After taking a look at the 2021 MLB Draft class for the Braves, we move on to 2022. This year saw a shift in philosophy for the Braves. A team that usually targeted sign-able college players looked to restock the lower levels of the minors with high school talent. A lot of these younger players make up the bulk of Atlanta’s top prospects. This was also the last year with former Director of Scouting and current Astros GM Dana Brown. If you want to check out the 2021 edition of this series, it’s linked below. The 2023 class is up next.
Round 1, Pick 20: RHP Owen Murphy, Riverside-Brookfield (IL)
Status: Braves #4 Prospect via Baseball America
I actually wrote about Owen Murphy’s strong start to August if you want to read about him here, he is developing nicely in Augusta at only 19 years old.
Competitive Balance, Pick 35: RHP JR Ritchie, Bainbridge HS (WA)
Status: Braves #3 Prospect via Baseball America
So far, Ritchie is the man in this class, at least according to Baseball America. Unfortunately, he suffered a torn UCL and will be out for a while as he recovers from Tommy John Surgery.
Round 2, Pick 57: RHP Cole Phillips, Boerne HS (TX)
Status: Braves #13 Prospect via Baseball America
Phillips has not pitched yet as he recovers from Tommy John Surgery, but he has frontline starter potential.
Round 2, Pick 76: RHP Blake Burkhalter, Auburn
Status: Braves #24 Prospect via Baseball America
Unfortunately, Burkhalter also underwent Tommy John Surgery and will be out for a while.
Round 3, Pick 96: C Drake Baldwin, Missouri State
Status: Braves #12 Prospect via Baseball America
Baldwin has had a solid 2023 in Rome, posting a .771 OPS and 10 home runs over 83 games.
Round 4, Pick 125: 3B David McCabe, UNC Charlotte
Status: Braves #18 Prospect via Baseball America
McCabe has been on of the biggest risers in this group, as he currently owns a .932 OPS in Rome with 8 home runs in 55 games.
Round 5, Pick 155: 3B Ignacio “Nacho” Alvarez, Riverside Community College
Status: Braves #5 Prospect via Baseball America
Like McCabe, Alvarez has been one of the big surprises in this class. Alvarez has an .825 OPS in Rome and profiles as a high-quality contact bat and plus defender.
Round 6, Pick 185: RHP Seth Keller, Hanover HS (VA)
Status: Braves #15 Prospect via Baseball America
Keller has had an up-and-down 2023, but he’s only 19 years old in Augusta with plenty of room to grow.
Round 7, Pick 215: RHP Adam Maier, Oregon
Status: Braves #26 Prospect via Baseball America
Maier has not pitched for the Braves yet due to injury. Despite this, he has some of the highest upside in this class and could have been a first round pick if he had went back to Oregon. I expect the Braves to be patient with him.
Round 8, Pick 245: RHP Jason Franks, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Status: A- Augusta
Franks is currently in the Augusta bullpen. He has had a slow start to his career due to a few injuries.
Round 9, Pick 275: 2B Cory Acton, Georgia
Status: A+ Rome
Acton recently got called up to Rome, and he’s still adjusting to High-A pitching.
Round 10, Pick 305: C Andrew Keck, Southeast Missouri State
Status: A+ Rome
Like Acton, Keck also just got the call up to Rome, and he’s off to a solid start.
Other Notable Class Members:
Round 20, Pick 605: SS Keshawn Ogans, California
Status: Braves #30 Prospect via Baseball America
The last pick in the draft has gotten some attention from Baseball America. Ogans has shown off a few tools, with eight homers and a .765 OPS in High-A Rome.
The book is far from written on this class, with a lot of guys simply unproven or recovering from injury. This group has a ton of potential, but it’s yet to be seen which guys will rise to the top and become contributors in Atlanta.
Photo: Photographer: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire