Major League Baseball's 2011 Draft is just about here. The players have been scouted, the scouting reports have been published and the mock drafts have been posted for everyone to see. Here are some of the players the Braves could take with the 28th overall pick on Monday night.
Jose Fernandez - RHP, 6'3, 225; Alonso High School (FL)
Jose Fernandez is a personal favorite of mine. The right-handed pitcher hails from Cuba and has a pretty incredible story to tell once he's drafted. While there's a decent chance that he's not available when the Braves pick, he has been linked to the club in the past and it's possible he falls through at No. 28. You just never know with these drafts.
Fernandez features a hard fastball which sits in the 91-94mph range that occasionally touches 96 or so, an above-average curveball and improving changeup. As he gets more comfortable in the Minors and (hopefully) improves, he'll likely add in a slider or cutter of some sort.
Here is what John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall.com said about Fernandez:
Clocked as high as 98 MPH, also has a strong curveball. Some scouts wonder about his delivery and there's been talk that he's a reliever at higher levels, though one who could advance very quickly. He has one of the best arms in the draft, won't get past the supplemental round, and could go earlier than currently expected.
Henry Owens - LHP, 6'6, 200; Edison High School (CA)
Henry Owens is a really interesting prospect. While he's not armed with incredible "stuff" and is a bit old school unorthodox on the mound, the lanky lefty has dominated the competition in high school and has the potential to be dominant on the mound. He should add weight as he matures and has the frame to be a workhorse for years to come.
Here's John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall:
Projectable physically but has a great feel for pitching, doesn't throw as hard as Norris but still gets into the 90s, changes speeds well with strong curveball and decent changeup. Late first round or supplemental round candidate.
Similar to Fernandez, there is a decent chance he's selected before the Braves get a chance to draft, though he likely wouldn't get past Atlanta should he still be there at No. 28.
Joe Ross - RHP, 6'2, 185; Bishop O'Dowd High School (CA)
Joe Ross is yet another raw-yet-talented high school pitcher the Braves could select on Monday night. He has strong bloodlines with his older brother already in the Minor Leagues and has the potential to be a front-end starting pitcher one day. Instead of a tradition fastball, Ross throws more of a sinker and mixes in a curveball and slider on occasion. Big strikeout numbers in his senior year of high school.
MinorLeagueBall.com's John Sickels on the righty:
Younger brother of Tyson Ross in the Oakland system. Similar stuff, 90-94 MPH power sinker, lots of movement on all of his pitches, but also past issues with command. Mixed reports on his polish. Rumors that he can get into the first round, should go early enough to avoid college.
There's a decent chance Ross is still available when the Braves make their selection and he would likely sign for (or close to) the recommended slot bonus for the 28th pick.
Be on the look for...
If recent drafts have told us anything, you can never count the Braves out on local prospects from the Georgia area. They've relied on that area before to build for the future and they'll rely on it again. While there aren't any high school pitchers in the area likely to be taken with the No. 28 pick, keep an eye on outfielder Larry Green from Berrien High School. He has massive power and could be a dark horse candidate to be a first round pick.
The Draft kicks off on June 6th and runs through the 8th. Stay tuned to SB Nation Atlanta for all of your Braves draft coverage. In addition, be sure to check out Talking Chop.