Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2011 MLB Mock Draft

This is my first mock draft and I will probably have one final one posted on the day of the draft. The projected picks are based on who I think each team will pick, not necessarily where I think each player should go.

1st Round

1. Pittsburgh Pirates- 3B Anthony Rendon, Rice

I can't see the Pirates going high school with this pick, especially after taking Taillon with the #2 pick last year. I wouldn't be worried about Cole's lack of dominance this year as much as his astronomically high pitch counts and I just don't think Hultzen is #1 material. With that being said this pick is as much up in the air as any in the Top 10, but I believe that Pirates will stick with the preseason favorite and go with Rendon.

2. Seattle Mariners- RHP Gerrit Cole, UCLA

Seattle has a chance for a very special rotation in a couple years when you throw Cole in with Hernandez and Pineda. I don't think the M's are very likely to take Bundy or Hultzen so for me it comes down to Cole or Bubba Starling, and I think Jack Z leans toward the mound.
3. Arizona Diamondbacks- LHP Danny Hultzen, Virginia

If Hultzen is available here I think Arizona is a lock to take him, it just makes too much sense. He has had arguably the best year of any college player and the D'Backs will definitely go college pitcher with one of their 2 first rounders. On top of that they have already drafted him once so why not again.

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

With his brother already in the system, and dominating at that, the Orioles should take a shot at this year's top high school pitcher. Already reaching the triple digits on his fastball Bundy has done nothing but impress this spring and might not even reach the O's, but if he does look for them to pull the trigger.

5. Kansas City Orioles- OF Bubba Starling, Gardner-Edgerton HS(KS)

I keep hearing that the Royals are dead set on taking a college pitcher here but I just can't see them passing on homegrown talent like Starling. The one thing they are missing in their farm system is an athletic outfielder and while they are big hit-and-miss guys, the Royals are the one team who can afford to take that risk.

6. Washington Nationals- RHP Sonny Gray, Vanderbilt

I love the fit here for the Nationals as I think Gray can help their rotation out as early as next year. Next to Hultzen I think he has the best chance to succeed at the Major League level, and with Strasburg always an injury risk it will be nice for the Nats to have a steady bulldog type like Gray.

7. Arizona Diamondbacks- RHP Trevor Bauer, UCLA

I know there are some teams that aren't too high on Bauer, but he has had the best year of any college pitcher not named Hultzen. They could both be in the Majors quickly and the way they have been playing lately, could be looking at the near future rather than long term.

8. Cleveland Indians- LHP Jed Bradley, Georgia Tech

Bradley has easily the best upside of any lefty in this draft and could form a great southpaw combo for the Indians with Pomeranz.

9. Chicago Cubs- OF George Springer, Connecticut

The Cubs really want Starling here but they will settle for another toolsy outfielder in Springer who is starting to show why he was being considered for the top pick before the season.

10. San Diego Padres- SS Francisco Lindor, Montverde HS(FL)

Another pick that just makes too much sense for me, Lindor will be a steady shortstop for years to come as well as a great leader for the club. He should also be easily signable with this pick being unprotected.

11. Houston Astros- RHP Taylor Jungmann, Texas

The Astros have had some disappointing first rounders in the recent past and although I am not a big fan of Jungmann you can't argue with his consistency on the hill, which is something Houston desperately needs.

12. Milwaukee Brewers- RHP Taylor Guerreri, Spring Valley HS(SC)

Guerreri has been one of the bigger helium prospects this spring and you can see why with his fantastic stuff on the mound. He would be a great young pitcher for the Brew Crew to start rebuilding their system around.

13. New York Mets- RHP Archie Bradley, Broken Arrow HS(OK)

The new front office is supposedly dedicated to spending more heavily on the draft and I for one would like to see them put their money where their mouth is. Bradley won't come cheap but he is as good a high school pitcher as there is in this class.

14. Florida Marlins- OF Mikie Mahtook, LSU

The Marlins have typically gone the high school route with their first rounders so this pick could possibly be used on Daniel Norris. Mahtook though has had a great year at the plate for LSU and fits the Marlins mold of toolsy outfielder.

15. Milwaukee Brewers- SS Levi Michael, North Carolina

I am not a fan at all of Michael, but the Brewers need help up the middle and they also need someone signable here with the pick being unprotected. The solid but unspectacular Michael will balance out the high upside first pick of Guerreri.

16. Los Angeles Dodgers- 2B Kolten Wong, Hawaii

Another solid but unspectacular pick although Wong is a much better hitter than Michael. I think the financial situation will be a little bit harder on the Dodgers draft this year although I wouldn't call this too much of a reach.

17. Los Angeles Angels- LHP Daniel Norris, Science Hill HS(TN)

Great pick here for the Angels as they get the top high school lefty here in Norris. Has great composure for a high schooler and doesn't need as much time in the minors as most other high school pitchers.

