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Breaking down the 2016 MLB Mock Drafts for the Atlanta Braves

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Today, we take a look at the recent mock drafts and who they have the Braves taking in the 2016 MLB Draft

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

With the draft just a week away I’m here to give you a consensus of what the experts believe the Braves will pick at least with the #3 pick. Pro tip - no one has a clue. Full disclosure the talk of the town right now is the Braves taking someone they can go under slot with at 3, before overwhelming some prep arms or bats at 40 and 44. If they do decide to go that route I think it’s pretty safe to expect a college bat because they have such little leverage when negotiating contracts. There’s also going the best player available route and that would most likely be a prep arm (Pint, Groome). Finally, there are the intriguing young bats in Perez, Moniak, and Rutherford but especially when it comes to Rutherford the price tag may be too much. Alright, let’s get down to the draft experts.

Baseball America - Corey Ray, OF. With Moniak and Puk going 1 & 2 the Braves have a bevy of players to pick from including the top prep arms available. Instead, John Manuel has the Braves going with a signable college bat to which Manuel states has “plenty of impact potential.” - Kyle Lewis, OF. Mayo has the Braves go with power hitting OFer Kyle Lewis from Mercer. After not previously going drafted, Lewis’s extremely strong play over the last two years has exploded his draft status. Hitting .395/.535/.731 in his junior year, and with obvious holes in the outfield, it’s no surprise the first two drafts have the Braves going OF.

Fangraphs - Kyle Lewis, OF. Groome and Senzel go 1 & 2 on Fangraphs latest (which is still a long time ago) mock draft which leaves Kyle Lewis once more being the pick for the Braves. With ties to Atlanta (Mercer University), Scott Moore highlights that Atlanta often recruits out of its backyard.

Minor League Ball - Jason Groome, SP. Cookiedabookie (incredible username) has Lewis and Puk at the top of the draft which leads Jason Groome at 3 for the Braves with a possibility of Braves going under slot for Josh Lowe the third baseman out of Pope high school.

Scout - Corey Ray, OF. Blake Rutherford, OF. 2 drafts in 1! Jim Ellis has the Braves taking OF Corey Ray citing the reports that have us targeting a college bat. Taylor Ward, on the other hand, has us taking "arguably the best prep player in the nation" in Blake Rutherford.

Purple Row - Mickey Moniak, OF. The fine people over at Purple Row have the Braves taking Mickey calling him the "highest ceiling bat" in the draft.

Daily Dish - Kyle Lewis, OF. I have nothing else to say about Lewis so enjoy this GIF I made of him hitting a ball extremely far (461')

That ball had a family.

Draft Site - Jason Groome, SP. Once again someone has the Braves picking the talented high school arm out of New Jersey. In case you didn't know Groome's final start (before he was suspended for a really weird high school baseball rule) he struck out 19 of the 21 batters he faced needing only 92 pitches. His 92nd pitch of the game was a 95 MPH fastball.

As you can see there really is no one player linked to the Braves because no one is really sure of their draft strategy. With holes at many positions as well as a bevy of players available with so many draft picks it makes for a very fun draft for us to watch unfold. Players that have been linked to the Braves just at 3: Moniak, Rutherford, Lewis, Ray, Pint, Senzel, Perez, Groome. It will be fun to see who is added to an already stacked minor league system.

If you’re looking for more information on players and how their tools compare to their competition I highly recommend this Baseball America article.