Outfielder Connor Lien did not have a great statistical year in his debut season with the Gulf Coast…
Atlanta Braves Top 30 Prospects: 30-26
29. OF, Justin Black: Last year's fourth round pick has plus speed and great defensive potential, so much so that the Braves will be able to continue to trot him out there while he learns to hone his offensive approach which remains very raw. The bat speed is there and there is also some real long-term power potential, especially for a centerfielder type, but hailing from Montana the 19-year old just hasn't seen enough of the top pitching he has seen thus far and will continue to see. There will be short-term struggles but the long-term payoff could be big.
28. 3B, Mike Dodig: Like Black, last year's tenth round pick has tremendous long-term upside that can not be ignored. Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 210 pounds, he has great size and surprising athleticism for a potential slugger type. As is the case with most first-year pros at the plate, his approach needs to be refined where he uses the whole field more. There's some innate hitting ability here and the kind of requisite agility to handle the defensive duties, and the power potential has the chance to materialize.
27. C, Josh Elander: The former TCU standout has the look of a potential 'sleeper' candidate behind the plate. Yes he is pretty raw defensively for a catcher coming out of college but the makeup is tremendous -- he is very coachable and has a tireless work ethic. Blessed with big league plate discipline, he has the chance to really hit too and shows at least average power potential for a catcher. He'll be one to track in the coming years if the defense can come around more. Keep in mind he has never had coaching at the position until he signed with the Braves.
26. OF, Connor Lien: Though he was selected a bit later than some of his high school peers last season, the 2012 twelfth round pick has as much upside as anyone and the Florida native is probably better suited for the short-term after playing against much better competition growing up. He can play all three outfield positions, shows above average speed, and while he has yet to hit his first professional home run there is some real long-term power potential in his 6-foot-3 frame. Like most youngsters though, he just needs more at-bats and in-game reps but the present patience at the plate is advanced.
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