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draft-day | June | 2008 Articles

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Draft Day!

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Today's the big day, Major League Baseball's annual amateur draft, starting at 2 PM. As Rany Jazayerli eloquently wrote two years ago, "For most teams, the most important day of the year isn't Opening Day, or a day in October that ends in a dogpile, or the November day that marks the start of free-agent season. No, for most teams, the red-letter day falls on the first Tuesday of June, a day that involves sitting around a telephone, on a conference call with 29 other teams and the Commissioner's office." But Frank Wren and the Braves are going to be listening to those other 29 teams for a really long time. We lost one of our picks when we signed Tom Glavine as a free agent, and so we won't pick until #40, in the supplemental round after the first round, after every team but the Angels has already picked, including 3 for the Mets and 2 for the Phillies. The consensus is that this isn't the strongest draft class as it is, so we won't be seeing any more Jason Heywards falling to our position this year. In all, we have 6 picks in the first 5 rounds. We'll pick 2 in the second round, 64th and 70th overall, one in the 3rd (96th), one in the 4th (130th) and one in the 5th (160th). We all know that the Braves like to draft Georgia-area high school products. As I mentioned in the comments, many people seem to think we'll take Zeke Spruill of Kell High School in Marietta. John Sickels has this to say about him: "6-4, 190, projectable, already works in the low 90s and has some promise with his curve and changeup. Like most of these guys he’s fairly raw, but would fit late in the first round or the supplemental round. Seems like a logical fit for the Braves. The Braves don’t pick until 40 however…will Spruill still be there? If not, another high school Georgia pitcher named Michael Palazzone has a very good arm and would slot in well for Atlanta there.” Cecil Tanner is another Georgia high school pitcher the Braves may have their eye on. I'm not a huge fan of burning our first pick on a "projectable" raw high school pitcher, especially when we only have one pick in the top 63. But we may not have much choice. Once we get down to the second, third, and fourth rounds, after the other teams have had their first gnaw, there won't be much left for us. We've always been very good at identifying Georgia high school talent; hopefully, some of these picks will pan out. Who would you like to get? (Oh, and Manny Acosta sucked yesterday. But that doesn't mean you can't vote for him for MLB's asinine Rookie of the Month award for the month of May. I'm not sure I can bring myself to stuff the ballots for him after last night's stinkbomb.)

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