BATS -THROWS – HEIGHT – WEIGHT – D.O.B.
1. Washington Nationals: Bryce Harper – C – Southern Nevada. R-L – 6’3″ 205. 10.16.92. Dubbed “The Chosen One” in a Sports Illustrated article featuring him when he was a 16 year old high school sophomore, Harper skipped his final two years of high school baseball and earned his GED to attend junior college power Southern Nevada. Harper has not disappointed in his effort to prove himself against older competition, hitting .415/.504/.891 with 23 HR and 68 RBI with wood bats. He should be a no brainer choice for Washington but they will pay close to what they did for Strasburg last season.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates: Drew Pomeranz – LHP – Mississippi. L-L – 6’5″ 230. 11.28.88. Originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 12th round of the 2007 draft, Pomeranz is not the second most talented player in this draft class. Prep right-hander Jamison Taillon is. Pomeranz has, however, established himself as the top college pitcher in a deep but not particularly great class and he should be cheaper than Taillon. Pomeranz has raised some concerns about his control over several recent starts.
3. Baltimore Orioles: Jamison Taillon – RHP – The Woodlands HS, TX. R-R – 6’7″ 230. 11.18.91. Had Bryce Harper stayed in high school, Taillon may have been the first prep pitcher to be drafted #1 overall since LHP Brien Taylor was picked by the Yankees in 1989. Instead, he’ll join an organization in Baltimore that is growing a reputation for developing young pitchers.
4. Kansas City Royals: Manny Machado – SS – Brito HS, FL. R-R – 6’3″ 190. 7.6.92. The tall athletic shortstop gets his fair share of ludicrous Alex Rodriquez comparisons. There is little doubt that Machado will be able to stay at shortstop as a professional and he’s improved his stock this spring proving to be better with the stick than previously thought.
5. Cleveland Indians: Chris Sale – LHP – Florida Gulf Coast. L-L – 6’6″ 175. 3.30.90. I think the Indians will go with a college arm and Sale and Georgia Tech RHP Deck McGuire will be the best available. Sale is leading Division I in strikeout with 135 while walking only 12. Zack Cox and Yasmani Grandal are other possibilities.
6. Arizona Diamondbacks: Karsten Whitson – RHP – Chipley HS, FL. R-R – 6’4″ 190. 8.25.91. Arizona didn’t take a prep pitcher until the 11th round last season (Scottie Allen) and hasn’t selected one in the first round since 2007. It worked out pretty well then with Jarrod Parker, and Karsten Whitson has that kind of talent.
7. New York Mets: Zack Cox – 3B – Arkansas L-R – 6’0″ 215. 9.23.88. Most publications I’ve seen have the Mets taking a college hitter and the draft eligible sophomore is the best in this class. Grandal, Bryce Brentz and Texas Arlington OF Michael Choice are also possibilities.
8. Houston Astros: Deck McGuire – RHP – Georgia Tech. R-R – 6’6″ 218. 6.23.89. The Astros haven’t used a first round pick on a college arm since 2005 when they selected Tulane’s Brian Bogusevic. McGuire is a good bet to have a better career than Bogusevic and would make a great addition to a thin Astros system.
9. San Diego Padres: Kolbrin Vitek – 2B – Ball State. R-R – 6’3″ 195. 4.1.89. The Padres are rumored to have an interest in the Mid-American Conference star, and while I think this is a little high for him, he is one of the more advanced bats and is a good athlete.
10. Oakland Athletics: Michael Choice – OF – UT Arlington. R-R – 6’0″ 210. 11.10.89. Oakland often gets pegged as a team that favors college hitters and while it’s been a long time since Moneyball, I’d still bet on it.
11. Toronto Bluejays: Bryce Brentz – OF – Middle Tennessee State. R-R – 6’0″ 195. 12.30.88. Brentz is a good athlete with above average power and enough arm for right field. Choice, Vitek, and Cox are also possibilities here if they fall.
12. Cincinnati Reds: Alex Wimmers – RHP – Ohio State. L-R – 6’2″ 195. 11.1.88. With part of their draft budget tied up in the Aroldis Chapman contract, the Reds will be looking for a hometown discount from Wimmers, and he may give it to them.
13. Chicago White Sox: Brandon Workman – RHP – Texas. R-R – 6’5″ 220. 8.13.88. General Manager Kenny Williams was burned the last time he took a University of Texas pitcher (Kyle McCulloch #29 overall in 2006) but Workman is the superior professional prospect. The Sunday starter in the best pitching rotation in college baseball behind Taylor Jungmann and Cole Green, Workman has good movement on a mid to low 90’s fastball and a plus 12 to 6 curveball.
14. Milwaukee Brewers: Brett Eibner – RHP/OF – Arkansas. R-R – 6’4″ 210. 12.2.88. Most teams prefer Eibner as a pitcher where he sits in the low 90’s with a plus slider as member of the Razerbacks weekend rotation.
