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Braves like bat of second-round pick Caratini

LOS ANGELES -- With Evan Gattis and Christian Bethancourt, the Braves have two catchers who could serve as Brian McCann's successors for many years to come. But like with pitchers, teams can never have too many catchers, especially those who have shown intriguing offensive potential.

That was the approach the Braves took on Thursday when they selected Miami Dade Community College catcher Victor Caratini with their second round selection in this year's First-Year Player Draft. Though he was selected as a catcher, Caratini's raw defensive skills behind the plate could lead him to play third or second base.

"We just really liked his bat as much as anything," Braves director of scouting Tony DeMacio said. "We saw him early and liked him from the very beginning."

Caratini is the first catcher the Braves have selected in the second round since McCann in 2002.

Because of the presence of another catcher on Miami Dade's roster, Caratini spent most of his time this year playing third base. He hit .377 with six home runs, 12 doubles and a .549 slugging percentage in 175 at-bats.

DeMacio said the plan will be for Caratini to begin his professional career as a catcher.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for
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