We’re a week away from the Draft (Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET on MLB Network/ESPN) and there’s still no change at the very top. The top four remains the same from my mock two weeks ago and Jim Callis’ last week. I switched things up a little bit after that, but the top 10 names seem to be holding steady.
There continues to be some buzz about deals being cut at the top of the first round (with teams looking to save some of their bonus pool for other picks), but that’s an annual tradition that rarely plays out. After that, it gets a little grey, especially as we get near the end of the first round where there’s a deep pool of college right-handers that are somewhat interchangeable.
1. Tigers: Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Arizona State
No change at the top. He’s still atop the board and there's no reason to project any different pick for the Tigers.
2. Orioles: Austin Martin, 3B/OF, Vanderbilt
There is a lot of scuttlebutt around New Mexico State’s Nick Gonzales or Florida prep standout Zac Veen going here in a deal, but it’s not strong enough to stray from the the top pure hitter in the class.
3. Marlins: Asa Lacy, LHP, Texas A&M
The top three stays the same; Lacy had separated himself a bit as the top arm in the class and all signs point to the Marlins going that route.
4. Royals: Nick Gonzales, 2B, New Mexico State
It’s been all about the bats here, with Gonzales still in the lead for me, narrowly over Veen.
5. Blue Jays: Max Meyer, RHP, Minnesota
This could come down to more of a certainty with the college arm in Meyer or the upside of Veen’s bat.
6. Mariners: Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia
If the Royals go with Veen, I could see the Mariners jumping at Gonzales’ advanced bat. In this scenario, they’ll go with the big right-hander from Georgia.
7. Pirates: Heston Kjerstad, OF, Arkansas
I continue to hear the college route here, though Veen could come into the picture. On the arm side, Reid Detmers could slide into play, but Kjerstad’s left-handed power could look very good in PNC Park.
8. Padres: Zac Veen, OF, Spruce Creek HS (Fla.)
I don’t think the Padres expect Veen to get to them at 8, but he does in this scenario, and it’s hard to imagine them letting him slide beyond this spot.
9. Rockies: Reid Detmers, LHP, Louisville
If one of the above bats makes it this far, Colorado would make sense for any of them. Otherwise, Detmers is the best college arm available with a very, very high floor.
10. Angels: Robert Hassell III, OF, Independence HS (Tenn.)
They could go college arm here, with someone like Oklahoma’s Cade Cavalli. But Hassell’s pure bat might be too hard to pass up.
11. White Sox: Patrick Bailey, C, North Carolina State
High school names are coming up here, like Tyler Soderstrom from California or Pittsburgh area prepster Austin Hendrick, but I still keep coming back to the fact that they haven’t taken a high school player in the first round since 2013.
12. Reds: Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Harvard-Westlake HS (Calif.)
If the Reds want to go the college arm route, there’s likely interest in Cavalli here. But I’ve heard a lot of talk about high school bats and Crow-Armstrong, one of the best pure center fielders in this class, is being mentioned more and more.
13. Giants: Cade Cavalli, RHP, Oklahoma
Soderstrom’s name does come up here quite a bit, as does Hendrick's, but right now, it feels like they’re leaning more toward the college arm.
14. Rangers: Garrett Crochet, LHP, Tennessee
We’ve talked about his top 10-caliber stuff and the question marks around his health. This could be a steal if the medical boxes get checked off.
15. Phillies: Tyler Soderstrom, C, Turlock HS (Calif.)
The next wave of bats starts coming into play here, with UCLA’s Garrett Mitchell on the college side and Hendrick on the high school side in consideration. Soderstrom is one of the best all-around high school bats in the country and could go higher than this.
16. Cubs: Garrett Mitchell, OF, UCLA
It’s still hard to place Mitchell, but he has the best overall set of tools in this class. Chicago could also dive into the prep bat pool here.
17. Red Sox: Mick Abel, RHP, Jesuit HS (Ore.)
The Red Sox don’t pick again until No. 89 overall and with Abel, they get a guy with a ton of upside potential who could end up being the best pitcher in the class.
18. D-backs: Austin Hendrick, OF, West Allegheny HS (Pa.)
Arizona would love a bat here and Hendrick is the best one available if it goes down this way. If he’s gone, they could go the college arm route with someone like Georgia’s Cole Wilcox.
19. Mets: Nick Bitsko, RHP, Central Bucks HS East (Doylestown, Pa.)
Likely the low-water mark for Soderstrom, the Mets showed they’re not afraid to make a big splash with a high school arm, like they did with Matthew Allan at the start of Day 2 a year ago.
20. Brewers: Cole Wilcox, RHP, Georgia
A lot of college arms start coming up at this point in the Draft, and you’ll see many more in this mock. The Brewers start the run with Wilcox here, though they could be looking at someone like Ohio State catcher Dillon Dingler if they want a bat.
21. Cardinals: Bryce Jarvis, RHP, Duke
Jarvis started taking a nice step forward this spring before things got shut down, but he didn’t get to show if he could continue it. Other college arms are in play here as well.
22. Nationals: Slade Cecconi, RHP, Miami
I’ve had Cecconi and his upside in this spot before, and Wilcox would be a fit here. Mostly thinking about the college arms for Washington at this pick.
23. Indians: Dillon Dingler, C, Ohio State
Catchers who can stay behind the plate are hard to find and Dingler is athletic with excellent defensive skills. He could go a few picks earlier.
24. Rays: Jared Kelley, RHP, Refugio HS (Tex.)
Abel came off the board first among the high school right-handers with first-round talent, followed closely by Bitsko. Kelley could go up in that neck of the woods, he could go here, or any of them could end up in the competitive balance round with a team that has extra picks.
25. Braves: Clayton Beeter, RHP, Texas Tech
The stuff is there, though there’s not a lot of history because of injuries. This could be a real steal.
26. Athletics: Chris McMahon, RHP, Miami
It sounds like the A’s are leaning toward a college pick, though high school players like Illinois shortstop Ed Howard could come into play. McMahon has a very high floor, which could lift him a few spots higher.
27. Twins: Justin Foscue, 2B, Mississippi State
It’s extremely possible that Foscue’s offensive profile has him coming off the board before this pick if teams prefer the floor of a safe college bat, but he’d be in the mix for Minnesota if he’s available.
28. Yankees: Nick Loftin, SS, Baylor
Most talk is about a position player here, and Howard could come into play. But given the scenario that’s laid out above, Loftin’s ability to stick at shortstop as a college performer would put him high on the Yankees’ list.
29. Dodgers: Bobby Miller, RHP, Louisville
The last of the college right-handers to go in the second half of the first round. The Dodgers could also look at South Carolina righty Carmen Mlodzinski or maybe go the high school bat route with Howard.