I love this years draft class and can't help myself from trying out my own personal mock draft. I'd love to hear your feedback.
1. Houston Astros: Carlos Rodon, LHP, N.C. State
I don't love Rondon, but it's hard to justify anyone else here. I also didn't love Appel, but teams don't generally care about my opinion so...
2. Miami Marlins: Jeff Hoffman, RHP, East Carolina U.
I could see Marlins taking a number of guys here, but like with Rondon, it's hard to justify taking anybody else as of right now. Hoffman has three plus pitches, and would give Miami another extremely exciting pitcher in their system.
3. Chicago White Sox: Jacob Gatewood, SS, California HS
Gatewood is my personal favorite in this years draft. Extremely athletic with tons of power. Speed isn't touted as above average, but his athleticism makes me consider that it may be a bit underrated. Quality arm, but defense is a bit lacking. There's speculation that he moves to third base. Regardless, I see Gatewood as a Troy Tulowitzki type power hitting short stop.
4. Chicago Cubs: Tyler Beede, RHP, Vanderbilt
The Cubs will be lucky if one of the three collegiate future aces fall to them in the draft. I could see Beede on the south side of Chicago as well, but I don't see him playing in any other city. Beede has unhittable stuff but his delivery is not consistent enough and he has trouble throwing strikes. Batters hit .187 against him, but were also walked 63 times in 101 innings during 2013. High risk/high reward player.
5. Minnesota Twins: Tyler Kolek, RHP, Texas HS
By now you've surely noticed my top 5 is the same as that of Matt Garrioch. Wasn't intended, but I must be doing something right. I am a huge fan of Kolek. My favorite pitcher in the draft. I think he'll fall to Minnesota, but I wouldn't even be surprised to see him go first. Already has three plus pitches in a fastball that touches 99, a sweeping slider, and a sharp 12-6 curveball. Also throws a changeup (rarely) that has potential to be average. Control needs refinement, but he is prep pitcher, so that's to be expected. I think he'll join Kohl Stewart in a Minnesota system that is starting to look scary good with talent.
6. Seattle Mariners: Alex Jackson, C/OF, California HS
The Mariner's need outfielders and right-handed bats. Besides being a prep player, Jackson is essentially the same player Seattle has drafted the last two years in Zunino and Peterson. A power hitting, right-handed hitter, with a great hit tool. A great arm and athleticism allow him to play catcher, but if he is drafted by Seattle he is likely to forgo the position for a spot in right field. As a big a Mariners fan, I would love to see them take Jackson if he still available at 6.
7. Philadelphia Phillies: Touki Toussaint, RHP, Florida HS
Toussaint makes me nervous. Maybe its the same interesting name, or maybe its my lack of confidence in his secondary pitches and control, but he reminds me of Phillippe Aumont. Toussaint has a great fastball that touches 97 and a devastating curveball. His changeup right now needs refinement, and his control is just average. A future back end relief pitcher is not unreasonable in my opinion. He has incredible potential, but so did Aumont. I still think his ceiling is high enough to warrant an early selection, but he is not without great risk.
8. Colorado Rockies: Trea Turner, SS, N.C. State
Maybe a little later than most would expect, but I think Turner could go anywhere from 3-10. Excellent speed and defense. Not everyone believes in the bat but I do. Won't hit for much power, but I could see him hitting for a decent average. He's speed will get him on base, and once he's there, it will get him home. The easy comparison is Jose Reyes because of his speed. I would think that's probably his ceiling. Floor would probably be Everth Cabrera.
9. Toronto Blue Jays: Michael Gettys, OF, Georgia HS
Another FYPD, another incredibly dynamic Georgia prep outfielder. Buxton, Meadows in Frazier in the last two drafts. Doesn't have Turner's speed, but it is definitely plus. Great power that stems from his superb athleticism. Excellent arm (hit 94 from the hill) combined with great range will make him a plus or even elite defender. Another guy I could see Seattle taking at six, or the White Sox taking at three. He swings and misses a lot, and has struggled mightily against breaking balls. Might end up as the best player in this draft, but there is some risk involved.
