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Mock Draft #5 - First Round

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It's time.

Follow the jump after the first pick.

1. Washington Nationals - Bryce Harper, C, CC of Southern Nevada - I know a lot of people freaked out when news on Harper's makeup came out last week, but I'll say what I've always said. It's overblown. If people claim he doesn't work hard, then they haven't watched him or talked to people who are around him. He's too good of a talent to pass up here, and as far as makeup goes, he's going to be fine. Previously: #1.

2. Pittsburgh Pirates - Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Ole Miss - There have also been some overreactions to the outing Pomeranz had against LSU on Saturday, but he gets a mulligan, as he was pitching in very adverse conditions after having ramped up for a Friday start. These things happen over the course of a season. He's still very high on boards across the nation, and this is a very logical pick. Previously: #2.
3. Baltimore Orioles - Manny Machado, SS, Brito Private HS (FL) - This pick depends so much on Machado's asking price that I find myself second-guessing this pick a lot. Machado's established himself as the top overall prep position player in this draft  by a decent margin, but his Scott Boras connection is going to scare away some teams if he won't sign for reasonable money. That's not to say he doesn't get more than slot money, but he's not the $6 million man. Previously: #9.
4. Kansas City Royals - Jameson Taillon, RHP, The Woodlands HS (TX) - As much as has been made of Yasmani Grandal and the Royals being connected, I honestly don't see them bypassing Taillon if he's available. They have a history with Taillon's agents, the Hendricks brothers, having signed their top 2009 draft client Aaron Crow, and they have a history of paying top dollar in the draft, so Taillon's talent wins out here. Previously: #4.
5. Cleveland Indians - Chris Sale, LHP, Florida Gulf Coast - Sale continues to be the tag-along lefty with Drew Pomeranz in this class, and I see a team wanting a signable arm going with him in the top ten. The Indians fit that bill, and after taking Alex White a year ago, I see them continuing to build with college pitching this year. Sale's a nice fit for pretty much any team, though, so he could be a candidate anywhere in this range. Previously: #5.
6. Arizona Diamondbacks - Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, LSU - I'm interested to see where the Diamondbacks go in the draft this year, as they should have more money to spend per early round draft prospect, as opposed to the near-slot measures they had to follow last year with so many extra picks. I have a feeling that Ranaudo is viewed as roughly even with most of the college pitching in this class right now, and the Diamondbacks might see him as a potential bargain for talent in this slot. Previously: #3.
7. New York Mets - Karsten Whitson, RHP, Chipley HS (FL) - Though this community has shown its feelings for A.J. Cole, the majority of the scouting community has now leap-frogged Whitson over Cole. Whitson's combining a projectable frame with rapidly-improving natural stuff and command, and he's starting to look like a clear number two behind Taillon, though there's time to spare. The Mets are a prime candidate for a prep arm. Previously: #7.
8. Houston Astros - Zack Cox, 3B, Arkansas - I keep coming back to pairing Cox and the Astros together, and this is the third mock I've done so. It just makes a lot of sense from multiple standpoints. He should be pretty affordable for close to slot money for a team with a couple extra early picks, he fits a mold for solid hitting and power projection, and he also fills an organizational need at either third or second base. Previously: #10.
9. San Diego Padres - Deck McGuire, RHP, Georgia Tech - Almost all of the Padres' high-level brass has seen McGuire in person over the course of the season, and I'd be surprised if he fell past this spot barring injury or a complete meltdown late in the season. The upside isn't huge, but he's solid and a perfect fit for Petco Park. He could be a big part of the next successful Padres team. Previously: #6.
10. Oakland Athletics - Bryce Brentz, OF, Middle Tennessee - Brentz has performed fairly well in his return from an ankle injury, and his stock seems to be peaking. This is near the ceiling of where I think he'll be selected, but he still offers the best package of right field and power hitting tools, and he should be the first college outfielder off the board, unless you believe that Michael Choice is a front-runner for the top ten, which I don't. Previously: #13.
