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Braves 2022 MLB Draft Preview: Catcher

Here are some players that the Braves could target in the upcoming draft

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Oklahoma vs Ole Miss Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2022 MLB Draft coming up in two weeks, this week we at Battery Power will be running a series of previews to cover some potential targets in the upcoming draft. We are going to take a look at a number of player from each position, both the options in the first round and some names we fi

nd to be intriguing day two and day three options. This is far from a complete resource of all the players available because we are not quite that crazy, but it should provide a primer of names to look out for if you’re a more casual follower of amateur baseball.

Why the Braves could pick a catcher early

There is little reason to believe the Braves are seriously looking at a catcher with their top picks, but if they were to go that route it would be likely due to a player taking a very unexpected tumble to them. Kevin Parada out of Georgia Tech and Daniel Susac out of the University of Arizona are the consensus top two options in this draft, and should either fall to Atlanta they could strongly consider taking the best player available and picking one of them up. It is simply rare for a college bat at a premium position to take a significant tumble in the draft and the Braves would have to strongly consider the value proposition of picking up a guy that were to slide that far.

Why the Braves won’t pick a catcher early

Likely, neither of the named players will be available to the Braves at 20 and if they were there would likely be some sort of red flag to push them that significantly in the next two weeks. Combine that with the cost of either Parada or Susac and the Braves might not even pick either player if they were available. Atlanta is content with the catcher situation long term with William Contreras, and filling the system with a top guy who is likely to be ready in the very near future would cause issues that might not be worth that sort of signing bonus.

Looking beyond the first round and the top two guys, a player like Dalton Rushing out of Louisville could be an option in the second round, but isn’t really filling a hole in the system and is still utilizing one of the team’s premium picks. Rushing’s offensive profile certainly makes him an intriguing option in this draft, but his questionable defensive ability leaves doubt as to whether he’s even a catcher long term and he certainly isn’t expected to be better than Contreras.

Day Two/Three Targets

If the Braves do look to build catching depth in the system you’re likely looking at later round options to fill those holes.

Malcolm Moore, McClatchy HS - Moore is one of the more intriguing offensive options out of the prep ranks this season, with a combination of hit tool and raw power that could make him an intriguing value option. Not everyone is sold on his ability to stick behind the plate, but if he can he could be a high ceiling option to pick up on day two.

Hayden Dunhurst, Ole Miss - On the other side of the scale is Dunhurst, a player whose defensive acumen makes him a high floor college player with significant experience at a top level school. His double plus throwing arm and above average receiving ability will get him drafted, but there are split opinions on whether he’ll hit enough to be a starter at the major league level.

Michael Turner, Arkansas - An option for the Braves as a senior sign, Turner was a key contributor to the Arkansas Razorbacks after transferring in for 2022. A big-bodied backstop who received praise at Arkansas for his leadership, Turner has raw power and baseball experience that could make him a quick riser in the system. The hit tool is a question mark, but Turner could provide value as a low cost signing.

Adonys Guzman, Brunswick HS - Guzman is the best prep defender behind the plate in this draft, and that will be enough to make him a fairly high draft pick. Guzman’s question marks all surround his offensive ability, as he’s not done much to impress at the amateur level. Guzman will have an uphill battle to hit at the professional level, but his arm is otherworldly and has the potential to carry him to a major league role.

Jonathan French, Clemson - An Atlanta-area native, French could have been a high pick in 2019, but his strong commitment to Clemson pushed him to be drafted in the 30th round. His defensive ability comes without question, but his bat has failed to develop in college. There is raw power in French’s bat, but he does not hit with any consistency and would need an overhaul at the professional level to continue developing his raw talent.

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