ATLANTA -- With only four selections in this year’s shortened MLB Draft, the Braves spent the past couple of weeks targeting undrafted free agents who can immediately provide some organizational depth.
Because these players cannot receive a signing bonus that exceeds $20,000 this year, very few of the players targeted are projected to become top prospects. The players willing to sign are primarily college seniors or juniors who are worried about how this year’s coronavirus shutdown could affect their future at their current school.
The Braves have announced they have signed these undrafted free agents. Each signed for $20,000.
Bryson Horne, 1B, Columbus State University
Horne hit .425 (34-for-80) with six homers over 21 games for Columbus State this year. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound junior had spent the two previous years playing at Georgia Highlands College. Horne told Panama City’s CBS affiliate he declined a similar offer from the Yankees because he grew up a Braves fan.
Landon Stephens, UTIL, Miami (Ohio) University
Stephens was a four-year starter who earned All Mid-American Conference honors after he hit .310 with nine homers and 12 stolen bases over 56 games in 2019. The versatile senior can play each of the infield positions and spent some time as an outfielder during his freshman season. He participated in the 2010 Little League World Series with Hamilton, Ohio.
Carter Linton, RHP, Tusculum University
Linton pitched at Colombia State Community College and East Tennessee State before playing the past two seasons for Tusculum. The right-handed reliever recorded 20 strikeouts and issued seven walks over 13 1/3 innings before the season abruptly ended in March. He is the son of Doug Linton, who pitched for the Blue Jays, Mets, Angels, Royals and Orioles over seven big league seasons.
Antonio Barranca, C, Calvert Hall College High School (Towson, Md.)
Barranca spent last summer playing in Perfect Game events for the Atlanta Blue Jays. His father was a big league catcher who totaled 67 games over four seasons with the Reds and Royals from 1979-82.
Cam Shepherd, INF, University of Georgia
After spending the past four seasons as the Bulldogs' starting shortstop, Shepherd can now experience the thrill of being part of his hometown team’s organization. The suburban Atlanta native was given an ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Award after his 2019 junior season. He did not make an error in any of the 30 conference games played that year.
Ethan Workinger, OF, San Diego City College
Workinger drew some attention last summer when he registered the top exit velocity during a Perfect Game showcase staged in Irvine, Calif. The 18-year-old outfielder has plus speed and a frame that could allow him to continue developing as a power hitter.