The mock draft season is really ramping up as we approach a month out from the 2023 MLB draft, and it seems that national sites are expecting the Braves to go with a high school hitter in the first round. Baseball America recently projected them to take George Lombard Jr, and it seems Jonathan Mayo of MLB pipeline agrees. In this mock draft he says that “some evaluators felt there has been a strong connection between the Braves and Lombard” and Baseball America agreed on the link between Atlanta and high school hitting.
High school bats are mentioned here more than anything else and some evaluators felt there has been a strong link between the Braves and Lombard. McGonigle, Martin and Sammy Stafura are other prep shortstops who come up here.
Lombard is currently a middle infielder with a solid all around game, and one that could stick at shortstop as an average middle infielder but could also move to third base if he adds weight. Lombard’s best tool is his power, and while evaluators feel he can hit his ultimate value will depend on the development of his hit tool as he has current swing-and-miss.
This mock draft also draws another connection to Eaton HS shortstop walker Martin, who is a similarly large shortstop who could move to third base if he adds weight to his frame. Martin is more of a pure hitter than Lombard but hits for less power. The Atlanta Braves select 24th overall, so much of their planning will be dependent on what those above them do with their picks.