It is really early in the year. College Ball is a month or a so away. High school arms are up and throwing and the first triple-digit rumor on Lucas Giolito is already out there. Here is a stab at one way the draft could go down.
I went very, very prep heavy in the 1st round due to talent in high school and lack of talent in the college ranks. Who knows, Hudson Randall, Brady Rodgers, Jake Barrett, Brian Johnson and other more polished college talents could go early instead. With the way the CBA is set up, no one knows yet.
1. Astros ($7.2M) Byron Buxton OF
Under new management, I'm not sure which way the Astros will go, but at this point, Buxton is garnering a lot of attention as the best position player on the prep side. While I'm not completely on his bandwagon yet, I like him here.
2. Twins ($6.2M) Mark Appel P
I am a Twins fan. I like Giolito, Zunino, Marrero and several others here. I don't want Appel as a Twins fan. This means they will take Appel. I see him as a guy with a lot of potential that won't live up to it. I hope I'm wrong, but I just don't get a good feeling.
3. Mariners ($5.2M) Lucas Giolito P
The Mariners play in a good park for pitchers. The fact they seem to be avoiding power hitters and instead of keeping marginal pitchers like Doug Fister play up, they are taking dominant pitchers who will be even more dominant in their park. Giolito and his King Felix like Curve will fit well in Safeco.
4. Orioles ($4.2M) Kevin Gausman P
Gausman is a potentially dominant college arm. Add that to the pile of arms in Baltimore and a few of them have to work out. I like him better than fellow LSU standout in the AL East, Anthony Ranaudo.
5. Royals ($3.5M) Deven Marrero SS
The Royals have a ton of young talent, but none of them are a true short stop. Colon fits better at 2B and would be a heck of a double play partner for him.
6. Cubs ($3.2M) Carlos Correa SS
Correa is a big SS that looks more like a future 3B. He is a great hitter with more room to grow. He seems like an Epstein regime type of pick.
7. Padres ($3.0M) Michael Zunino C
Zunino would line up behind newly acquired Grandal and have a little south Florida catching competition as Grandal was a Miami guy. They both have a ton of potential but you can never have too many catchers.
8. Pirates ($2.9M) Walker Weickel P
The Pirates have typically been loading up on pitching early and taking hitters later. Weickel is a power arm that is polished for high school pitcher and would add another piece to the Pirates depth chart.
9. Marlins ($2.8M) Trey Williams 3B
You can see that Williams is beyond his years on the field. He is a very good 3B and can just hit. He has huge power projection and should hit for average as well.
10. Rockies ($2.7M) Max Fried P
Fried is a 3 pitch lefty with a plus curveball. With a knockout curveball and control, he could add..know that I think of it, would they draft another lefty after Matzek…sure.
11. Athletics Lance McCullers P
Sonny Gray, Jarrod Parker. Beane's new market inefficiency is short righties with a plus fastball and breaking ball.
12. Mets CJ Hinojosa SS
After deciding not to go to Texas, Hinojosa will be eligible for the draft. The Mets are kind of starting over and building up the middle with Nimmo last season and Hinojosa would be another block in their foundation.
13. White Sox Duane Underwood P
White Sox….ugh. Role a dice. I actually like two of the arms they got this offseason with Molina from the Blue Jays and Hernandez from the Padres. Maybe they will take someone that I like in Underwood.
14. Reds Matthew Smoral P
I don't know why but I like Smoral to the Reds. He is a huge lefty with huge potential.
15. Indians Michael Wacha P
Wacha is a solid back of the rotation starter and since the Indians traded off Gardner and White earlier this year, he will help replenish that lack of depth.
16. Nationals Courtney Hawkins OF
With Harper in one corner for a while and Werth likely in the other. Hawkins could fill the gap in center. He will need time, but he is a solid defender and he can hit.
17. Blue Jays David Dahl OF
Dahl is a potentially premiuim CF and he can hit. The Jays keep grabbing big time athletes and high upside talents. Could you imagine an OF of Gose, Marisnick and Dahl. That would be fun to watch.
18. Dodgers Joey Gallo 3B
Gallo can hit the ball a mile and the Dodgers need some bats. Gallo is likely a 1B in time, but he can really hit. He can also throw in the mid-90's on occasion, who knows, maybe someone will like him better as a pitcher.
19. Cardinals (from Angels for Albert Pujols) Kenny Diekroeger SS
Diekroger is a top of the draft college SS. That always translates to MLB success. St. Louis always gets more out of their players than they should. Diekroger needs that push.
20. Giants Jesse Winker OF
Winker is a big bat in RF. He is like a lite version of Larry Walker. That would fit in SF, even if his power wouldn't fit the park that well.
21. Braves Mitchell Traver P
Traver is an overlooked power righty that looks like he could throw a ball through a wall. He would add to the stockpile of pitchers in ATL.
22. Blue Jays (for unsigned 2011 first-round pick Tyler Beede) Lewis Brinson OF
Read the Dahl comment above and read Brinson instead of Dahl.
23. Cardinals Gavin Cecchini SS
Cecchini is the back up if Diekroeger doesn't work out.
24. Red Sox Victor Roache OF
A power hitting OF that could be a star in LF. That's what it takes to crack the lineup in Boston, so that's a good enough reason.
25. Rays Rio Ruiz 3B
Ruiz knows how to play baseball. He is an excellent hitter and knows what he's doing. I don't care if Longoria is in front of him, it'll work out.
26. Diamondbacks Stryker Trahan C
I don't think Trahan will slip to here. He is a 5 tool catcher. He could be in the top 10 with a good spring. I just couldn't decide where to put him.
27. Tigers Nick Williams OF
High upside athlete that could take some time to work out the kinks, but the Tigers like high ceiling talent and he is that. The Griffey comparisions need to go away, they just don't fit.
28. Brewers Rhett Wiseman OF
Another 5 tool OF. This class is loaded with OF talent and the Brewers could use a big potential hitter to knock Scooter off as their best hitting prospect.
29. Rangers Albert Almora OF
Good bloodlines, great baseball ability and a very good all around game make him a good fit in the back of the 1st round.
30. Yankees Clate Schmidt P
Clate looks like a potential #2 starter. I really think he could be an asset in the Yankee Stadium.
31. Red Sox (from Phillies for Jonathan Papelbon) Anthony Alford, OF
A power hitting OF that could be a star in LF, part II. That's what it takes to crack the lineup in Boston, so that's a good enough reason.