FanPost

Bal's Mock Draft

Here is my first 10 for the mock with write ups. You can check out the rest of the firt round here. http://minorleagueradar.blogspot.com/2013/05/2013-early-may-mock.html 1. Houston Astros The Astros shocked the industry last June when they bypassed Appel in favor of Carlos Correa- so even with the first overall pick there is no telling what they will do this time around. With the three million dollar bonus they saved on Correa they were able to pan their pool money out and secure elite talents like Rio Ruiz, Nolan Fontana, and Lance McCullers. This strategy worked very well so I don't see why they wouldn't try it again. The Astros shortlist probably looks something like Appel, Gray, Bryant, Frazier, and maybe even Kohl Stewart. But unless Jeff Lunhow decided to go way off the board the ultimate decision should come down to Gray or Appel. Early rumors are indicating that the Astros will go with Gray who might not command the full seven million dollar bonus allotted with pick 1-1. For me, Gray is also the best player in this draft as his fastball grades out as a 75 and his slider as a 70, whereas I see Appel as having a 70 fastball and a 60 slider. There is a chance that they could get really wacky and turn to Kohl Stewart, the top high school pitcher in this class and a Houston native. However since a high school righty has never been taken first overall in the history of the draft, I don't see this a very likely. Plus, this isn't exactly the time for the Astros to get cute.2. Chicago Cubs Chicago has by far the easiest choice in this draft. It pretty much comes down to whoever Houston doesn't take between Gray and Appel. Either would be great for Chicago, but Appel would be a match made for heaven. The Cubs minor league system is oozing with bats, but still remains light on impact arms. Appel has been dominant in his senior campaign at Stanford. He also always had the stuff to be an ace, but now he is harnessing it better than ever. His demeanor on the mound looks better than ever too. This will work great for both sides. Theo will get an arm to build his dynasty around, and Boras will get the money that the Bucs wouldn't pony up for Appel last summer. There is even talk that the Cubs would be willing to strike a pre-draft deal with Appel and offer him over slot, forcing the Astros hand to take Gray.3. Colorado Rockies This is a big pick. It is probably the linchpin of the whole first round. There are so many directions that Colorado could go, but I think they will turn to Kris Bryant out of San Diego. He has clearly established himself as the best hitter in this draft. He is well on his way to earning the Golden Spikes Award and has posted a slash-line of .338/.496/.876 while leading the county with 30 home runs. Bryant is simply a big kid with big time power. What he might do playing half his games at Coors Field is pretty scary. However where he will end up defensively is still up in the air at this point, no pun intended. He plays third presently, and has made some strides this season, but there is at least a 50 percent chance that he might have to move to first base or possibly even right field down the road. But with top of shelf power, that gets an 80 grade from some scouts, it really doesn't matter where he plays in the field. 4. Minnesota Twins The idea of Austin Meadows or Clint Frazier paired with Byron Buxton in a Twins outfield is something for Twinkie fans to dream about. While this idea is tantalizing, the Twins are in desperate need of pitching. I have a feeling that it will come down to Braden Shipley, Sean Manaea, and Kohl Stewart. The industry consensus is that Stewart is the premiere prep arm in this class. . Stewart is extremely athletic and has a very projectable body. He is also a force on the gridiron and committed to play quarterback at Texas A & M, but with Mr. Heisman blocking his way, I think there is a pretty good chance he never steps foot on campus. Stewart’s arsenal features a fastball that he can notch up to 96 and a plus slider with excellent bite. He did not throw his changeup regularly in high school and it shows, it is presently a bad offering. Despite lacking a third pitch, Stewart is still a bonafide first round talent. 