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2017 MLB Mock Draft: Bizarro World Edition

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Expect the unexpected!

Brendan McKay goes #1 - but not as a pitcher!
University of Louisville sports information

As you know, I tend to inform my mock drafts based on the five year draft tendencies of each team. You can learn all about that here. However, what if I did the opposite? What if this was a Bizarro World draft?

So here is how this will go. I will pick the type of player a team is least likely to pick over the last five years. I will pick players based on my own rankings (so no random tenth rounder in the first round). Given that mocks are usually about 90% wrong, especially after the first few picks, this likely won’t be more wrong than most mock attempts. And at the very least, it should be a fun way to debate the upcoming draft.

Pick #1: Minnesota Twins: Brendan McKay, 1B, Louisville

The Twins are least likely to pick a college bat in round one. I could’ve gone with Adam Haseley or Pavin Smith here, but instead they go with McKay as a first baseman only. Maybe someday Brendan will get to pitch some mop-up innings in a blowout. But for now, it’s first base all day, every day.

Pick #2: Cincinnati Reds: Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS, CA

So far, no real surprises. But the Reds are least likely to pick a high school arm over the past five years, so here they take the big arm of Greene. They could surprise even more with someone like MacKenzie Gore.

Pick #3: San Diego Padres: Royce Lewis, SS, J Serra Catholic HS, CA

Again, nothing surprising. Lewis has been seen as a likely back-up plan in the event that Hunter Greene does not make it to pick three. But the Padres are the third least-likely team to draft a prep bat in the first round. They could surprise further with Jo Adell or Austin Beck.

Pick #4: Tampa Bay Rays: MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville HS, GA

The Rays are one of the least likely to take a prep arm, so they take the top ranked prep arm available in Gore. Again, this is an outcome that has been predicted by some, so perhaps not that surprising.

Pick #5: Atlanta Braves: Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt

First surprise of Bizarro draft. College arm is a close second for least likely pick for the Braves, behind college bat. It’s close enough that I decided a top three talent should be picked here over Adam Haseley, but you could make the case that Haseley should go here based purely on the numbers.

Pick #6: Oakland Athletics: Shane Baz, RHP, Concordia Lutheran HS, TX

They are least likely to pick a high school arm. They could go many directions here: top available is DL Hall, but fast risers Shane Baz and Sam Carlson could make sense here as well. In the end, they go with Baz, who may need to go this high to be bought out of TCU.

Pick #7: Arizona Diamondbacks: Jo Adell, Ballard HS, KY

The D’Backs are least likely to go with a high school bat. They could go with Austin Beck here, or try to grab someone like Bubba Thompson to an under slot deal. But they take in my opinion the top prep bat in this year’s draft class.

Pick #8: Philadelphia Phillies: Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt

The Phillies are least likely to go with a college bat. They could go with Pavin Smith, who has actually been tied to this pick in the rumor mill. Instead they take an athletic, somewhat risky, toolsy player in Jeren Kendall - a much closer fit to traditional Phillies drafts.

Pick #9: Milwaukee Brewers: David Peterson, LHP, Oregon

The Brewers surprise everyone and take Peterson here. They tend to pick righties over lefties, so let’s flip the script. They do ponder J.B. Bukauskas and Alex Faedo. Either way, they would have to take some medicine to avoid the PTSD response caused by their 2011 first round.

Pick #10: Los Angeles Angels: Austin Beck, North Davidson HS, NC

Given that the greatest player the Angels ever drafted was a high school bat, it is surprising that that’s the pool they are least likely to draft from - until now! They grab Austin Beck, of whom some have made (lazy) comparisons to Trout. They could go further down the ranks to Pratto, Thompson, or even further down to someone like Vientos.

Pick #11: Chicago White Sox: Sam Carlson, RHP, Burnsville HS, MN

The Chisox could have gone with DL Hall here, the top prep arm on my board. Instead, they go with a prospect who is much closer to them geographically, Sam Carlson.

Pick #12: Pittsburgh Pirates: J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, North Carolina

The Pirates rarely take a college arm in the first round, but they do here. This is a coin flip for them between JBB and Faedo. In the end, they go with the pitcher who had been talked about as a top six pick most of the spring.

Pick #13: Miami Marlins: Adam Haseley, OF, Virginia

The Marlins are least likely to draft a bat, and more unlike to draft a college bat than a prep one. The two best college bats are Virginia teammates Haseley and Pavin Smith. They decide to go with Haseley, even though the first base outlook in their system is atrocious.

Pick #14: Kansas City Royals: Mark Vientos, SS, Flanagan HS, FL

The Royals go with a prep bat here. The top ranked one is Nick Pratto, but since they are tied as the least likely team to pick a shortstop, let’s find a prep shortstop for them to grab. It comes down to Nick Allen and Mark Vientos. Vientos being fourteen months younger gives him the edge.

Pick #15: Houston Astros: Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida

The Astros are looking at college arms here. The best one available is Faedo, with Griffin Canning, Tanner Houck, and Alex Lange also in play. But they go with the top guy, Alex Faedo.

Pick #16: New York Yankees: Nick Pratto, 1B, Mater Dei HS, CA

The Yankees are least likely to pick a prep bat. Among positions, first base is the one they are least likely to pick. Low and behold, a perfect target appears: Nick Pratto. What’s surprising is that this isn’t surprising: he’s been tied to the Yankees all spring.

Pick #17: Seattle Mariners: DL Hall, LHP, Houston County HS, GA

Seattle is the team least likely to pick an arm in the first round, by a wide margin. They are slightly more likely to pick a prep arm. However, given how the board is looking, they decide to go with prep lefty DL Hall. Otherwise, they’d be looking at the Canning/Houck/Lange trio.

