Two weeks before the Draft, teams are starting to hone in on specific players and lining up their Draft boards, and there's a better sense of who the best players are at each position.Opinions can change, of course, in the final days before the Draft, and MLBPipeline.com will have a
Two weeks before the Draft, teams are starting to hone in on specific players and lining up their Draft boards, and there's a better sense of who the best players are at each position.
Opinions can change, of course, in the final days before the Draft, and MLBPipeline.com will have a new Top 200 Draft prospects list coming out in a week. Keeping the ever-shifting landscape in mind, the current Top 100 Draft Prospects list was used as a guide, and the members of the All-Draft Prospects team below have their current ranking listed in parentheses.
MLB Network and MLB.com will have live coverage of Day 1 of the Draft at 7 p.m. ET on June 12. MLB Network will broadcast the first 36 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 75 picks. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, starting at 1 p.m. ET. Then, rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on June 14, beginning at noon ET.
Here's a look at the top player at each position. The squad is evenly split between college and high school players, with all five prep players hailing from either California or North Carolina.
:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::
C: Hagen Danner, Huntington Beach (Calif.) HS (No. 37)
This one is tricky because it's a split camp about Danner. Some prefer him as a pitcher, others like him behind the plate, where he is fairly athletic and has good catch-and-throw skills. If he ends up on the mound, M.J. Melendez (No. 54) and Luis Campusano (No. 72) would be other high school options, while the top college choice would be TCU's Evan Skoug (No. 86).
1B: Brendan McKay, Louisville (No. 2)
It's quite possible McKay gives up hitting for pitching, but plenty of teams like his average and power combination at first. Even teams at the very top of the Draft are still discussing what they'd have McKay do should they take him. If you prefer to have McKay be the left-handed pitcher on this roster, Virginia's Pavin Smith (No. 8) would be next in line.
2B: Keston Hiura, California-Irvine (No. 26)
Hiura has had to DH all year because of an elbow injury many feel will require Tommy John surgery when all is said and done. Once he's back, whether he's a second baseman or an outfielder remains to be seen. What isn't in question is that he might be the best pure college hitter in this Draft class. The next ranked player who has seen considerable time at second is Kevin Merrell (No. 50), but we could move Logan Warmoth (No. 21) to second and let Nick Allen (No. 28) play shortstop.
3B: Jake Burger, Missouri State (No. 16)
He finished second in Division I with 21 homers as a sophomore, and he's already surpassed that number in his junior season. While he didn't homer over the summer with Team USA, he might be the top power threat in this class and should be able to stay at third long term. While it might be tempting to say Hunter Greene would be the next best third baseman if he wasn't going to pitch (see below) and move from short over to the hot corner, you'd have to go down to No. 41 and Ryan Vilade for Burger's backup.
SS: Royce Lewis, JSerra Catholic HS, San Juan Capistrano, Calif. (No. 4)
Lewis has as many tools as any prospect in the Draft, with extra-base ability and a ton of speed. Some feel he might be better suited to play center field, where he has spent some time, but a team could send him out at short. If you want to move him to the outfield on this squad, Warmoth (No. 21) would be a capable replacement.
OF: Jeren Kendall, Vanderbilt (No. 6)
Yes, the swing-and-miss is a concern, and it might force him down a bit come Draft day. But the tools and the track record can't be ignored. There's power and speed and plus defense in center field. And he's done it at Vanderbilt as well as for Team USA.
OF: Austin Beck, North Davidson HS, Lexington, NC (No. 9)
Because a knee injury knocked him out of the summer showcase circuit and the fall, Beck was a pop-up guy this spring, with teams pouring in to see his tools in action. Excitement has naturally cooled somewhat, but he still has five-tool potential.
OF: Adam Haseley, Virginia (No. 14)
The year started with Smith being the sure-fire top 10 pick and Haseley, a talented two-way guy whose future is in the outfield, seeming like a late-first-round pick. Now some teams prefer Haseley, who has the chance to stay in center, over Smith.
There are a number of good outfielders to back up this trio. Jordon Adell (No. 22) has considerable tools, albeit with some swing-and-miss, Bubba Thompson (No. 24) is an accomplished high school quarterback with tremendous speed and sharper baseball skills than you'd think and Quentin Holmes (No. 33) might be the fastest player in the Draft.
RHP: Hunter Greene, Notre Dame HS, Sherman Oaks, Calif. (No. 1)
He's the top guy on our current Top 100, so this is a bit of a no-brainer. He's only 17 and was hitting triple digits. A first-rounder as a shortstop, his athleticism should allow him to continue to get better on the mound at the next level. Now, if a high school right-hander isn't your cup of tea, then Vandy's Kyle Wright (No. 3) would be a very good next choice.
LHP: MacKenzie Gore, Whiteville (NC) HS (No. 5)
Because his secondary stuff is sharper now, there are some who like Gore as much as, if not more than, Greene. All of his stuff has jumped up this spring, and he has the chance to have a legitimate four-pitch mix. While McKay's stuff has backed up a bit as being a two-way player for Louisville has taken a bit of a toll, he's the obvious next choice, one who could very easily be taken ahead of Gore as a pitcher.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.