A Mock MLB Draft

So it’s a bit over a month away and there are plenty of things that are going to change. But this was a lot of fun and based on the search results and the way people are looking at the site you all seemed to enjoy what I’ve written so far on the Draft.

So here is a mock up of the current draft board based on how I see it. Most the pieces I’ve put together and I’m not claiming to have insider knowledge or anything. This is all based on my opinion based on research and talking to a few guys on talents evaluations where clubs maybe leaning.

This wasn’t easy and I took some time to really think things through. Let me know what your thoughts on this are and even if you are critical I just would enjoy the feed back.

1. Pirates – Gerrit Cole – RHP – UCLA

Cole is simply the best talent available and an epic one at that. I just don’t see them passing on him with all the question marks associated with Rendon.

2. Mariners – Anthony Rendon – 3B – Rice

Rendon even with the injury to his shoulder is the best hitter in all of college baseball.  The base on balls are a little inflated due to the fact that no one really wants to pitch to him and with his injury it doesn’t really give a lot of chances for him to prove that he can hit despite the injury.

I refuse to believe the Mariners would pass on Rendon.

3. Diamondbacks – Sonny Gray – RHP – Vanderbilt

Poor Gray. Most likely a candidate for #1 pick most years but drops to #3 at best. But an awesome #3 at that. The Diamondbacks like to grab the best available talent and the I believe the industry pick would be Gray.

4. Orioles – Danny Hultzen – LHP – Virginia

I’ve heard a few people talk about how the Orioles looking for left-handed pitcher at this spot if possible. While it’s just talk they do drift towards pitching talent early and Hultzen fits both of those.

5. Royals – Bubba Starling – OF – Gardner-Edgerton HS

Starling has perhaps one of the highest ceilings for anyone in the draft and the best available High School talent. But, he comes with a huge price tag. Starling is a two-way player with a full scholarship to Nebraska to play quarterback.

Being he is in the Royals backyard and that they love local guys I would imagine him falling to #5 is a big thing to them and it just seems like destiny.

I have Starling as an outfielder because despite his arm his athleticism and raw power are the tools to focus on going forward. I don’t think I’m alone in that sentiment.

6. Nationals – Francisco Lindor – SS – Montverde HS

Nationals have spent a lot of money on a lot of arms in the last three years and I just see them going for a position player. While there are a few different college talents. Lindor seems like the next best position player on the draft board. While there are plenty of college arms to fall back on they are another club that tends to go with the best available talent and to me that’s Lindor.

7. Diamondbacks – Jackie Bradley Jr. – OF – South Carolina

This maybe kind of a stretch and people may scratch their heads about this. But, I love Bradley. I’m a huge believer in him and I think that he maybe the best college position player in the draft behind Rendon.

The biggest unknown right here is that this pick is unprotected. Meaning that if they fail to sign the individual they won’t get compensation for it next year. That may lead to an over draft in this spot and with the Diamondbacks not drafting until #43 they may just get someone that they think won’t be available at that point. Such as a John Stilson, Jason Esposito or even Brian Goodwin. Ultimately I expect it to be a college ball player.

8. Indians- Matt Barnes – RHP – UCONN

The Indians love their college pitchers. I think Matt Barnes fits their mold and is the best available. You could argue that Jed Bradley, Jungman, and Purke could fit here. But for whatever reason I’m just leaning Barnes on this.

9. Cubs – Taylor Jungmann – RHP – Texas

The Cubs are looking to play the depth the draft. That depth is pitching and their system is rather weak. I think Jungmann is normally a top-5 talent and they get real value here.

10. Padres – Dylan Bundy – RHP – Owasso HS

The Padres love their prep players. Bundy at this point is a STEAL. The best prep pitcher in the draft. There is a youtube video of his workout regime out there. The kid is an animal and a fierce competetor.

The only problem is that this is again an unprotected draft pick. Since they are recieving compensation for losing Karsten Whitson last year.

They may roll with a safer pick, such as Trevor Bauer and/or Tyler Anderson. Either way I see them taking an arm.

11. Astros – Matt Purke – LHP – TCU

The one thing that I see with this is Purke’s value has dropped emensley and the money he is expected to get out of the #11 spot opposed to the #2 or #3 spot is pretty signficant. He could be a tough sign.

That said the Astros perfer college talent and they like local talent. With Purke falling to them I think they take the risk and pick him up.

12. Brewers – George Springer – OF – UCONN

Springer just seems like a fit for the Brewers organization. I know a lot of people either see him going a lot sooner or falling further than this. But his power and athleticism is huge and I think the Brewers are going to captilize on this.

