Let's finish up the 2015 Minor League Ball Community Mock Draft with a look at the American League Eastern Division. For a look at the entire draft, click here.
1-25) Chris Betts, C, California HS
CRA-36) Nathan Kirby, LHP, Virginia
2-68) Mike Soroka, RHP, Canada HS
3-102) Alex Robinson, LHP, University of Maryland
4-133) Garrett Benge, 3B, Cowley County CC
COMMENT: Given that both Betts and Kirby were viewed as Top Ten talents four months ago, this could be a huge success for the Orioles. Soroka’s stock has been climbing in recent weeks, offering a fresh arm with good pitchability. Robinson is local and could move quickly as bullpen help, while Benge has been unstoppable at the junior college level this spring and features both power and strike zone judgment. Overall this looks very good to me.
BOSTON RED SOX
1-7) Andrew Benintendi, OF, University of Arkansas
3-81) Riley Ferrell, RHP, TCU
4-111) Luke Shilling, RHP, Michigan HS
COMMENT: Benintendi has been shooting up draft boards and many rumors link him with the Red Sox, so seeing him here is entirely realistic with his power/speed combo and left-side bat. Ferrell is an experienced college closer who could pay quick bullpen dividends, while Shilling offers a 6-5, 250 pound frame and a fresh cold-weather arm.
NEW YORK YANKEES
1-16) Cornelius Randolph, SS, Georgia HS
CRA-30) Juan Hillman, LHP, Florida HS
2-57) Drew Finley, RHP, California HS
3-92) Andrew Suarez, LHP, Miami-FL
4-123) Mariano Rivera JR, RHP, Iona
COMMENT: Scouts seem to love Randolph’s bat and only questions about his position keep him out of the top ten, so 16th seems like a reasonable spot. Hillman is one of the most polished prep arms available and his velocity has been increasing in recent weeks; he’s a sharp pick at 30. Finley is also quite advanced for a high school guy but couldn’t go much lower than this to pass up college. Suarez is a fast-moving strike thrower and you just know the Yankees had to pick Rivera, who has turned himself into a legitimate prospect this spring with better command and better stuff.
TAMPA BAY RAYS
1-13) Mike Nikorak, RHP, Pennsylvania HS
2-52) Richie Martin, SS, University of Florida
3-87) Antonio Santillan, RHP, Texas HS
4-118) Isaiah Gilliam, OF, Chipola JC
COMMENT: This strikes me as Raysish: cold-weather high school arm in Nikorak and a pop-up two-way athlete hard-thrower in Santillan, both would need patient development but would fit well into Tampa’s pitching schema. Gilliam is a switch-hitter with power but still rather raw, while Martin can field, steal bases, and make contact but lacks power.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
CRA-29) Jon Harris, RHP, Missouri State University
2-56) Demi Orlmoloye, OF, Canada HS
3-91) Luke Wakamatsu, INF, Texas HS
4-122) Travis Bergen, LHP, Kennesaw State
COMMENT: Harris falling to 29 is a coup for the mock Jays given that he’s seen as a Top Ten guy by many sources. Bergen is a nice pick in the fourth round as a durable and successful college pitcher and like Harris can advance quickly, though without the same upside. DO is from Canada and could have one of the best bats in the draft along with some understandable rawness, while Wakamatsu is a switch-hitter with polish and a chance to stick at shortstop, though a Rice commitment could cause signability issues.