Wentz, Muller excited to start Braves careers

Left-handed pitchers taken with Nos. 40 and 44 picks in Draft

Wentz, Muller excited to start Braves careers

ATLANTA -- Less than a week ago, Kyle Muller was celebrating a state championship with Jesuit College Prep, his high school team in Dallas.

On Wednesday afternoon, the 18-year-old found himself talking to a handful of reporters in the Braves' dugout, after Atlanta selected the left-handed pitcher with the 44th pick in the MLB Draft on Thursday.

"It's really a dream come true," Muller said. "I mean, I've been saying it a bunch, but ever since I was a little kid, this is what I've wanted to do. Now that it's actually happening, it's almost hard to believe."

The Braves selected high school pitchers with their first three picks. Joey Wentz, the 40th overall selection, also spoke with reporters before Wednesday's game against the Reds.

"It's been hectic," Wentz said of the past week. "It's one I'll never forget, though, and I feel fortunate to get in an organization like the Braves and be put in a good situation, a position to succeed. I'm blessed, really."

Wentz and Muller, both lefties, said they didn't hesitate to start their professional careers now rather than go to college, and both will head to Orlando on Thursday to begin short-season rookie ball. 

"It was a real quick turnaround, but I'm excited and can't wait to get to work," said Muller, who was selected as the Gatorade National High School Player of the Year.

Muller said he hopes to focus on his mechanics and command.

"I've got longer limbs than a lot of people, so being able to be efficient with that and really be able to locate my pitches, because at this level location's everything," Muller said of what he hopes to work on.

While Muller was surprised the Braves selected him, the 6-foot-5 Wentz said he had been in touch with the Braves more than any other team.

"On pick 39, they called me and said they were gonna take me at 40," said Wentz, who received a $3.05 million signing bonus.

Both Muller and Wentz can also swing the bat, with the latter showing it off with a 543-foot home run at the Junior Home Run Derby in Cincinnati last summer.

Though he agrees with the Braves' choice to select him as a pitcher, Muller said he can't wait to hit once he gets to Double-A.

"I'll try to sneak in a few extra BP sessions if I can," Muller said. "I'm sure Joey would want to do the same thing. They drafted me as a pitcher, and that's what I'm going try to do and do the best at that as I can."

No. 3 overall pick Ian Anderson won't be allowed to sign until he graduates from high school on June 23.

Aimee Sachs is a contributor to MLB.com based in Atlanta. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.