6/7/2014 11:08 P.M. ET
Braves pick Gattis-like slugging catcher in 20th round
By Joe Morgan / MLB.com
ATLANTA -- The last time the Braves selected a power-hitting catcher out of Texas on Day 3 of the First-Year Player Draft, they got Evan Gattis, who leads all Major League catchers with 12 home runs this season.
Should lightning strike twice for Atlanta, the club's next late-round backstop basher could be Lubbock Christian University's Wigberto Nevarez, who was selected on Saturday afternoon in the 20th round with the 713th overall pick.
Like Gattis, the 6-foot-3, 230 pound Nevarez has plenty of size and possesses plenty of power, smacking 22 home runs in 339 career at-bats with Lubbock Christian and becoming their first player to ever homer four times in a game on March 28, 2013.
"Gattis is a really good player, no doubt about it," Lubbock Christian head coach Nathan Blackwood said. "I think Wigs has the potential to have more power than Gattis, but overall, they're very similar."
Blackwood also lauded Nevarez's defensive ability. In two seasons with Lubbock Christian, Nevarez threw out 37.9 (22 of 58) percent of would-be base stealers. Only three MLB catchers have higher percentages this season.
Nevarez's ability to work with the Lubbock Christian pitching staff also impressed Blackwood, who trusted Atlanta's 20th rounder with a lot of in-game responsibility.
"We don't always allow our catchers to call games, but we did Wigs just because he was so sharp in that area and had a good rapport with the staff," Blackwood said. "I know at the professional level they do a lot more of that, so he's going to be very valuable in that role with pitchers."
Braves snag TV analyst Byrd's son in 39th round
ATLANTA -- Twenty-three years after the Indians made Braves television analyst Paul Byrd their fourth-round selection in the 1991 First-Year Player Draft, Atlanta drafted shortstop Grayson Byrd, Paul's son, in the 39th round on Saturday afternoon.
Although Grayson expects to honor his commitment to play baseball for LSU in the Southeastern Conference, it was still a special moment for the family.
Between Byrd's time in the Atlanta organization and his son's attendance at King's Ridge Christian School in Alpharetta, Ga., -- founded in part by Braves Hall of Famer John Smoltz -- the club has long been connected with the younger Byrd.
But throw away the tie-ins, and Atlanta still would be excited about Grayson.
"This wasn't a favor, this kid has a gift to play this game," Braves scout Brian Bridges said. "There's nothing there not to like. He can hit the balls a long way. He can run, he can throw and he can field."
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.