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braves-draft-other-notable-picks | June | 2008 Articles

2008 Archives

Braves Draft: Other Notable Picks

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I have to admit that by about the sixth round of the draft, I couldn’t care less. Watching teams picks players who I’ve never heard of is just not that exciting. Though they are boring at first, the later rounds certainly can produce impressive players. Guys with signability issues, strong college commitments, or players who haven’t put it all together yet can all slip well past the first couple of rounds. Players such as John Smoltz, Tommy Hanson, and Cole Rohrbough all went past the 20th round. Here are a couple of notable later-round picks from this year’s draft: OF Adam Milligan (6th Round)- Though he was pretty much an unknown draft prospect, the Braves’ scouting department must really like this guy. The Braves drafted Milligan in both of the past two drafts during the 28th and 27th rounds but the junior college outfielder’s commitment to Vanderbilt may have forced Frank Wren to snag him earlier. He’s got a big body and projects as a leftfielder. Milligan has a nice looking swing from the left side and should hit for power down the road. Mark him down as one of my early sleeper picks. RHP Kyle Farrell (9th Round)- Farrell is a freshman at Western Nevada CC, the same school that produced Cole Rohrbough. His fastball clocks in at 87-90 mph right now but with a projectable body (6’4” 210 lbs), he should add velocity as he matures physically. Like Rohrbough, Farrell’s best secondary pitch is a spike curve (also called a knuckle curve), which grades out as average or slightly above. RHP Mark Pope (17th Round)- The Braves snagged yet another Georgia high school arm in Pope. He’s somewhat projectable at 6’2” 195 lbs and already has a heavy sinking fastball that clocks in at around 90 mph. Pope’s other pitch is a big slurve that he throws in the mid-to-upper 70’s. His mechanics need some work but aren’t a big issue. If getting Pope in the 17th round sounds too good, that’s because it probably is. He’s a very good student and has a strong commitment to play at Georgia Tech, which means it’s very unlikely he signs. RHP Michael Palazzone (18th Round)- This Georgia product was in consideration for the Braves’ first pick but dropped to the 18th round due to signability concerns. The Georgia recruit features an impressive three-pitch mix including two plus pitches in his fastball and curve as well as an average changeup. The fastball sits in the low-90’s with movement and his 12-6 curve may be the best of this year’s high school class. He’s got a very unconventional delivery and a history of shoulder problems, which could be a problem down the road. Unfortunately, it seems very unlikely that Palazzone would sign unless Frank Wren really shells out a lot. RHP Nick Fuller (25th Round)- This former Kell (GA) HS standout may be the most intriguing of Atlanta’s late picks. Fuller was one of the most highly regarded high school arms in the 2006 daft but dropped to the third round due to signability concerns. He was drafted by Tampa Bay but didn’t sign, instead honoring his commitment to South Carolina. After showing promise for the Gamecocks in 2006, Fuller along with teammate Lonnie Chisenhall (drafted in the first round this year) were arrested in March of 2007 on charges of burglary and grand larceny and dismissed from the team. Fuller was charged with stealing $9,600 worth of property, including three desktop computers and over $3,000 from one of the team’s assistant coaches. Despite his baggage, Fuller could be a steal if the Braves manage to sign him. He’s got an explosive fastball that works in the mid-90’s along with a plus plus slider. He’s got a great two-pitch mix for a reliever and could be a potential closer in the future. One of his drawbacks coming out of high school was a maximum effort delivery and while he has toned that down a bit since then, it is still cause for some concern. As an additional note, State Farm and Major League Baseball are partnering for a great promotion for this year's Home Run Derby in New York. Fans can enter the Call Your Shot contest daily through June 24th. The grand prize is a trip to the State Farm Home Run Derby as well as a chance to win a 2008 Chevy Tahoe hybrid. 35 other winners will receive mlb.com gift cards. Enter now and keep entering until the 24th.
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