As reported first on The Braves Show, former Georgia Tech right-hander Tim Gustafson signed with the Atlanta Braves Tuesday afternoon.
Gustafson was the Braves' ninth round pick in the Amateur Draft back in June. He is the last pick the Braves will sign from this year's draft class. Gustafson is the 19th pick signed by the Braves and the 15th pitcher.
The 21-year-old Gustafson was born in Hollywood, Florida but his family moved to the Atlanta area when he was a teenager. Gustafson attended Parkview High School and played with Braves' right-fielder Jeff Francoeur and Braves' farmhand Clint Sammons.
Gustafson fell a bit in this year's draft due to an injury he had midway through his junior season. He had a shoulder impingement that limited his 2006 action. Gustafson pitched in only 15 games (two starts) and was 2-0 with a 3.94 ERA.
Some scouts projected Gustafson as a top three round pick before his injury, as he was coming off a decent summer league performance last year in the Cape Cod League and a solid sophomore season at Georgia Tech.
After resting his shoulder for most of the spring, Gustafson decided to once again pitch in the Cape Cod League this summer to prove to the Braves he was healthy. The Braves had several scouts view his performance and were convinced he was ready to pitch in pro ball.
Gustafson will join former University of Tennessee pitcher Deunte Heath and former Boston College outfielder Ryne Reynoso (converted to a pitcher) as late summer signees for the Braves. All three will participate in the Instructional League this fall in Orlando.
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. He can also be heard regularly on the Braves Radio Network. Email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.