2018 MLB Draft: Big league chances abundant with former Braves

2018 MLB Draft: Big league chances abundant with former Braves

With the 2018 MLB Draft in the books, over 1200 players were drafted over the past three days. For 33 members of the Bourne Braves, past and present, the dream of playing professional baseball became a reality.

Here’s a look at where each of the Braves landed.

Day 1

Jameson Hannah (17) — Outfield, Dallas Baptist

Draft position: Round 2, Pick 50 (Oakland Athletics)

At pick No. 50, Hannah became the first of member of the Braves selected. A key bat in Bourne’s run to the 2017 Cape Cod Baseball League Finals, Hannah hit safely in the team’s final 20 games and batted .433 during the CCBL Playoffs.

With Dallas Baptist, Hannah’s junior season culminated in his second appearance on the Missouri Valley Conference first team and notched career highs in batting average (.363), on-base percentage (.451) and slugging percentage (.554).

Tim Cate (17) — LHP, UCONN

Draft position: Round 2, Pick 65 (Washington Nationals)

After being tabbed as the Braves’ Opening Day starter in 2017, Cate threw five innings for Bourne last summer before being called up to Team USA.

As a junior, he went 5-4 with a 2.91 ERA in seven starts for Connecticut. In his final appearance for the Huskies, Cate tossed 5.1 scoreless innings of relief and earned a win over LIU-Brooklyn in the NCAA Tournament.

Jeremy Eierman (16-17) — Shortstop, Missouri State

Draft position: Round 2, Pick 70 (Oakland Athletics)

A two-time CCBL participant with the Braves, Eierman split time over the past two summers between Bourne and Team USA. Despite only playing four games for the Braves a summer ago, Eierman clubbed two home runs at Doran Park in his 2017 campaign.

At Missouri State, Eierman’s best collegiate season came as a sophomore in which he earned first team all-conference honors and was named a First Team All-American by D1Baseball.com.                          

Day 2

Richard Palacios (17) —  Shortstop, Towson

Draft position: Round 3, Pick 103 (Cleveland Indians)

With Bourne, Palacios showed strong defensive versatility while having one of the more consistent bats in the Braves lineup. He hit .278 on the season and had the third-most hits (37) on the team.

As a junior, Palacios provided the Tigers with speed, patience and a consistent bat. He hit .301 with 25 stolen bases and led the Colonial Athletic Association in walks (52) while recording the fewest number of strikeouts (16).

Dylan Coleman (17) — RHP, Missouri State

Draft position: Round 4, Pick 111 (San Diego Padres)

Though Coleman was with Bourne for a short stint in 2017, fans at Doran Park got a glimpse of the strikeout pitcher he is. In 7.2 IP, Coleman struck out 10 batters.

Coleman’s junior year culminated with first team all-conference honors after leading the Missouri Valley Conference in wins (10), strikeouts (129) and recording the lowest opponent batting average among all starting pitchers in the conference.

Grant Witherspoon (17) — Outfield, Tulane

Draft position: Round 4, Pick 120 (Tampa Bay Rays)

Playing in all but three games last season, Witherspoon was a regular in the Braves lineup. The Tulane product led Bourne in doubles (11), stolen bases (10) and walks (20).

In his junior season with the Green Wave, Witherspoon was named to the American Athletic Conference first team, batting .330 with 19 doubles, 12 home runs and 53 RBI.

Ryan Feltner (17) — RHP, Ohio State

Draft position: Round 4, Pick 126 (Colorado Rockies)

A Western Division All Star for the Braves in 2017, Feltner was among the top bullpen arms in Cape Cod. In 13 appearances, he recorded eight saves and did not allow any earned runs while striking out 15 batters in 15.1 innings.

In three years at Ohio State, Feltner was primarily placed in the starting rotation. As a junior, he led all Buckeye pitchers with 86 strikeouts.

Andrew Wantz (16) — RHP, North Carolina – Greensboro

Draft position: Round 7, Pick 211 (Los Angeles Angels)

A reliable bullpen arm, Wantz recorded four saves for the Braves in 2016. In 11 appearances, he allowed four earned runs while striking out 24 batters against three walks.

Wantz’s consistency continued at UNC – Greensboro where he earned second team all-conference honors. As the closer for the Spartans, Wantz went 6-0 with 10 saves in 26 appearances.

Daniel Bies (17) — RHP, Gonzaga

Draft position: Round 7, Pick 217 (New York Yankees)

Bies was a reliable arm in the Braves rotation in 2017. He posted a 3-2 record with 27 strikeouts in 32 innings.

At Gonzaga, Bies was named first team all-conference as a junior with a 7-4 record and 2.49 ERA. His 125 strikeouts were the second most in the West Coast Conference.

