Thursday night, the Braves added four players to the organization in Day One of the MLB Draft. Atlanta selected three high school pitchers along with a catcher in their final selection of the evening. Let’s take a look at the four newest members of the organization…
* RHP Ian Anderson (6’3, 175): The 17 year old right hander out of New York was at the top of the Braves Draft Board. Anderson was ranked by Baseball America as the 12th best overall pick, but the Braves came away from a meeting with him in January extremely impressed with his mental makeup. Anderson doesn’t graduate high school until June 23 but said on a conference call that he expects to sign shortly thereafter. Brian Bridges said Anderson draws comparisons to Mike Mussina and features a good fastball and above average curve and change.
* LHP Joey Wentz (6’5, 220): This 18 year old southpaw led Mission East High School (Prairie Village, KS) with a 9-0 record this season and went 51.1 innings without allowing an earned run. Wentz also put up eye-popping strikeout to walk totals (104 strikeouts/12 walks) and held opponents hitless over his first four appearances. Wentz had committed to play at the University of Virginia.
* LHP Kyle Muller (6’7, 240): This lefty was recently named as Gatorade’s Player of the Year, posting an 0.46 ERA with 133 strikeouts in 76 innings this season. Muller also excelled at the plate as a two-way player, boasting a .396 average with 15 HR, 52 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 44 games. Muller was committed to the University of Texas.
* C Brett Cumberland (5’11, 205): Cumberland gives the Braves some much needed offense at the catching position. A rarity these days, Cumberland is a switch hitting backstop who was named the Pacific 12 Conference Player of the Year and a USA Baseball Golden Spikes semifinalist. Coming into the Draft, Cumberland was ranked as the 69th best prospect by MLB.com
Overall, the folks in the Braves War Room came away from Day One extremely pleased with the arms they added, and will likely turn their focus to bats as the Draft continues Friday and Saturday.
– Kevin McAlpin covers the Braves for the @BravesRadioNet. Follow Kevin on Twitter @KevinMcAlpin