Lucas Sims is an intriguing arm. Photo by Mack Ade at http://macksmets.blogspot.com/2012/04/matt-grabusky-lucas-sims-2012-draft.html
The Braves drafted 15 right-handed pitchers this year, including Kevin McKague, who could also get a look at first base. Of those 15 pitchers, nine were from college, two from junior college and four were from high school. The highest pick of the bunch was local prep star Lucas Sims, who may have the highest upside of them all.
These six players are the most interesting picks of the group.
Lucas Sims, Georgia high school—Sims is a potential top end of the rotation starter, or at worst a late-inning reliever. He has three potential-plus pitches, including a fastball that can hit 97 MPH.
David Peterson, College of Charleston—Peterson is a closer for a college team that made the NCAA Tournament. He has a mid-90s fastball and a solid curve, so he could move quickly as a reliever. He could someday be a setup man.
Nathan Hyatt, Appalachian State—Hyatt is another college closer for a team that made the NCAA Tournament. His biggest asset is a fastball that gets up to 97 MPH,
Shae Simmons, Southeast Missouri State—Simmons was a successful college pitcher, with three pitches that look like they will grade out as big league average in the future. For that reason, if it doesn't work out as a starter for him, he could have a promising future in the bullpen.
Matt Kimbrel, Southern Polytechnic State—The younger brother of Craig Kimbrel and a former Braves' draft choice, Kimbrel is a guy that organization obviously wants.
Sean McLaughlin, Georgia high school—McLaughlin was selected in the 38th round, and because of that may be hard to sign. McLaughlin is committed to play for Georgia next year, and with the new draft rules he could be tough to bring in. Still he has plenty of value for this spot in the draft, despite being under 6'.