Several people have asked for a team-by-team summary of yesterday's 2015 Minor League Ball Community Mock Draft. We continue with the National League Central
1-9) Ian Happ, OF, Cincinnati
2-47) Cole Sands, RHP, Florida HS
3-82) Brett Lilek, LHP, Arizona State
4-113) Tyler Krieger, 2B, Clemson
COMMENT: Some people think Happ has the best available bat in the college draft class, at least among outfielders, making him a legitimate pick at ninth. The Cubs already have Cole’s brother Carson in the farm system and like his sibling, Cole might need extra $$$ to pass up college. Talent-wise I think he could fit here. Lilek is erratic but on the right day looks like a number three starter or perhaps a power reliever. Krieger is a leadoff type with a good glove but most likely a role player.
1-11) Phil Bickford, RHP, Southern Nevada
2-49) Joe DeMers, RHP, California HS
CRB-71) Cadyn Greiner, SS, Nevada HS
3-84) Travis Blankenhorn, SS, Pennsylvania HS
4-115) Kevin Kaczmarski, OF, Evansville
COMMENT: If you like Bickford this looks good; if you don’t, it doesn’t. Personally I like Bickford, being a sucker for strikeouts. DeMers has one of the better high school arms available, though we usually see him somewhere in the 70-90 range on lists. Greiner and Blankenhorn provide up the middle pep depth, though they won’t be cheap most likely. Kaczmarski is a budget senior with a good track record; subsequent single-digit picks would also have to be cheaper seniors if the preps want overslot money.
1-15) Garrett Whitley, OF, New York HS
CBA-40) Alonso Jones, INF-OF, Georgia HS
2-55) Tristin English, RHP, Georgia HS
3-90) Jeff Degano, LHP, Indiana State
4-121) Ryan Burr, RHP, Arizona State
COMMENT: The real life Brewers pushed upside in the 2014 class and this 2015 mock does the same thing; Whitley has power and speed, Jones may be an 80-runner, but both will need time and are high-risk. English is a pop up guy with a live arm and surprising polish. The scouting director had a family emergency so the backup picked Degano, a very successful college lefty who could be a mid-rotation arm if he maxes out. The director returned in time to select Ryan Burr, another college arm able to provide quick bullpen reinforcement.
1-19) Trenton Clark, OF, Texas HS
CRA-32) Donnie Everett, RHP, Tennessee HS
2-62) Triston McKenzie, RHP, Florida HS
3-96) Andrew Stevenson, OF, LSU
4-127) Brandon Koch, RHP, Dallas Baptist
COMMENT: This looks like something the Pirates might do: advanced high school hitter with tools in Clark, followed by a prep with a 95-97 MPH fastball in Everett, followed by a projectable arm with strong command who could get stronger and throw harder in time in McKenzie. Stevenson provides some experienced college leavening, while Koch’s power stuff could get him into the major league pen very quickly.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
1-23) Brady Aiken, LHP, IMG Academy
CBA-39) David Thompson, 1B-3B, Miami-FL
2-66) Bryce Denton, OF, Tennessee HS
3-100) Harrison Bader, OF, Florida
4-131) Carl Wise, 3B, College of Charleston
COMMENT: This would depend on how Aiken’s medicals look, but if the health risk is acceptable I like this group. David Thompson has an outstanding track record as a college power hitter and while many prospect lists are putting him at 100 or worse, he looks like he belongs in the late 20s or 30s to me and would be great value here if the pessimists are wrong. Denton is a toolsy power/speed player who will need time, but Bader and Wise have advanced college bats and should move through the system quickly. There is good balance here between upside and safety , assuming Aiken is OK. Filling rounds five-ten with pitching would seem like the next step.