Braves clinch No. 3 pick in 2016 MLB Draft
The Atlanta Braves closed the 2015 season on the highest of notes, sweeping the MLB-leading St. Louis Cardinals with three straight shutouts, and the final day’s double-header did not cost them draft positioning.
The Braves (67-95) entered Sunday’s action needing at least one loss or a Colorado Rockies win to wrap up the No. 3 spot in the 2016 MLB Draft. Two shutouts behind young pitchers Shelby Miller and Matt Wisler prevented the Braves from taking the third overall pick on their own accord, but a 7-3 Rockies win over the Giants secured Atlanta its first top-five pick since 1991.
Additionally, it is the Braves’ first top-10 pick since drafting left-hander Mike Minor out of Vanderbilt in 2009.
Atlanta’s division rival, the Philadelphia Phillies (63-99), owns the top overall pick while the Cincinnati Reds will select at No. 2 after losing 14 of their final 15 games.
The Braves were in the running for the No. 1 pick for most of the final two months of the season — it would have been the franchise’s first No. 1 pick since taking Chipper Jones in 1990 — but closed on one of the best stretches of the season, winning five of their final six games while giving up just four runs total.
Atlanta’s front office drafted 12 pitchers in its first 14 selections last season, including top pick Kolby Allard. At No. 3 overall, new general manager John Coppolella & Co. should be able to find high-upside value regardless of position.