The Braves haven’t followed the same path they have in previous drafts. With a wealth of pitching talent already stockpiled, Atlanta has taken two position players in the first round. Ninth overall they selected Ryan Langeliers – a catcher out of Baylor that the Braves believe can get to the majors quickly. Then they picked Braden Shewmake a shortstop from Texas A&M 21st overall.
Shewmake is a left-handed bat that did nothing but rake for the Aggies. He doesn’t project to be a high home run guy, although he did hit eleven as a freshman on the way to Freshman of the Year honors. But his value lies with his contact bat. Shewmake hit .322 in three seasons at Texas A&M with a .378 on-base percentage and .488 slugging percentage.
According to David O’Brien of the Athletic, Shewmake is an above average defensive prospect, and the Braves believe he can play all over the diamond. That’s common for shortstops; which is why they are so valuable as prospects.
Shewmake grades out above-average defensively and #Braves think he could profile as a future utility player if they don't use him at short exclusively
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) June 4, 2019
The Braves know Shewmake will hit line drives but hope he can develop more power to his game. That’s what will make this first round pick a slam dunk. I mentioned he had eleven home runs as a freshman, but only had eleven combined in his sophomore and junior seasons. At 6’4″, there is the potential for him to fill out and develop more of a power stroke. The Braves aim to tap into that potential in the coming years. Braves VP of scouting Dana Brown talks about some of that upside here:
"It's a nice package of upside, athleticism and power coming down the road for this young man."
— FOX Sports: Braves (@FOXSportsBraves) June 4, 2019