Baseball America has added Atlanta’s 2022 draft picks to their updated Top 30, and as expected with a farm system as thin as Atlanta’s, there are a good amount of them listed for the Braves.
What do you think of our updated Top 100?https://t.co/Cfxvy6CN80
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) August 9, 2022
In total, there are SEVEN 2022 draft picks that are making their debut on the Braves new Top 30. When I was predicting where these guys would land on Atlanta’s Top 30, I had six guys cracking the list. Here’s the breakdown of how those predictions shook out:
RHP Owen Murphy (Pick 20)
My Rank: 6
Expected Rank: 4
Actual Rank (Baseball America): 6
The first three high school arms the Braves selected are all going to be highly ranked — I expect them to clock in just behind Vaughn Grissom, Jared Shuster, and Kyle Muller in some order. Murphy is a fantastic talent, and although he was an under-slot pick, the Braves got a live arm with tons of potential.
RHP JR Ritchie (Pick 35)
My Rank: 5
Expected Rank: 6
Actual Rank (Baseball America): 7
Ritchie and Murphy both put up video game numbers at the plate and on the mound; these are two young men the Braves are going to be excited to work with. You can really arrange Murphy, Ritchie, and Phillips in any order — I like them all a lot.
RHP Cole Phillips (Pick 57)
My Rank: 4
Expected Rank: 5
Actual Rank (Baseball America): 12
I have Phillips taking the fourth spot; he had top-ten pick potential before undergoing Tommy John surgery. He’s got the ability to be a frontline starter, and the Braves obviously agree. They signed him to an over-slot deal; he could easily end up being the best player in this draft class.
RHP Blake Burkhalter (Pick 76)
Actual Rank (Baseball America): 28
Burkhalter may be the first member of this class to reach the majors — he was one of the best bullpen arms in the SEC this past season, and this is a draft heavy on high school talent. We saw a similar rise with AJ Minter when he was drafted out of Texas A&M with the 75th pick.
C Drake Baldwin (Pick 96)
My Rank: 15-20
Expected Rank: 15-20
Actual Rank (Baseball America): 27
Baldwin was a solid pickup for a team that badly needs help at the catcher position, and while that doesn’t factor much into rankings, he should get every opportunity to play. The bat isn’t a question, but his defense behind the plate will be key for him as he moves through the system. Fortunately, the Braves can afford to be patient with him.
3B David McCabe (Pick 125)
Actual Rank (Baseball America): 29
McCabe is a massive switch-hitting third baseman, and there’s plenty of raw power potential with the Canadian project drafted out of Charlotte. He has had a slow start in FCL, but there’s no cause for concern.
RHP Seth Keller (Pick 185)
My Rank: 10-15
Expected Rank: 10-15
Actual Rank (Baseball America): NR
Keller may not clock in as high as I expect, but he’s another very talented high school pitcher that put up eye-popping numbers. Like Ritchie and Murphy, he has two-way potential — we’ll see if the Braves agree with that assessment. They gave him a big bonus to forego his commitment to Old Dominion.
RHP Adam Maier (Pick 215)
My Rank: 7-10
Expected Rank: 7-10
Actual Rank (Baseball America): 18
Maier is a little more steak than sizzle right now, but he was getting some first round chatter for 2023 going into this draft. The Braves really like this kid — they forked over $1 million over slot to get this guy. Based on potential alone, I think he sneaks into the top ten.