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2023 Minor League season in review: Isaiah Drake

The 2023 draftee struggled in his pro debut

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals - Game One Photo by Brandon Sloter/Image Of Sport/Getty Images

Another member of the Atlanta Braves’ 2023 draft class, Drake made his professional debut after the draft. Despite being a fifth-rounder, there was considerable buzz around his future at the time of the draft.

How Acquired

The Braves selected Drake in the fifth round of the 2023 MLB Draft. He was given a signing bonus of $747,500.

Preseason report card

Since Drake was a 2023 draftee, we had no preseason report on him.

What we saw in 2023

In his debut season, Drake showcased some of his plus tools, namely, his blazing speed. He stole nine bases in just 18 games and flashed what can become a plus glove based on his legs.

But, there were some negatives as well. Despite being a prospect with some power potential, Drake managed just two extra base hits in 77 plate appearances, both of which were triples. Additionally, he had a strikeout rate north of 37 percent. Seeing as Drake was drafted out of high school, some early struggles were to be expected, but a strikeout rate that high is always somewhat concerning. All-in-all, Drake managed just a 64 wRC+ in the FCL; the only saving grace is that it came in just 77 PAs.

2024 outlook

Seeing as Drake won’t turn 19 until July 2024, it is likely the Braves will take it slow with him when it comes to development — similar to what they did with Tyler Collins, a 2021 draftee. Collins, a prep pick, was selected in the eighth round and started his second year with a brief stint in Rookie ball before being promoted to Single-A. You could expect the Braves to do the same exact thing with Drake, although his second Rookie ball stint might be a long one if he can’t figure out the things that challenged him in his 77 PAs in his pro debut.

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