Callis, Mayo project top 10 picks in 2015 Draft
College arm Tate, prep shortstop Rodgers contend for No. 1 selection
So much has changed since we first tried to prognosticate the top 10 picks in the First-Year Player Draft back in December that it's time to start over. Injuries have ravaged several of the best prospects, including pitchers Michael Matuella, Brady Aiken, Nathan Kirby and Kolby Allard -- all of whom we viewed as top 10 selections four months ago, but not now.
Below is our most educated guess as to what will happen when the Draft kicks off on June 8, live on MLB Network and MLB.com. The top of this Draft is as unsettled as any in recent memory, so expect a lot to change in the next six weeks.
Callis: Dillon Tate, RHP, UC Santa Barbara. I think Brendan Rodgers is the best prospect in the Draft, but I keep hearing that Arizona is likely to go in a different direction. Tate has shown two swing-and-miss pitches in his first season as a college starter.
Mayo: Brendan Rodgers, SS, Lake Mary (Fla.) HS. Arizona is still looking at a number of players, but Rodgers still heads our Draft Top 100. He hasn't run away and hid, but he has performed well and is still in the 1-1 conversation.
2. Astros (compensation for not signing 2014 No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken)
Callis: Rodgers. There's buzz that Houston will take a pair of position players, which is the strength at the very top of the Draft. Rodgers could team with Carlos Correa, the No. 1 overall choice in '12, to give the Astros a powerful left side of the infield.
Mayo: Tate. Putting injury concerns to rest by coming back strong after missing a start with a strained trapezius muscle, Tate continues to show he has done more than anyone in the class to improve his stock. He's the top college arm in the class, and he could go here if he doesn't go to the D-backs.
Callis: Dansby Swanson, SS, Vanderbilt. Swanson might be the surest thing in this Draft, a high-floor player with a high ceiling as well. He could be Troy Tulowitzki's eventual successor, a similar talent with less power.
Mayo: Swanson. It's not a great class for college position players, and Swanson looks like a future leadoff-type who can stay at the premium position. His name has come up in discussions at the very top of the Draft.
Callis: Kyle Funkhouser, RHP, Louisville. I was tempted to go with a multi-tooled position player here, but Funkhouser is the best college arm still standing and Texas has taken right-handers with its top choice in each of the last two Drafts.
Mayo: Daz Cameron, OF, Eagle's Landing Christian Academy (McDonough, Ga.). Allard seemed like such a good fit here, but the stress reaction in his back is going to scare off teams in the top 10. More recent scuttlebutt has Texas looking at a bat, with Cameron's tools plus bloodlines of interest to several teams in the top 10.
Callis: Cameron. If Houston gets Rodgers at No. 2, it likely wouldn't take another shortstop (Alex Bregman) here. The Astros have been linked to a lot of prep outfielders, including Cameron, Kyle Tucker and Trenton Clark.
Mayo: Kyle Tucker, OF, Plant HS (Tampa, Fla.). They got their college arm at No. 2. Now they can look for a bat. Few have swung it better than Tucker this spring and the Astros have been on him hard throughout.
Callis: Mike Nikorak, RHP, Stroudsburg (Pa.) HS. Minnesota isn't afraid to take high school arms early -- see Kohl Stewart at No. 4 in 2013 -- and Nikorak has the stuff, athleticism and pitchability to become the best pitcher in this Draft class.
Mayo: Alex Bregman, SS, Louisiana State. The Twins could have interest in Rodgers or Cameron, should they still be here. Save that, Bregman is the best position player available, one who has performed well at a top-notch program and could move fairly quickly.
7. Red Sox
Callis: Bregman. It might be a bit improbable for Bregman to last this long, though he doesn't fit the Rangers' shortstop profile, the Astros may not want two picks from the same position and the Twins took a shortstop (Nick Gordon) at No. 5 last year. Bregman is convincing more scouts of his ability to stick at short this spring, and Boston made a run at him after taking him in the 29th round out of a New Mexico high school three years ago.
Mayo: Brady Aiken, LHP, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) post-graduate program. Yes, this might be a longshot here. But there are those in the industry who feel Aiken, who was the No. 1 overall pick a year ago, won't slide too far and could very well be the first injured pitcher to come off the board. One thing is certain -- if Aiken goes in the top 10, the Astros won't be the team that takes him.
8. White Sox
Callis: Walker Buehler, RHP, Vanderbilt. Chicago scored with a college pitcher (Carlos Rodon at No. 3) in the 2014 Draft and could do look to do so again this June. Funkhouser would be an obvious consideration, but if he's gone, Buehler has a better chance to be a big league starter than fellow Vanderbilt righty Carson Fulmer.
Mayo: Funkhouser. He could go higher than this, for sure. But the White Sox have liked big, strong, durable college arms in the past. And unlike many other college pitchers this year, Funkhouser has been completely healthy and a steady performer.
Callis: Jon Harris, RHP, Missouri State. Chicago's first four picks in each of the last four Drafts has been a position player (Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber), but there may not be one worthy of this selection if Rodgers, Swanson and Bregman are gone. So the Cubs might address a greater need for pitching with the best college starter left on the board.
Mayo: Carson Fulmer, RHP, Vanderbilt. There are two Vanderbilt arms, and three Vandy players total, who could go in the top 10. Some fear Fulmer's effort in his delivery points to the bullpen, but he has been as good as any college pitcher as the spring has unfolded.
Callis: Kevin Newman, SS, Arizona. When Philadelphia was an annual contender, it gambled heavily on high-risk, high-reward types. Now that the Phillies are in full-on rebuilding mode, they may sacrifice some ceiling for floor. Newman is a safe bet to hit and he's an up-the-middle player, albeit more likely a second baseman in the long run.
Mayo: Buehler. Early elbow soreness had some concerned, especially given his slight frame, but he has been durable for most of his career and has succeeded everywhere. The Phillies, having taken Aaron Nola a year ago, clearly don't mind thin right-handers.
Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter.