As we prepare for this week’s amateur draft, let’s take a look at how the Braves have done in the last few years of adding talent to the farm system, and what it means for this year’s draft.
This is perhaps the best draft the Braves have had in several years. First round pick Braxton Davidson is doing very well as a young 18-year-old in the Sally League. In a system needing offensive prospects, Davidson stands out. Ninth round pick Jordan Edgerton is also in Rome’s lineup and the third baseman is showing some offensive potential. Third round pick Max Povse, fourth round pick Chad Sobotka and 13th round pick Caleb Beech are all in Rome’s rotation and all have done well this season. Brandon Barker, the 16th rounder, is in Carolina’s rotation. The Braves are anxious to see second round pick Garrett Fulenchek in the Danville rotation later this month.
This draft has been a huge disappointment so far. First round pick Jason Hursh has stalled in Double-A Mississippi. His future seems to be in the bullpen. Second round pick Victor Caratini was traded to the Cubs and has not done well. Third round pick Carlos Salazar and fourth round pick Tanner Murphy have stalled in Rome. Fifth round pick Mikey Reynolds was suspended last year for PEDs and later released. Sixth round pick Steve Janas could be the one bright spot, as he has done very well in Carolina this season before being injured in the bus accident. Alec Grosser, the 11th round pick, has shown some promise as he is doing well in Rome. That’s it, so far. Janas and Grosser are pretty much it.
Overall, this was a disappointing draft. But at the top the Braves still have a solid prospect in Lucas Sims and a member of the Atlanta rotation in Alex Wood. The only player that stands out has been Shae Simmons, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery and still has great potential. That’s about it. There are some organizational players, like Connor Lien and Levi Hyams, but that’s it. Can you call a draft that gets you a member of your rotation a bust? Yes. Even though Wood came from this draft, this was a horrible draft. You must get more prospects than this from a draft.
This draft has included seven players get to the big leagues, but only Cody Martin is still in the organization. Top picks Sean Gilmartin, Nick Ahmed and Kyle Kubitza were all traded, while J.R. Graham was lost to the Twins in the Rule V Draft. There were still more hits than misses in this draft.
Tony DeMacio’s first of five drafts produced four players still on the Atlanta roster: Todd Cunningham, Andrelton Simmons, Phil Gosselin and Joey Terdoslavich. That’s a positive, but there are no prospects left in the system. Evan Gattis and Chasen Shreve were used in deals last winter.
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