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2016 MLB Mock Draft, Take One, Part Two

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Cookiedabookie's first mock draft, part two. Through pick 41!

Will Benson
Where might Will Benson be drafted?

So here is the second half of my mock draft, taking you to the end of the first supplemental round at pick 41. If the top twenty is difficult, this part is almost impossible and mostly speculative. But it is still a fun way to discuss draft prospects. I hope you enjoy!

21. Toronto Blue Jays: Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Vanderbilt

The Blue Jays have strong tendencies towards prep arms, in the first round and beyond. They would have to reach into the third tier right here, though, going for Kevin Gowdy or Alex Speas. They wouldn't be huge overdrafts, and Speas especially seems like a Blue Jays pick. But Jordan Sheffield is a short righty with a big arm, similar to Marcus Stroman, whom they've had success with. I think the Blue Jays will be quite happy with the redshirt sophomore from Vanderbilt.

22. Pittsburgh Pirates: Alex Kirilloff, OF, Plum HS, PA

The Pirates like to target prep bats in the first round. The top ranked high school bat available happens to be a local kid from Plum High, Alex Kiriloff. This seems like a no-brainer. If they didn't go this route, they could look at Taylor Trammell, a toolsy prep outfielder from Georgia. Or they could grab a college bat like Buddy Reed.

23. St. Louis Cardinals: Logan Shore, RHP. Florida

The Cardinals are a best player available team for the most part. They have a slight leaning towards bats over the first four rounds, and to college players in the first round. If they think they can help Buddy Reed reach his potential, I could see them grabbing him. But I feel like they may focus on a college arm here. They like pitchability guys, and the two that stick out are Eric Lauer and Logan Shore. I think in this situation they go with Shore, who reminds me a bit of Michael Wacha.

24. San Diego Padres: Bryan Reynolds, OF, Vanderbilt

For their second pick in the first round, the Padres go with a college bat and grab outfielder Bryan Reynolds from Vanderbilt. They would think about Buddy Reed here for sure. They would also look at Matt Thaiss here. But the skills and tools package that Reynolds brings to the table is too much to ignore at this point in the draft.

25. San Diego Padres: Cal Quantrill, RHP, Stanford

With their third pick in the top 25, the Padres could double down on the college bats with Matt Thaiss or Buddy Reed. But the talent is stacking up at college arms at this point, and I think they will look to diversify. Three picks this high up also allows them to take a risk here, so they could look to take a shot with Cal Quantrill, who could've been a top five pick if healthy.

26. Chicago White Sox: Zack Burdi, RHP, Louisville

Having grabbed their college bat with the tenth pick, the ChiSox will look to grab a college arm. The three best targets available are Eric Lauer, Robert Tyler, and Zack Burdi. Many have connected Lauer to the White Sox here, but I think Burdi makes more sense, especially if the White Sox think they can convert him to a starter. He has the power arm they like, and while his mechanics aren't crazy, they are just unusual enough to tempt the White Sox, who have drafted Sale, Rodon, and Tyler Danish as pitchers with unorthodox deliveries.

27. Baltimore Orioles: Taylor Trammell, OF, Mt. Paran Christian HS, GA

Baltimore is another team with few tendencies, especially in the first round. They do lean towards prep players, a little more towards pitchers than hitters. They could look at Alex Speas or Kevin Gowdy for prep righties off the mound, or Taylor Trammell, who fits their love of athletic prepsters (Mountcastle and Hart for recent examples). Gowdy kind of reminds me of Kevin Gausman in mechanics and with a big curveball. Speas gets compared to Touki Toussaint for his build and fastball/curveball combination. But I think Trammell is the guy they end up taking, a raw tooled-up prepster who recently left football behind – where he excelled – to focus on baseball only.

28. Washington Nationals: T.J. Zeuch, RHP, Pittsburgh

The Nats are second only to the Angels in focusing on college talent in the first round. With back-to-back picks, I will look for them to take one college bat and one college arm. Looking at the college pitchers available here, they could target Robert Tyler, Alec Hansen, or T.J. Zeuch. I would add Lauer here, but the Nats seem allergic to drafting lefties. Hansen has fallen apart this year, but he still has stuff that makes teams drool. Tyler is also has nice stuff, but he has dealt with some health issues and there are concerns he ends up in the bullpen. Zeuch has the best mechanics of the three, even at 6'7”. But he hasn't dominated the way someone with stuff should, pitching in a smaller conference. I still think Zeuch is someone the Nats would love to add to their system.

29. Washington Nationals: Buddy Reed, OF, Florida

Here, the Nationals could target a college bat. Buddy Reed is still available, and could be a steal at this point in the draft. There are two big bats still available as well: Matt Thaiss and Will Craig. Thaiss may not be able to stick at catcher, but he has perhaps the best plate discipline in the draft, and pop to go with it. Craig is dinged as a bat-first, right-hand hitting first baseman, but he is one of the five best college bats in the draft. With that said, I think the Nationals think they can fix Reed – they made a similar pick with Brian Goodwin in 2011.

30. Texas Rangers: Will Benson, 1B/OF, Westminster HS, GA

The Rangers lean towards high school players in the first round, and pitchers a bit more than hitters. The three best prep prospects remaining are Will Benson, Kevin Gowdy, and Alex Speas. Of the three, I think they will go with Benson, who has the type of light tower power the Rangers have loved to grab in the draft. Benson's left-handed swing is short and powerful. He may be stuck at first base defensively, but I suspect he is tried in the outfield first.

