•  Register
23

MLB 1st Rd Mock Draft Pick Analysis

by Steve Garrity on May. 23, 2011

The draft is about two weeks away and our last mock draft was pretty by the numbers with few surprises. However with the MLB draft there are always a few teams that go in the complete opposite direction than what was assumed. In the second installment of the pick by pick analysis for our first round mlb mock draft, there is a new number one, a couple of surprise picks, and a lack of some big names who have seemed to fall out of the first round fold.

1) Pittsburgh Pirates - Danny Hultzen LHP, Virginia
Previous Pick: Gerrit Cole
Who the Pirates will take with the first pick is anyone's guess at this point. They are said to be considering up to five players and were seriously considering Dylan Bundy here. That would make him the first high school right hander to ever be taken first overall. However Bundy's reps sent a request to the Pirates asking them not to use this pick on Bundy, so who knows. Cole was the pick here for a while but his recent struggles along with the depth of this class may make the Pirates go the safe route here. Hultzen is the most polished pitcher in this year's draft. He has good size, stuff, and could allow Pittsburgh to get more bang for their buck faster as he shouldn't need too much time in the minors. He could also allow the Pirates to spend more on talent that falls in the draft as they like to do under Huntington.
 
Previous Pick: Anthony Rendon
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.
 
Previous Pick: Danny Hultzen
Cole has been struggling recently which has caused his stock to drop slightly from the overall top pick to a top five talent. New Diamondbacks GM, Kevin Towers, during his time with San Diego usually looked for the most athletic player. Shortstops were some of his favorite players to pick, and that makes Francisco Lindor a definite contender here. However Cole has been compared to Tigers star right hander Justin Verlander and that has to make you take a look. Even with Cole's ups and downs he may be the best prospect at the end of the day and will be tough to pass up if he falls here.
 
4) Baltimore Orioles - Dylan Bundy RHP, Owasso HS (OK)
Previous Pick: Sonny Gray
Bundy's asking price is near $30 million dollars. It is such a ridiculous number that many teams don't even believe it can be true and some teams are laughing it off. 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.
 
Previous Pick: Bubba Starling
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 - Jed Bradley LHP, Georgia Tech
Previous Pick: Francisco Lindor
The Nationals could really use some up-the-middle prospects in their system, and Lindor is the best up-the-middle prospect in this draft. But 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. 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. He has the size Rizzo likes and if he makes to six, he'll make it tough for Washington to pass over him.
 
7) Arizona Diamondbacks(Compensation for failure to sign Barrett Loux) - Francisco Lindor SS, Montverde Academy (FL)
Previous Pick: Matt Barnes
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 - Sonny Gray RHP, Vanderbilt
Previous Pick: Trevor Bauer
The Indians like their college players and are probably praying Bauer falls to them here. They passed over Lincecum in 2006 and have regretted it ever since, and Bauer is the most comparable player since. However it doesn't look like Bauer will be around at eight. In his place goes Sonny Gray. The only real knock on him is that he is 5'11" but it really hasn't been a problem for him because he is dominating everyone else. 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.
 
9) Chicago Cubs - Bubba Starling OF/P, Gardener HS (KS)
Previous Pick: Taylor Jungmann
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. But it seems that in 2011 they have their eyes set on prep talent Bubba Starling. 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. If the Cubs feel comfortable with that, it would be surprising to see him passed over at nine.
 
10) San Diego Padres (Compensation for failure to sign Karsten Whitson) - Andrew Susac C, Oregon State
Previous Pick: Jed Bradley
This would probably be the most surprising pick this early. Susac is the best catcher in this class, offering talent both behind the plate and at it. But there are still better prospects on the board and the Padres could grab a catcher at 25. However San Diego needs catching in their system and have been said to be eyeing catching the entire time leading up to the draft. A reach with a compensation pick isn't that much of a stretch. He could be an easier sign at this slot and grabbing the best catcher in any draft class is never a bad thing.
 
11) Houston Astros - Taylor Guerreri RHP, North Augusta HS ( SC)
Previous Pick: George Springer
It has been said that Guerreri could have has much upside as any pitcher in this class, already hitting 98 MPH. The Astros system was pretty light on upside prospects, but in 2010 they worked to change that taking two players with extreme upside in Delino Deshields Jr. and Mike Foltynewicz. There seems to be a change of draft methodology happening in Houston, and that could point them towards another player who could take a while to get the majors but will make the Astros better in the long run.
 
