We are just a day away from knowing who the Atlanta Braves will be taking with their first three picks in the 2023 MLB draft, but for now we are left speculating on just who those players could be. Our old friend Carlos Collazo took the reigns on Baseball America’s most recent mock draft, and a familiar name in George Lombard Jr. landed in Atlanta’s lap at 24. If you want a little more information on Lombard Jr. you can check out a short profile I did on him last week. For the full mock draft as well as their thoughts on the Lombard and others check it out here; and if you aren’t subscribed to Baseball America especially around the draft you are missing out on a lot.
Since we have a profile on Lombard already I won’t dip too far into him, but in this mock draft he went as part of a run on the back-end prep shortstops. Going a pick ahead to the Guardians is Colt Emerson, a player who often hasn’t gone to Atlanta in these mock drafts but represents another good option with a very advanced hit tool. Immediately behind Atlanta is Walker Martin and Sammy Stafura, the latter of which has had some connection to Atlanta. Another option left on the board is Kevin McGonigle, who doesn’t represent the defensive upside of the four just mentioned and that may keep him off of Atlanta’s radar at 24, but his hit tool is phenomenal and may be the best among the prep ranks even ahead of Emerson. All of these players, along with first base prospect Bryce Eldridge, could be in play at 24. Or it could be someone we haven’t heard connected to Atlanta at all because that’s how they love to treat us.
It’s going to be a bit quieter day for us today, but starting tomorrow morning we will have basically wall-to-wall coverage of the draft and any rumors surrounding Atlanta. The draft starts at 7:00 pm on ESPN, and the Braves pick will probably hit the air around 9:15-9:30. If you are keen to a podcast and haven’t seen it, the former Road to Atlanta crew got together for a draft preview show earlier this week.