Braves' Toussaint ready for The Show

Club's No. 7 prospect expected to pitch doubleheader opener

Touki Toussaint is 6-6 with a 2.98 ERA this season between the top two levels of the Minors. (Ken Inness/MiLB.com)

By Vincent Lara-Cinisomo / MiLB.com | August 12, 2018 11:13 PM

Four years after he was drafted in the first round by D-backs, Touki Toussaint will be reaching the Major Leagues with the Braves.

According to MLB.com, Toussaint is expected to be promoted Monday and pitch the opening game of Atlanta's doubleheader against Miami.

The Braves' seventh-ranked prospect is 6-6 with a 2.98 ERA in 21 starts between Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett. He's been stronger over the past dozen starts, posting a 2.01 ERA over that time.

It's expected to be a short stay for the native of Coral Springs, Florida, as the Braves reportedly will return him to Triple-A following the outing.

Video: Toussaint's eighth strikeout for Gwinnett

Arizona made him the 16th overall pick in the 2014 Draft and signed him away from a Vanderbilt commitment with a $2.7 million bonus, only to trade him away to the Braves one year later to lose Bronson Arroyo's contract. Toussaint showed flashes of brilliance during his first years in the Atlanta system, but was beset by mechanical issues that caused him to struggle with control. He's also battled command, averaging 4.4 walks per nine innings in his pro career.

But the No. 76 overall prospect has started to put it all together in 2018, earning a trip to the Futures Game and a promotion from Double-A to Triple-A. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound righty has a fastball that can touch 98 mph and a hammer curveball that scouts say flashes plus.

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"He's maturing. Everybody matures at their own pace," Mississsippi pitching coach Dennis Lewallyn told MiLB.com in late June. "In the past, when things started going south on him, he couldn't slow the game. Now when he gets in trouble, he's able to slow it down and take it one pitch at a time. It's helped him pitch into games."

Toussaint's strikeout rate has increased while his walk rate fell over the past two seasons.

Vince Lara-Cinisomo is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @vincelara. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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