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A Brief Look at the Best MLB Draft Prospects from Georgia

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With the Braves' propensity for taking local players, we take a look at some of the top prospects from Georgia.

Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves Photo by Kevin Liles/Getty Images

Its no secret that the Braves have a knack for finding talent right in their backyard. While we have recent picks such as Jason Heyward and Lucas Sims as examples of high picks the Braves have spent on local talent, the Braves have consistently looked to the Atlanta suburbs and elsewhere around Georgia to fill its minor league system and have found varying degrees of success at the major league level.

On a broader scale, Georgia has been among the bigger hotbeds for talent across the major leagues. From Ty Cobb way back when the rules were considered to be more "guidelines" than anything else to the present where players such as Heyward, Brian McCann, Adam Wainwright, and Byron Buxton all came out of Georgia to just name a few.

We decided to take a look at the top prospects from the state of Georgia that the Braves could have their eyes on, if not for the 3rd overall pick in the draft, but for some of those later picks that are much harder to predict.

Top Prospects from Georgia

Kyle Lewis - OF - Mercer University - Macon/Gwinnett

Well Lewis' presence on this list comes to the surprise of exactly no one given that he is a candidate for being picked number one overall. A first baseman at Shiloh High School (just outside of Atlanta), Lewis decided to attend Mercer University as an undrafted, but talented player. After crafting his raw power and athletic ability over the next three years and striking fear throughout the Southern Conference, Lewis will certainly become the highest drafted player ever to come out of Mercer. He may not be available at #3 overall, but if he is expect the Braves to take a good, long look at him as he may be the best player in the draft.

Josh Lowe - 3B/P - Pope High School - Marietta

Hailing from Pope High School in Marietta is one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft in Josh Lowe. Its not often you find a player with plus-plus raw power that can also throw 92-93 mph off the mound coming out of high school, but thats Lowe for you. An unbelievable athlete that comes from a strong sports background, the only thing that is keeping Lowe out of the top 10 is likely his swing and miss tendencies and problems with consistent production. If he ends up as a Brave, its because he agreed to an underslot or overslot deal as he seems to be not quite good enough to be a 3rd overall pick but too good to be had in the comp rounds.

Will Benson - OF - The Westminster Schools - Atlanta

One of the best ways to describe Will Benson out of Atlanta is toolsy. He has elite bat speed, plus speed, plus raw power, and a strong arm. However, almost everything he has is raw and his hit tool is in question which will essentially make or break him as a prospect. He is definitely a potential Braves target as a player to snatch up with an overslot deal in the comp rounds for the Braves as he is only slated to go slightly before that anyways and staying close to home could have value to him.

Taylor Trammell - OF - Mount Paran Christian High School - Kennesaw

Taylor is a young speedster from just north of Atlanta in Kennesaw. Young, speedy prospects are hard to evaluate in most cases since you never know if they are going to develop in to a true hitter or any power whatsoever. However, in Taylor's case, he has shown such improvement both in the field as well as as a hitter with a surprising bit of pop, his stock is certainly ticking up. He is another guy that could be available in the comp rounds at a slightly higher or right at slot price and his commitment to Georgia Tech doesn't seem to be iron clad.

Robert Tyler - RHP - University of Georgia - Athens

If I were to tell you that a prospect had a fastball that sit around 93-94, one wouldn't even blink at him being a first round prospect. Robert Tyler's fastball does that in like the 7th inning when he has a cold. The big righty from UGA can touch 100 mph with a plus changeup and outdueled many of the better college pitchers in the country during his college career. The lack of a consistent breaking ball has hurt his stock, although I personally think his new knuckle curve has potential to at least be average, but he is still expected to go in the first round. He may be destined for the bullpen, but whether the Braves can even consider him depends on whether there is a team or teams out there that believe that can turn him in to a starter. If they do, he could fall in to that in-between area that the Braves won't be able to get to.

Alex Speas - RHP - McEachern High School - Powder Springs

Yet another interesting prep pitching prospect from just west of Atlanta is Alex Speas. He has some of the best stuff in the draft and MLB Pipeline likened him to Braves' prospect Touki Toussaint in that regard. He is already throwing in the mid-90's with a plus slider, but control has given him problems. The reviews on his control have ranged from "needs work" to "can't throw straight at all", and the lack of an apparent third pitch could lead him to being a back-end of the bullpen type. However, being close to Atlanta should mean that the Braves have gotten to scout him plenty. If they think his changeup can develop to at least league average and can harness his stuff, he could be a target in the comp rounds although he may be a less likely option there.

Brandon Marsh - OF - Buford High School - Buford

Continuing this impressive prep draft class from Georgia, we have Brandon Marsh from Buford. Another player with loud tools, he can run and many seem to think that as he gains strength he will be able to consistently hit for power as well. As of now, he is a gap-to-gap hitter and a terror on the basepaths who was also a standout football player for Buford. Once he focuses on baseball, he should be able to eliminate some of the "rawness" from his game and could be a bargain in the comp rounds. The Braves are certainly aware of Marsh, but Marsh's name has also been connected to teams a bit higher than that so its unclear whether he will be available or not.

Carter Kieboom - 3B/SS - Walton High School - Marietta

Carter Kieboom out of Walton High School comes from a baseball family by all accounts is the best in the family and could be the most well-rounded prep bat in the draft class. He may not be able to stay at shortstop long term, but has plenty of arm to stick at third. Fun fact: he was an ambidextrous pitcher in his younger days. He has performed well against his peers as well, delivering hits against Josh Lowe and Riley Pint with tons of scouts in attendance. He will hit for some power but not a ton, but his hit tool should carry him regardless of where he plays in the field. Fans have used Kieboom's A LOT in their dream mocks with the Braves picking him in the comp rounds and if he is available, he could be a favorite to land with the Bravos in that range.

Akil Baddoo - OF - Salem High School - Conyers

The final prospect from Georgia we are going to cover her is Akil Baddoo out of Salem High School which is east of Atlanta in Conyers. Baddoo is another player that has seen his stock rise of late with the potential of being a 20-20 player with good speed and an improving swing and approach at the plate. He could be a top of the order hitter if it all comes together for him, but he will need a good bit of seasoning and work on driving the ball to all fields. His speed would suggest a career in centerfield, but the reports on his routes seem to suggest that he may need to play in left. A team that believes in him in center and at the plate could take him in the comp rounds or he could very well go in the second or even third round which is where the Braves could target him.