Mock draft: Will Twins make Wright top pick?

May 26th, 2017

The most famous player in this Draft is California high school right-hander Hunter Greene, who can reach 102 mph with his fastball and graced the cover of Sports Illustrated last month. But he probably won't be the No. 1 overall pick by the Twins when the Draft kicks off 17 days from now.
The most versatile player in the Draft is Louisville first baseman/left-hander Brendan McKay, who could be a top-five selection as either a hitter or a pitcher. While he has generated more 1-1 buzz than any player this spring, he no longer looks like the favorite to head to Minnesota.
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That distinction now belongs to Vanderbilt right-hander Kyle Wright, who has a higher ceiling than McKay and a higher floor than Greene. After uncharacteristic command issues led to a slow start, Wright has dominated the past six weeks, compiling a 1.16 ERA while allowing just 17 hits and eight walks against 62 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings. While the Twins have yet to finalize a decision, other teams choosing at the top of the Draft think he'll be the No. 1 choice.
The Draft begins June 12 with broadcast coverage on MLB Network and, and continues on June 13-14 on The first round consists of 30 picks, 27 regular choices and three compensatory selections. The Blue Jays, Rangers and Cubs each added a second first-rounder when free agents , and signed with the Indians, Rockies and Cardinals (each of whom forfeited their first-rounder).
Detailed scouting reports for all of the players discussed below can be found on's Top 100 Draft Prospects list.
1. Twins: Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt
Minnesota is doing its due diligence on six players: Wright, McKay, Greene, North Carolina high school lefty MacKenzie Gore, California prep outfielder Royce Lewis -- the consensus top five prospects -- plus Virginia first baseman Pavin Smith. Wright and McKay appear to be at the top of the Twins' list, and they're unlikely to make Greene the first high school righty ever taken at No. 1.

2. Reds: Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
Cincinnati will take Greene if he's available, and he should be. If he's not, the Reds will choose between McKay and Wright.

3. Padres: MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville (N.C.) HS
San Diego also would love to land Greene, who'd prefer to remain in Southern California but won't get his wish. The Padres are linked to a lot of players because GM A.J. Preller seemingly has scouted every potential first-rounder in person, and they favor Gore -- whom some clubs consider the best pitcher available -- over Lewis.

4. Rays: Brendan McKay, 1B/LHP, Louisville
While McKay's velocity and offensive numbers have dipped down the stretch as he pulls double duty for Louisville, he won't get past Tampa Bay. If McKay were to go No. 1, Cincinnati and San Diego's picks wouldn't change, and the Rays would decide between Wright and a group of outfielders that includes Lewis, North Carolina high schooler Austin Beck, Kentucky prepster Jordon Adell and Virginia's Adam Haseley.
5. Braves: Adam Haseley, OF, Virginia
Atlanta's scouting department would be thrilled to get Wright if McKay goes No. 1 and Tampa Bay looks elsewhere. In this scenario, the Braves' choice figures to come down to Haseley or Lewis. They're also the first club that might pop Texas high school right-hander Shane Baz, and it's also possible that they'd look for a discount deal to shift extra money to later picks.
6. Athletics: J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, North Carolina
Oakland has spent so much time scouting North Carolina that other teams believe it's a foregone conclusion that they'll take Gore, Bukauskas or Beck. The A's also could trigger a run on college bats with Smith or Haseley.

