Here is the continuation of my third mock draft series, focusing on the supplemental first round today.
33. Houston Astros – Cameron Bedrosian, RHP, East Coweta HS (GA) – Bedrosian is a possible late first round prospect, and I think a lot of his perceived value has to do with his signability. He has an LSU scholarship, which can be a big hurdle, so the scouts that believe he’s more signable will take a strong run at him, as he definitely has the makings of a solid pro pitcher. Previously: #32.
34. Toronto Blue Jays – Kris Bryant, 3B, Bonanza HS (NV) – Bryant still has one of the most powerful bats in the entire class, including college hitters, and the big question is whether he can hit with wood. However, there are plenty of teams out there that believe they can help Bryant transition to wood, while keeping his 40 homer potential. Previously: #44.
35. Atlanta Braves – James Paxton, LHP, Kentucky – Though I illustrated that the Braves simply don’t spend much in the draft, I expect them to spend late first round money on their first pick if the right player is available. Paxton’s pretty much in limbo, but I can see a team like the Braves that value projection from the left side picking him no matter what he does this spring, granted that he’s healthy. Previously: #25.
36. Boston Red Sox – Matt Harvey, RHP, North Carolina – Welcome back to the conversation Matt Harvey. Harvey has come back with a vengeance this spring, and it’s only my conservative nature that keeps him out of the natural first round right now. His Scott Boras connection will haunt him no matter what he does, but he could be moving up fast if he continues to dominate on Fridays. Previously: NR.
37. Los Angeles Angels – Chad Bettis, RHP, Texas Tech – The Angels have a history of taking college pitchers with excellent natural stuff that are projected as relievers by a number of organizations. That was Garrett Richards a year ago, and Bettis is a comparable pitcher this year. He has done well in a starting role at Texas Tech, though he’s been more hittable than expected. Previously: #26.
38. Toronto Blue Jays – Kyle Blair, RHP, San Diego – I expect the Blue Jays to fill in with some upside college arms and bats in the supplemental first round, perhaps only to keep their expenses down when they more picks than I can count. Blair still has the mechanical and command issues he’s always had, but he has the upside of a number two starter, making this more believable. Previously: #40.
39. Boston Red Sox – Jarrett Parker, OF, Virginia – Parker fits into the Boston mold for drafting, as he has both the athleticism to fit in their system, as well as the pop in his bat to believe that he could move quickly through the system. He also should be signable, which might be important in the early picks if their first round pick is worth more than slot. Previously: #38.
40. Los Angeles Angels – Peter Tago, RHP, Dana Hills HS (CA) – Tago’s not the most projectable arm in the class, but he might be one of the most advanced. The Angels have a ton of picks for the second year in a row, and I see them going for one solid prep arm in the supplemental first round, similar to them nabbing Tyler Skaggs a year ago. Tago fits that bill. Previously: #34.
41. Toronto Blue Jays – Michael Choice, OF, UT Arlington – Choice has come out on fire this spring, and I found myself considering him for the back of the first round. However, his lack of elite-level tools beyond the power in his bat makes him more of a supplemental first round choice. The Blue Jays will be looking for power arms and power bats. Previously: #50.
42. Tampa Bay Rays – Deandre Smelter, RHP, Tattnall Square Academy (GA) – Smelter has an elite arm, but like Stetson Allie, he lacks the refinement and rotation potential in most teams’ eyes. He projects as more of a closer, and the fact that he throws a splitter at such a young age worries some scouts with regards to the arm action of a split. He’s still a solid pick at this level. Previously: #33.
43. Seattle Mariners – Brett Eibner, RHP, Arkansas – This will be the Mariners’ first pick, and it will be interesting to see how much they budget for this pick, since there could be a few prep names that are elite, but fall due to signability issues. Eibner has pitched well in limited innings as a Sunday starter for Arkansas, and I see him as a solid mid-rotation option if a team prefers him on the mound. Previously: #43.
44. Detroit Tigers – Reggie Golden, OF, Wetumpka HS (AL) – This is the Tigers’ first pick, and like the Mariners, it will be interesting to see how much they budget for this pick. They favor prep bats with athleticism and pop and Golden fits that mold quite well here. His stock isn’t really changing so far, but this is simply a decent fit. Previously: NR.
45. Texas Rangers – Jedd Gyorko, 2B, West Virginia – I expect the Rangers to go after a few more bats in the draft this year when compared to their recent history. Gyorko is easily the most refined bat available here, and while he’s limited defensively, there are a few teams that think they can make him an average defender at second with above-average hitting for the position. Previously: #36.
46. St. Louis Cardinals – Gary Brown, OF, Cal State Fullerton – Brown has been on fire this spring, and I’m becoming more comfortable with having him up this high. He’s still pretty much a two-dimensional player, offering a good hit tool and plus-plus speed, but some teams may like his ability to becoming a leadoff hitter in short order. Previously: #46.
47. Colorado Rockies – Justin Grimm, RHP, Georgia – One of the things I took away when I saw Justin Grimm a few weeks ago was that he simply lacked the ability, present or future, to have good command. However, the talented arm is there, and he could become a mid-rotation starter on pure stuff alone. He’s going to be a draft prospect as long as he stays healthy. Previously: #41.
48. Detroit Tigers – Rick Hague, SS, Rice – Hague’s problems with breaking balls are catching up to him, but he still is showing his prospect value with the glove. He’s getting steadily better with his glove, and his bat still has starter upside, so he’s still an early round prospect despite some ugly early numbers. I still like him more than most. Previously: #24.
49. Texas Rangers – Bryan Morgado, LHP, Tennessee – Morgado is the left-handed version of Grimm, as he simply lacks the ability to command his pitches. However, he offers above-average stuff from the left-hand side, and a team that sees him as an easy sign with mid-rotation upside will draft him earlier than his third round draft slot last year. Previously: #39.
50. St. Louis Cardinals – Marcus Littlewood, SS, Pineview HS (UT) – I have a strong feeling that the Cardinals are looking for a potential early-round middle infielder, and Littlewood offers good upside. It will be interesting to see how teams scout him, as the competition he faces isn’t good enough to really compare him. Most of his value will be from his summer performances. Previously: NR.