31. New York Mets: Will Craig, 1B/3B, Wake Forest

The Mets took a prep bat with their first pick, and could look to balance it out with a college bat here. Matt Thaiss and Will Craig are both still available. They could also look at Ryan Boldt, who was projected as a first round pick out of high school. Boldt hasn't been bad in college, but he hasn't performed the way many thought he would. And he had a rough summer in the Cape Cod League. I think the Mets would be more than happy to grab a power bat like Will Craig at pick 31. He could be the eventual successor to Lucas Duda.

32. Los Angeles Dodgers: Eric Lauer, LHP, Kent State

The Dodgers come back with their second pick of the first round, and see two college arms they were targeting at 20 still available: Robert Tyler and Eric Lauer. They could also look at Alec Hansen here. They do lean lefty with pitchers, though, so let's give them Lauer. Lauer is a pitchability lefty out of Kent State with three pitches that should be MLB average – a low 90s fastball, mid 70s curveball, and a changeup that flashes plus. He could be a lefty version of Mike Leake as a guy who can get to the bigs quick.

33. St. Louis Cardinals: Matthew Thaiss, C/1B, Virginia

The Cardinals continue to look for the best player available with their second first rounder. Here, they take Matt Thaiss, the catcher from Virginia. Thaiss has perhaps the most advanced plate discipline of any player this year, and could join a long line of successful college bats picked by the Cardinals. They might also look at Robert Tyler and Kevin Gowdy here.

34.St. Louis Cardinals: Kevin Gowdy, RHP, Santa Barbara HS, CA

With back-to-back picks, and having gone with a college arm and a college bat with their first two picks, the Cardinals look to diversify here. They could go for a HS bat or a HS arm. The highest ranked prep player is Kevin Gowdy. They could still look at Robert Tyler, who has fallen quite a bit. Or they could look at Joe Rizzo, a polished high school bat with defensive questions.

35. Cincinnati Reds: Chris Okey, C, Clemson

The Reds took a college pitcher with their first pick, but they do lean college bat in the first round. Looking at who is available, there is Ryan Boldt, Chris Okey, and Heath Quinn. Okey was a top draft prospect out of high school who chose to go to Clemson instead. He is one of the better catcher available in this year's draft, with average catching tools and a bat that should be above average for a backstop. Quinn is a powerful right-handed hitting outfielder for Samford, currently tied for third place in the nation with 18 home runs. The Reds are familiar with Samford products, having drafted Phil Ervin from there in 2013. In the end, I think the potential of having an above average backstop leads the Reds to pick Okey here.

36. Los Angeles Dodgers: Robert Tyler, RHP, Georgia

The Dodgers have already taken two college pitchers, but they showed last year they are not afraid to load up on pitching early, especially if top talent tumbles to them. In this case, Tyler has fallen to them and they jump on him, after looking at him with their first pick, pick 20. They might also look at Alec Hansen or Alex Speas here.

37. Oakland Athletics: Gavin Lux, SS, Indian Trail Academy, WI

With their first pick, they went with a college bat in Zack Collins. They lean towards prep bat in the first, however, so let's see who is available there. They love drafting shortstops, and there are some available: Carter Kieboom, Gavin Lux, and Drew Mendoza. Kieboom and Lux are both getting late helium into the first round. Drew Mendoza looks to be one of the hardest signs in the draft, and likely plays third base in pro ball (although PG thinks its possible for him to stay at SS). If they saved enough with a pick like Collins, Mendoza could work here. But there are some whispers/concerns with Mendoza's focus this spring. I'm going with Gavin Lux, it what is nothing less than a coinflip.

38. Colorado Rockies: Corey Sedlock, RHP, Illinois

After going with a prep bat at the top of the draft, the Rockies follow up with a college arm. There are some good ones available around this spot. Three they could look at are Anthony Kay, Corey Sedlock, and Justin Dunn. Dunn and Sedlock both have some helium right now, and all three are cold weather college guys, which could help in the transition to Colorado. Dunn has the most electric stuff of the three, but he needs to work on his command and change up. Kay is a pitchability lefty who will surprise some in pro ball with his solid pitching IQ. But Sedlock, with a worm killer sinker is the best fit for what the Rockies need in pitching – the ability to keep the ball on the ground.

39. Arizona Diamondbacks: Justin Dunn, RHP, Boston College

This is the Diamondbacks first pick, and they have the fifth-lowest draft bonus pool this year. That will likely limit the risk and upside they go for in this year's draft. They tend to focus on college guys in the first round, specifically college pitchers. Kay and Dunn are still available here, as is Daulton Jefferies, a University of California righty. Jefferies has had some health issues this season, and I'm personally not a big fan of his arm action (which makes me cringe). If I were the D'Backs, I'd go with Kay. If the D'Backs go all out on ceiling, Dunn is their guy. And I think they will.

40. Atlanta Braves: Carter Kieboom, SS, Walton HS, GA

The Braves aren't likely to take a second prep arm here, although Georgia native Alex Speas would be tempting. They could look at Alexander Kay, who has the type of polish they like in college arms. But I think they are jumping for joy that Georgia boy Carter Kieboom is still available, and grab him before someone in the top 39 build a time machine to go back and rectify their mistake in not drafting Kieboom.

41. Pittsburgh Pirates: Alex Speas, RHP, McEachern HS, GA

The Pirates took a prep bat with their first pick. They could continue that route, and they have been known to grab a catcher. The two best prep catchers are available here, and they are yin and yang. Cooper Johnson is the best defensive prep catcher, who has some question marks with the bat, while Ben Rortvedt has boom in the left-handed swing, and is still a project on defense (albeit with the tools to be an average backstop). They don't pick arms often, but when they do, they love big armed high school pitchers. And there's one that's sticking out like a sore thumb: Alex Speas. The Pirates will be happy to grab Speas here.

Let the tearing apart commence!