National League Central Mock Draft Review
31) A.J. Pollock, OF, Notre Dame
79) Tanner Bushue, RHP, Illinois HS
109) Tyler Kehrer, LHP, Eastern Illinois
COMMENT: The Cubs director didn't show up, so I ended up making these picks. The Cubs/Notre Dame connection is probably a bit overblown in the press, but Pollock does make sense for the Cubs at the bottom of the first round. After that I went with two home-state pitchers, one high school and one college, to provide a mixture of talent for the system. I'm not sure the real Cubs would be interested in Bushue, but Kehrer does seem the type they would like based on recent college-oriented drafts.
8) Mike Leake, RHP, Arizona State
43) Kyle Heckathorn, RHP, Kennesaw State
57) Jason Kipnis, OF, Arizona State
88) Kyle Seager, 2B, North Carolina
COMMENT: College-oriented but solid. I love Leake and he would seem to match up well with what the Reds need. Heckathorn's stock has dropped. . .he can be erratic and has some ugly arm action in my opinion, but given his upside is a nice pick at 43. Kipnis and Seager are solid college bats, unlikely to be stars but both likely to get to the Show in some capacity.
21) Mike Trout, OF, New Jersey HS
69) Colton Cain, LHP-1B, Texas HS
100) Kendal Volz, RHP, Baylor
111) Jake Cowan, RHP, San Jacinto JC
COMMENT: The Astros need everything, but are noted for some unusual draft decisions. This mock draft is a good mixture and if they did something like this it would not surprise me. Trout has tools galore but could need a bit more time due to cold-weather background. Cain is also high-ceiling but won't be cheap to get away from Texas; perhaps the home state connection would help. Volz was an anticipated first round pick who dropped due to a puzzlingly ineffective spring performance, but given his past record could be a bargain at 100. Cowan is one of the best junior college talents available. All in all, there is risk here but a lot of upside as well.
26) Andrew Oliver, LHP, Oklahoma State
39) Rich Poythress, 1B, Georgia
47) Sam Dyson, RHP, South Carolina
73) LeVon Washington, OF, Florida HS
74) Chris Dwyer, LHP, Clemson
105) David Hale, RHP, Princeton
COMMENT: I think this is a sound use of multiple picks. Oliver is something of an enigma, but lefties with his arm strength don't grow on trees. Poythress is a strong college bat of the type often favored by the Brewers. Dyson has first round arm strength and could be a bargain at 47. Washington is a toolsy speed demon, but provides some young leavening for the college picks. Both Dwyer and Hale have lively arms but perhaps some signability issues, given the former's unusual freshman status and the latter's educational opportunities at Princeton. However, if you fail to sign one you can plow the cash into signing the other.
4) Tyler Matzek, LHP, California HS
49) Marc Krauss, OF, Ohio
53) Luke Bailey, C, Georgia HS
84) Chris Dominguez, 3B, Louisville
COMMENT: I love this. I don't know if the Pirates would actually go for Matzek in real life, but perhaps it isn't impossible given the money they showed the willingness to spend last year. Krauss, in my opinion, has a very strong bat and is a cost-effective pick. Bailey has the injury, but getting both him and Matzek into the system would definitely prove to doubters that the new look Pirateas mean business. Dominguez in the third round is very nice; I love his power. Overall, I think this is a fine draft, with the mixture of high school and college types I like. Will the Pirates do something like this in real life?
19) Mike Minor, LHP, Vanderbilt
67) Randall Grichuk, OF, Texas HS
98) Robbie Shields, SS, Florida Southern
COMMENT: This looks very much like something the Cardinals might actually do: they lean towards guys with strong college performance records, but will mix in the occasional toolsy high schooler. Grichuck has some of the best power in the draft. Minor and Shields are solid performers who could move through the system swiftly. Shields, in particular, could be underrated and a bargain in this spot.