The MLB Draft is fastly approaching. I figured I'd make a mock draft to show everyone how I see this one turning out. These are my choices if I was the GM or scouting director of each team which means this mock may or may not be truly realistic. Without inside knowledge I won't have access to signing bonus demands which may hurt this exercise. However I will do my best with the information I have. This is my first time doing a mock draft so try to be friendly with your critiques. Here we go:
1. Astros- Mike Zunino, C, Florida- In my opinion he's the most sure thing in the draft. He has a plus bat and scouts just about everywhere believe he has the tools to stay behind the plate. May never be a superstar but multiple all star game appearances are likely.
2. Twins- Kyle Zimmer, RHP, U of San Francisco- Appel is the more likely choice here but I think the Twins should follow the upside which, in my opinion, Zimmer has more of.
3. Mariners- Bryon Buxton, OF, Georgia HS- Buxton is the top prep hitter in this draft. He has plenty of tools and is very athletic. Has the chance to be a star outfielder in the majors.
4. Orioles- Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford- A safe bet to become a solid #3 starter. Most mocks have him going #1 or #2 overall but I think he fits better here.
5. Royals- Lucas Giolito, RHP, California HS- The top prep arm in the draft. He was slotted into the #1 spot for awhile until injuries moved him down. There is a good chance the Royals draft him for his upside but they could also give Gausman a try as well.
6. Cubs- Kevin Gausman, RHP, LSU- He's #3 on my list for college pitchers and that's how he gets drafted here. Has some upside and is a very solid bet to be at least a mid rotation starter.
7. Padres- Courtney Hawkins, OF, Texas HS- Has incredible tools as well as potential. Should be able to stick in center for at least the beginning of his career. There is a good chance that the Padres take Correa here but I think Hawkins is a solid fit as well.
8. Pirates- Carlos Correa, SS, Puerto Rico- By far the best SS prospect in this draft. He may have to move off the position if he grows too much. If he can stick at short he might be the best player in this entire draft.
9. Marlins- Albert Almora, OF, Florida HS- He could very well end up in left but he has the potential for above average power. He's a solid athlete with a plus bat overall.
10. Rockies- David Dahl, OF, Alabama HS- Very solid athlete with a sweet swing. Has pretty good speed so he does have a chance to stick in center. Will have to develop more power if he has to switch to right field.
11. Athletics- Marcus Stroman, RHP, Duke- The only thing more impressive than Stroman's stats at Duke is his overall combination of stuff. He's short at 5'9 which has many people expecting a move to the bullpen. If he can stay in the rotation the A's might have the best college pitcher in the draft.
12. Mets- Gavin Cecchini, SS, Louisiana HS- The Mets can use some help up the middle and Cecchini has the ability to stick at shortstop. His brother Garin was a 4th round draft pick for the Red Sox. If Cecchini sticks at short he has the potential to be an average defender with an above average bat. Not a ton of power but slightly above average for a middle infielder
13. White Sox- Max Fried, LHP, California HS- Fried is advanced for a prep lefty as he has two plus pitches in his fastball and breaking ball. If he improves his command he could be a solid #2 starter.
14. Reds- Michael Wacha, RHP, Texas A&M- Has shown impressive stats in college along with solid control. Delivery is a little funky which might mean an eventual move to the bullpen. If he can stick in the rotation he could be a #3 starter.
15. Indians- Andrew Heaney, LHP, Oklahoma State- One of the more polished arms in the draft, Heaney won't need a lot of time in the minors. His ceiling is a #3 starter but he will most likely be a #4.
16. Nationals- Joey Gallo, 3B/1B, Nevada HS- One of the top power bats in the draft, Gallo will most likely end up at first base. Might have some trouble making contact in the pros. Probably a more impressive pitcher than hitter but he has made it clear he wants to be a position player.
17. Blue Jays- Deven Marrero, SS, Arizona State- He was a top 10 talent before the season started but a weak showing of the bat has hurt his draft stock. Some scouts believe the poor offensive performance is overblown and that he has all the tools needed to be at least an average major league shortstop. He's the top defensive shortstop in the draft and if he can hit even a little bit he will move fast through the minors.
18. Dodgers- Nick Williams, OF, Texas HS- This is quite a risky pick and certainly a reach. Williams has the potential to be a superstar outfielder in the majors. He's inconsistent right now but the talent is there.
19. Cardinals- Corey Seager, 3B, North Carolina HS- Brother Kyle is a starting infielder for the Mariners. Seager has a solid bat for a third basemen but may have to move off the position if he grows too much. He would need to be a plus defender in the outfield because his bat would not be able to carry him at a corner spot.
20. Giants- Victor Roache, OF, Georgia Southern- The Giants lack impact power hitters and Roache is one of the top power bats in the college ranks. Had a pretty major wrist injury otherwise he could have been a top 10 pick. Will need to stay healthy and make contact to make it in the majors.
