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Talking Chop 2018 MLB Draft Mock Draft: How the Braves Should Pick

In a group effort we did a mock draft for the first 49 picks to determine who the Braves should take with their top two picks.

It’s mock draft season and we here at Talking Chop decided to do something a little different. Instead of a one person mock draft, we have four different guys making the picks of every one of the top 49 picks in the draft- right through the Braves second round pick.

In addition to myself(Matt), Eric, Doc, and Aaron alternated picks for the 47 selections that didn’t belong to the Braves. Each of us has a good knowledge of the draft and will be trying to best select what those teams should/might end up doing with their picks.

The rules for the Braves picks are that each of us makes the pick we feel the Braves should make at selections 8 and 49, and then a little reasoning as to why. Since there is the potential for more than one player taken with the Braves top selection we will count the player ranked highest in the Baseball America Top 500 prospects as the player no longer on the board for future selections.

First Round

1.Detroit: Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn- Eric

2.San Francisco: Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech- Matt

3.Philadelphia: Alec Bohm, 3B, Wichita State- Doc

4.Chicago White Sox: Nick Madrigal, 2B, Oregon State- Aaron

5.Cincinnati: Brady Singer, RHP, Florida- Eric

6.New York Mets: Jon India, 3B, Florida- Matt

7.San Diego: Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Mountain Ridge HS(AZ)- Doc

8.Braves: Carter Stewart, RHP, Eau Gallie HS(FL)- Highest on BA500 at 9th

Matt: Carter Stewart, RHP, Eau Gallie HS(FL)

”If you ask me who the most exciting pitching prospect in the draft is, my money is on Carter Stewart. I’d rank him over even Casey Mize for that even though he isn’t quite as far along in his development yet. Stewart has the double plus curve and outside of a short dip in velocity this spring he has shown to have a second plus pitch in his fastball. That fastball has been timed as high as the 98 MPH range this spring and when you factor remaining projection into his 6’6” 200 pound frame it’s easy to buy the second potentially plus plus grade. The change is behind the other pitches as guys with that stuff don’t usually need a third pitch(see Pirates top prospect Mitch Keller), but he’s given flashes that it can be an average third pitch.”

Eric: Carter Stewart, RHP, Eau Gallie HS(FL)

”I wouldn’t hate Kelenic or Larnach here, but Stewart has one of those pitches that makes me feel really good about his upside. It might be the best pitch in the draft and I am bullish on his ability to add a changeup that would turn him into a difference-making prospect”

Doc: Jarred Kelenic, OF, Waukesha West HS(WI)

”Kelenic is the most well-rounded of the prep bats, offering a balanced game and multiple tools which flash above-average. He has a sweet swing from the left side and fantastic defensive instincts.“

Aaron: Carter Stewart, RHP, Eau Gallie HS(FL)

”I know the Braves seem to like Weathers a lot but Stewart has the build to be an innings eater and the repertoire to be a top of the rotation guy.”

9.Oakland: Shane McClanahan, LHP, South Florida- Aaron

10.Pittsburgh: Travis Swaggerty, OF, South Alabama- Eric

11.Baltimore: Cole Winn, RHP, Orange Lutheran- Matt

12.Toronto: Jarred Kelenic, OF, Waukesha West HS(WI)- Doc

13.Miami: Connor Scott, OF, Plant HS(FL)- Aaron

14.Seattle: Trevor Larnach, OF, Oregon State- Eric

15.Texas: Jordyn Adams, OF, Green Hope HS(NC)- Matt

16.Tampa Bay: Brice Turang, SS, Santiago HS(CA)- Doc

17.Los Angeles Angels: Nolan Gorman, 3B, Sandra Day O’Connor HS(AZ)- Aaron

18.Kansas City: Jackson Kowar, RHP, Florida- Eric

19.St. Louis: Ryan Weathers, LHP, Lorretto HS(TN)- Matt

20.Minnesota: Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Central Heights HS(TX)- Doc