11. Toronto Blue Jays - Christian Colon, SS, Cal State Fullerton - Colon is rounding back into form, and it's no coincidence that his team is too. Colon's a plus makeup player with solid tools and above-average power projection for the middle infield, and I think he'll make a solid shortstop at the next level. The Blue Jays have a lot of extra picks, so if Boras is holding out for Grant Green money for Colon, this isn't a fit at all. Previously: #14.
12. Cincinnati Reds - Yasmani Grandal, C, Miami - I've already mentioned the small rumors connecting Grandal to the Royals, and while I don't think that makes sense, I think Grandal is confirming the feelings that he's finally putting his considerable talent together. The Reds need a backstop of the future, and Grandal could be a very nice fit. Previously: #38.
13. Chicago White Sox - Alex Wimmers, RHP, Ohio State - Bring on the boo birds. Wimmers is consistently under-rated due to his size, but there are a number of teams that feel that his development this year has been better than expected. He offers upside similar to McGuire, just without the body. He's also affordable, and the White Sox are big on that. Previously: #12.
14. Milwaukee Brewers - A.J. Cole, RHP, Oviedo HS (FL) - I know I'm going to get comments from fans of the ten teams above this pick that will say that there's no way their team passes up on Cole, but believe it. Cole's still considered the riskiest of the top-level pitching prospects in this class, and while the Brewers have a fairly short history of picking prep arms, they've chosen projectability before, and they have the draft budget to afford the sort of bonus Cole might command. Previously: #11.
15. Texas Rangers - Michael Choice, OF, UT Arlington - Think of this as a slightly better Drew Storen pick. The Rangers absolutely have to go for affordability with this pick, as they have too many other picks in this draft to jeopardize their budget with someone risky that could really push their leverage in a pick that isn't protected. Choice offers power potential and a patient eye, and he's a solid first-round pick. Previously: #34.
16. Chicago Cubs - Matt Harvey, RHP, North Carolina - I didn't like that Harvey threw so many pitches on Friday, but he at least showed that he has the arsenal and durability to throw that many pitches and still be effective at the end of nine innings. The Cubs generally like powerful collegiate arms when they go in the direction of pitching, and this could be a solid fit if there's a compromise to be struck with Scott Boras. Previously: #25.
17. Tampa Bay Rays - Josh Sale, OF, Bishop Blanchet HS (WA) - This is the second time in a row I've had Sale here, and this is probably his draft floor right now. Even though the Rays' outfield is considered crowded with Desmond Jennings coming up soon, Sale has a bat that could potentially have incredible impact pretty quickly for a prep outfielder. Previously: #17.
18. Los Angeles Angels - Dylan Covey, RHP, Maranatha HS (CA) - I think the Angels would be drooling if this scenario unfolded, as they'd love to get Southern California hurler Covey in their system. Covey doesn't have the top-flight stuff of the prep pitchers above him, and he's hit a bit of a rough patch over the last couple of weeks, but he has plus command of a pair of plus pitches, and that can always get you drafted high. Previously: #15.
19. Houston Astros - Kaleb Cowart, RHP, Cook County HS (GA) - Though the feeling in the scouting community is still split on Cowart's long-term position, I see a team that values athleticism on the mound jumping on him early as a pitcher. The Astros love athletic arms with projectability and a decent pitch mix, and Cowart has both. Previously: #20.
20. Boston Red Sox - Nick Castellanos, 3B, Archbishop McCarthy (FL) - It's too early to know if the rumored $5-7 million price tag for Castellanos is true, but I'd suspect it's a bit inflated. The Red Sox are known for paying enough to get their top target, and being a Red Sox draftee can result in an "unexpected" discount for the team when it comes to comparing expected bonus to actual bonus. Castellanos is just too good to slip out of the first unless he tells teams to go away. Previously: #21.
21. Minnesota Twins - Jesse Hahn, RHP, Virginia Tech - Hahn was scratched from his start on Sunday with a little stiffness in his arm, along with kidney stone issues, so while his movement here is little, if he misses another start or two, teams will really start to get concerned, especially with Hahn's short track record as a starter. As it stands now, he fits the Twins' mold of strike-throwing pitcher with above-average stuff. Previously: #16.
