Braves draft Withrow's brother -- another hurler
ATLANTA -- Braves scouting director Brian Bridges has proven he is willing to gamble on some high-risk, high-reward players. As Tuesday's portion of the 2015 MLB Draft concluded, Bridges stockpiled pitchers, some of whom will need to either bounce back from injuries or simply prove they can consistently throw strikes.
The Braves have selected pitchers with 11 of the 13 selections they have made through the first two days of the Draft, which concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 on MLB.com beginning at noon ET.
Round 6 (180th overall): RHP Matt Withrow, Texas Tech
The Braves have taken a recent liking to the Withrow family. They acquired Matt's older brother, Chris, in a trade with the Dodgers two weeks ago.
While the elder Withrow has the potential to be a key piece in Atlanta's bullpen once he recovers from Tommy John surgery, Matt will need some time to prove the Braves were wise to take a chance on his arm strength. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound right-hander possesses a fastball that has reached 95 mph. He posted a 3.63 ERA, recorded 25 strikeouts, issued 11 walks and allowed opponents to hit .272 against him this year.
Round 7 (210th overall): RHP Patrick Weigel, University of Houston
Despite the command problems, it was hard to pass on the potential of Weigel's arm, which has produced fastballs that have reached 99 mph. The 20-year-old hurler posted a 3.38 ERA, and he limited opponents to a .198 batting average while making 23 appearances (one start) this past season.
Round 8 (240th overall): LHP Ryan Lawlor, University of Georgia
Lawlor, the first in-state product selected by the Braves, posted a 3.67 ERA, notched 84 strikeouts and issued 33 walks in the 73 2/3 innings over 14 starts this past season. He recorded wins against Florida State, Alabama and Tennessee. But his finest performance might have come when he notched 12 strikeouts against top-ranked Vanderbilt.
Round 9 (270th overall): RHP Taylor Lewis, University of Florida
Lewis became a dominant and reliable member of Florida's bullpen after he posted a 1.24 ERA, recorded 31 strikeouts and limited opponents to a .215 batting average in 29 relief appearances this season. He will have a chance to display his three-quarters delivery when the Gators compete in the College World Series this weekend.
Round 10 (300th overall): RHP Stephen Moore, United States Naval Academy
Moore, a suburban Atlanta native, will spend a portion of this summer pitching in the Braves' Minor League system. The 23-year-old pitcher will then begin the military commitment required of all Navy grads. He will have the choice to return to professional baseball like Mitch Harris, the Cardinals pitcher who served his five-year military commitment before returning to professional baseball this season.