21. Braves- Richie Shaffer, 3B, Clemson- Shaffer could have gone to a handful of teams earlier in this draft. He is a big power bat at the hot corner. If he has to move of third he could run into some trouble because he may swing and miss too much to stick at first or corner outfield.
22. Blue Jays- D.J. Davis, OF, Mississippi HS- He has shot up draft boards as he has shown that he is most likely the fastest player in the draft. If his bat develops and reaches its potential he could be an all star.
23. Cardinals- Chris Stratton, RHP, Mississippi State- The cardinals second pick in the first round, Stratton has the potential to be a #2-#3 starter if everything works out.
24. Red Sox- Nick Travieso, RHP, Flordia HS- His draft stock just keeps on climbing. His fastball velocity has increased and is closing in 100 MPH. His secondary stuff is lagging behind as of now and if he can't figure things out as a starter he could become a dominant closer.
25. Rays- Stryker Trahan, C, Louisiana HS- The top prep catcher in the draft, Trahan has the potential to be a star if he can stick at the plate. He has drawn Wil Myers comparisons mostly because scouts see him as a hit first catcher who will have to move to the outfield. He has the power, speed, and arm to handle right field.
26. Diamondbacks- Stephen Piscotty, 3B, Stanford- His bat is solid for a third baseman but many people believe he will eventually move to the outfield as he gets older in the majors. If that happens he would probably be mediocre.
27. Brewers- Tyler Naquin, OF, Texas A&M- One of the strongest OF arms in the draft. He isn't going to hit many homers but his left handed swing is smooth. He is one of the better pure hitters in the draft but if he has to move off center the lack of power could hurt him.
28. Brewers- Addison Russell, SS, Florida HS- Has a big bat but many people believed he would end up somewhere besides shortstop. He lost weight this season and scouts now think he has a decent chance to stay at short. The Brewers could use up the middle help and after Russell there aren't a ton of impact hitters at the position.
29. Rangers- Lance McCullers, RHP, Florida HS- His stuff is top notch but he doesn't have a ton of projection left. Because of that he may end up as a late inning reliever. Has two potential plus pitches in his fastball and slider, but not much else. If he can develop further he has #2 starter potential.
30. Yankees- J.O. Berrios, RHP, Puerto Rico- Berrios gained some muscle and has seen his fastball velocity increase to 97 MPH. He has a high ceiling and is a premium talent as a high schooler in PR. He is a project and will take some time to reach the majors.
31. Red Sox- Ty Hensley, RHP, Oklahoma HS- A solid two way player though his destiny looks to be on the mound. Hensley is a big bodied starter with a solid fastball and a plus breaker. If everything goes right he could be a frontline starter.
32. Twins- Matthew Smoral, LHP, Ohio HS- Very high ceiling, Smoral has three potential plus pitches. He could be a top of the rotation starter if he can keep his fastball velocity up. The Twins minor league pitching is barren and grabbing a couple of the higher upside pitchers in the draft will help build their system back up.
33. Padres- Zach Eflin, RHP, Florida HS- Eflin was penciled into the middle of the first round until injuries. His fastball ranges from the low to mid 90's and his secondary pitches have plus potential. If he can avoid injury and continue to develop his game his ceiling is a #2 starter.
34. Athletics- Peter O'Brien, C, Florida- The A's have some talent at catcher in the minors but I don't think the A's will pass on his power bat. He is a solid pick here if he can stay behind the plate though some scouts question that. The A's have a handful of early picks and will be able to fill needs elsewhere.
35. Mets- Travis Janikowski, OF, Stony Brook- Janikowski doesn't do anything extremely well but doesn't have many holes in his game either. He has plenty of speed, solid gap power, and he makes decent contact. He needs to be able to stick in centerfield for him to be anything more than a 4th outfielder. The Mets don't have many outfielders in the system that look like starters to me outside of Nimmo. Janikowski won't need too long in the minors and I like his potential to be a starter more than the Mets' other outfield prospects.
36. Cardinals- Nolan Fontana, SS, Florida- Outside of Ryan Jackson the Cardinals don't have too many shortstop options in the minors. Fontana's glove has been better than expected while his bat has been worse. Still he looks like a guy who can hit at the top of the order in the majors while playing solid defense.
37. Red Sox-Barrett Barnes, OF, Texas Tech- Barnes is a speedster out in centerfield and has some solid pop too. He could fit nicely in center for the Red Sox if Ellsbury leaves for free agency. He has a solid all around game.
38. Brewers- Hunter Virant, LHP, California HS- He is going to need a lot of time in the minors but he has a lot of potential. He would be a project for the Brewers but could turn out to be the best lefty starter in their system.
39. Rangers- Walker Weickel, RHP, Florida HS- The Rangers have been able to build a top minor league system by grabbing premium talent. With McCullers in the first and now Weickel the Rangers are grabbing two potential big arms. Weickel has two above average pitches in his fastball and change up. He will need to develop a breaking ball and might need to iron out his mechanics to make it as a starter
40. Phillies- Trey Williams, 3B, California HS- He is inconsistent but he has MLB bloodlines and the tools necessary to be a star. The Phillies are an old team and lack impact position players in the minors. Taking Williams would be a good first step to getting more high end talent into their system.
