Day 2 of the 2023 MLB Draft is now over, meaning the Atlanta Braves are halfway done with their draft haul. We saw them take a total of eight players on the middle day of the draft, with one pick per round from rounds three through 10. In this article we will take a closer look at all of those new Braves players.
Of note it is very much expected that the Braves will sign every one of these players, as teams don’t pick guys on Day 2 without some basic agreement on the money. The one thing that can change that would be an unexpected medical result when doing the team physical just prior to signing.
Round 3: Sabin Ceballos, 3B, Oregon - You can find a full writeup on Ceballos here, however he is a bat first player with questions about where he ends up defensively. He does offer defensive versatility, but you can see an ability to hit for average and on base percentage with at least good extra base power, if not over the fence power.
With this Home Run, Sabin Ceballos has set a new Oregon single-season HR record with 18 long balls! pic.twitter.com/LdllBL1TUc— Peter Flaherty III (@PeterGFlaherty) June 12, 2023
Round 4: Garrett Baumann, RHP, Hagerty HS (FL) - You can find a full writeup of Baumann here, though he is best described as a massive guy with huge stuff. The big plus fastball is the calling card and while the secondaries have shown flashes of potential they need to gain consistency. He will need to improve his command, but that’s not unusual for a prep pitcher who is listed at 6’8”. It’s worth noting he played at one of the top prep programs in Central Florida, where Vaughn Grissom also played.
Garrett Baumann ('23, FL) worked a quick 1-2-3 inning. FB sat 94-96 mph w/ heavy sinking action. Showed ability to land CH for strikes at 87-88 mph. Flashed feel for a SL as well. #UCF commit #PGAAC @Florida_PG pic.twitter.com/igeRgWXXAP— Dick’s Sporting Goods All-American Classic (@PGAllAmerican) August 29, 2022
Round 5: Isaiah Drake, OF, North Atlanta HS (GA) - You can find a full writeup on Drake here. He is immediately the most exciting player in the Braves draft class with his 80-grade speed and plus power plus real centerfield defensive potential. It’s all going to come down to how much he hits, but serious upside is present and if he can just hit a little bit the floor is fairly high because of the speed and defense.
CF Isaiah Drake (North Atlanta, 2023) gets the barrel out in front on the second pitch he sees for a 1 out double. A powder keg with a really potent package of physical tools, looking to show more hit traits this Spring. Georgia Tech commit. pic.twitter.com/vHeAjMgNJS— Will Hoefer (@whoeferbaseball) March 6, 2023
Round 6: Lucas Braun, RHP, Cal State Northridge - Lucas Braun emerged this year despite having a worse statistical year than last year. He’s a guy with solid mid-90s stuff and great data metrics. During the draft Jonathan Mayo compared him to Guardians rookie starter Tanner Bibee. That’s a little high to be realistic, but it shows you that the stat line doesn’t tell the whole story.
Lucas Braun left it all out on the mound today— CSUN Baseball (@CSUNBaseball) May 26, 2023
His 8th strikeout ends the 8th inning pic.twitter.com/TYkVccrlje
Round 7: Justin Long, RHP, Rice - Justin Long is Josh Graham 2.0, a converted catcher that is now a pitcher. He’s up to 96 MPH and has more upside than most older college players just because he’s still new to pitching. This was his first year as a pitcher and he showed solid command considering his overall rawness for the position.
Here’s a look at RHP Justin Long (2023) for Rice. 93-95 with good life on his FB out of the pen pic.twitter.com/SKlHpqoQkF— Prospects Worldwide (@ProspectsWorldW) March 3, 2023
Round 8: Cory Wall, RHP, William & Mary - Cory Wall is a player with impressive data metrics, and the former Fordham transfer is likely to be a reliever after he posted a very high strikeout to walk rate. He doesn’t have the biggest raw stuff, but another mid 90s stuff guy whose fastball plays up because of the metrics.
Weekly Cory Wall tweet until the draft.— (@mason_mcrae) May 31, 2023
Pitchers w/ a stuff+ better than Cory: 130
Pitchers w/ a strike rate better than Cory: 132
College pitchers with both: 26 of 3,648, and it’s a pretty loaded list that you can see below. pic.twitter.com/uGEA0Ad1fI
Round 9: Riley Gowens, RHP, Illinois - Another guy who fits the theme of this impressive data metrics draft is Riley Gowens from Illinois. He was hit hard this year, but is one of the guys a lot of teams liked in spite of that because he looks good in that area.
9-279. Braves: Riley Gowens, RHP, Illinois -- older/physical college arm w/ solid two-pitch mix, lively low 90's FB w/ ride plays up from high slot, two-plane SL can be plus weapon, control/phys for starter dev but lack of third pitch give two-pitch relief outlook— Taylor Blake Ward (@TaylorBlakeWard) July 10, 2023
Round 10: Pier-Olivier Boucher, OF, Southern Illinois - Boucher is an interesting story. He’s a Canadian who grew up playing hockey and just took up baseball full time fairly recently. He went to JUCO and then spent his last two years at SIU where he put up strong numbers this year. He’s got a very intriguing power/speed combo and untapped potential from still being fairly new to the game, though comes with swing and miss and put up his big numbers against lesser competition.