1-Pittsburgh Pirates-Gerrit Cole-RHP-UCLA
Buster Olney has recently said that while some teams have Cole falling down their draft boards, the Pirates still like him and could take him at #1. Keith Law also doesn't think that the Pirates will take Rendon and given the concern with Bundy, that probably narrows it down to Cole or Hultzen, and Cole is more likely to be the ace.
2-Seattle Mariners-Anthony Rendon-3B-Rice
The Mariners reportedly really want a bat, and Jim Callis of BA has them taking Bubba Starling, even with Cole, Hultzen, and Bundy on the board in his latest mock draft. Rendon would be the best case scenario for Seattle.
3-Arizona Diamondbacks-Danny Hultzen-LHP-Virginia
The Diamondbacks have been on Hultzen since April and drafted him out of high school in 2008. He was seen as a mid 1st round pick coming into this year, but he gained a few ticks on his fastball and his exceptional command remained. He is extremely polished and if he is still available at 3 it's hard to see Arizona going in a different direction, though Vanderbilt RHP Sonny Gray, Georgia Tech LHP Jed Bradley and Lindor could be possibilities.
4-Baltimore Orioles-Dylan Bundy-RHP-HS (Oklahoma)
Bundy has put up gaudy numbers and despite floating a 6 year 30 million dollar price tag, he shouldn't drop out of the top 5. He has very good stuff as well as advanced command for a high school product, and there is an argument that he is the best prospect in this draft. He also has a relative in the Orioles organization (Cousin, I believe, Bobby). If the Orioles pass here they will likely go after a college pitcher like: Gray or Bradley.
5-Kansas City Royals-Francisco Lindor-SS-HS (Florida)
Kansas City is a tough pick to pin down. They reportedly say they want a college pitcher, although Gray, Meyer, Jungmann, Bradley, and Barnes all have question marks that may not be worthy of the #5 pick. Trevor Bauer is worried that KC may make him stop his long toss program although...
In the end I settled on Lindor as his tools and athleticism should be appealing to the Royals and while he won't sign for slot, he should be an easier sign than local product Bubba Starling.
6-60 after the jump!
6-Washington Nationals-Alex Meyer-RHP-Kentucky
The Nationals and Meyer have been connected a lot recently. Meyer has one of the highest ceilings in this draft, but also one of the lowest floors because of his inconsistentcy. Rizzo has shown no hesitation to work with Boras clients, which Meyer is. And I will say, while I think this would be an overdraft, the Nationals have 3 of the first 34 picks, so using the first one on upside like Meyer's isn't a bad strategy.
7-Arizona Diamondbacks-Sonny Gray-RHP-Vanderbilt
The DBacks are apparently high on both Hultzen and Gray and getting them both would probably be their dream scenario. The DBacks say they are willing to spend whatever it takes to get the best talent, but if that's just a smokescreen they could end up looking at other college pitchers like Barnes, Jungmann, or Bradley.
8-Cleveland Indians-Trevor Bauer-RHP-UCLA
Another nice fit as the Indians reportedly love Bauer. The Indians also haven't taken a HS player since 2001, so if Bauer is gone they would likely stay in the college ranks and look at someone like Bradley, Jungmann, Barnes or go for a position player like UConn's George Springer.
9-Chicago Cubs-Bubba Starling-OF-HS (Kansas)
Let's make it 3 in a row as the Cubs reportedly would love to see Starling fall to them. I think that dream is very possible if Kansas City passes on him, although Washington could surprise and pop him. Starling is a 5 tool CF with an enormous ceiling, but he is also fairly raw and is committed to Nebraska for football.
10-San Diego Padres-Taylor Guerrieri-RHP-HS (South Carolina)
This was the Padres unprotected pick for not signing Karsten Whitson last year and their first of 5 first day picks. I went with Guerrieri here because he's a good mix of having upside (he's a top 15 prospect in the draft) but he likely won't require a huge bonus (like say, Archie Bradley). The Padres also reportedly love Cory Spangenberg from Indian River CC, but I think they gamble that he's available at 25.
