2017 Mock Draft, Mark I
Here’s my first shot at a 2017 Mock Draft. With the draft three weeks away, this should be regarded merely as educated guesswork.
1) Twins: Brendan McKay, LHP-1B, University of Louisville: It seems likely to come down to either McKay or Hunter Greene. As a college guy McKay is a bit safer and has no shortage of upside himself, projecting as an impact player as either a first baseman or starting pitcher.
2) Reds: Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt: With McKay gone this comes down most likely to either Greene or Wright, the latter boosting his stock recently after a spotty start.
3) Padres: Hunter Greene, RHP, Sherman Oak, California: Greene supposedly wants to go either number one to the Twins or number three to the California-based Padres. He gets his wish in this scenario.
4) Rays: MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville, North Carolina: Top prep lefty available would slot well into a farm system that needs more southpaws and has concentrated on hitters in last few drafts.
5) Braves: Austin Beck, OF, Lexington, North Carolina: Strong rumors here of Atlanta’s interest in fast-rising Beck, which makes sense both tool-wise and geographically. Gore could also go here if available or if Beck is already gone.
6) Athletics: Adam Haseley, OF, University of Virginia: Everyone seems to fit J.B. Bukauskas in this spot but we’ll throw a change-up and go with the ultra-polished Haseley.
7) Diamondbacks: Royce Lewis, OF, San Juan Capistrano, California: Someone always falls unfairly/unexpectedly, and in this scenario it is Lewis, who could go as high as third overall.
8) Phillies: J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, University of North Carolina: Bukauskas is unlikely to fall further than this.
9) Brewers: Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt: He has the physical talent to be a top three pick but falls here due to contact concerns. However, his upside is tremendous, he’s from Wisconsin, and the Brewers like toolsy outfielders.
10) Angels: Pavin Smith, OF, University of Virginia: Exceptional polish and a near-major league ready bat with no shortage of upside. A thin system could use that.
11) White Sox: Jordon Adell, OF, Louisville, Kentucky: I considered college pitching or D.L. Hall but Adell has the most physical upside of the remaining players.
12) Pirates: D.L. Hall, LHP, Valdosta, Georgia: The Pirates aren’t afraid of high school pitching and Hall (a potential top 10 pick) as much upside as anyone available here.
13) Marlins: Alex Faedo, RHP, University of Florida: Home state guy and won’t need long in the minors; Marlins have gone with prep picks recently but a thin system could advise a change in tactics.
14) Royals: Trevor Rogers, LHP, Carlsbad, New Mexico: Royals are reportedly linked with Rogers as well as some college bats. The latter would make sense given needs of the organization, but I think they will stick with “highest upside available.”
15) Astros: Seth Romero, LHP, University of Houston: Massive makeup questions drop him here. He’s a top 10 guy on talent but getting kicked off your college team is a big red flag. However, his talent is undeniable and as a local product he would be attractive if the Astros think they can get his personality issues under control. It’s a logical choice for a team that isn’t afraid to take gambles.
16) Yankees: Nick Pratto, 1B, Huntington Beach, California: Fits well here on talent and there are rumors the Yankees want him. We’ll go with it.
17) Mariners: David Peterson, LHP, University of Oregon: Statistical dominance, no shortage of stuff, and pitches in the Northwest. Seems like a fit to me.
18) Tigers: Tanner Houck, RHP, University of Missouri: A hard-throwing right-hander from the SEC. Nothing is more Tigers than that, plus “Missouri Tigers.”
19) Giants: Logan Warmoth, SS, University of North Carolina: Polished up-the-middle player from a top-notch conference with an under-rated bat. That spells Giants.
20) Mets: Sam Carlson, RHP, Burnsville, Minnesota: He’ll need some polish but the Mets have had good luck developing similar packages. He’ll need to grow out his hair though.
21) Orioles: Jake Burger, 3B, Missouri State University: The Orioles often go the college route and Burger’s bat is worthy here. LSU ace Alex Lange or UC-Irvine bat Keston Hiura could also slot here.
22) Blue Jays: Griffin Canning, RHP, UCLA: I think they go college here, either hitter or pitcher, perhaps Hiura if they have a position for him. For today we’ll go with Canning, another “won’t need much time” guy.
23) Dodgers: Hans Crouse, RHP, Dana Hills, California: Physical (6-5) right-hander with remaining projection who already throws in the mid-90s. He may have to go this high to pass up Southern California baseball.
24) Red Sox: Alex Lange, RHP, Louisiana State University: Would be very hard to pass up here given another strong spring from LSU ace.
25) Nationals: Keston Hiura, OF, UC-Irvine: Injury-schminjury. He can hit. They’ll worry about the position later.
26) Rangers: Heliot Ramos, OF, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico: Rapid-riser with excellent tools and questions about his hitting polish fits long-term Rangers trends.
27) Cubs: Wil Crowe, RHP, University of South Carolina: Advanced college arm would fit into system still looking to boost pitching depth.
28) Blue Jays: Brendon Little, LHP, State Junior College of Florida: We went with the polished Canning for the Jays at 22, so we’ll mix in a high-upside southpaw at 28. Needs command work but 95+ heat and a plus curve hard to overlook.
29) Rangers: Shane Baz, RHP, Tomball, Texas: Hard-throwing right-hander has a commitment to Texas Christian that may be hard to draw him away from unless he goes in the top ten. In this scenario the Rangers go under-slot with Ramos at 26 and take a shot at Baz at 29.
30) Cubs: Nate Pearson, RHP, Central Florida Junior College: Not as polished as Crowe at 27, but can hit 97-100 MPH.
31) Rays: Drew Waters, OF, Woodstock, Georgia: Switch-hitter with speed, power, and just enough questions about contact to keep him out of the top 30 but not enough doubt to fall much further than this.
32) Reds: Bubba Thompson, OF, Mobile, Alabama: Excellent tools and I had been considering him as high as 20. Would be a steal if he really falls here.
33) Athletics: Evan White, 1B, University of Kentucky: Hard to see him falling much further than this considering how much his bat is respected. Would give Oakland a nice pair of near-MLB ready bats with Haseley.
34) Brewers: Nick Allen, SS, San Diego, California: We’re really into guesswork at this point in a mock. Allen has one of the best gloves in the draft and he’s got a chance to hit, too.
35) Twins: Daniel Tillo, LHP, Iowa Western Community College: A bit of a surprise pick but the Twins drafted him once before (39th round, 2015), he’s a lefty who hits 95 MPH, has good size (6-5, 215), and has been statistically dominant (2.86, 57/15 K/BB in 44 innings) with a high whiff rate.
36) Marlins: Mark Vientos, SS, Plantation, Florida: Won’t stay at shortstop but a local kid, very young at 17, with plus power potential. Would pair nicely with Faedo.