The Atlanta Braves are close to wrapping their signings from the 2023 Rule 4 Draft while continuing to add Undrafted Free Agents. The Braves now have 19 of their 21 selections under contract and added another Undrafted Free Agent as well.
A couple of days ago, I had no new information on rounds 11-20 other than the early signings of Will Verdung and Mitch Ferris I reported last week. All that changed when yesterday afternoon’s Baseball America’s 2023 Draft Tracker showed that the Atlanta Braves had 18 of their selections from the draft in the fold.
It’s likely these players signed earlier, and the club held news for one announcement over the weekend. However it happened, here’s the list as of the morning of July 19.
Atlanta Braves newest confirmed signings from the draft are:
- Position Player Bonus
- OF Jace Grady 150,000
- RHP David Rodriguez 150,000
- RHP Isaac Gallegos 100,000
- SS Cam Magee 150,000
- LHP Riley Frey 115,000
- C Will King 150,000
Only Kansas State second baseman Brady Day and Ohio State outfielder Kade Kern remain unsigned.
Atlanta Braves 11th round: Jace Grady
Grady is a 5’-11, 182-pound switch-hitting corner outfielder out of Bryce Ball’s alma mater Dallas Baptist. Grady batted 337/.422/.525/.947, including 43 doubles, five triples, and 26 homers in 784 PA., with 108 walks and 135 strikeouts over his last three seasons.
He showed a good eye for the strike zone as well, averaging a 13.8% walk rate with a 17.2% K-rate over that span and walking 45 times while striking out 42 in his final season for Dallas Baptist.
Grady played for Cotuit of the Cape Cod Summer League in 2021, batting .346/.378/.539/.917 (27-78), including three doubles and 12 homers.
Baseball America made Grady a top-200 prospect in 2022. Their scouts suggest he’ll be a gap-to-gap, line-drive hitter with occasional power.
…consistently been a good fastball hitter and continued to handle 92-plus mph velocity in 2023, with a 1.179 OPS against those pitches in a 131-pitch sample. He’s a solid-average runner who should be a fine defender in the outfield...(He’s) a better fit for left field…
Atlanta Braves 15th Round Pick: David Rodriguez
The Atlanta Braves went way out into the weeds to find David Rodriguez, but it’s easy to see why they wanted him.
Rodriguez pitched the 2019 Vacaville High School Bulldogs to a Division I championship, throwing six innings of one-run ball on the way to beating Jesuit in the championship game.
He planned to spend two years at a JUCO, then move to a four-year school in 2020, but a torn UCL required replacement surgery, and he didn’t pitch again until the end of the 2021 JUCO season throwing only 2 /13 innings.
He returned with a vengeance for the 2022-2023 season, appearing in 18 games – 16 starts – throwing and102 innings with a 2.29 ERA, 0.970 WHIP. Opponents batted .220 when facing the 6’2-190 pound righty, largely because he struck out 102 of the 404 batters faced, walking only 13 and hitting one. That’s good for a 9.53 K/BB ratio. Even by JUCO standards, that’s an impressive season.
According to a post by Cecil Conley for The Reporter, Ohio State contacted Rodriguez offering a scholarship a week after the Atlanta Braves selected him, and he’d negotiated a signing bonus, but he chose the Braves.