This mock draft is wrong, but it’s not boring.
Everyone assumes that the Astros will select Brady Aiken as the top pick in the 2014 draft and most mock drafts, based on insider information and outsider logic, are projecting this.
But what if the Astros don’t go with expectations, or can’t work out an acceptable deal? This mock draft explores what would happen if the Astros throw a wrench in the works and select Nick Gordon, thinking that he would make a terrific match with Carlos Correa in the farm system.
DISCLAIMER: this is not a prediction. It is a thought experiment designed to show how an unexpected decision at the top of the draft could have a domino effect.
1) Astros: Nick Gordon, SS: In this thought experiment, the Astros come to a pre-draft below slot deal with Nick Gordon, then apply the money saved to high upside picks in later rounds.
2) Marlins: Carlos Rodon, LHP: Rodon still goes to the Marlins in this scenario.
3) White Sox: Aaron Nola, RHP: Lots of rumors that Kolek is dropping and Nola is rising. The Sox cut a deal with the safer bet.
4) Cubs: Brady Aiken, LHP: After thinking about ways to juggle the bonuses, the Cubs decide to play it straight with the idea that they can draft some cheaper guys later.
5) Twins: Sean Newcomb, LHP: It seems that the Twins want Gordon or Nola, but under this quantum reality they are both gone. General assumption is that Newcomb is the backup in this case.
6) Mariners: Alex Jackson, C: This is the expected choice with the Mariners wanting a bat by all accounts.
7) Phillies: Tyler Kolek, RHP: Not a classic Phillies pick, but could they pass up that arm?
8) Rockies: Kyle Freeland, LHP: Hometown guy and assumes medical reports are OK. Real rumors have him dropping below this.
9) Blue Jays: Trei Turner, SS: Polished but athletic and plays a premium defensive position. I doubt he falls much further than this.
10) Mets: Michael Conforto, OF: Mets are consistently linked with bats and Conforto is the best one still here.
11) Blue Jays: Max Pentecost, C: Polished but athletic and plays a premium defensive position. It is commonly assumed the Jays could take a pitcher here but I’m going outside the box.
12) Brewers: Touki Touissant, RHP: Does not seem Brewery, but they did draft Devin Williams last year as a high upside high school pitcher. Nobody has more upside than TT.
At this point everything is more of a crapshoot than normal. I have run out of time to do a full write up on the reasoning behind each choice here, partly because in some cases there isn't much reasoning, but here you go. Some of these are rumored picks, others (say Sean Reid-Foley, Garret Fulenchek, and) are just guys that I think could have their names called earlier than expected and have been matched with a logical team.
13) Padres: Kyle Schwarber, C-1B
14) Giants: Sean Reid-Foley, RHP
15) Angels: Tyler Beede, RHP
16) Diamondbacks: Nick Howard, RHP
17) Royals: Forrest Wall, 2B
18) Nationals: Bradley Zimmer, OF
19) Reds: Brandon Finnegan, LHP
20) Rays: Jacob Gatewood, SS
21) Indians: Casey Gillaspie, 1B
22) Dodgers: Grant Holmes, RHP
23) Tigers: A.J. Reed, 1B
24) Pirates: Derek Hill, OF
25) Athletics: T’Quan Forbes, SS
26) Red Sox: Alex Blandino, INF
27) Cardinals: Michael Kopech, RHP
28) Royals: Kodi Medeiros, LHP
29) Reds: Monte Harrison, OF
30) Rangers: Garret Fulenchek, RHP
31) Indians: Joseph Gatto, RHP
32) Braves: Michael Chavis, 3B
33) Red Sox: Erick Fedde, RHP
34) Cardinals: , C
Have fun shooting this apart. Reality will do so in a few hours anyway.