Baseball America released its initial mock draft and projects Kennesaw Mountain catcher Tyler Stephenson to the Atlanta Braves with the No. 14 pick.
Other than Jay, the player with the most helium in early May is Georgia prep catcher Tyler Stephenson. Could he fit the Braves any better? Atlanta has gotten many of its old scouts back together, including special assistant Roy Clark, who nailed two prep catchers when he was scouting director in Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Brian McCann.
The 2015 Draft remains a bit unsettled and mock drafts this far in advance often involve a bit more guesswork than actual intel. Stephenson is a guy that could end up being gone before the Braves pick at No. 14 but he looks like a player they might be delighted to snatch up if he is available.
Stephenson is rated as the No. 47 prospect on MLB.com's 2015 prospect watch page. Still check out this bat flip:
FanGraphs' Kiley McDaniel released a mock of the first 13 picks but had this to say about the Braves:
The Braves at 14 are interesting because they have lots of picks and pool money so they could be creative. They are tied, as usual, to multiple toolsy kids from the southeast. They would likely take Stephenson if he gets to their pick, which is doubtful at this point, and also like Rainey in the 2nd round, along with Georgia prep 3B Cornelius Randolph in the 1st round. Randolph is also a target for the Giants at 18 and the Royals at 21; he likely doesn't get past both teams.
It will probably be several weeks before things start to become clearer but as McDaniel mentions, the Braves are in good position with plenty of picks and plenty of pool money.
Exit Question: What are your early thoughts on the draft and what direction should the Braves go in?