clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2020 MLB Draft Preview: It’s About Mocking Time

New, comments

Let’s look at prospects the draft experts have mocked to the Atlanta Braves.

2018 Major League Baseball Draft

It’s fun dreaming about what player the Braves might take. Now that we know the draft will include 5 rounds and unlimited selections after that at a max of $20K/pick, I think we could see mocks trying for all 5 rounds.

Let’s take a look at which players are being mocked to the Braves. One thing you’ll notice is that Fangraphs has yet to put out a mock draft, however, they did update their BOARD on April 23rd. Nothing from ESPN/Kiley McDaniel yet either.

Baseball America (April 15th):

1st round - Cole Wilcox, RHP, UGA

MLB Pipeline (April 27th):

1st round - Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP, South Carolina

Prospects Live (May 1st with picks made by Matt Powers):

1st round - JT Ginn, RHP, Mississippi State

3rd round - Owen Cassie, OF, HS Canada

Perfect Game (May 7th - behind paywall):

1st round - Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP, South Carolina

Prospects 365 (May 8th):

1st round - Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP, South Carolina

The consensus here is that it’s quite possible the Braves select a college arm in the draft. Which makes sense since the college bats will get taken early and high school players are most likely to drop outside the very elite players.

I don’t think we need to say much about Cole Wilcox that hasn’t already been said already. He’s a big body that should be able to eat innings. His control will dictate a lot for him, but he has the stuff to start as he has three pitches that should be above average or better. I was quite impressed with his change-up when I watched him this season.

JT Ginn is a draft eligible sophomore that was projected to go top 15, maybe even top 10, before going down with an arm injury (TJS). Ginn isn’t the biggest guy at 6’2”, so now there will be concerns about long term health. If you remember, Ginn was a 1st round pick back in 2018 and graded early with a plus-plus fastball and plus slider. The fastball is still plus, but certainly hasn’t lived up to what was originally projected. His slider has been legit and projects as high as plus-plus by some outlets. His change-up took a step forward and now projects to be above average in quality. He’s not Walker Buehler level, but Ginn could be a guy that’s worth the wait in a very uncertain draft. He is a sophomore and could go back to school, but I think chances of that are slim if he’s taken in the 1st round. This would be a great pickup for the Braves.

Carmen Mlodzinski would certainly be a controversial pick. He’s a redshirt sophomore at South Carolina, but has thrown under 60 innings his entire collegiate career. Mlodzinski missed most of 2019 after breaking his left foot. He is coming off a strong pitching performance in the Cape Cod league, however, his four starts this season weren’t fantastic as he posted a 7.89 K/9 with a 1.31 WHIP. His control has been iffy. In the Cape Cod league, his strikeout totals were fantastic, but he hasn’t shown much strikeout ability in season. So that’s just another big question mark with him. There is some upside as he has a pretty fresh arm. His sinker sits 92-96 mph with a max of 99. While he scrapped a potential plus curve out of HS for a power slider that flashes plus. His changeup has good sink and also flashes plus. Currently, his secondaries are more above average. With him having thrown so little and there being a plethora of really good college pitchers, I wouldn’t be thrilled with this pick. Are you taking Mlodzinski over Cole Wilcox, Slade Cecconi, JT Ginn, Cade Cavalli, etc? I’d be a lot more interested if he brought back that curve for a four pitch mix that all flash above average to plus. Is he more Mike Soroka or Jason Hursh?

My favorites realistic picks for the draft right now would be:

Tier 1 - JT Ginn & Cole Wilcox

Tier 2 - Slade Cecconi, Carmen Mlodzinski, Chris McMahon, Bobby Miller (sadly, I don’t see a college bat available)

There is always the possibility that a player with a higher rating is there at 25. Obviously this would be awesome, so my wish picks would include Max Meyer, Pete Crow Armstrong and Cade Cavalli.

My reach pick would be Bryce Jarvis. I fully believe in Driveline and think his velos and improvements to his secondaries are legit real. Also, he won’t make it to the 3rd round.

Picks I’d hate would be Gage Workman and Nick Loftin for college positional players; Tanner Burns and Tommy Mace for college pitching. I don’t think these four guys have much upside, and not very good floors. This feels more like a Sean Gilmartin type pick, and I’d rather the Braves strikeout with high upside players than miss with floor guys.

In rounds 3+ would love to see the Braves get one or two of these guys:

Landon Knack, RHP, ETSU - senior pick!

Luke Little, LHP, San Jacinto JUCO - Um, he just hit 105 mph. Is it a legit 105? Perhaps not. But he’s definitely hit 100 mph in game before, so it’s not like it would be impossible. Typically, Little sits mid to high 90’s with a slider that flashes above average to plus. He’s also an incredibly hard worker and is constantly showing the fruits of his labor on social medai. On the down side, he has control issues and the change-up needs a lot of work. Braves love hard throwing lefties, so grabbing another would be awesome. I did mention that Little stands 6’7”, right? He’s a lottery ticket for sure, but even if he doesn’t work out as a starter, he has the stuff to be a high leverage reliever.

Dane Acker, RHP, Oklahoma - I’ve liked him since he was with San Jacinto (JUCO). Doesn’t throw hard, but all pitches are average and he just gets guys out. Threw a no hitter for Oklahoma.

Tucker Bradley, OF, UGA - He hits the ball hard and has a great eye at the plate. Nuff said.

Or a toolsy high school kid like Isiah Greene or Chase Davis.