Mock Draft: High schoolers go 1-2
We just released our new Top 200 Draft prospects list, which not only adds 50 names to our previous list, but shuffles things at the top of it. Some of those changes are reflected in our latest projection of the first round below.
There’s still a very long way to go, with the Draft in July and a lot of baseball, especially collegiately, left to play. This is a typical occurrence, but even more so this year when reaching out to scouts about this mock, I’m getting more responses of “This is going to be a wild year.” So stay tuned as we start turning up the mock heat over the final seven weeks before the Draft arrives.
1. Pirates: Marcelo Mayer, SS, Eastlake HS (Chula Vista, Calif.)
The Pirates seem to have seven players still in the mix here and Mayer, who scouts have extreme confidence will hit, is right in the middle of that conversation.
2. Rangers: Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit Prep (Dallas)
The Mayer vs. Lawlar debate is one that could continue for years and the Rangers can take their pick of the one the Pirates don’t take if they so choose (and if they don’t like the college options still on the board).
3. Tigers: Henry Davis, C, Louisville
He’s separated himself as by far the best college bat in the class, the chance to stick behind the plate doesn’t hurt, and he's also in that mix for the Pirates at the very top.
4. Red Sox: Brady House, SS, Winder-Barrow HS (Winder, Ga.)
He might be able to stick at shortstop and even if he can’t, adjustments he’s made at the plate have allowed him to show off his immense raw power more consistently.
5. Orioles: Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt
Some were concerned after he was scratched from a May 8 start, but he came back strong with 13 strikeouts against Ole Miss, meaning there’s a very good chance the O’s won’t have the opportunity to take him.
6. D-backs: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt
The D-backs likely didn’t think they’d have the chance to get either Vandy pitcher here, and Rocker’s name is all over the top five, but it would be hard to pass up on his arm strength here.
7. Royals: Kahlil Watson, SS, Wake Forest (N.C.) HS
While Lawlar and Mayer get most of the attention (with House right behind) among the high school shortstop set, Watson’s all-around tools have him being mentioned in several top 10 pick conversations.
8. Rockies: Sal Frelick, OF, Boston College
The sense is the Rockies are looking for a bat at this point and Frelick has been a very consistent performer with plus speed and excellent center field defense.
9. Angels: Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall HS (Oklahoma City)
This might be the spot in the mock that makes or breaks it for prognosticators as the Angels are all over the map, but there are those who think Jobe could end up being the best pitcher in this class.
10. Mets: Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston
After Davis, the college bat debate is one of Frelick vs. Cowser, with Frelick providing more speed and Cowser more power.
11. Nationals: Ty Madden, RHP, Texas
After the Vanderbilt duo, Madden is the next best college option and despite some uneven results, he has a legitimate four-pitch mix and a durable 6-foot-3 frame.
12. Mariners: Matt McLain, SS, UCLA
Yes, he’s out with a thumb injury -- scouts think he could be back in time for the big weekend series against Arizona State May 27-29 -- but before the injury he had righted the ship and looked much more like the college bat who could go in the top 10.
13. Phillies: Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State
There’s a serious dearth of college lefties in this class and Wicks, who has struck out 11.6 per nine this year for Kansas State, is by far the best in the group.
14. Giants: Benny Montgomery, OF, Red Land HS (Lewisberry, Pa.)
One of the toolsiest players in the entire class, albeit with some concerns about swing-and-miss, Montgomery is coming up in conversations as high as the back end of the top 10, but it really heats up in the middle of the round.
15. Brewers: Jud Fabian, OF, Florida
The strikeout rate might still concern some, but it’s tapered off since a sluggish start and Fabian is now tied for the Division I lead in homers while playing in the ultra-competitive SEC.
16. Marlins: Andrew Painter, RHP, Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Painter has size and stuff, even if he hasn’t been truly dominant this spring, and who doesn’t love a local kid goes to the local team story?
17. Reds: Joe Mack, C, Williamsville East HS (East Amherst, N.Y.)
Depending on who you talk to, teams like Mack or fellow high school backstop Harry Ford more, and the Reds are not afraid of prep catchers (Devin Mesoraco, Tyler Stephenson).
18. Cardinals: Chase Petty, RHP, Mainland Regional HS (Linwood, N.J.)
Yes, yes, we know he’s not that big, but his fastball is consistently triple-digits with a lot of sink, and he's got a really good slider and some feel to pitch.
19. Blue Jays: Sam Bachman, RHP, Miami (Ohio)
There is reliever risk here, but he has the stuff to start and even if he didn’t, getting a guy who throws 100 mph with a ridiculous slider and having him close out games isn’t too bad, either.
20. Yankees: Michael McGreevy, RHP, UC Santa Barbara
College pitchers who scouts feel confident can start always creep up and McGreevy keeps moving up boards with good size, stuff and feel for pitching, not to mention an eye-popping 100/8 K/BB ratio.
21. Cubs: Harry Ford, C, North Cobb HS (Kennesaw, Ga.)
He’s an athletic catcher who can really run and make a lot of contact, with the athleticism to move to another position if any club that takes him feels the need to do so.
22. White Sox: Adrian Del Castillo, C, Miami
Once thought to be one of the top college bats in the class, he struggled early, but perhaps last weekend (4-for-11, 4 RBIs) is a sign of him heating up, though the lack of power and fringy defense makes it hard to place him.
23. Indians: Anthony Solometo, LHP, Bishop Eustace Prep (Pennsauken Township, N.J.)
Each start the projectable prep lefty makes, there seems to be more and more heat in to see him, with a lot of teams in the 15-25 range showing up en masse.
24. Braves: Ryan Cusick, RHP, Wake Forest
Command has been an issue, but he throws as consistently hard as just about anyone in the class and his breaking ball has gotten better.
25. A's: Ethan Wilson, OF, South Alabama
Shaking off the effects of an ankle injury early, Wilson has shown a very advanced approach at the plate (27/16 K/BB ratio) and penchant for making hard contact, with more raw power that he’s not tapped into yet consistently in games.
26. Twins: Will Taylor, OF, Dutch Fork HS (Irmo, S.C.)
Taylor is a tremendous athlete who excels at three sports and could play football at Clemson with excellent speed and a good feel to hit.
27. Padres: Bubba Chandler, RHP/SS, North Oconee HS (Bogart, Ga.)
Chandler’s name is all over the map, as high as the top 10, a true two-way prospect (more teams favor him on the mound) whose landing spot might come down to teams’ comfort level with prep arms.
28. Rays: Tommy Mace, RHP, Florida
Scouts feel he’s more or less the same pitcher as last year, though he’s tweaked his repertoire and upgraded his breaking ball some, and his high floor should intrigue many teams.
29. Dodgers: Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, Mississippi
He’d be a top 10 contender if not for his recent Tommy John surgery and there could be a number of teams in the second half of the first round who would be willing to have him rehab in their system.