Braves Draft GM Frank Wren's Son Kyle in 8th Round of 2013 MLB Draft
Never let it be said that the Atlanta Braves don't know how to take care of their own.
As David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted, the Braves selected Georgia Tech outfielder Kyle Wren with their eighth-round pick. That's not the notable part. What matters, per O'Brien, is that Kyle Wren is the son of Atlanta general manager Frank Wren:
Braves take Kyle Wren in the eighth round, son of Braves GM Frank Wren, outfielder for Georgia Tech— David O'Brien (@ajcbraves) June 7, 2013
Beesball.com noted that Kyle's reward for being drafted by his father is a slotting value of $150,500:
Kyle Wren has been selected by the Braves in the 8th round (253rd overall). His draft slot has an assigned value of $150,500.— beesball.com (@beesball) June 7, 2013
Understandably, this pick will assuredly cause impending cries of blasphemy. That Frank was just doing his son a favor.
That's not the case—at least not the whole case. Kyle Wren's selection was actually nothing near a shock from a value standpoint. He was ranked 210th in Baseball America's (subscription required) top 250 prospects, over 40 spots behind where Atlanta wound up nabbing him.
Kyle was also taken by the Cincinnati Reds in the 30th round of last year's draft, but chose to return to school for his junior season.
The Georgia Tech standout had a slash line of .360/.423/.467 this past season and is widely credited as the Yellow Jackets' offensive spark plug. He gets on base, rarely strikes out and has shown the ability to make consistent contact throughout his career.
But what really makes Wren stand out is his base-stealing. One of the more aggressive base-stealers in the country, Wren swiped 28 bags this past season. The 5'10" outfielder was also caught 13 times, which means there is still plenty of room for improvement. But the talent, at least as a platoon outfielder, is certainly there.
What's more, let it be known that great things have come from similar risks in the past. Tommy Lasorda infamously drafted catcher Mike Piazza in the 62nd round of the 1988 MLB draft, merely as a favor to Piazza's father, Vince, who was a personal friend of the Los Angeles Dodgers manager.
At the time, Piazza was merely a junior-college player whose name was completely off the major-league radar. Piazza ended his career with 427 home runs, becoming arguably the greatest offensive catcher in MLB history.
It's safe to say things worked out in that case.
The Braves also have a history of taking similar risks. In 2002, the Braves selected Auburn third baseman Jonathan Schuerholz in the eighth round. Jonathan Schuerholz is the son of then-Atlanta general manager John Schuerholz, who now works as the club's president.
While Jonathan's MLB career never quite panned out—he left baseball in 2007 after hitting just .224 in the minors and never having made it to the big leagues—there is hope that the second time will be the charm for the Braves.
Frank Wren may have drafted his son in the eighth round, but he also took a darned good ballplayer.
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