Grading Atlanta Braves’ 2019 MLB draft: Picks 10-1
Braves’ 2019 Picks: 5-1
No. 5, Kasey Kalich, RHP
22-years-old — 6’2″, 220 lbs.
2019 stats: 14 app., 21.2 innings, 1.25 ERA, 10.0 K/9, 4.6 BB/9
Like DeVito above, Kalich made a prospect list of the Braves in 2019, as he pitched very well in his debut as a pro player. Kalich was a shutdown closer at Texas A&M, using his mid-90s fastball and filthy slider to strike out 13.5 batters per nine in his finals season with the Aggies. He’s a big guy (6’3″. 220 lbs.) and seemed extremely comfortable making the transition from the GCL to Single-A Rome this past season, after making Just one one-inning appearance at the former level.
No. 4, Michael Harris, OF
19-years-old — 6’0″, 190 lbs.
2019 stats: 53 games, .277 AVG, 2 home runs, 8 doubles, 27 RBI, 8 stolen bases
A lot of teams liked Harris as a left-handed pitcher, but the Braves drafted him as an athletic outfielder, taking a flyer on an 18-year-old prep player from Georgia. Harris didn’t disappoint, hitting .349 in his first 31 games in the GCL, with 3 home runs and 5 stolen bases to boot. His initial performance earned him a promotion to Single-A Rome where he struggled to the tune of a .183 AVG, but held his strikeouts in check (26.8 K%) and finished with three more XBHs in 22 games in full-season ball. Harris will turn 19 in March.
No. 3, Beau Philip, SS
21-years-old — 6’0″, 190 lbs.
2019 stats: 55 games, .193 AVG, 4 home runs, 6 doubles, 20 RBI, 5 stolen bases
At 6-foot and 190 pounds, Philip didn’t seem to possess a ton of power at Oregon State, especially considering he hit just 5 home runs for the Beavers in 2019. However, he did go viral with this shot in late May:
Philip’s .311 batting average didn’t exactly carry over to the pros, where the then-20 year-old couldn’t seem to get comfortable with the Danville Braves. Like a few others in the draft class that posted poor contact rates, fortunately Philip kept the strikeouts down (24.6 K%) and walked at a nice rate (12.5 BB%).
No. 2, Braden Shewmake, SS
22-years-old — 6’4″, 190 lbs.
2019 stats: 65 games, .300 AVG, 3 home runs, 18 doubles, 40 RBI, 13 stolen bases
Another candidate to take home the award for best 2019 Braves’ draftee performance this past season, Shewmake absolutely raked in his first pro season, making it all the way to Double-A Mississippi, where he slowed down to a .217 AVG in 14 games with the M-Braves. Still, in his age-21 season, the Texas A&M product took to the pros about as good as a player can. Also, at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, Shewmake’s body has plenty of room to fill out, meaning power could potentially be yet another tool to add to his tool belt.
No. 1, Shea Langeliers, C
22-years-old — 6’0″, 190 lbs.
2019 stats: 54 games, .255 AVG, 2 home runs, 13 doubles, 34 RBI
Not all draftees hit the pros on fire like Shewmake or Bryce Ball, as Langeliers struggled starting out, hitting just .227 in his first 30 games in Single-A Rome (his starting point). Luckily, he turned things around by hitting .281 in August, finishing the 2019 campaign with a respectable .255 AVG, especially for a catcher that’s known more for his defense and pitch framing. Other prospect reports predict a better hitting Austin Hedges when it comes to Langeliers, and the 2020 season will be interesting as we see if such predictions have a chance of being true. Langeliers will most likely battle against William Contreras for the starting spot in Double-A Mississippi this coming season. He might’ve already won the job.
That does it for our grades on the Atlanta Braves 2019 draft class. Check back later this week as we start to roll out our top 30 prospects list.