2014 MLB Draft: The Final Mock
This is it.....Mock 6.0, or better termed, the final mock.
With so much to talk about there is no space for a proper intro, so let’s begin.
1. Houston Astros - Brady Aiken, LHP, HS
I am going back to who I have as the top player in this draft and Aiken is worth it. Since October he has been a top 15 talent and his jump in velocity just sealed the deal. He has all the tools to be the top left-handed pitching prospect in baseball from day one.
2. Miami Marlins - Carlos Rodon, LHP, NC State
I read a report earlier in the year that this was Rodon’s floor because he would be such a good draw because of the Cuban populace in Miami. This seemed like a stretch, but he is the pick. The reason is he is a consensus top three talent with an arsenal to go number one. The Marlins are a conservative drafting team and here they get the college arm with the most upside and a nice floor.
3. Chicago White Sox - Tyler Kolek, RHP, HS
I am much happier about Kolek’s placement in this mock. His upside is pretty amazing. The reason is he is built like a college linebacker and has reportedly hit 102 MPH this year. The White Sox have been taking more and more upside bets under Hahn and there is no bigger upside bet on the board than Kolek.
4. Chicago Cubs - Jeff Hoffman, RHP, East Carolina
I am sticking here, making this my Waterloo, and I realize I could easily be stubbornly dumb. A ton of reports are saying they are going to take a player well under slot to save cash after Hoffman was injured. The report has them on Flaherty from Harvard Westlake. Most places have Pentecost or maybe Nola. The reason I stick with Hoffman is he would be even cheaper and by reports they have liked him since the beginning. The injury is not a huge deal, and really it has the upside of destroying his leverage. I think this pick could be an early shocker.
5. Minnesota Twins - Nick Gordon, SS, HS
Special talent at a hard to find position. This one has stayed the same and is the same on almost every mock.
6. Seattle Mariners - Aaron Nola, RHP, LSU
All the talk is the Mariners are hot on Alex Jackson as he is a top player on their board and they will draft him. Well first off every year the rumors on the Mariners are off so no one is able to nail the pick. Two, they haven’t spent their top pick on a high school player since 2007 with Phillip Aumont. Three, they haven’t taken a high school player in the top 10 since ARod in 1993. So in other words, I have a hard time believing the most conservative drafting team in recent and long term history is taking a prep bat at six. Instead I have the super conservative Mariners taking the safest player in Aaron Nola.
7. Philadelphia Phillies - Michael Conforto, OF, Oregon State
I nearly put Newcomb here, but the reports are they want a talent who can get there quickly. I think Newcomb needs some more development than your typical college arm coming from Hartford and needing some work on his mechanics. So instead Conforto is the odds on favorite to be the first bat from this draft to make the majors. He is an on-base percentage machine with a little pop. He has the best current hit tool in this class and the top current eye.
8. Colorado Rockies - Alex Jackson, OF/C, HS
I know the Rockies are super conservative but hear me out. First, they have drafted a high school player in the first round from 09-12 and two of those years they took a guy in the top 12 picks from the high school ranks. When they have two picks in round one they have gone with both college and the high school ranks. They tend to target athletes and guys with power. Jackson has excellent power and would look quite good in Colorado.
9. Toronto Blue Jays - Trea Turner, SS, NC State
Word has been for a while they like Turner. Well, then they have to take him at nine as it seems he would not get past the Mets. Turner is a sure shortstop who has the speed to be a more traditional leadoff guy. He has rebounded nicely late in the year and is a top 10 lock.
10. NY Mets - Sean Newcomb, LHP, Hartford
There is a lot of talk the Mets are looking into college players, but they have gone prep early and often over the last few years. So here they take the college guy who has a bit more upside, a guy who is almost between a prep and a college guy. Hartford has rare size and velocity for a left-handed pitcher. He could be special and it seems unlikely he slides outside the top 12 picks.
