Vandy shortstop Swanson headlines latest mock draft
The First-Year Player Draft is rapidly approaching, with just 10 days before the three-day event begins on June 8 and the world hears who the D-backs will take at No. 1 overall.
Last week, Jim Callis took a crack at predicting the first 26 picks. Now it's time for us to up the ante as the clock is ticking, so we're expanding out to 36 picks, the entirety of what is officially called the first round.
Day 1 at MLB Network's Studio 42 in Secaucus, N.J., with representatives for all 30 clubs in attendance and several draftees expected to be on hand, covers the top 70 picks, through Round 2, with MLB Network and MLB.com providing live coverage of all of it, starting with the preview show at 6 p.m. ET. MLB.com will provide exclusive live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, starting with a preview show at 12:30 p.m. ET, and Rounds 11-40 on June 10, beginning at noon ET.
There is still a lack of clarity throughout the first round, with teams just starting to have their meetings and dig deeper into medical reports and signability. Jim and I will be back with more mock drafts leading up to June 8 as more information becomes available to us.
1. Arizona D-backs
Dansby Swanson, SS, Vanderbilt
The buzz surrounding Swanson in this top spot does have some legs, and it would be foolish to dismiss it. It would also be wrong to consider it a slam dunk at this point, with the D-backs still exploring several options, including bringing Georgia high school catcher Tyler Stephenson in for a workout.
2. Houston Astros (compensation for not signing 2014 first-rounder Brady Aiken)
Brendan Rodgers, SS, Lake Mary (Fla.) HS
Still No. 1 on our Top 200, Rodgers is very much in play here, unless the Astros decide they want to go with a college arm with someone like Dillon Tate or a college bat like LSU shortstop Alex Bregman.
3. Colorado Rockies
Tyler Jay, LHP, Illinois
Most of the buzz around the Rockies is that they are looking at college players with their first pick, as they often do. The exception might be if the Astros pass on Rodgers. But if they don't, the Rockies could go with Jay, the lefty who has shot up boards, or Bregman if they prefer a bat.
4. Texas Rangers
Daz Cameron, OF, Eagle's Landing Christian Academy (McDonough, Ga.)
The three names mentioned the most with the Rangers are Tate and Bregman on the college side and Cameron, the son of former big leaguer Mike Cameron, if they decide to go the high school route.
5. Houston Astros
Dillon Tate, RHP, Santa Barbara
Tate rushed up boards with a strong spring then backed up a tiny bit when some fatigue set in. The Astros could decide to get Tate at No. 2 if they feel the Rangers are going to take him, then perhaps pursue a high school bat like Kyle Tucker here.
6. Minnesota Twins
Kyle Tucker, OF, Plant (Fla.) HS
His brother is in the big leagues with the Astros, so Houston could want to keep it all in the family. If not, the Twins definitely have interest, as they do with college arms like Missouri State's Jon Harris or Tate if he's still available.
7. Boston Red Sox
Alex Bregman, SS, LSU
There's a lot of buzz about Bregman being gone by this point, which would leave one of the above players still in play for Boston. But this is a team-player association that refuses to go away. Andrew Benintendi and Carson Fulmer are other college options.
8. Chicago White Sox
Jon Harris, RHP, Missouri State
Signs are pointing to a college arm here, and the White Sox might hope for Jay to get to them. If not, Harris could get the nod over the Vandy duo of Fulmer and Walker Buehler.
9. Chicago Cubs
Carson Fulmer, RHP, Vanderbilt
There's been a lot of talk about Arkansas outfielder Andrew Benintendi in this spot, and it's still extremely possible. And the Cubs have interest in Tucker as well, but for now, let's have the Cubs break their streak of bats by taking Fulmer off the board.
10. Philadelphia Phillies
Walker Buehler, RHP, Vanderbilt
A year ago, Aaron Nola didn't really fit the type of a "typical" first pick for the Phillies, who have leaned more toward athletic high school types. But Nola has been dominant in Double-A, so the Phillies could be tempted to go that route again with Buehler, another advanced, albeit slightly undersized, college right-hander.
11. Cincinnati Reds
Tyler Stephenson, C, Kennesaw Mountain (Ga.) HS
Stephenson's name is still coming up ahead of the Reds, but they would have a strong interest in the best all-around backstop in the class if he reaches them. They also will seriously discuss Benintendi here and would love it if Tucker got to them.
12. Miami Marlins
Trenton Clark, OF, Richland (Texas) HS
There are some good high school outfielders in the first-round mix, and if Tucker somehow got here, he wouldn't get further. With him off the board, it might come down to Clark or New York state prepster Garrett Whitley here. Pressure to get help to Miami sooner could end up with a college arm here.
13. Tampa Bay Rays
Andrew Benintendi, OF, Arkansas
It's quite possible Benintendi is off the board here, but word on the street is that the Rays are most interested in a college bat here. If Benintendi's gone, that could mean Arizona's Kevin Newman.
14. Atlanta Braves
Kolby Allard, LHP, San Clemente (Calif.) HS
If Allard can prove he's healthy and throw for some teams, he may be long gone by here, and the temptation is always to give the Braves the best high schooler from Georgia still on the board. They'd love if that were Stephenson, and Cornelius Randolph gets mentioned here as well. But Allard's upside is hard to ignore.
15. Milwaukee Brewers
Brady Aiken, LHP, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
Another injured pitcher. Questions obviously need to be answered about the health of Aiken's surgically repaired elbow, but there's been some buzz that he'll go in the top 15 picks if those questions are answered to a team's satisfaction.