11-Houston Astros-Archie Bradley-RHP-HS (Oklahoma)
Bradley is now considered by many to be a top 10 talent after he hit 101 MPH in a HS playoff game. He floated a 5 year 20 million dollar contract. Bradley has a 2 sport scholarship to Oklahoma but is likely to sign a baseball only deal. I think the Astros will be able to afford Bradley since the bonus won't be agreed to in August, when new ownership takes over, and Bradley does fit Scouting Director Bobby Heck's mold of drafting athletic, up the middle players. If Bradley prices himself out of Houston's range though I could see them looking at Springer, Swihart, Florida HS SS Javier Baez, or Tennessee HS LHP Daniel Norris.
12-Milwaukee Brewers-Jed Bradley-LHP-Georgia Tech
Milwaukee's farm system is bare and they need to re-stock it with prospects, and Bradley is the best prospect available. If Milwaukee wants to focus on position players they could look at Springer or try and buy out Swihart. They also are reportedly very high on Georgia HS OF Larry Greene, though he's a better fit at 15.
13-New York Mets-George Springer-OF-UConn
The Mets are saying that they have the ability to go overslot, but I'm still a bit skeptical that they would be able to go way overslot to get a guy like Swihart. Peter Gammons suggested via twitter that the Mets could take North Carolina SS Levi Michael. That said Springer has better tools and athleticism than Michael and shouldn't require a huge bonus.
14-Florida Marlins-Daniel Norris-LHP-HS (Tennessee)
The Marlins usually keep very close tabs on Southern California and Oklahome, but with both Bradley and Bundy gone, and SoCal having a weak draft year that means that they'll go in a different direction, and I think this year they'll go with the high upside lefty from Tennessee.
15-Milwaukee Brewers-Larry Greene-OF-HS (Georgia)
He's a guy who's had a ton of helium because of his prodigious raw power. He is also very raw and likely won't be great defensively. He should sign for slot which is improtant given that this is a compensation pick for not signing Dylan Covey last year.
16-Los Angeles Dodgers-Mikie Mahtook-OF-LSU
With MLB overseeing day to day operations of the Dodgers they need to sign a guy at slot and Mahtook should sign at slot and has good upside as well. If they think Mahtook is too expensive then they could look at Hawaii 2B Kolten Wong, Coastal Carolina RHP Anthony Meo, Florida St LHP Sean Gilmartin, or Utah 1B CJ Cron.
17-Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim-Taylor Jungmann-RHP-Texas
The Angels fired Eddie Bane who was known for taking high upside athletes, including Mike Trout. I think they go in a new direction in this draft and go with the BPA Jungmann, who is polished but doesn't have great upside.
18-Oakland Athletics-Joshua Bell-OF-HS (Texas)
Bell has one of the best bats in the country, and the A's are reportedly very high on him. He has an athletic body but when he fills out he may need to move a corner. He is a Boras client and has a commitment to Texas, but the A's don't pick again until the 3rd round (due to signing Grant Balfour) so they should be able to sign him.
19-Boston Red Sox-Matt Barnes-RHP-UConn
Theo Epstein saw Barnes pitch in person, and that speaks volumes. Barnes is better than the 19th talent but I think he ended up falling in the draft, and would be a very good pick at this point. Boston could also try and buy out Swihart with this pick.
20-Colorado Rockies-Kolten Wong-2B-Hawaii
The Rockies have been linked to Wong, and he could be a solid up the middle player for them. He is another guy who is a solid hitter and has some speed and decent defense at the keystone. He's another guy who has gained some helium.
21-Toronto Blue Jays-Blake Swihart-C-HS (NM)
Toronto has a ton of early picks and I think they will spend what they need to get the best players, and in this case it is Swihart who reportedly has one of the highest price tags in this draft. If Toronto doesn't think they can sign him they could look at Baez or a HS pitcher like-Joe Ross, Henry Owens, Robert Stephenson, Dillon Howard or Jose Fernandez.