11. Toronto Blue Jays - Touki Toussaint, RHP, HS
Toussaint has been rumored to be a favorite to the Blue Jays for a while and it makes sense. They like high upside arms who throw hard. Toussaint hasn’t been playing baseball for a very long time but boy can he bring it. He could be the top player in this class in five years.
12. Milwaukee Brewers - Kyle Freeland, LHP, Evansville
The Brewers are another conservative drafting team, I have Freeland on a slight slide, but he would make a lot of sense here. He is a big lefty who has dominated at Evansville all year. I would not be shocked by Schwarber here either which was what my gut wanted to put here.
13. San Diego - Max Pentecost, C, Kennessaw St
Pentecost is the last of the guys who has a pretty high chance at being a possible top 10 pick. He didn’t make it in mine but I would not be shocked if he did. Pentecost is a pretty special talent. I would compare his ceiling to that of Jason Kendall. He can do it all as a catcher, but as of now his best asset is his speed witch is a legit plus tool. The Padres would draft the sure catcher here who has some power upside.
14. San Francisco Giants - Derek Hill, OF, HS
Holmes makes a lot of sense here, but it just seems too logical to be the Giants pick. They are a team that is rarely, if ever, that easy to predict. I have seen Hill linked to them in every report and his athleticism might be too much to pass on here.
15. Los Angeles Angels - Nick Burdi, RHP, Louisville
The Angels have a front office under pressure. They have an owner who is too involved and has caused them to sign some free agents they should not have. Burdi could be with the Angels in August. They are contending now with a weak pen and this would be a cheap addition to help them very quickly. For once Harold Reynolds would be right this is a pick for this year.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks - Kyle Schwarber, C/1B, Indiana
The Diamondbacks current front office has had a history of grabbing power bats and sliding talent. Schwarber had a fine year, but his power was a bit down. If you think he can play catcher even a bit his stock goes through the roof. There has been a sudden jump in talk of Schwarber going in the top 10.
17. Kansas City Royals - Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco
Kansas City has been focused a bit more on college bats and the top one I have on my board is Zimmer. Zimmer has the potential to be a five tool player and is one of my top 10 players. He would be a big value pick. The reports from the start have been that the Royals where very high on Zimmer. They already have his big brother in the system as well.
18. Washington Nationals - Tyler Beede, RHP, Vanderbilt
The Nationals are not viewed as a conservative drafting team even though they draft almost entirely from the college ranks because they often take big risks with college talent. They take the biggest name on the board more often than not and that’s Beede. Beede has the talent of a top 10 pick, but there have been some major issues.
19. Cincinnati Reds - Grant Holmes, RHP, HS
The Reds like to take right handers who throw hard. Well the guy who most fits that bill is Holmes. Holmes is a top 10 talent to me who would be a great value here. He would be too good to pass on. I think the Reds plan is to just sit at 19 and take the top player who falls to them, as it is clear someone good will fall to them here.
20. Tampa Bay Rays - Casey Gillaspie, 1B, Wichita State
Here is a fun fact: the last first round pick to make the majors for the Rays was 2008 first rounder Tim Beckham. Since then they have had 17 first round selections over the last five years. Gillaspie exploded this year with a high average, power, and a great walk to strikeout rate. He is a safe pick who by reports the Rays are a big fan of.
21. Cleveland Indians - Michael Chavis, SS/2B/3B, HS
Chavis has been linked to the Indians and while I wonder about this as no one had them linked to anyone other than Moran last year, I think he makes sense. Chavis is going to play up the middle in the pros. Some people think he could play shortstop, but I think his best position is second base. He is a guy who does remind me of Clint Frazier thanks to both being Georgia kids with sub six foot frames and plus power. I think Chavis has a future power grade of 60; he isn’t the athlete that Frazier is but the power at second is very interesting. The Indians last year showed a heavy interest in smaller players who they seemed to think might have been undervalued. Chavis fits everything on my what the Indians look for checklist.
