The MLB draft is now less than a month away, and here at Talking Chop we are extremely excited to have a few new names to add to the mix to talk about. We have a ton of upcoming coverage in this draft, and this time it’s another update of the mock draft from MLB Pipeline. In the last iteration of this list Pipeline mocked UC Santa Barbara starter Michael McGreevy to the Atlanta Braves at 24th overall. This time they’ve switched back to a previous projection with two way high school player Bubba Chandler slotting in at the 24 spot. Chandler would be a big name and a big get in that phase of the draft for the Braves, as he is ranked as the 19th best draft prospect by Baseball America and MLB Pipeline and at 16th by Fangraphs. Chandler comes from North Oconee High School in Bogart, GA and while he does play both was as a shortstop with raw power and the ability to stick at the position defensively most teams prefer him on the mound as he has a fastball already getting into the mid 90’s and has projectability and feel for a curveball and changeup. Chandler is extremely athletic and is committed to Clemson in both baseball and football, and his raw nature as a baseball player does make him a risk, but he has tremendous upside on either side of the ball and the Braves are always seeking premium athletes to develop.
This is one name to look at, the same as McGreevy who we discussed last time around, but there are many routes the Braves could go at 24th overall. Pipeline and many others have heard talk of the Braves going college pitcher, and while there is certainly some buzz there the Braves really haven’t played it safe in that regard outside of last season’s weird draft. While I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go with a college arm, it’s become a bit of a lazy take to say the Braves have a history with those guys and that pick if extremely open in the direction it could go. With a system now mostly built on prospects that will finish the year at Double-A or higher the Braves certainly have the flexibility to go with prep players at the top of the draft, or take the approach that they did in 2019 and take prep guys late with overslot bonuses, a strategy which delivered the Braves almost all of their current lower level top talent. Coming off of a draft in which all four players they selected are already at High-A there is plenty of space to let guys free at the lower levels, so even if the Braves look to college players early I would expect quite a few prep talents to fall Atlanta’s way in the mid-to-late round of the draft.