Braves Sign Kyle Bakker

Bill Shanks reports that the Braves have signed their 20th round selection, Kyle Bakker. Bakker the talented lefthander from Georgia Tech will report to the Instructional League.

The Atlanta Braves have signed Kyle Bakker, the team's 20th round selection in the 2003 June Amateur Draft.

Bakker is a 6-foot-9, 255 pound left handed pitcher from Georgia Tech. He fell in the draft due to a subpar Junior season, but some still considered him a top five round talent.

Kyle was 8 and 3 in 2003 with an ERA of 4.35. He allowed 97 hits in 93 innings. Bakker walked 36 and struck out 80. In his first two seasons at Georgia Tech, Kyle was 17-3 and had only 35 walks and 164 strikeouts in 180 innings. Last Winter, many believed he'd be a top 10 pick in the draft. But as the draft approached, he struggled trying to impress the scouts and developed mechanical troubles. He did match up against Wake Forest ace Kyle Sleeth and outpitch the top 3 selection.

Bakker pitched this summer in the Cape Cod League and struggled. He was 0-1 in 2 games allowing 8 runs in 2.2 innings with 6 walks. His lack of control tells you he needs help with his mechanics.

Despite his falling stock, Baseball America still ranked Kyle as the 162nd best prospect going into the draft and the 9th best player in Georgia.

Kyle will report to the Instructional League in Orlando in a few weeks.

Chris Vines, the Braves 5th round selection, is one of the few remaining top Braves draft picks still unsigned. He is still committed to the University of Florida baseball program.

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