22. Los Angeles Dodgers - Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, HS
The Dodgers are notorious for drafting high school players and I think Reid-Foley is too good to pass on. There was a report they were looking into right handed pitchers and Foley would fit the bill perfectly. There are reports they could go for a college player, but they almost never take college players.
23. Detroit Tigers - Nick Howard, RHP, Virginia
Howard is another player who seems to be gaining some notice. Howard was a two player most of his career at Virginia so there might be more projection in him as he focuses on just throwing. He isn’t quite as quick to the majors as Burdi, but could be an arm that helps the Tigers as quickly as next year. They could also try and convert him to a starter and wait a bit longer but see if he can develop into a middle of the rotation starter. I had this pick last time, and now everyone is on this needless to say I am keeping it.
24. Pittsburgh Pirates - Monte Harrison, OF, HS
I have heard they like Harrison. Harrison has some of the best boom or bust potential in this draft. As I am sure most know Harrison is a monster athlete who is a four star football recruit to Nebraska. He has a ton of boom or bust and that has never been a concern for the Pirates who under Huntington have often taken the biggest upside player available.
25. Oakland A’s - Ti’Quan Forbes, SS, HS
I heard the A’s are all over Forbes and this makes a lot of sense to me. They are a smart team, maybe the smartest in baseball. They know Forbes is incredibly young for his age and has a very good chance to stay at short. Numbers have shown over the years in all sports that guys who are much younger often do better as they have more development left. Forbes' youth and position he plays brings a lot of value to the A’s right here. He is the last of the possible shortstops with a first round grade in this draft.
26. Boston Red Sox - Erick Fedde, RHP, UNLV
The Red Sox are linked almost entirely to college bats. I have heard though that they are fans of Fedde as well. If he slides this far I think the Red Sox grab him. I would not be shocked to see the Red Sox go back to back college players. Fedde was a top 10 talent before injury and he could easily go much earlier.
27. St. Louis Cardinals - Alex Blandino, 2B/3B, Stanford
The Cardinals tend to go with college players early and they have taken a high pick recently from Stanford in Piscotty who has worked out very well. Blandino is a guy who I think can work at second or third and have above average power. I think thanks to his position and power potential from the right side that Blandino is going to go in the top 30 picks for sure.
(Compensation round picks in this section)
28. Kansas City Royals - Kodi Mederios, LHP, HS
There is lots of talk that the Royals are on Mederios who is the single most divisive player in this draft. Some see a top tier left-handed prep arm, others seen an undersized future LOOGY. I am more in the latter than the former, but the Royals appear to be big fans. There is some talk they might take him at 17, but I doubt he gets past 28.
29. Cincinnati Reds - Brandon Finnegan, LHP, TCU
I am not a fan of having Finnegan fall this low, but it was hard to find a perfect landing spot because of the concerns with injury for a TCU pitcher with some arm trouble this year. The Reds though have two picks and love velocity. This would make a pair of shorter arms for them, but the Reds would look past the height and see the high velocity.
30. Texas Rangers - Michael Gettys, OF, HS
The Rangers are a team who draft for upside. Gettys could be a star, though the only thing that might hold him back is his hit tool which at best will be a below average skill. Everything else could be plus. Gettys has great bat speed and amazing speed. He could be a star or he could never get out of A ball.
31. Cleveland Indians - Luis Ortiz, RHP, HS
The Indians have the picks to just sit back and take the top player every time. Ortiz is too good a pitcher to slide any further. Before his arm fatigue this year Ortiz was a possible top 10 pick. He has maybe the best slider of any prep player in this class. A year ago he would have been a guaranteed first rounder. I have read reports that Ortiz is a guy on the Indians radar and this would be a great value pick for the Tribe. I think if Ortiz was not here they would take Verdugo who is still a name to watch.
