On Thursday night, the 2016 MLB Draft kicked off and the Braves were extremely busy. They had three of the top 50 overall picks, and they used those three particular picks on pitchers: Ian Anderson at #3, Joey Wentz at #40, and Kyle Muller at #44. The three arms are all coming out of high school, and they’re all consensus top-25 talent. Additionally, they picked up a bat with the 76th overall pick when they took switch-hitting catcher Brett Cumberland from Cal-Berkeley. The Braves are clearly pretty satisfied with their draft results so far, and things could get even better if all goes well on the international market.
While the Braves may be basing their draft strategy on getting the best out of the allocation rules, their selection of Ian Anderson at #3 seems like a pretty solid one. Jesse Spector of the Sporting News feels like the Braves made a good choice at #3 as the Braves continue to stockpile on young arms.
The Braves already are loaded with pitching prospects. They got Sean Newcomb and Chris Ellis from the Angels in the Andrelton Simmons trade, drafted Kolby Allard and Mike Soroka in the first round last year, picked up Touki Toussaint from the Diamondbacks in the Bronson Arroyo salary dump deal, plucked Tyrell Jenkins from the Cardinals’ system in the Jason Heyward swap, added Manny Banuelos from the Yankees for David Carpenter, pried Max Fried from the Padres in the Justin Upton blockbuster and picked Lucas Sims in the first round back in 2012.
That’s 14 starting pitchers age 25 and under, all with significant potential, as the minor leaguers are ranked in the top 13 in Atlanta’s rich farm system. So, with the No. 3 pick in the draft on Thursday night, the Braves grabbed . . . a young starting pitcher with significant potential, right-hander Ian Anderson, a high schooler from upstate New York who touches the upper 90s with his lively fastball and drew a comparison to Jacob deGrom from MLB Network analyst and Braves legend John Smoltz.
Back when Fredi Gonzalez was still managing the Braves, Jace Peterson was given a demotion to the G-Braves with the idea that he’d benefit from getting more playing time. As it turns out, he’s spent a lot more time at the AAA level than he expected, and it’s mostly due to the fact that he’s actually been struggling at that level. It’s been a frustrating season for the player who went into this season thinking that he’d be the Braves’ everyday second baseman.
With the news that Cobb County was/is using money intended for public parks to help build SunTrust Park recently coming out, this has got a lot of people wondering: Just how high does this stadium deal rank on the list of bad stadium deals? While the people at Vice Sports believe that it’s not the worst stadium deal, they do think that it’s still pretty bad for the people of Cobb County.
After it was revealed that county commissioner [Tim] Lee had pushed the stadium deal through by, among other things, hiring a lawyer to negotiate the Braves deal without even telling his fellow commissioners, Lee defended himself against ethics charges by insisting the ethics code only said elected officials "should" avoid the appearance of impropriety, meaning it was, you know, a suggestion. The county ethics board then dismissed the charges because Lee had said he was sorry.
In news that is not unrelated in the slightest to all of this, Lee may get voted out of office next month. At which point Cobb County taxpayers will get their money back and the Braves will remain in Atlanta—ha ha, just kidding, the stadium is already half-built, nobody's getting any money back ever.
The Philadelphia Phillies had the first pick overall in this year’s draft, and while everybody was focusing on guys like Kyle Lewis, AJ Puk, and Jason Groome for that particular pick, the Phillies decided to bestow the honor of being the #1 overall pick on high school outfielder Mickey Moniak. It’s a bit of a surprise, but the Phillies probably saved some money with this pick and that’ll help them with their other selections, so there’s that.
While the first night of the draft was going on, there was actual, real-life Major League Baseball going on. The Baltimore Orioles have been in the news a lot lately, what with Manny Machado receiving a four-game suspension for his actions in the brawl with the Royals earlier this week. However, they’ve also been doing a lot of winning lately, and they kept that up with a comeback victory over Toronto on Thursday night. Chris Davis tied the game at five with a seventh-inning homer, and then put the O’s ahead when he hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning.