Matt Belisle With the injury to Scott
Sobkowiak, this 20-year-old has stepped up his game and has established
himself as their top low level hurler.
Standing at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, this
righty began the season at Single-A Macon but was promoted to the Pelicans
staff at the beginning of this month. At Macon, he had gone 9-5 with a
2.37 ERA, 97 strikeouts, 18 walks, one complete game, and 79 hits allowed,
in 102.1 innings pitched over 15 starts. This was a vast improvement after
last season when he went only 2-5 witth a 4.67 ERA in 14
Originally a second round pick of the Braves
in the 1998 draft, Belisle has really seemed to put everything together.
He is a big, power pitcher who looks like he could continue to develop
into a guy who you would want to build the rest of your staff around in a
few years. With Glavine and Maddux not getting any younger and with
Smoltz' injuries, he could be in the Braves starting rotation within a
couple of year's.
I would expect for you to see him finsh out
the 2000 season at Myrtle Beach. Come 2001, Belisle should start at
Double-A but don't be so sure to expect to see him there long if history
repeats itself, as the Braves have been very agressive in promoting
players, especially pitchers (Rivera, McGlinchy, etc.) to the majors and
throwing them right into the battle over the last few year's.