32. Atlanta Braves - Braxton Davidson, 1B/OF, HS
The Braves have not taken a lot of Georgia bats of late, an old theory which hasn’t seemed to apply. They do seem to like safer guys, and with his hit tool Davidson is the safest prep bat in this draft. He is not a great athlete but with his power and hit tool in three years he would likely be a top 10 pick.
33. Boston Red Sox - Derek Fisher, OF, Virginia
The Red Sox are heavily on college players as they have heavily scouted the top college bats. I think they take Fisher here over Reed because of the upside he represents. Fisher has all the tools to hit over 300 with 20 plus homeruns. The power is not there yet and might never come, yet the ceiling is too much to pass on here.
34. St. Louis Cardinals - Foster Griffin, LHP, HS
The Cardinals went bat earlier, so they can take their prep arm here. They are a team who does tend to like left-handed arms as well so Griffin makes a ton of sense. He is a huge lefty with a lot of room to develop yet. He is one of the biggest prep risers this year.
(The next picks are the competitive balance picks and are still in the first round)
35. Colorado Rockies - AJ Reed, 1B, Kentucky
The Rockies like to take one high school and one prep player when they have two picks, and after going prep first I think they go college here. Reed had a year for the ages at Kentucky. His power would be intriguing for sure in Colorado and I for one would love to see him playing in that thin air.
36. Miami Marlins - Michael Kopech, RHP, HS
The Marlins took an upside prep lefty at the end of the first round last year in Krook. This year they take the right-handed pitcher from Texas. Kopech is another prep arm who has gotten lost in the deep class. He is the number two arm in Texas and has front of the rotation potential. Meek I am sure has scouted him heavily with his connection to the area.
37. Houston Astros - Jacob Gatewood, SS, HS
Polarizing prospect time. Gatewood’s stock has had some bounce back and his power and athleticism are still enticing, but I still do worry about the hit tool. The Astros make sense as they are one of the least risk adverse franchises when it comes to the draft, and when they do have multiple firsts they often take big risks later. There is no bigger boom or bust player in this draft than Gatewood.
38. Cleveland Indians - Mike Papi, OF, Virginia
After going back to back prep I could not see the Indians not going the college route. Papi has been a hitting machine for Virginia. If you want production this is the guy. He has a great eye, gets on base and has shown a plus hit tool as well. His power isn’t great and he is not an athlete. He is kind of an eye of the beholder player. Either you see the production and think that he is going to have a bright future, or you see the lack of athleticism and worry if he has any chance to make it in the pros. After two risk picks, the Indians play it safe here.
39. Pittsburgh Pirates - Matt Imhof, LHP, Cal Poly
The Pirates made a great trade to get this pick, so the question is who they might be targeting. I have them taking Imhof who was one of the highest risers during the college baseball season. He was a strikeout machine this year. He doesn’t throw super hard, but it’s the movement on his fastball which leads to his strikeout numbers.
40. Kansas City Royals - Forrest Wall, 2B, HS
Wall is another guy I have seen the Royals connected to. Wall has a plus hit tool and is a name that is all over people’s boards. He can hit, has speed, and a little pop but there are some injury red flags as well. Wall’s speed, size, and hitting will make for some Pedroia comps, but it’s going to be hard for a lot of teams to draft a kid in round one who has already had labrum surgery.
41. Milwaukee Brewers - Justus Sheffield, LHP, HS
The Brewers last year spent their first pick on Devin Williams a sliding but very talented prep arm. Sheffield is a high school arm who is going to go in round one somewhere. He is a great athlete who has been preformed all year. The biggest knock on him is the lack of size, but the talent is too much to pass on here.
