The Atlanta Braves completed Day 2 of the MLB Draft by taking five more pitchers among eight picks on Monday. Atlanta has taken a right-handed pitcher with eight of their first 11 picks so far. Despite loading up on pitchers, Braves assistant director of amateur scouting Ronit Shah insisted that it wasn’t necessarily a strategy that they had coming into the draft.
“You’re always looking for arms,” Shah said after Day 2. “You can never have enough pitching, but kind of like we talked about yesterday, just taking the best players on the board. Great job by our scouts and front office and the research and development team, just really targeting some guys on day two that we could draft.”
Atlanta grabbed Oregon infielder Sabin Ceballos with their first pick of Day 2. He was the first position player that they have taken and Shah spoke highly of him as someone that could provide value both defensively and at the plate.
“He’s a guy that’s really kind of done it all,” Shah said of Ceballos. “Coming from Puerto Rico as a high school prospect. Went down to San Jack in Texas for a couple years, transfers to Oregon this year and played a really strong third base. He’s got tools. He’s got the plus arm and can really pick it at third. He’s showing us a lot more power this year than we’ve seen in the past couple years and is controlling that zone, taking his walks, making a lot of contact. We thought it was a pretty strong package there for a college hitter that could play a skilled position and provide value on both sides of the ball.”
Another intriguing selection was high school right-hander Garrett Baumann who measures in at 6’8” and 245 pounds at just 18-years of age.
“Bauman really came on this year,” Shah said. “We identified him in the summer. He was everywhere on the summer circuit. Another guy that went to the combine, showed us some good stuff there also. Went to NHSI, a big high school tournament. “He’s not a secret by any means. Another guy on day two for a high school player that we were able to get here and hopefully get signed.”
The Braves used their fifth round pick on outfielder Isaiah Drake out of North Atlanta High School. Shah said that Drake brings an intriguing combination of power and speed and as a local kid, was someone they were really familiar with.
“We’ve seen him quite a bit here. Another exciting high school prospect for us. Excited to see what he can do here. Drake has shown us more power than we’ve seen in the past. Went to the combine, went to the draft league. Clearly he loves to play. He can fly also, so we’re really excited about the power speed combination he has from the left side.”
Shah also pointed out pitchers Cory Wall and Riley Gowens, whom the Braves nabbed in the eighth and ninth rounds.
“Riley Gowens, he’s been up to 96 while showing an above average breaking ball. “Went to the draft league, been a starter at a big program. That’s always exciting. Corey Wall, another guy that’s been up to 96, 97. His fastball really plays up in the zone and he throws a ton of strikes also. So excited about both those pitchers.”
Atlanta rounded out the day by selecting Southern Illinois outfielder Pier-Olivier Boucher. Shah lauded his power and speed combo as well as his ability to play all three outfield positions.
“Then Boucher in the 10th round. Plus runner. Believe he had like more than 20 home runs, might have stole 20 bases even. Can play center, left, right, and has power also. So I think all three of those guys, we’re excited to see what they can do.”