18. Oakland Athletics- 1B C.J. Cron, Utah

Billy Beane loves college guys who can rake and there is none better than Cron. I can also see lefty Tyler Anderson going here, but I think the A's will be more inclined to go hitting first round with this being a deep pitching class.

19. Boston Red Sox- RHP Matt Barnes, Connecticut

Barnes could easily go higher than this which is why I think Epstein will jump all over the local product if he's available and hope that either Susac or Swihart is still on the board at 26.

20. Colorado Rockies- 3B Javier Baez, Arlington County Day HS(FL)

I can't help but feel like the Rockies will covet the hard hitting Baez who could flourish in the thin air at Coors. Will definitely move off short but could play second or third, either way his bat plays.

21. Toronto Blue Jays- RHP Jose Fernandez, Alonso HS(FL)

With so many early picks it is hard to predict which direction Toronto will go but I think they choose a high upside guy like Fernandez here, who can reach the high 90's with his heater.

22. St. Louis Cardinals- RHP Dillon Howard, Searcy HS(AR)

I like Howard more than the average person and I see the Cardinals going with the local kid who I see as being a great innings-eating No. 2 starter.

23. Washington Nationals- RHP Alex Meyer, Kentucky

Rumored to have coveted him with the #6 pick, the Nats would love to get the tall righty here. Has shown a much better idea of how to use his ridiculous stuff in his junior year for the Wildcats.

24. Tampa Bay Rays- LHP Tyler Anderson, Oregon

With the first of their 900 picks I think the Rays keep it relatively simple and draft the solid lefty Anderson first. Should sign for slot and despite recent struggles I believe he could be a solid No. 3 guy in the Majors.

25. San Diego Padres- IF Cory Spangenberg, Indian River CC

The fast rising hitting machine has been rumored to San Diego with either of their first round picks and I think they'll wait to snatch him up here even with Lindor already picked. Spangenberg could play all across the infield and should be able to transition to outfield if needed.

26. Boston Red Sox- C Andrew Susac, Oregon State

It is almost set in stone that the Sox will take a catcher with one of their first round picks and I think Swihart scares them off with his threat of going to college. However Susac is a great value pick here in the back end of the first round and could definitely take advantage of the Green Monster sooner rather than later.

27. Cincinnati Reds- RHP Anthony Meo, Coastal Carolina

Would have had John Stilson here if it weren't for his unfortunate injury. Meo has two plus power pitches and I can easily see him as Cincy's future closer.

28. Atlanta Braves- RHP Robert Stephenson, Alhambra HS(CA)

Tough pick for me to gauge here, so I'll go with Stephenson to the Braves. The projectable righty started off the year on fire, throwing back to back no-hitters.

29. San Francisco Giants- RHP Joe Ross, Bishop O'Dowd HS(CA)

I really like this pick for the Giants as they stay within the area and pick the brother of Oakland pitcher Tyson Ross. The younger version has a live arm but has trouble repeating his delivery.

30. Minnesota Twins- OF Brandon Nimmo, East HS(WY)

Nimmo seems to be the popular pick here and he fits the bill as far as Twins outfielders go. Has a chance to go higher than this as I think he is becoming much more popular on teams' draft boards.

31. Tampa Bay Rays- LHP Matt Purke, TCU

I believe the Rays will be the team to take a chance on Purke whether it is here or later. If he signs the Rays get a lefty in the Jon Lester mold, if not they get more money to sign their other picks.

32. Tampa Bay Rays- OF Brian Goodwin, Miami Dade CC

Goodwin should be pretty signable at this point and is a solid value pick here for the Rays. Chance to be a great power-speed combo threat, something the Rays particularly love.

33. Texas Rangers- LHP Josh Osich, Oregon State

Will be signable and I think the Rangers will look at Osich in the same way the looked at Scheppers when they drafted him a couple years ago.

1st Supplemental Round

34. Washington Nationals- OF/1B Alex Dickerson, Indiana

The Nats go position player after picking two college righties in the first round, and I think they'll have visions of Adam Dunn when they see Dickerson mash home runs.

35. Toronto Blue Jays- LHP Andrew Chafin, Kent State

Two plus offerings from the left side will look very attractive to the Blue Jays, especially a signable pick like Chafin. Could be great bullpen arm if he doesn't develop a third pitch.

36. Boston Red Sox- RHP Tyler Beede, Lawrence Academy HS(MA)

One of my favorite players in this draft, Beede is perhaps the most polished high school pitcher out there. Vandy commitment will scare some teams but I think Epstein dishes out the cash.

37. Texas Rangers- OF Jackie Bradley Jr., South Carolina

One of the biggest disappointments this season next to Purke, should still be a solid Major Leaguer. Could turn into an excellent plate-setter for the big hitters in that Texas lineup.

38. Tampa Bay Rays- C Austin Hedges, JSerra HS(CA)

Another Rays pick and I think they take a chance on a tough sign in Hedges here. Could take a fair amount of money but could be a solid big league backstop if he finds a bat to go with his defensive ability.

