With the 7th overall selection, in the 2009 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, the Atlanta Braves select...MIKE MINOR, Vanderbilt.
Now, you're probably wondering. Why would the Braves select Mike Minor when Tyler Matzek, the best high school arm in the draft, was on the board? Well, signability, of course. This pick was about signability, and nothing else. Minor was Keith Law's 38th rated player. Thats right, the Braves took a guy who wasn't graded as a first round talent in the TOP TEN. With THE BEST HIGH SCHOOL PLAYER STILL ON THE BOARD.
Keep in mind everyone...the Braves don't have a 2nd round pick this year, so its not as if the front office is budgeting money to take a guy with signability concerns that falls.
For the record, Minor is projected as a 4th starter...assuming his control is on. Then he becomes, to quote Mr Law "a strike thrower". Awesome, a strike thrower! HE DOES WHAT HE'S SUPPOSED TO DO!
It seems to me like Clark wanted Wheeler so bad, and didn't bother making a backup plan after his stock began to soar over the last week or so. In the last 25 years, the Braves have chosen 4 college pitchers in the first round: Derek Lilliquist, Dan Meyer, Joey Devine, and now Minor. Total games played for the Braves: 67. 2/3 of them were from Lilliquist.
So the moral of the story is that we drafted Minor in order to trade him in 3 years to the A's. Fantastic.
EDIT: Just found this gem on braves.com...
"There were some pretty good players on that team and I know one of them throws 100 mph, but this guy is a winner," Clark said. "We've been tracking him for a long time. We were hoping for the opportunity to select him and now I'm just hoping for the opportunity to sign him."
He's a winner! Man, thats fantastic. Is he also a gritty gamer with great intangibles?