Last year I began working on my first mock draft 6 months before the draft date while this year I started less than 24 hours before commencement. Though I told myself I wouldn’t be mocking this year, I couldn’t resist the urge to throw in my two cents.
This mock draft is to be used for recreational purposes only. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery after reading.
1. Houston Astros: Mark Appel – RHP – Stanford. The 6’5″ Appel was last drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 15th round in 2009. Though not a true #1 in my opinion, Appel has more polish than last year’s top pick (Gerrit Cole).
2. Minnesota Twins: Byron Buxton – OF – Appling Co. HS (GA). The 5 tool Buxton emerged as the top prep prospect in last year’s summer showcase circuit and did nothing this spring to diminish his status.
3. Seattle Mariners: Mike Zunino – C – Florida. Zunino, last year’s SEC player of the year entered the season as the top college position player and helped his Gators enter the post season as the top team in the nation.
4. Baltimore Orioles: Kevin Gausman – RHP – LSU. The draft eligible sophomore was last drafted by the Dodgers in the 2010 (6th Round). San Francisco’s Kyle Zimmer is another possibility.
5. Kansas City Royals: Kyle Zimmer – RHP – San Francisco. Technically sound Zimmer was not drafted out of high school and would be the top player in the board at this point. Royals will jump on previous 4 if they fall.
6. Chicago Cubs: Albert Almora – OF – Mater Academy (FL). Profiles well as an outfielder to hit for both average and power. Prep SS Carlos Correa is another possibility.
7. San Diego Padres: Carlos Correa – SS – Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. One of my favorite prospects in this draft because of his size (6’3″ 185) and age (17), Correa will likely outgrow SS but should be a fine defensive 3B.
8. Pittsburg Pirates: Chris Stratton – RHP – Mississippi State. Undrafted out of high school, all Stratton has done this year is go 11-2 with a 2.38 ERA. If Stratton doesn’t come off the board here, he may slide to the White Sox or Reds at 13 or 14 respectfully.
9. Florida Marlins: Andrew Heaney – LHP – Oklahoma State. If not Heaney, i think the Max Fried slide stops now.
10. Colorado Rockies: Courtney Hawkins – OF – Carroll HS (TX). Toolsy outfielder is a scouts dream and will be a sabrmatician’s nightmare his first few years in the minors. I see a high K rate and a corresponding low average.
11. Oakland Athletics: Max Fried – LHP – Harvard-Westlake HS (CA). The A’s have a lot of picks and a lot of money to spend. Fried and teammate Lucas Giolito (RHP) will both come off the board in the first round but are both wildcards as to where.
12. New York Mets: David Dahl – OF – Oak Mountain HS (AL). Met’s are still a wildcard at this pick. Wouldn’t be surprised to see college pitchers Michael Wacha or Chris Stratton.
13. Chicago White Sox: Marcus Stroman – RHP – Duke. Wishful thinking here for this White Sox fan but the Sox ARE linked to college arms if they don’t over pay for injured Solon HS (OH) LHP Matt Smoral. Stratton, Michael Wacha and Andrew Heaney are possibilities.
14. Cincinnati Reds: Michael Wacha – RHP – Texas A&M. The Reds, like the White Sox, are linked to college arms and could go with Stratton, Wacha or Stroman as well. Arizona State SS Deven Marrero would make a ton of sense here too and Reds fan should be thrilled to get him.
15. Cleveland Indians: Richie Shaffer – 3B – Clemson. Stanford’s Stephen Piscotty or one of the college arms above are also possibilities.
16. Washington Nationals: Deven Marrero – SS – Arizona State. This has got to be the end of the slide for Marrerro who could go as high as #4 to Baltimore.
17. Toronto Blue Jays: Lucas Giolito – RHP – Harvard Westlake HS (CA). The Jays are well positioned to take a flyer on an elite talent with health issues such as Giolito or Matt Smoral.
18. Los Angeles Dodgers: Ty Hensley – RHP – Santa Fe HS (CA). The Dodgers have a history of taking prep pitchers in the first round.
19. St. Louis Cardinals: Lance McCullers Jr. – RHP – Jesuit HS (FL). Considered a tough sign, the Cardinals can afford to pony up. Leading publications have them linked to prep SS Addison Russell.
20. San Francisco Giants: Brian Johnson – LHP – Florida. Johnson, the two way star, could either land here or slide to the supplemental round.
21. Atlanta Braves: Tanner Rahier – SS – Palm Desert HS (CA). Advanced hitter has been swinging wood bats the past two seasons.
22. Toronto Blue Jays: Gavin Cecchini – SS – Barbe HS (LA). I get the sense that he’s going to be the next Marco Scutaro, for what it’s worth.
23. St. Louis Cardinals: Stephen Piscotty – 3B/OF – Stanford. Recently moved to the outfield as well as the weekend rotation, I suspect he’ll play 3B as a professional.
24. Boston Red Sox: Joey Gallo – 3B – Bishop Gorman HS (NV).
25. Tampa Bay Rays: D.J. Davis – OF – Stone County HS. Davis is the fastest runner in this draft.
26. Arizona Diamondbacks: Stryker Trahan – C – Acadiana HS (LA). Keith Law compares him to Wil Myers. If he’s half that, he’s a steal here.
27. Milwaukee Brewers: Clint Coulter – C – Union HS (WA).
28. Milwaukee Brewers: Addison Russell – SS – Pace HS (FL).
29. Texas Rangers: Zach Eflin – RHP – Hagerty HS (FL)
30. New York Yankees: Matt Smoral – LHP – Solon (OH). An injured foot cost me my opportunity to see him pitch this year. Still a 1st round talent.
31. Boston Red Sox: Pierce Johnson – RHP – Missouri St.