Atlanta Braves

Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Player Position School State Bonus
1 21 Lucas Sims RHP Brookwood HS, Snellville, Ga. Ga. $1,650,000
Sims has been a factor in this draft class since being invited to USA Baseball's 16U trials in 2010, and he pitched last summer in the Prospect Classic for the 18U team, tossing a scoreless inning against the Collegiate National Team. Sims has been the most consistent high school pitcher in Georgia this spring, pushing him up toward the back of the first round. He has a fairly clean arm action and no obvious or significant mechanical issues. Sims consistently flashed three plus pitches this spring, including a fastball that has touched 97 mph at times and generally sits in the 90-93 mph range. He struggles at times to finish his pitches out front, causing him to leave his stuff up in the zone. Sims throws his slider with power in the low 80s, and at times it has good depth as well. He has the ability to spin a breaking ball, and he's shown a solid curveball as well that's about 10 mph slower than his slider. A Clemson recruit, Sims figures to squeeze into the back of the first round thanks to his present stuff and track record.
2 85 Alex Wood LHP Georgia Ga. $700,000
Scouts can't recall a delivery quite like Wood's. When he lands on his right (lead) leg, he hops backward. It's odd to watch and will be difficult for pro pitching coaches to avoid changing. Still, he does a lot of good things, starting with his fastball. He has excellent velocity for a lefthander, touching 95-96 mph regularly and sitting in the 89-94 range. He throws a lot of strikes with his heater, showing the ability to locate it to both sides of the plate. When he's filling up the zone with his fastball, he's able to set up his changeup, his favorite pitch and a solid-average offering. His slider is a below-average pitch, and he has never shown much of a feel for spinning a breaking ball. A redshirt sophomore, Wood has had Tommy John surgery already, and between that and his delivery, he creates a wide diversity of opinion. But power lefthanders who throw strikes and perform in the Southeastern Conference (6-1, 2.64, 82 IP, 81-19 SO-BB) usually don't last long on draft day.
3 116 Bryan De La Rosa C Bucky Dent Academy, Delray Beach, Fla. Fla. $408,300
De la Rosa will be one of the first catchers drafted, even though he doesn't have the desired size for the position at 5-foot-11, 190 pounds. The Puerto Rico native has some of the best catch-and-throw tools in the draft class, having posted a 1.71-second pop time to second base in a showcase last fall. His arm is strong and accurate, and he has agile feet and soft hands that allow scouts to project him as an above-average defender behind the plate. He has strength in his frame but will need to add more to handle the wear and tear of the position at the pro level. De la Rosa doesn't project as an offensive asset but won't be a zero either, with solid-average pull power and a decent swing. The Florida State recruit was hard to evaluate this spring while playing for the Bucky Dent Academy team, which had a somewhat erratic game schedule, but he got crosschecked enough for teams to take him in the first six rounds.
4 149 Justin Black OF Billings (Mont.) West HS Mont. $300,000
Black's best tool is his speed. He has an athletic build at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds and is a well above-average runner. He can track balls down in center field, but needs to work on his routes and has below-average arm strength. Being from Montana, Black is understandably raw, especially at the plate. He looked overmatched during most of his at-bats on the summer showcase circuit and scouts wonder if he'll ever put things together enough to hit. Since Montana doesn't have high school baseball, Black spent some time this spring playing with the Langley Blaze travel team from British Columbia and he showed improvement, but he's definitely going to be a project at the next level. Black has a solid commitment to Nebraska and since he's already 19, he'll be a draft-eligible sophomore in 2014.
5 179 Blake Brown OF Missouri Mo. $222,000
Brown has one of the best packages of tools in the Big 12 Conference, but he doesn't always play up to them. The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder has plus speed and raw righthanded power to go with solid arm strength and center-field defense. The question is how much he'll hit in pro ball. He has a hesitant approach at the plate, struggles against breaking balls and whiffed 53 times in 52 regular-season games. He also needs to get more aggressive to get the most out of his physical ability, which remains tantalizing enough that he could go as high as the fifth or sixth round.
6 209 Josh Elander C Texas Christian Texas $166,700
Pressed into catching duty with Team USA last summer after playing sporadically behind the plate in his first two college seasons, Elander got the job done defensively. Combined with enthusiasm about his bat and makeup, it seemed to give him a chance to be a first-round pick. Scouts continue to believe in his offensive potential, and while they laud his work ethic, they doubt he'll be able to catch in pro ball. A 6-foot-1, 215-pound righthanded hitter, Elander is starting to tap into his plus raw power while maintaining his discipline at the plate. He has average arm strength and a quick release, and he had thrown out 36 percent of basestealers through mid-May. He moves well behind the plate, too, but he has hard hands that lead to receiving issues. More athletic than most catchers and close to an average runner, he probably could handle the outfield and played primarily right field as a freshman. He has enough bat to profile on an outfield corner and to get drafted around the third round.