16. New York Yankees
Ian Happ, OF, Cincinnati
The Yankees are looking for bats and might go for one of the high school hitters available, should Garrett Whitley still be available or Clark get to them here. They also still have interest in California high school catcher Chris Betts, but perhaps not here.
17. Cleveland Indians
Garrett Whitley, OF, Niskayuna (N.Y.) HS
The Indians haven't shied away from taking high school bats in the past, with first-rounders like Francisco Lindor and Clint Frazier in recent Drafts. Last year, Brad Zimmer fell to them, and if another college outfielder like Benintendi or Happ were here, they could be options.
18. San Francisco Giants
James Kaprielian, RHP, UCLA
If Kaprielian has been guilty of anything, it's been of being consistently good in a somewhat boring fashion. He doesn't blow people away, but he's been as good a Friday night starter as any in the country. The Giants also wouldn't shy away from some of the high school arms who might be available here.
19. Pittsburgh Pirates
Mike Nikorak, RHP, Stroudsburg (Pa.) HS
It's possible Nikorak could go ahead of the Pirates, perhaps even to the Giants, but his size, stuff and projectability will be of interest to many teams in this range.
20. Oakland Athletics
Chris Betts, C, Wilson (Long Beach, Calif.) HS
There has been some frustration about Betts not being able to get behind the plate for a few weeks because of an elbow injury, but the bat is his carrying tool and that's what a team in the second half of the first round will be buying.
21. Kansas City Royals
Cornelius Randolph, SS, Griffin (Ga.) HS
The Royals could decide to go arm here if Kaprielian is in play, or if Louisville's Kyle Funkhouser or College of Southern Nevada's Phil Bickford are still available. If they want a bat, Randolph is one of the better pure ones in the class, one that should profile even if he moves to third.
22. Detroit Tigers
Phil Bickford, RHP, College of Southern Nevada
Bickford struck out 15 over 7 2/3 innings in his final start, a fantastic final look for the power-armed right-hander. That's a type, as has been written in the past, that the Tigers tend to like.
23. St. Louis Cardinals
Kevin Newman, SS, Arizona
Most buzz around the Cardinals here is about college bats, though it's possible someone above them will bite on Newman, the two-time Cape Cod League batting champion. St. Louis has gone college pitcher with its first selection in the past three Drafts, however.
24. Los Angeles Dodgers
Richie Martin, SS, Florida
Few, if any, question Martin's ability to defend and stay at shortstop. He's shown glimpses with the bat, including a strong showing in the Cape last summer.
25. Baltimore Orioles
Kyle Funkhouser, RHP, Louisville
It's extremely possible that Funkhouser will go further up in the round, but his inconsistent performances down the stretch give him a chance to get here, where the Orioles would certainly have an interest.
26. Los Angeles Angels
Blake Trahan, SS, Louisiania-Lafayette
Most feel the Angels are looking at college bats here. With Newman and Martin gone, the next best option could be Trahan. Arizona's Scott Kingery could be in play. If they don't want to stay up the middle, outfielders like D.J. Stewart or Donnie Dewees could be of interest.
27. Colorado Rockies
Kyle Holder, SS, San Diego
Holder gets very high marks for his glove, considered by many to be the best defensive shortstop in the Draft. There's a split camp on how much he'll hit, but enough teams in the 20-36 range think he'll hit enough to consider him.
28. Atlanta Braves
Ashe Russell, RHP, Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.) HS
I know what you're thinking: What, no Georgia players for the Braves in the first round? It might be unlikely, but then again, Atlanta does have three more picks after this before the third round begins.
29. Toronto Blue Jays
Eric Jenkins, OF, West Columbus (Cerro Gordo, N.C.) HS
Speedy and toolsy, Jenkins can stay in center field and should be a basestealing threat. He's been rising up boards and has been popping up in conversations here and into the early stages of Round 2.
30. New York Yankees
Scott Kingery, 2B, Arizona
Kingery has had as good a season as any college hitter and he has speed to go along with it. Playing second now, he might be athletic enough to go back to the outfield, where he's played in the past. Holder, Betts and Tyler Nevin are other bats that could interest the Yankees.
31. San Francisco Giants
Nolan Watson, RHP, Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.) HS
There are several high school arms who could be in the mix with the Giants' pick here, including Dakota Chalmers from Georgia and Justin Hooper from California.
32. Pittsburgh Pirates
Nathan Kirby, LHP, Virginia
Kirby has been out since April with a lat strain, so questions about his health will have to be answered. But after taking a high-upside high school arm earlier in the round, taking a quicker-to-the-bigs college lefty here might make sense.
33. Kansas City Royals
Jake Woodford, RHP, Plant (Fla.) HS
Woodford, the teammate of Kyle Tucker, is a big, strong right-hander with some upside and a live fastball. His name has started popping up in the tail end of the round, from Pittsburgh on down.
34. Detroit Tigers
Tyler Nevin, 3B, Poway (Calif.) HS
This isn't just a "put him on one of his dad's former teams" kind of deals. There's interest in Nevin's ability to swing the bat and stay at third, along with his plus makeup.
35. Los Angeles Dodgers
Donny Everett, RHP, Clarksville (Tenn.) HS
At this stage of the Draft, there's a good chance a bunch of the high school pitching will come off the board. Everett is big and strong and has shown the abilty to touch the upper-90s with his fastball.
36. Baltimore Orioles
Peter Lambert, RHP, San Dimas (Calif.) HS
Lambert doesn't necessarily have the "wow" now stuff of some of the prep arms up above, but he has some projectability to his 6-foot-2 frame. And unlike some more mercurial high school hurlers, he's been a consistently good performer all spring.