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Mock draft: Could Twins go Greene?

May 18, 2017

It's time to shake things up a bit.Still more than three weeks away from the Draft, projecting the first round is still a bit of a difficult task. Luckily, Jim Callis and I will be repeating the exercise a few times over before the final edition right before the 2017

It's time to shake things up a bit.
Still more than three weeks away from the Draft, projecting the first round is still a bit of a difficult task. Luckily, Jim Callis and I will be repeating the exercise a few times over before the final edition right before the 2017 Draft begins.
:: 2017 MLB Draft ::
The effort below does include some differences from Callis' effort a week ago, starting with the top. Certainly not set in stone, this mock plays out some different scenarios, including what it might look like if the Twins don't take Brendan McKay.
There's a new name in the top 10, with an explanation below. Gone from last week's mock are Hans Crouse and Logan Warmoth, making way for Hagen Danner and Brendon Little.
You'll notice that three teams (Blue Jays, Rangers and Cubs) have multiple first-round picks, and those are compensation picks (selections 28, 29 and 30) for losing free agents who received qualifying offers. Those players and teams are as follows: Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays to Indians), Ian Desmond (Rangers to Rockies), William Fowler (Cubs to Cardinals). On the flip side, the Indians, Rockies and Cubs all sacrificed their first-round picks to make those signings.
The Draft begins June 12 with broadcast coverage on MLB Network and, and continues on June 13-14 on Detailed scouting reports for all of the players discussed below can be found on our Top 100 Draft Prospects list.
1. Twins: Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
Most feel the Twins are leaning college, with McKay and Kyle Wright the most likely. But they haven't shut the door on Greene just yet, and they'll have two higher-ups in the scouting department in California this weekend to watch Greene's bullpen session.

2. Reds: Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, Louisville
The Reds are likely looking at three players: Greene, McKay and Wright, and are in the position of reacting to whatever the Twins do ahead of them. In this scenario, it's a choice of the two college guys, and as of right now, they are leaning toward McKay, who they like as a pitcher.

3. Padres: Royce Lewis, SS/OF, JSerra Catholic HS (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)
Could they go Wright here? Sure. They could also stray from the consensus "top three." But Lewis might be the toolsiest player in the Draft, with a ceiling that might be hard to pass up here.
4. Rays: Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt
It worked out OK for the Rays when they took a Vandy pitcher (David Price) in the first round a while back, didn't it? They'd also certainly have interest in Lewis if he got here.

5. Braves: Nick Pratto, 1B, Huntington Beach (Calif.) HS
Here's how this would work. The Braves would sign Pratto and save a lot of money in the process, kind of like they did last year with Ian Anderson at No. 3. Then the money would be used to aggressively pursue someone with their pick at No. 41, perhaps injured Stanford starter Tristan Beck. General Manager John Coppolella and advisor Bo Porter were both spotted at one of Pratto's recent games, though there's still plenty of interest in MacKenzie Gore and Austin Beck here.
6. Athletics: MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville (N.C.) HS
Gore's name is all over the top 10, and he could very well go as high as No. 3. The A's are still interested in J.B. Bukauskas, the top college arm from the state of North Carolina, who has been put in this spot numerous times.
7. D-backs: Pavin Smith, 1B, Virginia
The D-backs like both Smith and Adam Haseley, the Virginia teammates. The toolsy Beck could be in play here, as could Bukauskas, should Arizona turn to a college arm. This is also the first real place Trevor Rogers' name comes up.

8. Phillies: J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, North Carolina
The debate over high school ceiling vs. college floor will likely continue up until Draft day, with names like Beck, Baz and Rogers in the prep column and the Virginia hitters and Bukauskas, should he not go in the two picks in front, on the college side of the ledger.
9. Brewers: Jordon Adell, OF, Ballard HS (Louisville, Ky.)
The same college vs. high school arguments could be made here, and the Brewers will take a long look at Haseley for sure. But they do like toolsy players like Jordon Adell and prep pitchers like Rogers.
10. Angels: Adam Haseley, OF, Virginia
The Angels took Matt Thaiss a year ago, a pick that looks a bit sabermetric-driven. Should they go that route, there are some pure college bats to be found, such as Haseley. But they have also spent a lot of time scouting players like Adell, who would be of interest should he still be there.

11. White Sox: Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida
Chicago might be happier if someone like Haseley was still available here, but he's probably not, so the White Sox could go to the mound with Faedo, who entered the season as a potential top-of-the-Draft selection.
12. Pirates: Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt
If you look at last year's first-round pick, Will Craig, as an outlier, the Pirates have looked at up-the-middle talent with athleticism (Kevin Newman, Cole Tucker, Austin Meadows, Reese McGuire). Kendall certainly fits that description, albeit with some concern about his strikeout rate.
13. Marlins: Griffin Canning, RHP, UCLA
This is another possible landing spot for Rogers, and Georgia prep lefty D.L. Hall has also been mentioned here plenty of times. In this edition, we'll have Miami go with the more advanced arm in Canning, who has been as consistent a performer as any college starter this season.

14. Royals: Trevor Rogers, LHP, Carlsbad (N.M.) HS
There is a good chance Rogers goes before the Royals' pick, but Kansas City certainly would be interested if the left-hander's upside was available here.
15. Astros: Shane Baz, RHP, Concordia Lutheran HS (Tomball, Texas)
Another high school arm that could easily be taken earlier, maybe as high as No. 8 to the Phillies. With Baz being in Houston's backyard, this seems like an all-too-natural fit if he's available.
16. Yankees: Austin Beck, OF, North Davidson HS (Lexington, N.C.)
Beck's name is mentioned as high as No. 5, but the lack of track record (he didn't play over the summer because of a knee injury) makes him less than a slam dunk up that high. If it seems unlikely that he'd last to the Yankees, remember we all thought that about Blake Rutherford a year ago.

17. Mariners: David Peterson, LHP, Oregon
Peterson's performance all spring warrants him entering into middle of the first-round conversations, though he had a string of dominant performances ended by top-ranked Oregon State last week.
18. Tigers: Tanner Houck, RHP, Missouri
Houck is fresh off a 10-strikeout complete-game win against South Carolina in his last start as he continues to pick up steam as the Draft approaches. Detroit does not shy away from pitchers with arm strength.
19. Giants: D.L. Hall, LHP, Valdosta (Ga.) HS
Another of the prep arms who could go higher, Hall's name is typically attached to the Marlins, although he could give the Giants another chance to develop a high school lefty from the South. It worked for Madison Bumgarner, right?

20. Mets: Alex Lange, RHP, Louisiana State
Lange has pitched well as LSU's ace this spring, though perhaps not as consistently as some had hoped. He has thrown better of late, encouraging those who thought he'd be a contender to go in the top half of the first round.
21. Orioles: Jake Burger, 3B, Missouri State
Most of the names mentioned with the Orioles come from the college ranks, with Burger, Keston Hiura and Kentucky's Evan White possible candidates. Burger has been one of the best power hitters in the college game all spring.
22. Blue Jays: Keston Hiura, OF/2B, UC Irvine
There is no question Hiura can hit, keeping his average over .400 all year, and he could go higher as a result. The one thing limiting his stock is the fact he hasn't played in the field all spring, with an elbow injury many think will require Tommy John surgery.

23. Dodgers: Nate Pearson, RHP, JC of Central Florida
Pearson is big, strong and has plus arm strength. Most feel he can start, but even if he can't, his power arsenal could get him to the big leagues in a hurry.
24. Red Sox: Evan White, 1B, Kentucky
White is another college performer, but with more athleticism than most, which could catapault him ahead of this spot.
25. Nationals: Hagen Danner, RHP/C, Huntington Beach (Calif.) HS
Danner is a legitimate two-way player, and some teams like him better behind the plate than on the mound. Count the Nats as one team that likes him more as a pitcher.

26. Rangers: Sam Carlson, RHP, Burnsville (Minn.) HS
As the weather warmed, Carlson's stock took off as he has been dominant in Minnesota, which could land him higher in the round.
27. Cubs: Nick Allen, SS, Parker HS (San Diego)
There could be a fun little cat-and-mouse game with the Cubs and Blue Jays, the teams with multiple picks at the end of the round. Both reportedly like Allen, so if the Jays don't take him at 22, the Cubs could strike here so Toronto doesn't get a second shot.
28. Blue Jays: Bubba Thompson, OF, McGill-Toolen HS (Mobile, Ala.) (Compensation pick for Edwin Encarnacion signing with the Indians)
Some think the Blue Jays will be very college heavy, but after getting Hiura at 22, maybe they go the toolsy high school route with Thompson, who has tons of ceiling.

29. Rangers: Tristen Lutz, OF, Martin HS (Arlington, Texas) (Compensation pick for Ian Desmond signing with the Rockies)
Lutz has tremendous power potential, and the Rangers don't like to get beat in their own back yard.
30. Cubs: Brendon Little, LHP, State College of Florida (Compensation pick for Dexter Fowler signing with the Cardinals)
Yes, they're known for drafting and developing hitters, but Little could get turned into a reliever, and his plus power stuff from the left side could help a big league bullpen out pretty quickly.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.