7 239 David Starn LHP Kent State Ohio $25,000
Starn arrived at Kent State as a walk-on, then went on to lead the Golden Flashes to a regional victory as a senior. He broke Dirk Hayhurst's school record for strikeouts and earns Jamie Moyer comparisons from the Kent State staff, which includes ex-big leaguer Mike Birkbeck as his pitching coach. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder has a fastball that ranges from 82-88 mph and sits at 84 yet is effective because he has excellent command. He pitches inside effectively because he can cut and sink his fastball. His slider and changeup are nothing special, but he locates them well and will throw them in any count.
8 269 Dave Peterson RHP College of Charleston S.C. $50,000
A 40th-round pick out of high school, Peterson shifted to the closer's role for his senior season. In 30 appearances, he had a 3.19 ERA and recorded 10 saves while striking out 39 and walking 15 in 37 innings. Peterson has a good frame at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds and sits 92-95 mph with his fastball. He throws strikes, but needs to do a better job of commanding his fastball. His best secondary pitch is a slurvy curveball that sits in the upper 70s.
9 299 Steven Schils RHP Florida Tech Fla. $50,000
Schils is a physical 6-foot-2, 210-pounder who pitched 24 innings over two seasons at High Point. He transferred to Division II Florida Tech this spring to get playing time and opened the season as the team's closer before losing that role due to a bout of wildness that included 13 walks in his 10 innings. Despite a fastball that touched the mid-90s and that sits in the 91-92 mph range, he had just four strikeouts in the spring.
10 329 Mike Dodig 3B Columbia-Greene (N.Y.) CC N.Y. $50,000
Dodig is a physical player that will likely end up on a corner. He has power and hit a home run off Herkimer (N.Y.) CC righty Willie Gabay in front of a lot of crosscheckers. He hit .465 with three home runs in 99 at-bats.
11 359 Levi Borders C Winter Haven (Fla.) HS Fla.
12 389 Connor Lien OF Olympia HS, Orlando Fla. $375,000
Olympia High's 29-1 team wasn't just Walker Weickel and Jesse Winker. Lien had more athletic ability than either of his better-known teammates, and his 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame gives scouts plenty to dream on. Scouts convinced that Lien could hit could push him into the first three rounds, as he's a plus runner with solid arm strength and the strength to hit for power. But his swing and hitting timing aren't natural, and scouts have a lot of projecting to do with his bat. He's committed to Central Florida.
13 419 Nathan Hyatt RHP Appalachian State N.C. $100,000
Hyatt appears on scouts' radars because of pure velocity despite a slight build at 6-feet and 180 pounds. The Mountaineers closer, Hyatt sits 92-95 mph with his fastball and touches 97. His fastball doesn't have much life to it, so it's hittable. He throws a slider, but it's not an out pitch right now. He also struggles with command. He recorded 15 saves in 26 appearances with 28 strikeouts and 21 walks.
14 449 Tyler Tewell C Appalachian State N.C.
15 479 Alex Wilson RHP Wofford S.C.
16 509 Fernelys Sanchez OF Washington HS, New York N.Y. $210,000
One of the fastest players in the draft, Sanchez would have been well-tested in the National High School Invitational, but broke his fibula sliding back into a base just a few days before the tournament started. He wasn't expected to return to the field before Washington High's season was completed. Sanchez is a plus-plus runner and a very good defender in center field. He has a good frame at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, but there are a lot of questions about the switch-hitter's ability to hit.
17 539 Chase Anselment C/OF Washington Wash.
18 569 Ross Heffley 2B Western Carolina N.C.
19 599 Levi Hyams 2B Georgia Ga.
20 629 Eric Garcia SS Missouri Mo.
Named the most outstanding player of the Big 12 Conference tournament after hitting .500 and leading Missouri to a surprising title, Garcia usually makes his mark with his glove. He has a live 5-foot-11, 175-pound body to go with sure hands and a solid arm. He did make 21 errors in his first 58 games this season, many early in the spring when he tried to do too much. He sometimes falls into the same trap as a hitter, spinning off the ball in an attempt to produce power. Scouts question how much he'll hit, though he does generate some backspin from both sides of the plate and has a knack for drawing walks. He's an average runner.
21 659 Jeremy Fitzgerald RHP Tennessee Wesleyan Tenn.
22 689 Shae Simmons RHP Southeast Missouri State Mo.
