With the 157th pick in the 2021 MLB Draft the Atlanta Braves have selected Luke Waddell, a shortstop out of Georgia Tech. Waddell is a 5’9, 176 pound infielder that hits left handed and throws right handed. The nearly 23 year old is a senior sign after being passed over in the draft last year. He was selected by Arizona in the 32nd round of the 2019 draft but did not sign.
Baseball America - 175
Perfect Game - 238
Pipeline - N/A
Fangraphs - N/A
ESPN - N/A
The Athletic/Keith Law - N/A
2018 - 133 PA, .283/.348/.392, 8 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 1-3 SB, 10 BB, 17 K
2019 - 288 PA, .322/.436/.416, 12 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 7-9 SB, 45 BB, 22 K
2020 - 74 PA, .300/.419/.417, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2-2 SB, 7 BB, 7 K
2021 - 277 PA, .309/.402/.474, 12 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 5-8 SB, 30 BB, 16 K
Hit - 55
Waddell is a very good hitter with very good contact skills and has exceptional on base ability. He was a leader for the Tech offense as an on base machine throughout his college career.
Power - 30
Waddell has well below average power and it will never be a big part of his game, at least in terms of home run power. He will hit more than his share of extra base hits, though.
Run - 55
Waddell is an average to slightly above runner.
Fielding - 50
Waddell probably doesn’t have the ability to stick at shortstop longterm, but he certainly has the ability to be an average to slightly above defender at second base. He also adds a lot of potential defensive versatility as well.
Arm - 50
The arm projects as average for second base.
Waddell is a hitting/on base oriented type of utility profile.
Thoughts on Pick
Waddell is the second Braves senior sign in the first five rounds, and like the third round pick he also has some useful value even if he doesn’t come with the highest upside because of the lack of power.