SEE ALSO: Mock Draft Archive
SEE ALSO: Draft Order
SEE ALSO: Bonus Pools
It’s crunch time, and two days out, the draft remains unsettled.
That’s not unprecedented. In 2014, the Astros went down to the last minute before deciding on Brady Aiken at No. 1 over Carlos Rodon or other choices such as Colin Moran. That one didn’t work out that year, but the Astros didn’t have a locked-down pre-draft deal with Aiken, as history shows.
The Phillies, picking first this year for the first time since 1998, also don’t appear to have a set pick. Philadelphia appears to have settled on a group that includes outfielders Mickey Moniak and Blake Rutherford, preps from Southern California; colliegians Kyle Lewis (Mercer) and Corey Ray (Louisville); prep lefty Jason Groome; and lefty A.J. Puk of Florida.
Groome and righty Riley Pint out of Kansas still are wild cards among the top 10 picks, as is Puerto Rican shortstop Delvin Perez, who is sliding down draft boards in the last week. Here’s BA’s best information—and, yes, guesswork—of what will happen Thursday night at 6 p.m. on MLB Network. We’ll try to have a quick and dirty mock Thursday morning or afternoon from MLBN studios in Secaucus, N.J.
1. PHILLIES: Unchanged here from the last mock. Puk didn’t even get to the fifth inning in his last start against Connecticut, and hasn’t answered questions about just how competitive he is start after start. It’s hard to get just two wins, as Puk has, for a 50-win team when Puk has started every week, even accounting for two starts where he left starts early for injury or illness. That leaves Moniak, thought to be the Phils’ favorite. Scouts report club executive Pat Gillick was on hand for Moniank’s best game, a 5-for-5, eight-RBI, hit-for-the-cycle game among the several Moniak games he attended. Gillick, former manager Charlie Manuel and other Phils officials were at one of La Costa Canyon High’s practices as recently as last week. Now the question may be what it will take for Moniak to sign and what the Phillies can do with their other picks, as there has been talk they’ll try to float Rutherford to their second pick and sign him for essentially the same bonus as Moniak. PICK: Mickey Moniak, of | Video
2. REDS: The Reds have been clear that if Puk is on the board, they’ll take him. If not, expect Tennessee infielder Nick Senzel, especially if there are questions about Perez. The Puerto Rican shortstop was thought to be in play here and with Milwaukee at No. 5 until the last week, when his star has fallen. PICK: A.J. Puk, lhp | Video
3. BRAVES: Atlanta remains connected to college bats—Nick Senzel, Lewis and Ray. They’ve also scouted the top prep arms, Groome and righties Riley Pint and Ian Anderson, with Anderson picking up steam this week with a dynamic start over the weekend in which he sat at in the mid-90s with his fastball for seven innings. The club is tight-lipped and not tipping its pick, but this time around, we’ll go local with Lewis, with Anderson possibly being floated down the draft to their second pick. PICK: Kyle Lewis, of | Video
4. ROCKIES: Colorado can’t get a future ace, or even an impact arm, through free agency, and it has to go through the draft. The Rockies haven’t had success with prep pitchers in the first round (Matt Harrington and Tyler Matzek; it’s too early on Mike Nikorak), but none of those guys threw 100 mph like Pint does. PICK: Riley Pint, rhp | Video
5. BREWERS: Milwaukee has been tied heavily to Perez. Industry sources are buzzing about Perez falling but not on the record, throwing a wrench into first-round projections of the player ranked first among shortstops in the entire class. It now appears Perez may not even go in the first round at all. That leaves the Brewers to take a prep arm such as Pint or perhaps Groome a home in the first 10 picks. The fallback, if a deal can’t be cut with Groome, is Corey Ray. If Groome doesn’t find a home, he’s said to be heading to junior college rather than Vanderbilt. PICK: Corey Ray, of | Video
6. ATHLETICS: The A’s remain tied to Senzel here but could be a fall-back option for Groome. Senzel’s market is hard to gauge, but it’s also hard to find teams say anything negative about the safest pick in the draft. PICK: Nick Senzel, 3b | Video
7. MARLINS: Miami continues to be tied to preps, lately with Anderson, Pint and Alabama’s Braxton Garrett, whose changeup and curveball are advanced to go with his 90-92 mph fastball. If Garrett’s signability makes him plunge, teams down the line such as the Twins and Yankees would pounce on him. PICK: Braxton Garrett, lhp | Video
8. PADRES: San Diego’s chaos in the majors could bleed into the draft, but it’s also hard to avoid risk in this draft class. The A.J. Preller regime seems to be hanging on his ability to rebuild the farm system, fast, leading to the Padres being tied to college arms, even if they are injured ones such as Cal Quantrill, to whom they have been tied. PICK: Cal Quantrill, rhp
9. TIGERS: This pick largely will come down to whether or not Pint is on the board; Detroit is the floor for the hard-throwing righty. Detroit also could try to get a deal done with Rutherford, whose placement is hard to peg, and also could have a deal in place with Louisville closer Zack Burdi. Burdi would serve as a fall-back plan if Pint isn’t here. There are a lot of rumblings that if Burdi doesn’t go at nine, he could fall to the 20s. PICK: Zack Burdi, rhp | Video
10. WHITE SOX: Chicago has been tied to all kinds of players because it has two picks; it’s been tied to Gavin Lux as well as Miami catcher Zack Collins. If South Sider Corey Ray is available, the White Sox won’t pass. PICK: Zack Collins, c | Video