While shortstop Kenton Parmley had the third-longest hitting streak in NCAA Division I history (47 games) and third baseman Trenton Moses finished the regular season leading the nation in on-base percentage (.549) and slugging (.802) at the end of the regular season, it's Simmons who's the top prospect at Southeast Missouri State. When he's on, he has three solid pitches in an 89-93 mph fastball, a hard slider and changeup with tumbling action. He doesn't hold his velocity deep into games or show much command as a starter because of his size (5-foot-11, 176 pounds) and has a lot of effort in his delivery. As a result, he profiles as a reliever, a role in which he has been clocked up to 96 mph in summer ball.
23 719 Kevin McKague RHP Army N.Y.
Before an injury, McKague sat in the mid-90s out of the bullpen with a high-80s slider. Army has had to slowly work him back on the mound and he was sitting 88-91 mph this spring and was 1-0, 1.46 with 15 strikeouts, seven walks and five saves in 11 appearances (12 innings). He was also a force in the lineup, hitting .389/.487/.553 in 190 at-bats. He is a fifth-year senior and already 23 years old.
24 749 Mike Flores RHP Grossmont (Calif.) JC Calif.
25 779 Brandon Rohde LHP Central Washington Wash.
26 809 Trenton Moses 3B Southeast Missouri State Mo.
27 839 Chris Barczycowski RHP Niagara County (N.Y.) CC N.Y.
28 869 K.C. Clabough SS Florida Tech Fla.
29 899 Jaden Dillon RHP Texas A&M-Kingsville Texas
30 929 Casey Kalenkosky 1B Texas State Texas
31 959 Matt Kimbrel RHP Southern Polytechnic State (Ga.) Ga.
32 989 Adam Grantham RHP Kennett (Mo.) HS Mo.
33 1019 Sam Gillikin OF Hoover (Ala.) HS Ala.
Scouts in the Deep South contrast Gillkin, an Auburn recruit who committed as a sophomore, with fellow Alabama prep Mikey White, who has superior baseball instincts. Gillikin, though, has a better profile and more prodigious tools. His athleticism played on the football field, where he was a wide receiver and then a quarterback as a senior. A lefthanded hitter, Gillikin could go out in the first two rounds to a team that saw him on the right day. He's a 6.6-second runner over 60 yards, with impressive bat speed and above-average raw power. He has maintained his tools despite several football injuries, including a broken collarbone and back issues that caused him to miss games. His football intensity is evident on the diamond. Some scouts question his pitch recognition and selectivity at the plate, and how usable his power will be in games when he faces more advanced pitching.
34 1049 Ben Johnson OF Westwood HS, Austin Texas
35 1079 Matt Creech SS Colquitt County HS, Moultrie, Ga. Ga.
36 1109 Braden Bishop OF St. Francis HS, Mountain View, Calif. Calif.
St. Francis was loaded last year with Rays' supplemental first-round third baseman Tyler Goeddel, as well as later draft picks Richard Prigatano (now at Long Beach State) and Alex Blandino (now at Stanford). Bishop is a good athlete at 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds and had mild Division I interest as a wide receiver. Some scouts feel Bishop has above-average speed and can play center field with his plus arm. Those who like him say he'll be an average hitter. He projects as a doubles hitter with below-average home run power, though some scouts view him as more of a tweener, fourth-outfielder type. Regardless of how they grade his tools, all scouts agree that Bishop gets the most of his ability. Bishop is committed to Washington and reportedly has a high price tag, meaning it's likely he winds up on campus.
37 1139 Giovanni Brusa OF St. Mary's HS, Stockton, Calif. Calif.
Brusa stood out at the Area Code Games last summer for his muscular 6-foot-3, 195-pound physique and for his power during batting practice from both sides of the plate. His swing, however, was segmented and a little long. He smoothed things out this spring, allowing him to tap into his power more, and scouts loved that he hit with a wood bat. Not all scouts believe in Brusa, though. He's a good athlete but spent a lot of time this season at DH, rather than playing in the outfield. He has the tools to play there, and he's an average runner with fringe-average arm strength. Brusa is committed to Pacific, but scouts believe he wants to sign, which could help him move him up draft boards.
38 1169 Sean McLaughlin RHP Northview HS, Johns Creek, Ga. Ga.
In a topsy-turvy spring in Georgia, the athletic McLaughlin had draft helium, despite his 5-foot-11, 184-pound frame. He's athletic enough to play center field, and if he makes it to campus for Georgia, he could use his 6.7-second speed and solid lefthanded bat to hit atop the lineup. However, pushing his fastball up to 95 mph and pitching at 91-92 with above-average life on the pitch made him move up draft boards. McLaughlin doesn't have a consistent secondary pitch but hasn't needed it yet. His athletic ability and aptitude give scouts hope he could develop one sooner than later.
39 1199 Cullen O'Dwyer OF El Dorado HS, Albuquerque N.M.
40 1229 Jimmy Herget RHP Jefferson HS, Tampa Fla.