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MLB 1st Rd Mock Draft Pick Analysis-Part 3

by Steve Garrity on Jun. 1, 2011

The draft is less than a week away and several things are changing. It has recently come out that top names like Josh Bell and Blake Swihart are considering not signing, which is thus dropping their stock. With those players out of the picture, the draft is becoming even more muddled with no real clear picture emerging past the top six picks.

As with any draft, leading up to the event, stocks are rising and falling seemingly every second. Things have and will continue to change until the picks are in. In Draftsite's third first round pick by pick analysis we have another new number one pick, new players involved, and new reasoning in an attempt to try and figure out what teams are thinking:

 

1) Pittsburgh Pirates - Gerrit Cole RHP, UCLA

Previous Pick: Danny Hultzen

The Pirates are now said to be looking at three names for the top spot with Cole, Danny Hultzen, and Bubba Starling now in consideration. Starling is probably the least likely of the three because he is no guarantee to even sign at this point. Until recently Hultzen seemed like the pick. He was the most polished pitcher in the draft, probably taking less time to reach the majors than the other two. But over the week Cole hit 100 mph and was clocked as high as 103 mph on two different guns (how accurate that is who knows). That type of raw talent can't be taught and even with Coles’ struggles and some mechanical issues, he has the much bigger upside than Hultzen. Cole is the pick.

 

2) Seattle Mariners - Anthony Rendon 3B, Rice

Previous Pick: Anthony Rendon

There seems to be a lot more questions than answers surrounding Rendon. Coming into the season he was the consensus top talent in the draft. Cole passed him in season due to injuries and struggles. He has yet to release his medical papers to teams and his advised by Boras, which is plenty of reason to scare teams off. Even with all that it would be shocking to see him slide out of the top two and Seattle really covets a bat here. Mariners GM Jack Zdurienick loves college bats. Rendon has been their target in the draft the whole time and every recent report suggests that has yet to change. Down the road a lineup featuring Rendon, top prospect Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak will give pitchers fits and Seattle fans some hope.

 

3) Arizona Diamondbacks - Danny Hultzen LHP, Virginia

Previous Pick: Gerrit Cole

Arizona is a team that under former GM Josh Brynes had leaned towards college pitching. With Kevin Towers now in charge, he may elect to go a different route. However the Diamondbacks have been connected to Hultzen at number three the entire time leading up to the draft. He is the most polished pitcher in the draft and could move through the minors quickly, giving them added pitching depth. If Hultzen is here there is no way the D-backs pass him up.

 

4) Baltimore Orioles - Dylan Bundy RHP, Owasso HS (OK)

Previous Pick: Dylan Bundy

In the beginning Bundy's team was floating around $30 million dollar price tags. Teams had no choice but to laugh it off because of how ridiculous it was. It seems to have settled in the $6-$8 million dollar range, an extremely high price still but much more realistic. In this draft Bundy is the most talented of the high school pitchers, and maybe even amongst all the college pitchers who have a fast ball that has hit 100 mph. Extreme bonus request aside, he is a no-doubt top five talent in the draft. His brother Bobby is also in the Orioles system, which may give Baltimore more room for negotiating than any other team. They have also shown they aren't afraid to take players with high bonus requests in the past, making Dylan Bundy the pick here.

 

5) Kansas City Royals - Trevor Bauer RHP, UCLA

Previous Pick: Trevor Bauer

There has not been much reported that says the Royals won't be going after a college pitcher. It will be tough for them to pass on local product Bubba Starling here, but if word is true, Bauer has possibly moved ahead of his UCLA counterpart on a lot of teams' boards. He is compared to Tim Lincecum constantly because of his funky delivery, but he is bigger and may be a better pitcher at this point in their careers. If he gets to five, he has to be the pick.

