This is the second time Pipeline has had the Braves connected with Gonzaga’s ace
The 2022 MLB Draft is sneaking up on us and with it comes all the speculation about who the Braves will select, particularly with the 20th pick in the draft. This draft could also be particularly interesting given that since the Braves do have an extra draft pick from the loss of Freddie Freeman to free agency, they have a little more money to throw around and with so many top college arms getting hurt…there is a real chance a weird bidding war ensues and the Braves could be a part of that.
The Braves, to the surprise of no one that has followed Atlanta’s draft strategy the last couple of years, have been keeping close tabs on multiple college arms. Its hard to say for sure if they have keyed in on any ONE guy in particular given that when you are picking at #20, you need to keep your options open. However, it does appear that they remain interested in Gonzaga’s ace.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 19, 2022
While we are certain that the Braves are genuinely interested in RHP Gabriel Hughes out of Gonzaga, Pipeline mocking him to the Braves twice in a row feels more like a lack of new information than a strengthening resolve that Hughes is the Braves guy. Its more likely that the Braves have probably a dozen guys that they are potentially interested in, key personnel have been seen watching Hughes, and the fit when looking at recent drafts is a little too perfect. That said, Hughes seems like a fine pick at #20 with three pitches he can throw for strikes, a mid-90’s fastball that still has some projection, and a really strong spring so far for Gonzaga.
At the end of the day, outside of the top dozen picks or so, its going to be really hard to get great information this early from mocks. As we get closer and we start hearing the same names from multiple outlets, however, the picture should become more clear.