Time for the 2nd round/Lottery B/3rd Round, which means taking a look at the players in the mix for pick #48, 71, and 85. Some of the players I mentioned in the previous MOD are likely available for the first. Pretty big range, so working very roughly downward and by ilk, let's get prospecting:
Gavin Lux SS WI HS
Shooting up boards it seems (good call, charleswallace), he's an extremely high priority target should he last to #48 for some reason. Recent mocks make him more of a FA Comp target. More twitchy than smooth, but he has the tools to stick at SS defensively, and the hand speed to hit some balls out in the pros as he continues to get stronger. I'll say it: gay pornstar name.
Ben Rortvedt C WI HS
Two Wisconsinites? Weird. I'm not a big catcher guy mostly because, by all indications, their defensive prowess is reducible almost entirely to framing and god knows who's good at that - it's all about the bat. Rortvedt is a fairly unusual catcher physically being on the smaller side and ridiculously muscular and well-conditioned for any HS player, and that's actual a mild concern for me as I worry how much of a role his physical maturity plays in his evaluations. All downside physically.
Chris Okey C Clemson
Hey, another catcher. This draft is loaded with college catchers. Okey was a somewhat bigger spec out of HS than Rortvedt (though a lot of that's probably owed to his home state), but the two remind me of one another and are pretty close tools-wise. I think Okey's the horse the bet on with a solid college track record and I've always loved his swing.
Matt Krook LHP Oregon
Alec Hansen would have my undivided attention at #48, and a good portion of it at #24/25, and Krook is basically a poor man's version of him. Not quite 1.1 material, but prior to his nightmarish 2016 season, he was regarded as a top-half-of-the-first prospect. Doesn't know where it's going anymore, but can spin it for real. Perhaps more distance from his TJ will let him recapture some of the magic?
Daulton Jeffries RHP Cal
Mercifully the helium has been let out of this guy and now he's a nice safe (on the mound, at least) 2nd round pitcher with some injury history, as it should be. Mediocre arsenal and an imperfect but spare and practiced delivery that has Command and Control written all over it. Shady shoulder injury scares me and I'm not big on this type of pitcher, but I have a good feeling if he's semi-healthy.
Jesus Luzardo LHP FL HS
I'm a great appreciator of injured pitchers.
Jeff Belge LHP Syracuse, NY
One of the guys who jumped out at me early on, he's from a baseball backwater, but has an interesting combo of safety and upside for a HSer in this range. Stuff has been rated everywhere from pretty good to great, and is held back by eye injuries, of all things. Save for that, reads as a late first round type to me. Vision is overrated.
Thomas Jones OF SC HS
When in doubt, just see who Vanderbilt wants. Really built and athletic listed at 6'3" 190, looks like a major college safety, and sure enough was recruited as such. Potentially excellent defender. In some (old) video I've seen the swing looks...projectable.
Austin Hays OF Jacksonville
Samford's Heath Quinn gets the poor man's Kyle Lewis billing, but while the performance is there, I just don't get it. This I get, and Hays is easily the small school OF to bet on in the 2nd. High energy. Ripped. Above average raw tools across the board, put bat on ball in the CCL, late bloomer starting to come into his own at the right time (reminds me a bit of Hunter Renfroe in that regard, though he's not that good). Tweener label officially avoided imo, though if he can play CF then that's cool too.
Akil Baddoo OF GA HS
Call Tyrone. Tell him come on, help you get. some. hits. I dunno. Impressive lefty swing, above average runner, very young for the class. Hard to get too jacked up over HS corner guys in this range, but looks like a hitter to me.
Bryson Brigman SS San Diego
A sure-thing up the middle guy who doesn't strike out and...well that's pretty much it I suppose, but that's plenty. Not the most pressing organizational need for the Pads, but a type I target in my Shadows. In 2015, Brigman would've probably been the eighth or ninth college MIF taken, this year he'll be the first.
Jake Fraley OF LSU
I swear LSU baseball must be cloning these dudes. He's fast, he plays good D, he makes contact. Fraley just kept doing his thing this year rather than break out and jump into the the 1st round, but I prefer him to the more physical and even more stagnant Ryan Boldt.
Braeden Ogle LHP FL HS
Decidedly a Lottery target literally and figuratively, always had my attention and has been trending up. Raw lefty with a ton to work with. The spitting mirror image of Phil Bickford on the mound. Committed to Florida, he's the type who emerges as a 1st round pick in three years.
Max Kranick RHP PA HS
UVA recruit who seems to the type to be crouching his way into the comp round in 3 years, but not if I have anything to say about it. Good slider, outstanding delivery, filling out really well, looks like a keeper. Fringy name.
Nolan Martinez RHP CA HS
Projection and value here. Young look and a very quick arm along with solid present stuff: the thinking man's Kevin Gowdy. Potential It haver?
Lucas Erceg 3B/RHP Menlo
Got himself booted out of Cal and emerged down the road a piece at Menlo, former home of Patty Hearst and a bunch of members of the Saudi royal family, so he's in good company. Legit two-way prospect, but pitching is a fall-back for me. Passes the eye-test offensively and defensively. Kind of hard to make much of his performance at the NAIA level, where he's been hitting a lot of homers and demonstrating an extremely aggressive approach, seldom walking or striking out. Known as a power guy, but has always put bat on ball well, which is a huge selling point for me - reminiscent of Matt Chapman, actually. Pipeline ranks him 58th, nobody else is really onboard, but I'm higher than that.
Sheldon Neuse 3B/RHP Oklahoma
Another one. Like Erceg, I think this boat may be missed. He's actually gotten progressively more strikeout prone over his career, and despite a poor showing in the CCL he's turned it on well enough this year to intrigue me. Versatile athlete with a broad tool set.
Bobby Dalbec 3B/RHP Arizona
haha just kidding! He always struck out too much for me, but I wonder what happened to his power? I'd be interested to try him as a starter, actually, albeit it a lot later in the draft.
Austin Bergner RHP FL HS
And what the heck happened to Bergner? I assume his arm's about to fall off? Assuming for a second that it is not, he checks an awful lot of 1st round boxes. He'll be draft eligible as a sophomore and committed to UNC, so may have fallen too far.
Nick Banks OF Texas A&M
Okay, so the top 10 pick stuff was ridiculous, but worth exploring in the 3rd round. In general I like pop-ups, and I like long-time prospects who've fallen off the face of the earth. So how does Banks, a small COF with average tools and very little projection get the amount of hype he did after a SOPH season in which he struck out 21% of the time? In any event, he now falls into the dreaded 4th OF basket, which makes him a likely 3rd rounder. To be fair, that is the very basket that our beloved Harrison Bader inhabited last year. As did Skye Bolt, and an unusually large number of college OFs. Doesn't count for much, but he looks really good in the box.
Kyle Funkhouser RHP Louisville
Concluding the Prospect Fatigue Suite is the grandaddy of them all. In what proved an empty gesture (can't make one to a Funkhouser), I actually picked him for the Rockies last year. It's been quite a ride for Funkhouser: late first rounder, then early first rounder, then late first rounder again, then he didn't sign, and pretty much the instant that happened, he was being projected as a mid-2nd rounder in 2016. It's only gone South from there. Even as the helium has turned to lead, he still looks every inch a ML starter. Nowhere to run this time!
J.B. Woodman OF Ole Miss
Going off the board a bit. Prototypical RF with power, speed, and now, finally, some numbers to back it up. Short track record, but he's done a lot lately. Strike while the iron is hot.