Happy hunting grounds?
Mike Soroka came to the Atlanta Braves’ attention because Chris Reitsma coached him. Perhaps the former Blue Jays in the front office head north to select Calvin Ziegler (ESPN 101, MLB 123. BA 272). The 18-year-old righty from Kitchener, Ontario, has a three-pitch mix led by a fastball sitting 95-97 this spring. His secondary’s include a consistent 12/6 breaker that flashes plus, and a mid 80’s change will develop with increased use.
Perhaps they want a pitcher who sees eye-to-eye with Kyle Muller and select 18-year-old, 6’-6″, 220 pound Jacob Steinmetz (ESPN N/A), MLB 121, BA 181 with two 60-rated pitches, fastball and curve.
Former colleague Ben Chase suggested that the Braves will take junior college players in the later rounds. If that’s the case, we might see the Braves take a flyer on Logan Henderson (ESPN N/A, MLB 234, BA107); the video at his link is interesting.
That’s a wrap
I said at the beginning that once you leave the first eight players, rankings vary; in some cases wildly, which means Atlanta Braves’ choice comes down to their view of the system’s need at that position and the player’s makeup.
Once the 20 rounds are over, the Atlanta Braves could go hunting $20K bargains like lefty reliever Ben Harris (ESPN N/A, MLB N/A, BA 362) out of Georgia. Like all young pitchers, he has control issues, but he has “elite-spin” on the heater that created a 15.4 K/9 strikeout rate in relief for the Bulldogs.
The draft looks like a choice among equals, particularly from the third round on. Whoever the Braves choose, we’ll introduce you to them and let you know what we think here at the Take.