 

6) Washington Nationals - Alex Meyer RHP, Kentucky

Previous Pick: Jed Bradley

Meyer's stock has been on the rise much the same as Matt Harvey' last season. Washington GM, Mike Rizzo, likes taking college arms and this class certainly has some very good ones. Grabbing an arm this early makes sense, as it's a slightly safer route, especially since a bat could fall to them with the 23rd pick. The Nationals have been connected to the 6'9'' Meyer lately. They like his mix of size, stuff and upside. There are certainly better prospects on the board at this point and Washington hasn't seemed to mind paying recently, but this seems like a draft that teams will be willing to let top talent fall to them later in the draft and spend throughout instead of throwing a huge chunk at someone early due to its extreme depth. A very good prospect in his own right, but the Nats also hold the 23rd pick, which helps that strategy hold up.

 

7) Arizona Diamondbacks (Compensation for failure to sign Barret Loux) - Francisco Lindor SS, Montverde Academy (FL)

Previous Pick: Francisco Lindor

Lindor isn't said to be one of the more difficult players to sign but the D-backs have mentioned talent will reign supreme over signability here even for a compensation pick. Lindor has been mentioned as a possible top two pick, maybe even moving ahead of Bubba Starling as the top prep position player. He is a high school shortstop prospect that actually has the chance to stay at short. He can field, throw, run, hit, and has even shown more power. Stephen Drew is solid at the major league level, but he probably isn't the shortstop of the future in Arizona and most likely won't stop Towers from making this pick.

 

8) Cleveland Indians - Matt Barnes RHP, UConn

Previous Pick: Sonny Gray

The Indians target in this draft is Trevor Bauer but the likelihood that he is here at number eight is extremely low. On to plan B, the Indians are looking for a college arm in this slot and are hoping for signability. Barnes fits that perfectly, his stock has been on the rise recently and there have been no reports to suggest he will be a difficult sign. He has a solid three pitch mix, good size at 6'5'', along with some solid upside.

 

9) Chicago Cubs - Bubba Starling OF/P, Gardener HS (KS)

Previous Pick: Bubba Starling

In contention for top overall pick, it actually seems more likely that Starling makes it here. The only reason Starling is still available at this point is because of the price tag (maybe in the $8 Million range) and the fact that he is a top quarterback prospect with a scholarship to Nebraska. Two-way players with his talent don't come around often, some even think he may be better as a pitcher but he prefers to hit right now. The Cubs are always a tough team to predict. They can go one of a million different directions. They tend to do their own thing, taking whoever they feel is the best player regardless of anyone else. If the Cubs feel comfortable with his situation, it would be surprising to see him passed over at nine.

 

10) San Diego Padres (Compensation for failure to sign Karsten Whitson) - Sonny Gray RHP, Vanderbilt

Previous Pick: Andrew Susac

It is tough to assume what San Diego will do with this pick. They really love Indian River State second basemen Cory Spangenberg and he certainly is in contention here. Signability is a key selling point with this slot and doesn't seem like Gray should be too difficult. Gray it sort of getting lost in the fold, he hasn't hurt his stock, but recently doesn't seem to be getting the type of pub as some of the other players. At 5'11” teams no doubt have some questions but he is bulldog type player, a competitor who plays with chip on his shoulder, and those are the type of players teams want. Gray offers a very good fastball with solid life, and a curve that has been called the best in college baseball. It could be surprising to see him still available here, but if he's around you have to take him.

 

11) Houston Astros - George Springer OF, Uconn

Previous Pick: Taylor Guerreri

The Astros generally are a conservative team in the draft and the system has suffered because of it. However in 2010 they tweaked their methods, and went after young players with upside such as Delino Deshields Jr. and Mike Foltynewicz. They could really use a prospect to build around, and could also use a power bat in their system. Springer is a real five-tool talent who would most likely become Houston's top prospect right away. If he is available here it would be tough to pass over him.

