Braves 2014 Domestic Draft Team

Myworld is taking a look at all the major league teams to see what kind of 25-man roster they could field if they only relied on the players selected from the domestic draft and nothing else to stock their team. Only current major leaguers are considered for the 25 man roster. Realistically, some players would extend their career because without foreign players a job could still be available and others who never were called up could fill the empty positions.   At one point, with Ted Turner at the helm the Braves spent a lot of money on free agents.  Those days are gone.  Now they build through their farm system.  Once a player gets too expensive they let him go and replace him with a younger version.  The Braves drafts are filled with depth and talented players to fill the positions.

Catcher - They are loaded here with the veteran Brian McCann (2002 - 2nd round) and a decent backup who could also start for many teams in Jarod Saltalamacchia (2003 - first round).  Hard to believe the two are only one year apart in the draft.  Tyler Flowers (2005 - 33rd) is another player who can fill the position.  Tyler was also drafted by the Braves in 2004.  Evan Gattis (2010 - 23rd round) would probably fill the outfield need with this talented group.

First Base - Freddie Freeman (2007 - 2nd round) is the main man and a potential All Star.  Gattis could back him up, but they also have the veterans Adam LaRoche (2000 - 29th round) and Garrett Jones (1999 - 14th round) to share playing time.  That leaves a lot of room for Mike Hessman (1996 - 15th round) to continue to hit 400 homeruns in the minor leagues.  Brandon Belt (2007 - 11th round) was drafted but did not sign but would be an embarrassment of riches at this position.  He was drafted as a lefthanded pitcher, so that may have been his fate on this team.

Second Place - Tommy LaStella (2011 - 8th round) mans the position now.  For this team Brandon Hicks would share back up duties with Phil Gosselin (2010 - 5th round).

Shortstop - One of the best fielding shortstops is Andrelton Simmons (2010 - second round).  Nick Ahmed (2011 - second round) would be waiting for his opportunity.  The Cuban Yunel Escobar (2005 - second round) would fill a utility role.  A nice trio of second round picks.

Third Base - Anthony Rendon (2008 - 27th round) is the best player for the position the Braves drafted, but he never signed with the team.  Joey Terdoslavich (2010 - 6th round) showed a difficulty to play the position defensively.  Working out one of their first baseman to play this position might be the best alternative or moving Escobar from his utility role to third base would add stability.

Left Field - Gattis if he doesn’t catch.  Terdoslavich could also occupy space here.  Two defensive alternatives would be Ryan Langerhans (1998 - third round) and Jordan Schafer (2005 - third round).  Jeff Francouer (2002 - first round) could still make it as an extra outfielder, but he forgot how to hit after his rookie season.

Centerfield - Schafer is the only true centerfielder, though they could move Jason Heyward (2007 - first round) here and move one of the extra leftfielders to right.

Right Field - Heyward has been a disappointment with his offensive production but this is his best position.

Starting Pitching - The ace of the staff would be Adam Wainwright (2000 - first round).  Injured or ineffective pitchers fill behind him in Matt Harrison (2003 - third round), Andrew Cashner (2005 - 20th round) though he was not signed, Tommy Hanson (2005 - 22nd round), Kris Medlen (2006 - 10th round), Brett Oberholtzer (2008 - 8th round) and Mike Minor (2009 - first round).  Those injuries would create opportunities for Alex Wood (2012 - second round) and keep Jason Marquis (1996 - first round) from retiring.

Relievers - Craig Kimbrel (2008 - third round) would continue to be the All Star closer.  Sean Doolittle (2004 - 39th round) was never signed but he could provide support from the left side with Jonny Venters (2003 - 30th round).  From the right side you have Paul Clemens (2008 - 7th round), J.J Hoover (2008 - 10th round) and Cory Rasmus (2006 - first round).  Deunte Heath (2006 - 19th round) is now pitching in Japan but he would offer help to the bullpen.

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