41. Astros- Chris Beck, RHP, Georgia Southern- The Astros didn't grab a pitcher with their first pick so it makes sense that they would grab one now. Beck might not have top end potential but his average stuff makes him a good bet to be a solid #3 or 4 starter.
42. Twins- Lucas Sims, RHP, Georgia HS- He is inconsistent and would be a project but once again the Twins really need to grab some high upside pitchers. Sims is the third pitcher the Twins have taken and all three (Zimmer, Smoral, Sims) have #2 potential.
43. Cubs- Pierce Johnson, RHP, Missouri State- Johnson needs to stay healthy if he is ever going to reach his potential. He will need some time to develop into a pitcher but has some potential for a college pitcher.
44. Padres- Kevin Brady, RHP, Clemson- His stuff is top notch but he will need to stay healthy. His fastball can get up to 95+and his command is good. Could be a steal for the Padres here.
45. Pirates- Patrick Wisdom, 3B, St. Mary's- In a weak college hitter crop, Wisdom has one of the better bats. He has above average power and is a lock to stick at third base. He won't be a superstar but has a solid chance at being a big league regular. With Correa and now Wisdom the Pirates are trying to get their infield up to speed so it can start to catch up with the pitching and outfield depth.
46. Rockies- Josh Elander, C, TCU- He's athletic and has potential with the bat. Doesn't have home run power but does have solid bat speed. He moves well and has a strong arm but his defense is a work in progress. If he can't stay behind the plate his bat will most likely not carry over to another position. There isn't a lot of catching depth after Rosario for the Rockies which is why Elander makes sense. I could also see them making a play for a first basemen/outfielder here.
47. Athletics- Kenny Diekroeger, SS, Stanford- The A's could use some middle infield help and Diekroeger is one of the last college shortstops that will be taken early. His defensive reviews are mixed but he is athletic and may end up at second. He doesn't have a lot of power but he has quck hands and a good approach.
48. White Sox- Rio Ruiz, 3B, California HS- Ruiz has all the tools necessary to stick at third as well as a good batting stroke with bat speed and loft. He doesn't run well but has a solid arm and good lateral movement. Has had health concerns that will need to be taken care of.
49. Reds- Mitchell Traver, RHP, Texas HS- Traver has solid velocity and good overall stuff. He has been inconsistent and if his draft stock goes lower than this he will probably head to TCU. His ceiling looks to be a #3 starter.
50. Blue Jays- Ty Buttrey, RHP, North Carolina HS- The Jays are stacked with pitching talent which is why they took two positional players in the first round. Buttrey has a real big arm, though he will need to develop his secondary pitches. His ceiling will depend on how they develop but as of now he looks like a #3 starter.
51. Dodgers- Brett Mooneyham, LHP, Stanford- I really like Mooneyham. He has excellent strikeout stuff but he might need more work than the average early round college pitcher. His mechanics aren't great and his command falters because of it. If the Dodgers can iron out his delivery he has mid rotation potential.
52. Cardinals- Dane Phillips, C, Arkansas- Lot of questions surrounding his defense behind the plate though he shows excellent work ethic. His bat has been excellent and has exceeded preseason expectations. Could be an above average catcher if he can improve his defense.
53. Rangers- James Ramsey, OF, Florida State- The Rangers already grabbed two high upside pitchers who may be tough to sign. Here they grab a signability player in FSU senior/captain James Ramsey. He has been described as a tweener because his bat won't play on a corner and he doesn't have great overall tools to stay in center. If he can improve in either category he could be a solid outfielder. If not his leadership ability and work ethic would make him a solid fourth outfielder.
54. Phillies- Clate Schmidt, RHP, Georgia HS- With Philadelphia's second pick they take a high upside starter in Schmidt. His delivery has a lot of effort though he is athletic for a pitcher. He has the potential to have two plus pitches in his fastball and breaking ball.
55. Padres- Adam Brett Walker, 1B/OF, Jacksonville- Eflin and Hawkins will likely cost the Padres big money which helps explain this pick a bit. Walker will be a first baseman in the majors and he has plenty of power to stick there. He has had trouble with swing throughs which could hurt his prospects of playing everyday. Still, the Padres could use some extra power in their system.
56. Cubs- Tanner Rahier, SS, California HS- He's a really good hitter and a great talent. It is doubtful he will stick at shortstop but his bat should be able to play at third base. The Cubs will hope one of Castro, Baez, Rahier can remain at shortstop for the future. If one can stick the Cubs have the potential to have two above average infield prospects at another position.
57. Pirates- Adrian Sampson, RHP, Bellevue JC- Sampson could have gone higher which is why I have Pittsburgh drafting him here. He is one of the best college arms available and makes sense for the Pirates here since they drafted two hitters. He has a very solid fastball/curve combo and has some upside. He has a little risk involved because he has already had one TJ surgery.
