Braves reach agreement with top draftees; Wren drafted by Reds

The Braves wrapped up the draft Wednesday, knowing they’ll have their top six players on the field soon. Scouting director Tony DeMacio revealed that the Braves they have reached agreement with each of their top six picks, and among those, fourth-rounder Justin Black has already officially signed.

That top group includes right-hander Lucas Sims, the first-rounder from Brookwood, left-hander Alex Wood, the second-rounder from Georgia, catcher Bryan De La Rosa, the third-rounder from Olympic Heights (Fla.) High, Black, the center fielder from Billings, MT, right fielder Blake Brown, the fifth-rounder from the University of Missouri, and catcher Josh Elander, the sixth-rounder from TCU.

Sims plans to report to the Braves Gulf Coast League team in Orlando on Tuesday.

The signing deadline was moved up a month to July 13 this year, but the Braves don’t sound like they’re going to need it.

“We’re trying to do the same thing we’ve done the last couple years,” DeMacio said. “We were trying to find players that can play the game and players that want to play.”

Terms of the agreements were not revealed but the Braves typically remain close to slot, and those first five picks are slotted at around $3.3 million, with a suggested bonus of $1.825 million for the first pick and $583,000 for the second. The Braves can spend up to $4.03 million for their top 10 picks without penalty.

They can spend less and use what remains to sign high school players in lower rounds, above the $100,000 ceiling for players drafted in the 11th round or lower.

DeMacio said given the new rules, teams have drafted more senior college players in the early rounds so they have money left over for higher leverage high school players. That’s why more high school players were both available and signable for the Braves.

After drafting only nine high school players in 50 rounds last year, the Braves drafted 15 in only 40 rounds this year.

“It’s not that we didn’t want to take high school kids before because we did take some,” he said. “But it was just a lot of the better ones were already gone before the time we picked.”

DeMacio doesn’t expect signability to be much of an issue past the early round picks either, saying the Braves have reached agreement with “most everybody that we want to sign.”

“We have not been held up by anybody yet,” he said.

Wren drafted by Reds

Kyle Wren, son of Braves general manager Frank Wren, was drafted in the 30th round Wednesday by the Cincinnati Reds. And while he wasn’t taken by the hometown team, his father was tickled for the center fielder from Georgia Tech.

“I am happy and proud of Kyle that he was drafted today by Cincinnati,” Frank Wren said.

Wren said he recused himself from conversations with the Braves scouting staff about his son leading up to the draft.

“I made it clear it would be their decision and was not in the room when he was discussed prior to the draft,” Wren said. “I’m just happy for him with as hard as he has worked to get to this point.”

By virtue of turning 21 years old on April 23, within 45 days of the draft, Kyle Wren was eligible to be drafted as a sophomore. With two years of eligibility left, he could return to Georgia Tech and be re-drafted.

Wren hit .256 with 10 doubles, six triples, two home runs and 22 RBIs in 62 games this season for the Yellow Jackets, who lost in the NCAA regionals last weekend in Gainesville, Fla. Wren had hit .340 in 63 games as a freshman.

Braves re-draft Kimbrel

The Braves drafted right-hander Matt Kimbrel, older brother of closer Craig Kimbrel, for the second year  in the hopes and plan to follow him for the next month to see how he’s progressed another year removed from elbow reconstruction surgery and determine whether to sign him.

“At least he’s going to have a chance,” Craig said. “And I hope he can run with it and do good…He feels a lot better, and he’s developed. He’s starting to understand the game a little better, instead of just slinging it up there. That comes with getting older and being around the game more. And now he’s not having to worry about the health of his arm.”…

Snyder’s goodbyes

The Braves scouting and front office staff gathered around Paul Snyder at the end of the draft Tuesday for an on-the-field photo at Turner Field. They wanted to commemorate a draft that the Braves Hall of Famer said will be his last as a major contributor. Snyder, 77, has been trying to back away for years.

“He keeps trying,” DeMacio said. “But he said he’s afraid if he gets in a car and goes and sees a couple games, it’ll be like an alcoholic. He’ll want to continue to do it again.”

It was a bittersweet moment for the man who has been with the Braves for almost 60 years and helped build the foundation for their 14-year run of division titles.

“He touched everybody – scouts, coaches, the players loved him, parents,” DeMacio said. “There will never be another Paul Snyder. He’s not replaceable.”