13. Mets – Archie Bradley – RHP – Broken Arrow HS

The Mets are very much a best talent on the board team. Bradley is the clear cut #2 high school arm behind Bundy. I think they take Bradley here.

I will say that if Matt Barnes falls, and that could easily happen with the overload of college pitchers in the middle of the first round, I think the Mets go with Barnes of Bradley. Just my opinion.

There is also the situation with the lack of money available and they may go conservative and get someone that will sign for slot at #13.

14. Marlins – Blake Swihart – C – Cleveland HS

Marlins are frequently involved in the high school pool and with Swihart being one of the better talents available it just seemed like a solid fit. You could also look for Josh Bell here.

But a switch hitting catcher with power as a primary tool is hard to come by.

15. Brewers – Anthony Meo – RHP – Costal Carolina

This is another one of those unprotected picks and so again things can happen here that is unpexected.  But I expect them to take a college arm similar to what happen in the 2009 draft. They take the best available player and then drafted someone that would help organizational depth.

I really like Meo and with the way he has impressed scouts with his jump in velocity I see him being grabbed up prior to the Sandwich round.

16. Dodgers – Josh Bell – OF – Jesuit HS

Dodgers are not affriad to draft and pay for high school talent. Josh Bell is “all bat” according to Keith Law and according to many other sources the switch hitter will hit and do so very, very well. He is most likely left fielder in the future.

The two (Dodgers and Bell) just seem like a solid fit right here.

17. Angles – Trevor Bauer – RHP – UCLA

I like to often matchup local talent to a local team but this time it just happened. I see the Angles just going after the best available college arm at this point and in my opinion it’s Bauer.

The best available talent however is most likely one of the High School pitchers.

Norris, Guerrieri or Owens. They could even take local HS kid Robert Stephenson who has a UW scholarship awaiting him in the future.

18. Athletics – Mikie Mahtook – OF – LSU

We know that Billy Beane loves to draft college kids. In fact the last high schooler taken in the first round by Beane was Jeremy Bonderman in 2001. You can pretty much take it to the bank that the Athletics will draft and I’m almost more certain it’ll be a position player.

That brings us to Mikie Mahtook. Mahtook showed HUGE early numbers despite the change in bats. Currently ranked 11th in wOBA in Division I play. He’s looked very good this year and I think depending on how you feel about Springers strikeouts Mahtook could be considered the second best college out fielder in the draft.

19. Red Sox – Andrew Susac – C – Oregon State

I like Susac. I like Susac a lot. I don’t know how much the general industry likes/or dislikes Susac but I think he’s going to be a very good catcher and is considered to be possibly the best catcher in the draft. The problem here is he broke a bone in his hand and is likely out for the rest of the college season.

As draft elidgeable sopheremore he has the leverage but the Red Sox pay for premium talent. Susac is a premium talent and he feeds much needed depth for the organization.

20. Rockies -  Daniel Norris – LHP – Science Hill HS

Norris to me is the tyler matzek of this draft. He could go sooner he may even drop to the sandwich rounds (maybe even further depending on his signability).

The one thing that Norris is for sure is a solid pitcher. He maybe short in stature but he knows how to pitch and his velocity is solid. He could be a huge get for the Rockies.

21. Blue Jays – Taylor Guerrieri – RHP -North Augusta HS

Guerrieri maybe one of the jewels of the draft. He has been seen of late sporting a fastball that repeatedly touches 97,98 and has been sporting a “nasty” slider combonation.

The Blue Jays will pay for talent and they are a very smart organization. I see them jumping on the best talent and Guerrieri in my opinion is that.

22. Cardinals – Jed Bradley – Georgia

Easily one of the top talents in the draft. There was someone who mentioned to Jason Churchill earlier this season that they would perfer to have Bradley over Gerrit Cole. I doubt he falls this far. I really don’t think it happens. I just didn’t see an organizational fit. Though.

I see a possible fit with the Indians, Cubs, Dodgers. But someone is going to fall here and I think it’s funny how many people have held onto his performances last spring instead of become excited about what he has done so far this year.

The Cardinals will pay him.

23. Nationals – Henry Owens – LHP – Edison HS

The thing I see most often associated with Owens is projectability. He stands 6-5 and currently sits 88-90 mph. His arm action isn’t exactly clean so there is a lot of thought that with some work and growth he could easily gain some velocity.

