Mock Draft: The home stretch
We’re in a little bit of a limbo period with the Draft a week and a half away. There isn’t much amateur baseball still being played with the conclusion of the College World Series on Wednesday night and teams are just now starting to get into Draft meetings to really set up their boards.
So this week’s mock will have a number of similar projections to the last few editions and changes are based on things that are being considered and discussed across the industry, not necessarily anything set in stone. As we get closer and teams have had their meetings, both Jim Callis and I hope to come closer to nailing the first round in the days leading up to the Draft.
1. Pirates: Marcelo Mayer, SS, Eastlake HS (Chula Vista, Calif.)
The Pirates haven’t crossed anyone off their list of candidates, but nearly everyone feels they want a hitter here, so there’s no reason to stray from Mayer, our pick more often than not.
2. Rangers: Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt
His College World Series performances certainly haven’t hurt and the Rangers are thought to have him, Kahlil Watson and Jordan Lawlar potentially on their list.
3. Tigers: Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall HS (Oklahoma City)
This is one of those that might seem “locked in” because we’ve had the top prep arm in the class here so often, but the Tigers would still love to see Mayer here and will continue to talk about Watson, Brady House and both Leiter and his Vandy teammate Kumar Rocker.
4. Red Sox: Henry Davis, C, Louisville
The names here continue to be Davis, the top college bat in the country, Lawlar, Watson and Rocker, of those who weren’t taken in the top three of this mock.
5. Orioles: Kahlil Watson, SS, Wake Forest (N.C.) HS
The whole “insert discount selection here” buzz continues, but Watson’s strong season late in the spring has him very much in top 5 consideration.
6. D-backs: Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit Prep (Dallas)
This is a spot we’ve had Rocker land quite often, and that’s still a strong possibility, but the D-backs would seriously discuss Lawlar should he manage to get here.
7. Royals: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt
Brady House would be the high school bat still on the board should the Royals want to go that route, but as noted in earlier mocks, they’d have to look at the big Vandy right-hander should he be here.
8. Rockies: Brady House, SS, Winder-Barrow HS (Winder, Ga.)
Many seem to feel the Rockies are leaning bat and in this scenario, it seems more likely they’d go the high school route with House over the college hitters available (Sal Frelick, Colton Cowser). This is the first spot where I’m hearing prep outfielder Benny Montgomery’s name in any fashion.
9. Angels: Ty Madden, RHP, Texas
If they want to jump at a high school hitter, Benny Montgomery could be this year’s Jo Adell type, but for now, it looks like they’re leaning toward a college arm, with Madden the best of the lot available.
10. Mets: Sal Frelick, OF, Boston College
It’s been the same names, leaning college, in this spot, with Frelick over McLain and Cowser as the seemingly favored bats.
11. Nats: Will Bednar, RHP, Mississippi State
This is a spot where we’ve had Miami (Ohio) right-hander Sam Bachman a lot, and that could still happen. But Bednar has pitched his way up boards with his College World Series performance and the buzz about him jumping this high was too much to ignore.
12. Mariners: Matt McLain, SS, UCLA
College bats get most of the attention here, with McLain in the lead right now, ahead of Sam Houston outfielder Colton Cowser. They’ll look at some college arms, like Michael McGreevy or Ryan Cusick, as backup options and will kick the tires on prep outfielders like Benny Montgomery and Will Taylor.
13. Phillies: Andrew Painter, RHP, Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
This has been a spot where Benny Montgomery has almost been cemented in place, and it’s true the Phillies have interest in the toolsy outfielder in their backyard. But they also like Painter’s size, how his arm works and his feel for pitching, so it was time for a change.
14. Giants: Benny Montgomery, OF, Red Land HS (Lewisberry, Pa.)
The Giants would likely be thrilled for Montgomery to not go above them and if he does, they could go with a college bat (Cowser), a college arm (lefty Jordan Wicks or Bachman) or another prep hitter (the “other” Montgomery, Colson).
15. Brewers: Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston
The options in this scenario seem to be the college bat in Houston or the college arm with Wicks, with Bachman as an outside possibility.
