Atlanta Braves

Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Player Position School State Bonus
1s 35 Matt Lipka SS McKinney (Texas) HS Texas $800,000
McKinney quarterback/righthander Zach Lee may continue to play two sports at Louisiana State, but his top wide receiver will focus on baseball, either in pro ball or at Alabama. A two-time 4-A all-state wide receiver in Texas, Lipka caught 22 touchdown passes from Lee last fall. He's one of the fastest prospects in the draft, capable of running the 60-yard dash in 6.4 seconds. He's a quick-twitch athlete with strength in his 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame. A righthanded hitter, he has strong hands and bat speed, though he gets jammed more than he should. He employs a line-drive stroke but has a chance for at least average power. Lipka has the athleticism and arm strength to play shortstop, but his hands and actions are questionable. He'll get the opportunity to play shortstop as a pro, and he also profiles well as a center fielder. While Lee is considered one of the draft's most unsignable players, Lipka should sign if he goes in the first three rounds as expected.
2 53 Todd Cunningham OF Jacksonville State Ala. $674,100
Scouts got familiar with Jacksonville State last year, following hard-throwing righthander Ben Tootle. Cunningham entered the season as a possible first-round pick, and he could still sneak in that high. He has a track record with wood, hitting .387 last year to lead the Cape Cod League after hitting .310 in the Texas Collegiate League in 2008. He hadn't dominated the Ohio Valley Conference this spring, but he was clearly the best hitter in the conference and its best prospect. For some, Cunningham fits the center-field profile well enough to be an everyday player. He's intelligent and has a good baseball IQ. He switch-hits and stays inside the ball from both sides, working counts with a patient, disciplined approach. Some project him to be an above-average hitter with fringe-average power, projecting to 10-15 home runs annually. He's a solid-average runner, with his throwing arm being his weakest tool. He played one game at shortstop and would profile well at second base, but he's a better fit at shortstop if his bat can carry him. Detractors see Cunningham's range and arm as short for center field, and his power short for a corner spot. His safe bat and consistency likely will push him into the second round.
2 70 Andrelton Simmons SS Western Oklahoma State JC Okla. $522,000
Like Connors State outfielder Marcus Knecht, Simmons is an Oklahoma junior college player who went from obscurity to scouts' must-see lists. Simmons turned down small bonus offers to sign out of Curacao at age 16, and that would have spelled the end of any professional baseball hopes if Western Oklahoma State coach Kurt Russell hadn't seen him on a Caribbean scouting trip. He's the best defensive shortstop in the draft, an athletic 6-foot-1, 180-pounder with a cannon for an arm and plus actions and instincts. In fact, some teams might be more tempted to draft him as a pitcher, because he has run his fastball up to 95 mph and flashed a mid-80s slider in limited action. That decision became even more difficult when he missed a month with a broken toe, though he returned to help the Pioneers finish third at the Division II Junior College World Series. Simmons' righthanded swing is long, but he makes enough contact and has pop to go with his average speed. He might not provide a huge impact with his bat, but he should hit more than enough to make keeping his glove in the lineup worthwhile. Simmons is only a freshman, but he'll turn 21 in September and needs to start his pro career.

3 101 Joe Leonard 3B Pittsburgh Pa. $324,900
Leonard's father, John, was a first-round pick of the Orioles in 1982, and Joe stepped into Pitt's starting lineup as a freshman. After two solid seasons, Leonard exploded as a junior this spring, hitting .452/.507/.719 with eight homers and 60 RBIs though 199 at-bats. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Leonard has below-average game power currently, but he has shown good pop with wood bats in batting practice and projects for average power if he can add loft to his flat swing. His swing is long, making him vulnerable against good fastballs on the inner half, but he has good bat speed and feel for hitting, so he barrels up balls consistently. He projects as an average hitter. Leonard also reaches 92-93 mph off the mound as Pitt's closer, and his arm is above-average at third base. He is not a finished product defensively but has good feet and solid instincts, and he projects as a solid-average defender. He is a below-average runner but not a clogger. Leonard projects as a second- to third-round pick.