Pick #18: Detroit Tigers: Pavin Smith, 1B, Virginia

The Tigers shy away from bats in the first round, prep bats a bit more than college bats. However, the top player remaining is a college bat, so they grab Pavin Smith. Otherwise, they’d be looking at Nick Allen, given how rarely they take a shortstop in the top four rounds.

Pick #19: San Francisco Giants: Blayne Enlow, RHP, St. Amant HS, LA

The Giants are least likely to pick a prep arm in the first round. They look at Hans Crouse, but decide to grab Blayne Enlow and his nasty curveball.

Pick #20: New York Mets: Hans Crouse, RHP, Dana Hills HS, CA

The Mets are fine with the Giants taking Enlow, and having Crouse fall to them. They are hoping Crouse becomes a right handed version of Thomas Szapucki, with similarly violent mechanics coming out of high school.

Pick #21: Baltimore Orioles: Jake Burger, 3B, Missouri State

The Orioles aren’t “unlikely” to take any cohort, but are slightly less likely to take a prep arm or a college bat. The topped ranked of those two groups is Jake Burger. But they could go with Logan Warmoth here. If they went prep arm here, Trevor Rogers or Jacob Heatherly would be good targets.

Pick #22: Toronto Blue Jays: Keston Hiura, 2B, UC Irvine

The Jays tend not to pick bats in the first round, without much discrimination between college and prep talent. The top bat on the board is Keston Hiura. Thompson, Ramos, or Allen could tempt here as well.

Pick #23: Los Angeles Dodgers: Trevor Rogers, LHP, Carlsbad HS, NM

The Dodgers are torn between a prep arm and a college bat here. It comes down to Trevor Rogers versus Logan Warmoth. Rogers is higher on the board, so they go with the big lefty from New Mexico.

Pick #24: Boston Red Sox: Nick Allen, SS, Parker HS, CA

The Red Sox rarely take prep bats. Here, they grab this year’s high school version of Dustin Pedroia, shortstop wizard Nick Allen.

Pick #25: Washington Nationals: Logan Warmoth, SS, North Carolina

The Nationals tend to avoid college bats, and the best one available is Logan Warmoth. Bow before the War Moth!

Pick #26: Texas Rangers: Evan White, 1B, Kentucky

The Rangers look to grab a player from the typically neglected cohort of college bat. Evan White tops the board in this category, although Brent Rooker could be a target here.

Pick #27: Chicago Cubs: Bubba Thompson, OF, Mcgill-Thoolen Catholic HS, AL

The Cubs are tied with the Angels as the least likely team to draft a prep bat. So let’s take a prep bat! The top player available is Bubba Thompson, the former standout quarterback recruit. Heliot Ramos could be in play here as well.

Pick #28: Toronto Blue Jays: Heliot Ramos, OF, Leadership Christian, PR

We took the college bat with the last pick, so let’s take the prep bat now. It’s a debate between Heliot Ramos and Drew Waters. The Blue Jays grab Ramos and hope he and Vlad Jr. become a fearsome prospect tandem.

Pick #29: Texas Rangers: Riley Adams, C, San Diego

Texas decides to double up on college bats. The powerful bat of Brent Rooker is still available, but so is the best college catcher in Riley Adams. Their is almost always a top college catcher in the first round. So the Rangers reach a bit, and save some money for later picks.

Pick #30: Chicago Cubs: Drew Waters, OF, Etowah HS, GA

The Cubs wait three picks, and Ramos is gone. But Drew Waters is available, and he and Thompson look to solidify the next wave of prospect talent for the reigning World Champions.

Pick #31: Tampa Bay Rays: Tanner Houck, RHP, Missouri

The Rays look to their second least likely cohort, college arm, and see Tanner Houck still available. A nice steal for someone who was seen as a top five talent before the spring season started.

Pick #32: Cincinnati Reds: Griffin Canning, RHP, UCLA

After taking the prep arm, they go with a college arm, grabbing UCLA righty Griffin Canning. Alex Lange made the decision difficult, however.

Pick #33: Oakland Athletics: Joe Perez, RHP, Archbishop McCarthy HS, PA

The A’s double up on prep arms, in a class deep with prep arm talent. There are a ton of options available in this tier, the top one being Jacob Heatherly. But they decide to go a bit further down the list and grab one of the younger arms available in this tier, righty Joe Perez.

Pick #34: Milwaukee Brewers: Jacob Heatherly, LHP, Cullman HS, AL

They went college arm with their first pick, now they take an arm from the high school ranks. The top ranked arm is Jacob Heatherly, and he finally gets picked here, after being in the conversation for quite a few teams.

Pick #35: Minnesota Twins: Stuart Fairchild, OF, Wake Forest

The Twins go back to the college bat ranks, looking for fast moving talents that can help the big league team. Brian Miller should be a plus defender, with plus speed on the basepaths. Brent Rooker has one of the strongest power bats in the draft, but there are questions about how strong the rest of his game will be in pro ball. Stuart Fairchild is the perfect middle ground between the two.

Pick #36: Miami Marlins: Alex Lange, RHP, Louisiana State

Having gone with the college bat earlier, they go with a college arm here. The highest rated is Alex Lange. However, there is also the juco duo of Nate Pearson and Brendon Little, the relatively old Wil Crowe, and the dumb ass Seth Romero. In the end, they decide to go with Lange.

There you have it, 36 draft picks straight from Bizarro World’s MLB Draft. What do you think? Is this better than you’re used to seeing your team draft? Worst? How many of these do you think actually happen? Ask questions below - let’s have some good conversation!