Former Florida pitcher Hurston Waldrep became the second Gators rookie to make his debut at the Triple-A level of minor league baseball this season.
The Atlanta Braves drafted Waldrep with the 24th overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft. He joined his former teammate, outfielder Wyatt Langford, as a 2023 UF draftee to quickly make his way to the highest level of minor league baseball.
Waldrep served as a key member of the Gators baseball team that made it to the 2023 College World Series Championship. He spent one season at Florida after he transferred from Southern Mississippi.
The right pitcher had a 4.41 earned runs average in 19 games started in his lone season at UF. He also racked up 156 strikeouts.
Waldrep has made eight total starts across all levels of the minor leagues so far with a 1.53 ERA. He’s punched out 41 batters across 29.1 innings pitched.
He earned a promotion to high-A ball after one start in Single-A. He started three games for the High-A Rome Braves and had a dominant 0.75 ERA across 12 innings pitched. He surrendered just four combined hits in those starts
Waldrep then moved up to the Double-A affiliate, the Mississippi Braves. In three starts, he had a 2.70 ERA before finally being promoted to Triple-A last Saturday.
He is the first Braves prospect to debut with the Gwinnett Stripers the same year he was drafted, according to Gwinnett Broadcaster Dave Lezotte. Waldrep pitched 4.1 shutout innings in his debut start for Gwinnett.
He struck out five in his first Triple-A start as he dazzled on the mound.
Despite his quick movement through the minor leagues, he will not be on the Atlanta Braves’ postseason roster, according to Justin Toscano, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter.
Jackson Reyes is a UF journalism senior and The Alligator's Fall 2023 Sports Editor. He previously served as Digital Managing Editor and was a reporter and assistant editor on the sports desk. In his free time, he enjoys collecting records, long walks on the beach and watching Bo Nix.