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Day 2: 2008 First-Year Player Draft Open Thread

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The Braves nabbed some good talent on Day 1, let's see what they can do on Day 2. I had this thought about how the Braves are making up for the elimination of their draft-and-follow capability. They drafted and signed several players in the late rounds last year who don't look quite ready for the pros. Perhaps their new strategy is to take guys like Daniel Elorriaga-Matra or Rashod Henry or Benino Pruneda and try to convince them to develop in the Braves' system instead of returning to school. This is a bit risky since their pro clock will start ticking before they may be ready, but it might pay off if one of these guys fills out or develops quickly after a year or two of lower level ball or instructional leagues.

Another, more recently apparent strategy, seems to be for the Braves to draft players late in a draft only to establish a relationship with them, with the intention of taking them higher in the draft the following year (as long as they continue on their development path). This was the case with this year's third-round pick Craig Kimbrel who the Braves drafted in the 33rd round in 2007, and with Adam Milligan who the Braves drafted in the 27th round in 2007 and also drafted in the 28th round in 2006 -- they really want this guy.

Most of the interest in these later rounds is around who actually ends up signing with Atlanta. The compressed signing period seemed to bite the Braves last year as they 2nd, 8th, or 11th-round picks; a very rare occurrence for a team which usually wraps up all of their early round selections. One has to wonder if this could change the Braves draft strategy, changing it to one where selections are based more on signability than they have been in previous years.

At any rate, the draft resumes just before noon Eastern Time.