Several top pitching prospects did great in June

Bill Shanks looks at how some of the Braves' starting pitching prospects did in the month of June.

Sean Newcomb is now 4-4 with a 3.78 earned run average in his 15 starts in Double-A Mississippi. He’s allowed 68 hits in 78.2 innings, with 35 runs (33 earned) allowed, 39 walks and 80 strikeouts. After walking four batters on June 13, Newcomb has walked only two in his last two starts (13 innings pitched). He has at least five strikeouts in each of his last six starts.

In his first season back from Tommy John surgery, Rome left-hander Max Fried is now 6-5 on the season with a 3.77 ERA. He’s allowed only 62 hits in 77.1 innings, 32 earned runs, 38 walks and 75 strikeouts. Fried was tremendous in June, going 4-1 in his five starts with a 1.29 ERA. He allowed only four earned runs in 28 innings, with 10 walks and 35 strikeouts.

Mike Soroka is two months shy of his 19th birthday, but last year’s first round pick by the Braves continues to do good work in Rome. Soroka now has an ERA of 2.77 in his 14 games (13 starts), with 69 hits allowed in 78 innings, 24 earned runs, 16 walks and 72 strikeouts. Soroka had only four walks in four June starts, with 21 strikeouts in 23 innings.

Rome pitcher Patrick Weigel was tremendous in June, posting a 1.44 earned run average in four starts for the month. He had only five walks and 25 strikeouts in 25 innings. For the season, Weigel has a 2.80 ERA in 14 games, with only 63 hits allowed in 80.1 innings, 25 earned runs and 83 strikeouts. Weigel has allowed more than three runs only twice this season – four against Asheville on April 24 and four against Greenville in late-May.

Touki Toussaint will make his last start of the month on Thursday as Rome plays at Lexington. Toussaint, who just turned 20 last week, has allowed just three earned runs in his last four starts, with seven walks and 24 strikeouts in 25 innings. For the season, Toussaint has allowed just 53 hits in 68 innings this season in his 14 games (12 starts), with 48 strikeouts and a 4.37 ERA.

Mississippi right-hander Rob Whalen has been remarkable since May 1. He’s 4-3 in his last 11 starts, with 14 earned runs allowed on 53 hits in 65.1 innings. Whalen has walked 21 and struck out 56 batters. In June, Whalen had a 1.41 ERA (five earned runs in five starts), with 29 strikeouts in 32 innings. For the season, Whalen now has a 5-5 record with a 2.43 ERA in 15 starts, 69 hits allowed in 85.1 innings, 32 walks and 76 strikeouts.

Matt Withrow has been very solid this season for Carolina. He’s got a 3.46 ERA in his 14 starts for the Mudcats, with 58 hits in 67.2 innings, 37 walks and 68 strikeouts. Withrow made six starts in June. He was 3-0 with a 2.61 ERA, 35 strikeouts in 31 innings.

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on “Middle Georgia’s ESPN” – 93.1 FM in Macon and 99.5 FM in Warner Robins. Follow Bill at and email him at

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