Quick hits

The Braves were happy to draft Dominican-born center fielder Fernelys Sanchez in the 16th round out of George Washington High in New York, the same high school Manny Ramirez attended, after other teams shied away because he missed most of his senior year with a broken leg.

They’ll send him to Orlando to be evaluated but hope to get him into some Gulf Coast League games. “We were real happy to get him at 16,” said DeMacio, who said Sanchez is a switch-hitter with 80 speed….

The Braves had gone four years since drafting a player from the University of Georgia, since taking reliever Josh Fields in the second round in 2007, but this year they took two in Wood and second baseman Levi Hyams in the 19th round.

The Braves re-drafted Kevin McKague, a 6-5 first baseman from West Point, knowing this time around he can play the summer without missing time for military commitments. Beyond that, they’re not sure, but DeMacio said: “The 23rd round we’re going to take a gamble on a kid like this.”

Staff writer David O’Brien contributed information to this report.

Braves draftees

Pick Round Name Position School Ht. Wt.

509 16th Fernelys Sanchez OF G. Washington (NY) HS 6-3, 198

539 17th Chase Anselment LF Univ. of Washington 6-1, 215

569 18th Ross Heffley 2B Western Carolina 5-7, 185

599 19th Levi Hyams 2B Univ. of Georgia 6-2, 205

629 20th Eric Garcia SS Univ. of Missouri 6-0, 188

659 21st Jeremy Fitzgerald RHP Tennessee Wesleyan 6-0, 195

689 22nd Shae Simmons RHP SE Missouri St. 5-9, 180

719 23rd Kevin McKague 1B U.S. Military Academy 6-5, 240

749 24th Michael Flores RHP Grossmont College 6-9, 235

779 25th Brandon Rohde LHP Central Washington Univ 6-3, 215

809 26th Trenton Moses 3B SE Missouri St. 6-3, 230

839 27th Chris Barczycowski RHP Niagara County CC 6-8, 250

869 28th Kraig Clabough SS Florida Tech 5-11, 180

899 29th Jaden Dillon RHP Texas A & M 5-11, 180

929 30th Casey Kalenkosky 1B Texas State 6-0, 210

959 31st Matt Kimbrel RHP Southern Polytech 6-0, 185

989 32nd Adam Grantham RHP Kennett (MO) HS 6-1, 180

1019 33rd Sam Gillikin CF Hoover (Ala.) HS 6-3, 190

1049 34th Ben Johnson CF Westwood (TX) HS 6-0, 185

1079 35th Matt Creech SS Colquitt County HS 5-11, 165

1109 36th Braden Bishop CF St. Francis (Calif.) HS 6-1, 180

1139 37th Gio Brusa LF St. Marys (Calif.) HS 6-3, 195

1169 38th Sean McLaughlin RHP Northview HS 5-11, 175

1199 39th Cullen O’Dwyer LF Eldorado (NM) HS 6-2, 185

1229 40th Jimmy Herget RHP Jefferson (Fla.) HS 6-3, 155

26 comments Add your comment


June 6th, 2012
5:09 pm

We’ll miss him at Tech. He was a heck of a speedster on the bases and in CF. Best of luck to him in the Majors.

Go Jackets!

Matt Chernoff

June 6th, 2012
5:11 pm

he needs to go back to tech so that we can draft him next year!!! esp. since his stock was down by his drop in BA…

Tex G

June 6th, 2012
5:25 pm

Gee bet he must not have any inside pull since his dad’s just the GM.

Nepotism alive and well in Atlanta GA.

Innocent Bystander

June 6th, 2012
5:26 pm

I’m almost certain he’ll be back at Tech next year. He’s coming off a down year and should rebound nicely in his junior season. It helps that he has two more years of draft eligibility left, so he isn’t forgoing any leverage by returning next year.


June 6th, 2012
5:31 pm

MLB site has all these picks one round earlier, i think you are off by one. Ie, Sanchez is in 16, not 17.

Tired of the Complaining

June 6th, 2012
5:41 pm

Tired of the Complaining


June 6th, 2012
5:52 pm

Tired of Tired of the Complaing

Future Field of Dreams

June 6th, 2012
5:54 pm

The CF taken in the 34th round with the 1019 pick, Sam Gillikin, was ranked by MaxPreps as the 99th best High School Baseball player. Sounds like a good value!

Caught in a Jacket

June 6th, 2012
5:55 pm

Do the Braves loathe Tech players so much they aren’t willing to take the GM’s son? Not a single Tech player picked by the Braves, but they picked a handful of UGA players and prospective UGA players.