58. Reds- Alex Bregman, SS, New Mexico HS- He missed a lot of his senior season becasue of a broken finger which will make him a tough sign. With Phillips getting older Bregman is a candidate to eventually take over the reigns at second base. He has a solid bat with power and is a good defensive second baseman. Lot of skill and upside here if he can figure out a way to stay at shortstop.
59. Cardinals- Jake Barrett, RHP, Arizona State- Only the Padres have as many picks in the first three rounds as the Cardinals. They have already drafter a third baseman, shortstop, right handed starter, and catcher. Here they grab a player in Barrett who looks like an easy sign and someone who can reach the majors rather quickly. He has upper 90's fastball velocity and a plus plus slider. He is a bit wild and he has some elbow problems but is a good fit in the bullpen for the Cardinals who should continue to be competing by the time he makes the majors.
60. Blue Jays- Christian Walker, 1B, South Carolina- The team could use some middle infield depth in the minors but there really aren't any good options at this spot. First base is another area of need and Walker fits in perfectly. He probably won't be a star unless he develops more home run power, but his overall package should allow him to have a lengthy career in the majors.
61. Astros- Shane Watson, RHP, California HS- While Chris Beck was a solid pick for the Astros in the comp round he doesn't have a ton of upside. Watson has exactly what Houston is looking for. He has good velocity that is still climbing higher. His breaking ball looks like a plus pitch as well. With more development Watson has the potential to be a #2 starter.
62. Athletics- Mitch Haniger, OF, Cal Poly- The A's have already added three college players including two position players in O'Brien and Diekroeger. Haniger is one of the best college power bats in the draft and his other tools are at least average. He doesn't look like an all star but has the potential to be a solid regular on a good team.
63. Twins- Martin Agosta, RHP, St. Mary's- In an effort to restock their minor league pitching, the Twins have grabbed four straight starting pitchers. Virant and Sims could command a lot of money so taking a safer pick here in Agosta makes sense. He is a good pitcher with three solid-average pitches. He is a back of the rotation starter most likely but still a welcome addition to the Twins.
64. Mariners- Jesmuel Valentin Diaz, SS, Puerto Rico- The son of Jose Valentin, Jesmuel adds a solid up the middle bat to a Mariners system in desperate need of offense. While Nick Franklin does look like a big league regular I like Valentin's chances of sticking at short better. Not a lot of power, he will need to continue his line drive stroke and hit doubles into the gaps. He's a switch hitter that should make good contat in the majors to go along with average speed.
65. Orioles- Mitch Nay, 3B/1B, Georgia HS- Has one of the top power bats among high school hitters. His most likely defensive home is first base where he will really need to continue developing his all around offensive game. The Orioles are happy grabbing Appel in the first and now they add a potential first baseman of the future; a position the Orioles could really afford to upgrade.
66. Royals- Kevin Plawecki, C, Purdue- Plawecki, like Elander, is going to need to stay behind the plate to be of any value. I think with help in the minors he will develop into an average catcher. This is a need pick here as the Royals don't have a lot of catching depth. With Giolito taken in the first it makes sense to grab someone a little safer here.
67. Cubs- Wyatt Mathiesen, C, Texas HS- A great all around catcher, not many questions about his bat from scouts. He isn't as highly regarded defensively as say Austin Hedges was, but he is still a solid defender. This pick is a need pick but Mathiesen's talent level makes sense here regardless.
68. Padres- Austin Maddox, RHP, Florida- The top two signings of Hawkins and Eflin mean to me that the Padres really need to be careful with their other top picks so they don't go over budget. Maddox could very well end up as a third round pick but there is still potential if he is able to remain a starter. If not Maddox could develop into a very effective closer. He also has some potential as a position player if all else fails.
69. Pirates-Matt Olson, 1B, Georgia HS- Olson has one of the sweeter swings in this draft. He is already relegated to first base but I think he will be a big time hitter. Shouldn't be too hard to sign for the Pirates.
70. Padres- Ron Miller, 3B, California HS- Miller has big time raw power at third base. Excellent bat speed with lift and plenty of carry. He has solid arm strength and though he is a bit thick he has the tools to stay at third. If he gets too thick and has to move to the outfield his power should be able to carry him there. He is a bit of a sleeper and I think his talent level rivals Trey Williams.
71. Mets- Tom Murphy, C, Buffalo- Won't be a top level talent behind the plate but Murphy is one of the better bets to stay behind the plate. His offensive game is solid as he takes walks and has solid extra base power. He does strike out a bit which prevents him being able to reach the level of a catcher like Zunino. The Mets could use catching depth and since Murphy is a solid defender he has great opportunity to become the Mets everyday catcher in the futre.
