Over at ESPN.com, prospect analyst Keith Law released his first 2015 MLB Mock Draft today. The article is behind the ESPN paywall but is certainly worth your time.
***Law suggests that college players will be a key focus for many teams this year. While there is decent consensus on who the top players are, few of these players have truly separated themselves from the pack at his point. This is particularly true among the high school players so the fact that college talents have longer track records will play in for some teams.
***Law projects that a pair of college shortstops, Dansby Swanson of Vanderbilt and Alex Bregman of Louisiana State, will be the first two players selected. The Diamondbacks are reportedly considering Swanson as well as UC-Santa Barbara right-hander Dillon Tate, with Swanson's teammate RHP Carson Fulmer as a potential third option. Keith seems firm that the Astros, picking second and fifth, will focus on hitters with Bregman their top name.
If that's true (and it seems very plausible to me), the Astros will have some interesting decisions to make up the middle in the coming years with Jose Altuve, Bregman, and outstanding prospect Carlos Correa all on board.
***Law projects Tate going third overall to the Rockies, who are focused on taking pitching even if Tate isn't available. I have heard similar rumors.
***Keith believes that the Astros will take Florida high school outfielder Kyle Tucker fifth overall. That makes sense on a talent basis but it also dovetails nicely with the fact that Kyle's older brother Preston is already in the organization.
***Law projects Vanderbilt ace Carson Fulmer going seventh overall to the Red Sox, with Commodores teammate Walker Buehler matched with the Phillies at 10th.
***Law runs down the Top 30 selections, going four players past the technical end of the first round.
***We are working on our own Mock Draft here at Minor League Ball, plus we have the Community Mock Draft coming up next weekend. Draft season is a blast. Stay tuned!