Zach Mort (17-18) — RHP, George Mason

Draft position: Round 8, Pick 248 (Chicago Cubs)

Selected in the eighth round, Mort is the first active member of the Braves to be drafted. Used primarily as a reliever in his first stint with the Braves, Mort is expected to have a place in the starting rotation this summer.

With George Mason, Mort found success in his first season as a starter for the Colonials, compiling a 6-3 record, 2.48 ERA and 108 strikeouts compared to just 13 walks in over 105 innings of work.

Scott Schreiber (17) — Outfield, Nebraska

Draft position: Round 9, Pick 282 (Houston Astros)

Schreiber had a knack for delivering big hits during his time with Bourne. He finished the year tied for the team lead in home runs (3) and finished top three in hits (37) and runs batted in (17).

As a senior, Schreiber was one of the hottest bats in the Big Ten. His .369/.446/.692 slash all ranked in the top six of the conference and earned him second team all-conference honors.

Brian Eichhorn (17) — RHP, Georgia Southern

Draft position: Round 9, Pick 283 (Cleveland Indians)

In six starts for the Braves, Eichhorn displayed excellent command. His five walks were the fewest issued among starting pitchers and recorded 25 strikeouts in 29.2 innings.

For Georgia Southern, he garnered a first team all-conference selection after posting a 4-3 record with 106 strikeouts to only 29 walks.

AJ Moore (16) — RHP Kennesaw State

Draft position: Round 10, Pick 289 (Cincinnati Reds)

In 38 innings with Bourne, Moore fanned 33 batters. Most notably, a seven-strikeout performance in the 2016 playoffs that helped the Braves edge Wareham in the opening round.

At Kennesaw State, Moore wrapped up his college career with a 5-3 record to go with a 3.24 ERA.

Grant Williams (17) — Second Baseman, Kennesaw State

Draft position: Round 10, Pick 210 (Boston Red Sox)

Williams made the most of his time with the Braves. In addition to leading the team in batting average (.326) and hits (44), he was named a Western Division All-Star.

In his final season with Kennesaw State, Williams started every game for the Owls and batted .304 with 16 doubles and 37 RBI.

Day 3

Chris Holba (16-17) — RHP, East Carolina

Draft position: Round 11, Pick 333 (St. Louis Cardinals)

Holba spent two seasons with the Braves, picking up his most notable win in the 2016 Western Division Finals against Falmouth.

With East Carolina, Holba was named a first team all-conference selection after leading the Pirates in wins (9) and posting the best ERA (2.99) among starters.

PJ Poulin (17) — LHP, UCONN

Draft position: Round 11, Pick 336 (Colorado Rockies)

In 2017, Poulin was crucial to the Braves bullpen. With an ERA of 1.66 and 23 strikeouts in 21.2 innings, he was highly effective in 14 appearances.

Poulin finished his junior year with Huskies with second team all-conference honors. As the closer for Connecticut, Poulin recorded 16 saves, posting a 6-2 record with a 3.26 ERA in 31 games.

Zac Susi (17) — Catcher, UCONN

Draft position: Round 12, Pick 354 (Pittsburgh Pirates)

Splitting time behind the plate last summer, Susi made the most of his opportunities in Bourne. His three home runs were tied for the team lead as he provided experience both offensively and defensively in 23 games played.

At Connecticut, Susi was named second-team all conference after putting up career high numbers in batting average (.335), on base percentage (.429) and slugging percentage (.402).

Andrew Fregia (17) — Third Baseman, Sam Houston State

Draft position: Round 13, Pick 385 (Baltimore Orioles)

With Bourne, Fregia displayed a confident swing and showed off his ability to hit for power. His three home runs tied for the team lead last summer.

In the spring, his bat became more well-rounded as as he hit .328 with 12 doubles, seven triples and 11 home runs.

Kyle Marman (17) — RHP, Florida Atlantic

Draft position: Round 13, Pick 403 (Cleveland Indians)

Through the first two rounds of the CCBL playoffs, Marman was impactful in two bullpen stints as he earned wins over both Cotuit and Wareham en route to the championship round.

In limited action with the Owls, Marman was 4-0 in five starts with a 1.45 ERA. Displaying excellent command, Marman recorded 46 strikeouts against four walks.

Luis Alvarado (16-17) — RHP, Nebraska

Draft position: Round 17, Pick 511 (Los Angeles Angels)

Alvarado spent two seasons with the Braves, garnering an All-Star nomination in 2017. Out of the bullpen, he was 2-1 with a 0.91 ERA and one save.

As a senior, Alvarado started 14 games for Nebraska and struck out 65 batters.

