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Callis, Mayo draft top rookies in postseason

MLB.com

The following is an excerpt from this week's Pipeline Podcast, in which Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo conduct a Draft featuring the best rookies in the postseason. The guys also take a look back at their playoff predictions from before the season and predict a World Series winner. To listen to the show in its entirety, go to the MLB Pipeline Podcast page.

Tim McMaster: We are looking ahead to the postseason from a rookie standpoint -- rookies on playoff teams -- and the impact they could have on this 2017 postseason run. So we're not talking about who's going to be the best player looking back 10 years from now, we're looking for who's going to be the best player over the next 30 days trying to help their team win a World Series title. And with that explanation, Jonathan, you're on the clock.

The following is an excerpt from this week's Pipeline Podcast, in which Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo conduct a Draft featuring the best rookies in the postseason. The guys also take a look back at their playoff predictions from before the season and predict a World Series winner. To listen to the show in its entirety, go to the MLB Pipeline Podcast page.

Tim McMaster: We are looking ahead to the postseason from a rookie standpoint -- rookies on playoff teams -- and the impact they could have on this 2017 postseason run. So we're not talking about who's going to be the best player looking back 10 years from now, we're looking for who's going to be the best player over the next 30 days trying to help their team win a World Series title. And with that explanation, Jonathan, you're on the clock.

Jonathan Mayo: It does change things a little bit in terms of what direction you would want to go in. Since it is just impact in the next 30 days and not long-term, I'm going to take Aaron Judge of the Yankees. It looks like he's refound his power stroke here at the end of the season, and any time you have a guy who can change the game with a swing of the bat, I think he's going to have an opportunity to do that for however long the Yankees are going to stick around in the postseason.

McMaster: By the way, we're going to do six rounds of this, just so everybody knows when this will end.

Mayo: Mercifully come to an end.

Jim Callis: Are you saying you're not going to hang on every pick? You didn't want to have the drama build if we might go eight rounds, 10 rounds or 12 rounds? Come on!

McMaster: I like people who know what they're getting themselves into.

Mayo: I can't wait to see who Mr. Irrelevant is.

McMaster: So, Judge No. 1, certainly not a surprise.

Callis: See, I'll disagree a little bit because we're just doing this for fun and kind of on the fly -- but if this were a playoff pool of some sort, there's a great deal of risk with Aaron Judge, because his postseason might end after one game.

McMaster: Well that's fair, the Wild Card factor.

Callis: I don't think he's necessarily the obvious No. 1 pick.

McMaster: Well, I think the other No. 1 pick, if it wasn't going to be Judge, is kind of obvious. I assume that's where you're going to go, Jim. You're up next.

Callis: Yeah, and you know, it's like I've never spoken and let you know I like this guy a little bit. I would take Cody Bellinger as the obvious No. 2 pick with Judge going No. 1. You know, Adrian Gonzalez doesn't look like he'll be available to play in the playoffs. Bellinger is going to wind up with, you know, he's got 39 homers as we record this and could wind up with 40. He won't lead his league or hit quite as many as Judge, but I would take him No. 1. And I guess, kind of looking at this from the standpoint of teams that are prepared to maybe make a deeper run, I will not take the guy who I put at No. 1 on the long-term rookie prognosis, I'll leave him for Jonathan and I'm going to go off the board here a little bit or maybe surprise you guys and go with Yuli Gurriel of the Astros, who does not necessarily factor into our prospect rankings because he was an older international signing, but is very much a rookie and has had a nice year hitting close to .300 with an OPS over .800 and 18 home runs. I think Yuli Gurriel could have some nice highlights this postseason for the Astros.

McMaster: So that goes back to Jonathan, and it's kind of the same situation here, Jonathan, where I think, in my mind at least, there's kind of an obvious pick here waiting for you.

Mayo: Yeah, and I would like to say that in my picking Aaron Judge, I was sort of going with the framework of if everyone was put on the same field in terms of the amount they were going to play, I wasn't really figuring in the odds of the teams playing more games. I'm just looking at the player and what they would do if given the opportunity. So yes, I understand the risk I was willing to take for this completely meaningless Draft.

Callis: It's very meaningful. We're going to check back on this in 30 days and determine who won.

Mayo: How? What are we going to base it on? OPS in the postseason?

McMaster: WAR. Postseason WAR.

Callis: Postseason WAR, there you go. Someone will calculate that for us.

Mayo: I will take Andrew Benintendi with my next selection. I am somewhat surprised that Mr. Callis did not take him, but I guess he feels the Astros are better poised to make a deeper run. He was our No. 1 prospect at the start of the season and he's still really, really good.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.