06/04/2002 9:02 pm ET
Braves select GM's son
Auburn's Schuerholz an eighth-round pick
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
Braves' round-by-round picks
ATLANTA -- Jonathan Schuerholz's visit to the Braves clubhouse Tuesday afternoon was a little different than the numerous ones he
has made in the past.
This time, Schuerholz might have been making one of his final appearances in the clubhouse as a non-employee.
Schuerholz, a junior at Auburn University and the son of Braves general manager John Schuerholz, was selected by the Braves in the
eighth round of Tuesday's MLB First-Year Player Draft.
"I knew our scouts liked him from what Roy [Clark, Braves director of scouting] was telling me," the Braves GM said. "We just didn't know if
other teams were going to take him."
The younger Schuerholz learned of his selection while tracking the draft on MLB.com with his mom at their house. His proud father called
it an all-American story.
"It was definitely a surprise," Schuerholz said. "I didn't know I'd be selected as early as eighth and didn't really know that the Braves would
be the team that would select me."
Paul Snyder, a special assistant to the general manager and a man who was granted the Excellence in Scouting Award
by Baseball America, said nepotism didn't play a part in the selection of Schuerholz.
"Jonathan earned his slot," Snyder said. "Like the one he earned when we selected him out of high school."
Tuesday marked the second time the Braves have selected the younger Schuerholz. He was picked by the organization in the 37th round
of the 1999 draft out of Lovett Academy in Atlanta.
After weighing his options, he chose to play at Auburn and hit .282 with two home runs and 84 RBIs in his first three seasons. During his
just completed junior season, he batted .302 with 17 RBIs.
He served as Auburn's starting shortstop during his freshman and sophomore seasons before moving to third base this past season.
He played some second base in the Cape Cod League and expects the Braves to use him as a middle infielder at Rookie Advanced
"I'm thrilled for him," the elder Schuerholz said. "I've been watching him play since he was 5 and I threw him his first ball when he was one
and a half and had to duck when he hit it right back at me."
Now, 20 years later, that little boy who almost took Dad's head off with his first swing of the bat will go to the negotiating table with a man
he has known since birth. But the father says that will not be a factor.
"We'll analyze and scrutinize him as if his name were Smith," Schuerholz said.
Another Braves selection during day one of the draft has a well-known father: Bryan Harvey of Bandys School in Catawba, N.C. Harvey's
father of the same name was a two-time All-Star who notched 177 saves in a nine-year big-league career.
The younger Harvey, who actually goes by the name Kris, is a catcher with an above-average arm, according to scouts. In fact, there were
some who believed Harvey could've been drafted as a pitcher. The Braves, however, are targeting him behind the plate.
"That kid is a real fine hitter," Clark said. "He wants to catch and we want him there."
The Braves also selected a catcher in the second round: Brian McCann, of Duluth, Ga. Three of the Braves' 24 selections in the draft's
first day were catchers.
As usual, the Braves held true to form and put an emphasis on pitching. The organization selected 14 pitchers (eight right-handed, six
left-handed), but it did go against its norm by choosing more college players (14) than high school players (10).
When Clark exited the draft room with his group of scouts and converged on the pressbox before Tuesday night's game, he seemed to be
satisfied with his first day of selections.
The afternoon began with the choice of Jeff Francoeur with the
23rd pick in the draft. Going into the draft, Francoeur was the player the organization had sought more than any other. After selecting the
Lilburn, Ga., outfielder, everything seemed to fall into place for Clark.
As Clark talked to some media members, Snyder stepped aside, chewed on his unlit cigar and smiled about the work his young pupil
had done. But, as Snyder has taught him, Clark knows there is no reason to celebrate yet.
"If we could fast-forward three or four years, we could gauge how this draft stacks up," Clark said. "But for now, we just have to wait."
There are 29 other scouting directors feeling the same way right now.
Mark Bowman covers the Braves for MLB.com and can be reached at email@example.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its