22-St. Louis Cardinals-Dillon Howard-RHP-HS (Arkansas)
Howard is a polished HS pitcher from Arkansas, who reportedly has a very high price tag and is a Boras clien. He played on a traveling team last summer, and lived away from home so he should be somewhat prepared for professional baseball. The Cardinals usually don't shy away from price tag, so if they feel that Howard is the BPA they'll take him.
23-Washington Nationals-CJ Cron-1B-Utah
Cron was a catcher, but shifted the 1B this year due to a shoulder injury. He was expected to shift to 1B in pro ball anyway, and he has hit very well both for average and power. He makes sense at 23 and he should be signable, which is good given that Alex Meyer will likely command a high bonus and he could be the Nationals 1B of the future.
24-Tampa Bay Rays-Javier Baez-SS-HS (Florida)
I personally see Baez as a top 20, maybe top 15, pick but there are some questions about his ultimate position, though his bat should play anywhere. He also some attitude questions, though nothing that is too severe, He is the best player available and the Rays will start off their draft by taking the local SS.
25-San Diego Padres-Cory Spangenberg-3B-Indian River CC
CSpan has taken the title of best JUCO prospect away from Miami Dade OF Brian Goodwin and has put up video game numbers. The Padres are apparently in love with him and would consider him at 10, so they would likely be thrilled to get him at 25.
26-Boston Red Sox-Tyler Beede-RHP-HS (Massachusetts)
Beede is a traditional Red Sox pick and is a local product. He has a projectable frame and good stuff. He has good upside and could be a key contributor to refilling the Red Sox system which was thinned out by the Adrian Gonzalez trade.
27-Cincinnati Reds-Levi Michael-SS-North Carolina
The Reds like to target polished players that will sign for slot, which is a good characterization of Michael. He is playing his 3rd position in 3 years but has convinced scouts that he can stay at SS, and has shown very strong on base ability. He could moce quickly and help the Reds in short order if Zack Cozart proves that he can't be their SS of the future.
28-Atlanta Braves-Robert Stephenson-RHP-HS (CA)
The Braves are a team that always scouts extrememly well but rarely goes overslot, making their picks tough to project. I think they go with the Northern California RHP Stephenson, who started his season by throwing back to back no hitters, including one where he K'd 20.
29-San Francisco Giants-Andrew Susac-C-Oregon St
The Giants farm system is very thin, especially after the top 3 (Brandon Belt, Zack Wheeler, and Gary Brown) and under John Barr they have typically gone for polished near ML Ready prospects. Susac is very polished and has a well rounded game at C both offensively and defensively. This also helps fill a need since Tommy Joseph may not stick at C, and Hector Sanchez is still fairly raw, and injuries to guys like Posey and Mauer, have highlighted the high attrition rate at Catcher.
30-Minnesota Twins-Brandon Nimmo-OF-HS (Wyoming)
The Twins usually go for either polished pitchers or toolsy OF's and Nimmo certainly fits into the 2nd category. Nimmo played American Legion ball and worked out for scouts, and recently impressed them with his hitting ability showing surprising polish. He has reportedly thrown out a price tag of over 2 million as he is an Arkansas commit.
31-Tampa Bay Rays-Jose Fernandez-RHP-HS (Florida)
Fernandez has one of the best fastballs in the draft as well as a solid curveball. He is a year older than his competition as he defected to the U.S. at a young age. There is some talk that he could move to the bullpen due to his age and FB/CB combo but the Rays have the depth to let Fernandez take his time and develop a 3rd pitch.
32-Tampa Bay Rays-Henry Owens-LHP-HS (California)
Owens is a tall projectable lefty with advanced polish. He has a 6'7 frame and could be growing and while he doesn't have huge upside he does have an advanced feel for pitching, especially for a HS product.
