Day 2 of Braves MLB Draft Coverage
Last night the Braves made right-hander Lucas Sims from Brookwood High School in suburban Atlanta the 21st overall pick of the First-Year Player Draft. Today, the Draft resumes with rounds 2-15.
I’ll be providing coverage of the Draft today, here on the blog and over at Braves.com. We’ll be updating this post throughout the day as the Braves make their selections. Their first pick of the day will be at No. 85.
So pull up a chair and get ready for another fun day of MLB Draft Coverage.
-Teddy Cahill, Associate reporter
Recapping the first five rounds
The Braves have collected a wide variety of players with their first five picks of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. Scouting director Tony Demacio picked local high school right-hander Lucas Sims with the 21st overall pick last night and has so far picked a college left-hander, two high school position players and a college outfielder this afternoon.
The Braves’ first two picks – Sims and Georgia left-hander Alex Wood – fit in with their longstanding tradition of selecting area talent. Their next three picks show a desire to inject toolsy players into the system. Center fielder Justin Black is especially representative of this, as his high school in Billings, Mont., doesn’t even have a baseball team.
The Draft continues with 10 more rounds this afternoon and rounds 16-40 Tuesday beginning at noon.
Round 2, LHP Alex Wood, Georgia
The Braves stayed local again with their second round pick, selecting left-hander Alex Wood from Georgia. Wood was the Bulldogs’ ace and often throws his fastball in the mid-90s.
Wood is a redshirt sophomore after missing 2010 while he was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
Wood went 7-3 with a 2.73 ERA this spring and struck out 100 batters in 102 1/3 innings. Coaches in the Southeastern Conference made him a second team All-SEC pick.
Round 3, C Bryan de la Rosa, Olympic Heights HS, Fla.
The Braves picked high school catcher Bryan de la Rosa with their third-round selection. De la Rosa is a native of Puerto Rico but played for Olympic Heights High School in Florida this spring.
Listed at 5-feet-8 inches, de la Rosa is slightly smaller than most catchers, but he is known for his strong arm and defense.
After taking a pair of pitchers with their first two picks, De la Rosa is the first hitter the Braves have taken in the Draft.
De la Rosa is committed to Florida State.
Round 4, CF Justin Black, Billings High School, Mont.
After picking three players from the Southeast at the start of the Draft, the Braves went way out West to Montana to pick center fielder Justin Black in the fourth round.
Black attends Billings High School, which does not have a high school baseball team. To make up for that, he has played with the Langley Blaze, a club team in British Columbia, this spring. He also played American Legion ball last summer and was selected to their team for last year’s Tournament of Stars, an elite event for high school juniors held at the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, N.C., in June.
Black is known for his speed, but remains very raw at the plate and in the field. Already 19, he is a bit older than most high school seniors. Black is committed to Nebraska.
Round 5, RF Blake Brown, Missouri
With their fifth-round selection, the Braves took Missouri outfielder Blake Brown, their first college position player of the Draft. Brown has played center field at Missouri, but the Braves took him as a right fielder.
Brown was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection in back-to-back seasons. He hit .302 with 10 home runs this spring and led the Tigers with 17 stolen bases. He sometimes has trouble making contact, however, and struck out 61 times in 225 at bats this season.
Brown was the Pirates’ 48th-round pick in 2009 when he graduated from Normal (Ill.) High School.
Round 6, C Josh Elander, TCU
The Braves selected Texas Christian catcher Josh Elander with their sixth-round pick, making him the second catcher they have taken in the first six rounds. Scouts have at times questioned Elander’s catching ability, but he drew rave reviews last summer when he served as Team USA’s catcher.
Elander has hit well throughout his college career and is hitting .316 with a .442 on-base percentage and 10 home runs this season. He has helped the Horned Frogs reach the Super Regionals of the NCAA Tournament this weekend.
Before the season, there was some buzz that Elander could have been a first-round pick. Ultimately, it appears questions about his defense pushed him down draft boards.
Elander was drafted in the 37th round by the Nationals in 2009 after graduating from Round Rock (Texas) High School.
Round 7, LHP David Starn, Kent State
The Braves took another college left-hander with their seventh-round selection, picking David Starn from Kent State. Starn is a senior and has been a big part of the Golden Flashes deep runs in the NCAA Tournament the last two years. He will likely start the first game of Kent State’s Super Regionals matchup at Oregon on Saturday.
Starn owns the Golden Flashes career strikeout and wins records and is 10-3 with a 2.01 ERA this season. He has 118 strikeouts in 107 2/3 innings and was named the Mid-American Conference Pitcher of the Year.
Starn doesn’t throw hard, his fastball often topping out in the upper-80s, but he is able to effectively mix his changeup and curveball to keep batters off balance.
Round 8, RHP David Peterson, College of Charleston
With their eighth-round selection, the Braves picked College of Charleston closer David Peterson. He is the third college pitcher taken by the Braves in the Draft, but the first right-hander.
Peterson is a senior and became the Cougars closer this year. He saved 10 games and had 40 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings, while walking just 15 batters.
Peterson was picked in the 49th round by the Astros last year but elected to return to school.
Round 9, RHP Steven Schils, Florida Tech
The Braves took their third straight college pitcher with their ninth-round selection, picking Florida Tech right-hander Steven Schils.
Schils pitched in only 10 innings for Florida Tech, a Division II school, this season. He had four strikeouts and walked 13 batters and saved five games.
Schils began his college career at High Point, where he pitched for two seasons before transferring to Florida Tech, which is closer to his hometown of Cocoa, Fla.