Atlanta Braves 2024 MLB Draft Day 2 and Day 3 Potential Targets

South Carolina v Clemson
Will Taylor | Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

Here is a look at some players the Braves could target on the second and third days of the MLB Draft.

We are now less than a week away from the 2024 MLB Draft and the Atlanta Braves adding some new players to the organization. Since we have already looked at some of the targets for the Braves on the first day, this is a good time to take a look at some of the players they could potentially target on the second and third days this year.

Based on previous recent drafts, we have a general idea of what we can expect from the Braves on these days. It would be no surprise to see the team target one or two prep arms, one or two prep bats, a long list of college arms who look good in their analytics models, and some college bats that may be a bit under the radar but could have some untapped upside. It would be no surprise if the prep players came from Georgia, and those college players included a group who either played JUCO ball or were a part of the MLB Draft League. With that in mind I will try to break down some players in each of these categories as potential targets.

Prep Arms

Conrad Cason, RHP, Georgia HS – Cason checks a lot of boxes. He’s local, young for the class, a two-way talent, and a multi-sport athlete. Everything about that background screams a guy that the Braves will have given the Mississippi State commit a serious look. Cason is still a bit raw on the mound due to not being a full time pitcher yet, but with the natural stuff and high level of athleticism there is plenty of upside.

Talan Bell, LHP, Florida HS – Bell is another two-way talent, and an alumni of the same high school that produced Vaughn Grissom. Bell is an interesting player because he is recovering from Tommy John, but could have been a later Day 1 pick if he had a healthy senior season. He’s an athletic lefty, who would likely also get to hit if he went to Clemson, and brings a potentially plus change with a good strike throwing ability.

Prep Bats

Rustan Rigdon, SS, Georgia HS – Rigdon is arguably the top prep bat in the state, but his Vanderbilt commitment and Tommy John surgery likely pushing him to second base complicate his draft status a little. Rigdon is a good athlete that switch hits, and has average or above across the board grades for all of his tools. He’s a player that you can see hitting for average, some pop, and above-average speed with a good infield glove and a chance to get tried in the outfield as a pro. The Vandy commitment complicates things, but the Braves did just sign Isaiah Drake away from Georgia Tech on Day 2 last year.

Nathan Flewelling, C, Canada HS – The Braves do like to draft catching talent and Flewelling is an interesting Day 2 name. The Canadian is young for his class and still a bit raw, but there is a mix of offensive and defensive tools that will make teams take a closer look at the Gonzaga commit. Flewelling has a chance to be average with both the hit and power tools, and the early results at catcher defensively give you hope that he can continue to grow there.

College Arms

Connor Foley, RHP, Indiana – Foley is a pitcher with a 99 MPH fastball, and nothing else that projects to be more than average. He makes this list because that fastball has significant induced vertical break, and that’s something the Braves do value. Strike throwing and health give him some serious reliever risk, but he is a pitcher who checks off something the Braves like.

Michael Massey, RHP, Wake Forest – The Braves love Wake Forest arms and Massey is one of those, as they produce a bunch of arms who look good with the teams’ analytical model. Massey was Wake’s top reliever last year but moved into the rotation this spring with less than great results. There is still some hope for him to start, though his stuff did back up a little in a starting role – but he would still be a strong Day 2 pick as a reliever.

Dawson Netz, RHP, Arizona – Netz has been around forever, pitching for Arizona for the past five seasons and moving into the pen full-time in 2023. Netz had a solid career there, but has gone to the MLB Draft League and opened some eyes there – a thing the Braves do pay attention to closely. Netz has thrown strikes, picked up a bunch of swings and misses, and has created a lot of soft contact at the MLBDL.

Alex Clemons, RHP, South Dakota State – Clemons is another MLB Draft League performer who stands out with a fastball up to 96 and 20’ IVR. He had a rough go of it in college, as the reliever has a career 6.66 ERA, however he does also have a career 12.3 K/9. His 43 walks in 23 innings this spring (not a misprint, almost double the walks to innings) might scare some away, but he has only walked five in 11.2 innings in the MLBDL.

College Bats

Robert Hipwell, 3B, Santa Clara- Hipwell comes with some questions. Both his future defensive home and some character concerns due to a suspension this spring – something that doesn’t fit very well with the Braves usual strategy. He deserves a mention because it has pushed him down the draft board a little, and he projects to be one of the top bats available production wise. Hipwell has a chance to hit for both average and power, and he has helped himself a bit by hitting well in a short sample size at the MLB Draft League.

Derek Bender, C/1B, Coastal Carolina – Bender is a bat first prospect that some teams may look at as a catcher, but he hasn’t played much there in college due to Caden Bodine being a teammate and doesn’t project as a very good receiver. Still Bender has a bat worth taking as he’s got a chance to hit for average and power, and he has success with the wood bats in the Cape last summer.

Will Taylor, OF, Clemson – Taylor could have gone in the first round a couple years ago but passed to go to Clemson to play football and baseball. He had a very strong year last year and missed time this spring due to injury. With his pedigree and 2023 success mixed with some very intriguing tools, Taylor would be a worthy Day 2 pick.

Cody Schrier, SS, UCLA – Schrier was a highly rated prospect out of high school who chose college over going pro. He’s had some health issues in his career and really struggled this year, but he’s a shortstop with a pedigree that has done some damage for UCLA in the past and his tools all grade out as average or better with the exception of the hit tool. The hit tool is probably a tick below average. He is a potential starter up the middle, and has a chance to be a utility player being the more likely outcome.

JoJo Jackson, OF, Georgia State – Jackson has been a star for Georgia State over the past two seasons, posting an OPS above 1.000 in each with 13 and 15 homers. He has gone to the MLB Draft League and done very well, posting an excellent hard hit rate and a solid walk rate while doing his damage as a switch-hitter.

Deniel Ortiz, 3B, Alabama JUCO – The Walters State product has gone to the MLB Draft League and really put together an impressive resume. He’s been making a lot of hard, line drive contact and taking a lot of walks. There are some questions about his future defensive home, but a bat that makes hard, line drive contact in a league that the Braves pay attention to is worth a mention.

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Title: Atlanta Braves 2024 MLB Draft Day 2 and Day 3 Potential Targets
Author: Matt Powers

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