11. MARINERS: As we wrote in our May 27 mock, Seattle is the first landing spot for Boston College’s Justin Dunn, who has the most helium in the draft and likely will be the second college starter picked. Seattle also could pop Rutherford here if the price is right. PICK: Justin Dunn, rhp | Video
12. RED SOX: Boston would take a college bat if the right one falls, but that doesn’t happen in this scenario, leaving them to go upside. Prep outfielders are a risky genre, but Boston is seeing the fruits of what an athletic outfielder can do with Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts. PICK: Taylor Trammell, of
13. RAYS: Tampa, as usual, is in on prep athletes such as Trammell and Lux, as they were last year when they took New York prep outfielder Garrett Whitley. They like the prep pitchers in this draft but will settle for taking one with a later pick. PICK: Gavin Lux, ss | Video
14. INDIANS: Cleveland will go for upside and has focused on the prep class at the top, with them seen as a potential landing point for Groome and Matt Manning. They focus on age as a determining factor with preps, and Rutherford is old for the class. Groome has as much risk or more than Brady Aiken had last year, but getting a potential No. 1 overall talent at 14 could prove too tempting for the Tribe, even if Groome proves a very tough sign. PICK: Jason Groome, lhp | Video
15. TWINS: Minnesota likely is Dunn’s floor, as they would be in on a fast-moving college starter if there were one. Minnesota here may go with the best player on its board, regardless of genre, and that could still be Hudson, who slid a bit late. PICK: Dakota Hudson, rhp | Video
16. ANGELS: GM Billy Eppler has been in to see several prep arms but is tied most consistently to Pennsylvania prep Alex Kirilloff. PICK: Alex Kirilloff, of/1b
17. ASTROS: The Astros are thought to be in on college arms. Whether or not a big late surge will push Cody Sedlock up the board this high, he is primed to exploit the lack of college starting pitchers and move into the first round. PICK: Cody Sedlock, rhp | Video
18. YANKEES: New York continues to be tied to college bats. They are the highest landing spot for Vanderbilt outfielder Bryan Reynolds, whose athleticism may give him an edge over corner bats such as Virginia’s Matt Thaiss or Wake Forest’s Will Craig. PICK: Bryan Reynolds, of | Video
19. METS: Rumors are fast and furious for the Mets after weeks of them being tied to Will Craig. They appear to be the team most tied to Rutherford and may be the team to block the Phillies from floating him all the way to their second selection. PICK: Blake Rutherford, of | Video
20. DODGERS: L.A. is thought to be in on Robert Tyler, T.J. Zeuch and Hudson if he falls to 20, looking for a physical college righty with its first selection. They’re also said to be in on the college shortstop class, which could play out in their subsequent picks. PICK: Robert Tyler, rhp
21. BLUE JAYS: Toronto is also tied to the college starters and will take whichever one falls to them. If Burdi is still here at 21, the Jays are an excellent fit. PICK: T.J. Zeuch, rhp
22. PIRATES: While the Pirates have been tied to prep bats, the analytics love Wake Forest’s Will Craig, who could eventually solve the Buccos’ first-base issue. PICK: Will Craig, 3b/1b | Video
23. CARDINALS: The Cardinals could be aggressive with three picks, and may yet be a home for high-dollar prep arms such as Anderson, Manning or SoCal righty Kyle Gowdy. We haven’t heard a specific tie-in, so we’re going college performer willing to make a deal with their first selection. PICK: Matt Thaiss, c/1b | Video
26. WHITE SOX: Nothing sexy here; the White Sox have been linked to lefty Eric Lauer for weeks with their second selection, but it makes sense and fits the board. PICK: Eric Lauer, lhp | Video
27. ORIOLES: After feeling like it missed last year with D.J. Stewart, Baltimore may be going with the best body available in Buddy Reed. It’s also been linked to prep bats but those will be around at picks 54 and 69. PICK: Buddy Reed, of | Video
28 & 29: NATIONALS: The Nats go big or go home. They can take advantage of their relationship with the Scott Boras Corp. here by giving Kyle Funkhouser, the Louisville righty pitching as well as he ever has in college, seven spots higher than he went last year when the turned down the Dodgers. They can apply some Funkhouser savings to Manning, who has been sitting 95-98 mph at times this spring. PICKS: Kyle Funkhouser | Video and Matt Manning, rhps | Video
30. RANGERS: Texas is in on the prep class, but we shift from Georgia to its home state for the pick this time around. PICK: Forrest Whitley, rhp | Video
31. METS: If the Mets take Rutherford at 19 overall, they’ll try to handcuff him with a safe-bet collegian, and they have confidence in the pitchability of Lauer and UConn’s Anthony Kay. PICK: Anthony Kay, lhp | Video
32. Dodgers: L.A. is the highest we’ve heard on Florida Atlantic shortstop C.J. Chatham, who’s expected to go anywhere from 30-50 and should be the first college middle infielder off the board. PICK: C.J. Chatham, ss
33-34. Cardinals: If St. Louis goes for college performers, it could apply some savings and take a risky prep player with him. Florida righty Dane Dunning has pitched his way into the first-round range out of the Gators’ bullpen, but it’s difficult to take a college No. 4 starter—even one as good as Dunning—with a first pick. St. Louis can take him third after an upside prep bat. PICKS: Nolan Jones, ss/3b, and Dane Dunning, rhp.