One mid-round draft prospect Braves fans should know

Drew Lugbauer

The MLB Draft wrapped up last week. The Braves had a clear focus this year — college arms that typically already have developed plus-pitches, even if their control is a little erratic.

First-round selection Hurston Waldrep out of Florida is a prime example of that. His fastball can reach the high-90s, but what makes him such an enticing prospect is his splitter, which had a whiff rate well over 60% this year. Waldrep also has a plus slider, giving him the potential to be a frontline starter if he can harness his control, which was his one glaring issue with the Gators.

However, this piece isn’t about Waldrep or any of the Braves selections taken on the first day of the draft. It is focused on one of the middle-round guys fans should get to know, fifth-round selection Isaiah Drake out of North Atlanta High School, who signed for over double his slot value.

You might recognize the last name because Isaiah’s older brother, Kenyan Drake, was a star running back at the University of Alabama and has carved out a nice career for himself in the NFL.

The Drake family is chock full of athletes, and that’s what the Braves are getting in Isaiah. His best tool is his speed; he’s a legitimate 80-grade runner, which is the highest grade available for prospects. That athleticism also allows him to project as a centerfielder with a decent arm.

Drake has some power potential as well, but the biggest question mark surrounding him is his contact ability. There’s some swing-and-miss in his swing that could prevent him from becoming a starter at the MLB level. However, the Braves are betting on his athleticism, and even if he can’t develop into a high-quality offensive player, there could still be a role for him on a major-league roster because of his speed and defensive ability.

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: