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My Current First Round Mock Draft

Just to make it easier, and to ensure that all sets of this are on this blog when I published the supplemental first round and the second round, here’s my current first round mock draft in the exact form it took on MinorLeagueBall.com.

1. Washington – Steven Strasburg, RHP, San Diego State – The only question is how quickly he’ll sign and for how much money.  Previously: #1.
2. Seattle – Dustin Ackley, OF, North Carolina – I think this is really starting to become a sure thing.  Ackley’s a legit hitter with the growing ability to man center field.  If his arm holds up, there’s nothing holding him back from becoming a star player.  Previously: #2.
3. San Diego – Aaron Crow, RHP, Ft. Worth Cats – Jason Churchill says the Padres like Donavan Tate, Grant Green, Kyle Gibson, and Crow.  Crow’s starting to heat up with another nice outing, and I think he pitches himself into this spot.  Previously: #4.
4. Pittsburgh – Jacob Turner, RHP, Westminster Christian Academy (MO) – The bonus demands and commitment don’t scare teams away when your performance is top-notch.  Turner’s pushed himself into the top ten, and this pick makes good sense.  Previously: #28.
5. Baltimore – Alex White, RHP, North Carolina – Despite a mediocre performance last weekend, White’s still one of the best options in the draft.  Baltimore’s done well with its recent college picks, and White’s got legitimate upside.  Previously: #8.
6. San Francisco – Tyler Matzek, LHP, Capistrano Valley HS (CA) – Matzek’s still the best prep lefty, and I think the Giants will be picking between him and Zack Wheeler.  Matzek’s done well enough to keep his spot above Wheeler, making him the pick.  Previously: #5.
7. Atlanta – Zack Wheeler, RHP, East Paulding HS (GA) – Wheeler has continued his stretch of dominance, probably solidifying a top ten spot.  If he’s available to the Braves, I think there’s no way he lasts to the eighth spot.  Previously: #7.
8. Cincinnati – Tanner Scheppers, RHP, St. Paul Saints – Scheppers and Crow are considered unknown wildcards in terms of draft stock in this draft.  I don’t think either gets past the tenth pick, and Scheppers is probably a favorite of the Reds.  Previously: #3.
9. Detroit – Grant Green, SS, USC – Another Churchill tidbit says that teams don’t expect Green to last past the Tigers.  Yes, they’re in need of middle infield help both in the Majors and on the farm, but I just wonder how much money he’ll need.  Previously: #15.
10. Washington – Kyle Gibson, RHP, Missouri – In a bit of a surprise, Kyle Gibson slid to the tenth slot in my mock this week.  I don’t think the Nationals would choose Chad Jenkins or others over Gibson, and they’ll spend the money.  Previously: #6.
11. Colorado – Mike Leake, RHP, Arizona State – Leake is just too dominant and has too much to offer to a team for him to drop into the second half of the first round.  His offspeed stuff is as good as anyone in the entire class, making him an early pick.  Previously: #11.
12. Kansas City – Matt Purke, LHP, Klein HS (TX) – Still a top prospect, Purke will fall if the teams that prefer prep arms have better options on the board at their pick.  That’s the case in this week’s mock, meaning his bonus demands and talent level make his draft stock vulnerable.  Previously: #9.
13. Oakland – Tim Wheeler, OF, Sacramento State – He keeps hitting and drawing walks, and his athleticism is impressive.  All in all, he’s the most well-rounded college outfielder, perhaps more than Ackely due to the arm strength issue.  Good fit here.  Previously: #10.
14. Texas – Shelby Miller, RHP, Brownwood HS (TX) – Miller’s another case, like Purke, that will fall if better options fall to prep-heavy scouting teams.  He’s got monster arm strength, but will be a project of a sort.  Enter the new style Texas Rangers.  Previously: #12.
15. Cleveland – Max Stassi, C, Yuba City HS (CA) – I was wondering which way the Indians would go, having gone for a JUCO and NAIA product over the last two years, and I figured that they’ll go for a hitter of some sort.  Stassi’s underrated by some, but not in terms of draft value.  Previously: #16.
16. Arizona – Rex Brothers, LHP, Lipscomb – This would be a tremendous pick for the Diamondbacks, who hope to load up on talent with their extra picks in this year’s draft.  Brothers has good arm strength, but mixed results might move him down this far.  Previously: #13.
17. Arizona – Tony Sanchez, C, Boston College – A slight reach, this might make some sense for the budget-conscious Diamondbacks.  Sanchez is still the best college catcher, and they are generally drafted higher than their pure talent deserves.  Previously: #43.
18. Florida – Jiovanni Mier, SS, Bonita HS (CA) – Mier is clearly the best prep shortstop, and the Marlins are clearly favoring prep players.  I’m not sure if they want a pitcher or hitter, but Mier would be an interesting slot fit.  Previously: #18.
19. St. Louis – James Paxton, LHP, Kentucky – Paxton’s choice of Scott Boras is still questionable, but the pure talent is not.  He’s on the young side of college draft-eligibles, and his arm isn’t as worn, so he’s still a first round pick.  Previously: #19.
20. Toronto – Drew Storen, RHP, Stanford – I do think one college reliever will slip into the first round, and that will probably be Stanford’s Storen.  He’s got plus command with plus stuff, and that will lead to a quick ascent to the bigs.  Previously: #37.
21. Houston – Donavan Tate, OF, Cartersville HS (GA) – While a number of teams are shying away from Tate for various reasons including his hit tool, signing bonus demands, and his love of the sport, the Astros sure do love their athletes.  The question is whether they’ll pay his asking price.  Previously: #14.
22. Minnesota – Mike Trout, OF, Millville HS (NJ) – Even though they’ve gone with two prep outfielders for their last two top picks, I’m sure Trout’s still on the Twins’ list.  He’s got the tools to be another plus defender and hitter in their system.  Previously: #20.
23. Chicago (AL) – Andy Oliver, LHP, Oklahoma State – Oliver’s still a college lefty with upside, and that’s all it takes for the White Sox to pick someone.  He might need more time to get through the minors than your typical college pick.  Previously: #17.
24. Los Angeles (AL) – Bobby Borchering, 3B, Bishop Verot HS (FL) – With a good bat, but questionable defensive capabilities, Borchering will be the type of player that forms the measuring stick of this draft class.  He’s likely a first round pick in almost any scenario.  Previously: #22.
25. Los Angeles (AL) – Wil Myers, C, Wesleyan Christian Academy (NC) – The Angels would be thrilled to get the best prep third baseman in Borchering and someone who’s battling to be the best prep catcher in Myers.  Who knows if he’ll stay behind the plate, but the bat should play.  Previously: #21.
26. Milwaukee – Chad Jenkins, RHP, Kennesaw State – I’ve seen enough about Jenkins to think he’s a legitimate first round option for teams.  He’s performed better than his teammate Kyle Heckathorn, and I think Jenkins’ command makes him more attractive to most teams.  Previously: #51.
27. Seattle – Eric Arnett, RHP, Indiana – I’ve been thinking that the Mariners might pair Dustin Ackley with a prep pitcher, but I don’t know if the options here are better than Arnett.  I think the Mariners will with the best pitcher available here.  Previously: #34.
28. Boston – Garrett Gould, RHP, Maize HS (KS) – Gould’s snuck up lists gradually, finally exploding recently.  I think he’s pitched his way into first round consideration, and the success of Casey Kelly only encourages the Red Sox to think prep.  Previously: NR.
29. New York (AL) – Kyle Heckathorn, RHP, Kennesaw State – I still think Heckathorn’s pure stuff is as good as anyone not named Strasburg.  Someone like the Yankees, who value that quality, will take a chance on Heckathorn, who will be one of the risker college picks.  Previously: #38.
30. Tampa Bay – Chad James, LHP, Yukon HS (OK) – James still plays somewhere in the first round, and I think the Rays would be thrilled to get one of the top prep lefties this far down.  Previously: #25.
31. Chicago (NL) – Jared Mitchell, OF, LSU – All this time I’ve been thinking the Cubs will pick a pitcher.  However, if an athletic college outfielder like Mitchell is available here, I wonder what the Cubs choose to do.  Previously: #24.
32. Colorado – Rich Poythress, 1B, Georgia – You may be thinking that the Rockies have enough of these types of hitters, but Poythress’ bat is a legit first round monster.  I like his chances in the pros.  Previously: #23.