Andrew Cabezas (16) — RHP, Miami (FL)

Draft position: Round 18, Pick 544 (Minnesota Twins)

Primarily a reliever with Bourne, Cabezas struck out 13 batters in 13 innings and earned a win over Cotuit in July 2016.

His role changed to a fringe starter at Miami, where he 6-4 with a 3.96 ERA in 10 starts.

Nick Johnson (17) — RHP, Rhode Island

Draft position: Round 21, Pick 618 (Chicago White Sox)

As a reliever for Bourne, Johnson earned wins in two of his 10 appearances, fanning 20 batters in 17.2 innings.

Out of the Rams bullpen, Johnson recorded nine saves in 2018, posting a 1.21 ERA in 24 games.

Eli Kraus (17) — LHP, Kent State

Draft position: Round 24, Pick 723 (St. Louis Cardinals)

In five starts for the Braves, Kraus won his only decision of the summer and left Cape Cod with a 2.48 ERA.

At Kent State, the senior concluded his college career with a nine-win season, including two complete game shutouts.

Blake Whitney (17) — RHP, South Carolina Upstate

Draft position: Round 24, Pick 728 (Chicago Cubs)

A late addition the Braves roster, Whitney proved to be an important come playoffs. In addition to surrendering just one earned run in 12.1 innings, he allowed no walks in favor of 14 strikeouts.

In his final college season, Whitney won five of his 13 starts and recorded a complete game shutout.

Danny Reyes (16) — Outfield, Miami (FL)

Draft position: Round 28, Pick 825 (Detroit Tigers)

In limited games with the Braves, Reyes provided a big bat for Bourne. Five of his 10 hits were doubles in 2016.

At Miami, Reyes was the Hurricanes’ best hitter prior to an injury cutting his season short. In 27 games, he batted .321 with five home runs.

J.T. Perez (16) — LHP, Cincinnati

Draft position: Round 29, Pick 874 (Minnesota Twins)

Perez was in the Braves starting rotation in 2016. In eight starts, he pitched 33.2 innings a struck out 28 batters.

As a senior, Perez’s college career ended with First Team All-AAC honors after going 6-4 in 15 starts, giving up 29 earned runs in 93 innings of work.

Lyle Lin (17-18) — Catcher, Arizona State

Draft position: Round 29, Pick 882 (Houston Astros)

Lin, selected by the Astros, is on the Bourne roster for the 2018 season. In 2017, he led the Braves with 21 RBI and brings experience to the lineup if he opts to return to Cape Cod.

At Arizona State, Lin hit .302 with 16 doubles as a sophomore. Defensively, he stepped into a larger role for the Sun Devils, starting all 55 games behind the plate.

Austin Conway (15) — RHP, Louisville

Draft position: Round 31, Pick 918 (Chicago White Sox)

Conway proved to be a dominant force out of the bullpen during his time in Bourne. The right-hander did not allow any earned runs during the season, recording 10 saves.

As a graduate transfer he was effective in the Cardinal bullpen, compiling a 3-1 record and allowing six earned runs in 20 appearances.

Andrew Shaps (16) — Outfield, William Jessup

Draft position: Round 31, Pick 944 (Los Angeles Dodgers)

Shaps played a brief stint with the Braves in 2016, most notably he hit .417 in the CCBL playoffs for Bourne.

After transferring from Arizona State, he batted .453 in 17 games for William Jessup.

Jake Mangum (16) — Outfield, Mississippi State

Draft position: Round 32, Pick 950 (New York Mets)

Mangum, a .300 hitter during his time in Cape Cod, was named an All-Star in 2016 and was among the consistent bats for the Braves.

As a junior, Mangum was named First Team All-SEC after hitting .354 with 20 doubles for the Bulldogs.

Zack Hess (17) — RHP, Louisiana State

Draft position: Round 34, Pick 1012 (Atlanta Braves)

Hess started three games for the Braves in 2017, striking out 10 batters in 10.1 innings and did not record a decision.

With the Tigers, Hess became a full-time starter. He won seven games and struck out 107 in a competitive SEC.

Brian Hoeing (17) — RHP, Louisville

Draft position: Round 36, Pick 1066 (San Francisco)

Primarily a reliever, Hoeing had his best outing of the season out of the bullpen in which he threw three shutout innings and received a win over Falmouth.

With Lousiville, Hoeing made 24 appearances with five starts and posted a 7-2 record.

Drew La Bounty (17) — Shortstop, South Alabama

Draft position: Round 40, Pick 1196 (Toronto Blue Jays)

La Bounty played a brief stint with the Braves in 2017, recording a walk and scoring twice.

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