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.

Tags: 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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