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Mock Draft #6 - First Round

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It's been two weeks, so it's time for another mock draft. Follow the jump after the first pick for more.

1. Washington Nationals - Bryce Harper, C, CC of Southern Nevada - I don't think it's a matter of who the Nationals are picking anymore as much as how much they'll pay him. Harper continues to rake, and while he's not as much of a sure thing as Stephen Strasburg was last year, there's a good chance he gets paid more with the additional leverage he has.

2. Pittsburgh Pirates - Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Ole Miss - This pick is very fluid at this point, as Pomeranz and the rest of the college pitching class have failed to nail down any high spots with strong performances. Pomeranz is looking like he's wearing down a bit as the season goes on, and unless he tightens up his command, he likely won't be in this spot in my next mock.
3. Baltimore Orioles - Jameson Taillon, RHP, The Woodlands HS (TX) - Indications are that the Orioles are going with the best player available philosophy this year since they're picking so high. That probably means that they will go with Taillon, since there's only a small chance Taillon lands with Pittsburgh. There are still some questions about Taillon, but he'd be the no-brainer best player available here.
4. Kansas City Royals - Manny Machado, SS, Brito Private HS (FL) - The Royals are in a position to be able to pick between the second-best hitter, second-best college pitcher, and second-best high school pitcher. While I don't see them going after a college arm, this could be a scenario in which they're picking between Machado and Karsten Whitson. I see Machado going here for now, but that could change.
5. Cleveland Indians - Chris Sale, LHP, Florida Gulf Coast - As much as Indians fans want big upside from this pick, I just don't see the club going in a completely different direction from their draft history. With Sale and the other college pitchers on the board, I think they'll find a good match for #2 starter upside with some relative safety. Sale is one of the few college pitchers not tanking right now, so he's staying put.
6. Arizona Diamondbacks - Deck McGuire, RHP, Georgia Tech - This pick has more to do with who's not available than who is. If Chris Sale drops to this spot, I think he's a very strong possibility. I had Anthony Ranaudo here last time, and he's pitched his way backwards from here. In all, I think McGuire gives them the safest upside in a thin system for pitching, so this is a logical pick. McGuire might be headed in the wrong direction, though.
7. New York Mets - Bryce Brentz, OF, Middle Tennessee - Brentz has returned strong from an ankle injury earlier this year, and all signs point to him moving up on draft boards. While there's an argument over whether Michael Choice or Brentz is the better college outfielder, Brentz offers more athleticism and upside, so he's the choice for the traditionally conservative Mets.
8. Houston Astros - Zack Cox, 3B, Arkansas - While I had more reservations about placing Cox here in the past, I now get the feeling that the Astros might be lucky to get him here. He could easily go higher to a team that wants a safer college pick. The transition from slugger to hitter for Cox has been amazing to watch, and I think he could be the best college hitter in the entire class.
9. San Diego Padres - Karsten Whitson, RHP, Chipley HS (FL) - The Padres would obviously be thrilled if this happened, but as it stands, there's a solid chance it does. Whitson could land with the Royals, Diamondbacks, or Mets, but I don't think he's a particularly strong fit with any of those teams. Arizona and the Mets would have to buck years of conservatism for the pick, and the Royals might have better options. This could really happen.
10. Oakland Athletics - Yasmani Grandal, C, Miami - Grandal continues to hit and hit and hit. In addition, with his already-solid reputation for defense, he's improving behind the plate, too. The A's are hard to peg in this spot, because they'll have a decent amount of talent to choose from, but Grandal seems to be the best fit for their development system.
11. Toronto Blue Jays - Christian Colon, SS, Cal State Fullerton - Colon's potential price tag is one of the more pressing questions I'm trying to get answered over the next couple of weeks, as it could have a big impact on where he lands. As it stands, his talent and position is a good fit with the new Blue Jays front office, even with some prep pitching on the board. This would be a solid pick to start out the new regime's first draft.
12. Cincinnati Reds - Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, LSU - I think I spent more time deciding this pick than with any other, as the Reds are in a really tough place when compared with their draft history. Ranaudo's come back from injury with a surprising lack of command, and his stock is falling quickly. However, the Reds, who are typically conservative with their picks, could be a potential landing spot for Ranaudo, and they have a solid history with Scott Boras.
13. Chicago White Sox - Alex Wimmers, RHP, Ohio State - Until it becomes obvious that Wimmers won't be taking the mound for the rest of the season, I think his draft stock is relatively unaffected by his hamstring injury. Missing a couple weeks in the season isn't a horrible thing, especially if he signs quickly and can log some innings in the low minors. The White Sox will also be in a tough position to find talent in their traditional mold in this draft spot.
14. Milwaukee Brewers - Josh Sale, OF, Bishop Blanchet HS (WA) - This one is also tough to peg, but the Brewers have typically gone with the best player available regardless of position over the years, and Sale is roughly that. I think they may have to decide how much risk they want to play with, as they could have a few prep pitchers that would be enticing to take in this spot.
15. Texas Rangers - Michael Choice, OF, UT Arlington - This is just making too much sense right now, and that makes me uncomfortable. However, unless Choice is taken earlier than this, which is somewhat possible, he seems like a natural fit in a spot that will demand signability from a college position. The Rangers will be looking for hitting with some early picks, and Choice is a logical pick.
