Gattis, who took a few years off from baseball to find himself before returning to the game at the University of Texas-Permain Basin, was drafted by the Braves in the 23rd round of the 2010 amateur draft. The 270-pound rookie did little to distinguish himself at Danville his first year but after losing 30 pounds he’s turned into Roy Hobbs.
He homered 22 times in 338 AB’s at Rome last year, winning the South Atlantic League batting title. Gattis opened a lot of eyes at Disney this spring and has picked up where he left off with the H’cats. In 42 AB’s he has four doubles, four homers, 17 RBI and an OPS of 1.319. He’s not the only one raking in Jerry Falwell’s backyard.
Edward Salcedo has seven doubles already and a .953 OPS. Recent draft picks Tommy LaStella, 2B, and Nick Ahmed, SS, are also putting up gaudy numbers. LaStella, who hit .328 with a .401 OBP during his professional debut last year at Rome, has 12 hits, 5 walks and just one strikeout, good for a 1.015 OPS. Ahmed, drafted in the second round of the 2011 draft, is hitting .319 with a .429 OBP and six steals.