With the 76th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Atlanta Braves selected RHP Blake Burkhalter out of Auburn University. The Braves rounded out their Day One selection with what we presume to be a college reliever that was among the better bullpen guys in the country.
Baseball America: 280th
MLB Pipeline: 207th
Blake Burkhalter comes in and puts out the fire with a nasty cutter!— D1Baseball (@d1baseball) June 20, 2022
6-2 @AuburnBaseball heading to the 8th. #D1InOmaha | #MCWSpic.twitter.com/4u6uXNtWWO
Introducing Blake Burkhalter
The Braves went away from the prep ranks to bolster their bullpen a bit it appears with the selection of Burkhalter. First and foremost, Braves fans will be happy to know that Burkhalter does not walk many batters, so your blood pressure medication supplies shouldn’t be harmed too much by this pick. He features a fastball/cutter combo with the fastball in the mid-90’s that can tick higher that does damage at the top of zone and cutter that is a hard pitch that is a nightmare for righties to do anything against. He should move quickly through the Braves’ farm system and could help the big league club as soon as 2023.
UPDATE: Burkhalter is going to start when he begins his professional career.
Dana Brown says they will try Blake Burkhalter as a starter first— Kris Willis (@Kris_Willis) July 18, 2022
The Braves love to grab a reliever or two in the top ten rounds, and Burkhalter represents an option that could provide support at the major league level fairly soon. This is ultimately a bullpen pick here to round out day one and will likely be the first guy we see at the major league level from this draft. It’s an interesting pickup and not one that we’re necessarily in love with, but a solid pitcher that should be a major league talent with two plus pitches.