 

12) Milwaukee Brewers - Taylor Guerreri RHP, North Augusta HS (SC)

Previous Pick: George Springer

-The Brewers got burned taking a prep pitcher in the first round last year and may steer clear this year. The Brewers also have one of the, if not the worst, systems in baseball. Even before gutting the minors to get Zack Grienke there wasn't much depth. Guerri has as much upside as anyone pitcher in the draft and has already hit 98 mph. He also should probably be an easier sign than Dylan Covey - given the right offer.

 

13) New York Mets - Jed Bradley LHP, Georgia Tech

Previous Pick: Alex Meyer

The Mets claim they can go over slot to sign players. How true that is who knows, since they are still in a $1 billion dollar lawsuit and apparently look to lose about $70 Million this season. So probably look to them not be able to do so. But Bradley has the best repertoire of any lefty in this class with a nice three-pitch set including a 90-93 fastball with good life and a very good change, as well as a slider. A top-10 type talent, who New York has a realistic shot at here. He doesn't seem like someone who will be very difficult to sign, but someone who it may take in a little over slot to get. If the Mets are serious about being able to spend in the draft, Jed Bradley works perfectly here.

 

14) Florida Marlins - Daniel Norris LHP, Science Hill HS (TN)

Previous Pick: Daniel Norris

Norris has been and still is the pick for the Marlins in all three of Draftsite's analysis’s. He fits them perfectly. A high school talent with big upside but shouldn’t break their banks like some other prep talents. If a player like Archie Bradley is still here, the Marlins may pass because, like Bundy, he has a ridiculous tag associated with him ($20 million). Norris was the top prep arm at the beginning of this year and only fell because others had outrageous seasons. He is the top prep lefty in the class and still a tremendous prospect in his own right, making him a perfect fit for the Marlins.

 

15) Milwaukee Brewers (Compensation for failure to sign Dylan Covey) - Mikie Mahtook OF, LSU

Previous Pick: Taylor Jungmann

The three players being mentioned here the most are Mahtook, high schooler Larry Greene, and Cory Spangenberg. Mahtook is a gamer with solid tools across the board including very good power, backing it up by having a monster season. Milwaukee will probably be looking for a potential replacement for Prince Fielder’s long ball ability, and while he may not have the 50 homer potential like Prince, he could be a potential five tool talent that goes hard at all times and could be had for a fair price here.

 

16) Los Angeles Dodgers - CJ Cron 1B, Utah

Previous Pick: Blake Swihart

Sponsors have apparently help Frank McCourt with May's payroll, something which looked like it may not happen. But that certainly isn't a very good sign for the Dodgers. McCourt has no money, will probably have to sell the team at some point and in the meantime it is likely Major League Baseball will have to take control of the organization. This means whoever the Dodgers take in the draft will have to be extremely signable. An extreme reach isn't out of the question here, but a top 35 talent like Cron isn't that outrageous. He may make the most consistent contact in the draft and has prodigious power potential. A former catcher, he is most likely stuck at first base, but there really will be no one blocking his path. And for a team with no money this could be a real steal here.

 

17) Los Angeles Angels - Jose Fernandez RHP, Alonso HS (FL)

Previous Pick: Jose Fernandez

The Angels love high school guys. Archie Bradley could be in contention here, but the Angels typically don't pay way over slot and that is what it will take to get him. Don't count out a player like Brandon Nimmo at this spot, but Jose Fernandez is a quickly rising pitcher with a very good feel for pitching at a young age. He has already hit up to 98 MPH in games.

 

18) Oakland Athletics - Taylor Jungmann RHP, Texas

Previous Pick: Mikie Mahtook

The A's are a team that loves college players. They have been targeting college bats lately, so someone like Cory Spangenberg could make sense here. However Oakland also loves college pitchers. Jungmann is an arm with limited upside left, but should be able to move at a solid pace through the minors. The only thing that really scares teams is the violence in his delivery. It could be a surprise if he is available here, but if he is, Oakland could pull the trigger.

