The Atlanta Braves once again enter the MLB Draft in familiar territory...picking late in each round.
While the Braves lost their first-round pick when they signed B.J. Upton, they did gain a compensation pick after Michael Bourn signed with the Indians.
The Braves have looked good in 2013, but the future is determined by how well the team drafts.
Last year, Atlanta drafted right-handed pitcher Lucas Sims from Brookwood High School (No. 21 overall) before selecting University of Georgia southpaw Alex Wood with pick No. 85.
Wood, along with other recent draft picks like Andrellton Simmons (2010) and Mike Minor (2009), are currently making contributions at the big league level.
So, will any of this year's draft picks produce in the future like Wood, Simmons and Minor? Only time will tell.
In the meantime, let's track the Braves' selections in the 2013 draft.
Note: More will be added as the Braves draft players.
The Braves went with another pitcher with their first pick, taking RHP Jason Hursh from Oklahoma State.
According to bigleaguefutures.net, Hursh has a high leg kick and a fastball that ranges between 92-95 mph.
However, he does come with some hangups, according to minorleagueball.com.
The problem for Hursh: his secondary pitches. His change-up had tailing action like the fastball, though (of course) at lower, change-up velocity. His slider had some moments early but was inconsistent, I'd say ranging from major league average to below average. He threw a slower curveball while warming up but didn't use it much in the game.
He's also had Tommy John surgery, which is a likely reason he dropped to the Braves.
Hursh will need some time to develop his secondary pitches. But if there's a team that can do it, it's the Braves.
The Braves went with junior college catcher Victor Caratini.
Crawfish Boxes projects Caratini to play either catcher or third base.
Caratini does have plenty of arm for catcher, and that will serve him well at his likely long-term home, third base, where his bat still profiles excellently. His swing is pretty long, but it generates leverage and loft and he has excellent bat speed; plus, he's a switch hitter. Still 19 years old and possessing tremendous raw power in his 6'1" frame, Caratini can be a big league slugger with 30 home run potential, even if he's unlikely to hit for high averages given the length in his swing.
With catcher being a position of strength within the Braves organization, it does give the Braves options with Caratini.
If his bat continues to develop like the Braves believe it will, don't be surprised to see him moved to third base permanently.
Carlos Salazar has one of the premier fastballs out of all high-school pitchers, so it's a steal for the Braves to get him in the third round.
With a fastball that can reach 97-98 mph, the Braves have a very hard-thrower on their hands in Salazar.
Committed to Fresno State, Salazar is still a raw prospect. But he's going to the right organization to develop him.
Baseballinstinct.com believes his velocity is something that can't be taught.
A powerful frame, though just 6' tall right now, his mechanics help him produce the plus arm speed that generates his plus fastball. His most used secondary is a changeup and it could be an above average pitch. He still needs to refine a breaking ball but throws both a curveball and a slider.
The biggest question will be his signability. Can the Braves lure him away from Fresno State?
The Braves went with another catcher in the fourth round, drafting Tanner Murphy out of Malden HS in Missouri.
Murphy can also pitch with three decent pitches. His fastball ranges between 87-91, while his curveball is between 72-76. His changeup is around 77-78 as well.
Committed to Southern Illinois, Murphy batted .600 with 10 home runs and 39 RBI during his senior year. On the mound, he was 7-3 with a 1.44 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 48.2 innings pitched.
It will be interesting to see where the Braves place him as there is good depth at both positions in the system.
The Braves went with an infielder in the fifth round, selecting Texas A&M shortstop Mikey Reynolds.
Reynolds batted .342 with one home run, 25 RBI and 19 stolen bases during 2013. His stats were nearly the same in 2012, batting .306 with one home run 23 RBI and 21 stolen bases.
He does have a tendency to make a lot of errors at shortstop (29 in last two years), so that's not likely his final position.
The Braves could likely move him to second or third base, depending on where the need is.
The fact remains, he has speed and the ability to get on base, which means he could be the leadoff hitter the Braves have been looking for.
Round 6, Pick 193: Steve Janas, RHP, Kennesaw State
The Braves continued to build depth in the pitching department, taking Janas from Kennesaw State. Janas underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012 and dominated the competition 10 months later in 2013.
For the year, Janas had a 1.14 ERA.
According to mlb.com, he pounds the strike zone, and also throws a changeup and slider.
He's just a junior, so there is a possibility he could return to school for his senior year.
Round 7, Pick 223: Ian Stiffler, RHP, Somerset HS (PA)
Stiffler commands three pitches according to mlb.com, a fastball, curveball and changeup.
He has signed with Virginia Commonwealth, where his brother is a coach.
Round 8, Pick 253: Kyle Wren, CF, Georgia Tech
The son of Braves general manager Frank Wren, Kyle has some speed to his game.
He has great speed and hitting instincts, making him a valuable player in the Braves future.
Wren does have the knack for getting caught stealing more than he should as he was thrown out trying to steal 13 of 41 times.
Still, he's got a lot of speed and great defense.
Round 9, Pick 283: Dylan Manwaring, 3B, Horseheads HS (NY)
Manwaring batted .464 this season with three home runs, five doubles, two triples and 23 RBI in 56 at-bats.
He pitched and played shortstop in high school, but he projects as a third baseman.
The one hangup is he has a letter of intent to Wake Forest. If the money isn't right, he could opt to forgo his big league career for another three years.
Round 10, Pick 313: Ian Hagenmiller, 3B, Palm Beach Central HS (FL)
The Braves continued to show their need to get depth at third base in the draft, selecting another high school third baseman.
Perfect Game USA had nothing but good things to say about the third baseman:
He has a power approach at the plate with big time power and the ball jumps off bat. Ian has strength in his swing and can flat out hit. As an infielder he has very good arm strength with clean fielding actions.
Hagenmiller has already said he plans on signing with the Braves and is ready to start his pro career.
Round 11, Pick 343: Alec Grosser, RHP, T.C. Williams HS (VA)
Round 12, Pick 373: Ryan Gunther, RHP, Charleston Southern
Round 13, Pick 403: Joseph Odom, C, Huntingdon College
Round 14, Pick 433: Tyler Kuresa, 1B, California-Santa Barbara
Round 15, Pick 463: Matt Marksberry, LHP, Campbell
Round 16, Pick 493: Michael Swanner, RHP, Pepperdine
Round 17, Pick 523: Jared Dettmann, LHP, Century College
Round 18, Pick 553: Chuck Buchanan, LHP, Cal-State Bakersfield
Round 19, Pick 583: Jordan Sechler, LHP, Cal-State Los Angeles
Round 20, Pick 613: Tyler Vail, RHP, Temple (TX)
Round 21, Pick 643: Tyler Brosius, RHP, Walters State CC
Round 22, Pick 673: Andrew Waszak, RHP, Michigan State
Round 23, Pick 703: Connor Oliver, RF, State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota
Round 24, Pick 733: Orrin Sears, C, Arizona Christian
Round 25, Pick 763: Reed Harper, SS, Austin Peay