42. Houston Astros - Jake Stinnett, RHP, Maryland
43. Miami Marlins - Jacob Lindgren, LHP, Miss St
44. Chicago White Sox - Marcus Wilson, OF, HS
45. Chicago Cubs - Jacob Bukauskas, RHP, HS
46. Minnesota Twins - Luke Weaver, RHP, FSU
47. Philadelphia Phillies - Gareth Morgan, OF, HS
48. Colorado Rockies - Spencer Turnbull, RHP, Alabama
49. Toronto Blue Jays - Mac Marshall, LHP, HS
50. Milwaukee Brewers - Brian Anderson, 2B, Arkansas
51. San Diego Padres - Spencer Adams, RHP, HS
52. San Francisco Giants - Chase Vallot, C, HS
53. Los Angeles Angels - Matt Chapman, 3B, Cal Fullerton
54. Arizona Diamondbacks - Scott Blewett, RHP, HS
55. New York Yankees - Jackson Reetz, C, HS
56. Kansas City Royals - Michael Cantu, C, HS
57. Washington Nationals - Grayson Greiner, C, South Carolina
58. Cincinnati Reds - Joey Gatto, RHP, HS
59. Texas Rangers - Alex Verdugo, LHP/OF, HS
60. Tampa Bay Rays - Cole Tucker, SS, HS
61. Cleveland Indians - Zach Lemond, RHP, Rice
Lemond is a big risk, but with five picks in the top 100 you can take a risk. He was viewed as a possible first rounder then an injury struck with tightness in his throwing arm. If he checks out, then great, but even if he doesn’t the Indians should consider him if only because of the value he brings. The tightness is a concern because this was his first year as a starter, so he doesn’t have a lot of wear and tear on the arm. Still, in the end, here is a kid who hit 97 and has a solid feel for three pitches. There were a lot of interesting college arms left but he was clearly the best to me.
62. Los Angeles Dodgers - Sam Travis, 1B, Indiana
63. Detroit Tigers - Michael Cederoth, RHP, San Diego St
64. Pittsburgh Pirates - Jack Flaherty, RHP, HS
65. Oakland Athletics - Austin DeCarr, RHP, HS
66. Atlanta Braves - Brett Graves, RHP, Miss St
67. Boston Red Sox - Garret Fulencheck, RHP, HS
68. St. Louis Cardinals - Milton Ramos, SS, HS
Competitive Balance Round B
69. Arizona Diamondbacks - Dylan Cease, RHP, HS
70. Arizona Diamondbacks - Taylor Sparks, 3B, UC Irvine
71. St. Louis Cardinals - Taylor Gushue, C, Florida
72. Tampa Bay Rays - Daniel Gossett, RHP, Clemson
73. Pittsburgh Pirates - Cameron Varga, RHP, HS
74. Seattle Mariners - Matthew Railey, OF, HS
75. Houston Astros - Trey Supak, RHP, HS
76. Miami Marlins - Aramis Garcia, C, Florida International
77. Chicago White Sox -Chris Oliver, RHP, Arkansas
78. Chicago Cubs - Bobby Bradley, 3B, HS
79. Minnesota Twins - Andrew Suarez, Miami
80. Seattle Mariners - JD Davis, 1B, Cal Fullerton
81. Philadelphia Phillies - Bryce Montes De Oca, RHP, HS
82. Colorado Rockies - Eric Skoglund, LHP, UCF
83. Toronto Blue Jays - Jacob Nix, RHP, HS
84. New York Mets - Jeren Kendall, OF, HS
85. Milwaukee Brewers - Chris Ellis, RHP, Ole Miss
86. San Diego Padres - Jace Fry, LHP, Oregon St
87. San Francisco Giants - Mitch Keller, RHP, HS
88. Los Angeles Angels - JJ Schwartz, C, HS
89. Arizona Diamondbacks - Dylan Davis, OF/RHP, Oregon St
90. Baltimore Orioles - Grant Hockin, RHP, HS
91. New York Yankees - Trace Loehr, SS, HS
92. Kansas City Royals - Cody Reed, LHP, HS
93. Washington Nationals - Pat Connaughton, RHP, Notre Dame
94. Cincinnati Reds - Greg Allen, OF, San Diego St
95. Texas Rangers - Austin Gomber, LHP, Florida Atlantic
96. Tampa Bay Rays - Cobi Johnson, RHP, HS
97. Cleveland Indians - Jordan Luplow, OF, Fresno State
Luplow moved to centerfield this year for Fresno replacing Aaron Judge and he had a great year. He showed an excellent eye posting a .475 OBP and a 36/22 walk to strikeout total. He hit 21 doubles and 9 homeruns and was locked in all year. He projects out to have an above average to plus hit tool and above average power. Yet he isn’t listed as a top 80 guy in this draft. He needs some work on mechanics but the upside with the bat is definitely there especially for the centerfield position. On top of that he is a decent athlete with above average speed.
