June 3, 2012 at 10:55 pm by David Lee under Atlanta Braves, Draft
Estimating the direction the Braves will take after the first round is a crapshoot. They won’t pick again until No. 85 in the second round, with no compensatory picks this year, so they can sit back and relax after No. 21. Below is a list of a few names the Braves may consider in the second or even third round.
Buck Farmer is an advanced college pitcher out of Georgia Tech listed at 6’3, 228 pounds. He’s a typical second-round college pitcher with experience, good enough stuff to make it and probably through developing physically. His drop and drive motion reminded Mark Anderson of Roy Oswalt, and he showed inconsistency in the lower half. He profiles an average fastball that needs good command to get by, and the potential for a good curveball and changeup. He’s a starter or bust due to the lack of a commanding fastball, but he stands to be a durable back-end starter if his secondary pitches develop. Video of Farmer.
Logan Vick is a center fielder at Baylor who stands at 5’11, 195 pounds. There isn’t a ton out there on him, but he made John Sickels’ Top 100 at No. 99: “Solid tools including very good speed, strong throwing arm, power potential, and patience at the plate.” Vick is very quiet at the plate, showing low hands until beginning his load and showing a decent load. He tends to push his hands through the zone and doesn’t use his wrists much, meaning a lack of power potential. And if I had to guess based on the video I’ve seen, he probably dips his back side on occasion. But Vick is said to have good tools as a center fielder, and as a college hitter, the Braves may take a look. Video of Vick.
If the Braves want an undersized second baseman – because you can never have enough of them – Tony Renda could be an option. Renda is a 5’8, 173-pounder out of the University of California. Like Vick, there isn’t a ton to go on here, but the video shows very quick hands through the zone and zero stride. His bat speed indicates the potential for some gap pop, and if he can take the ball the other way with authority, he could be a valuable doubles hitter. Baseball America tabbed him as the best defensive second baseman in the Pac-12 this spring, so I’ll take their word on that. Video of Renda.
Brandon Thomas is an athletic outfielder out of Georgia Tech, standing 6’3, 205 pounds. Watching video, Thomas looks big and you would think he would kill baseballs, but his swing just doesn’t show the authority needed, so his power potential is largely untapped. He is said to have good speed and ranges in center field well, but his size may cause a move to a corner, in which case the power will need to develop. His hit tool is average at best, so he will get by largely on his athleticism. He’s a question mark. Video of Thomas.
Popping Trey Williams isn’t for the faint of heart. The prep third baseman out of Valencia High School in California is ranked No. 81 on Sickels’ list and No. 82 on Keith Law’s, but he’s a big risk. His power potential is big, and he appears to have room to grow into an athletic frame, standing at 6’2, 205 pounds. His bat speed is off the charts, and his quick-twitch swing will help contact-wise. However, he drifts toward the pitch with a huge leg kick, and he must get the foot down in time to remain in sync. Also, with this leg kick means some off-balance swings in his future when he doesn’t recognize off-speed and breaking stuff. One report also mentioned possible makeup issues, although this remains to be seen. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Braves take the risk if he falls in the second or third round, because his bat speed and power potential slap you in the face. Video of Williams.
With a name like Skye Bolt, how could you go wrong? Bolt is a prep outfielder out of Holy Innocents in the Atlanta area, so he’s local. He stands at 6’3, 185 pounds and can handle center field, so he’s athletic and is very projectable. He’s ranked No. 70 on ESPN’s prep 100, hitting from both sides of the plate and has the potential for power while sticking in center with good speed and a plus arm. The one knock on Bolt is his swing is very upper-half-focused, and he doesn’t utilize his lower half as much as he should. But this is something that can be worked out after a year or two in the minors. He has a quick hitch in his bat as his load, something like a more violent Adam LaRoche, but he has good enough wrists and bat speed to make it work. Bolt’s tools could carry him in the minors, and he would be worth a look in the second round. Video of Bolt.
Jeff Gelalich is another college hitter who doesn’t show any one great skill but does well enough with across-the-board skills to be a good player. Good speed, average arm, good swing, good hit tool. He has a smooth, easy swing on a great plane with no stride, so he should cover the plate well and be able to make adjustments well as he progresses. He’s probably maxed out physically at 6’1, 205 pounds, but he’s an athletic corner outfielder who should provide good enough power. Video of Gelalich.
Preston Beck, OF, UT-Arlington: Above average power, corner-outfield defense, good arm, decent physically.
Chris Beck, RHP, Georgia Southern: Likely to go before 85 but here based on locality. Good fastball and curve, and a good enough changeup to be an average major league pitch. Strong, durable body. Inconsistent spring hurt his stock. Video of Beck.
Alex Wood, LHP, Georgia: Another probably gone before 85 but here for locality. Outrageous mechanics made me do a double-take, and I wasn’t surprised to hear he’s had Tommy John surgery. Motion spells pro reliever. Good fastball and change, decent breaking pitch. Video of Wood.
Tyler Pike, LHP, Fla. HS: Ranked No. 66 on ESPN’s prep 100. Florida State comped him as Sean Gilmartin. Athletic, 6’1, 185 pounds, low-90s fastball.
Torsten Boss, OF, Michigan State: No great tool but solid across the board. Made transition from third base to center field this year reportedly well, showing good range and a good arm. Above average speed.
Fernando Perez, 3B, Central Arizona: Advanced for 18 years old due to wood bat experience. Similar drift and twitch as Trey Williams with great bat speed. Projectable body and potential for power. Should stick at third. Video of Perez.
Brett Phillips, OF, Fla. HS: Good speed, range, glove and athleticism in the outfield. Most value is defensively, but should hit enough to carry. Simple swing mechanics and potential for gap power.
D’Vone McClure, OF, Ark. HS: High risk but potential for big return. Has an outstanding, athletic body at 6’3, 190 pounds, and shows the potential for power as he develops. He’s very raw across the board, needing adjustments both offensively and defensively, and popping him is a long-term type of deal requiring patience. But the reward could be big down the road in the form of power and athleticism. Ranked No. 41 on ESPN’s prep 100. Video of McClure.
Brett Mooneyham, LHP, Stanford
Alex Yarbrough, 2B, Ole Miss
Mitchell Traver, RHP, Texas HS
Brady Rodgers, RHP, Arizona State
Kolby Copeland, OF, La. HS
Adam Walker, 1B, Jacksonville
Jameis Winston, OF/RHP, Ala. HS
Avery Romero, 3B/C, Fla. HS
Nolan Sanburn, RHP, Arkansas
Austin Maddox, RHP, Florida