Draft day is finally here and pundits around Major League Baseball are releasing their final mock drafts in the lead up to the big event which gets underway tonight at 7 p.m. ET. MLB Pipeline released their latest offering early Wednesday morning with both Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo predicting the first round.
Callis projects high-school right-hander Jarred Kelley to the Braves at No. 25 despite Atlanta having the third-lowest bonus pool.
Despite having MLB’s third-lowest bonus pool at $4,127,800, the Braves are chasing upside and think they can find a way to pay one of the top high school arms. If that can’t happen, a college right-hander (Jarvis, Florida State’s C.J. Van Eyk, McMahon, Mlodzinski) is a good guess for almost any team in the 20s.
We talked about Kelley, who is regarded as the best high-school pitcher available, previously. Interesting that Callis notes that the Braves think they could find a way to pay Kelley enough to buy him out of his commitment to Texas. Other projections have the Braves looking for an underslot value in the first round, possibly a college pitcher, with an eye on loading up on high school players late. Will be interesting to see what the decision is should a guy like Kelley slip all the way to No. 25.
Mayo has Kelley coming off the board at No. 23 to the Indians and has the Braves going the college route with Miami right-hander Chris McMahon. He also mentions Mississippi State second baseman Justin Foscue as a possibility if they were to go with a bat. He also mentions the signability issues for picking a high school player.
On the college bat side, the Braves might like it if Justin Foscue were still available, and they could consider one of the high school arms, though signability for those could come into play.
If you are interested in learning more about McMahon, we discussed him here.