With the fifth overall pick, the Braves have selected right-hander Kyle Wright from Vanderbilt University. In mock drafts, MLB.com had Wright to be selected with the 6th pick while Baseball America and ESPN.com had him going 5th, though he was considered a candidate to go first to the Twins before they settled on Royce Lewis.
Wright, 21, is one of the highest ranked right-handed arms in this year’s draft class. He was considered one of the top pitchers in the state of Alabama coming out of high school, but was so strongly intent on attending Vanderbilt that he went undrafted before enrolling in college. Before entering college ball, Wright was 6’3” 165 pounds, and he is now currently listed at 6’4” 220 pounds, which is a great size for a Major League pitcher.
Wright has performed well in each of his three seasons at Vandy, and has been a more than formidable ace in 2017. His 5-5 record this season didn’t raise any eyebrows, but his 2.98 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 10.52 K/9 numbers are more than impressive. His strong campaign and top-line potential propelled him to being selected with the fifth pick.
Wright’s repertoire consists of a fastball that sits around 91-94, but can reach as high as 97, a hard curveball that he primarily uses against lefties, and a hard slider and cutter that he uses against righties. As a four-pitch pitcher, Wright certainly has what it takes to become a star in the big leagues. It is Wright’s physique, repertoire, and resume that catapulted him to the top college pitcher in the draft, and a player that was a potential number one overall pick.
As a college pitcher, Wright is already closer to the big leagues than a guy such as Hunter Greene who is just 17-years-old. Many scouts believe he has plenty of projection remaining and that his stuff will only get better as he rises through the Braves’ minor league system.
For more on Kyle Wright, check out Chris Cotillo’s Q&A on him here.