Braves’ 2019 draft: picks 11-1
|2B, Cody Milligan||Danville||B|
|RHP, Ricky DeVito||Rome||A|
|RHP, Darius Vines||Danville||B|
|RHP, Tanner Gordon||Danville||A|
|OF, Stephen Paolini||GCL||B|
|RHP, Kasey Kalich||Rome||A|
|OF, Michael Harris||Rome||A|
|SS, Beau Philip||Danville||B|
|SS, Braden Shewmake||Mississippi||A|
|C, Shea Langeliers||Rome||B|
(all ages listed are for 2020 season)
No. 10, Cody Milligan, 2B
21-years-old — 5’10”, 185 lbs.
2019 stats: 59 games, .252 AVG, 1 home run, 7 doubles, 12 RBI, 12 stolen bases
Listed as a utility player on some sites, Milligan hit .453 and was 30-for-30 in steals at Cowley County Community College in 2019 (he transferred from OK State), before being taken in the 9th round by the Braves. His performance in Danville wasn’t earth-shattering, but he held his own at the plate and showed off his speed by successfully converting 12 of his 18 stolen base attempts. Milligan is projected as a second baseman, but has experience in the outfield and even behind the plate at catcher.
No. 9, Ricky DeVito, RHP
21-years-old — 6’3″, 195 lbs.
2019 stats: 8 starts, 4 app., 36.2 innings, 3.44 ERA, 8.6 K/9, 3.9 BB/9
The 2018 Big East Pitcher of the Year has already made it on a Braves’ prospect ranking lists, with his sinking 94-mph fastball and plus-secondary pitches. DeVito had a strong showing in his first taste of pro ball, starting in the GCL and ending the 2019 season in Single-A Rome. He certainly had a tougher time at the latter level (his K rate fell from 10.9 to 5.9 batters nine), but he maintained his ability to prevent runs, sporting a 3.78 ERA in 16.2 innings at the full-season level (on par with his overall mark for the year). 2020 will be DeVito’s age-21 season (turns 22 in August).
No. 8, Darius Vines, RHP
22-years-old — 6’1″, 190 lbs.
2019 stats: 11 starts, 1 app., 32.1 innings, 6.68 ERA, 9.7 K/9, 2.8 BB/9
Vines was finally drafted high enough to actually sign in 2019, as the Braves took the 6-foot-1 righty in the 7th round. He made one appearance in the GCL (1 IP/ 1 ER) before being moved up to Danville, where he finished out the year and ran into some rough luck. Vines’ 6.00+ ERA looks bad, but the 21-year-old pitched to a much more respectable 4.38 FIP in 31.1 innings at the Rookie-Advanced level.
No. 7, Tanner Gordon, RHP
22-years-old — 6’5″, 215 lbs.
2019 stats: 13 app., 24.1 innings, 2.22 ERA, 13.3 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, 2 HR
Fresh off an 87.1-inning year as a starter at Indiana University, Gordon mowed through the Appy League as one of Danville’s best pitchers in 2019. Gordon, a 6-foot-5, 215-pound righty, features a mid-90s fastball and was actually projected as more of a pitch-to-contact type, but ended up striking out 36 batters in just 24.1 innings. His extraordinary K rate should return closer to his level in college (9.3 K/9) as he faces stiffer competition in the minors.
No. 6, Stephen Paolini, OF
19-years-old — 6’2″, 195 lbs.
2019 stats: 35 games, .192 AVG, 6 doubles, 8 RBI, 2 stolen bases
Paolini just turned 19 in November and looks to be an athletic and toolsy outfielder. Playing against guys a year in a half older than him in the GCL, Paolini struck out around 30% of the time and hit under .200, but he played all over the outfield (including CF) and has the potential to be a solid player as he matures. A full season in 2020 will tell us more.