72. Twins- Carson Kelly, 3B, Oregon HS- The Twins grabbed four straight pitchers to begin the draft and now take thier first position player who, by the way, has some pitching pedigree as well. Kelly has plenty of pop in his bat and the tools needed to stay at third. With a commitment to hitting full time he could see extra development in his offensive game. He is quite raw on both sides of the ball.
73. Rockies- Patrick Light, RHP, Monmouth- Light is a solid pitcher who throws plenty of strikes. He doesn't have top of the rotation stuff but he can be a solid #3 or #4 starter in the majors. The Rockies have some pretty good depth at starting pitcher and Light is a solid guy to add to the mix. There are a lot less question marks with this pick than the Dahl/Elander picks.
74. Athletics- Dylan Baker, RHP, Western Nevada JC- A bit of an unknown coming out of Alaska, Baker has surprised scouts with his performance in the Junior College ranks. He has great stuff including mid 90's fastball velocity. The A's have a good amount of starting pitching especially with their first round choice of Stroman but this pick seemed to fit for some reason. I can see Beane grabbing someone a little unknown that might scare some other teams away. Could be a big sleeper for Oakland.
75. Mets- Mitchell Brown, RHP, Minnesota HS- The Mets take their first pitcher after grabbing Cecchini, Janikowski, and Murphy. Brown is one of the more polished prep pitchers in the draft and already has the groundwork down for four average-to- above average pitches. The Mets have multiple high end pitching prospects in their system but not a ton of depth after that. Brown will help add to that depth.
76. White Sox- Edwin Diaz, RHP, Puerto Rico- In many other drafts Diaz would be talked about a lot more but this season we are seeing a lot of stand out performers in PR including righty starter J.O. Berrios. Diaz has a similar yet lesser package of tools as Berrios including mid 90's heat. This is the third straight high school player the White Sox have taken in an effort to rebuild the farm system with impact players.
77. Phillies- Austin Aune, SS, Texas HS- Aune is an interesting player as he has a solid offensive game and defensive game. He is a solid athlete, batting from the left side. He has a strong TCU commitment, but a fairly high pick from the Phillies may be enough to bring him to the pros. It is a risky pick considering the Phillies have drafted two high schoolers already.
78. Reds- Matt Price, RHP, South Carolina- With two high school draft picks the Reds grab someone a little safer in the 2nd. Price has shown some ability to start but it looks like his future is in the bullpen. He has been a dominant closer and the Reds hope he can move through the minors fast and either be their go to guy in the 9th or a solid set up man.
79. Indians- Brandon Thomas, OF, Georgia Tech- He looks like a future centerfielder as he has a strong arm and is a great athlete. The question lies in his bat as his power is developing and is quite raw. His overall offensive approach could use some work, otherwise he is a 4th outfielder.
80. Nationals- Stefan Sabol, C, Orange Coast JC- His stock has taken a hit but this one time sought after catcher still has the potential to be a big league catcher. His bonus demands won't be high and he will add depth at catcher for the Nationals who only have David Frietas as a potential major leaguer. After record spending over the last few drafts I think the Nationals will be a little more frugal in the draft this year.
81. Blue Jays- Lewis Brinson, OF, Florida HS- The Jays have already drafted Marrero, Davis, Buttrey, and Walker and now add a project in Brinson. He is one of the best athletes in the draft but will take a long time to find and reach his potential. With Gose and Marisnick looking as future starters the Jays have the luxury of being patient with Brinson.
82. Dodgers- Tony Renda, 2B, California- Not a whole lot of talent up the middle in the Dodgers system right now. He is a good pure hitter who makes solid contact and has a consistent approach. His defense has question marks and will require some extra work by Renda for it to be major league average. I can see him being a pesty kind of hitter in the Dodgers lineup for many years.
83. Rangers- Brian Johnson, LHP, Florida- He is a two way player with question marks on both sides of the ball. He doesn't have the overall offensive game to stick at first while it doesn't look like he has the swing and miss stuff needed to survive as a starter. The Rangers have a lot of pitching depth so they can be patient with Johnson and let him pitch full time. Maybe focusing more on pitching will improve his game. The Rangers drafted high upside with their first two picks and have gotten safer with their last two.
84. Giants- Jeff Gelalich, OF, UCLA- The Giants already grabbed Roache in the first and have now added another college power bat in Gelalich. He has had an excellent junior year on both offense and defense. His overall game is very solid and is an excellent value here for the Giants in the second. The Giants have looked to get more athletic on offense in their past drafts but now have focused on infusing some impact power bats into the system.
85. Braves- Matt Koch, RHP, Louisville- I'm not sure if Koch is a starter or a reliever but he is in good hands with the Braves as they are one of the better organizations in terms of developing pitchers. Koch has very good command and his fastball/slider combo should make him an effective reliever at the major league level.
86. Cardinals- Brett Phillips, OF, Florida HS- The Cards have taken a few safe picks in a row but now start to gamble with the drafting of Phillips. Phillips is a solid athlete with a projectable frame. He has the tools to be a solid defensive centerfielder with his bat being a plus. This pick will add some depth to the Cardinals outfield as most of their top prospects are either in the infield or on the mound.
