It was a bit of surprise when the Atlanta Braves came away with their 21st pick in the 2012 MLB draft earlier this week.
Everyone, including myself thought Atlanta would surely draft a hitter.
And though both David Dahl and DJ Davis were already selected, the Braves had most of the players on the board available to them.
Instead, they picked in-state RHP Lucas Sims from Brookwood, Georgia.
On Thursday, the Braves announced that although Sims had already committed to pitch for Clemson, he apparently has been swayed, and has signed with Atlanta for $1.65 million.
He is expected to join the Braves’ Gulf Coast League affiliate next Tuesday.
The 6-foot-3 190-pound Sims is a very good three-ball pitcher with a fastball that gets up as high as 97 MPH at the moment, as well as a curve that appears to be on its way to being a plus pitch. The third pitch is a slider, and that pitch also can get strikeouts.
The recently-turned 18-year old, who led his team to the state championship game this year, also has decent control, but his command is a little below average at the moment.
Bottom line. This kid has loads of potential to become a solid top-of-the-rotation starter for the Braves.
And since Atlanta is stacked pitching-wise, he isn’t likely to be rushed in any way, so he should develop nicely.