The Braves were long rumored to be connected to Nebraska’s Spencer Schwellenbach in the lead-up to the 2021 MLB Draft. Even in mocks that did not ultimately have the Braves taking him, Schwellenbach was consistently mentioned as a possibility for the Braves in the first round.
Now, we know that that did not happen as the Braves selected Ryan Cusick in the first round of the draft and Schwellenbach dropped all the way to the Braves in the second round.
It appears that we know why he ended up being available in the second round.
Braves 2nd round pick RHP Spencer Schwellenbach will need Tommy John surgery, sources tell @JeffPassan and me. He was the 59th overall pick, signing for nearly $200,000 under slot value. He was my 46th ranked prospect in the draft, was also top 3 round prospect as a shortstop.— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) August 3, 2021
According to Kiley’s reporting, it seems as though the Braves were going to pick him in the first round until it was clear that Schwellenbach was going to need surgery. This explains why the Braves were able to sign him to an underslot deal and also lets us know that the Braves knew that AT LEAST this was a strong possibility when they drafted him.
Given the timing, we will likely be lucky to see Spencer throw at all in 2022 which is less than ideal for a team’s second round pick who is already going to need converting to being a starter and is a college pick.