98. Los Angeles Dodgers - Chad Sobotka, RHP, South Carolina Upstate
99. Detroit Tigers - Justin Twine, SS, HS
100. Pittsburgh Pirates - Josh Morgan, SS, HS
101. Oakland Athletics - Daniel Mengden, RHP, Texas A&M
102. Atlanta Braves - Jake Cosart, RHP, HS
103. Boston Red Sox - AJ Vanegas, RHP, Stanford
104. St. Louis Cardinals - James Norwood, St. Louis
105. Miami Marlins - Dillon Peters, LHP, Texas
Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffmlbdraft, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
I wholeheartedly agree with OB, the Tribe sucks at the draft. No reason to expect any change from that this year, and I expect to be unimpressed, as always, with their choices -- there's no doubt there will be a head-scratcher, or two! I also agree that they should go strong on pitching. After that I would pick for projectable talent.
The baseball draft is a complete crapshoot, and that makes it challenging to go BPA, and nearly impossible to create a mock draft, but you've made a great effort Jeff, thanks!
We'll see what the Indians do. Frankly, I don't think the Indians had a good scouting department. There's lots of good players where the Indians have their first 3 picks, but I expect there to be at least one head scratcher...
I can't be the only one last year that asked, "Who the hell...Dace Kime?" It happens every year; (1) Indians make a bad pick, (2) fans are disappointed, (3) after initial let-down fans talk themselves into liking the pick...a few years later the Indians farm system is still ranked in the bottom half of MLB.
I hope I'm wrong!! The Indians are AWESOME at identifying mediocre minor league prospects and turning them into impact MLB players (Brantley, Asdrubal, Gomes, Hafner...others), but they suck at the draft. I hope they've identified this as a weakness and have rectified this issue b/c they need to be good at this stuff.
My hindsight mock based on yours would be:
21 RHP Reid-Foley
31 OF/1B B.Davidson or 2B F.Wall
38 LHP M.Marshall or RHP Sheffield
61 1B Sam Travis (steal!)
97 any one of RHP McKinney/Weisenberg or LHP Sands
4 out of 5 picks from the HS ranks. Everyone who "knows" me around here, can drop their jaw NOW ;-p
You bring up Gyorko. I saw a lot of Gyorko at WVU; he was very much a "bad body" guy with a fat, wide lower half. A good contingent of scouts said he couldn't pay anything but 1B or DH. Chavis is far more impressive physically than Gyorko -- no comparison. For the record, I really liked Gyorko but everyone knew he could hit -- he fell to the 2nd round b/c his body...its bad. You can go back to old scouting reports if you don't believe me. I really liked him but his body was terrible for an early round MIF and people really questioned his range if he were to move to 2b. Still like Gyorko but he's not going to age well.
If you want to compare offensive potential, I can see that Chavis/Gyorko comparison but athletically there's no comparison. Chavis is a legit athlete that is already built like a man (no projection necessary). I think Chavis looks great in tapes and would be fine taking him at 21 if he were to show that he can hit curveballs (I'm really worried about Clint Frazier as much as I loved him last year).
Chavis could play SS in the bigs. He'd be bad there but it's possible. As Jeff said though, 2B is probably the best spot. Chavis is the type of guy though that I think could play any spot on the diamond (minus pitcher).
Plenty of good players available to the Tribe in this draft & I'm excited to get going!