Sparhawk's 2023 Draft (and look back at 2022)

Welcome one and all. The draft is one of the most exciting times of the year. All the hours watching games/video and reading scouting reports pays off in a big way. The Braves have done an excellent job drafting, but I don't always agree with their picks. So I've started to immediately put together a spreadsheet with how I would have drafted players. This is just a fun exercise I like to do, and isn't mean to be taken seriously. I also get to take some time and look over what players signed.

There were players I talked up before the draft that I'd like the Braves to take like Houck and Sykora.

Before we get to that, I did post my 2022 re-draft, and things are looking pretty good.

Drew Gilbert > Owen Murphy - Gilbert is already in AA. Murphy has struggled quite a bit in Low-A. Last year in short stints the FB was 93-95. He's been 89-92 as a starter this year. While the secondaries do flash nicely, he struggles to throw them for strikes. So teams can sit on the fastball and he's been HR prone because of it.

Justin Campbell = JR Ritchie (After watching Ritchie, the stuff is legit. Both had TJS. It's a push for now, but I wouldn't be surprised if Ritchie ends up better.

Ryan Cermak = Cole Philips - Might be my weakest pick so far. Cermak has been injured and hasn't played well when he's been on the field. On the flip side, Phillips still hasn't pitched a live game yet.

Ben Joyce > Blake Burkhalter - Both are injured, but Burkhalter needed TJS. Joyce looks to have avoided that, and the stuff can be dominate at times. I do think the Angels rushed him, but that's what desperate teams do.

Brock Porter > Drake Baldwin - This one is too easy. Porter has been really good. Mid to high 90's FB with a plus change and solid slider. Baldwin does have an wRC+ over 100, but it's Porter all day.

Domic Keegan > David McCabe - Both players have been really good with the bat, but Keegan's defense at catcher has also been really good. Keegan is also a year younger at the same level.

Brett Johnson < Ignacio Alvarez - I started to run out of money, so not much of a contest. Johnson was a cheap senior sign.

Adrian Rodriguez < Seth Keller - Rodriguez was always a defense first SS with a weak bat. That's currently playing out, though I hoped he would develop good bat to ball skills. Keller has been effective in short spurts. He has a pretty violent delivery and only throws around 90 mph. I'm not sure how that'll play out at higher levels, but he's been good so far. He has had an IL stint with forearm tightness, so his future is almost certainly a reliever.

Ben Metzinger = Adam Maier - My pick was a cheap senior sign, so this should be Maier all the way. However, Maier has yet to debut, so this is pretty much a push. Braves gave this guy over $1M too and it's not looking good. It's going to be even worse if they waited all this time with this brace thing and he ends up needing TJS.

I did pick up Austin Charles in the 13th round as an overslot. Charles is 19 and putting up a solid .800 OPS in Low-A. Very toolsy. He took the place of Cedric De Grandpre, who has pitched well so far this year.

Here we go for 2023!

Round 1, pick 20:

Colin Houck, SS, Parkview HS (GA) (originally picked by the Mets round 1, pick 32) - $2,750,000

Why not start off by picking local. Probably the 2nd best prep SS in the draft. Gets better than average marks across the board on most draft sites.

Round 2, pick 59:

Cooper Pratt, SS, Magnolia Heights HS (MS) (originally picked by Brewers round 6, pick 182) - $1,135,000

Not only did this guy last until round 6, but signed for less than I would have thought. After passing on Houck, I wanted the Braves to pick up Pratt. It's a shame they didn't land one of the top prep SS. So I'll rectify that and draft 2 of the best prep SS! Pratt has quick hands and should have an above avg hit too. He's a bigger guy at 6'4", so I'd start him at 3B. The arm is above average to plus like Houck so that shouldn't be an issue.

Comp, pick 70:

Travis Sykora, RHP, Round Rock HS (TX) (originally picked by the Nats round 3, pick 71) - $2,600,000

I wanted this kid in the 1st round, so I'm lucky he's still available. 6'6" RHP that sits mid to high 90's and can hit 101. Has a good change and a solid slider right now. While he is 19, I don't think he'll be a project like Adam Shoemaker. He gets props for being athletic with his delivery, but he is 6'6", so there's room for improvement there.

Round 3, pick 94:

Sabin Ceballos - I liked the pick, so I'm good here. I thought about Homer Bush Jr, who signed for a little over $511K, but I'll stick with Ceballos.

Round 4, pick 126:

Alfonso Rosario, OF, P27 Academy (SC) (orginally picked by the Cubs round 6, pick 176) - $325,600

The more I read on this kid, the more I was coveting him. Very toolsy. Hit 101 throwing from the OF. Has quick hands and hits the ball really hard. Has above average speed too. The biggest question will be the hit tool, but worth the gamble for just $326K

Round 5, pick 162:

Isiah Drake - I like this pick too, so lets keep it.

Round 6, pick 189:

Noah Hall, RHP, South Carolina (originally picked by the Mets round 7, pick 216) - $162,250

One of the senior players I wanted. Anytime you can get a pitcher with a plus pitch this late, you have to take them. And Hall's change-up is plus to plus-plus with a 55% whiff rate. FB is low 90's, maxing around 95.

Round 7, pick 219:

Chase Gockel, RHP, Quincy (originally picked by the Angels round 9, pick 264)

I'm about out of money and he signed for $1K. That's all I needed to know.

Round 8, pick 249:

Cory Wall - I'll keep the cheap sign by the Braves

Round 9, pick 279:

Ryan Brown, RHP, Ball State (originally picked by the Dodgers round 9, pick 280) - $171,100

Like Hall, Brown's change-up rates plus/plus-plus with 70% whiff rate. FB sits in the low 90's.

Round 10, pick 309:

Pier-Olivier Boucher - Again, I'm out of money.

Total spent: $8,753,450 (4.94% over)

I was pretty amazed I barely kept that under the 5% overage allowed. I almost when with Jack Hurley in the 2nd round, but I'm pretty happy getting some great young talent! Picking up 5 young hitters in this draft would have been a boon to the system.

I also think that bats can bring more in trade value, so that's why I also focused on hitting. I think I got enough pitching to keep things moving along; Brown and Hall can fit the mold of a Vines/Dodd/Hoffman. Hall in particular gives me a Chris Paddock vibes. Pitchability guys that should steadily climb the ladder with potential trade value due to have a plus pitch. If somehow some additional velo unlocked for these guys that would be incredible.

Let me know your thoughts and which players you would have selected instead.

This FanPost does not express the views or opinions of Battery Power.