33-Texas Rangers-Josh Osich-LHP-Oregon St
Osich has returned from Tommy John surgery by pitching well, despite only using a fastball and change up. The Rangers are reportedly very interested in him and have the pitching depth to have him work on his breaking ball rather than sending him straight to the bullpen.
***Supplemental 1st Round***
34-Washington Nationals-Jackie Bradley Jr-OF-South Carolina
Bradley came into the year as a top 15 talent, but has had a poor spring and injured his hand. He is a polished player with solid tools across the board, but no standout tool. He is a Boras client, but likely won't require a hugely above slot bonus.
35-Toronto Blue Jays-Tyler Anderson-LHP-Oregon
Another guy who came into the year looking like a 1st round pick, Anderson has struggled recently and given his lack of elite stuff, I think he drops out of the 1st round. He is very polished and should be signable, which is a big factor if the Jays take Swihart.
36-Boston Red Sox-Austin Hedges-C-HS (California)
The Red Sox have apparently been looking hard at a lot of HS catchers and Hedges is one of the best as he is very strong defensively and has some power in his bat. He should be a very tough sign as he has a strong commitment to UCLA and is a Boras client.
37-Texas Rangers-Joe Ross-RHP-HS (California)
Ross is the little brother of the A's pitcher, Tyson Ross. Unlike Tyson though, Joe has very clean mechanics and due to the depth of prep arms Joe has gotten lost in the shuffle a bit. He also has a UCLA commitment.
38-Tampa Bay Rays-John Stilson-RHP-Texas A&M
Stilson had been seen as a potential reliever coming into the year, but he has a solid year as a starter making some think that he at least has a chance to start. He has been a bit injured recently, but assuming it's not too serious, Stilson should be an affordable power arm, and the Rays depth will give him a chance to start.
39-Philadelphia Phillies-Derek Fisher-OF-HS (Pennsylvania)
The Phillies love to take the best athletes and Fisher is one of the best athletes in the draft as well as a home state product. He has a potential 5 tool OF, but he could be a tough sign as he has a strong commitment to Virginia.
40-Boston Red Sox-Kyle Crick-RHP-HS (Texas)
Another guy who Epstein has seen live, Crick is a typical Texas fireballer. He pairs a strong fastball that also has a breaking ball and a raw change up that he hasn't had to use much this year.
41-Tampa Bay Rays-Andrew Chafin-LHP-Kent St
Chafin is one of my favorite players in the draft. Like Osich he is a lefty who had TJ surgery, but Chafin already has use of 3 pitches as well as solid command. He should be signable, and has the makings of #3 starter at the next level.
42-Tampa Bay Rays-Michael Kelly-RHP-HS (Florida)
The Rays wealth of picks means they should go for a mix of signability of upside. Kelly falls into the latter category as he has a projectable 6'5 190 LB frame and good polish. Kelly is a Florida commit.
43-Arizona Diamondbacks-Alex Dickerson-OF-Indiana
Dickerson is a bat first player from Indiana, showing a strong ability to hit for average and power but he is only a LF at this point and he's not a guy who's going to win any gold glove picks. He should be signable though-important given that the DBacks have 2 top 10 picks. This could a bit similar to when the DBacks drafted Marc Krauss.
44-New York Mets-Anthony Meo-RHP-Coastal Carolina
The Mets are still in a position where going drastically overslot will likely be difficult, but Meo is a guy who should be signable and he has upside with two plus pitches even if his results haven't been dominant.
45-Colorado Rockies-Jason Esposito-3B-Vanderbilt
Esposito turned down $1.5 million by the Royals out of high school and spent 3 years at Vandy honing his skills. He has one of the best gloves at 3B, and even filled in at SS this year, but there are some questions about his ultimate power.