39. Philadelphia Phillies- OF Derek Fisher, Cedar Crest HS(PA)

Phils seem to be heavily linked to this athletic local outfielder who will fit in nicely with the plethora of toolsy outfielders in that system.

40. Boston Red Sox- OF Josh Bell, Jesuit College Prep HS(TX)

Reportedly is set on going to college and told Scouting Bureau he doesn't want to be drafted. But if anyone can buy out Bell its the Red Sox and this would be a hell of a coup if they sign all four.

41. Tampa Bay Rays- LHP Henry Owens, Edison HS(CA)

I'm not sure Owens slides this far, but I could not find a great place to put him. Rays could honestly pick him with any of their first few selections and I think Tampa is where he inevitably ends up.

42. Tampa Bay Rays- SS Joe Panik, St. John's

Great hitter who could stick at shortstop or move to second if needed, I think Panik is very underrated playing for a college in the Northeast.

43. Arizona Diamondbacks- 1B Travis Harrison, Tustin HS(CA)

I think Harrison's bat is legitimate and although he might spend several years in the minors fine tuning a lot of things, I think he has a nice chance to turn into an above-average ML first baseman.

44. New York Mets- C Blake Swihart, Cleveland HS(NM)

I think it will take less money to buy away Swihart than Josh Bell and if the Mets are really as dedicated to spending as they say, grabbing a potential All-Star catcher like Swihart to compliment Bradley would make this their best draft in a long, long time.

45. Colorado Rockies- RHP Michael Kelly, West Boca Raton HS(FL)

The Rockies are always looking for pitching help and Kelly has a ton of projection in his 6'5" frame. Shouldn't be a terribly tough sign away from Florida.

46. Toronto Blue Jays- RHP Jorge Lopez, Academia de Milagrosa HS(PR)

Very underrated right-hander from Puerto Rico who can pump it into the mid 90's, has been slowly moving up draft boards.

47. Chicago White Sox- 3B Jason Esposito, Vanderbilt

Esposito has fallen a little bit since moving off the shortstop experiment, but he is still a very versatile third baseman who can hit 25-30 homers at the next level.

48. San Diego Padres- RHP Kyle Winkler, TCU

Having already picked two infielders the Padres go with the Winkler, who has been consistently solid for  the Horned Frogs.

49. San Francisco Giants- SS Trevor Story, Irving HS(TX)

There is a lack of talented shortstops in the Giants farm system and the toolsy Story can fix that. Is athletic and has a strong arm so he should be able to stick there at the next level.

50. Minnesota Twins- RHP Hudson Boyd, Bishop Verot HS(FL)

Boyd has an impressive mix of pitches, although command hasn't been a strong point of his this spring. Twins could go a number of ways with these two supplemental picks.

51. New York Yankees- LHP/OF Jake Cave, Kecoughtan HS(VA)

Cave is another personal favorite of mine and is on the Yankees short list of options with this pick. An impressive two-way player he handles the bat well and can fire it up to 94 MPH from the left side.

52. Tampa Bay Rays- OF Charlie Tilson, New Trier HS(IL)

The Rays have so many picks that they can do anything with these picks so why not scoop up another athletic outfielder to go along with Goodwin in the first round.

53. Toronto Blue Jays- RHP Michael Fulmer, Deer Creek HS(OK)

Relatively unknown righty compared to the other Oklahoma prep pitchers, but has been on the rise lately and is now worthy of a supplemental pick.

54. San Diego Padres- RHP Jack Armstrong, Vanderbilt

Once considered a Top 10 draft prospect Armstrong has had a hard time finding innings for Vandy but he has as much projection as any pitcher out there.

55. Minnesota Twins- LHP Sean Gilmartin, Florida State

Twins seem destined to take Gilmartin as they like what the solid pitchable lefty has to offer and he shouldn't spend too much time in the minors.

56. Tampa Bay Rays- 1B Dan Vogelbach, Bishop Verot HS(FL)

A teammate of Hudson Boyd the hefty Vogelbach has a ton of power which could be an intriguing pick for the local Rays.

57. Toronto Blue Jays- RHP Dillon Maples, Pinecrest HS(NC)

Maples has been quietly impressive this spring although he could be rather tough to sign with a commitment to North Carolina.

58. San Diego Padres- LHP Chris Reed, Standford

Reed has been great as the closer for the Cardinals this year with his mid 90's fastball and he could be converted into a starter at the next level.

59. Tampa Bay Rays- OF Kyle Gaedele, Valparaiso

A college outfielder with a decent amount of upside, Gaedele could be a nice steal here with the 59th pick.

60. Tampa Bay Rays- LHP Ryan Carpenter, Gonzaga

Carpenter has considerable projection and excellent stuff for a southpaw, but he has been inconsistent for the Zags. Tampa can take their time with him in the minors and try to maximize his potential.