What has been Braves’ best draft class since 1996?

Using the search engine at Baseball-Reference.com, The Associated Press evaluated the Atlanta Braves' draft performance from 1996 through 2018, adding up wins above replacement (WAR) figures for drafted players.

For each pick, the player’s career WAR was added to the appropriate total for the team, depending on whether or not the player signed with the team after being drafted. Some players had their WAR totals included multiple times, if they were drafted more than once.

The Braves enter Monday's MLB draft with three first-night picks, including the ninth overall selection.

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Here is how the Braves' picks stack up (Stats are through May 25. Compensation picks were considered part of the first round where applicable):

Total WAR for all drafted players

537.9 (MLB rank: 9th)

Total WAR for drafted players who signed

405.8 (rank: 9th)

Total WAR for drafted players who did not sign


Impact players (10 WAR or more) drafted


Impact players drafted and signed


Most recent impact player drafted and signed

Alex Wood, 2012, second round (11.6 WAR)

Lowest pick for impact player drafted and signed

Marcus Giles, 1996, 53rd round, pick No. 1,512 (16.8 WAR)

Best draft class, based on total WAR (impact players listed)

2007, 118.8 WAR (Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, Brandon Belt, Craig Kimbrel) 
Note: Kimbrel was part of 2007 class, but he didn't sign with the Braves then. They took him 30 rounds higher in 2008.

Best draft class, counting signed players only

2007, 74.1 WAR (Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman)

Highest pick

Ian Anderson, 2016 (pick No. 3)

Best player drafted and signed, based on career WAR

Adam Wainwright, 2000, first round, pick No. 29 (38.3 WAR)

Best player drafted who did not sign

Brandon Belt, 2007, 11th round (22.8 WAR)

Best player drafted and signed from first round

Adam Wainwright, 2000, pick No. 29 (38.3 WAR)

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