The Braves drafted several nationally unknown players among this group. Some of these guys come from the small colleges around the country that the Braves routinely pluck talented players out of.
To read reviews of the Braves previous 10 picks, click here.
11th Round (343): Luis Gamez, RHP — Unranked on any pre-draft board, Gamez has decent size at 6-foot-2. As a high school pitcher his stuff is extremely raw, but the Braves were likely enticed by a low-90s fastball with plenty of projection. He played in a baseball-rich area of Arizona, and he played on plenty of showcase teams, so he’s faced tough competition.
12th Round (373): Patrick Dorrian, 2B @patdorrian — A prep second baseman, Dorrian has plus raw speed. He’s quick on the base paths, but apparently needs to work on the fundamentals of base stealing. His range and arm on defense are both solid. He has good size (6-foot-2) for a second baseman, so the Braves likely believe he can add power as he grows.
13th Round (403): Caleb Beech, RHP @calebbeech — The Braves seem to draft someone out of Shelton State Community College in Alabama every year. Craig Kimbrel’s brother Matt was drafted out of there (the first time). This year’s 26th-round pick, Trevor Sprowl, was drafted by the Braves last year in the 33rd round when he attended Shelton. Beech is a reliever, but like many players the Braves draft out of these small Jucos in the South, little is known about him.
14th Round (433): Joseph Daris, CF @jdaris91 — Ranked 476 by Baseball America, Daris likely has the best speed in this Braves draft class. That speed is raw and his baseball tools are said to be raw, but he was a perfect 16-for-16 in stolen base attempts this past year while slashing .377/.439/.480. That includes 10 HBP, so I’m guessing he crowds the plate a bit. He’s a senior, so he’ll sign. I like the pick; he has good speed, some tools, and it’s worth seeing what he can do in the pros. He could be similar in profile to Kyle Wren.
15th Round (463): Caleb Dirks, RHP — This junior closer from California Baptist University was ranked 447 by Baseball America. With a low-to-mid-90s fastball and a bulldog attitude on the mound, he wants to be out there with the game on the line. The Braves love to take college relievers around this time in the draft.
16th Round (493): Brandon Barker, RHP — A senior pitcher from Mercer, he has good height and build. He was a four-year player in college, moving between the bullpen and rotation early in his career. He missed some time this past season with a broken finger, and apparently struggled some to regain his form after that. He’s said to be a pitchability guy, so I’m not sure how much velocity is there.
17th Round (523): Ashton Perritt, RHP @Kaw_Ima_Perritt — This junior closer from Liberty University was ranked 204 by Baseball America, so the Braves got good value with this pick. Perritt has an average but athletic build at just over six feet tall. He was a two-way player in college, but can run his fastball up to 95 mph on the mound. Once he converts to pitching full time that fastball should get more consistent velocity. He’ll need to work on his off-speed offerings, both of which are below average right now.
18th Round (553): Jacob Webb, RHP — A junior from Tabor College in Kansas, Webb was a workhorse starter this season. In 15 games started he completed 10 of them, including 2 shutouts. He works his fastball in the low-90s, and complements that with a slider/cutter hybrid pitch in the low-80s. Webb rounds out his four-pitch arsenal with a change-up and curve. This is an intriguing pick for the Braves. I’ll be interested to see how his stuff plays in the pros. He could be a sleeper pick, much like Gus Schlosser was in the 17th round a few years ago.
19th Round (583): Codey McElroy, SS @CodeyMac24 — Drafted out of Cameron University in Oklahoma, the same school that 2011 9th-rounder Chase Larsson came from. McElroy hit .318/.416/.580 for the Aggies this season, leading the team with 7 home runs and twice as many doubles (16) as any other player. Atlanta is most likely intrigued by his 6-foot-6 frame, hoping that he can continue to generate good power in the pros. McElroy will probably have to move off of shortstop eventually, to third base or an outfield corner, though the Braves may try to convince him to move to the mound. Nice projection pick by Atlanta on a college junior.
20th Round (613): Wigberto Nevarez, C — A junior catcher out of Lubbock Christian University, originally from Puerto Rico. He is drawing comparisons to Evan Gattis, who was also drafted in the lower rounds out of an anonymous college in Texas. Nevarez hits for good power, and is also adept behind the plate. I’m always cautious about such comparisons, as a player like Gattis doesn’t come around very often. Still, this is the time in the draft where a team should roll the dice on picks like this one.