21.Milwaukee: Logan Gilbert, RHP, Stetson- Aaron

22.Colorado: Noah Naylor, C/3B, St. Joan of Arc HS(Canada)- Eric

23.New York Yankees: Triston Casas, 3B/1B, American Heritage HS(FL)- Matt

24.Chicago Cubs: Ethan Hankins, RHP, Forsyth Central HS(GA)- Doc

25.Arizona: Kumar Rocker, RHP, North Oconee HS(GA)- Aaron

26.Boston: Sean Hjelle, RHP, Kentucy-Eric

27.Washington: Mason Denaburg, RHP, Merritt Island HS(FL)- Matt

28.Houston: Alek Thomas, OF, Mount Carmel HS(IL)- Doc

29.Cleveland: Nick Schnell, OF, Roncalli HS(IN)- Aaron

30.Los Angeles Dodgers: Cole Wilcox, RHP, Chickamauga HS(GA)- Eric

31.Tampa Bay: Greyson Jenista, OF/1B, Wichita State- Matt

32.Tampa Bay: Anthony Seigler, C, Cartersville HS(GA)- Doc

33.Kansas City: Xavier Edwards, SS, North Broward HS(FL)- Aaron

34.Kansas City: Steele Walker, OF, Oklahoma- Eric

35.Cleveland: Nander De Sedas, SS, Montverde Academy HS(FL)- Matt

36.Pittsburgh: J.T. Ginn, RHP, Brandon HS(MS)- Doc

37.Baltimore: Adam Kloffenstein, RHP, Magnolia HS(TX)- Aaron

38.San Diego: Tristan Beck, RHP, Stanford- Eric

39.Arizona: Seth Beer, 1B, Clemson- Matt

40.Kansas City: Ryan Rolison, LHP, Ole Miss- Doc

41.Cleveland: Will Banfield, C, Brookwood HS(GA)- Aaron

42.Colorado: Griffin Conine, OF, Duke- Eric

43.St. Louis: Kris Bubic, LHP, Stanford- Matt

Second Round

44.Detroit: Mike Siani, OF, William Penn Charter HS(PA)- Doc

45.San Francisco: Jeremy Eierman, SS, Missouri State- Aaron

46.Chicago White Sox: Tristan Pompey, OF, Kentucky- Eric

47.Cincinnati: Konnor Pilkington, LHP, Mississippi State- Matt

48.New York Mets: Lenny Torres, RHP, Beacon HS(NY)- Doc

49.Braves: Jake McCarthy, OF, Virginia-Highest on BA500 at 33rd

Matt: Osiris Johnson, SS, Encinal HS(CA)

“I love Osiris Johnson. He’s got it all. Bloodlines(dad was a minor leaguer with Braves among other teams, plus Jimmy Rollins and Tony Tarasco). Quick twitch athlete. Extremely toolsy. He’s also been reported to have shown significantly better than expected power in big league parks during individual team workouts. There’s a reason why Osiris is rising in a huge way late in the process, and grabbing him over prep third basemen Jordan Groshans, Raynel Delgado, and Nick Northcut was a must for me.”

Eric: Jake McCarthy, OF, Virginia

”Firmly believe he would have been a first rounder without his injury, but the Braves get a gift of a college bat with upside in the second round. I would be happy here”

Doc: Parker Meadows, OF, Grayson HS(GA)

”This pick would be similar in spirit to the 2017 selection of Drew Waters - toolsy local outfielder who is still rough around the edges but has shown undeniable promise. Meadows has big league bloodlines (his brother Austin has been a top prospect the Pirates) and would be a good fit for the system.”

Aaron: Owen White, RHP, Carson HS(NC)

”Potentially four above average pitches. I also want Joe Gray Jr. or Austin Becker.”

This mock draft was great fun, and it really allowed us to see what the Braves could be looking at in the top two rounds. It was somewhat of a surprise to see us so similar in the first round, but equally surprising to see us so varied in the second round.

In my version, the Braves land Carter Stewart and Osiris Johnson- a prep arm and prep bat. Getting a premium arm and infielder would be a win for the Braves. I firmly believe the Braves take a hitter in the first two rounds because it would be easier to grab a pitcher with upside in the fourth round than a hitter, based on the talent in this draft class.

In Eric’s version the Carter Stewart pick remains the same and he also grabs a bat- going prep arm and college bat. Jake McCarthy doesn’t have quite the same upside as Osiris Johnson, but he’s a much safer player and does come with upside.

Aaron also took Stewart in the first round, but he doubled down on pitching with Owen White- taking two prep arms. It’s hard to imagine the Braves ignoring bats until at least the fourth round- but if there is an arm that could make the Braves consider it, White would be in that conversation.

Doc went a different route in the first round with Jarred Kelenic, and doubled down on bats with Parker Meadows- taking two prep bats. Adding a pair of toolsy outfielders, and some real power infusion. It’s a possibility that the Braves take a pair of bats in the top two rounds, then grab the highest upside arm they can afford in the fourth round.

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