Revised Final Mock Draft Update
The Mock First Round I posted on Thursday is already obsolete with recent developments. Things remain in flux and rumors abound. Here is my "another final take" on things. Keep in mind that this list could still become outdated very quickly, and it is best to stay abreast of current rumors.
This will probably look stupid in seven hours, but here goes.
1) Nationals: Bryce Harper, C, College of Southern Nevada: No change.
2) Pirates: Jameson Taillon, RHP, The Woodlands HS, Texas: Best information is that the Pirates are leaning Taillon over Machado.
3) Orioles: Manny Machado, SS, Brito Private HS, Miami: If the Pirates go with Machado after all, put Taillon here.
4) Royals: Yasmani Grandal, C, University of Miami: The pre-negotiated deal with Yasmani Grandal appears to be off, and there are now counter-rumors that the Royals could go with a cheaper college pitcher like Chris Sale, Drew Pomeranz, Asher Wojchiechowski, or Alex Wimmers. Another rumor has them looking at college bats who would sign for slot (Choice? Brentz?) Despite the current uncertainty, I still think Grandal makes a lot of sense here.
5) Indians: Drew Pomeranz, LHP, University of Mississippi: Grandal going to the Royals knocks Pomeranz down a notch. For weeks the Indians have been linked with Chris Sale. Some sources believe they will switch to Pomeranz, others believe they will stick with Sale, or maybe even switch to a hitter. I'll go with the Pomeranz rumors since I prefer him personally. Late rumors have Grandal going here if negotiations with the Royals break down. If that happens, cascade effects down the draft will be huge.
6) Diamondbacks: Chris Sale, LHP, Florida Gulf Coast University: Consensus indicates that Arizona will go with whichever lefty the Indians don't pick, though there is at least an outside chance that Deck McGuire, Matt Harvey, or some other polished college arm (Wimmers? Loux?) could jump up here.
7) Mets: Justin O'Conner, C, Cowan HS, Muncie, Indiana: The Mets were linked with conservative college choices for weeks, but latest rumors have Justin O'Conner leaping up the draft board, assuming he's willing to sign for slot money. These rumors are strong and persistent. Zach Cox, the other main candidate, is putting out "I want an above-slot bonus" vibes.
8) Astros: Josh Sale, OF, Bishop Blanchett HS, Seattle, Washington: Zach Cox rumors have died off in favor of Sale, who has a terrific bat and should be signable in this slot.
9) Padres: Michael Choice, OF, UT-Arlington: The Padres are supposedly trying to decide between Choice and Vitek. Personally I prefer Choice, so I will go with him. This is the first spot where Karsten Whitson could appear.
10) Athletics: Christian Colon, SS, Cal State Fullerton: The thought that they might flirt with a high school pitcher was apparently misplaced, and Oakland is focused on hitting. Choice and O'Conner both seem logical but are off the board in this scenario. Cox or Colon would be next best, with Colon probably the better bet.
11) Blue Jays: Delino DeShields, OF, Woodward Academy, Georgia. Rumors persist that the Jays want Austin Wilson, but assessments of his signability remain unclear. Karsten Whitson and Delino DeShields are other possible choices, though if prices prove too high, an affordable backup such as a college pitcher could come into play.
12) Reds: Alex Wimmers, RHP, Ohio State University: he's local, he's polished, he's affordable. The pick makes too much sense. I like Wimmers a lot and I think people undersell his ceiling.
13) White Sox: Brandon Workman, RHP, University of Texas: I had Brett Eibner here last time and I still think that makes a lot of sense theoretically, but the White Sox are reportedly closer to wanting Wimmers, Workman, or Barret Loux.
14) Brewers: Jesse Biddle, LHP, Germantown Friends HS, Philadelphia: The choice is supposedly between Biddle or a college pitcher like Deck McGuire, Woj, or Matt Harvey. I like the Biddle rumor myself; I love it when guys get into the first round who weren't mentioned that way until just before the draft.
15) Rangers: Kolbrin Vitek, INF, Ball State University. With home-state guys Choice and Workman off the board in this scenario, and with this pick unprotected, it is hard to get a reading on exactly who the Rangers will go with. High school outfielder Jake Skole is being mentioned as a possibility, but I think Vitek is more logical considering the circumstances.
