2017 MLB Mock Draft 4.5
One thing was becoming clear in the wee hours as Sunday turned into Monday: the first round has descended into chaos.
More than one club answered entreaties for information with, “Honestly, we don’t know what’s going on in front of us,” or, “It’s very unsettled.”
Rather than a few short notes, we decided to put our rumors together into a mock draft.
Compressed bonuses plus a lack of separation among the top players has produced an unpredictable, chaotic environment throughout the first round, with a lack of any real consensus.
1. Twins Nothing confirmed; as of Sunday evening, the industry seems to think Minnesota will go with Brendan McKay. A club official said the Twins were still considering four players—industry sources believed that to include Brendan McKay, Hunter Greene, Kyle Wright and Royce Lewis. But the official said signability “will play a significant role.” Minnesota prefers McKay on the mound.
Pick: Brendan McKay, 1b/lhp, Louisville |
2. Reds If McKay goes first, expect the Reds to take Hunter Greene, as a pitcher.
Pick: Hunter Greene, rhp, Notre Dame High, Sherman Oaks, Calif. |
3. Padres San Diego would surprise no one if it zigged, but the industry expects a consensus pick that the Padres would pay, not a deal.
Pick: MacKenzie Gore, lhp, Whiteville (N.C.) High |
4. Rays Tampa has played this pick as close to the vest as any team, with speculation rising that the Rays will cut a deal. One scout said the biggest reason for the rise of Alabama prep outfielder Bubba Thompson is his improved hitting ability, saying he’s improved his hitting tool by two grades in the last six months.
Pick: Bubba Thompson, of, McGill-Toolen Catholic HS, Mobile, Ala. |
If the Rays take Vanderbilt’s Kyle Wright, Atlanta could go in a number of directions, from North Carolina prep outfielder Austin Beck to a signability deal such as California prep first baseman Nick Pratto. But if Wright is there, the Braves’ scouting department covets him at a similar level to their belief last year in Ian Anderson.
Pick: Kyle Wright, rhp, Vanderbilt |
6. Athletics The A’s have been linked to everyone, according to rivals. We’re starting to hear more that Oakland could cut a deal with UC Irvine’s bat-first Keston Hiura, who was in play throughout the first 15 picks.
Pick: Keston Hiura, 2b/of, UC Irvine |
7. Diamondbacks In this scenario, Royce Lewis is falling, and Arizona would be able to pounce on a top-five talent in the No. 7 spot. If Lewis goes higher, the D-backs would lean toward Adam Haseley or righthander J.B. Bukauskas, though word Sunday night had the North Carolina ace slipping.
Pick: Royce Lewis, ss/of, JSerra Catholic HS, San Juan Capistrano, Calif. |
The Phillies are believed to be taking the best Wahoo available, either Haseley or first baseman Pavin Smith.
Pick: Adam Haseley, of, Virginia |
Milwaukee was one of the most likely teams to make a deal, and that could get them off Jordon Adell, with whom they’ve been linked for some time. We’re sticking a different prep outfielder here this time.
Pick: Austin Beck, of, North Davidson High, Lexington, N.C. |
10. Angels Another tough one to divine, but the Angels are regularly connected to college players. Last year’s Virginia first baseman, Matt Thaiss, isn’t working out so hot so far, so we’re sticking with a college pitcher.
Pick: Alex Faedo, rhp, Florida |
11. White Sox This would be a tough choice for Chicago—Bukauskas, whom they have kept tabs on even when it seemed he would go higher, or Jordon Adell, the raw prep outfielder? This mock says neither; the Sox need hitters and polished ones at that.
Pick: Pavin Smith, 1b, Virginia |
We’re still not ruling out a prep bat here after putting Nick Pratto here on Friday. There is some buzz about the Pirates and a prep outfielder, such as Texas prep Tristen Lutz.
Pick: Nick Pratto, 1b/of, Huntington Beach (Calif.) HS |
The toughest sign of potential first-rounders appears to be righthander Shane Baz, a TCU recruit as a two-way player. That could scare the Marlins away from the consensus No. 2 prep righty in the class, but we’re leaving him here for now. If they deem him unsignable, this could be the ceiling for Oregon lefty David Peterson.
Pick: Shane Baz, rhp, Concordia Lutheran HS, Tomball, Texas |
14. Royals Kansas City could be a floor for players such as Bukauskas or Adell, or the ceiling for prep arms such as D.L. Hall or Trevor Rogers.
Pick: Jordon Adell, of, Ballard HS, Louisville |
The fact that Bukauskas doesn’t throw a ton of fastballs wouldn’t deter the Astros, whose major league staff throws fewer fastballs than any other.
Pick: J.B. Bukauskas, rhp, North Carolina |
16. Yankees If Pratto is on the board, he’ll go here. If not, this is where the poor medical reports on Griffin Canning of UCLA—specifics are scarce due to HIPA privacy laws—start to be a factor.
Pick: Evan White, 1b, Kentucky |
17. Mariners It’s harder to tell whether Seattle would go bat or pitcher, but this time we’re leaning arm, and in fact a local one.
Pick: David Peterson, lhp, Oregon |
18. Tigers This is the ceiling for North Carolina shortstop Logan Warmoth, but we’re sticking with Friday’s selection here.
Pick: Nate Pearson, rhp, Central Florida JC |
At some point, D.L. Hall, the second prep lefty in the class after MacKenzie Gore, has to go off the board. San Francisco also is in on Warmoth.
Pick: D.L. Hall, lhp, Valdosta (Ga.) HS |
20. Mets Status quo from Friday.
Pick: Trevor Rogers, lhp, Calsbad (N.M.) HS |
21. Orioles As Bob Seger sang, still the same.
Pick: Heliot Ramos, of, Leadership Christian Academy, Guaynabo, P.R. |
22. Blue Jays This has been a steady point of interest with Toronto, which is heavily tied to the Carolinas.
Pick: Logan Warmoth, ss, North Carolina |
23. Dodgers Hiura ain’t falling this far. However, it appears that Jeren Kendall, a combination of bad strikeout rate and tough signability, very well could.
Pick: Jeren Kendall, of, Vanderbilt |
24. Red Sox In this scenario, Boston can get a fairly polished college bat with upside thanks to Jake Burger’s plus-plus power.
Pick: Jake Burger, 3b, Missouri State |
25. Nationals There’s been a whiff of Texas prep righty Alex Scherff toward the back of the first round, and this would be the most logical spot. But Washington still makes sense for lefty Seth Romero, who’s been throwing bullpens since getting kicked off Houston’s team.
Pick: Seth Romero, lhp, no team |
26. Rangers Rumors at this part of the first round are tougher to come by.
Pick: Tanner Houck, rhp, Missouri |
Chicago may not be able to wait on its college arm selection.
Pick: Clarke Schmidt, rhp, South Carolina |
28. Blue Jays We’re sticking with Friday’s picks in this scenario.
Pick: Gavin Sheets, 1b, Wake Forest |
29. Rangers The Rangers could be another landing spot for Scherff.
Pick: Sam Carlson, rhp, Burnsville (Minn.) HS |
A small haircut on the Schmidt pick at 27 could allow Chicago to get aggressive at pick 30 with a prep bat.
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Pick: Nick Allen, ss, Francis Parker School, San Diego |