With Jeff Weaver's signing earlier this week by the Angels, the order for the 2006 Amateur Draft is now set. The Braves will have seven of the first 100 picks in the June draft, more than any other team in the first 100.
Here are the Braves' picks early in the draft:
24 - Atlanta's first round pick
38 - Supplemental first round - from the Yankees for Kyle Farnsworth
43 - Supplemental first round - from the Dodgers for Rafael Furcal
51 - Second round - from the Dodgers for Rafael Furcal
68 - Second round - from the Yankees for Kyle Farnsworth
72 - Atlanta's second round pick
100 - Atlanta's third round pick
130 - Atlanta's fourth round pick
160 - Atlanta's fifth round pick
190 - Atlanta's sixth round pick
220 - Atlanta's seventh round pick
250 - Atlanta's eighth round pick
This will be a tremendous opportunity for the Braves to build up even more depth in its farm system. Expect, as always, the Braves to go after more pitching, especially starters, since the team spent many of its draft picks on relievers last year. Of the sixteen draft picks signed last year, ten were pitchers, six of whom are relievers.
But along with the draft, the Braves will be busy scouting its draft and follow players this spring. Draft and follows are players that did not sign after being drafted, but instead decided to attend a junior college. The Braves retain rights to those players up until a week before this June's draft.
Again, the Braves signed only 16 of 52 draft picks last year, meaning there are a number of draft and follow players this spring. Of the 36 players not signed, 30 are currently playing in junior college baseball. Obviously, the Braves will not sign them all, but there's a good chance the team could sign between five and ten draft and follow players this spring.
Baseball America recently named three players the Braves retain rights to on their Top 25 prospects list for junior college baseball. Tommy Hanson, a right-handed pitcher drafted by the Braves in the 22nd round last year, was named the third best JUCO prospect. He is attending Riverside Community College. Third baseman Willie Cabrera, Atlanta's 14th rounder last season, is attending Los Angeles Pierce JUCO and was BA's 11th best JUCO player. And finally Colin Carter, a right-hander taken in the 10th round last year, was Baseball America's 21st best JUCO player. Carter is now at Grayson County Junior College in Texas.
Hanson is a top priority. He's a six-foot-six, 210 pound right-hander from Redlands, California. Hanson pitched in the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League last summer and was the Pitcher of the Year after posting a 5-1 record, along with an ERA of 1.12 and 76 strikeouts. Baseball America named him as the top pitcher in Junior College baseball, and so far he is not disappointing anyone with a strong start.
So far in three games started for Riverside Community College, Hanson is 3-0 with a 3.06 ERA, 15 hits allowed in 17.2 innings, 4 walks, and 25 strikeouts. Hanson uses four pitches effectively, including a fastball that stays in the 89-93 range.
There are two junior colleges with three Braves' draft and follows on each roster. Chipola JUCO in Florida has right-handed pitcher Jaye Chapman (16th round), right-hander Tyler Musselwhite (29th round), and first baseman/catcher Tyler Flowers (33rd round). And Southern Nevada has outfielder Cole Miles (19th round), pitcher Kris Cichoski (21st round), and pitcher Aaron Brady (47th round).
Stay tuned to BravesCenter for continuing updates on the Braves' draft and follow players for 2006.
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. You can email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Braves' 2006 Draft Report
Atlanta Dugout Top Stories
Dustin Peterson's improvement continuesWho has likely been the player of the year in the Braves' farm system? Most likely Dustin Peterson in Mississippi.
Adonis Garcia giving Atlanta options at 3BBill Shanks has some impressive numbers on Adonis Garcia, who is giving the Braves options for third base for the future.
New Review: Gwinnett BravesDoes having your Triple A affiliate in close proximity reinforce the team brand and help attendance, or will the parent club cannibalize ticket sales and hurt attendance figures?…
Stadium JourneyYesterday at 5:56 AM
Braves get two prospects for CervenkaThe Braves have added two more young players with the trade of reliever Hunter Cervenka to Miami.