10. New York Mets: Nick Gordon, SS, Florida HS
His dad was an All-Star pitcher and his brother is the starting second baseman for the Dodgers. Some big expectations for Nick in the Gordon house hold. Warrants this high of a selection either as a short stop or a pitcher, but he will probably play short professionally. Not as fast as his brother, but has explosive speed and could steal bases. Very good defense and has a strong enough arm to stick at short. Speed and plus hit tool can carry him through the minors, but he won't hit for much power. I'd compare him to Brad Miller. They have the same alma mater too.
11. Toronto Blue Jays: Brady Aiken, LHP, California
Well Garrioch has Aiken at 9 and Gettys at 11, but either way both are ending up on the Blue Jays. Aiken doesn't have any tool that stick out above the rest, as they are all at a high level. Has three above average offerings. Fastball is low-90's with good movement. Gets his curveball and changeup over for strikes as well. Good command. Does everything well. I could see him as high as number one. Like Gettys, Aiken has immense potential and could end up being the best player from the draft.
12. Milwaukee Brewers: Aaron Nola, RHP, LSU
His ceiling is not extremely high like the guys above him, but Nola might be the fast-track pitcher of the class. Very advanced, stats are already matching up with his stuff. Throws three above average pitches. Fastball sits 91-93, mixes it with a solid changeup. Commands all his pitches well, and is ready to take the next step. I like Nola in Milwaukee, and he can quickly escalate through their organization.
13. San Diego Padres: Max Pentecost, C, Kennesaw State
Pentecost is not a prolific hitter, but he has on base skills that I think can make him a very solid offensive player in the future. Another low ceiling guy, but like Nola, Pentecost has a good chance of reaching his potential. Plays solid defense, though not great, and has a solid arm, though not great. On the 20-80 scale, Pentecost ranks 50-55 in every category. Solid across the board. I think he could move through the Padres system quicker then most catchers.
14. San Francisco Giants: Derek Fisher, OF, Virginia
The best collegiate outfielder in the draft, Fisher has an advanced bat with the ability to hit for average and power. Has average speed, and he is average at best in the outfield. His below average arm limits him to left field. But I like his bat and it can carry him to the majors. Offensively think Stephen Piscotty.
15. Los Angeles Angels: Matt Chapman, 3B, Cal State Fullerton
Has the arm to be a future closer, but Chapman is best suited for the hot corner. Defesnsively, Chapman is elite. A cannon for an arm that hits 98 from the hill, and good fielding skills make him one of the best defensive players in the draft. He is projected to have good power, but it has yet to show up. A great set of tools make him jump into the top 15 of the draft, even if his performance is sometimes lacking.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks: Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Florida HS
Throws four pitches, all for strikes. Fastball and slider are above average. Curveball and changeup are pretty average but both have room to improve. He's able to repeat his delivery consitently, and shouldn't have the command problems that a lot of prep pitchers have when they reach the next level. All around solid player with no major flaws, but also no stand out tools.
17. Kansas City Royals: Grant Holmes, RHP, South Carolina HS
Holmes definitely has future bullpen risk. Has two well above-average pitches with a fastball that hits 97 and a power curveball. There is question whether his command or changeup can develop enough to keep him as a starter, but if he does, watch out..
18. Washington Nationals: Brad Zimmer, OF/3B, San Francisco
Reminds of Kyle Seager in terms of plate approach. Smooth left-handed swing, good strike zone knowledge, hits to all fields. He has the ability to generate good power based solely on his line drive approach. I think he can hit for a high average and maybe even add a few 20 home run seasons. Not fast, but not slow. Can play center field, but his arm works in right as well. Also plays third base too. One of the best collegiate bats in the draft, and I think he fits in with Washington well.
19. Cincinnati Reds: Brandon Finnegan, LHP, Texas Christian U.
Another probably bullpen guy. Herky jerky delivery takes a lot of effort, which makes questions about his command and durability. Throws a plus fastball and an above average slider. Not tall or projectable, but has good stuff already so that's not a big issue. Could become a very good left-handed relief pitcher if starting doesn't work out. Could even be a closer. But he's still a for sure first round pick as he could very well make it as a starter. Higher upside as a reliever though.
