An alternate universe Atlanta Braves draft strategy for Monday: draft an unsignable player

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CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 02: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Cincinnati Reds tries to coax Brian Dozier #9 of the Washington Nationals into trying for second base after a single in the seventh inning at Great American Ball Park on June 2, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Nationals won 4-1. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

We've heard this song before... and we don't really like the beat.  But there is actually a scenario in which the Atlanta Braves might want to sandbag on the MLB draft... again.

Tomahawktake will shortly have a report in which we outline what we think/hope/expect the Atlanta Braves to do with their 9th overall draft pick as the Rule 4 Draft festivities get underway on Monday evening.

However much travel and games and report reading and phone calls that Dana Brown and his network of scouts have fielded that have led to this day... there is a way in which - maybe, possibly - none of that will ultimately matter.

How come?  There's a scenario... and the possibility isn't all that far-fetched, either.


Part 1 - the busted plan

Let me quote from Frangraphs' Mock Draft 1.0, published back on April 23rd.  This from Kiley McDaniel, who should know the Braves' intentions (even given the the new regime) as well as anyone in baseball media circles.

Emphasis added:

It appears Atlanta would take [Shortstop C.J.] Abrams or [SS Bobby] Witt if they get here, and they’ve been scouting [LHP Nick] Lodolo, [OF J.J.] Bleday, and [OF Hunter] Bishop as primary options, with a good chance one of them gets to this pick. It’s unclear if the other prospects on the board at this point excite them, in the event that Texas takes Bishop and all the players Atlanta has been tied to are off the board.

Catcher Adley Rutschman and 1B Andrew Vaughan will definitely be taken ahead of them.  If this list above is accurate, that's 5 more names among the best of this draft class... which isn't that spectacular, even among this Top 7-9 players.

So that's 7 names of interest.  Reminder:  the Braves pick 9th.

If you buy Fangraphs' value rankings among potential draftees, there's Rutschman (grade 60), 6 guys at grade 50, and then everybody else at 45+ or worse.

Guys with a future value of 45 or less have a chance to be serviceable major leaguers, but there's an equal chance that they never even get there.

Yes, McDaniel's correct:  there's a fair chance one of the preferred players gets to Atlanta's pick.  But there's also a fair chance that one of them may not.

Then what?

Next: Gut-wrenching Time