After a few years of focusing on college players the Atlanta Braves got back to their roots of selecting projectable high school prospects in the earlier rounds of the 2012 MLB Draft. The club selected a local high school player with Lucas Sims in the first round, and then went with a high school prospects in rounds three and four.
Bryan De La Rosa, a catcher, was taken 116th overall in the third round. Justin Black, an outfielder from Montana, was the fourth round pick.
Atlanta also added college players in the way of pitcher Alex Wood in the second round and outfielder Blake Brown in the fifth.
Keith Law of ESPN weighed in on the early rounds of each team's draft thus far ($) and doesn't appear to be blown away by the Braves' selections. Here is what he had to say about the club:
Lucas Sims (1) is from the Atlanta area, sits 90-94 with a good curveball and is an athletic kid with some delivery concerns that had other teams viewing him in the sandwich or second rounds. Alex Wood (2) is another Georgia product, a left-hander who should have an above-average fastball and plus changeup as a reliever, which is where his arm action probably lands him long term. Bryan de la Rosa (3) is a catch-and-throw backstop, born in Puerto Rico but playing in Florida. He might have some upside with the bat but doesn't have a great body or a lot of power potential. Justin Black (4) is a raw, speedy center fielder who's highly athletic but crude as a hitter. Blake Brown (5) is a right fielder who can play the position and has raw power but also isn't advanced as a hitter, and 6-foot right-handed-hitting corner outfielders aren't usually a popular category in the draft.
These are just the early reactions to the prospects before they hit the field, so we'll just have to hope they turn out a bit better than what Law sees in them. The Braves typically do a very nice job developing their prospects, especially pitchers.
Atlanta will wrap up the 2012 Draft with a busy day on Wednesday, making picks in rounds 16 through 40.
You can click here to watch live streaming coverage of Day 3 of the 2012 MLB Draft at MLB.com.
Read more about the Atlanta Braves at Talking Chop and head over to Baseball Nation for additional news, notes and analysis around Major League Baseball. Check out Minor League Ball to see how some of these prospects develop in their quest to the major leagues.