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2010 Mock Draft #3 – First Round

Here is the start of the third installment of my mock draft series. The first round starts today, followed by the following rounds beginning tomorrow.

1. Washington Nationals – Bryce Harper, C, CC of Southern Nevada – This is increasingly becoming a no-brainer as Harper puts his tools into action on the field. The cost for Harper might be becoming increasingly expensive, but there would be no excuse for passing over what I consider the top talent in the draft by a solid margin. Previously: #1.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates – Deck McGuire, RHP, Georgia Tech – I know this one will bring plenty of wailing from the Pittsburgh community, but I simply don’t see any connection between the Pirates and Jameson Taillon. With Anthony Ranaudo out right now, McGuire has stepped up to become the best draft-eligible college pitcher in the country, and he offers solid stuff with some projection remaining. Previously: #10.
3. Baltimore Orioles – Jameson Taillon, RHP, The Woodlands HS (TX) – If Taillon does fall into the laps of the Orioles, this will be another no-brainer type of selection. There was a little bit of worry a couple of weeks ago when Taillon’s velocity dipped a bit in a start, but it was back up in his most recent start. Cost is the big factor here, considering Taillon might be the most expensive prep arm ever. Previously: #3.
4. Kansas City Royals – Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Ole Miss – I have just been extremely impressed with Pomeranz this spring, as he’s really taken another step forward. There are still some slight concerns about his motion, but with #2 potential from the left side, it will be hard seeing him drop out of the top ten if he’s healthy and dealing. Previously: #16.
5. Cleveland Indians – Chris Sale, LHP, Florida Gulf Coast – Right behind Pomeranz is Sale, especially since Sale is considered the more signable of the two. The much-anticipated matchup of Sale and the U. of Miami hitters in a midweek game was rained out, but Sale has flat-out dominated the competition so far, though that’s to be expected. Previously: #12.
6. Arizona Diamondbacks – A.J. Cole, RHP, Oviedo HS (FL) – This is reminiscent of the Diamondbacks’ pick of Jarrod Parker a few years ago. Cole hasn’t been as heralded this spring, but he still offers the best projection of anyone in the class and one of the few arms that project to be a true number one starter. Arizona may have their pick of the best prep arms behind Taillon. Previously: #6.
7. New York Mets – Dylan Covey, RHP, Maranatha HS (CA) – Covey has been solid so far in early season action, and his fastball-curveball combination is considered the most polished pair of offerings in the prep class. He offers #2/3 upside with better current polish than pretty much anyone in the prep class, and he shouldn’t be as expensive as some of the other names. Previously: #7.
8. Houston Astros – Zack Cox, 3B, Arkansas – I had Cox here in my first mock draft for 2010, and even though he doesn’t fit Bobby Heck’s traditional mold for up-the-middle athleticism, he’s emerged as one of the few available impact bats in the college class. I expect this pick to be a hitter as it stands, so Cox is simply the best available hitter here for an affordable price. Previously: #5.
9. San Diego Padres – Manny Machado, SS, Brito HS (FL) – Machado is one of those players that is hard to gauge, because so much of his value is wrapped up in projectability, yet he still produces on the field in a body that doesn’t offer many of the same attributes that scouts project him to have. If he can stick at short, he’s the best middle infielder available in this class, and the Padres’ new scouting focus should lead to him for numerous reasons. Previously: #11.
10. Oakland Athletics – Austin Wilson, OF, Harvard-Westlake HS (CA) – The rumors of the Athletics being heavy on Donavan Tate last year lead me to believe that they’re really looking for impact center field talent in the prep ranks if the right player is available. They’ve proven they have the budget, and Wilson, fully recovered from a back ailment in the fall, could be an impact player there if he can prove he’s a long-term center fielder. Previously: #13.
11. Toronto Blue Jays – Karsten Whitson, RHP, Chipley HS (FL) – Whitson’s not necessarily behind either Cole or Covey right now, but this is the de facto order that those pitchers come in at this moment. Whitson offers as much upside as anyone, though there’s a tad more risk here than in his counterparts. The Blue Jays are likely looking to build with more high school talent, so this is a good fit. Previously: #9.
12. Cincinnati Reds – Micah Gibbs, C, LSU – I know a lot of Red fans would be upset with this pick, but I think this is a solid fit. The Reds generally push for slot with their early pick, and they’re without an impact catcher throughout, so this is a similar situation to the Astros when they picked Jason Castro in 2008. Gibbs has had a great start to his junior year. Previously: #49.
13. Chicago White Sox – Brandon Workman, RHP, Texas – Workman’s transition to the rotation at Texas has been an unqualified success, and the questions about his ability to start are slowly starting to fade away. He should be an affordable arm with good upside and a solid pitch mix, and the White Sox are one of a few possibilities for his landing. Previously: #31.
