When the dust settled on the 2020 MLB Draft, the overall consensus here at Talking Chop was that the draft was fine if unexciting. The Braves went with college picks for their entire class including Jared Shuster out Wake Forest and Jesse Franklin out of the University of Michigan. Both are players that, with good enough springs, could have played themselves into positions in the draft where they wouldn’t have been available to the Braves, although they have their own warts/risks as well.
Once the teams signed Spencer Strider to a near slot deal earlier today, it became clear that the Braves HAD to save money on the Shuster and Franklin picks in order for them to sign their final draft pick, Texas Longhorn starter Bryce Elder. As a result, the rest of today’s draft news is not that surprising.
1st-rder Jared Shuster signs with @Braves for $2,197,500 (slot 25 = $2,740,300). Wake Forest LHP, improved control last summer in Cape Cod League & stuff took jump this spring, fastball rose to 92-97 mph, CH stayed plus, low-80s slurve. @MLBDraft— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) June 18, 2020
3rd-rder Jesse Franklin signs with @Braves for $497,500 (slot 97 = $599,100). Michigan OF missed spring after breaking collarbone in skiing accident, solid to plus raw power, similar speed, chance to stay in CF. @MLBDraft— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) June 18, 2020
Through the first few rounds, we had pegged the Braves as having both Shuster and Franklin as underslot guys, but the Braves’ comments after the draft combined with the drafting of Spencer Strider threw those calculations to the wind. However, the news today both confirmed out suspicions about Shuster and Franklin as well as confused us a bit given that we didn’t have Strider projected anywhere near where the Braves gave him slot money. Color us intrigued.
If you wanting to know about the Braves’ 1st round pick, here is our write-up on Jared Shuster from the draft. As for Franklin, we have him covered, too, although one of our favorite things about him is that our own Brad Rowland is an avid Michigan fan and he is very excited.