4 134 Dave Filak RHP Oneonta State (N.Y.) N.Y. $204,300
Filak has a fresh, explosive arm; he did not pitch in high school and walked on at Oneonta State as a catcher. He was quickly converted to the mound, where he led all Division III pitchers in strikeouts per nine innings (14.86) and fewest hits allowed per nine innings (5.07) as a sophomore last year. Scouts were buzzing about Filak after he ran his fastball up to 95 mph and flashed a plus-plus 83 mph spike curveball in his 2010 debut in Vero Beach, but he exited his third start of the season after just two innings because of elbow stiffness, which caused him to miss his next outing. He did not show quite as much velocity after returning to action, but he still posted a dominant season, going 8-0, 1.82 with 96 strikeouts and 16 walks through 59 innings. Filak's fastball settled in at 90-93 mph, and he still regularly flashed a plus curveball with 12-to-6 break in the 77-80 range. Filak did not learn to throw a changeup until last fall, and the pitch is a work in progress. Filak has a physical, athletic 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame, and he could still add velocity as he learns to make better use of his lower half in his delivery.
5 164 Phil Gosselin 2B Virginia Va. $150,300
Gosselin got a lot of attention after a first-inning home run against Stephen Strasburg in the 2009 Irvine regional, and he was building on that by batting .385/.465./619 with eight home runs, 58 runs and a team-best 21 doubles this spring. He's a good athlete capable of playing multiple positions, though he fits best at second base. He has good bat speed and is a solid-average runner.
6 194 Joey Terdoslavich 3B Long Beach State Calif. $125,000
Joey Terdoslavich began his college career at Miami, hitting .293 with five homers in 123 at-bats as a freshman. After a successful tour in the Alaska League, he transferred to Long Beach State, forcing him to sit out last season. The nephew of ex-big leaguer Mike Greenwell, Terdoslavich is a big-bodied third baseman at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds. He started slow but rebounded, and he was hitting .323/.378/.484 with seven home runs, impressive numbers for Long Beach's cavernous Blair Field. From both sides of the plate, Terdoslavich employs the modern power hitter's swing. He loads up with a hard uppercut and a high finish, looking to put backspin on the ball and drive it out of the yard. During batting practice, pitches ricocheting off of his bat make a distinct, loud ping. Long Beach State has used him at the hot corner, though his hands and actions are short for him to stay there as a pro. A move to first base is likely. His arm is decent but his speed is below-average.
7 224 Matt Suschak RHP Toledo Ohio $125,000
Suschak didn't attract much attention in his first two years at Toledo. His fastball jumped from the high 80s in his freshman season to the low 90s a year ago, but he had no success on the mound, going a combined 2-4, 11.01. A different Suschak has emerged this spring, and this one likely will get drafted in the first five rounds. For the first two months of the season, when the Rockets brought him out of the bullpen, his fastball resided at 92-95 mph and touched 96. He backed it up with a hard breaking ball alternately described as a curveball or slider, and also showed glimpses of a changeup. Though his 6-foot-4, 203-pound frame is built for durability and Toledo moved him into its rotation in late April, his future is as a reliever. He was much more effective in that role, with a 1.40 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings, compared to a 5.60 ERA and 30 whiffs in 35 innings in six starts.
8 254 Kurt Fleming OF St. Christopher's HS, Richmond Va. $125,000
Fleming is another Richmond-area outfielder with speed comparable to Shifflett's. He's arguably the best athlete in the state and is committed to play football for Army. His dad is Steven Fleming, the Braves' East Coast crosschecker.
9 284 David Rohm 1B Fresno JC Calif. $125,000
Fresno CC first baseman Rohm is a talented and versatile late-round prospect. He is a strong, polished young hitter with a bat that will profile at first base, third base or as a corner outfielder. His father David pitched for two seasons in the Toronto organization. He hit .503, third in the state, with 21 doubles in his first 36 games.