46-Toronto Blue Jays-Brian Goodwin-OF-Miami Dade CC
Goodwin is a tremendous athlete who was expected to go higher in the draft after being kicked off the North Carolina baseball team. He is a very good athlete though his instincts are still a bit lacking. He is committed to South Carolina next year.
47-Chicago White Sox-Chris Reed-LHP-Stanford
Reed is the closer for Stanford but some scouts think that he could end up starting at the next level. He is another guy who has gained some helium lately and should be a sandwich round pick.
48-San Diego Padres-Kyle Winkler-RHP-TCU
Winkler has stepped up for TCU even if ace Matt Purke has taken a step back. Winkler has a low-mid 90's fastball and decent offspeed stuff. He also has a bit of an ugly delivery, so he may need to shift to the bullpen but he'll get a chance to start.
49-San Francisco Giants-Michael Fulmer-RHP-HS (Oklahoma)
Fulmer is another guy who has gained helium and should be the 3rd player from Oklahoma drafted. Fulmer has hit 97 recently and has a decent slider and a raw change up, his body is a bit soft though.
50-Minnesota Twins-Trevor Story-SS-HS (Texas)
Story is an athletic SS from Texas who has a scholarship to LSU, where he could end up replacing Austin Nola. Story has smooth actions at SS and a very strong arm and some teams may look at him as a pitcher.
51-New York Yankees-Tyler Goeddel-3B-HS (California)
The Yankees have been linked to 4 prep players according to Frankie Piliere and with Howard off the board, and having drafted a SS in the first round last year that leaves it to Goeddel and Cave, and I see Goeddel as the better prospect.
52-Tampa Bay Rays-Jack Armstrong-RHP-Vanderbilt
Armstrong has a big frame and good bloodlines but after getting injured last year he has been brought back slowly due to a terrific rotation at Vandy. Armstrong will be a project but he has good stuff and again, TB has good depth to gamble on his upside.
53-Toronto Blue Jays-Jorge Lopez-RHP-HS (Puerto Rico)
Lopez is a projectable RHP from Puerto Rico who has hit 94 MPH this spring. He should be a 1st day pick and the Blue Jays haven't been a team that shy away from Puerto Rican talents.
54-San Diego Padres-Charlie Tilson-OF-HS (Illinois)
Tilson really burst onto the scene at the area code games this year, but he is supposedly a very tough sign. The Padres though have 5 picks so they can gamble that they'll be able to sign the athletic CF away from Illinois.
55-Minnesota Twins-Sean Gilmartin-LHP-Florida St
Gilmartin is a polished LHP with a good change up, which is a good description of a typical Twins pitcher. Gilmartin should be a fairly easy sign and could end up going higher than 55.
56-Tampa Bay Rays-Hudson Boyd-RHP-HS (Florida)
Boyd is big bodied local talent who has good make up. He is a local talent and the teammate of powerful 1B Daniel Vogelbach who also has concerns about his body.
57-Toronto Blue Jays-Travis Harrison-3B/OF-HS (California)
Harrison is a guy who the experts seem lower on than the other mockers. He has big time RH Power but he'll likely need to move to LF or 1B in pro ball, and he may need require and a big signing bonus to get bought out from USC.
58-San Diego Padres-Dillon Maples-RHP-HS (North Carolina)
Maples has a taken step forward this spring as he is fairly raw but has good upside. He has a good fastball and breaking ball. He is a North Carolina commit, and may need a strong signing bonus.
59-Tampa Bay Rays-Grandon Goetzman-SS/OF-HS (Florida)
Goetzman is another guy who has gained helium this spring. He is a SS right now but there are questions as to if he is even able to play pro ball. He has very good bat speed though and should profile all right at RF.
60-Tampa Bay Rays-Matthew Purke-LHP-TCU
Purke has experienced a down year, by showing below average stuff and even visiting Dr. James Andrews to look at his shoulder. He came back recently and was only sitting in the upper 80's but he was a top 5 pick coming into the year, and the Rays could follow him this summer after taking him.