16) Cubs: Deck McGuire, RHP, Georgia Tech: The Cubs reportedly favor O'Conner, Wimmers, and Vitek, but all are gone under this scenario. Who the fallback would be is unclear. The Cubs occasionally pull a surprise in the first round, but have favored college guys in recent drafts. Deck McGuire and Brett Eibner seem like logical choices to me.
17) Rays: Jake Skole, OF, Blessed Trinity HS, Woodstock, Georgia: Skole has been shooting up draft boards, and the Rays reportedly have a strong interest. Other high school bat options would include outfielder Reggie Golden and shortstop Jacoby Jones. Don't forget that Karsten Whitson and Stetson Allie are still on the board.
18) Angels: Stetson Allie, RHP, St. Edward HS, Olmstead Falls, Ohio: The Angels are said to be interested in high school pitching. My bet is that the southern California arms (Covey, Tago, etc.) will still be there at the bottom of the first round, and that Allie's raw potential is simply too good to pass up.
19) Astros: Reggie Golden, OF, Watumpka HS, Alabama: Golden is a tools hound whose stock is rising, and the Astros reportedly have a strong interest.
20) Red Sox: Zach Cox, 3B, University of Arkansas: He's still on the board for financial reasons in this scenario, but would be hard for the Red Sox to pass up. Matt Harvey remains another option.
21) Twins: Asher Wojciechowski, RHP, The Citadel: College pitchers consistently linked to the Twins such as Wimmers and Workman are off the board at this point. If they stick with past trends, they could go with another near-ready college arm like Woj or Seth Blair. They could do the "Gibson Gamble" and pick Anthony Ranaudo. Or they could go the "Ben Revere" route and pull a surprise player from the high school ranks like Drew Vettleson or even Matt Lipka. It's anyone's guess, so I will take the highest-ranked arm.
22) Rangers: Barret Loux, RHP, Texas A&M: Loux's stock is rising and he's being mentioned as a first round guy now. He should be affordable and has a home-state connection.
23) Marlins: Karsten Whitson, RHP, Chipley HS, Florida: I can't see how Whitson could fall lower than this, and he fits well with the Marlins general development philosophy.
24) Giants: Bryce Brentz, OF, Middle Tennessee State University: Makes a lot of sense for the offense-hungry Giants. If they want to spend over-slot money, Nick Castellanos could go here.
25) Cardinals: A.J. Cole, RHP, Oviedo HS, Florida: The Cardinals got lucky when Shelby Miller dropped last year, and odds are that at least one of the high-profile high school arms will slide again this year. Matt Harvey is still here.
26) Rockies: Kyle Parker, OF, Clemson: The Rockies have a long -standing interest in home-state prep Kevin Gausman, but he would probably still be there in the supplemental round. Kyle Parker is also rumored, but could be more likely to be gone by the time they pick again.
27) Phillies: Christian Yelich, 1B, Westlake HS, Westlake Village, California: I had Jesse Biddle here last time, but there's a good chance he'll be gone by this point. Christian Yelich rumors are strong, but they could also look at stereotypical high school athletes like Kendrick Perkins or Tyrell Jenkins. Gary Brown of Cal State Fullerton would also fit.
28) Dodgers: Tyrell Jenkins, RHP, Henderson HS, Texas: This one still makes sense to me.
29) Angels: Peter Tago, RHP, Dana Hills HS, California: There is a risk he could be gone by this point, but the pick makes sense.
30) Angels: Dylan Covey, RHP, Marantha HS, Sierra Made, California: Allie, Tago, and Covey would be quite a haul.
31) Rays: Brett Eibner, OF-RHP, University of Arkansas: This pick is unprotected so a college guy makes the best sense, and Eibner's two-way abilities stand out.
32) Yankees: Jedd Gyorko, INF, West Virginia: The Yankees could use a bat that should be ready for the major leagues quickly, while continuing to invest money in Latin America for big-ticket players. Nick Castellanos is a possibility if they want to spend more money, and there's a chance that a different high school guy like Drew Vettleson, Tony Wolters, or Kendrick Perkins could pop up. If they want a pitcher, Matt Harvey's upside remains high.