Final Mock Draft
Here is my final mock draft. Aside from the first three picks (and even the exact order of picks 2 and 3 is uncertain), no one seems to know exactly what is going to happen on Monday. Sources I've contacted are either tight-lipped about their plans, very vague, or in the "we don't know yet either" category.
Over the weekend, clubs will their final efforts to assess signability, another factor which will move players up and down boards. Basically everything is in flux and surprises should be expected, even in the first half of the round.
Enjoy this list, but take it seriously only at your own peril.
1) Nationals: Bryce Harper, C, College of Southern Nevada: This is the only pick in the entire draft that is set in stone.
2) Pirates: Manny Machado, SS, Brito Private HS, Miami, Florida: Based on current info, it will either be Machado or Taillon in this slot but no one seems to know which one. Either way Pirates fans should be pleased.
3) Orioles: Jameson Taillon, RHP, The Woodlands HS, Texas: Most expect the Orioles to pick whoever the Pirates pass up. I don't expect a pre-arranged surprise like Hobgood last year, but you never know.
4) Royals: Drew Pomeranz, LHP, University of Mississippi: Royals are tight-lipped, but Pomeranz would provide an advanced arm to a pitching-oriented farm system.
5) Indians: Chris Sale,LHP, Florida Gulf Coast University: This is one projected pick that's been consistent.
6) Diamondbacks: Deck McGuire, RHP, Georgia Tech: This is where the chaos begins. Most people think the Dbacks will pick a college guy, but do they go with an arm or a bat? There is no clear separation between the available players. McGuire or Wimmers seem logical, but Cox and Grandal also seem like possibilities. I will go with McGuire. Arizona drafted a lot of hitting last year and could use some arms.
7) Mets: Christian Colon, SS, Cal State Fullerton: The Mets usually don't take huge gambles in the draft, and Colon is one of the safer picks available.
8) Astros: Zach Cox, 3B, University of Arkansas: Another pick in flux according to everything I have heard, but most scouts love Cox and he shouldn't fall much farther than this.
9) Padres: Michael Choice, OF, University of Texas-Arlington: His tools are underrated, and while there are doubts about exactly how the bat will play, the Padres have a recent history of drafting players with good plate discipline from the college ranks.
10) Athletics: Karsten Whitson, RHP, Chipley HS, Florida: I still love his combination of stuff and command, and he seems a logical pick here, striking me as a high school arm with the talents to interest Oakland.
11) Blue Jays: Alex Wimmers, RHP, Ohio State University: Another hard-to-pin down team, there are completely contradictory rumors about what direction the Jays will go and at this point it is anyone's guess. I suspect that with multiple picks they will have to pay attention to signability and affordability more than they may say publically. Wimmers has a fine combination of stuff and command and won't need much minor league time.
12) Reds: Yamani Grandal, C, University of Miami: With home-state Wimmers off the board, Grandal seems a logical choice to me.
13) White Sox: Brett Eibner, RHP-OF, University of Arkansas: Chicago is usually college-oriented in the early rounds, but they also love tools, athleticism, and arm strength. Eibner has those in droves. His two-way status is also intriguing for a team willing to consider conversions.
14) Brewers: Asher Wojciechowski, RHP, The Citadel: Milwaukee needs power arms, and they could use a guy who projects to reach the majors fairly quickly. Wojciechowski fits the bill.
15) Rangers: Brandon Workman, RHP, University of Texas: This pick is unprotected, so a college guy with a home-state connection seems like a good choice to me, especially one whose stock has risen a bit.
16) Cubs: Justin O'Conner, C-SS, Cowan HS, Muncie, Indiana: Late buzz has O'Conner's stock rising quickly. His athleticism seems like it should appeal to the Cubs.
17) Rays: Stetson Allie, RHP, St. Edward HS, Olmstead Falls, Ohio: Would fit Tampa's pitching development program perfectly.
18) Angels: Dylan Covey, RHP, Maranatha HS, California: His stock has dropped after a rough late season patch, but he fits in with previous Angels drafting patterns and is a home-state kid.
19) Astros: Josh Sale, OF, Bishop Blanchet HS, Seattle, Washington: Would pair nicely with Cox to provide the core of a future Houston lineup.
20) Red Sox: Matt Harvey, RHP, University of North Carolina: The Red Sox have been linked with numerous players, including Anthony Ranaudo, Austin Wilson, Kaleb Cowart, and Nick Castellanos. But Harvey's arm is outstanding, he's been much better than Ranaudo this year, and he went to high school in Connecticut. The Red Sox also drafted an erratic Tar Heel with a great arm before (Daniel Bard) with good results.
21) Twins: Seth Blair, RHP, Arizona State University: The Twins often march to their own drummer, and this pick is hard to nail down even on speculation. Persistent rumors link the Twins with college pitching. Blair fits the Minnesota profile.
22) Rangers: Gary Brown, OF, Cal State Fullerton: A somewhat budget-oriented pick for the cash-strapped Rangers, but the Rangers weren't afraid of a similar toolsy player with questionable plate discipline back in 2007 (Julio Borbon).
23) Marlins: Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Barstow HS, California: A raw projectable arm that seems a logical fit with the tool-oriented Marlins.
24) Giants: Bryce Brentz, OF, Middle Tennessee State University: The Giants need power but also like tools; Brentz would certainly be a logical pick here.
25) Cardinals: Kolbrin Vitek, INF-OF, Ball State University: Someone always falls, and while Vitek has been mentioned as a top ten candidate, in this version of the multiverse he's the one who slips.
26) Rockies: Kevin Gausman, RHP, Grandview HS, Aurora, Colorado: His stock dropped earlier this year but I still see him as someone very likely to interest his homestate team.
27) Phillies: Jesse Biddle, LHP, Germantown Friends HS, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: If anyone can get Biddle to forgo the University of Oregon, it would be the Phillies. His ceiling is quite high, he's local, and he fits their development philosophy well.
28) Dodgers: Peter Tago, RHP, Dana Hills HS, Laguna Beach, California: Tago is making a late run up draft boards and has the kind of high school pitcher package that could intrigue the Dodgers.
29) Angels: Kyle Parker, OF, Clemson: Toolsy and has power, and you can spread his bonus around over five years since he's a football guy too. Makes sense for a team with multiple picks.
30) Angels: A.J. Cole, RHP, Oviedo HS, Florida: I like Cole a lot, and while he won't be cheap to sign, adding both him and Covey to the system would be a huge coup.
31) Rays: Taijuan Walker, RHP, Yucaipia HS, California: This pick is unprotected and a college guy would fit here, but Walker is superprojectable which should interest the Rays. He's also raw, lacks leverage with no college option, and could be amenable to a pre-draft deal for slot money.
32) Yankees: Nick Castellanos, 3B, Archbishop McCarthy HS, Davie, Florida: His bat would warrant going about 10 slots higher, but he has a high price tag that could scare off other teams. The Yankees seem like a logical fit.
Falling out of the first round: Kaleb Cowart and Austin Wilson due to signability, Anthony Ranaudo due to injury concerns.