2-for-1 Atlanta Braves Mock Draft: Braves Adds Ambidextrous Pitcher

The Atlanta Braves mock draft includes a right-handed and left-handed pitcher, who's the same player.
Mississippi State Bulldogs pitcher Jurrangelo Cijntje could be selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 2024 MLB Draft.
Mississippi State Bulldogs pitcher Jurrangelo Cijntje could be selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 2024 MLB Draft. / Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2024 MLB Draft is just over a month away, with the event scheduled to begin July 14 in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Atlanta Braves hold the draft's No. 24 overall pick, and general manager Alex Anthopoulos has a plethora of ways he can go.

In MLB Pipeline's latest mock draft, Anthopoulos and the Braves opted for the college pitcher route, selecting ambidextrous Mississippi State sophomore Jurrangelo Cijntje.

"After Brody Brecht and Cijntje, there's a significant drop-off to the next group of college pitchers," MLB.com draft expert Jim Callis writes. "The Braves also could pop the right college hitter (Carson Benge, Ryan Waldschmidt) if he gets to them.

"Or they could dip into the second tier of prep shortstops (Theo Gillen, Kellon Lindsey, Wyatt Sanford, Carter Johnson and Tyson Lewis) who will start going soon if they haven't already."

The 5-11, 200-pound Cijntje was drafted two years ago by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 18th round as a shortstop but instead honored his commitment to the Bulldogs, where he quickly earned a big role.

As a freshman, Cijntje pitched team highs with 50 innings and 63 strikeouts en route to a 3-5 record and 8.10 ERA in 14 games, starting all but one.

The Pembroke Pines, Fla., native proved much stronger this season, posting a 3.67 ERA and 8-2 record across 16 games, all starts. He logged 90.2 innings, striking out 113 while walking only 30.

A natural-born lefty, Cijntje began throwing right-handed as a six-year-old with hopes of emulating his father, Mechangelo, a former professional baseball player in the Netherlands.

The younger Cijntje has grown to prominence for being able to pitch - and dominate - with both hands. Here's the 21-year-old's scouting report from MLB.Com.

"Evaluators say Cijntje has better stuff and projects as a Marcus Stroman-esque starter as a righty vs. profiling more as a reliever as a lefty," MLB.Com writes. "From the right side, he operates with a 94-96 mph fastball that tops out at 98 with carry up in the zone, and he backs it up with a mid-80s slider that reaches 91 with good depth and a slightly harder changeup with fade.

"As a southpaw, he works from a low slot with a sweepier low-80s breaking ball and a low-90s heater that doesn't miss many bats."

As the Braves navigate a turbulent stretch that includes a 5-8 record following superstar outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr.'s season-ending ACL tear, the MLB Draft may not be as high a priority as immediate help for the parent club.

But at No. 24 overall, Anthopoulos will get a chance to address Atlanta's long-term future - and Cijntje may just be the way to go.

Daniel Flick