Below are reviews of the final 15 players drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 2012 MLB First Year Player Draft. Some of these guys will sign, especially the college Seniors, and there are some pretty interesting stories among this group.
The Braves also seemed to go with an interesting strategy with their final nine picks, choose all high school players. Of those nine, about half were ranked nationally. I suspect these players will be signed later if funds are available. The Braves could also dangle a bonus in front of several of them and give it to the first one to accept. It will be interesting to see what comes of the bottom nine.
Trenton Moses, Third Base
26th Round, 809 Overall
Near the top of NCAA Division I in home runs with 19, this Senior third baseman from Southeast Missouri State had quite a season. I'll let the video do most of the talking, but he's an impressive specimen, who should sign and play on the corners for the Braves. He reminds me of the Chase Larsson pick the Braves made last year. You can follow him on Twitter @trentonmoses.
Chris Barczycowski, Right-Handed Pitcher
27th Round, 839 Overall
This guy is a mystery. There's really no player by that name, but there is a Christian Barczykowski (with a k) at Niagra County Community College in New York, so that's who I'm going with. He, well, both of them, are 6-foot-8 and pitchers. But the mystery thickens, so far as I can tell he's only thrown one inning in his two year collegiate career, and that was in the spring of 2011. Search Google for his name (with a k) and you'll find a lot of videos of him pitching, but that's about it. He's a mystery.
Kraig Clabough, Shortstop
28th Round, 869 Overall
The second player drafted from Florida Tech, along with 9th rounder Steven Schils. Clabough is a senior shortstop who goes by K.C. Clabough. He's a slick fielding infielder with plus speed on the bases, and a bat that could see him hit for a good average and doubles power at the next level. As a Senior, he should be a quick sign for the Braves.
The final dozen after the jump...
Jaden Dillon, Right-Handed Pitcher
29th Round, 899 Overall
This small starting pitcher had a great year at Texas A&M Kingsville, while growing out his Brian Wilson-like black beard. He can run his fastball into the mid-90s, and the Braves will get a chance to see what this Senior can do. Here is a great video interview of Jaden filmed after he threw a one-hitter on "fear the beard" promotion night. You can follow him on Twitter @Jaden_Dillon.
Casey Kalenkosky, First Baseman
30th Round, 929 Overall
This Senior from Texas State goes by Ory. He was drafted in the 13th round last year by the Nationals, but chose to return to school and complete his degree. In his Junior year he put up prodigious power numbers (along with big strikeout numbers) and a good batting average, but this year his average dropped, he hit for less power (though still good power), and apparently his draft stock dropped as well. Strikeouts dropped too, which is good. Braves could have an interesting pick if his power can translate to wood bats.
Matt Kimbrel, Right-Handed Pitcher
31st Round, 959 Overall
Yep, that same Matt Kimbrel who is the brother of Braves closer Craig Kimbrel. He transferred from Shelton State in Alabama to Southern Polytechnic this year. The Braves draft him a round earlier this year, but that still might not be high enough to get him signed. He's apparently not nearly as good as his brother.
Adam Grantham, Right-Handed Pitcher
32nd Round, 989 Overall
A high school pitcher from Missouri, he's apparently committed to Arkansas State. He also plays catcher, and has a pretty good bat. Not ranked nationally, and probably won't sign. He begins the run of high school players drafted by the Braves with the bottom nine picks.
Sam Gillikin, Center Field
33rd Round, 1019 Overall
This prep outfielder from Alabama was ranked 169th overall by Baseball America, but wasn't taken in the early rounds due to a strong commitment to Auburn, questions about this health, and a suspect hit tool, despite all the athletic tools. The Braves might be able to sway him with a big bonus, but he's more than likely headed to college.
Ben Johnson, Center Field
34th Round, 1049 Overall
A prep outfielder from Texas, Johnson is a potential five-tool player who will commit full time to baseball next year at the University of Texas. He'll be tough to sign away from that commitment, but he's got a good bat with power, so he would be an interesting project if the Braves could sign him.
Matt Creech, Shortstop
35th Round, 1079 Overall
A high school infielder from Colquitt County, Georgia. Creech is committed to UNC Charlotte. He was named the Player of the Year for Region 1-AAAAA, while hitting almost .500 this year. He's a Georgia kid, but would probably still be a tough sign away from his college commitment.
Braden Bishop, Center Field
36th Round, 1109 Overall
A prep outfielder from California, he was ranked 284th overall, but high bonus demands kept him off teams' boards in the early rounds. He is committed to Washington, and will probably wind up there. He's a fringy five-tool player who should benefit from a good college program.
Gio Brusa, Left Field
37th Overall, 1139 Overall
The Braves stay in Cali with this next pick of a prep outfielder. He too is a highly ranked prospect, coming in at 177 nationally. He projects as a corner outfielder with plus power, but only average arm strength and speed. He was said to have low bonus demands, and could be lured away from his commitment to Pacific.
Sean McLaughlin, Right-Handed PItcher
38th Round, 1169 Overall
Out of Northview High School in Johns Creek, Georgia, McLaughlin is the last of a deep crop of instate talent drafted by the Braves. He was ranked 330th nationally, and is committed to UGA. He's an athletic outfielder, but on the mound has a fastball in the mid-90s. He apparently needs to develop a secondary pitch, but with a good fastball and an aptitude to absorb instruction, he could have a future in the pros on the mound. Still raw, he would probably need a solid bonus to sway him from college.
Cullen O'Dwyer, Left Field
39th Round, 1199 Overall
This athletic New Mexico high school player is committed to play at Arizona State next year. ESPN asked prep prospects to tell them their weirdest superstition, and this was O'Dwyer's: "I always eat a large order of hot wings before a big game. The hotter the sauce the better I hit. Proven Fact! I always hit better with a belly full of hot wings!"
Jimmy Herget, Right-Handed PItcher
40th Round, 1229 Overall
A prep pitcher from Florida, he is committed to South Florida this year.