87. Red Sox- J.T. Chargois, RHP, Rice- Chargois' mid 90's fastball and plus curve combo make him a good bet to end up as a late inning reliever. I could see a team giving him a chance at starting which is why I have him going here. The Sox grabbed a couple higher end pitchers in Travieso and Hensley so a safer pick in Chargois makes sense.
88. Rays- Kurt Heyer, RHP, Arizona- The Rays have a ton of pitching depth but they may have to give out a lot of money to Trahan to make him turn pro. Heyer's fastball sits in the low 90's and he has at least two other average offerings. He is a smart pitcher who is a good bet to become a back of the rotation starter.
89. Yankees- Brady Rodgers, RHP, Arizona- Similar to Heyer, Rodgers has three-to-four average pitches that he controls extremely well. Doesn't rack up a lot of strike outs but he has the pitching pedigree to get hitters out. He might not need long in the minors and is a strong candidate to strengthen the back of a weak Yankees rotation.
90. Diamondbacks- Jamies Winston, OF, Alabama HS- After drafting for need in the first round the Dbacks grab a project player in the second with Winston. He will be a tough sign but he is an excellent athlete with five tool potential. He's a two way player with some potential on the mound as well. I have him listed as an outfielder here but he could very well end up on the mound.
91. Tigers- Rhett Wiseman, OF, Massachusetts HS- Signing Prince Fielder does have some negatives as this is the Tigers first pick. The Tigers grab a high talent but hard to sign guy here with their first pick. Wiseman is a great athlete with plus tools. I like his raw power and I think he will end up making enough contact to hit for a decent average.
92. Brewers- Keon Barnum, 1B/OF, Florida HS- I love his power potential and I think if he has to move to first it will be enough for the position. He swings fast and hard and will probably rack up big K totals. I think he might be able to play the outfield a couple years in the majors before moving to first full time.
93. Rangers- Kyle Hansen, RHP, St. John's- 4 of the Rangers first 5 picks have been pitchers with the last two of Johnson, and now Hansen, being college starters. He has shown pretty good control and strike out ability at St. John's though he has been a bit hittable this year. His fastball has been clocked as high as 95 MPH with a power slider/cutter as well. Looks like a #4 starter or reliable late inning reliever
94. Yankees- Avery Romero, SS/3B, Florida HS- Romero has the impact bat necessary to find a spot on the Yankees roster. His defense is a question mark but I think his bat will carry over to third. The second high school pick made by the Yankees so far, Romero is their first offensive player. Hopefully he can take over either shortstop or third base in a few years.
95. Phillies- Eddie Butler, RHP, Radford- With three straight high school picks to start off the draft the Phillies needed to make a signability selection. Butler has put up very solid numbers for Radford in the Big South. He will be cheap but Butler also has a pretty live arm. The Phillies have now drafted Trey Williams, Clate Schmidt, Austin Aune, and Butler.
96. Astros- Sam Selman, LHP, Vanderbilt- This is a risky pick but one I like for the Astros. With Beck and Watson grabbed earlier the Astros gamble a bit more here on Selman. He has been very inconsistent this year but his fastball can go as high as 95 MPH. He has a ton of upside if he can get everything working, and his ceiling is a #2 starter. There is a decent chance he crashes and burns before ever making the majors.
97. Twins- Jesse Winker, OF, California HS- After drafting four straight pitchers the Twins draft two hitters in a row in Kelly and now Winker. Winker has the arm and power to handle right field but it is his contact and pitch recognition abilities that will make or break him. With 5 picks in the first 3 rounds the Twins have taken Zimmer, Smoral, Sims, Kelly, and now Winker.
98. Mariners- Josh Henderson, OF- The Mariners continue drafting guys with high ceilings and Henderson has one of the highest in the entire draft. He is toolsy, raw, and athletic and his bat looks to be pretty good. The Mariners began this draft with Buxton and now they take Henderson in an effort to get more athletic and improve their outfield depth.
99. Orioles- Branden Kline, RHP, Virginia- His two pitch mix of a solid fastball and plus slider have many scouts putting him in the bullpen. I think he can handle starting and end up being a 4th starter in the big leagues. The Orioles have drafted Appel, Nay, and now Kline.
100. Royals- D'Vone McClure, OF, Arizona HS- I love McClure's bat, so much so that I can see him being an above average offensive corner outfielder if he has to move. Lots of tools here and a possible sleeper pick for the Royals here. The Royals finish the first three rounds with Giolito, Plawecki, and now McClure.
101. Cubs- Krey Bratsen, OF, Texas A&M- Possibly the fastest player in the draft, Bratsen is a speedy centerfielder. He looks to be a plus plus defensive centerfielder in the majors. His hit tool is lagging way behind his other tools. He takes a decent amount of walks which will help him become a top of the order hitter. He has very little power and has had some trouble with strikeouts. Still the tools are there for him to be an effective regular and if not he could be an effective defensive/speed replacement. The Cubs used their four picks on Gausman, Pierce Johnson, Rahier, and now Bratsen.
