With the passing of Monday’s signing deadline for the 2011 draft, the Braves had signed 28 of their top 30 picks, including each of the top 19.
One of their objectives was to draft sign-able players by going college heavy, and it paid off. The Braves signed 35 of their 50 picks overall.
The only players not to sign among their top 30 picks were 20th rounder Carlos Rodriguez, a left-hander out of Iolani High (HI) School, and 30th round pick Jonathan Youngblood, a center fielder from Lafayette (Ky.) High. But the Braves signed two high schoolers – first baseman Jackson Laumann (31st) and center fielder Cody Livesay (42nd) – in the past couple of days.
“We wanted to sign some high school kids right here at the end,” Braves scouting director Tony DeMacio said. “We were able to do that here and there.”
The only other player the Braves did not sign among their top 37 picks was 32nd rounder Matt Kimbrel, the right-hander and younger brother of Braves closer Craig Kimbrel. The Braves drafted him with the intention of following him through the summer to see how he progressed in his recovery from elbow reconstruction surgery.
Kimbrel, who was drafted out of Shelton State (Ala.) Community College, had offers to play this fall at both Florida Southern and Lehigh.