Atlanta Braves 2014 Mock Draft: Projecting Top 5 First-Round Targets
The Braves could go a number of different directions with the No. 32 overall pick in the compensation round acquired from the Brian McCann deal.
Last year, the Braves selected Jason Hursh (No. 31 overall), a right-hander out of Oklahoma State University. Hursh got an invite to this year's spring training and is currently pitching for Double-A Mississippi, where he sports a 3-3 record and 3.45 ERA.
Will the Braves go the college route or select a high school standout? Will the Braves target a positional player or another pitcher?
In the last five years, the Braves have selected four pitchers (Hursh, Lucas Sims, Sean Gilmartin, Mike Minor) to just one positional player (Matt Lipka). Of those five picks, three were out of college and one was from Georgia— a place the Braves have picked apart.
With that in mind, here's a look at potential targets for the Braves to take in the first round of the June 5 2014 MLB draft.
1. Michael Gettys
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has the Braves taking Michael Gettys with their first choice. Gettys is an outfielder out of Gainesville High School in Georgia.
The intrigue with the 6'2", 195-pound Gettys centers on his great arm and impressive speed that make him a potential plus defender at the MLB level. Those tools project him to be a center field prospect.
At the plate, Gettys shows great bat speed with potential for power but is raw as a hitter. In 28 games in his senior season, Gettys hit .372 with nine home runs and 40 RBI; he also posted 11 wins and a 0.68 ERA as a pitcher in his last two seasons.
The Braves could look for an outfield prospect with Jason Heyward and Justin Upton under contract through 2015.
Here's a full profile of Gettys.
2. Michael Chavis
Another high school prospect from the state of Georgia the Braves could target is Michael Chavis. Chavis played shortstop for Sprayberry High School in Georgia but projects to be a third baseman at the next level.
The Clemson commit hit .627 with seven home runs and 19 RBI in 17 games during his senior season. Like Gettys, Chavis has great speed and a plus arm while projecting to have power at the next level.
The Braves could target a third baseman to replace Chris Johnson in a few seasons. They selected a projected third baseman in Victor Caratini early in last year's draft but have been playing him at catcher for Single-A Rome.
Here's a full profile of Chavis.
3. Spencer Adams
If you are sensing a Georgia theme, you'd be correct.
The next Georgia target is Spencer Adams, a right-handed pitcher out of White County High School.
Adams has an impressive mound presence standing 6'5" and 180 pounds.
The long right-hander can touch the mid-90s with his fastball and also features a swing-and-miss slider. He combines that stuff with a quiet delivery which make him look like a natural starter on the mound.
The Braves could look at the Georgia commit, who is projected to go in the late first round. Drafting and developing young starting pitching is the Braves' forte, and Adams would fit that mold.
Here's a full profile of Adams.
4. Nick Burdi
We're going to mix it up with this target and go to the college ranks with Nick Burdi.
The power right-hander has a 3-3 record and 0.76 ERA serving as the Louisville Cardinals closer this season.
Burdi projects as a closer at the next level, as his fastball can hit 98 with a breaking ball in the 88-91 mph range. High velocity is the current trend in MLB bullpens, and Burdi certainly fits that mold.
The Braves went with a power right-hand arm in Hursh in the 2013 draft. Could they go that route again in 2014 if Burdi falls to No. 32?
Here's a full profile of Burdi.
5. Mac Marshall
Another pitcher (and Georgia native) the Braves will likely take a look at is Mac Marshall.
The Braves have selected right-handed pitchers with their last two first-round picks and could look to a left-hander this time around.
Marshall stands 6'2" and 185 pounds and throws from the left side.
The Parkview High School standout compiled a 9-0 record and 0.58 ERA in his senior season.
Marshall uses a low-90s fastball with a curveball and changeup that project him to be a starter at the next level.
The LSU commit should be available when the Braves select in the compensation round.
Here's a full profile of Marshall.