 

19) Boston Red Sox - Archie Bradley RHP, Broken Arrow HS (OK)

Previous Pick: Archie Bradley

Bradley's slide ends here. The Sox are a team that isn't afraid to spend to get talent in the draft if it is worth it. $20 Million dollar price tags have been floating around Bradley and Boston most assuredly will not even come close to paying that, but they love to grab top talent that has fallen in the draft and are not afraid to take risks. Bradley will be pricey but look for Boston to be the team to scoop him up.

 

20) Colorado Rockies - Kolten Wong 2B, Hawaii

Previous Pick: Dillon Howard

The Rockies reportedly love Kolten Wong and if he is still available at 20 will not let him slip past them. Colorado likes to go college early in the draft and a top college bat that can run and defend is an added bonus. College hitters seem to be this class’s only weakness so it pays to grab one of the few while you can.

 

21) Toronto Blue Jays - Javier Baez SS, Arlington County HS (FL)

Previous Pick: Levi Michael

The Blue Jays are said to be looking to go towards prep prospects with this pick. Toronto has one of the better systems in the league but are pretty light of infield prospects, especially with Brett Lawrie most likely graduating this season. Baez, a top 15 prospect and shortstop now, most likely makes the transition to third in the pros but he has plenty of power to project at the position.

 

22) St. Louis Cardinals - Cory Spangenberg 2B/3B - Indian River State College Taylor Jungmann RHP, Texas

Previous Pick: Matt Barnes

The Red Birds are said to really like Berrien High School's Larry Greene, but he is extremely raw. As an organization, St.Louis really likes to go after one of the top college bats early. Spangenberg has seen his stock rise to a possible top 10 pick due to an extraordinary year putting up big numbers. If he is available the Cardinals will have to take a look.

 

23) Washington Nationals - Brian Goodwin OF, Miami-Dade JC

Previous Pick: Javier Baez

The Nationals grabbed RHP Alex Meyer with their first pick (6th overall). Brian Goodwin is a bat they are said to really like. Athletic outfielders with possible five-tool talent do not usually come around often. He shouldn't be too tough a sign, allowing Washington to grab a fallen talent with pick 34.

 

24) Tampa Bay Rays - Larry Greene OF, Berrien HS (GA)

Previous Pick: Josh Bell

With the first of Tampa's 900 picks in this year's draft, they go with a player that fits them perfectly. The Rays have so many picks this year they can afford to mix and match strategies and go any which way they chose but they love high school athletes. Greene is a raw bat and will take some seasoning before getting to the majors. However the one thing Tampa lacks in their system are real power prospects, Greene is that player. The power potential is real. If the Cardinals pass him by Tampa will probably take a look.

 

25) San Diego Padres - Henry Owens LHP, Edison HS (CA)

Previous Pick: Cory Spangenberg

San Diego is probably hoping Spangenberg reaches them here. However on this board, he's gone. The new regime of Jed Hoyer and Jason Mcleod come from Boston and didn't get off to a hot start last year failing to sign their first round pick, prep pitcher Karsten Whitson. But after revamping the system through the Adrian Gonzalez trade adding some much needed talent, they can now look to add depth. Owens is a home state product that offers great projection in a tall and lanky 6'5” frame. He has a solid low to mid 90's fastball and a potential out pitch in a sharp curve, along with a very good change. If they are willing to pull the trigger on a prep pitcher again, Owens should be it.

 

26) Boston Red Sox - Josh Osich LHP, Oregon State

Previous Pick: Blake Swihart

Most assume Boston takes a catcher with one of their first two picks. The Red Sox are said to looking heavily at high school catching. The top two catchers (Blake Swihart and Austin Hedges) are said to be two of the toughest signs in the draft. The Sox are team that is willing to spend, but they do not like to throw their whole budget at first round picks. They like to spread the wealth, and in this draft it should be a wise strategy. Grabbing a college arm like Osich makes sense here, since he is polished and could move quickly after bouncing back from Tommy John, while being an easier sign than both prep catchers. With two picks in the supplemental round, this strategy will allow them to possibly spend on the pricey backstops later on.