He already sports an above average change-up which is always something that surprises you when you talk about a High School kid. He’s a bit of a reach here at 23 but I think the Nationals play it safe and Owens is a good pick here and he’s very signable.

The LA Times wrote an interesting piece on him if you care to read it.

24. Rays – Javier Baez -  SS – Arlington Day HS

This an over draft but it’s an over draft for a specific reason. Baez recently commited to a Junior College. That’s not much of a commitment. Not for a top end draft pick. It’s similar to the Taijuan Walker situation where he was just fielder Junior College scholarships.

Baez has been rated on a couple of different sites as having a better bat then Lindor (see pick #6 Nationals). Though there are more questions about Baez defense. I think he’s signable and while I don’t expect the Rays to draft many (if any) High School talents early. I think they are going to grab good signable guys that won’t kill their draft budget wherever available. This fits the bill.

25. Padres – Tyler Anderson – LHP – Oregon

I’ve seen Tyler Anderson connected with the Padres on nearly a dozen different boards. I don’t know what it is but everyone seems to really like this fit. This just seemed easy.

I mentioned early of the possibility of Anderson going as early as #10 overall  should the Padres want to spend their pick on a signability guy. Anderson is a great pitcher and will go in the first round almost assuredly.

26. Red Sox – Alex Dickerson – LF – Indiana

Dickerson has the biggest power in the entire draft or so I’ve seen repeated a few different times. The biggest problem is that it hasn’t really manifested itself yet. He also doesn’t have much of a position. Whenever I think of Dickerson I think of Lars Anderson. Which is probably why I have him going here.

It’s possible he becomes Rich Poythress the second and drops unexpectedly to some team in the second or third round. But I think late first round is good and the Red Sox like guys with big bats regardless of position.

27.  Reds – Dillon Howard – RHP – Searcy HS

Howard is rated high but a lot of different sites but I see him sit in the low-90s. He only stands 6’2 (lack of projectability) and he doesn’t have a dominating out pitch. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him fall completely out of the first round. But being that so many analysts are still rather high on him I have him going to the reds. Because … well… Bill Bavasi.

28. Braves – Julius Gaines – SS – Luella HS

Much like the Royals the Braves are a team that loves to draft local talent and they love to find little diamonds under rated diamonds. Gaines maybe that diamond. He’s not projected to go in the first round but I think he could very well be drafted here.

He’s a very slick fielder and maybe on par with Lindor. His bat is the question but with a few tweaks I like what could become of him. He reminds me similarly to that of Mychael Givens of the Baltimore Orioles.

29. Giants – Jason Esposito – 3B – Vanderbilt

Good power potential and above average defense at third. He’s a solid prospect and could be the best floor/ceiling guy in the field at this point. Plus he’s a college ball player and the Giants have shown a tendancy to perfer those types of players.

30. Twins – Alex Meyer – RHP – Kentucky

Meyer is one of the most under rated arms in the draft. But then again he’s earned it. By showing games where he loses all command of his pitches and then turns around pitches a gem. He has great velocity and his breaking balls are solid. I tend to believe he’ll drop further than this. But I think he is one of the Top-5 or 6 pitchers in the draft.

31. Rays – John Stinson – RHP – Texas A&M

I’ve mentioned Stilson a few times. A Fireball closer from Texas A&M. He may go sooner he may go later. Think Chance Ruffin from last year vs. Drew Storen of 2009. He could go high he could go low but he should go for slot.

32. Rays – Levi Michael – SS – UNC

The college middle infield is weak. REALLY weak. While, I don’t believe Michael is the best option here I think he’ll do an there are a lot of people that really like him. I’m just not among them.

There is a possibility he sticks at short but I tend to believe he’ll move off to second. Either way he’s switch hitting middle infielder and he should be much above slot.

33. Rangers – Travis Harrison – 3B – Tustin HS

The Rangers love big power bats. Harrison has plenty of power and may still stick at third base. While his position is questionable the power is not.

Regardless of who goes here I think it’s a prep bat. There are also some intriguing prep arms that could go here.

