The MLB Draft starts on Sunday, and this is going to be a critical one for the Braves. This is the weakest their farm system has been in a long time, and they need to nail these picks. Luckily, Alex Anthopoulos and company have done a great job in the draft during their tenure. As I’ve mentioned, the Braves are a team that heavily target college talent — and for good reason. College players are a little safer, and they also rise up the system quickly. Guys who perform faster can generally make for more attractive trade chips. We’ll see how the Braves approach this draft, but I’m almost positive they’ll continue to heavily pursue college talent. This will be my final 2022 Braves mock draft. If you want to check out my previous mock drafts, they’re linked below:
Round 1, Pick 20: LHP Connor Prielipp — Alabama
Prielipp has been connected to the Braves a few times by people in the industry, and he makes way too much sense for Atlanta if he’s available. We’re talking about a guy who could have been the first pick if he hadn’t undergone Tommy John Surgery. He has an incredible slider and apparently threw a bullpen recently that showed there’s nothing to worry about with his elbow. When you’re a team like the Braves that needs talent badly, this is a guy you have to roll the dice on. He has ace potential, and I’m betting on that with the 20th pick every time. He could get to the Show very quickly — a la Spencer Strider.
Round 1, Pick 35: C Logan Tanner — Mississippi State
Quite literally as I was writing this, Drew Waters and Andrew Hoffman were traded to the Royals for the 35th pick in the MLB Draft. I’m not keen on reaching for needs, but Tanner makes way too much sense at this point in the draft. The Braves’ farm system didn’t have very much in the catching department, even before William Contreras came up to the bigs and Shea Langeliers was traded. Tanner is another college player that comes from a great baseball school, and scouts rave about his cannon behind the plate. Tanner also crushed 15 home runs during Mississippi State’s 2021 College World Series run, which paced the team. He’s a very good defensive catcher with pop in his bat — this would be a good fit and good value for the Braves.
Round 2, Pick 57: RHP Landon Sims — Mississippi State
Baseball America and MLB are both projecting Sims in this range, and much like Prielipp, I simply cannot pass on him at this point. Sims went down with injury early in Mississippi State’s season, but up until then, he was one of the most dominant arms in college baseball. He put up a 1.44 ERA with 13 saves, a .151 opponent average and 100 Ks in 56 1/3 IP over his first two seasons. He has some projectability as a starter, but he could be an elite bullpen weapon very quickly. For a Braves team that may have to replace a lot of pieces next year, Sims could be up in the majors very soon.
Compensation Pick 76: RHP Jonathan Cannon — Georgia
I’ve watched Cannon a few times — he’s an absolute steal at this point in the draft if he’s available. Cannon posted a 0.69 ERA over three starts in the Cape Cod League, and he has been dominant for the Bulldogs over his career. The 6’6” righty currently boasts a 9-1 record with a 2.38 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, and 9.67 K/BB ratio. Cannon could rise, but as of right now, this is around where MLBPipeline and Baseball America is projecting him. Adding Cannon gives the Braves another potential future frontline starter alongside Prielipp.
Round 3, Pick 96: SS Tanner Schobel — Virginia Tech
I’m honestly shocked to see Schobel ranked this low by MLB and Baseball America, but he’s an easy pick for the Braves here if he’s available. Another high-quality college bat, Schobel slashed .362/.445/.689/1.134 for a very impressive Virginia Tech squad. On top of his 19 home runs, Schobel crushed 18 doubles. He’s a very toolsy player that profiles as a super-utility type of guy that can play multiple positions and give a team quality at-bats. If you’re the Braves, the fact that Schobel can provide this within a few years has to be appealing, especially with a third-round pick.
Thanks for reading my Final 2022 Braves Mock Draft. Who do you think they will select this weekend?
Photographer: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire