Let’s mix things up a bit, shall we?
No, that doesn’t mean a new name in the top spot, but there are several changes in the top 10, most notably moving North Carolina prep shortstop Kahlil Watson up to reflect the buzz he’s been getting. Many in the industry aren’t 100 percent sure how all this extra time will impact the first round and beyond, with some scouting directors feeling they won’t really start to get a feel of what will happen until the calendar turns to July.
That doesn’t mean we can’t continue to provide as much information about what scouts are saying and thinking as college baseball turns to the College World Series, high school seasons wrap up, private workouts get going in earnest and the Draft combine looms.
1. Pirates: Marcelo Mayer, SS, Eastlake HS (Chula Vista, Calif.)
No change at the top, with Mayer still very much in the mix with Jordan Lawlar, Kahlil Watson and Louisville catcher Henry Davis on the offensive end and perhaps Jack Leiter on the mound.
2. Rangers: Kahlil Watson, SS, Wake Forest (N.C.) HS
Some feel it’s down to Lawlar, Leiter or Watson here, with it a bit tough to ascertain if the Watson buzz up here is legit or if it’s because he’s playing (and playing well) while most others are done.
3.Tigers: Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall HS (Oklahoma City)
Many of the same names, with Watson, Lawlar and Brady House in the mix. But there are those who feel Jobe might be the best pitcher in this class when all is said and done.
4. Red Sox: Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt
Leiter, coming off a dominant turn in Super Regional play, could very well be gone, in which case the Red Sox could choose from the high school shortstops or Davis.
5. Orioles: Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit Prep (Dallas)
There’s still a lot of buzz the Orioles could cut a deal here, and many feel they like Davis on the college bat end, but here’s saying they’ll lean Lawlar, the top prep hitter available, over Vandy’s Kumar Rocker.
6. D-backs: Henry Davis, C, Louisville
Both Jim Callis and I have had Rocker in this spot, and that could very well happen. But they also may not have thought Davis would be here and this week we’ll say they’ll lean bat over arm.
7. Royals: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt
There’s no way the Royals thought Rocker would be available here when the spring season began, but they’d have to seriously consider him against whatever high school bats are available.
8. Rockies: Brady House, SS, Winder-Barrow HS (Winder, Ga.)
Speaking of high school bats, House is the best one on the board still and the Rockies might prefer him to one of the college arms or bats that will go right behind them.
9. Angels: Ty Madden, RHP, Texas
There’s still lots of chatter about the Angels going a bit off-book with a prep bat like Benny Montgomery, Harry Ford or two-way star Bubba Chandler. But Madden was very good at his Super Regional and will be watched carefully in Omaha as the next best college arm after the Vandy duo.
10. Mets: Sal Frelick, OF, Boston College
If the Mets decide to go arm, it could be hard-throwing Sam Bachman. But I think they’re leaning bat and Frelick is one of those college hitters most feel is certain to hit at the next level.
11. Nationals: Sam Bachman, RHP, Miami (Ohio)
The “Let’s see if they can get Rocker down to them” buzz persists, but with him off the board in this mock, they’ll stay in the hard-throwing right-hander category with Bachman.
12. Mariners: Matt McLain, SS, UCLA
It’s been mostly college players in the conversation here, with Frelick and McLain on the hitter side, and Wake Forest’s Ryan Cusick on the pitching end, but they could explore some high school bats as a backup plan.
13. Phillies: Benny Montgomery, OF, Red Land HS (Lewisberry, Pa.)
A lot of teams love Montgomery’s tools, though some have questions about his swing, but he has as much chance as any hitter in this Draft to be a five-tool type at the highest level.
14. Giants: Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston
There’s more of a college feel here this week, with Cowser on the hitting side and Jordan Wicks on the pitching side. For now, we’ll say they’ll make it five bats in the first round in a row.
15. Brewers: Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State
This is one of the first spots where the injured Gunnar Hoglund’s name comes up, but it’s more likely that if they want a college arm, they’ll take the best lefty in the class.
16. Marlins: Will Taylor, OF, Dutch Fork HS (Irmo, S.C.)
The Marlins would likely love if a college player like McLain or Bachman got here, but in this scenario, both are gone. Taylor’s name has been floating up thanks to his outstanding athleticism, a two-sport star with a feel to hit.
17. Reds: Ryan Cusick, RHP, Wake Forest
McLain might top their board on the college bat front, and they could look at the high school catchers (Ford, Joe Mack), but for now, we’ll go with Cusick and his arm strength.
18. Cardinals: Harry Ford, C, North Cobb HS (Kennesaw, Ga.)
Ford is super athletic and any team that takes him could decide to move him to third or even center field. This is another spot where scouts feel Hoglund could land.
19. Blue Jays: Anthony Solometo, LHP, Bishop Eustace Prep (Pennsauken Township, N.J.)
This still appears to be a solid connection, with college arms like Mike McGreevy possibly coming into play as well.
20. Yankees: Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, Mississippi
The Yankees wouldn’t mind if Benny Montgomery made it here, but save that, they’re not afraid of taking a Tommy John surgery guy like Hoglund and could also look at Florida high school right-hander Andrew Painter.
21. Cubs: Colson Montgomery, 3B, Southridge HS (Huntingburg, Ind.)
We’ve had McGreevy here a lot, and that could still be a fit, and if they wanted to go high school arm, they could consider Painter or New Jersey flamethrower Chase Petty. A college bat like Trey Sweeney starts coming up around here, but so does Colson Montgomery, who has a lot of helium.
22. White Sox: Joe Mack, C, Williamsville East HS (East Amherst, N.Y.)
High school hitters continue to get most of the buzz here, though they could look at Painter or Petty if they wanted a high school arm. Florida State catcher Matheu Nelson fits the mold of college bats that are starting to get more first-round attention.
23. Indians: Michael McGreevy, RHP, UC Santa Barbara
While he didn’t pitch as well down the stretch, his metrics are very good, and there’s upside in his frame. He could go higher than this, but the Indians have had success with Santa Barbara right-handers before (Looking at you, Shane Bieber.).
24. Braves: Bubba Chandler, RHP/SS, North Oconee HS (Bogart, Ga.)
There’s some talk of college arms, so someone like Tommy Mace or St. Mary’s lefty Ky Bush could come into play, but it would be interesting to see the Braves take the two-way guy from their backyard and perhaps let him hit.
25. A's: Trey Sweeney, SS, Eastern Illinois
His name, along with other college bats, is rising more seriously into late first-round consideration, and the A’s would consider him along with some high school hitters who have come up in this spot, like Izaac Pacheco or Wes Kath.
26. Twins: Chase Petty, RHP, Mainland Regional HS (Linwood, N.J.)
It’s quite possible Petty could end up being a comp pick, but if the Twins really like him and think he’ll be gone by the time they pick again at 36, this could make sense. Mace and East Carolina’s Gavin Williams could be in the mix as college arms, and Ethan Wilson is still a college bat they like.
27. Padres: Joshua Baez, OF, Dexter Southfield HS (Brookline, Mass.)
Teams love his tools, but wonder about some swing-and-miss. But the Padres have never shied away from high-risk, high-reward players.
28. Rays: Gavin Williams, RHP, East Carolina
Williams, who was drafted by the Rays out of high school, certainly didn’t hurt himself with his postseason performances, looking absolutely dominant vs. Rocker and Vanderbilt in his Super Regional start.
29. Dodgers: Matheu Nelson, C, Florida State
Nelson has some of the most usable power in this year’s class and has convinced many he can stick behind the plate, having worked hard on his conditioning, agility and flexibility.