Topics: Alex Dickerson, Alex Meyer, Andrew Susac, Anthony Meo, Anthony Rendon, Archie Bradley, Blake Swihart, Bubba Starling, Daniel Norris, Danny Hultzen, Dillon Howard, Dylan Bundy, Francisco Lindor, George Springer, Gerrit Cole, Henry Owens, Jackie Bradley Jr, Jason Esposito, Javier Baez, Jed Bradley, John Stilson, Josh Bell, Julius Gaines, Levi Michael, Matt Barnes, Matt Purke, Mikie Mahtook, Sonny Gray, Taylor Guerrieri, Taylor Jungmann, Travis Harrison, Trevor Bauer, Tyler Anderson

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  • Jim

    What happened to Kolten Wong( 2b Hawaii) in you mock? All of the “big players” in the MLB draft media have tabbed him as a sure first rounder, possibly even top 10-15. He was the MVP in the cape after hitting .341, and is currently hitting .400 with 5HRS 110 or so AB’s, at a graveyard in Hawaii this year. He played circles around Esposito who will struggle mightily to fight the swing and miss in pro ball and be an average defender at best at 3rd.
    You put Levi Michael ahead of Wong and say you don’t even like him?? And then say the college middle infield is REALLY weak. An AL scouting director was quoted as saying Wong is a “slam dunk big leaguer”. Well, if the college middle infield is REALLY weak, and you’ve got a scouting director saying this about him, how did you miss him?

    Jim~Washington

    • Harrison Crow

      I haven’t heard the news about the quotes from the scouting director. A link would be awesome! Thanks, for the feed back Jim!

      I’ve read mostly negative things since the start of the season on Wong. While he had a monster year in the Cape, he’s really struggled against any type of “good” pitching and is in a so called “weak” pitching league which is brought up most often said in association with putting up a 400/489/591.

      I didn’t “forget” or “miss” him but most so called “experts” like Michaels over Wong and I aired on their opinion.

      I really do like Wong but I’ve gotten tweets back from Jim Callis, Chris Crawford, Jason Churchill and Keith Law about a month ago and none were especially in love with him. They are all much more plugged in than I.

      I think most people side with Michaels partially because he is a switch-hitter that maintains solid swings from both sides of the plate and they believe he can stay at short long term while still producing offensively.

      The one problem with Wong is that while he will hit he has the potential to move to a corner infield spot and then the fear is that it will put too much pressure on his bat to perform.

      I personally have Wong going either to the Blue Jays or Red Sox in the supplemental round I don’t have him “falling” much further.

      I have a lot of preferences and I just tried to stay away from those. This was about getting something together as close as possible to what may go down.

      In my preferences there is no way I’d draft Stinson or Howard. Susac would come off the board before Swihart and the third overall pitcher drafted would be Jed Bradley.

      But we are still 6 weeks out so things will of course change and I’ll do another mock either the day before or something a long those lines.

      If you are interested we plan on having a live chat come draft day so I hope to have you there for it!

  • Jim

    Whoa wait a minute! The kid played against the majority of college baseballs best pitching prospects with wood, in the pitching dominated Cape summer league and murdered them, all summer long. Now all of a sudden, he can’t hit good pitching?..Give me a break. He is basically the only hitting prospect on that entire Hawaii team that can beat you consistently, do you really think the good teams are going to come in a challenge him, when they can pitch him tough, or work around him and easily retire the next hitters? No way. And scouting Directors know this.
    Springer was garbage at the beginning of year, why is he still listed? All hitters were probably trying to do to much to get out of the gates hot, these bats are a joke as well and totally change hitters approaches.

    Churchill has admitted on twitter he’s never even seen Wong play, I doubt Law has seen him much if at all either. I don’t listen to much of anything Law says anyhow. The dude was a front office intern turned scouting expert, and if he sees a guy bad one time, he buries them. People listen to him because has the ESPN lable, thats it. Callis has been quoted on Twitter as saying Wong could go 11-15, and he just came out with a list today and has him listed as the 27th best player in the nation. Makes me think he might like him. Thats not his draft prediction. MLB.com will be coming out with something soon too I’d imagine..watch for that one. They have a clue.

    Let me just tell you this, I’ve seen the kid play, and play alot, I saw him in the cape over the course of about 10 games as well. I played this game at the highest of levels, and I know talent when I see it. He’ll play circles around Ackley at 2nd base right now. He’s gonna be better than Colon, because Colon will move to 2nd and he won’t hit with Wong and can’t run with him either. He is NOT going to have to move off second, whomever told you that is smoking something. If Adam Kennedy can play 2nd at the big league level for 10 years, so can he. I’ll put a mixture of Brian Roberts, Pedroia and Coghlan on him. Just watch.

    Lastly..Here is the quote from the NL(sorry not AL) scouting director. “He has a very clean swing,” the second NL scouting director said. “He’s a baseball player and he’s a pretty good athlete. He’s not sexy, but he’s a slam-dunk big leaguer.” Slam Dunk Big Leaguers, tend to get taken early, isn’t that what the first round is all about?
    And here is the link to the story:
    http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/college/awards/all-america-teams/2011/2611243.html

    • http://www.meadowparty.com/blog/ Keith Law

      I’ve seen quite a bit of Wong over the last two summers, with a wood bat. I enjoyed the inaccurate summary of my resume, though.

