Braves Conclude Day One of 2015 First-Year Player Draft

Atlanta selects four high school players with first five picks

ATLANTA - The Atlanta Braves tonight concluded the first day of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft by making a Major League-high five selections within the first 75 picks, including the 14th, 28th, 41st, 54th and 75th selections. The Braves selected three pitchers, one third baseman and one catcher. Their first four draftees were selected out of high school.

"Today was a great day for the Braves organization. We are very excited with the players we were able to draft and I couldn't be happier with where we are at this moment," said Brian Bridges, the Braves' director of scouting.

Selection #14, LHP Kolby Allard

Allard, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound left-hander, entered the 2015 season ranked by Baseball America as one of the top high school pitchers in the country and was also a first-team Perfect Game preseason All-America selection. He was limited during his senior campaign to three appearances, including two starts that totaled 7.0 innings, due to a stress reaction in his back.

Allard entered the 2015 draft tabbed by Baseball America as the 18th-best prospect overall and the eighth-best pitching prospect. He was the starting pitcher (and the youngest player on the team) in the Gold Medal game for the USA Baseball 18U team in the 2014 Pan American championship game. In two official starts with the 18U National Team, he went 2-0 with a 1.12 ERA (1 ER/8.0 IP), striking out 14 batters and yielding just four hits. In 2014, he was named the Most Valuable Player in the Perfect Game All-American Classic.

As a junior with the Tritons, Allard led the club with a career-best 63.2 innings pitched, compiling a 1.32 ERA (12 ER/63.2 IP) over 13 games (seven starts). He went 6-2 with one complete game and a pair of saves, while striking out 98 batters with just 17 walks. Allard amassed a 15-3 record with a 1.74 ERA (36 ER/144.2 IP) with 164 strikeouts over 34 games (11 starts) during his high school career.

Selection #28, RHP Mike Soroka

Soroka, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound right-hander, entered the 2015 draft ranked by Baseball America as the 48th-best pitcher in the draft. He was a member of the 2015 Canadian Junior National team, where he made appearances this past spring against the Toronto Blue Jays, as well as the Braves extended spring training camp team and the Braves Dominican Summer League team. While playing for the Canadian team, he was coached by former Major Leaguer Chris Reitsma.

He was a 2015 Perfect Game Second-Team All-America selection, as well as a Canada/Puerto Rico All-Region First-Team selection. The Canadian native is committed to play baseball at the University of California at Berkley this fall.

Selection #41, 3B Austin Riley

Riley, a 6-foot-2, 255-pound right-handed pitcher out of DeSoto Central High School in Southhaven, Miss., batted .423 (44-for-104) with a state-high 11 home runs in 37 games during the 2015 season. One of the top two-way players in the draft according to Baseball America, Riley also pitched for the Jaguars, going 7-2 with a 2.70 ERA en route to leading the team to the 6A state title.

The 17-year-old was named a 2015 Perfect Game Second Team Preseason All-American, as well as a First-Team All-State selection this past season. He appeared in the 2014 Under Armour All-America game at Wrigley Field, where he threw one scoreless inning and also played third base.

Selection #54, C Lucas Herbert

Tabbed by Baseball America as the 52nd-best prospect in the draft class and the third-best catcher, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound catcher batted .417 (50-for-120) with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 33 games for San Clemente High School (CA) this season while guiding the Tritons to the 2015 National High School Invitational Championship. Herbert was a member of the 2014 18U Pan American National Team in 2014, when he hit .333 (11-for-33) with two home run and 15 RBI in 12 games as the USA won a gold medal in the International tournament. Herbert was named to the 2014 American Family Insurance All-USA Preseason Baseball Team, and was a Second-Team Perfect Game High School Senior Preseason All-America honoree.

The 18-year-old, San Clemente, Calif., native is the highest catcher selected by the Braves since 2003, when the team took Jarrod Saltalamacchia 36th overall out of Royal Palm Beach High School (FL). Herbert was teammates with the Braves' top selection in the draft, LHP Kolby Allard, and has committed to attend the University of California at Los Angeles this fall.

Selection #75, LHP A.J. Minter

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound, left-handed pitcher out of Texas A&M University went 2-0 with a 0.43 ERA (1 ER/21.0 IP) in four games, all starts, in his junior year for the Aggies this season before his season was cut short after undergoing "Tommy John" surgery in March.

The Whitehouse, Texas, native and general studies major began his collegiate career in the bullpen, appearing in 26 games in both 2013 and 2014 for the Aggies, before transitioning to a starting role this past season. He was the team's Opening Day starter, picking up the win in a 19-2 victory over Holy Cross.

Minter was a first team All-State selection at The Brook Hill School in Bullard, Texas, leading his team to the 2011 and 2012 state title. He was drafted in the 39th round of the 2012 draft by the Detroit Tigers but did not sign.

The 40-round First-Year Player draft will continue Tuesday (June 9) at 1:00 p.m. ET with rounds three through 10 and will conclude Wednesday (June 10) at 12:00 p.m. ET.