7. D-backs: Royce Lewis, SS/OF, JSerra Catholic HS (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)
Lewis represents the best-case scenario for Arizona, which could get him if the Rays and Braves pass. If Lewis and Bukauskas are gone, the Diamondbacks will mull college position players such as Haseley, Smith and perhaps Missouri State third baseman Jake Burger.
8. Phillies: Pavin Smith, 1B, Virginia
Though Philadelphia has shown interest in Baz, it's more likely to go the college route. The Phillies are paired more with bats (Smith, Haseley, Burger, Vanderbilt outfielder Jeren Kendall) than arms (Bukauskas, Florida righty Alex Faedo).
9. Brewers: Jordon Adell, OF, Ballard HS (Louisville, Ky.)
Most of the players associated with Milwaukee are high schoolers, either athletic outfielders (Adell, Beck) or left-handers (D.L. Hall from Georgia, Trevor Rogers from New Mexico). Adell has some of the most dynamic tools available, though he also comes with swing-and-miss issues that mean he could go anywhere from the top 10 to the end of the first round.

10. Angels: Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida
Faedo entered the year as a potential No. 1 overall choice, but his fastball velocity has diminished since he had arthroscopic surgery on both knees last September. If not Faedo, Los Angeles has checked out college bats such as Smith, Haseley, Burger, Vanderbilt outfielder Jeren Kendall and UC Irvine outfielder/second baseman Keston Hiura. The Angels also have shown interest in Adell.
11. White Sox: Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt
Kendall's 25 percent strikeout rate has scared off some teams, but he also has the best tools among college position players and a track record of production, making him a possible steal at No. 11. Chicago figures to wind up with an outfielder, with other candidates including Haseley if he fell, Beck and Kentucky's Evan White, a college first baseman with the speed to play center field.
12. Pirates: Shane Baz, RHP, Concordia Lutheran HS (Tomball, Texas)
While many clubs shy away from spending first-round picks on high school right-handers, Pittsburgh doesn't. Baz has been outstanding for much of the spring, though he also has a strong commitment to Texas Christian that could make him a tough sign. The Pirates have scouted a lot of the college position players, including Kendall, Burger, White and Hiura.

13. Marlins: D.L. Hall, LHP, Valdosta (Ga.) HS
After selecting high school left-hander Braxton Garrett at No. 7 last year, Miami could take another in either Hall or Rogers. Another southpaw on the Marlins' radar is Oregon's David Peterson, who's rising up the ranks of college arms.
14. Royals: Trevor Rogers, LHP, Carlsbad (N.M.) HS
Kansas City seems to be considering a wide variety of players, from left-handers Hall and Rogers to tooled-up outfielders such as Adell, Kendall and Alabama high schooler Bubba Thompson to college bats Burger and White.
15. Astros: Jake Burger, 3B, Missouri State
Unless Baz or Hall drops in Houston's lap, the best bet is a college position player. Burger, White and Hiura would be the top possibilities in this scenario. Sweet-swinging California high school first baseman Nick Pratto also could tempt the Astros.

16. Yankees: Austin Beck, OF, North Davidson HS (Lexington, N.C.)
New York could be the landing spot for several of the better high school position players, including Beck, Pratto and Thompson. This is on the low end for Beck, who's tooled up but has little track record with wood bats after missing last summer's showcase circuit while recovering from left knee surgery.
17. Mariners: David Peterson, LHP, Oregon
Peterson and White have as much helium as any college players right now, and both are in Seattle's mix. So are several other collegians such as Burger, Hiura and North Carolina shortstop Logan Warmoth among hitters and UCLA right-hander Griffin Canning and Missouri righty Tanner Houck among pitchers.
18. Tigers: Nick Pratto, 1B, Huntington Beach (Calif.) HS
Detroit always is on the prowl for power arms, but Pratto's hitting ability could be tough to ignore. If the Tigers do opt for pitching, Houck or Minnesota high school right-hander Sam Carlson could be attractive.

