Mike Minor at No. 7 overall was a huge reach, and Atlanta -- normally one of the strongest and shrewdest-drafting teams -- went ultra-conservative; the Braves didn't take a player under the age of 21 until the seventh round, and their second pick, David Hale, had lousy results in a bad conference the past two springs despite plus stuff. Atlanta, like the other four teams on this "worst" list, spent under $4 million in the top 10 rounds in a year in which the median figure was around $5 million, and after overpaying Minor, they didn't give anyone more than Hale's $405,000.
It was out of character for its lack of risk with the early picks as well as the lack of risk in the later picks -- selecting no one who turned into a late-round bonus baby. This is where the Braves have often gotten some of their better prospects. When they could draft-and-follow, they used those late rounds to get guys like Tommy Hanson, Tyler Flowers, and Cole Rohrbough. In recent years, with that option taken away, they haven't done much in the way of signing summer-follows in late rounds (the only one of note I can think of is J.J. Hoover, and he was a 10th-rounder).
For all of our complaints about this draft, I wonder how we'll look back on it in a few years. Most Braves drafts turn out pretty well, and there is some interesting talent in this year's class for Atlanta. We did do a good job of signing most of our top picks. Of the first 23 rounds, we failed to sign only our 6th and 15th rounders. Our 6th-round pick, Ryan Woolley may have been somewhat of a summer follow, but he did not do well and will return to UAB.
There is a lot to be hopeful for from guys like Harrilchak, RSF, and Masters. Hale and Minor should be ready quick and provide good depth for the pitching staff in the next few years. Still, there's not that glut of exciting young arms that are usually a staple of our drafts, and that is a bit disappointing.