16. Chicago Cubs - Brett Eibner, RHP, Arkansas - Eibner has become a sneaky prospect this year, and his stock has risen accordingly. As a two-way player with upside on both sides of the ball, I think a team that values athleticism at the pitching position could call Eibner's name earlier than expected. The Cubs fit that mold, but they'll have plenty of choices in this position.
17. Tampa Bay Rays - A.J. Cole, RHP, Oviedo HS (FL) - This is another pick that a team would be thrilled to make. Cole, who is a clear number three behind Taillon and Whitson these days, still offers big upside, but he's failed to make a clear jump forward this year. Plenty of teams will have the chance to take him, but it will be a decision on how much risk they want to take.
18. Los Angeles Angels - Dylan Covey, RHP, Maranatha HS (CA) - Covey could easily go higher than this, but like with Cole, it's hard to find a fit with another team earlier than this. There are just too many risk-averse teams drafting higher. Covey offers the most safety in a prep arm pick in the early going this year, and his proximity to Anaheim could help him here.
19. Houston Astros - Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Barstow HS (CA) - While I had Kevin Gausman going here for a long time, I think Sanchez might actually be the better fit in terms of the Astros' recent draft history. Sanchez offers big upside and is an athletic pitcher, and that's been the direction of the prep picks of Houston. Sanchez has been having a great senior season, and his projectability is big.
20. Boston Red Sox - Nick Castellanos, 3B, Archbishop McCarthy HS (FL) - You can chalk this one up a bit to signability, as Castellanos could potentially garner one of the highest bonuses in the class. As a big-time hitter, he could easily be off the board before this, but I don't see him falling farther than this if he's available to the Red Sox. His upside as a #3 hitter is just too high for the Red Sox to pass up.
21. Minnesota Twins - Kaleb Cowart, RHP, Cook County HS (GA) - There's a solid chance that the Twins actually want Cowart as a hitter here, too. The Twins could end up having their pick of a number of second-tier pitching prospects, as well as some athletic bats, and Cowart is a nice fit for a system that values athleticism and intelligence on the mound.
22. Texas Rangers - Kevin Gausman, RHP, Grandview HS (CO) - Gausman is an interesting prospect, if only for his location in a relatively talentless baseball state. However, he's being scouted very heavily this year, and his pitch mix and upside are natural fits with the Rangers. An LSU commitment is typically more expensive to buy out, but I don't see it being a problem this early in the draft.
23. Florida Marlins - Justin O'Conner, C/SS, Cowan HS (IN) - Like I was saying in the last few mock drafts, the Marlins are hard to peg early on, simply because they prefer signable prep players on a regular basis. While Sanchez was that pick recently, O'Conner is likely to be that, as well. In addition to providing upside offensively, he could be their catcher of the future if they determine Kyle Skipworth isn't making enough progress.
24. San Francisco Giants - Austin Wilson, OF, Harvard-Westlake HS (CA) - Wilson is as hard to peg as anyone, as the combination of lack of polish, huge upside, and a Stanford commitment clouds things just a little. I think if anyone can sign him in this draft it's the Giants, whose proximity to his potential commitment could make things a bit easier.
25. St. Louis Cardinals - Gary Brown, OF, Cal State Fullerton - The second Fullerton player on this mock, Brown continually impresses with his combination of plus speed and plus defense, as well as a plus hit tool. All those things could bode well for him, and the Cardinals are typically a team that loves athleticism from their hitters if such athleticism is available.
26. Colorado Rockies - Barret Loux, RHP, Texas A&M - Loux continues to impress with his natural stuff, even if his results of the last week or two aren't on par with his season numbers. The Rockies typically look for high upside college arms with picks in this range, and Loux offers just that. However, the Rockies could surprise us with a prep pick again this season, so this is up in the air.
27. Philadelphia Phillies - Yordy Cabrera, SS, Lakeland HS (FL) - The Phillies are as hard to peg as anyone, because they go almost exclusively for the prep bat with big upside, even if they are the rawest potential first round pick by a long shot. Cabrera hasn't had the greatest draft season, and while he's falling down boards for a number of teams, his upside is still not questioned, and he could be a fit here.
28. Los Angeles Dodgers - Tyrell Jenkins, RHP, Henderson HS (TX) - Upside counts for something, and the Dodgers aren't a team that's afraid of taking risks with their drafts. Jenkins has big upside and plus athleticism for a pitcher, both fits with the Dodgers' method of drafting and development. Since Jenkins is a two-sport athlete, he might cost a bit more to sign away from Baylor, which might take him off the Dodgers' board.
29. Los Angeles Angels - Sammy Solis, LHP, San Diego - Solis put on a show this past weekend, and that's indicative of the kind of performances he could have as a pro. Had Solis not gone down with a back injury last year, he could be a natural junior that is 15 spots higher than this. However, his signability and durability questions as a sophomore cloud some things, and the Angels could be a natural landing spot here.
30. Los Angeles Angels - Chevez Clarke, OF, Marietta HS (GA) - With Clarke's season already over, I could easily see him jumping up a few spots as a potential workout pick. He has plus athleticism and good upside with the bat, though his bat is his rawest tool. He could be a plus defender with some time, though, and I don't see him falling too much past this.
31. Tampa Bay Rays - Kyle Blair, RHP, San Diego - Blair has been hanging around for awhile, and while some have written him off as a disappointment from lofty expectations, he's started to come around lately. He still offers a good amount of upside and safety, and his ability to miss bats is hardly questioned. The Rays need a relatively safe, signable pick here, and Blair could fit that mold.
32. New York Yankees - Matt Harvey, RHP, North Carolina - Harvey continues to be an enigma in this class, and it's hard to point to any one team that might prefer him over some other college arms. His upside continues to be relatively big, but with continued concerns that his arm action gets messy when he's tired, some teams shy away from him and his Scott Boras connection.

What do you think? Check out mocks in the FanPosts, and let me know your thoughts.