10 314 Matt Lewis RHP UC Davis Calif. $100,000
UC Davis has struggled since its NCAA regional appearance in 2008, but will produce a few prospects this year. Righthander Lewis created buzz in the fall of his draft-eligible sophomore year, when he was up to 93 mph at scout day. He never did show that good stuff in the spring, so he went undrafted last year. The return of occasional mid-90s heat could allow him to sneak into the top 10 rounds, and he picked up seven saves as the Aggies' closer. He is an ideal 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, and his secondary stuff is a work in progress.
11 344 Chasen Shreve LHP JC of Southern Nevada Nev. $125,000
Lefthander Shreve was in the mid-80s last year and up to 91 this year, but he also battled arm injuries.
12 374 Barrett Kleinknecht SS Francis Marion (S.C.) S.C.
13 404 Brandon Drury SS Grants Pass (Ore.) HS Ore.
The best high school position player in Oregon is Drury, a baseball rat who has a strong, athletic 6-foot-2 build. He keeps his hands back at the plate, shows bat speed and gets good backspin on balls. While he was a high school shortstop, he has below-average speed and will have to move to third base or the outfield as a pro. He has also committed to Oregon State, but scouts believe he is more motivated to play professionally.
14 434 Richie Tate RHP Market Tree (Ark.) HS Ark.
Another high school righthander who popped up late in the spring is Richie Tate, who also didn't get seen by many clubs. He can run his fastball up to 93 mph, and while his delivery needs work, he has good body control for a 6-foot-6, 230-pounder. His secondary pitches and control also need refinement. Committed to Connors State (Okla.), Tate should be signable if he goes in the first 10 rounds.
15 464 Cory Brownsten C Pittsburgh Pa.
Behind the plate, Smith has an average to plus arm but raw receiving skills, which is why Brownsten handled the lion's share of the catching duties for the Panthers this spring. Brownsten also had a better offensive year, hitting .395/.460/.530, but scouts say he has a metal-bat swing that probably won't play at the higher levels of the minors. He's a good defender, however, who does a nice job blocking balls in the dirt and has a 55 arm on the 20-80 scale.
16 494 Dan Winnie RHP Lackawanna (Pa.) JC Pa.
17 524 Stefan Sabol C Aliso Niguel HS, Aliso Viejo, Calif. Calif.
Sabol is the cousin of Pittsburgh Steelers all-pro safety Troy Polamalu. One of the finest prep athletes in the nation, Sabol finished first in the SPARQ testing (which includes several tests that measure athleticism) at last summer's Area Code Games, with a 36.2-inch vertical leap and a 6.28-second time over 60 yards. Some scouts doubt the 60 time, though Sabol has well-above-average speed. Scouts also say that Sabol will not remain a catcher as a pro. While his arm is adequate behind the plate, his receiving skills are substandard. His tools fit comfortably as a corner outfielder. As a hitter, Sabol rarely has been productive with a wood bat. The switch from metal to wood may be a difficult transition for him, though he has the skills to succeed as a hitter. He flashes both bat speed and quickness despite a few problems in his hitting mechanics. His stride is too long, and he has a tendency to pull his head and front shoulder off the pitch. An Oregon signee, Sabol is the most athletic prep receiver available, but he does not figure to catch if he signs a pro contract in 2010. Instead, he profiles as a potential five-tool outfielder.
18 554 Zach Alvord 2B South Forsyth HS, Cumming, Ga. Ga.
Alvord entered the year as one of Georgia's top prep hitters, and that hasn't changed. He's strong and solid at 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, and he has good enough hands to stay in the infield. He also has above-average arm strength, having hit the low 90s as a prep closer, but his best tool is his bat. Alvord bars his lead arm, a no-no for many scouts, yet he still creates good bat speed and has present strength, giving him raw power. Some scouts compare him to former Auburn infielder Joe Saunders (a 2009 fifth-round pick now with the Rockies), a comparison made in part because Alvord is committed to Auburn. He may wind up there for two big reasons: He's a below-average runner, and he's got a big price tag. In Georgia this spring, scouts saw so much speed that Alvord's lack of speed stood out in a negative way. He's not going to play shortstop as a pro, may not have the range for second and doesn't have the classic size or profile for third. Alvord's price tag also might cause him to drop, as he has a strong commitment to college and prefers a comparison to Gordon Beckham, who was more athletic and more of a power hitter. If Alvord has a Saunders-like career, scouts will definitely be back. Despite his polished bat, he may wind up falling out of the first five rounds, where his talent fits.
