clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Recapping the Braves 2008 Draft: Day 2, Part 3

In this year’s draft the Braves selected a lot of players from similar universities or schools. One wonders if that’s a good thing. Is it that the scouts are getting hung up on players from one particular university (perhaps because of the way that team plays) and they don’t really see players as they should see them from other teams? Perhaps it’s the kind of players or player-bargains we are looking for in this draft that are more commonly found at Junior or Community Colleges. Whatever the reason, I guess we have to trust that the Braves draft folks know what they’re doing.

This final rundown of Braves draft picks is a list of players who will probably go mostly unsigned. In each of the last two years only two selections among this group from each draft were signed. That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t at least some interesting picks from this final group.

Jason Stotz (31), SS – An unranked high schooler from the same high school in Georgia as our third pick Zeke Spruill.

Pat Lenton (32), RHP – Another unranked JuCo draftee, this time from another one of the Braves favorite new unheard of Colleges, Minnesota State, Mankato. Last year they drafted another Mankato alum in the 12th round, Nick Fellman, who was Danville’s closer last year and made the jump all the way to Myrtle Beach this year. Like Fellman, Lenton is a strikeout pitcher, ending his freshman season with a 13.21 K/9 ratio.

Justin Fowler (33), RHP – Another community college draftee, Fowler is ranked as the 110th best prospect in Texas.

Matthew Price (34), RHP
– Another pitcher, this time from an Atlanta-area prep high school.

Zack Osborne (35), RHP
– He is the 9th ranked prospect in New Mexico, but that may not be saying much as there were only ten players ranked by Baseball America in New Mexico this year.

Berry Tanner (36), RHP – He also goes by Cecil Tanner, and much like Michael Palazzone, Tanner is a nationally ranked high school prospect from Georgia who was passed over in the earlier rounds of the draft. He was ranked 13th in Georgia and 144th nationally. Tanner is considered extremely raw, and a winless senior season must have scared most teams away. He does have a fastball he can run up in the mid-90s, but his secondary pitches need lots of work. Odds are he’ll fulfill his commitment to UGA and appear on the draft radar again in a few years.

Lucas Hileman (37), OF
– An unranked high schooler from Illinois.

Jeffrey Richard (38), RHP
– An unranked senior from Coastal Carolina University.

Taylor Wulf (39), RHP – Finally another community college player, I thought we had forgotten our strategy for a moment. He is the 56th ranked prospect in Texas.

Jesse Wierzbicki (40), C – This is one of those picks that likely came from watching one particular team too much. This Newnan, Georgia native is a freshman at Walters State Community College. In case you were counting, he is the fourth player drafted “this year” by the Braves from that college. Disappointingly though, he is the last player from that school drafted by the Braves this year (there’s always next year). Atlanta really fell in love with the talent from that school in this draft. Unlike the other players drafted from Walters this year, Wierzbicki is not ranked in Tennessee and likely to return to school (where I’m sure we’ll draft him next year).

Ian Gilley (41), SS
– Ranked as the 10th best prospect in Arkansas, Gilley is a raw and toolsey high schooler who plans to attend a community college in Texas next year (wouldn’t we rather wait to draft him once he becomes a community college player).

Stephen Foster (42), LHP – This community college player is ranked as the seventh best prospect in Washington State. He can have a swing-and-miss fastball at times, but he is still a young and raw pitcher who has been prone to walking too many batters at times. He’s reportedly not that good in the academic arena, which may lead to a desire to sign for what he can in the pros.

Adam Bullard (43), RHP
– Still just a junior at a four-year school in North Carolina, this unranked pitcher will likely stay in school.

Taylor Hart (44), RHP – An unranked pitcher in Georgia from Madison County high school.

Nick Croce (45), C – The fourth catcher taken by the Braves in this draft, Croce is an unranked California high schooler.

Matt Harrison (46), SS – Perhaps this was a sentimental pick for the Braves after trading away Matt Harrison, the pitcher, in the Teixeira deal last year. This Matt Harrison is a high school shortstop ranked as the 19th best prospect in Nevada. He would have apparently been ranked higher, but the consensus on him is that he is not yet at the pro level yet, and in need of some time in the college ranks.

David Walters (47), RHP
– Perhaps after drafting four players from Walters State Community College we felt the need to draft someone named Walters. He is a junior at Francis Marion and will likely stay for his senior season.

David Holman (48), RHP – An unranked high school prospect from Kansas.

Joshua Adams (49), RHP – Another unranked high schooler, this time from South Carolina.

Dylan Lightell (50), RHP – Our very own Mr. Irrelevant is a… wait for it… community college player (surprise, surprise) from California and unranked.

That’s all the draft stuff for now. I believe we’ve already signed our eighth-round selection, Brett Oberholtzer, out of Florida. I’ll try and keep an eye on anyone else we sign and pass that along. From the comments I’ve read, a lot of our higher picks seem very eager to sign quickly.