 

27) Cincinnati Reds - Andrew Chafin LHP, Kent State

Previous Pick: Tyler Anderson

It is tough to peg which direction the Reds are heading in this draft. The Reds have good position-player depth in the minors, but could use some pitching depth. Oregon' Tyler Anderson would make sense here, a solid projectable lefty that probably won't need much seasoning. But Chafin seems to be a name Cincy likes. He showed himself as a fastball pitcher that has touched 95 with a nasty slider, after bouncing back from Tommy John. If he is available here, he could here his name called.

 

28) Atlanta Braves - Brandon Nimmo OF, East HS (WY)

Previous Pick: Brian Goodwin

The Braves have one of the better systems in baseball, but a lot of their talent has or is close to graduating to the Major Leagues. A lot of their minor league depth is in their pitching. They love high school athletes, so high school mystery man Brandon Nimmo makes sense here. Nimmo, even is his short appearances in front of scouts, has shown the ability to hit; Tools that should allow him to hit for both average and some power. A raw talent like this will need some coaching, but he could end up being the steal of the draft.

 

29) San Francisco Giants - Robert Stephenson RHP, Alhambra HS (CA)

Previous Pick: Robert Stephenson

The Giants could use some more athleticism in their system. They grabbed OF Gary Brown in the first round last year which should help. San Francisco also has a thing for high school pitchers and there happens to be two very good prep arms still on the board. Dillon Howard could be in contention here, but his stock has fallen some. The opposite goes for Stephenson, who has made a late push to be put in the group with Bundy, Bradley, Owens, and Norris for the top prep arms.

 

30) Minnesota Twins - Tyler Anderson LHP, Oregon

Previous Pick: James McCann

The Twins have kept which way they are leaning a mystery. It has been suggested they are looking at catching, but most assume they will go their usually route, which is college pitching or high school outfielder. Tyler Anderson is the pick here, A probable number 2 starter at the Major League level, he has a solid fastball that sits at 89-92 with some sink and a put away change for a real out pitch. His stock has dropped some, but Minnesota likes to stick to slot and has no problem grabbing a possible bargain when they see one.

 

31) Tampa Bay Rays - Andrew Susac C, Oregon State

Previous Pick: Brandon Nimmo

Susac season ended early due to a hand injury, but still he remains a first round prospect. Where he is picked is the real mystery, he has been projected anywhere from the late teens to the bottom of the first round. Here the Rays get the top college catcher, and possible top catcher in the entire draft. He offers talent both behind the plate and at it. Top catchers in any draft class rarely last this long, making this a possible steal down the line.

 

32) Tampa Bay Rays - Joe Ross RHP, Bishop O'Dowd HS (CA)

Previous Pick: Kolten Wong

Tampa usually likes to go the college route for their arms early on. However they have so many picks, going against the grain and picking one of the under the radar arms in the high school class shouldn't be a problem. Ross has the bloodlines, his brother is an outfield in the Oakland system, but he is a special talent all his own. His pitches include a fastball that has reached 94, a possible plus slider in the future, along with a developing change. San Francisco has been said to be interested in him, but if he makes it here the Rays will take a look.

 

33) Texas Rangers - Kyle Crick RHP, Sherman HS (TX)

Previous Pick: Derek Fisher

The Rangers aren't afraid of spending and usually take the top player available. However it has recently come out that several of the top prospects including Josh Bell, Blake Swihart, and Derek Fisher will either not sign or will be extremely difficult to sign. Crick on the other hand should not be too difficult to sign and is a prospect on the rise. Texas holds the 37th pick in the supplemental round and would probably be wise to go for an easier sign like Crick here and take a risk on a name like Bell later on. Crick offers a four pitch mix including a 95 mph fastball, a potential plus slider, along with a curve and change.