Thursday, June 26, 2008

Braves Sign 18 of 51 Draft Selections

The Atlanta Braves today announced that they have signed 18 of their 51 draft selections from the 2008 first-year player draft. Included in the 18 signed draftees are six of Atlanta's top 10 selections and 10 of their top 15 picks. Of the 18 players, nine are pitchers (seven right-handed and two left-handed) and there are five infielders, three outfielders and one catcher.

Right-handed pitcher Ezekiel Spruill was Atlanta's second round pick (third overall) and is the highest drafted player to sign. Atlanta has also signed its fourth and fifth overall selections, right-handed pitcher Craig Kimbrel and catcher Braeden Schlehuber, respectively. In addition, the Braves inked two non-drafted players, first baseman Ryan Voelkel out of Green River Community College and outfielder Mike Elkerson from Abilene Christian University.

The 51 draftees include 31 pitchers (24 right-handers and seven left-handers), 11 infielders, six outfielders and three catchers. Brett DeVall, a left-handed pitcher from Niceville, Fla., was Atlanta's number one pick overall (40th overall). For the second consecutive year, the Braves selected a minimum 10 players from the state of Georgia (they selected eight in 2006), including eight from the Atlanta area. Of the 51 draft selections, 19 were chosen out of high school, including the first three picks, and the remaining 32 were collegiate players.

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