15. Texas Rangers: Jesse Hahn – RHP – Virginia Tech. R-R – 6’5″ 190. 7.30.89. The Rangers were given this pick as compensation for failure to sign Matthew Purke who’s now the most talented freshman in the country for the TCU Horned Frogs. If they fail to sign this pick, they won’t be given any compensation so they’ll likely be conservative.
16. Chicago Cubs: Matt Harvey – RHP – University of North Carolina. R-R – 6’4″ 225. 3.27.89. In the months leading up to the 2007 draft, Harvey and Rick Porcello were regarded as the top two prep pitching prospects, and both had strong college (North Carolina) commitments where they were to be roommates. High bonus demands made signability an issue and Porcello slid to #27 overall while the Boras Corp client Harvey slid to the 3rd round (Angles) and decided to go to school. Harvey disappointed during his first two years at Chapel Hill, but has solidified his prospect status with a solid 2010.
17. Tampa Bay Rays: Yasmani Grandal – C – Miami. B-R – 6’2″ 210. 11.8.88. Grandal could go as high as #4 to the Royals, but in this scenario, the Rays get some redemption for passing on Buster Posey in favor of Tim Beckham in 2008.
18. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Christian Colon – SS – Cal State Fullerton. R-R – 6’0″ 180. 5.14.89. A Boras Corp client, Colon was once considered a possible top 5 pick. He may end up as a second baseman as a professional.
19. Houston Astros: Josh Sale – OF – Bishop Blanchet HS, WA. L-R – 6’0″ 205 7.5.91. Sale is a strong kid with a powerful stroke and I don’t think for a second he will end up at Gonzaga. He’s one of the better prep prospects to come from the Northwest in recent memory.
20. Boston Red Sox: Anthony Raunado – RHP – LSU. R-R – 6’7″ 230. 9.9.89. An 11th round pick by the Texas Rangers in 2007, Raunado was a College World Series hero in 2009 and a top 3 draft prospect entering this season. He’s missed time with an elbow injury and he’s not been good since returning to the field. The talent is there and he’ll get an above slot bonus which makes the Red Sox a good fit.
21. Minnesota Twins: A.J. Cole – RHP – Oviedo HS, FL. R-R – 6’5″ 190. 1.5.92. Cole is a big kid with room to fill out and a plus fastball.
22. Texas Rangers: Stetson Allie – RHP – St. Edward HS. OH R-R – 6’4″ 225. 3.13.91. I’m hoping St. Edward advances to the state tournament so I can watch him pitch. He could find himself in the top 5.
23. Florida Marlins: Dylan Covey – RHP – Maranatha HS, CA. R-R – 6’2″ 200. 7.19.91. Covey possesses a low 90’s fastball with a plus plus curve and that makes him one of the more interesting prep arms.
24. San Francisco Giants: Nick Castellanos – 3B – Archbishop McCarthy HS, FL. R-R – 6’4″ 200. 3.4.92. Committed to Miami, he could come off the board as early as #9 to San Diego.
25. St. Louis Cardnals: Justin O’Conner – C – Cowan HS, IN. R-R – 6’1″ 190. 3.31.92. O’Conner is the best Indiana prep prospect since Jarrod Parker.
26. Colorado Rockies: Gary Brown – OF – Cal State Fullerton. R-R – 6’0″ 185. 8.27.88. Brown is one of the fastest and most athletic players in this draft.
27. Philadelphia Phillies: Kaleb Cowart – RHP/3B – Cook HS, GA. B-R – 6’3″ 190. 6.2.92. Cowart will be difficult to sign away from Florida State where he’d be able to continue his two way success. The team that drafts him will likely want him to focus on pitching.
28. Los Angeles Dodgers: Ryan LaMarre – OF – Michigan. R-L – 6’2″ 205. 11.21.88. LaMarre missed 21 games with a broken thumb but has raked since returning to the lineup. He may have more helium than any other draft prospect.
29. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Austin Wilson – OF – Harvard Westlake HS, CA. R-R – 6’4″ 200. 2.7.92. A scout’s dream show has not yet put his tools together. A strong commitment to Stanford will make him a difficult sign.
30. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Peter Tago – RHP – Dana Hills HS, CA. R-R – 6’1″ 160. 7.5.92 Tago is committed to Cal State Fullerton and is projected as a supplemental round pick, but the Angles have 3 first round picks and can afford to take a gamble on the projectable right hander.
31. Tampa Bay Rays: Yordy Cabrera – SS/RHP – Lakeland HS, FL. R-R – 6’4″ 190. 9.3.90. Old for a High School prospect, Cabrera will turn 21 in September. His power and arm are special, but he’s no shortstop.
32. New York Yankees: Zach Lee -RHP – McKinney HS, TX. R-L – 6’1″ 180. 12.17.91. A two sport star, the team that selects him will have the benefit of spreading his bonus out but he’s still a very tough sign because he has more leverage than most prospects in that he’s committed to LSU to play QB.