Either, they don’t like Tech (Brandon Thomas would have been a great pick in Round 3 by the Braves). Or, they like Tech so much that they pick UGA players and weaken them. Tech players stay back at school, strengthening them. So, which is it?

UGA had a good recruiting class this year and many of them were drafted in this year’s draft, thereby depleting them. Only one Tech HS recruit (Matt Gonzalez – 11th round by the A’s) was drafted. Really excited about Sam Clay and the new guys coming to Tech next year. Go Jackets!

Future Field of Dreams

June 6th, 2012
6:08 pm

Did the Braves take Kimbrel’s younger brother Matt two years in a row? Both times in the 32nd round?

Here is a link to Carroll’s article from 6:39 pm June 8, 2011:

This link says Matt was unsigned, so maybe it is true.

Same team, same player, same (32nd) round. Amazing.

D.A. Nuggla

June 6th, 2012
6:22 pm

It would have been more appropriate if Wren’s son had been drafted by the Cardinals or the Orioles. (For those that don’t know, a wren is a bird) Man, I hate when I have to explain it.

Carroll Rogers

June 6th, 2012
7:00 pm

Thanks MikeY

Mike in TX

June 6th, 2012
7:14 pm

Tex G… work on that reading comprehension. He wasn’t drafted by the Braves guy.


June 6th, 2012
7:23 pm

Tex G .. seriously. Mike in TX beat me to it.

As for UGA players and Tech players, the Braves haven’t had a big history of drafting either. They occasionally draft a Dawg, but I can’t remember the last Yellow Jacket. The Braves do much better job trying to draft home-grown high school talent, but I am not sure why they tend to disrespect local college players, including WGa, GaSouthern, and a handful of other decent in state colleges.

I always feel that a local kid might be so inspired by playing for a team he grew up watching that it would overcome some lack of upside. I would have no problem overdrafting a local kid.


June 6th, 2012
7:48 pm

I thinkg the Wren kid will come back. It isn’t like he needs the money. Education means something to the family. He went to a very good Private School in Atlanta. They are a tight knit family. Guessing he’ll come back and see if he can improve his stock. The kid will play somewhere, his dad will make sure he gets that chance somwehre – that I am sure of.


June 6th, 2012
7:50 pm

would a 30th round draft pick really leave a school like gt for 30th round pay??

least of the east

June 6th, 2012
7:54 pm

college sophs have leverage. I doubt Wren signs with reds. they only have $100,000 to spend on a pick after 10th round without tapping into bonus pool for 1st 10 rounds.
would be better if Reds took his father Frank off our hands.

those late HS draft picks like Gilkin are basically not signable unless you had extra early picks to save money on..he isn’t signing for anything close to $100,000 and where would the money come form ? how much could they save from their 10 round bonus pool ?

Biff Pocoroba

June 6th, 2012
9:40 pm

Wren probably couldn’t draft his son after Schuerholtz talked the Braves into drafting his son a few years ago even though he couldn’t hit at Auburn. He only lasted a couple of years before daddy gave him a job managing the Braves rookie ball team.

PA Brave

June 7th, 2012
7:15 am

“The Braves hope it wasn’t a costly win as first baseman Freddie Freeman left the game with an injured left index finger (his throwing hand) after being hit by shortstop Jose Reyes’ relay throw sliding into second base in the two-run fourth inning.”

Uh, Dave, Freddie throws with his right hand.


June 7th, 2012
10:32 am

@ Caught in a Jacket

Wren likely wasn’t drafted because he is not likely to sign this year. His dad probably just didn’t want to let the cat out of the bag yet.

[...] Source: [...]

[...] Constitutionadds that the deal is for $1.65 million. The Braves scouting Director, Tony DeMacio (via O’Brien), revealed to him that they had reached an agreement with their top six draft [...]

Ebenezer Snerdberg

June 7th, 2012
6:25 pm

Just saw the line-up. True to form Havana Fats. If everything is runnin’ smooth…jump in there an’ screw it up! What a mow-roon!


June 7th, 2012
7:47 pm

Oh boy, Diaz in the lineup….with a flyball pitcher on the mound…in a huge ballpark….let the circus in left begin.

Mulberry Factory Outlet

October 4th, 2013
12:02 pm

Braves reach agreement with top draftees; Wren drafted by Reds | Atlanta Braves
Mulberry Factory Outlet

October 4th, 2013
4:37 pm

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