22. Texas Rangers - Yordy Cabrera, SS, Lakeland HS (FL) - I get the feeling that this is now a draft ceiling for Cabrera, as he's really slid in the eyes of a number of scouts. He still features plenty of power potential, but he's a third baseman or right fielder at the next level. The Rangers will definitely be looking to add a good amount of hitting in this draft, and they might see Cabrera as a good candidate for their player development system. Previously: #18.
23. Florida Marlins - Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Barstow HS (CA) - I only keep Sanchez here because I'm entirely clueless as to where the Marlins might go with this pick. It will almost certainly be a prep pick, but because signability is such a big issue with Florida, I think we won't know which way they're leaning until pretty late in the game. Previously: #23.
24. San Francisco Giants - Austin Wilson, OF, Harvard-Westlake HS (CA) - The Giants have a history of picking players that fall either due to signability or late-season struggles, and Wilson probably falls in the former category. He's expected to command a top bonus, but with the incredible tools he offers, he still likely won't end up at school, as the Giants have given top dollar to their top picks the last couple of years. Previously: #8.
25. St. Louis Cardinals - Kevin Gausman, RHP, Grandview HS (CO) - Just like with Shelby Miller a year ago, the Cardinals would likely be thrilled to have one of the top prep arms fall in their lap. Gausman features plus stuff and is considered at least close to the value of Dylan Covey above him. If his LSU scholarship isn't expensive, this pick makes a lot of sense for a re-building farm system. Previously: #19.
26. Colorado Rockies - Sammy Solis, LHP, San Diego - The Rockies under scouting director Bill Schmidt have drafted almost exclusively from the college side of the equation, and 2009 represented a major shift away from that with the early picks of Tyler Matzek and Nolan Arenado. However, I expect them to go back to the college pitching side with their first pick this year, and Solis would be the latest in a big mix of left-handed starters. Previously: #30.
27. Philadelphia Phillies - Justin O'Conner, SS/C, Cowan HS (IN) - The Phillies likely wouldn't take O'Conner as a shortstop or third baseman, but only as a catcher. They like big, physical high school hitters with power potential, and O'Conner is just that. I have at least one report that sees O'Conner as a potential all-star catcher, so the feeling in the scouting community is that he'll be the top prep catcher off the board. Previously: #29.
28. Los Angeles Dodgers - Brett Eibner, RHP, Arkansas - The Dodgers started a precedent of picking potential two-way players a couple years ago when they made Ethan Martin their first round pick, and they continued that with the selections of Aaron Miller and Blake Smith a year ago. Eibner's the latest in the collegiate two-way player category, and he offers more upside on the mound. Previously: #24.
29. Los Angeles Angels - Griffin Murphy, LHP, Redlands East Valley HS (CA) - Murphy's just been solid in start after start this spring, and while most teams don't see him as a true first round arm, the Angels have a lot of extra picks and will want to pick a prep arm or two that will sign for slot money. They have a lengthy history with left-handed pitching, so matching Murphy to them makes a lot of sense. Previously: #37.
30. Los Angeles Angels - Chevez Clarke, OF, Marietta HS (GA) - Though the Angels picked a pair of high school outfielders very high last year, neither matches the defensive potential of Clarke. He can be a game-changer in center field, and he offers plenty of hitting projection, as well. The Angels do love their prep hitters, so Clarke is probably a legitimate option for them early. Previously: #27.
31. Tampa Bay Rays - Asher Wojciechowski, RHP, The Citadel - Like the Rangers at pick 15, the Rays don't want to jeopardize their entire draft by taking anyone other than a very signable player in this slot. I suspect they'll target an upside college arm like Wojciechowski, who features a pair of potential plus pitches. They have too many picks to be messing around with signability here. Previously: #26.
32. New York Yankees - Barret Loux, RHP, Texas A&M - I see the Yankees going for a big-armed pitcher in this draft early, if only to reload after trading away Arodys Vizcaino over the offseason. Loux could be a potential steal late in the first round to the supplemental round, as he carries more upside than a typical college pitcher. He does carry some risk, as pitchers don't miss large chunks of time with injuries for nothing, so teams are generally conservative when sizing up Loux. Previously: #42.