Atlanta Braves MLB Draft: Top 5 college pitchers to target

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ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 29: Fans walk in The Battery Atlanta prior to Opening Day at SunTrust Park between the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies on March 29, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

We turn our attention to the college pitchers as we prepare for the upcoming MLB Draft and who the Atlanta Braves may select at 9 and 21.

This is not expected to be a very good MLB draft for college pitchers, but there are a few arms who are expected to go in the first round that could end up helping the Atlanta Braves.

And the Braves have a history of taking pitchers in the first round the MLB Draft.

Their last six picks in the first round have all been pitchers, including their last four picks in the top 10.

All but one of those last six first-round picks have been high school pitchers, with Kyle Wright being the lone college pitcher taken.

Still, I would be really surprised if the Atlanta Braves took a pitcher at nine in this draft unless J.J. Bleday and Hunter Bishop are off the board.

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And if they do take a pitcher, it will likely be a high school pitcher with upside.

Most of the college pitchers that I'm going to profile in this article don't have a ton of upside to be a frontline starting pitcher.

These are mostly guys who could be a middle of the rotation pitcher or a dominant reliever.

According to Keith Law (ESPN+ subscription required), the Atlanta Braves are considering Bishop (OF), Jackson Rutledge (RHP), Corbin Carroll (OF), Alek Manoah (RHP), and Shea Langeliers (C) at nine.

The problem is that if the Atlanta Braves want to draft a pitcher in the first round, they may have to take them with the ninth pick. Most mock MLB Draft projections I've seen have the top pitchers going between picks 10-20.

With the Braves picking at nine and 21, they may have to reach at nine or they'll miss out on grabbing a pitcher in the first round.

Next: LHP - Nick Lodolo - TCU