For Pete's Sake

Former Shawnee Mission East star Joey Wentz is on a roll for Braves’ Double-A team

Shawnee Mission East pitcher Joey Wentz drafted 40th overall by Atlanta Braves

Shawnee Mission East pitcher Joey Wentz was selected by the Atlanta Braves during Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft on Thursday night. Wentz is the fifth player drafted from SM East and the first since Jeff Soptic was picked by the R
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Shawnee Mission East pitcher Joey Wentz was selected by the Atlanta Braves during Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft on Thursday night. Wentz is the fifth player drafted from SM East and the first since Jeff Soptic was picked by the R

Left-hander Joey Wentz earned a promotion to the Atlanta Braves’ Double-A team for the 2019 season, but he got off to a rocky start.

Wentz, the former Shawnee Mission East star who was the 40th overall pick in the 2016 Major League Baseball draft, had a 5.51 ERA in his first 14 starts.

Since then?

Wentz is 1-1 with a 1.11 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings over four starts for the Mississippi Braves. In that span, which dates back to June 26, opposing batters are slashing .165/.258/.212.

Earlier this month, Wentz was listed atop Baseball America’s top-10 hottest prospects list.

“While his Mississippi rotationmates have soared, Wentz has found Double-A to be a little more difficult,” JJ Cooper wrote for Baseball America. “But lately there have been some very positive signs. His velocity has ticked back up to the 91-94 mph range, which helps his change-up play as the above-average and even plus pitch it can be at its best. Wentz tied his career high in strikeouts with nine on July 1 and then set a new career high with 10 strikeouts on July 6.”

Wentz is scheduled to make his next start for Mississippi on Saturday night.

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