Mock Draft 2: Movement up and down in the middle
Gray, Appel, Bryant still 1-2-3 but shuffling beyond as teams narrow focus in final week
The First-Year Player Draft is a week away. It's time to bear down and narrow the possibilities of the first round.
The only issue is that there appears to be the same lack of certainty as when we undertook this exercise two weeks ago. Sure, teams have narrowed their focus a bit, but as they head into meetings and set up their boards, there are still so many permutations of how things could unfold.
The 2013 First-Year Player Draft will take place on June 6-8, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 6, at 6 p.m. ET. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 73 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. Rounds 3-10 will be streamed live on MLB.com on June 7, beginning with a preview show at 12:30 p.m., and Rounds 11-40 will be streamed live on MLB.com on June 8, starting at 1 p.m.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. You can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
Here's how picks 1-33 look. Changes from the last mock Draft are noted.
1. Astros: Jonathan Gray, RHP, Oklahoma
The Astros are down to five candidates: two college pitchers (Gray and Mark Appel), two college hitters (Kris Bryant and Colin Moran) and one high schooler (Clint Frazier or Austin Meadows). There are whispers regarding Bryant and Moran, but Gray is still the pick.
2. Cubs: Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
With no change at No. 1, there's no reason to change No. 2.
3. Rockies: Kris Bryant, 3B, San Diego
Same as above. If Bryant goes No. 1, then the Rockies could look at one of the big arms.
4. Twins: Kohl Stewart, RHP, St. Pius X HS (Texas)
The Twins have liked Stewart's power right arm all along and will have a comfort level that they can sign him away from Texas A&M football before he commits. Last mock Draft: 6 (Marlins)
5. Indians: Colin Moran, 3B, North Carolina
One of the big two college pitchers would be of interest to the Indians and they could look at Stewart or Trey Ball if they wanted to go the high school pitching route.
6. Marlins: Braden Shipley, RHP, Nevada
There's still interest in Stewart and Ball, as well as the two Georgia high schoolers, but Shipley has cemented himself as the third-best college pitcher in the Draft. Last mock Draft: 8 (Royals)
7. Red Sox: Clint Frazier, OF, Loganville HS (Ga.)
There's no reason to divert from the previous pick. Frazier worked out with the Red Sox recently as well.
8. Royals: Trey Ball, LHP/OF, New Castle HS (Ind.)
All signs point to the Royals looking at pitching and with Shipley gone, they could go the high school route. Last mock Draft: 10 (Blue Jays)
9. Pirates: Reese McGuire, C, Kentwood HS (Wash.)
There's been more talk of bats than arms regarding the Pirates and McGuire gives them a good left-handed one behind the plate. Last mock Draft: 11 (Mets)
10. Blue Jays: Austin Meadows, OF, Grayson HS (Ga.)
Toronto has interest in Ball and McGuire, but if they're gone, the Blue Jays could go after this high-ceiling, multi-tool outfielder. Last mock Draft: 9 (Pirates)
11. Mets: Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas
The Mets would be happy if Shipley or McGuire were available, but if they're gone, the next best college pitcher, Stanek, could be theirs. Also in play is wild card Sean Manaea or a college power hitter like Aaron Judge. Last mock Draft: 12 (Mariners)
12. Mariners: D.J. Peterson, 3B New Mexico
The Mariners have been linked to any of a number of college bats. They drafted Peterson out of high school and might want another crack at him. Last mock Draft: 14 (Pirates)
13. Padres: Aaron Judge, OF, Fresno State
There are some college hitters to explore here and there might be interest in high schooler J.P. Crawford as well, but Judge stays put for now.
