March 5, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves general manager Frank Wren prior to the spring training game against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The 2013 MLB First Year Player Draft starts this Thursday, and runs through Saturday. It’s an exciting time for the Atlanta Braves, as they will have the chance to improve a farm system that has been sapped lately–through graduating players to the majors and trading away prospects. When it comes to predicting picks for the Major League Draft, it’s almost impossible. There are so many players, and so many rounds, and so many different needs that nothing really pans out as expected.
However, there are some sites who believe they know what the Braves need and want. The Braves have the 31st pick in the first round of the draft, because Michael Bourn signed with the Cleveland Indians. With that pick, most people expect the Braves to take a pitcher, although there are several who believe a hitter would be a better fit, with the lack of any great hitting prospects currently in the organization.
Here are three different sites and three different predicted picks:
- Sports Illustrated–Hunter Renfroe (OF, Mississippi State)
- Bleacher Report–Hunter Green (LHP, Warren East High)
- Minor League Ball–Bobby Wahl (RHP, University of Mississippi)
Personally, I feel like a pitcher would be a better fit for the Braves in the first round. Even though we don’t have a lot of great hitting prospects at the moment, we do have a lot of good position players under contract for several more years. Our pitching depth has gone down considerably lately with the trades of Randall Delgado, Arodys Vizcaino, and JJ Hoover among others. Tim Hudson and Paul Maholm are also in the last years of their current contracts, and as we have seen with Brandon Beachy, Eric O’Flaherty, and Jonny Venters… injuries happen all the time.
The Braves also have a much better time developing pitchers than hitters and I trust the organization much more to give us a stud pitcher than a stud hitter.
Looking at the Braves drafting history,we aren’t given any clues as to what we can expect in 2013. Since 2000, the Braves have had 24 first round/first round supplemental picks. Out of all of these selections half have been for position players and the other half have been for pitchers.
Recently, the Braves have taken more pitchers but the change isn’t especially drastic. Since 2003 (with 14 picks) the Braves have taken nine pitchers compared to just five position players. This difference shouldn’t be looked into too much in my opinion.
Many things go into selecting a player in the MLB draft; Need, availability, value, potential, signability, and many more. However, if I had to take a guess as to what type of player the Braves would take with their pick at 31, I would say it will be a pitcher.
What do you guys think?