Atlanta Braves 2011 MLB Draft: Rounds 41-50

The Braves drafted as many high school players in their last ten picks as they did in their first 40. I guess it's just wishful thinking, or making contact with them to let them know they'll be watching. Other than the high school kids, there are a couple of intriguing players in this last group of ten. The Braves signed two players from from the bottom ten of last year's draft, both college players, so it's not beyond the realm of possibilities that some of these guys could wind up in a Braves uniform at some level this year.

Keelin Rasch, C - Round 41
A good prep hitter and fielder from Illinois, though I can find no record of him playing catcher.

Cody Livesay, OF - Round 42
A super-speedy outfielder from another Illinois high school -- the second Illinois prep player in a row selected by Atlanta. Both are solid hitters and competed in many of the same showcases. Though neither player was ranked by Baseball America in the state.

Jake Lueneburg, 1B - Round 43
This JuCo first baseman from Illinois (surprise!) has signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Houston. He has been one of the top hitters in the Junior College ranks the last two years.

Sutton Whiting, 2B - Round 44
His brother Boomer was a 28th round selection by the Nationals in 07, and is currently playing at triple-A, amassing 189 stolen bases in five season. Sutton is also a burner, having stolen 40 bags last year. He is an all-around great athlete, but will likely follow his brother to the University of Louisville, as he stated last year that he would have to get drafted pretty high to sign a contract.

Sako Chapjian, 3B - Round 45
This JuCo power hitter is also a sports psychology major, so that begs the question, "which skill are we really drafting him for?" Even more ironic, his current baseball idol is Dan Uggla. I'm not kidding. Sako will be playing in the California Collegiate League this summer, a fairly advanced summer league, so I expect him to be a summer follow for the Braves, and likely sign if they offer him a contract. I kind of hope they do, he sounds like a cool kid. His name/heritage is Armenian. Read all about him here.

John Means, LHP - Round 46
He was a high school teammate of the number five overall pick Bubba Starling in Kansas. That got him noticed by some scouts, though he wasn't ranked as one of the state's top prospects.

Dane Gronewald, LHP - Round 47
A tall lefty JuCo pitcher from Missouri.

Alex Real, 3B - Round 48
This prep third baseman/catcher has signed a letter of intent to play for the University of New Mexico.

Cody Cox, RHP - Round 49
There are a lot of Cody Cox's playing baseball out there. This one didn't put up very impressive stats at Thomas Nelson Community College in Virginia, but he is supposed to have a fairly projectable arm, and has shown flashes of brilliance.

Kevin McKague, RHP - Round 50
Our very own Mr. Irrelevant, and he is actually a really good prospect. He's a senior at West Point, and was their shut-down closer for several years, leading some to rank him as a top-five round talent. But an injury this season limited him to just three games, and he may take a medical red shirt to come back for another senior season. He was featured as a sophomore in the April 27th, 2009, issue of Sports Illustrated. The Braves have a connection to West Point, having drafted and signed reliever Matt Fouch last year, before he had to leave to fulfill his service requirement, so maybe they can get a deal done with McKague -- that would be cool. I'd love for a 50th-round pick to be a real prospect.

I hope you enjoyed all the draft writeups this year. I certainly enjoyed putting them together. Now let's get these guys signed!

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