The Braves have now officially inked all four of their draft picks and several undrafted free agents for the $20k value each team was able to offer. Given the circumstances, Alex Anthopoulos and his team decided to stick strictly with college players during the draft, which only lasted five rounds. Several of these guys will immediately join the Braves top 30 prospect list, even if they don’t get to play again this season. For this article, I will be using Fangraphs THE BOARD to slot where each of these new collegiate additions ranks in the Braves system.
Jared Schuster: Round 1, Pick 25
According to Fangraphs, Schuster has a FV of 40+, which slots him just outside of the top ten prospects in the organization — tied with names like Jasseel De La Cruz and Michael Harris. Many people viewed the Wake Forrest product as a reach in the first round, but the Braves were able to sign him under slot value, and there were signs during his shortened junior year that he was starting to realize his full potential. The lefty possesses a fastball in the mid-90s with a plus-changeup and a slurve, giving the Braves staff plenty to work with.
Bryce Elder: Round 5, Pick 156
With their fifth and final selection, the Braves were able to snag a right-handed pitcher out of Texas that slid well below where people expected him to be picked. They signed him for $850,000 — over half a million more than his slot value of $336,000. Fangraphs placed a 40 FV on Elder, who became Texas’ ace before the season was shut down because of COVID-19. That puts him as the 19th best prospect in the Braves organization, along with names like Victor Vodnik and Huascar Ynoa.
Jesse Franklin: Round 3, Pick 97
Because of the signings of Marcell Ozuna and Will Smith, the Braves lost their second-round pick. So with their third-round selection, they took an outfielder out of Michigan, Jesse Franklin. Fangraphs gives him a 35+ FV, placing him at 21st on the Braves prospect list, tying him with a boatload of talented players like Bryce Ball, Jeremy Walker, Trey Harris, and Patrick Weigel. The athletic left-handed bat was a collegiate star for the Wolverines, smashing 23 bombs with a .905 OPS in 2018 and 2019 combined. Like Schuster, the Braves were able to sign him well below slot value.
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