Everyone loves mock drafts. NBA mocks are all over the internet right now. 2019 NFL Mock Drafts have started to filter out. I’ve even seen NHL Mock Drafts. We are one week away from Major League Baseball’s First Year Player Draft (Rule 4 Draft) and it’s generally one of the most tough to predict. Baseball organizations have to wait 3-5 years in order to reap the rewards from a baseball draft. The draft just finally went mainstream within the last ten years and its popularity is gaining every season. Farm systems are the lifeblood of a franchise. The MLB Draft is an important step toward talent procurement and its potential impact is still underrated. Picks cannot be traded (only Competitive Balance picks can be traded away) so there also isn’t as much posturing as a other sports.
The Chicago White Sox own the fourth pick in the draft and will pick again at No. 46 in round two. It’s a very important draft for the franchise and Nick Hostetler and crew will have roughly $11 million to spend on bonuses. The Chicago Cubs haven’t made many high selections of late due to playing lots of playoff baseball. They will pick four times on night one this year however. The Cubs first selection will be at No. 24 in round one. Their 2nd rounder will be pick No. 62 and the Cubs will also choose at No. 77 and No. 78 as compensation for losing RHP’s Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis.
This is my first attempt at a first round mock draft. I will make one final projection next Monday before the real thing occurs at 6 p.m. central.
1. Detroit Tigers: Casey Mize – RHP, Auburn
Detroit could always pull a surprise but this seems pretty consensus at this point. Mize could reach the big leagues within the next year and is clear No. 1 prospect in the class.
2. San Francisco Giants: Joey Bart – C, Georgia Tech
The 6’3 225 pounder will stay behind the dish as a pro and provides big-time power potential. Should be the eventual replacement for Buster Posey.
3. Philadelphia Phillies: Alec Bohm – 3B, Wichita State
Bohm has huge power and some defensive concerns. He walks a ton though as well and has been linked to the Phillies throughout the draft process.
4. Chicago White Sox: Brady Singer – RHP, Florida
This pick could come down to Singer and Oregon State infielder Nick Madrigal. The Sox have sent their top lieutenants to see both players and the fast-moving college starter wins out here.
5. Cincinnati Reds: Nick Madrigal – 2B, Oregon State
The Reds are rumored to be on college players with this pick and they nab the best hitter in the class.
6. New York Mets: Jonathan India – 3B, Florida
The Mets are another organization that likes college players. India burst onto the scene this year and he could possibly play SS in pro ball.
7. San Diego Padres: Matthew Liberatore – LHP, Mountain Ridge HS (AZ)
Liberatore is the top prep pitcher in the class and A.J. Preller has acquired some extra pool space to go high school heavy if he chooses.
8. Atlanta Braves: Carter Stewart – RHP, Eau Gallie HS (FL)
Athletic right-hander adds to stable of young arms in Braves system. First draft for new GM Alex Anthopolous.
9. Oakland Athletics: Travis Swaggerty – OF, South Alabama
Power, speed and on-base machine that should stick in CF. The profile fits what Billy Beane usually likes to do.
10. Pittsburgh Pirates: Nolan Gorman – 3B, O’Connor HS (AZ)
Might have to move to 1B in the future but 70 grade raw power should play in either spot
11. Baltimore Orioles: Cole Winn – RHP, Orange Lutheran HS (CA)
Flashes three plus pitches and leadership qualities. Orioles haven’t been shy about taking high school arms recently.
12. Toronto Blue Jays: Shane McClanahan – LHP, South Florida
Toronto gets a college starter that can run it up to 99 mph.
13. Miami Marlins: Jarred Kelenic – OF, Waukesha West HS (WI)
The rare northern HS product, Kelenic can really run and hit with a chance to stay in CF.
14. Seattle Mariners: Jackson Kowar – RHP, Florida
The other Florida pitcher could be another fast mover through the minors. Seattle tied heavily to college players.
15. Texas Rangers: Cole Wilcox – RHP, Heritage HS (GA)
Advanced feel with three possible plus pitches. Texas hasn’t been afraid to gamble on upside.
16. Tampa Bay Rays: Jordyn Adams – OF, Green Hope HS (NC)
Adams is a tough sign with a full ride to UNC to play football. Tampa Bay has the bonus space to make it happen.
17. Los Angeles Angels: Noah Naylor – C, St. Joan of Arc HS (Ontario)
Unlike his older brother Josh in the Padres’ system, he should be able to play a premium position in the majors with a similar offensive profile.
18. Kansas City Royals: Ethan Hankins – RHP, Forsyth Central HS (GA)
Was a candidate to be the top overall pick a few months ago. 80 grade fastball but some injury concerns this spring push him down the board.
