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2012 Community Mock Draft: National League Central Review

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Forward March, to the National League Central Community Mock Draft review.

2012 National League Central Mock Draft Review

Chicago Cubs
1-6) Max Fried, LHP, California HS
1S-43) Alex Wood, LHP, University of Georgia
1S-56) Pete O'Brien, C, University of Miami
2-67) Wyatt Mathisen, C, Texas HS
3-101) Patrick Wisdom, 3B, St. Mary's

John's Take: If Giolito's arm isn't 100%, I can see Fried going before him, and his pitchability/projection combination is excellent. Wood will probably go in the 40-50 range in real life, as could O'Brien if teams trust his defense. Mathisen might not be signable with second-round slot money away from the University of Texas, but he's the second-best catcher in the draft behind Zunino on pure talent. Wisdom is the kind of player who would have slid down some boards in previous years due to his spotty spring, but with the new CBA I can see him going in the third. Overall, a nice balance if the money works out.

Cincinnati Reds
1-14) Andrew Heaney, LHP, Oklahoma State University
1S-49) Travis Jankowski, OF, Stony Brook
1S-57) Carson Kelly, 3B, Oregon HS
2-78) Kayden Porter, RHP, Utah HS
3-109) Kevin Brady, RHP, Clemson

John's Take: This all looks reasonable to me, assuming Kelly's bonus demands are realistic. Heaney and Jankowski are two of the most polished talents available, while the hard-hitting Kelly and hard-throwing hulk Porter provide some upside that will take time to develop. Brady is a three-pitch right-hander with a good track record from a major Division I program, a type of player that I expect we'll see come off the board in droves in the third round and later.

Houston Astros
1-1) Byron Buxton, OF, Georgia HS
1S-41) Hunter Virant, LHP, California HS
2-61) Fernando Perez, 3B, Central Arizona CC
3-96) Jeremy Gelalich, OF, UCLA

John's Take: Supposedly, according to rumor, the Astros scouting people want to take Buxton, but higher-ups want to take someone who will help in the majors more rapidly. Something like this could be a nice compromise: early upside with the uber-toolsy Buxton and strongly-projectable Virant, followed by a solid bat in the underrated Fernando Perez, then a successful multi-skilled/tooled outfielder from a major college program in Gelalich.

Milwaukee Brewers
1-27) Lucas Sims, RHP, Georgia HS
1-28) Joey Gallo, 1B, Nevada HS
1S-38) Stephen Piscotty, 3B, Stanford
2-92) Josh Henderson, OF, Virginia HS
3-122) Kenny Diekroeger, INF, Stanford

John's Take: Sims and Gallo would provide an upside boost for a farm system that needs it desperately, with Piscotty and Diekroeger leavening some of the risk that selecting someone like boom/bust Gallo represents. Henderson is the intriguing pick for me: he's quite fast and looks like a player, but as a home-schooled kid his level of competition has been weak and no one is quite sure what to make of him. He could go as high as the second round to a team that believes in the tools and thinks he'll hit, but he could also fall much farther.

Pittsburgh Pirates
1-8) Albert Almora, OF, Florida HS
1S-45) Barrett Barnes, OF, Texas Tech
2-69) Tom Murphy, C, University of Buffalo
3-103) Lex Rutledge, LHP, Samford

John's Take: I like this. Barnes and Murphy are two of my favorite college players. Both have power; Barnes adds speed to the mix, while Murphy is a sound defender. Almora is about as safe as a high school player can be: all of his tools are better-than-average-to-excellent, he's polished for his age, and his makeup is sound. He could go higher than this under some scenarios. Rutledge is erratic but throws very hard and could be a steal.

St. Louis Cardinals
1-19) Corey Seager, 3B, North Carolina HS
1-23) Chris Stratton,RHP, Mississippi State University
1S-36) Pierce Johnson, RHP, Missouri State University
1S-52) Ty Buttrey, RHP, North Carolina HS
1S-59) Steve Bean, C, Texas HS
2-86) Mason Melotakis, LHP, Northwestern State University
3-117) Matt Olson, 1B, Georgia HS

John's Take: This looks very much like something the Cardinals could do. Seager doesn't really fit an organization need, but in the first round you don't pass up a player you really believe in for that sort of reason. Stratton and Johnson are perfect Cardinals draft choices: college pitchers with live arms and good command. Buttrey and Bean are plausibly signable if they don't fall any further than this. Buttrey is considered relatively safe as prep arms go. Melotakis throws quite hard and could move fast as a reliever. Olson can hit, but is a signability risk in the third round given a Vanderbilt commitment. Even if he didn't sign, the rest of the class would be strong.