20. Tampa Bays Rays: Luis Ortiz, RHP, California HS
This spot may be a little low for Ortiz. Maybe its wishful thinking to hope Ortiz ends up with Rays, who are constantly getting the most out of their pitching prospects. Matt Garrioch sums it up best:
His slider can damn near be unhittable at times. Ortiz could be the best pitcher in this draft in three years. He has that kind of potential.
21. Cleveland Indians: Braxton Davidson, 1B/OF, North Carolina HS
The power is legitimate. He's not just a hulking, free swinging prep hitter either. He is a good hitter, with a good approach at the plate which is rare in power gifted high school players. Profiles as a right fielder. Has a plus arm but doesn't run well, which could limit him to first base. Ultimately, his bat will have to carry him through the minors, which I believe it can. Very high ceiling, could wind up as the best hitter in the class. Could give the Indians the impact bat they need.
22. Los Angeles Dodgers: Erick Fedde, RHP, UNLV
A future number three starter. Looks very projectable. Throws a mid-90's fastball with great sink which makes it a plus pitch. Slider could definitely be a plus offering in the future as well. Changeup is inconsistent and needs to improve if he wants to stay out of the bullpen, though he could thrive in that role. Ceiling isn't as high as the others on this list, but he has a good chance of reaching. I believe he stays a starter.
23. Detroit Tigers: Kyle Schwarber, C/1B, Indiana U.
Great power and the ability to hit for a high average. Controls the strike zone well and is not the typical swing-and-miss power hitter. The bat will never be the question for Schwarber. Defensively however, Schwarber is below average. Schwarber will most likely not last at catcher, so first base is his future. He's not fast or athletic. His bat will have to carry him through the minors, but I think if he can be serviceable in the field he will move quickly to the majors. Love the bat.
24. Pittsburgh Pirates: Dylan Cease, RHP, Georgia HS
Confusing prospect Cease is. Holds great potential, but lacks refinement of tools to back it up. Very projectable, and he's already hitting 97. Curveball and changeup could become plus in the future, but right now need work. A guy who can benefit from choosing college, and could potentially be a top-10 pick during his next eligible year. Committed to Vanderbilt and I wouldn't be surprised if he went there. Still could flourish in a Pirates system that has some of the highest ceiling arms in the minors, and could add another one in Cease.
25. Oakland Athletics: Sean Newcomb, LHP, Hartford U.
Another example of wishful thinking. Newcomb will probably go a little higher in the draft, but I think he fits well in Oakland and I'd like to see him there. Sits in the mid-90's with his fastball, throws it with good movement and location. Sweeping slider is another already plus pitch for him. Learning to throw a changeup and curveball, and both could be above average in the future. A few fixes to his delivery can make him a quick mover, and he could florish if he winds up in Oakland. A high pretty high ceiling and a high floor as well.
26. Boston Red Sox: Cobi Johnson, RHP, Florida HS
One of my favorite arms in the draft. Already has very good stuff. Projectable frame at 6'4" 170 lbs. Fastball already tops out at 95 which is impressive considering how much room he still has to grow. Curveball and changeup both can develop into above average pitches. His dad is Dane is a former MLB pitcher, so he has a good baseball background. Also the reason he has no serious flaws in his mechanics. Another guy who can benefit from going to college. Would probably be a top-10 pick if he filled out. Committed to Florida State. Would be disappointed but not surprised if he went to college. Will move faster than other prep pitchers because of his sound mechanics and good command. Incredibly high upside, could be a sleeper pick for somebody higher up in the draft.
27. St. Louis Cardinals: Luke Weaver, RHP, Florida State University
Florida State product. Can hit 97. Good command of fastball. Curveball needs work, but the changeup is already a plus pitch with great sink on it. Only 6'2" but has good athleticism. Generates a lot of whip on his arm, and it makes the ball really hard to read coming out of his hand. Not a very high ceiling, but its amazing what the Cardinals can do with their pitchers. I think a solid 3 or 4 starter in the future.