Mock Drafts are always tricky and this being my first stab at it, I will undoubtedly get much of this wrong. I am only hoping to get most of the guys that are picked in the first round correct.
With some teams picking for the best possible athlete, some picking for signability, and some picking for specific types of players, i.e. - college, high school, high upside, quickest to MLB, etc... it is almost impossible to get every one correct.
I have commented on some, but not all of the picks. Just the ones that I felt either deserved or needed a comment.
With that said I am sure I will get a lot of flack for some of my picks, but here goes:
- Washington – Steven Strasburg, RHP, San Diego State
Strasburg is the best player available, but I am not sure that the "Natinals" can get him signed after they pick him. They wouldn't budge off $3.65 million for Crow last year even after Crow dropped his asking price by a half million to $4 million. What makes anyone think they are ready to deal with Boras who is reportedly asking $50 million for Stras?
- Seattle – Dustin Ackley, OF, North Carolina
Ackley is the best college hitter hands down. The Mariners have also been scouting Scheppers and Matzek heavily so either may go with the #2 pick. Ackley will not get past #3 if the Mariners pass on him.
- San Diego – Aaron Crow, RHP, Ft. Worth Cats (Independent)
Padres brass Kevin Towers and Grady Fuson have both been at recent starts of Crow's. On a team hurting for pitching help, he would be one pick that could make an impact quickly. If they think they can get him signed, you may see the Padres take the toolsy HS player Donovan Tate at #3. Knowing their history, I wouldn't count on that.
- Pittsburgh – Bobby Borchering, 3B, Bishop Verot HS (FL)
Pittsburgh is an emigma. They are the front runners to sign the best International Free agent this season, but are thought to be targeting Borchering who could fall as far as the middle of the 2nd round if they don't take him here.
- Baltimore – Tanner Scheppers, RHP, St. Paul Saints (Independent)
Scheppers was expected to be a top 10 pick in 2008, but injured his shoulder. He has come back this season for the independent league saints and shown nearly the same velocity as before the injury (sits 94-96), but has struggled with command and his secondary pitches have been no where near the plate. Still, he has upside that will make him a top pick.
- San Francisco – Tyler Matzek, LHP, Capistrano Valley HS (CA)
Matzek is about as polished of a high school pitcher as you are going to find. He throws a mid 90's fastball and 3 secondary pitches all with decent command.
- Atlanta – Zack Wheeler, RHP, East Paulding HS (GA)
Atlanta likes to sign high upside high school players from the southeast and Wheeler sure fits the bill.
- Cincinnati – Kyle Gibson, RHP, Missouri
I was not sure where to go here. The Reds have gone several different directions with their picks in recent years, but Gibson would be a safe pick that could make it to the majors quickly.
- Detroit – Jacob Turner, RHP, Westminster Christian Academy (MO)
Detriot has taken high school pitchers in 2 of the last 3 years and one is already pitching n the major leagues. Turner is their type of pick. A kid with great stuff (low to mid 90's fastball, a + curve and a developing change up) and a ton of potential.
- Washington – Rich Poythress, 1B, Georgia
This is 100% a signability pick. After taking Strasburg who will probably not be signed until August 15th if at all, the "Natinals" will need to pick someone here they can sign quick and under slot. Poythress is a hard hitting 1B with a good eye. A "moneyball" type of player.
- Colorado – Alex White, RHP, North Carolina
White has great "stuff" and had largely been thought of as a top 5 pick prior to the 2009 season. He has struggled with command and has not had that bulldog mentality you look for in a number one and has dropped on most boards. Still, he throws mid 90's.
- Kansas City – Grant Green, SS, USC
Green fell off the charts with a slow start with the bat and troubles in the field. A late charge against PAC 10 opponents raised his batting average, but a lack of power and the fielding woes have caused many to start thinking of him as a 2B as a professional.
- Oakland – Rex Brothers, LHP, Lipscomb
At only 6'1" and 205, Brothers is not an imposing figure and his short arm delivery looks like it shouldn't be coming at you as hard as it is, but he sits 94-96 with good control and a plus slider. He should end up a close. Think a taller and much stockier Billy Wagner.
- Texas – Shelby Miller, RHP, Brownwood HS (TX)
- Cleveland – Chad Jenkins, RHP, Kennesaw State
- Arizona – Mike Trout, OF, Millville HS (NJ)
- Arizona – Mike Leake, RHP, Arizona State
- Florida – Chad James, LHP, Yukon HS (OK)
- St. Louis – Mike Minor, LHP, Vanderbilt
- Toronto – Kyle Heckathorn, lhp, Kennesaw State
- Houston - Everett Williams, OF, McCallum HS (TX)
- Minnesota - Matt Hobgood, RHP, Norco HS (CA)
- Chicago (AL) – Donovan Tate, OF, Cartersville HS (GA)
Tate, who has committed to UNC to play both football and baseball may fall out of the 1st round entirely due to difficulty in getting him signed and a high asking price. It is thought he will be asking for a $6 million signing bonus on a ML contract or he will go to school.
- Los Angeles (AL) – Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Santa Monica HS (CA)
- Los Angeles (AL) – Max Stassi, C, Yuba City HS (CA)
- Milwaukee – Drew Storen, RHP, Stanford
- Seattle – AJ Pollock, OF, Notre Dame
- Boston – Matt Purke, LHP, Klein HS (TX)
- New York (AL) - , C, Boston College
- Tampa Bay – Wil Myers, C, Wesleyan Christian Academy (NC)
- Chicago (NL) – Eric Arnett, RHP, Indiana
- Colorado – Tim Wheeler, OF, Sacramento State
Jiovanni Mier, SS, Bonita HS (CA)
Mychal Givens, SS/RHP, Plant High School (FL)
Billy Bullock, RHP, Florida
Brett Jackson, OF, Cal
Tommy Joseph, C, Horizon HS (AZ)
James Paxton LHP Kentucky
Andrew Oliver LHP Oklahoma State
Jared Mitchell, OF, LSU Reymond Fuentes, OF, Callego HS (PR)
San Diego Padres at #3 Overall
The Padres could go with any of 5 or 6 players at the #3 slot.
I would be happy with Crow, Matzek, Tate, Ackley if he is available, Turner, and even Rex Brothers (how many lefties can hit 96 with control?)
If the Padres take Minor I would be extremely disappointed. Minor is a good pitching prospect and could reach the majors quickly, but he is not projected as a top of the order starter. He is a #3 at best and more likely a #4-#5 type starter. The Padres already have entirely too many of this type of pitcher in their organization.
A pick like this at #3 would show that the Padres are only picking for signability and not to take the best possible athlete.
If the Mariners take Ackley I believe it is highly likely the Padres will take Crow witht he #3. The FO brass have all been to see him pitch this season and he is a Padres type pick. In other words a college player.
If the Mariners don't take Ackley, the Padres will undoubtedly jump on the chance to have the best college hitter in the draft this year.
I have had my say. Now what do you think?
(Note: Kyle Gibson has a stress fracture in his throwing arm and will miss 6 weeks. Due to the injury Gibson may drop pretty far in the draft. I now see him going towards the end of the 1st round or during the supplemental round.
James Paxton will likely see his way into the 1st round now.)