16. Marlins: Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State
Don’t be surprised if the Marlins get creative given they have a comp pick at No. 31, but Wicks is definitely among a group of six or seven players they think could be available to them. There are a host of high school bats who could be in play here as well.
17. Reds: Sam Bachman, RHP, Miami (Ohio)
There’s still a chance Bachman goes several picks ahead of here, though some teams between the Nationals and the Reds aren’t on him. They’re not afraid of high school catching (Harry Ford, Joe Mack) and they’d be thrilled if one of the college bats going ahead of them got to here. Prep two-way standout Bubba Chandler gets a lot of love in this spot.
18. Cardinals: Bubba Chandler, RHP/SS, North Oconee HS (Bogart, Ga.)
Ole Miss injured starter Gunnar Hoglund (Tommy John surgery) gets mentioned quite a bit here, but Chandler also appears to be on their wish list and they could decide the risk with Hoglund isn’t worth it.
19. Blue Jays: Anthony Solometo, LHP, Bishop Eustace Prep (Pennsauken Township, N.J.)
Another player who seems almost locked in with a team, and Solometo is the top prep lefty in the class. But there are several options for teams at this point, with Solometo seeming to be the best bet right now, ahead of someone like prep catcher Joe Mack.
20. Yankees: Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, Mississippi
If Hoglund were healthy, he’d likely be a top 10 pick, and the Yankees would not be afraid to take him and let him rehab internally. Prep outfielder Colson Montgomery could work his way into the picture here.
21. Cubs: Colson Montgomery, 3B, Southridge HS (Huntingburg, Ind.)
Santa Barbara right-hander Michael McGreevy should still be in the conversation on the college arm front and Colson Montgomery seems like he’s jumped to the head of the available high school bat line at this point.
22. White Sox: Jud Fabian, OF, Florida
Fabian’s tools are undeniable, though the swing-and-miss concerns some. His name is coming up more with both Chicago teams, but if the White Sox don’t want him, they could look at the next group of high school bats like Wes Kath or Payton Stovall.
23. Indians: Harry Ford, C, North Cobb HS (Kennesaw, Ga.)
If there’s a high school hitter available, he might come up in conversation here, with Ford ahead of fellow prep backstop Joe Mack right now. They could also look at a college arm like McGreevy, who won’t be on the board long ...
24. Braves: Michael McGreevy, RHP, UC Santa Barbara
Arms have come up a lot here, with McGreevy seemingly a good fit on the college side, and this is the first spot St. Mary’s lefty Ky Bush comes up.
25. A's: Wes Kath, 3B, Desert Mountain HS (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
The A’s still like Texas prep infielder Izaac Pacheco, but it’s up in the air whether they favor him or Kath, the pure hitter from Arizona. They could go the college bat route with someone like Trey Sweeney or Alex Mooney.
26. Twins: Gavin Wiliams, RHP, East Carolina
Williams pitched his way into several first-round conversations with his postseason work and could be atop the pitching wish list for the Twins. They’ve been tied to many college bats (Sweeney, Ethan Wilson) and might be a team that would consider flame-throwing high school right-hander Chase Petty.
27. Padres: Joe Mack, C, Williamsville East HS (East Amherst, N.Y.)
There’s still a chance that Mack, whose late-starting season had many teams in the back half of the first round flocking to upstate New York to see him, goes ahead of here, in which case the Padres could go more a “wild card” route and take someone like high school outfielder (and football star) Will Taylor or Connecticut prep lefty pop-up prospect Frank Mozzicato.
28. Rays: Ky Bush, LHP, St. Mary’s
There are college arms like Cusick who might fit here, but Bush’s name keeps coming up in late first-round talk now. Is there an organization you would trust more to develop a college lefty with really good stuff and feel for pitching, but without the resume against top competition of some other college arms?
29. Dodgers: Matheu Nelson, C, Florida State
The Dodgers likely will take the best bat on the board, be it college or high school. That could be a whole host of hitters, with Nelson and his power from behind the plate certainly on the list.