102. Padres- Mac Williamson, OF, Wake Forest- A possible reach here, he only turned to hitting full time recently. His power and pitch recognition ability have grown as a result. He has good instincts in center and covers plenty of ground. If he gets any bigger he may have to move over which could be a problem if he doesn't control his strikeouts. Williamson has upside as he is still growing and improving as a hitter. With 6 picks in the first 3 rounds the Padres added Hawkins, Eflin, Kevin Brady, Brett Walker, Maddox, and now Williamson.
103. Pirates- Skye Bolt, California HS- The Pirates have added players all over the diamond in the 2012 draft. Bolt is a solid 5 tool centerfielder. None of his tools stand out much which have made many scouts label him a tweener. The Pirates had 5 picks in the first 3 rounds and ended up nabbing Correa, Wisdom, Sampson, Olson, and Bolt.
104. Marlins-Austin Fairchild, LHP, Texas HS- The Marlins didn't have a second round pick so this is just their 2nd pick of the draft. They grab a prep pitcher with upside here in Fairchild. Fairchild has a fastball in the low 90's with the potential to add some velocity. Scouts question his awkward delivery but he has shown decent command so far. Might just have #2 starter potential The Marlins make use of their two picks and grab two players with upside in Almora and now Fairchild.
105. Rockies- Matt Reynolds, SS/3B, Arkansas- Many people already have Reynolds penciled in as a third basemen. The Rockies have good depth at both positions with Tulowitzki, Story, and Arenado but I still like Reynolds here. Many people question his bat but if he can keep his pitch recognition at this high level he can make it. He doesn't have the power that most third basemen have but I can see him hitting plenty of doubles. A middle infielder or even third basemen that can get on base, hit doubles, and play passable defense has value. The Rockies finish this draft with Dahl, Elander, Light, and Reynolds.
106. Athletics- Fernando Perez, 3B, Central Arizona JC- The A's take Perez with their sixth pick in the first 3 rounds. I think he is a steal at this position as he is a very solid and slick defender at third and has the power to go along with it. He might not end up lasting this long but there is a chance his play in junior college might not impress some teams as it will the A's. The A's finish their 3 rounds with Stroman, O'Brien, Diekroeger, Haniger, Baker, and Perez.
107. Mets- Nelson Rodriguez, C, New York HS- I realize that I have the Mets taking two catchers but I think Rodriguez ends somewhere else because of his big body. Even so I think he has the big bat necessary to make the move. The Mets were able to grab Cecchini, Janikowski, Murphy, Mitchell Brown, and Rodriguez through the first 3 rounds.
108. White Sox-Hoby Milner, LHP, Texas- He won't ever get confused with a top of the line starter but I really like Milner. Looks like a dependable back of the rotation type of pitcher. His price tag should be quite low which is good for the White Sox since they grabbed three straight prep players in Fried, Ruiz, and Diaz.
109. Reds- Cameron Perkins, 3B, Purdue- I like his power potential a lot and with some work in the minors I think his swing will become fast enough to handle the majors. Anymore growth could see him pushed off third but I see him playing third for at least a few seasons in the majors. While his power will fit at first the rest of his offensive game won't. Before Perkins the Reds picked Wacha, Traver, Bregman, and Matt Price.
110. Indians- Clint Coulter, C, Washington HS- He has a really solid bat for a catcher with plenty of power. There is a chance he could be moved off of catcher, but I like his athleticism enough to give him the benefit of the doubt. Coulter is the best catcher left in this draft and if he can stay their longterm he could be a big steal for the Indians. The Indians also drafted Heaney and Brandon Thomas.
111. Nationals-Lex Rutledge, LHP, Samford- The Nationals have a solid group of pitchers which is why I can see the Nationals giving Rutledge a chance at starter. His overall stuff is excellent and his delivery is pretty clean. He has had problems throwing strikes and if he can't figure it out he will move to the bullpen. Though not tall he has a strong athletic build. Could end up as an inconsistent starter or a power reliever. The Nationals finish the top 3 rounds with Gallo, Sabol, and Rutledge.
112. Blue Jays- Damien Magnifico, RHP, Oklahoma- With three high school players taken the Blue Jays make a money pick here in Magnifico. A reliever, his fastball can consistently reach triple digits. He needs to develop some secondary pitches and improve his command. If he can do that he will be an all star closer in the majors. Another year with extra picks nets the Blue Jays Marrero, D.J. Davis, Buttrey, C. Walker, Brinson, and Magnifico.
113. Dodgers- Kayden Porter, RHP, Utah HS- Outside of their first round pick this Dodgers draft has lacked some upside. Porter will help make up for that with his strong build and power arm. He still has a lot of work to do with his overall pitching game as well as developing his secondary pitches. He will be a project for the Dodgers with a fairly high ceiling.
