Atlanta Braves 2023 Mock Draft 1.0 (3 Rounds)

Hurston Waldrep Braves hat AJ Smith-Shawver

The MLB draft is a month away, and it looks a lot different this year with a new lottery system in place, but the Braves were well clear of it with their 2022 record. They did get a compensatory pick for Dansby Swanson signing with the Cubs, and they need to really nail these selections with a very depleted farm system. They’ve gotten good returns on their investments so far in the past three drafts, but with director of scouting Dana Brown now the GM in Houston, they may change up their approach. I expect them to target some high school arms to fill up the lower levels of the minor leagues again, but Alex Anthopoulos has been unpredictable. Here’s my first crack at what the Braves might do a month from now.


Round 1, Pick 24: RHP Charlee Soto — HS (Florida)

One of the youngest players in the draft at 16 years old, Soto is a trendy name for the Braves and for a good reason. His upside is immense, and his fastball is beginning to approach 98 MPH. He has a budding changeup and slider combo that are both projected to be great secondary offerings. The Braves can afford to be patient with him, and he could blossom into a frontline starter or really intriguing trade chip if that’s what it comes to.


Round 2, Pick 59: RHP Liam Peterson — HS (Florida)

Like in 2022, the Braves kick off the draft with back-to-back high school arms. At 17 years old, Peterson has a ton of projectability if he can refine his command. Like with Soto, the Braves can be patient with Peterson and develop him into a high-end prospect that could be a future starter or attractive trade chip at the trade deadline.


Compensatory Pick 70: OF Ryan Lasko — Rutgers

With their compensatory pick, I have the Braves grabbing a guy who could contribute at the MLB level fairly soon. Lasko was a Golden Spikes finalist in 2022, thanks to a 1.074 OPS with 16 home runs to go along with 13 steals. All the guy has done at Rutgers is hit; he set a Rutgers record with 24 doubles and had 23 multi-hit games, with nine of those games being three hit or more games. He’s a good defender with a strong arm and could perhaps contribute in left field within a few years.


Round 3, Pick 94: RHP Cole Miller — HS (California)

Wrapping up with another high school arm, I expect the Braves to go overslot and potentially have to cut costs after this, which is something they did in 2022. At 6’6 and 225 pounds, Miller has multiple plus offerings. His changeup and curveball are still developing, but he has a really nice fastball. With his frame, he could easily add some velocity and become a top prospect in Atlanta’s system sooner rather than later.

Photo: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire

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