Previous Pick: Taylor Guerreri
The Brewers may have the worst system in baseball. Trades at the major level have really killed what they had. General Manager Doug Melvin seems to love going for the college bats, so the ability to grab a five-tool prospect at 12 and maybe the top college bat in the draft, won't sway him from that approach. Springer is a possible top ten pick and offers everything from fielding, running, throwing, hitting, and big time power potential. With Prince Fielder possibly moving on, grabbing another power bat won't hurt.
 
13) New York Mets - Alex Meyer RHP, Kentucky
Previous Pick: Jackie Bradley
The Mets are in an odd standing right now. They may have to pay a billion dollars, they just lost their top pitching prospect to Tommy John surgery, and at the Major Level they are scraping by as a .500 team. They have one of the shallowest systems, and they also may not be able to spend big in this draft...because they actually have no money. Meyer's stock has been on the rise as of late, ala Matt Harvey whom the Mets grabbed with the 7th pick last year. He may be a slightly safe pick, but beggars can't be choosers.
 
14) Florida Marlins - Daniel Norris LHP, Science Hill HS (TN)
Previous Pick: Dylan Bundy
Florida is a team that loves going the high school route for high upside players in the draft. They also try not to overspend in the draft, so 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 tremendous 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) - Taylor Jungmann RHP, Texas
Previous Pick: CJ Cron
Jungmann could be a fit anywhere from the sixth spot on, but we have him rated lower than most people. He has made some off-season tweaks and that has allowed him to have a very good 2011 season, but the violence in his delivery will scare some teams off. However his durability can't be questioned and he could be a quick climber in the minor league ranks. With the Brewers already grabbing a bat at 12, taking Jungmann here would even out their first round and give them a very good start to their 2011 draft.
 
16) Los Angeles Dodgers - John Stilson RHP, Texas A&M
Previous Pick: Blake Swihart
Like the Mets, the Dodgers are also surrounded by odd circumstances. Major League Baseball has taken over the team and owner Frank McCourt may soon be forced to sell the team. For these reasons, it may be safe to assume that the Dodgers won't go after a tough sign again this year, like they did with Zac Lee, who was perhaps the toughest sign in the entire draft last year. Stilson, a solid prospect in his own right, is a reliever type who will move quickly through LA's system. A safe but solid pick.
 
17) Los Angeles Angels - Jose Fernandez RHP, Alonso HS ( FL)
Previous Pick: Archie Bradley
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.
 
Previous Pick: Mikie Mahtook
This is a match made in heaven. Mahtook is a gamer, one who goes all out all the time; A real Eric Brynes type of player. He has very good tools across the board and is having a monster season for the Tigers. The A's have been targeting bats lately and Mikie Mahtook is someone who will fit perfectly into the Billy Beane mold, making him the perfect Oakland A's player.
 
19) Boston Red Sox - Archie Bradley RHP, Broken Arrow HS (OK)
Previous Pick: Matt Purke
Bradley's slide ends here. The Sox are a team that isn't afraid to spend to get talent in the draft. $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 - Dillon Howard RHP, Searcy HS (AK)
Previous Pick: Daniel Norris
The Rockies like taking projectable high school pitchers in the draft. He could be in play earlier in the draft, so the Rockies would be overjoyed if he's still here. The Rockies' system is pretty solid right now and adding another piece like Howard isn't going to knock it down anytime soon.
 
21) Toronto Blue Jays - Levi Michael SS, North Carolina
Previous Pick: Josh Bell
Michael will most likely make the move to second base in the pros but he is one of the top college hitters in the draft. A Dustin Pedroia type, he's a little taller, but he goes hard all the time and should be a quick mover in the minors. The Jays went after pitching in last year's draft, so grabbing a few bats could be in order this year.
 
Previous Pick: John Stilson
Barnes stock has fallen some but it wouldn't be shocking to see him off the board way before here. The Cardinals like going after college players and grabbing a solid college arm like Barnes at 22 doesn't hurt. He has a solid arsenal of pitches with 90-94 MPH fastballs that have good life, a good change, and a curve that is in the works.The Red Birds also like going after top college hitters, so don't rule out someone like Kolten Wong or Michael if he is still here.
 
