Re-Evaluating the Atlanta Braves' Top Draft Picks from the Past Decade

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Re-Evaluating the Atlanta Braves' Top Draft Picks from the Past Decade
Rich Schultz/Associated Press

The Braves are renowned for building their major league club from within. Half of the players in the current Atlanta lineup—Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, Andrelton Simmons and Evan Gattis—are products of the Braves draft and development system.

Some members of the current lineup—Justin Upton, Chris Johnson and Tyler Pastornicky—were not drafted by the Braves but were acquired for players and prospects the Braves had drafted.

Whether it's building the major league team from within or augmenting the team via a trade, the Braves use their minor league system and the draft, which restocks it, as well as any other organization.

This year's draft will be critical to rebuilding a farm system that has been depleted by several trades in recent years (for Justin Upton and Michael Bourn). The system has also been emptied in recent years by the graduation of prospects to the majors.

The story of the last decade of top draft picks for the Braves, however, is not all roses. For every success story like Heyward or Mike Minor, there was a bad pick like Cody Johnson or Brett DeVall.

In the following slides we'll take a look at the Braves' top draft pick from each of the past 10 years, as well as ask which pick each year was actually the best.

 

Stats and draft order research taken from Baseball-Reference.

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