19. Giants: Evan White, 1B, Kentucky
White, Carlson and Thompson won't last much longer than this if they're still available. San Francisco could be the high-water mark for Mississippi State outfielder Brent Rooker, who's having the best offensive season in college baseball.
20. Mets: Griffin Canning, RHP, UCLA
New York spent two first-round picks last year on college arms and could go that route again with Canning. All of the other demographics seem to be in play for the Mets as well: college bats (Hiura, Warmoth), prep hitters (Pratto, Texas high school outfielder Tristan Lutz) and high school arms (Carlson, Louisiana right-hander Blayne Enlow).
21. Orioles: Tanner Houck, RHP, Missouri
Houck's place is tough to peg because he entered the year as a top-10 prospect, didn't have his fastball early on, regained his fastball later in the spring and then got knocked around this week at the Southeastern Conference tournament in front of a bevy of scouts. Baltimore could think about college bats such as White, Hiura, Warmoth and Rooker as well. The Orioles also covet North Carolina prep shortstop Greg Jones, knowing that No. 21 would be early but he might not make it back to them at No. 60 in the second round.

22. Blue Jays: Logan Warmoth, SS, North Carolina
Toronto is also looking at college bats, and Warmoth is going to be in play for almost every team in the 20s until he comes off the board.
23. Dodgers: Bubba Thompson, OF, McGill-Toolen HS (Mobile, Ala.)
Los Angeles will also consider many of the college hitters and pitchers, though the demand for players who can help quickly may make a high schooler the way to go. Given their success with an SEC first-rounder who bounced back strong from Tommy John surgery in Walker Buehler, the Dodgers could see if lightning strikes twice with South Carolina right-hander Clarke Schmidt, who had his elbow reconstructed three weeks ago.
24. Red Sox: Keston Hiura, OF/2B, UC Irvine
Some teams rate Hiura as the best hitter among college prospects, so he could go significantly higher than this. On the other hand, he does have an elbow injury that most clubs believe will require Tommy John surgery, clouding questions about his positional future. After scoring big with in the 2004 Draft, Boston could look at 5-foot-8 California high school shortstop Nick Allen.

25. Nationals: Alex Lange, RHP, Louisiana State
Though Lange's stock has dipped this spring, he's still leading the SEC in strikeouts and could be a nice value for Washington at No. 25. Many clubs believe that if anyone uses a first-rounder on former Houston left-hander Seth Romero, a top-10 pick until he got suspended and then kicked off the team, it will be the Nationals.
26. Rangers: Sam Carlson, RHP, Burnsville (Minn.) HS
Carlson's strong spring warrants a higher selection than this, though the risk associated with high school right-handers mean he and others will go lower than they deserve. Texas' penchant for looking for upside makes this a good fit. If Adell does drop into the 20s, the Rangers could halt his slide.
27. Cubs: Nick Allen, SS, Parker HS (San Diego)
Chicago's front office drafted Pedroia in Boston and could pounce on Allen, the best defender in the Draft. The Cubs also could go for Schmidt after their 2014 investment in a right-hander who had Tommy John surgery (Dylan Cease) looks like it could really pay off.

28. Blue Jays: Hans Crouse, RHP, Dana Hills HS (Dana Point, Calif.) (compensation for Edwin Encarnacion signing with Indians)
Besides Crouse, prep right-handers not previously mentioned who could sneak into the first round include fellow Californians Matt Sauer and Hagen Danner (some teams prefer Danner as a catcher), Tennessee's Stephen Jennings and Texas' Bryce Bonnin.
29. Rangers: Tristen Lutz, OF, Martin HS (Arlington, Texas) (compensation for Ian Desmond signing with Rockies)
Lutz's big right-handed power helps him stand out among the second tier of high school outfielders. Others with first-round aspirations include Quentin Holmes (New York), Heliot Ramos (Puerto Rico) and Drew Waters (Georgia). Some more prep position players getting some first-round buzz: Florida shortstops Jeter Downs and Chris Seise, and Georgia catcher Luis Campusano.
30. Cubs: Nate Pearson, RHP, JC of Central Florida (compensation for Dexter Fowler signing with Cardinals)
Pearson and State JC of Florida, Sarasota Manatee left-hander Brendon Little are the best two junior college prospects in the Draft. They could go in the first round and won't last past the top of the second.