19 584 Tyler Hess RHP Sonoma State (Calif.) Calif.
20 614 Jason Mowry OF St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC Fla.
21 644 William Beckwith 1B Wallace State (Ala.) JC Ala.
22 674 Jordan Buckley OF New Mexico JC N.M.
New Mexico JC's top prospect is outfielder Jordan Buckley. The 6-foot-1, 165-pound Buckley is a former wide receiver at Blinn (Texas) JC, and this was his first season focusing solely on baseball. He entered the year expecting to be a fourth outfielder, but ended up starting in right field after the team's regular right fielder went down. He's raw but is a great athlete that scouts can dream on. He has the speed to play center field, and he has an above-average arm. At the plate, Buckley swings and misses a lot, but he has a quick bat and shows power potential. He has a lot of tools but will need time to develop. If he doesn't sign, Baylor has shown interest in him, though he had not made a commitment.
23 704 Evan Gattis C Texas-Permian Basin Texas
24 734 Evan Danieli RHP Notre Dame Ind. $150,000
Evan Danieli had a 92-95 mph fastball and projected as an early-round pick before having Tommy John surgery last summer. He should be able to pitch in July, and a team will probably gamble a late-round pick on him and evaluate him this summer.
25 764 Dan Jurik RHP St. John Fisher (N.Y.) N.Y.
26 794 Jonathan Burns RHP St. Edward's (Texas) Texas
27 824 Willie Kempf RHP Baylor Texas
28 854 Kyle Mertins RHP Cal State Fullerton Calif.
29 884 Reid Roper SS Harrisburg (Ill.) HS Ill.
30 914 Kenny Fleming OF Shelton State (Ala.) JC Ala.
31 944 Jack Reinheimer SS Kell HS, Charlotte N.C.
32 974 Ryan Delgado C Azusa Pacific (Calif.) Calif.
33 1004 Albert Minnis LHP Lawrence (Kan.) HS Kan.
34 1034 Matt Fouch LHP Army N.Y.
35 1064 Kenny Swab C Virginia Va.
36 1094 Jarred Frierson 2B Nevada-Las Vegas Nev.
37 1124 Kollin Dowdy OF Harrisburg (Ill.) HS Ill.
38 1154 Jake Wark 1B Jesuit HS, Beaverton, Ore. Ore.
39 1184 Stephen Foster LHP Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) Idaho
40 1214 Ian Marshall RHP Richmond Va.
41 1244 Spencer Jordan RHP Florence-Darlington Tech (S.C.) JC S.C.
42 1274 Ben Waldrip 1B Cypress (Calif.) JC Calif.
43 1304 LeJon Baker OF Crenshaw HS, Los Angeles Calif.
44 1334 Ryan Morrow C St. Mary's (Texas) Texas
45 1364 Joe Lucas SS Dakota County Tech (Minn.) JC Minn.
46 1394 Kendall Logan OF Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) JC Miss.
47 1424 Frank LaFreniere RHP St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC Fla.
48 1454 James Mahler RHP Salt Lake (Utah) JC Utah
Righthander Mahler spent his freshman year at Arkansas and returned to Utah--where he went to high school--for his sophomore year. He stands 6-foot-6 and 235 pounds and throws in the 86-88 mph range. Scouts are waiting for a jump in velocity, but Mahler doesn't have good coordination of his big frame. He also throws a spike curveball and a changeup. His father Mickey and uncle Rick combined for 21 seasons as pitchers in the big leagues. If he doesn't sign, James is committed to return to the SEC at Mississippi.
49 1484 Ryan Turner RHP McLennan (Texas) JC Texas
50 1514 Cory Gabella SS Notre Dame HS, Burlington, Iowa Iowa