23) Washington Nationals - Javier Baez SS, Arlington County HS (FL)
Previous Pick: Tyler Anderson
With their first pick the Nationals picked up pitcher Jed Bradley, so targeting the field would likely be the next step. Baez is a shortstop right now, but he may have to move down the line to third. If Washington feels they can work with him up the middle, then they finally get a prospect at a position they need in the minors. Shortstops with power are also a nice commodity to have. 
 
24) Tampa Bay Rays - Josh Bell OF, Jesuit College Prep (TX)
Previous Pick: Levi Michael
With the first of Tampa's 900 picks in this year's draft, they go with a player that fits them perfectly. The Rays love high school athletes. Bell is a five-tool talent who plays center now but most likely moves to a corner in the future, and has enough power to profile there. He is constantly compared to Braves right fielder Jason Heyward, so grabbing a player like that at 24 could be a steal.
 
25) San Diego Padres - Cory Spangenberg 2B, Indian River State College
Previous: Andrew Susac
The Padres grabbed their catcher at number 10. They have been connected to Spangenberg for a little while now, it wouldn't be shocking to see them take him at 10 but they certainly won't pass him over twice. Another top college bat in a class that is slightly lacking in the area. Grabbing him here is great value.
 
26) Boston Red Sox - Blake Swihart C, Cleveland HS (NM)
Previous Pick: Jose Fernandez
Boston needs catching in the worst way. You would have to go a ways back to find the last time the Red Sox took a catcher in the first round. It has never happened under Theo Epstein. At the major league level they are a wreck at the position and in the minors it seems they have more backups than anything. Grabbing an actual prospect at the position and possibly the best high school catcher in the class to boot would be a real get here. Swihart is already a very good defender and has plenty of potential in his bat. It would be tough to imagine the Red Sox not grabbing at least one catcher with their two picks in the first round.
 
27) Cincinnati Reds - Tyler Anderson LHP, Oregon
Previous Pick: Javier Baez
The Reds have good position-player depth in the minors, but could use some pitching depth. Anderson is a very projectable left handed pitcher with very good command and could be a fast mover in the minors. 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.
 
28) Atlanta Braves - Brian Goodwin OF, Miami-Dade JC
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 could be in consideration here. However grabbing an athletic five-tool outfielder that they could team with Jason Heyward in the future would be tough to pass up.
 
29) San Francisco Giants - Robert Stephenson RHP, Alhambra HS (CA)
Previous Pick: Henry Owens
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, he 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 - James McCann C, Arkansas
Previous Pick: Josh Osich
A surprise pick in the first round. A lot of people would expect the Twins to go for a college arm or a toolsy outfielder here. But it has been mentioned that Minnesota could be looking at catching in the first round. Mauer is great when healthy, but that seems to be a rarity these days and a position change could come sooner than thought. Austin Hedges might be the number three catcher in the class behind Susac and Swihart, but he could also be one of the toughest signs in the draft, which is something Minnesota usually stays away from. McCann is a solid behind the plate with plenty left in the bat. He is probably right outside those top three, but a top college player at a prime position who could be a quick riser may be too much to pass up.
 
31) Tampa Bay Rays - Brandon Nimmo OF, East HS (WY)
Previous Pick: Dillon Howard
Nimmo is a mystery to many. Wyoming does not have high school baseball, which means he can only play legion and showcases. It also means he is pretty raw. But everyone that has seen him play, including myself has been impressed. He is extremely athletic (runs a 6.5 in the 60) and has the tools to hit for a good average and solid power. He has been called a Rocco Baldelli type, which is a great comparison. Tampa knows all about Baldelli, who had as much talent as anyone before injuries struck. They can get themselves a re-do by selecting Brandon Nimmo.
 
32) Tampa Bay Rays - Kolten Wong 2B, Hawaii
Previous Pick: Brandon Nimmo
Wong doesn't really fit in with what Tampa does in the draft. He is not a top high school athlete or college arm, but the Rays have so many picks this year they can afford to mix it up a little in this draft. He's an advanced college bat, who can run and play solid defense at second base. Its rare to find solid second base prospects, and getting him this late is a real find.
 
33) Texas Rangers - Derek Fisher OF, Cedar Crest HS (PA)
Previous Pick: Derek Fisher
The Rangers like to go with the best player available approach, and at this point Derek Fisher is the best player on the board. He has the size (6'3''), power, and speed to become a tremendous asset. The only hold up is he has a solid commitment to Virginia, so Texas will have to open their wallets. GM Jon Daniels has never shied away from spending to get top talent, so grabbing Fisher here would be a no brainer.