The Atlanta Braves had two basic strategies they could have taken going into this year's draft, one that they had the third-lowest total in the game with the financial pool ($4,127,800) and one in which they had no second round draft pick.
First, the Braves could have taken a higher-ceiling player with their 25th overall selection, one that might have simply been a better prospect. They could have given that player even more than the $2,740,300 that is assigned to that selection.
Or, the Braves could have taken a player who would take less than that amount and save the difference to give it to other draft picks in rounds three, four or five.
Well, they decided on the latter approach, like the team did in 2016 when they got Ian Anderson at pick three and had two picks at 40 and 44. The Braves got Anderson for a bit less than his slot value, and decided to use it to get Joey Wentz at 40 and Kyle Muller at 44.
The difference is the Braves didn't have a second round pick to get a pre-draft deal done, like the team did four years ago. There was a 72-pick gap between Atlanta's first-round pick (25) and their third round selection (97) this year.
The Braves could have signed UGA pitcher Cole Wilcox at 25 and likely have gotten a player with a higher projected upside than Jared Shuster, who the Braves even called a bottom-of-the-rotation starter.
Instead of saving money on the back end and not care as much about the upside of lower-round picks, the Braves decided to save money on the front end of the draft and spread it out throughtout their five picks.
This is not about the players the Braves selected. It's simply about the strategy the team used in this very usualy year.
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