The usual disclaimer: writeups on draft status going into the draft were a mixture of BA and PG unless otherwise noted.  Go to their sites for draft coverage.  They’re awesome.

What do you think?

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May 22, 2009 - Posted by | Mock Draft

12 Comments »

  1. Good luck with the new site Andy. I haven’t always agreed with you over at minor league ball, but I’m looking forward to your additional thoughts.

    One thing that I think would be particularly valuable: how do you rank these players in terms of talent yourself? Forgetting what the published wisdom is of the teams in terms of who they are actually considering picking, how do you rank the players as prospects?

    Comment by James F | May 23, 2009 | Reply

    • If I were to rank these guys personally, you’d see a general shyness from the unpolished guys, mainly guys like Matt Purke, Shelby Miller, Jiovanni Mier, and Garrett Gould. I also have a genuine dislike of Grant Green and Donavan Tate in terms of their chances of becoming impact Major Leaguers. I’m not sure why, but I do know they’ve failed to live up to expectations of what they’d be during their draft years. I think Mike Trout’s up too high, as he’s become a scout favorite in terms of more than just ability. There’s too much love of his personality. Finally, I’d adjust Poythress up higher and put Mike Leake above Kyle Gibson. Gibson’s a scout favorite due to his frame, but he’s done nothing to tell me he’s going to be a better pro. And Tanner Scheppers’ shoulder can’t be trusted.

      Comment by andyseiler | May 23, 2009 | Reply

      • Thanks.

        Two individual players I’m curious about your take on: Alex White and Slade Heathcott. White is a player who the more I see of him, the less I like him as a top 10 pick. Heathcott is a player who I think could be a major steal in a later round.

        Comment by James F | May 23, 2009

      • Since I can’t reply to your reply, I’ll reply to mine…

        Anyway, I’m a big fan of White’s. I think he’s one of the most underrated of the top college arms, and people have been quick to pile on him about his less-than-Strasburg-like season. There’s some documentation that ACC arms are generally abused, and it’s pretty much a fact, and I worry about that. Also, pitchers that throw tons of splitters, which is the case with White, can be injury risks, though by no means is that a sure thing. Finally, the command problems that have hampered him aren’t reassuring, but he’s athletic enough to becoming someone with repeatable mechanics. I think he turns out to be the best of the non-Strasburg college arms.

        As for Heathcott, I’m not a fan of him in general. Having not pitched yet due to injury (shoulder), and having hurt his knee playing football, he’s not someone I’d want to invest high-six figures on come June. Keith Law mentioned in a chat earlier that the Phillies could be on him in the second round, as he wants good money, but generally won’t be taken higher than the second. He’s committed strongly to LSU, so he could easily drop from the first day altogether. I don’t think that’s likely, though, as he’s a nice talent. I’d just avoid him personally, as I don’t think he’s worth what he’s likely asking for. Picking a prep player with an already extensive injury history isn’t very smart, and though it pays off occasionally, it’s usually a recipe for disaster.

        Comment by andyseiler | May 23, 2009

  2. Good job Andy! We love your writings over at LSB…

    Comment by chris | May 23, 2009 | Reply

  3. Andy — may be interested in seeing a post from you with your “top players listed” — bonus demands, etc taken out of the picture (i think BA does something like this with their draft tracker?) — any chance of that happening/coming out in the near future?

    Comment by john | May 23, 2009 | Reply

    • You mean something like my top 32 players if I had a draft board? Something like that?

      Comment by andyseiler | May 23, 2009 | Reply

      • I’d be interested in your draft board. I was kind of suggesting that in my initial comment.

        Comment by James F | May 23, 2009

      • Alright, I’ll post it tomorrow. It’s kind of giving away my thoughts for the mock draft over at Sickels’ site, but who cares. It should show just the kind of variance that the boards have from team to team this year.

        Comment by andyseiler | May 23, 2009

  4. Just a small correction to the information on Levon Washington. He did not have rotator cuff surgery. It was a laberal tear. Secondly, those in the MLB who have seen him throw, advise that he is way ahead of his throwing schedule. Also his throwing program did not start until almost February of 2009. Thanks…

    Comment by Ray Williams | May 24, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for the info Ray. I’ll make a post correcting the mistake.

      Comment by andyseiler | May 25, 2009 | Reply

  5. Andy Oliver isn’t even in the discussion for the White Sox. Scott Boras client = won’t be drafted or signed by White Sox.

    And don’t try and say, “Well, you drafted Jordan Danks” last year. There was definitely some under the table stuff that went down there, and after we drafted Danks, both Danks brothers fired Boras.

    Comment by MPB | May 31, 2009 | Reply


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