114. Angels- Cody Poteet, RHP, California HS- A free agent spending spree meant the Angels lost their top two picks in this draft. They try to make up for it here by drafting for upside with Poteet. His delivery has turned a lot of people off but he has plus velocity and one of the better breaking balls in the prep ranks. Poteet is a solid athlete with the potential to improve his delivery and control.
115. Giants- Chase DeJong, RHP, California HS- Dick Tidrow and company have had a lot of success at grabbing prep pitchers in the early rounds. After taking two power bats in Roache and Gelalich the Giants have found their project pitcher in DeJong. He is a power arm that can hit 94 MPH and he might have more in him. He could use some work on his delivery, but what better oganization than the Giants to help guide a young pitcher towards success? This is a guess pick really. I have a feeling the Giants have a pitcher in mind that they really want. Maybe DeJong is it, maybe not. He's good value here.
116. Braves- Derick Velazquez, Merced JC- Velazquez is a fair draft eligible freshman who, when not pitching, is a solid offensive shortstop. He has seen increased velocity and with his skinny frame there is potential for more. His fastball touches the mid 90's now which he compliments with a plus curveball. This is a big sleeper pick here for me and maybe someone the Braves have their eyes on. Velazquez has some projection left and a pretty high ceiling. He is the Braves third pick with the other two being Shaffer and Koch.
117. Cardinals- Sam Stafford, LHP, Texas- Stafford turned down a very generous offer last year from the Yankees to return to college. Looks like he lost quite a bit of money with that decision. I think there is still some upside here and his floor is fairly high. He needs to throw more strikes to stick in the rotation. With 7 picks in the first 3 rounds the Cardinals selected Seager, Stratton, Fontana, D. Phillips, Barrett, B. Phillips, and Stafford.
118. Red Sox- Max Foody, LHP, Florida HS-Foody is a very solid athlete who could try to make it as an outfielder if he wasn't so good at pitching. He has the potential for three average or better pitches. His fastball sits in the low 90's. Has upside but will need a lot of work. The Red Sox also drafted Travieso, Hensley, Barnes, and Chargois. It may be tough for the Red Sox to sign everybody here.
119. Rays- D.J. Hicks, 1B, UCF- Hicks is someone I really like. He has plus power and a patient approach at the plate. He will need to cut down on the strikeouts to make it as a regular. He has shown that he can hit for power with wood bats in the CCL which gives him a bump in the rankings. The Rays first three rounds look like this Trahan, Heyer, Hicks.
120. Diamondbacks- C.J. Hinojosa, SS, Texas HS- This will be a really tough sign. I considered changing this pick but, perhaps foolishly, I let it be. He has a strong Texas commitment and along with a shoulder injury its very probably he doesn't sign. The skills are there though and if the Diamonbacks can find a way to sign him he would be a steal here. The Diamonbacks other two picks were Piscotty and Winston.
121. Tigers- Nolan Sanburn, RHP, Arkansas- The Tigers drafted for upside with the Rhett Wiseman pick, here they play it safer. Sanburn is a right handed reliever with a fastball that can go as high as 98 MPH. His second weapon is a hard slider that has the potential to be a plus pitch. If he can add a change up along with some improved control he could make it as a starter. With the Tigers competing now he may get rushed to the majors as a high leverage reliever.
122. Brewers- D.J. Baxendale, RHP, Arkansas- Baxendale isn't flashy but he is quite polished. His fastball sits in the low 90's while his slider is an above average pitch. The Brewers grabbed three straight high schoolers so grabbing a safer pick in Baxendale makes sense. The Brewers used their 5 picks on Naquin, A. Russell, Virant, Barnum, and Baxendale.
123. Rangers- Andrew Pullin, OF, Washington HS- The Rangers went the safe route with their previous 3 picks but now decide to gamble a little more on Pullin. Pullin is a strong athlete with a lot of tools. His bat looks to be a plus in center and can be at least average at a corner. The Rangers may have trouble signing all of their 6 picks in the first 3 rounds. They ended up choosing McCullers, Weickel, Ramsey, B. Johnson, Hansen, and Pullin.
124. Yankees- Fernelys Sanchez, OF, New York HS- A local product with a ton of potential. He is one of the best athletes in this draft and has top line speed. He will need to do more with the bat to be a big league regular. He's a big time upside pick to go along with the Yankees other choices Berrios, Rodgers, A. Romero, F. Sanchez.
125. Phillies- Preston Tucker, OF/1B, Florida- Because of three tough signs to start off the draft the Phillies have needed to be safer with their last two. Tucker has really mashed in the minors showing power and patience. A lot of scouts question whether or not he will be able to do it in the majors as well as his ability to stay in the outfield. If he can't handle the outfield full time he will either be a bench bat/spot starter or a career minor leaguer. The Phillies picks in the top 3 rounds are as follows T. Williams, Schmidt, Aune, E. Butler, Tucker