Atlanta Braves Announce Signing Six Draft Picks; Add Another UDFA

The Atlanta Braves continue to sign their draft picks from the 2023 draft. The pool of talent continues to grow for a farm system that has been depleted in recent years.
The Atlanta Braves have signed 19 of their 21 selections.
The Atlanta Braves have signed 19 of their 21 selections. / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
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Atlanta Braves 20th Round Pick: Will King

With that many pitchers, you need more catchers, which leads up to the Braves' last selection of the draft, Will King.

Will King is a 5’9-190 pound RHH catcher out of Eastern Kentucky University – Richmond. In three seasons with EKU, King batted .306/.381/.518/.899 with 36 doubles, a triple, and 25 homers in 619 PA.

In its report on King’s selection, EKU highlighted a few of his career highlights.

  • Led the team with a .364 BA in 2023
  • Eighth in ASUN Conference BA and 13th is slugging percentage
  • Threw out 41.2% of runners
  • American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings Midwest All-Region Second Team selection
  • Second-team All-ASUN Conference pick

He was also among the finalists for the Buster Posey National Collegiate Catcher of the Year Award and the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award.

It isn’t easy to earn consideration for the Posey or Bragan awards and helped the Braves decide to make the selection, but King’s 41,2% theft prevention rate and bat made it easier.

Atlanta Braves Undrafted Free Agent: Utility Infielder Joe Olsavsky

The Braves signed Joe Olsavsky out of John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. Olsavsky played shortstop and second base for The Blue Streaks in three seasons, batting .410/.510/.657/1.167 (171-471) with 15 homers, striking out 38 times and walking 66.

He was’s Mideast Region Rookie of the Year, selected for the All-Mideast First Team, and for the ABCA/Rawlings Mideast All-Region Second Team in 2021 

This season, he walked more often than he struck out (20-11), led the Ohio Athletic Conference with a .449 batting average, tied for first on the Blue Streaks with 16 doubles, and was second on the team with 43 RBI.

Olsavsky also pitched for John Carroll in relief in 2022and appeared in eight games for Elmira in the Perfect Game Collegiate League that summer, throwing 24 2/3 innings at a 3.65 ERA, 0.829 WHIP, striking out 24, and walking five.

That’s a Wrap

I understand that scouts provide the Atlanta Braves with a ton of information we may never hear about, but some of the Braves selections baffle me; everything in 2018 after Carter Stewart, for example.

College bats are pretty close to the bats you’ll see as a pro, which is why I didn’t understand Graffanino in 2018, and I don’t understand MaGee this year. 

Olsavsky posted better numbers, albeit in a smaller conference. I have no way of knowing whether the difference in conferences makes his number the same as Magee’s or worse. 

I don’t begrudge anyone for getting the best contract they can, but why give an unrated utility man such as Magee $150K?

These and other questions will not be answered when I write the final draft wrap-up.