As you may have heard tonight is the first round of the MLB amateur player draft. Our friends over at Seedlings to the Stars have a complete final mock draft up that you should check out. Their prediction for the Braves first round pick is Kyle Seager. They reason that with Chipper Jones’ retirement the Braves are without a replacement and so will take Seager. Actually the Seager in the draft is Cory, Kyle’s little brother. Cory is listed as a SS but at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds with plenty of strength and a good arm projects as a third baseman. A left handed hitter, the scouts say the game comes easily to him and his brother made it to the majors quickly so most expect him to as well.
There are a couple of reasons I don’t think Seager is our man. First of all he’s a high school player who has strongly committed to South Carolina. That alone makes him less likely to sign. Besides, if the idea is to replace Chipper we need him to be closer than 3 or 4 years away and many high school players have found that leap to be bigger than they expected. Finally and a personal preference I suppose, he’s a left handed hitter. While lefties are coveted because most pitchers are right handed, the Braves are heavily left handed now and most of our outfield prospects are as well. While good left handed bats can be acquired, good right handed bats aren’t always available; remember our off season search? So I would tend to seek a player who is closer and right handed.
Richie Shaffer is a 6’3” right handed hitting 3rd baseman for Clemson. He’s shown big power even with the new restricted bats colleges are using. His line – .336/.480/.573 – and 34 extra base hits in 63 games are a testament to his ability with the bat and he hits to all fields well. Shaffer would be a nice fit for us but most places think the Cardinals will snap him up at number 19 before we get a chance. If they sleep on him we should grab Shaffer.
Piscotty’s hit well everywhere he’s played; three years at Stanford, the Alaska League and led the Cape Cod League in batting in 2011. The 6’ 3” Picotty is strong with a good arm. Primarily a line drive hitter he looks to hit more doubles than homers and that points to him playing third rather than an outfield spot. Baseball America says scouts particularly like his makeup and work ethic.
Victor Roache would almost certainly be the Braves first choice if he hadn’t broken his wrist badly in February. Baseball America reports that, “surgery required the insertion of six screws, two pins and a metal plate to repair the damage.” The wrist is a delicate thing and one of the most important to a hitter, so his return is problematic and he will likely fall to a later round. If however, you want to bet on 2011 and early 2012 results, Roache is a good bet.
The Braves would really like David Dahl but the chances of him falling that far are about the same as me being selected to run for vice president this year. When they can’t get what they want fallback position has always been, when in doubt draft a pitcher. If they go that route it will probably lefty Brian Johnson out of Florida.
That’s A Wrap
Figuring out who gets drafted where is never easy. The changes in the CBA this year mean we have no idea where teams will land. Those who read my posts know that I believe the Braves will extend McCann and Bourn if they can leaving us very left handed for the next five to six years. In that light a right handed bat would be on top of my list. I haven’t heard from the GM today – Frank, you never call you never write, what am I to think – so I don’t know how he’s thinking. I’ll be back to eat roasted crow later on.