The Atlanta Braves released five minor league players on Monday, including four pitchers (Drew Jackson, Johnnie Wiggins, Jason Paul, and Nate Pudewell) and infielder Dean White.
Jackson was signed by the Braves as a non-drafted free agent out of Dixie State College of Utah in 2004. He spent his first season of pro ball with the Gulf Coast League Braves, pitching in six games (1-0, 1.76 ERA, 5 walks, 11 strikeouts in 15.1 innings pitched). The 22-year-old right-hander pitched in 12 games for Danville last year, going 3-1 with a 4.02 ERA, 16 hits in 15.2 innings pitched, 9 walks, and 13 strikeouts.
Wiggins was a bit of a surprise. The lefty was a 7th round pick in the 2004 amateur draft out of Brewton Parker College, but he had not pitched well in his 26 career pro games. He pitched in 9 games (4 starts) in 2004 in the GCL, losing all three decisions and posting a 6.37 ERA. Then he battled injuries in 2005 and split the season between Danville and Rome. Overall last year he was 1-2 in 17 games (1 start), 42 hits allowed in 27 innings, 20 walks, and 15 strikeouts.
Paul was a 15th round pick out of Southern New Hampshire University in the 2004 draft. He spent all of last season with Rome, posting a 5.45 ERA in 28 relief appearances, 15 walks, and 30 strikeouts in 34.2 innings pitched.
Pudewell was signed by the Braves right after last year's draft after a tryout in California. The Braves were trying to switch him from a sidearmer to a pitcher with a straight overhand delivery.
White was originally signed out of Australia in 2001. The right-handed hitter had his best season last year, when he hit .238 with 1 home run and 14 RBI in 235 at bats for Rome.
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional front office philosophies. Email Bill at email@example.com.
Braves release five minor leaguers
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