  • Harrison Crow

    Jim,

    I certainly appreciate the feedback. But I would be careful about sensationalizing Wong. I’m sure you have seen him and he has impressed you quiet a bit.

    Callis actually dropped Wong in the latest rankings. That’s not a knock on him per say but, it does show that he has lost a bit of steam. Not only that but Callis also pushed Levi Michael ahead of Wong.

    Please don’t take the fact I left him out as a knock. I like him very much and I agree he’s a possible first rounder and will most certainly be gone in the first 40 picks.

    But teams do a lot of weird things and I’m sure there are probably a few people wondering why I left CJ Cron and Jose Fernandez off the list too.

  • http://Retired maqman

    It would seem that somebody is wrong about Wong.
    I’d take Hultzen over Gray and am a bit surprised to see Purke and Springer sink so low. Have heard good things about Susac.
    Why do I have a sneaky feeling that Z might not go for the obvious choice?

    • http://www.sodomojo.com Harrison

      In coming up with a mock draft it’s hard to be right or wrong. It’s all about impressions. Everyone gets a different read. Jim sees Wong as being a top-15 talent, where I see him falling somewhere around 30. Until June 6th we won’t know who is “right” or “wrong” and to be honest I could careless if I was either because I’m sure my opinions will change.

      I like Susac also it’s too bad about breaking his wrist. Callis says that it shouldn’t affect his draft stock. But should he drop I would love to see him snagged at 62. Don’t let Springer’s slow start fool you. He’s come on strong the last two weeks and has a nice 18/20 BB/k split and slugging over .600.

      It’s funny you mention going in a odd direction. While doing this mock-up I looked long and hard at Rendon at #2. I don’t see the Mariners going off the map. But at the same time I’m a firm believer in that they have their options wide open.

    • http://www.marinercentral.com Lonnie

      What needs to be kept in mind is that the talent pool available this year is very deep. There will be guys taken in the second or even third round that might have gone in the first in other years. Wong may be a first rounder, but there is no guarantee that he’ll actually be taken there.

      Maqman, I sometimes fear what any GM will do with their first pick. To me, Cole has locked in the #1 spot and is probably bound for HELL.. I mean Pittsburg, but then I prefer pitching first.

      My fear is that we take Rendon and he spends four years in the minor league system getting set back year after year due to numerous injuries.

      Lonnie

      • Harrison Crow

        I’m of the exact same mindset Lonnie.

        I know that the ankle issues were a fluke and that this shoulder issue is going to heal eventually. But all the issues kind of make you wonder what’s the next injury? I hate taking a HS talent when there is a better college talent available but I’m certainly scratching my head looking Francisco Lindor at this point.

  • http://www.marinercentral.com Lonnie

    My gut feeling on Lindor is that he’s Josh Wilson. I’ve got nothing to back that up though.

    Right now, I think Pitt is a lock to take Cole in the draft, and if they do so I’m ready to go all in on Sonny Gray.

  • JIm

    From Jim Callis on Twitter an hour ago:
    jimcallisBA
    Think he’ll go in second half of first round, which is rare for a true 2B @irefusetochoose: How high Kolten Wong potentially goes? #mlbdraft

    Makes me wonder where on earth this comment came from:
    “The one problem with Wong is that while he will hit he has the potential to move to a corner infield spot and then the fear is that it will put too much pressure on his bat to perform.”

    I spoke to a Scouting Director today and he said thats crazy.

    • http://www.marinercentral.com Lonnie

      Dude, the moment is over. Let’s move on.

  • Jim
  • David

    Thanks for doing a mock, I love these things, one note as a Reds fan, while Bavasi is involved in the minor league system, it is Chris Buckley that handles the draft. He has ran the draft for them since 2004, and has drafted Bailey, Bruce, Stubbs, Mesoraco, Alonso, Leake, and Grandal
    in the first round. I personally believe he has been a big part of their turnaround. Jocketty, and even Krivsky before him pretty much leave him alone with the draft.

    • http://www.sodomojo.com Harrison Crow

      Yeah, I realize he’s not the Scouting Director. It was just merely kind of a poke at them/him.

  • David

    Haha, yea I am scared to death, he might take over once Jocketty retires. I hope not, but he is sadly in the running.

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