Despite losing a third round pick the Atlanta Braves had a fantastic 2018 draft - adding three first round talents and then a couple of intriguing players that could make substantial major league impact. That said, we all have our favorites and here are five players that I would have liked to see the Braves draft.
Is it any surprise the Indian guy would have liked to see the other half-Indian guy in the Braves organization? Of course that’s not the only reason as Rocker possess an extremely live arm with a fastball that sits in the high 90s with sink to it. He’s definitely raw but he has the makings of a very talented arm that we will see again in just a few years - likely in the top half of the draft if he progresses like he should. Enjoy Vanderbilt, Kumar. Until we meet again.
While Kumar was a pipe dream, Gerber was a lot more realistic option for the Braves to draft in rounds 5+. The reliever out of Illinois has an intriguing fastball/slider combo and would have been a rapid riser through the organizational ranks. Gerber’s fastball sits mid-90s, and his slider comes in in the low 90s. His control is a bit spotty because there is a lot going on in his delivery, but some smoothing out could make his stock rise even higher.
Bryce Montes de Oca
Outside of having a name fit for a king, Bryce has a two pitch arsenal that has the makings of being a lights out, high leverage reliever in the majors with a rather quick path. Bryce pairs a true plus fastball that sits in the high 90s with heavy sink, with an exception slider that is almost unhittable when it’s on to right handed batters. One reason he dropped was the obvious injury concerns as he’s already had Tommy John along with another procedure done to him - but he still has two extremely dynamic pitches that have the makings of a high leverage reliever.
I didn’t know too much about Osiris until the last couple of weeks when Matt Powers started bringing him up in our group prospect chat on an almost daily basis and the more I read and watched him the more I became intrigued. He is almost the definition of a toolsy player you draft and hope develops into something special, and the pieces began to come together for him as the season progressed. Osiris has the potential to be the rare power hitting shortstop that could provide incredible value.
Another very intriguing player, Kameron has the offensive profile at catcher that makes you drool. By all account he’s a gifted hitter, and runner, that possesses a cannon of an arm. The main knock on him is his actual work behind the plate - but if he can stick there and develops into an average defensive catcher - he could be a very unique catcher whose skill set rivals J.T. Realmuto.