19. St. Louis Cardinals: Ryan Weathers – LHP, Loretto HS (TN)
Weathers has a sound delivery and an advanced changeup. Son of David Weathers.
20. Minnesota Twins: Ryan Rolison – LHP, Mississippi
Athletic, draft-eligible sophomore with a great curveball.
21. Milwaukee Brewers: Trevor Larnach – OF, Oregon State
Larnach added power to his repertoire this year and his bat should play in an OF corner.
22. Colorado Rockies: Anthony Seigler – C, Cartersville HS (GA)
Florida commit has had a great spring. He’s a switch-hitter and thrower that will stay at catcher.
23. New York Yankees: Triston Casas – 1B, American Heritage HS (FL)
Huge left-handed raw power that will play at Yankee Stadium.
24. Chicago Cubs: Logan Gilbert – RHP, Stetson
Plus fastball and prior summer league success. Cubs add another college starter that could move fairly quickly in their system.
25. Arizona Diamondbacks: Matt McLain – SS, Beckman HS (CA)
Riser throughout the process that sneaks into first round. Undersized UCLA commit that can hit.
26. Boston Red Sox: Jake McCarthy – OF, Virginia
Left-handed hitting center-fielder with Team USA experience. Solid in all areas.
27. Washington Nationals: Kumar Rocker – RHP, North Oconee HS (GA)
Six-foot-five, 250-pound Vanderbilt commit has a 70-grade fastball and 60-grade slider. Nationals love taking chances on upside.
28. Houston Astros: Connor Scott – OF, Plant HS (FL)
Five-tool ability similar to Astros’ farmhand Kyle Tucker.
29. Cleveland Indians: Alek Thomas – CF, Mount Carmel HS (IL)
Left-handed CF with plus speed and some power in the mold of Jacoby Ellsbury.
30. Los Angeles Dodgers: Steele Walker – OF, Oklahoma
Good makeup and track record with wood bats but likely destined for left field.
31. Tampa Bay Rays: Brice Turang – SS, Santiago HS (CA)
Rays snatch up a Turang with extra bonus pool space here. Was a 1-1 candidate that didn’t hit as well as expected as a prep.
32. Tampa Bay Rays: Seth Beer – 1B, Clemson
Prodigious power and on-base ability. No wood bat track record however.
33. Kansas City Royals: Grayson Rodriguez – RHP, Central Heights HS (TX)
Six-foot-five, Texas native has big fastball with downward plane.
34. Kansas City Royals: Jeremy Eirmann – SS, Missouri State
Grinder mentality. Could stay at shortstop but should hit and play above-average defense at third base.
35. Cleveland Indians: Jordan Groshans – 3B, Magnolia HS (TX)
The Indians love prep players and Groshans is one of best high school hitters in the class.
Competitive Balance Round
36. Pittsburgh Pirates: J.T. Ginn – RHP, Brandon HS (MS)
Old for prep arm but possesses a 70-grade fastball
37. Baltimore Orioles: Greyson Jenista – 1B/3B, Wichita State
Patient hitter with power potential. Best suited for first base as a pro.
38. San Diego Padres: Mason Denaburg – RHP, Merritt Island HS (FL)
Had some arm issues this spring but San Diego willingly to gamble on pure stuff in this spot.
39. Arizona Diamondbacks: Griffin Conine – OF, Duke
College hitter that was considered by Arizona in round one.
40. Kansas City Royals: Xavier Edwards – SS, North Broward Prep (FL)
Undersized with tools. Tough to sign a Vanderbilt commit.
41. Cleveland Indians: Tristan Beck – RHP, Stanford
Could move at an accelerated pace out of the bullpen.
42. Colorado Rockies: Parker Meadows – OF, Grayson HS (GA)
Clemson commit with multiple plus grades.
43. St. Louis Cardinals: Nander de Sedas – SS, Montverde Academy (FL)
Looked like potential top 10 talent in the spring of 2017 but didn’t hit enough this spring.
46. Chicago White Sox: Jeremiah Jackson – SS, St. Luke’s Episcopal (AL)
Advanced hitter with a nice swing. Performed well on high school prospect circuit.
62. Chicago Cubs: Nico Hoerner – SS, Stanford
Linked to Cubs throughout process. Might have to move to second base but his bat will profile at either spot.
77. Chicago Cubs: Konnor Pilkington – LHP, Mississippi State
He has the stuff and moxie on the mound to become a back end starter
78. Chicago Cubs: Lyon Richardson – RHP, Jensen Beach HS (FL)
Athletic young strike thrower with a 60-grade fastball.
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