2014 Minor League Ball Community Mock Draft: AL Central Summary

Carlos Rodon - USA TODAY Sports

AL Central

CHICAGO WHITE SOX
3) Carlos Rodon, LHP, NC State
44) Cameron Varga, RHP, Ohio HS
77) Chris Ellis, RHP, University of Mississippi
108) Simeon Lucas, C, Illinois HS
SUMMARY: Pitching emphasis obviously at the top followed by a local catching talent. Varga is old for a high school pitcher at age 19 but we’re still talking about a 95 MPH fastball and a nasty curve. Rodon is Rodon and still looks like a great choice at the top of the draft to me. Ellis doesn’t get a lot of strikeouts but pounds the zone with his sinker. Lucas has good offensive and defensive tools and would get more attention if he were a warm-weather prep.

CLEVELAND INDIANS

21) Monte Harrison, OF, Missouri HS
31) (for Ubaldo Jimenez): Brandon Finnegan, LHP, TCU
38) Foster Griffin, LHP, Florida HS
61) Matt Chapman, 3B, Cal State Fullerton
97) Cole Tucker, SS, Arizona HS
128) Daniel Mengden, RHP, Texas A&M
SUMMARY: Balanced and diverse usage of multiple picks brings In a premium athlete in Harrison, a polished and probably fast-rising college bat in Chapman and a steady college arm in Mengden. If Finnegan is healthy he’s a great choice at 31. Griffin and Tucker provide some additional prep balance, with Griffin one of my candidate to end up surprisingly high in the draft. I think the money would work.



DETROIT TIGERS

23) A.J. Reed, 1B-LHP, University of Kentucky
63) Aramis Garcia, C, Florida International
99) Pat Connaughton, RHP, Notre Dame
130) Jake Kelzer, RHP, Indiana
SUMMARY: Everyone expects the Tigers to go for a college reliever, but I think they would be well-served by doing something like this, some bats early and then fill in with the arms. Reed and Garcia are two of the best power bats available in the college ranks this year, particularly Reed. Kelzer could zip through the minors quickly if his dominance out of the Hoosier bullpen is any indication. Connaugton has control problems but also gave up zero home runs in 154 college innings. He seems like a guy the Tigers can mold.


KANSAS CITY ROYALS

17) Bradley Zimmer, OF, University of San Francisco
28) (for Ervin Santana):  Spencer Adams, RHP, Georgia HS
40) Eric Fedde, RHP, UNLV
56) J.J. Schwarz, C, Florida HS
92) Sam Travis, C, Indiana University
123) Dylan Cease, RHP, Georgia HS
SUMMARY: A computer glitch kept the Royals SD unavailable for the last pick, so a volunteer picked Cease to move things along. He’s a Vandy commit and currently out with an elbow injury, but he also has a 97 MPH heater when healthy and a potential bargain if they could get him to sign. For the picks that weren’t emergency choices, we find a nice balance: Zimmer joins his brother in the organization and could go 10 spots higher in reality. Adams can hit the mid 90s and is healthy. Fedde is out with Tommy John of course but was dominant before getting hurt. Schwarz has power and a strong arm but is also a Florida commit and won’t be cheap. Travis has a power bat and could move quickly. If everyone gets healthy and signs this is a hell of a class,


MINNESOTA TWINS

5) Nick Gordon, SS, Florida HS
46) Nick Howard, RHP, University of Virginia
79) Mitch Keller, RHP, Iowa HS
110) Dustin DeMuth, 3B, Indiana University
SUMMARY: My goal here was balance between all factors, college and high school, pitching and hitting. I think I met this goal. Gordon is a pure shortstop with (I feel) a good chance to hit. His makeup is also considered stellar and he obviously has the bloodlines. I think he has less speed than his brother but should develop more pop. Howard is a dominating college closer who would move quickly as a relief option but also has a diverse enough arsenal to start. I would send him to the Midwest League and use him in the bullpen the rest of the year, then see how he responds to being stretched out in instructional league to assess if he can start. Either way he should move quickly. Keller is a fast riser, up to 95 MPH with a promising curveball, good delivery, and a low-mileage cold weather arm. He will be expensive to buy away from North Carolina, but there’s talk he could go as high as the second round in real life which would probably be enough to sign him. Under this scenario, I would go over slot and find the money by skimping with subsequent picks from the college senior ranks, beginning with DeMuth in the fourth round, who is one of the better college bats available this year and a senior to boot.

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