The 2022 MLB Draft is right around the corner and who the Braves will draft is anyone’s guess right now. Once the Braves traded the Royals for the 35th overall pick in the draft, a plethora of options were opened up to them now that they have a top 10 bonus pool in the class.
Most of the mock drafts previously had the Braves connected to college pitchers, in particular Cooper Hjerpe and Gabriel Hughes. That could very well still happen depending on the picks ahead of the Braves in the first round, but Baseball America’s Carlos Collazo has the Braves taking prep RHP Dylan Lesko.
If Lesko had been completely healthy this year, there is basically no chance he would have been available for the Braves at 20 as he was widely regarded as a favorite to be the first pitcher taken in this draft. Unfortunately for him, he blew out his elbow and had Tommy John surgery in April which has made him one of the wildcards in this draft. A Georgia kid, the Braves are likely to be very familiar with Lesko and his selection, while potentially pricey, would be quite popular with Braves fans and pundits alike given his upside and local roots.
Carlos does mention that a college arm does remain an option for the Braves and he also threw a new name in the hat in Oklahoma shortstop Peyton Graham who has a similar build to Braves’ prospect Braden Shewmake although he does seem like a surer bet to hit the ball harder. For the Braves’ comp round pick, Carlos has the Braves’ snagged California slugger Dylan Beavers who will certainly be welcome in a system that is currently lacking any depth on the offensive side of the ball. It is worth noting that this mock does line up generally with what we are hearing that the Braves would like to get one each of a bat and an arm with their first two selections although they remain open to a number of possibilities.
Stay tuned, folks, this is getting rather interesting.