MPH.

Amador’s sneaky exit velocities are more likely to translate into a higher BABIP and plenty of doubles as opposed to home runs, as his flat swing results in more line drives and hard-hit ground balls (as well as elite contact rates). He could benefit from elevating a bit more, though he did a better job of that as the 2023 season progressed.

Most hitters who make as much contact as Amador tend to be aggressive at the plate, he is the opposite. Running a chase rate below 20%, he has walked more than he has struck out as a pro.

As a switch hitter with arguably the best hit tool in all of the minor leagues who is on track to play his home games in one of baseball’s most spacious outfields, Amador could very well compete for batting titles while hitting the ball hard enough to avoid any kind of “slap hitter” label.


With relatively average defensive tools across the board, there’s a chance Amador could move to second base, where his defense would likely be more impactful. His actions have smoothed out a bit as he continues to rack up reps, but his arm is just average, as is his range. He could get by at shortstop, but Amador projects best at second base.

An average runner, Amador is probably not going to steal bases in bunches, but he is quick enough to be a positive on the base paths overall and pick his spots to steal.

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Amador started his 2023 season a couple weeks late due to an injury before returning to post a .907 OPS through 54 High-A games. Unfortunately, he broke his hamate bone, sidelining him for two months and limiting him to just 10 Double-A games after his return.

The switch-hitter has a strong case as the best bat-to-ball prospect in the Minor Leagues with the potential for average power and a knack for drawing walks. Between his defensive skillset and the presence of Ezequiel Tovar at the big league level, a move to second base seems imminent. Regardless, Amador’s bat and approach should carry him up the Minor League ranks quicker than most of his peers, with the upside of becoming one of the best average/on-base guys at the highest level.

80. Hurston Waldrep – RHP – Atlanta Braves

From Just Baseball’s Top 100 Prospects

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 210 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (24) – ATL (2023) | ETA: 2024


An explosive athlete on the mound, Waldrep’s elite splitter is his calling card. Fastball shape and command have limited him some, but he has already flashed middle-rotation upside.


A three-pitch mix, Waldrep’s fastball sits 95-97 mph behind his elite arm speed. The pitch does not perform as well as some may expect, lacking the desired life and not garnering much swing and miss. In his junior season at Florida, opponents hit over .300 against the heater with similar results in his pro debut. The velocity and arm speed are there, but until there’s an adjustment shape-wise, it’s likely an above-average fastball at best.

The key weapon for Waldrep is his double-plus splitter in the upper 80s that falls off of the table. It was one of the best pitches in college baseball in 2023 and he enjoyed similar domination with the offering in his pro debut, allowing just two hits against 26 strikeouts.

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While the splitter is an elite put-away pitch against hitters from both sides, Waldrep’s 85-87 mph slider gives him a second quality out pitch, flashing plus. After eliminating the curveball from his mix, he began to land the slider for a strike more consistently.


Even with some concerns with the fastball characteristics, Waldrep has the stuff to be a big league No. 3. That said, he will need to improve his below-average command to get there. His velocity and splitter alone give him the fallback of a high-leverage reliever or high-end swingman, but his physical talent and slider that flashes plus give him the potential for much more.

8. Tyler Locklear – 1B – (Double-A)

From Seattle Mariners Top 15 Prospects For 2024

Height/Weight: 6’3″, 215 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 2nd Round (58), 2022 (SEA) | ETA: 2025


A big power bat who has put up great numbers at each stop, the Mariners hope that Locklear can hit enough to be their future at first base.


Starting upright with his hands high and a bat waggle that tips the barrel towards the pitcher, Locklear has toned down his pre-swing movement and has also brought his hands closer to his body, both of which should help him from a timing and consistency standpoint.

There’s stiffness to his swing, but he really packs a punch, boasting impressive power to all fields with an improved ability to get the ball in the air consistently. Capable of smashing tape measure shots as far as 450 feet, Locklear easily possesses plus game power potential as he continues to trend towards elevating more.

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Locklear has a great feel for the strike zone, running a chase rate in the low 20% range while making good overall swing decisions. His plate discipline takes some pressure off of his fringy hit tool, as does his improved launch angle.


Drafted as a third baseman, Locklear has since moved to first base where he is a solid defender with good hands and range. He moves quite well for a player of his build, flirting with average run times when he is really motoring. He will even swipe bags opportunistically, going 12 for 12 in 2023.


Like any first base prospect, Locklear is going to have to really hit to carve out a role for himself at the highest level. It’s fair to question whether the stiffness of Locklear’s swing could create some challenges against velocity and his overall hit tool at the highest level, but his plus power and plate discipline paired with a track record of hitting help his case. There’s 30 home run upside with the ability to play first base every day and get on base at an above-average clip.