The draft season is nearly upon us.
That alone is a chill reminder of how fast time truly does fly. I was in Asheville when draft day came and went last year and remember vividly how much I refreshed my twitter feed in a basement that had poor reception.
How I was disappointed at first that Coppy didn’t go after Austin Beck with his first pick, then how shocked I was, just as I was coming to terms with Kyle Wright, that we drafted Drew Waters with the second round pick.
That draft, and those in the previous two years helped transform a bare farm system into the crown jewel in the eyes of those in baseball.
Now, after the Braves’ golden standard was cast into the fire, and a sullied reputation in need of a rebirth came forth from the ashes (I exaggerate slightly), we get to see how the new GM handles his business in the draft room. There were some successful prospects to come out of the system he was apart of in TOR, and no doubt some of the men he brought over from LA were apart of the drafting prowess that said team has shown in recent years, so it should be a decent overall draft. I think any concern over how the new FO will handle the draft will be remedied by the quality of picks the team has this season. By next year, Anthopoulos could have a whole slew of guys he trusts with his life in charge of the scouting process, as well as the stalwarts that already exist within the organization. That’ll really help when the team starts winning more and the pick numbers begin to fall in the order year after year.
To start off with, I’ll say that this year’s class looks more laden with talent than the last several, in my opinion. I think many picked to go in the top 50 are all potential major league-caliber players in some capacity. Some need proper development and time more than others…but the argument could be made, nonetheless.
In this first part of the draft preview, I’ll purposely list only the senior sign guys that I really hope the Braves will look at closely this year. Those are, for anyone who doesn’t know, the college seniors who have stuck around from their previous two draft-eligible years to graduate from their respective colleges. Therefore, they have less bargaining power than those in a better position, as in blue chip HS grads with top agents or college juniors ready to make the jump to pro ball. I’ll break a few of them down and pick the position player and pitcher that I’d like best to see the team sign with their 3rd and/or 4th picks.