14. Pirates: Hunter Renfroe, OF, Mississippi State
Renfroe has tools galore and performed in the SEC, one of the best college conferences. Last mock draft: 17 (White Sox)
15. Diamondbacks: J.P. Crawford, SS, Lakewood HS (Calif.)
A college hitter like Judge could fit here. So could a high school lefty like Ian Clarkin. But you can never have enough shortstops. Last mock Draft: 15
16. Phillies: Dominic Smith, 1B, Serra HS (Calif.)
This is another possible landing spot for Clarkin, but we're sticking with the California high schooler for the time being. Last mock Draft: 16
17. White Sox: Chris Anderson, RHP, Jacksonville
Chicago has taken toolsy hitters in recent years, but it also has taken big, strong college pitchers. Anderson faded a bit but was really good early on and in his last start. Last mock Draft: 19 (Cardinals)
18. Dodgers: Ian Clarkin, LHP, James Madison HS (Calif.)
Toolsy junior-college shortstop Tim Anderson is a possibility, but we'll go with the high school arm after having Phil Bickford in this spot last time. Last mock Draft: 29 (Rays)
19. Cardinals: Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State
Manaea has to land somewhere, right? The Cards like college pitchers who fall in the Draft. Having multiple picks might make this financially feasible. Last mock Draft: 4 (Twins)
20. Tigers: Alex Gonzalez, RHP, Oral Roberts
Possessor of an outstanding, lively fastball and a three-pitch mix, Gonzalez has rocketed up Draft boards. The Tigers like arm strength and could give Gonzalez a chance to start. Last mock Draft: Not in first round
21. Rays: Nick Ciuffo, C, Lexington HS (S.C.)
After taking college hitters in the first round the past two years, the Rays could go back to high schoolers, like they did from 2008-10. Last mock Draft: 23 (Rangers)
22. Orioles: Eric Jagielo, 3B, Notre Dame
College hitters who perform always move up. Jagielo has the potential to hit for average and power while staying at third. Last mock Draft: 28 (Cardinals)
23. Rangers: Marco Gonzales, LHP, Gonzaga
The Rangers have done a lot with high schoolers and young international talent. Adding an advanced college lefty who can get to the Majors fast would make sense. Last mock Draft: 22 (Orioles)
24. Athletics: Phillip Ervin, OF, Samford
Sticking with Oakland's tendency toward college hitters, though there's some interest in a high school lefty like Rob Kaminsky.
25. Giants: Hunter Harvey, RHP, Bandys HS (N.C.)
Bryan's son stays here, as his willingness to sign and the Giants' strength in developing pitchers is a good match.
26. Yankees: Austin Wilson, OF, Stanford
After Manaea, Wilson might be biggest wild card in the first round. The raw tools are there, without question. Last mock Draft: 21 (Rays)
27. Reds: Michael Lorenzen, OF, Fullerton
There's some concern about his hitting ability, but he has considerable raw tools in a college performer. If all else fails, he's a darn good reliever. Last mock Draft: Not in first round
28. Cardinals: Jonathon Crawford, RHP, Florida
Crawford's arm strength is unquestionable, but his performance has been up and down. Expect teams to watch his NCAA Regional start closely. Last mock Draft: 20 (Tigers)
29. Rays: Phil Bickford, RHP, Oaks Christian HS (Calif.)
Talk of a high price tag might mean Bickford will have to go higher to match that price, but the Rays have the benefit of holding multiple picks so they can be creative. Last mock Draft: 18 (Dodgers)
30. Rangers: Billy McKinney, OF, Plano West HS (Texas)
Keeping this pick local for this go-round, a nice complement to the advanced college pitcher taken earlier.
31. Braves: Tim Anderson, SS, East Central CC
There's a good chance Anderson goes earlier, but it's difficult to imagine his tools get ignored past this point.
32. Yankees: Rob Kaminsky, LHP, St. Joseph Regional HS (N.J.)
Staying local here as well, though Kaminsky could go earlier.
33. Yankees: Jon Denney, C, Yukon HS (Okla.)
There's some continuity here, as Denney went to the Yankees at No. 26 in the last mock. Last mock Draft: 26 (Yankees)