5. Cleveland Indians If Bryant falls here Cleveland would swoop in and take him in a heartbeat. If not they might go after Braden Shipley. He is not as sexy of a pick compared to Meadows or Frazier, but he still has plenty good value. He has surpassed Manaea as the the third best college pitcher on a lot of teams boards. Shipley has an impressive three pitch arsenal that includes a fastball, change up, and curve. His fastball sits between 92-94 and he has bumped 97 this year, but his change up is an easy plus pitch and one of the best in this class. Shipley is a converted shortstop and his athleticism helps him out on the mound. But his lack of experience also shows sometimes. Colin Moran will also be considered here.6. Miami Marlins It is important that the Marlins make a statement in this draft, they need to give their fans some hope. They could go the high school route and take either Stewart, Meadows, or Frazier, but I think that will go with Colin Moran if Cleveland or Colorado doesn't snatch him up first. Moran might just be the best pure hitter in the draft and has a long track-record of performing. He has racked since arriving on campus in 2011, but this year has been by far his best. Moran is currently hitting at a .366 clip and showing more pop than ever by connecting for 13 homeruns through his first 54 games. Moran's bat is so good that he is a near lock to be drafted in the top 10, a team that likes his chances to stick at the hot corner might pop him in the top five even. I foresee him moving to first however. His arm is strong and he fields what is hit at him pretty well, but his feet are glacier slow. I don't think he has the mobility to stick.7. Boston Red Sox I can't believe that Frazier and Meadows are still on the board at this point, they ranked second and fifth on my board, respectively. However, with the way things are lining up I think there is least an even chance that both of them are still here. The Red Sox aren't used to picking this high and the last time they had a pick in the top ten they went with Trot Nixon. This time around, I think they will go with Clint Frazier, another dirt dog. Frazier is an electric player, a mix of tools and grit rolled into one. With his red hair and high intensity, it looks like he is literally playing with his hair on fire. Most scouts swear that Frazier has the best bat speed they have ever seen. His hands and massive forearms give him pretty big power potential, although it seems like he is already taping into it as he has been basically homering in every game he has played. Frazier has pretty good speed, but he does not have as good of a chance to stick in center as his cross-town rival Austin Meadows. Ultimately I see him sliding over to right where his arm should be plenty good enough. The Sox have connections here too, as their scout Tim Hayers was Frazier's neighbor growing up. If Frazier is not here, they will hopthat either Shipley or Moran falls to them. 8. Kansas City Royals Kansas City would also like a starting pitcher, and might be the kind of club that would take a chance on Sean Manaea, a guy who entered the year as a potential 1-1 candidate. He has been solid this year, throwing between 90-94 with good fastball life from the left side, but he was not the same guy who took the Cape by storm last summer. He has also been dealing with a hip and foot injury, so that might have led to the decreased velocity. Manaea touched 97 and posted a ridiculous 85-7 BB to K ratio in just over 50 innings of work. He also threw a plus slider that has been more of a fringy pitch this spring. Manaea will be the biggest wildcard in the draft, and every team that didn't think they would have a shot at him heading into the year will be scrambling to see him down the stretch. 9. Pittsburgh Pirates There is no way that Meadows gets past here. He could easily go in the top five, maybe even top three, but I think he might slide a bit. Meadows’s combination of size, tools, and likelihood to remain in centerfield give him more upside than any player in this class. However, his spring has been only solid at best. Meadows swing can get to long at times and he often locks his arms, and pitchers at the next level will be able to exploit that with a healthy dose of fastballs in at the hands. Meadows is a boom or bust guy. His ceiling however, is that of a five tool player who could anchor the middle of a big league line up. 10. Toronto Blue Jays Toronto has always loved to snag elite prep talents, and I don't see why they wouldn't stop being aggressive now. Trey Ball, the best two-way player in the draft. Ball would would likely be a first round pick as an outfielder, but he has a chance to go in 10 on the mound. The towering lefty has shown impressive velocity for a southpaw, as he has been up to 94 this spring. Balls repertoire also includes a reliable change and a curve that he has shown he can spin for strikes. What is most impressive about ball is his athleticism and projectability. He stands 6'6" and weighs just over 180, leaving plenty of room to add strength and even more velocity Unlike most giants, Ball has had success in repeating his delivery and throwing strikes.



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