6/8/2013 9:28 P.M. ET
Round 15 pick Marksberry is Braves' first lefty
By Eric Single and Mark Bowman / MLB.com
After taking six right-handed pitchers, the Braves finally jumped on their first left-hander, taking Campbell's Matt Marksberry in the 15th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft with the 463rd overall selection.
After undergoing Tommy John surgery the summer before arriving at Campbell, Marksberry steadily improved throughout his collegiate career, finishing 2013 with an 8-2 record and 73 strikeouts, tied for ninth most in the Big South Conference.
Braves start Day 3 by taking prep righty Grosser
The Braves began the third and final day of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft by selecting high school pitcher Alec Grosser with their 11th-round pick.
Grosser was an unknown less than one year ago, but he's spent the past few months as one of the most sought-after prep arms in the country.
The right-hander from T.C. Williams High School (Va.) had a big performance in Virginia's Commonwealth Games last year, showing off a fastball that touches 94 mph. It was there that he caught the eye of Braves area scout Gene Kerns, who also discovered Brandon Beachy at a Virginia Valley Summer League game. Grosser has a whippy arm action that produces good sink on his fastball, while his offspeed pitches need a little work.
That's to be expected of the 6-foot-2, 186-pounder, who also quarterbacked his high school football team and is far from a finished product.
The George Mason signee led his high school to the regional playoffs for the first time since 2009 with a six-inning, one-hit performance in mid-May in which he struck out 10 batters.
Braves go with righty Gunther in Round 12
After selecting back-to-back third basemen to cap off Day 2 of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, the Braves selected their second consecutive right-handed pitcher to start off Day 3, taking Charleston Southern pitcher Ryan Gunther in the 12th round, the 373rd overall pick.
Gunther led his team with seven wins and 90 2/3 innings pitched in his senior season with the Bucs. He became the sixth right-handed pitcher taken in the Braves' first 12 picks.
Odom adds to Braves' catching stockpile in Round 13
The Braves sprung for their third catcher of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, selecting Joseph Odom out of Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala., in the 13th round, the 403rd overall pick.
As a junior in 2013, Odom led Huntingdon with 14 home runs and 60 RBIs in 43 games. At 6-foot-2, he became the tallest of the Braves' three catcher prospects taken in the first 13 rounds.
Braves take college bat Kuresa in Round 14
The Braves took a chance on power potential with their selection of first baseman Tyler Kuresa with the 433rd overall pick, in the 14th round of the First-Year Player Draft.
Kuresa was the Twins' 11th-round pick in 2010, but chose to attend Oregon. After struggling at the plate as a freshman, he transferred to UC Santa Barbara, forcing him to sit out last season. He rebounded this year, leading the Gauchos with five home runs, 16 doubles and 46 RBIs, but has yet to show the power potential scouts saw in him in high school.
Listed at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, Kuresa is strong already and has room to add more muscle. But he will have to adjust his approach to allow him to turn on balls better and unlock his raw power.
Kuresa is a good defender at first base and has an above-average arm. Thanks to his transfer, he has two more years of eligibility.
Braves grab Heyward's brother in 38th round
LOS ANGELES -- As Jason Heyward was preparing for Saturday night's game at Dodger Stadium, he learned the Braves selected his younger brother, Jacob Heyward, in the 38th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.
While the younger Heyward could someday join the professional ranks, big brother said Jacob will stick with his commitment to play at the University of Miami. Jason said this decision was made before the Draft began on Thursday.
"I was happy for him when he got into school," Jason said. "The Draft was going to be whatever it was. Now he can go [to Miami] play and develop some more."
Jacob Heyward is six years younger and four inches shorter than his older brother, who was selected No. 14 overall in the 2007 Draft. As a senior at Eagles Landing Christian Academy in McDonough, Ga., Jacob led the Chargers to the Class A-Private state championship.
"He hit for power and he threw 94 mph off the mound this year," Jason said. "He can run and he's going to get faster. He's got a lot ahead of him. We'll see what happens."
Eric Single is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Braves beat writer Mark Bowman reported on Jason and Jacob Heyward from Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.