The Braves kept their eighth-round pick in the family on Friday, selecting outfielder Kyle Wren, the son of Braves general manager Frank Wren, with the 253rd overall pick of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.
Wren was a Draft-eligible sophomore a year ago, but decided to head back to Georgia Tech rather than sign with the Reds, who took him in the 30th round. The speedy outfielder had a tremendous junior season for the Yellow Jackets, hitting .360 and stealing a team-high 28 bases as Tech took Vanderbilt to the brink of elimination before bowing out in the Nashville Regional of the NCAA Tournament.
For Frank Wren, the selection of his son was always a possibility, but he wanted to take himself out of the room for any discussion or analysis, returning only for the final decision.
"It's a little uncomfortable in some terms, but at the end of the day, when I look at what's best for the organization, and then from a dad's perspective, what's best for Kyle, knowing the quality of the instruction we have, whether it's [Minor League baserunning and outfield coordinator] Doug Dascenzo or [Minor League hitting coordinator] Don Long," Wren said. "I'm thrilled that he's going to be working with those coaches because I think that will give him a better chance to continue to develop. And selfishly, we're getting a player with talent."
Wren is mostly a line-drive hitter who goes with the pitch when he wants to. His best tool is his speed, and it works on both sides of the ball, allowing him to play a strong outfield as well -- the Braves selected him as a center fielder.
Kyle Wren is a flyer; he can run," Braves scouting director Tony DeMacio said. "Middle-of-the-diamond player, left-handed hitter, leadoff-type guy. We're happy to get him, too. He's a table-setter. He had a great year. I think he was a Freshman All-American, and he comes from a high-profile program, so he's playing against the best competition in the country."
The Braves continued a trend of keeping their GM's bloodlines in-house in the eighth round. In 2002, Atlanta selected Jonathan Schuerholz, the son of then-GM John Schuerholz, in the same Draft position.
"I asked him the question," Wren said. "I said, 'How would you feel about us drafting you?' He said, 'I would love that.' It's his favorite team -- it better be his favorite team. But I asked him that question because I didn't want to put him in a spot where he would be overly uncomfortable, and he wasn't at all."
Eric Single is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less