6 – 198 – MICHAEL FISHER – SS – GEORGIA TECH – 6'2", 188 – 3/22/85 – B:S – T:R – NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
2007: 51 g, 51 gs, .330, 3 HR, 38 RBI, 68 H – 206 AB – 14 2B – 7 SB
2006: 68 g, 68 gs, .268, 1 HR, 39 RBI, 63 H – 235 AB – 10 2B – 8 SB
2005: 25 g, 10 gs, .300, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 15 H – 50 AB – 5 2B – 2 SB
As noted in our pre-draft previews, the Braves were in need of some middle infielders. Michael Fisher fits the bill perfectly. He can go to Danville and maybe even Rome this summer and then compete for a job in Myrtle Beach next spring. Fisher is a 22-year-old that has gotten better every season at Georgia Tech. Some believe he may have to move over to second base, and that'll be fine for the Braves as well. He's athletic (played QB in high school) and versatile and Fisher's experience should help him out a great deal.
7 – 228 – TRAVIS JONES – 2B – SOUTH CAROLINA – JUNIOR - 5'9" 190 – 11/10/85 – B:R – T:R – STONE MOUNTAIN, GEORGIA
2007: .320 – 18 HR – 65 RBI
If Fisher does play second base, he'll get some competition from Jones, who really established himself as a decent prospect with a good second half for the Gamecocks. He's not very big, but the Braves have had plenty of small second basemen in the past. The Braves saw Jones first at Redan High School in Stone Mountain and then at Lake City Community College, so they've been on him for a while. You cannot ignore the 18 home runs he had this season. Jones could go to Danville or the GCL after he signs.
8 – 258 – COLBY SHREVE – RHP – SOUTHERN NEVADA CC – FRESHMAN - 6'5" 200 – 1/5/88 – LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – BONANZA HIGH SCHOOL IN LV
2007: 5-2 - 2.78 – 17 G – 7 GS – 46 H in 58.1 IP – 18 ER – 29 BB – 59 K - .220 OBA
It took a while for the Braves to take a starting pitcher. In fact, this is the latest the Braves have waited to take a starting pitcher since Roy Clark took over as Scouting Director in 2000. But it goes to show the depth in the Braves' system and the need to get the current starters some quality innings. Shreve is an interesting pitcher. He's got good size, good stats, good stuff, good projection, and good makeup. He came on very late in the season and some even wondered if Shreve would be taken as high as the third round. The Braves will watch Shreve this summer and if he signs he could get a few innings in the GCL.
9 – 288 - TIM LADD – LHP – GEORGIA TECH – JUNIOR - 5'11", 182 – 11/2/85 – B:L – T:L – MARIETTA, GA – KELL HIGH SCHOOL
2007: 19 g, 0 gs, 0-0, 7.25, 36 hits in 22.1 innings, 18 earned runs, 11 BB, 18 K
2006: 22 g, 6 gs, 5-3, 4.27, 62 hits in 46.1 innings, 22 earned runs, 15 BB, 32 K
2005: 18 g, 0 gs. 1-0, 5.50, 21 hits in 18.0 innings, 11 earned runs, 10 BB, 11 K
The stats are not pretty at all, but Ladd is another player the Braves have followed for a while. He was highly touted out of high school, and before that played in the East Cobb program. Ladd has been a reliever for the most part in college, and the Braves will probably keep him in that role if he signs. He could probably use some professional coaching to get him to the next level. Ladd has signed with the Braves and will be in Danville's bullpen this summer. --- SIGNED
10 – 318 – THOMAS PALICA – LHP – GOLDEN WEST COL. – 6'3", 215 – 7/21/87 – B:L – T:L – HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA
2007: 17 g, 17 gs, 7-1, 3.05, 91 hits in 115 IP, 39 ER, 34 BB, 146 K, .213 OBA
Here's another kid with good size and good numbers. It's hard to ignore the strikeout totals. Palica is a southpaw with a decent curveball. The Braves like lefties who can pitch without having to have mind-blowing stuff (see Chuck James and Dan Smith), so Palica fits right into this pattern. Even though he's been in JUCO ball, Palica would probably start off in the Gulf Coast League if he signs. The Braves will follow him this summer and try to sign him.
11 – 348 – BRANDON BELT – LHP – SAN JACINTO – 6'5", 195 – 4/20/88 – B:L – T:L – LUFKIN, TEXAS
2007: 7-2 - 2.82 - 50 H - 51 IP - 16 ER - 32 BB - 45 K
This may be the Braves' most interesting draft pick. A year ago some thought Brandon Belt would go in the first round, but instead he lasted to the 11th round when the Red Sox drafted him. His velocity dropped his senior season, and instead of signing he went to San Jacinto CC in Texas. Belt had a decent season, but nothing spectacular. But his size and decent stuff make him intriguing. Like Palica, he's got good size and you just wonder what he would do under the tutilege of the Braves' pitching coaches. He could go back to San Jacinto or go on to Texas, but the Braves will make a push after they follow him in summer baseball.
12 – 378 – NICK FELLMAN – RHP – MINNESOTA ST. MANKATO – SENIOR 6'3", 190 - 8/29/85 – B:L – T:R – EAGAN, MINNSOTA
2007: 3-1 – 1.62 – 24 G - 14 SVS – 19 H - 33 IP – 7 R – 6 ER - 7 BB – 50 K
The Braves have stressed college relievers the last three drafts, and along with Josh Fields and Cory Gearrin they believe they've got a good one in Fellman. His numbers were good across the board. Fellman is a tall right-hander who depends on his sinker and slider. The Braves like his aggressiveness and his experience as a closer. He was a senior this season, so Fellman signed with the Braves this week and will be in Danville's bullpen. --- SIGNED
13 – 408 – CHAD MADDOX – OF – UNIV. OF TENNESSEE – 5'11", 190 – 4/5/86 – B:R – T:R – COOKEVILLE, TENNESSEE
2007: .200 – 1 HR – 2 RBI – 4 H – 20 AB – 2 R – 1 SB
Walters State was very useful to the Braves in the draft and follow process. The team saw Maddox at Walters before he went became a Volunteer. He didn't get much playing time at UT, but the Braves remember what he did at Walters when he had 25 home runs in 2006. Maddox has passed up his senior season with the Vols and has signed with the Braves. He'll be one of the outfielders on the GCL Braves this summer. --- SIGNED
14 – 438 – CALEB BREWER – RHP – HARRIS CO. IN GA – 6'3", 205 – 2/2/89 – B:R – T:R – FORTSON, GEORGIA
Brewer was rated the 23rd best prospect in the state of Georgia by Baseball America. Once again, the Braves have a pitcher with good size. Brewer throws hard but needs to develop a breaking ball. The Braves signed Brewer on Wednesday and he will be on the Gulf Coast League team this summer. He passed up an opportunity to play at Chipola JUCO in Florida to play for the Braves. --- SIGNED
15 – 468 – PAUL DEMNY – RHP – E. BERNARD HS IN TEXAS – 6'2", 200 – 8/3/89 – B:R – T:R – EAST BERNARD, TEXAS
Here we go again, another tall pitcher. Demny has a good fastball and a good slider, and a hard-throwing Texas right-hander is always interesting. Demny has committed to a junior college. How many of these type pitchers will the Braves sign now that the Draft-and-Follow is no longer in place? Well, they like Demny a lot and will make a strong run at him before he has a chance to go to college.
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. He can be heard on 680 the Fan in Atlanta and 105.5 the Fan in Macon. Email Bill at email@example.com.
Braves Draft Review: Picks 6-15
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