14. Milwaukee Brewers – Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, LSU – Say what you want about Ranaudo getting a mulligan so far, but with all the missed time, there is plenty of concern about his durability, one of his better attributes before his injury. He needs to come back and pitch well, especially with his newfound Scott Boras connection. The Brewers are one of a few landing spots on the way down. Previously: #4.
15. Texas Rangers – Alex Wimmers, RHP, Ohio State – Wimmers has been excellent in his first five stars, and he’s really setting himself up to be a solid first round candidate for June. He’s always been in the conversation, but the consensus was that he had to continue to blow away the weak competition he faces to stay in the first round. The Rangers need a pretty signable pick here, and Wimmers would be a solid addition to a farm system deep in arms. Previously: #15.
16. Chicago Cubs – Jesse Hahn, RHP, Virginia Tech – The Cubs have a pretty solid history of taking college arms that have experience closing and turning them into starters, though Hahn has already made the transition this year, and it’s been very successful. He’s still learning to pitch, but his raw stuff and returns early this year have been great. Previously: #35.
17. Tampa Bay Rays – Yordy Cabrera, SS, Lakeland HS (FL) – I had Cabrera here last time, and it still continues to make sense. Cabrera has the sort of elite power potential that teams look for, but he still has to answer how his age relative to his competition affects his performance. As it is, though, he could be a power-hitting right fielder for years to come. Previously: #17.
18. Los Angeles Angels – Josh Sale, OF, Bishop Blanchet HS (WA) – This one was tough, because the Angels don’t have a long history of taking corner outfielders, especially ones that are viewed as somewhat questionable on the athletic side of evaluation. However, Sale’s bat is just so good that it compares favorably with Hank Conger, the all-bat prep catcher taken by the Angels a few years ago. Previously: #14.
19. Houston Astros – Kevin Gausman, RHP, Grandview HS (CO) – It’s hard to change this pick from the last mock draft I did, simply because Gausman just started his season this past weekend. The Astros love the projectable workout arms, and Gausman certainly fits those criteria. He’s a definite first round option for a lot of teams, and the question is how much his LSU commitment is worth. Previously: #19.
20. Boston Red Sox – Nick Castellanos, 3B, Archbishop McCarthy HS (FL) – Castellanos has come out on fire this year, and there’s plenty of reason to believe that he’s a legitimate first round candidate. He put on shows on the showcase circuit over the summer, and the main question he has to answer is whether he can stick at third base. The Red Sox like power bats or athletic bats, and Castellanos fits in category number one. Previously: #18.
21. Minnesota Twins – Kaleb Cowart, RHP, Cook County HS (GA) – I still go back and forth on Cowart, just as a number of scouts are going back and forth. Cowart has the pure talent to go in the first round as either a bat or an arm, but the early returns on his arm are quite good. If a team believes he has Ethan Martin potential with the arm, he is a lock for the first round. Previously: #21.
22. Texas Rangers – Yasmani Grandal, C, Miami – Most that know my evaluation of Grandal believe I have a bias against him. However, he’s come out and answered most of my questions so far, hitting well, playing solid defense, and improving his stock. The Rangers still need catching in their system, and Grandal is fighting with Gibbs for the place of the top collegiate catcher. Previously: NR.
23. Florida Marlins – Justin O’Conner, SS/C, Cowan HS (IN) – O’Conner is in a similar situation to Gausman in that he gets started so late that any changes in mock drafts are more about players around him than his play. If the catching transition is successful, I see this as a solid fit, and even if it isn’t, O’Conner’s the best bat to stay at shortstop among the top prep shortstops in the class. Previously: #30.
24. San Francisco Giants – Christian Colon, SS, Cal State Fullerton – O how the mighty have fallen. Colon has come out extremely flat so far this year, and it brings back bad memories of Grant Green’s rough start for USC last year. However, Colon doesn’t have the tools to fall back on that Green has, so the fall is faster and deeper. Previously: #2.
25. St. Louis Cardinals – Stetson Allie, RHP, St. Edwards HS (OH) – Another cold-weather player, Allie still offers the most electric arm in the entire class, Taillon included. However, the lack of refinement and probable bullpen destination makes Allie a more questionable first round candidate, and I seriously considered dropping him out altogether. Previously: #20.
26. Colorado Rockies – Bryce Brentz, OF, Middle Tennessee State – Scouts flocked to see Brentz play a midweek matchup against Tennessee a few weeks ago, and they were treated to a nice display of the power of Brentz. However, with the concerns of his competition still being out there, he needs to put up the video game numbers of 2009 to be an early pick. Previously: #22.
27. Philadelphia Phillies – Chevez Clarke, OF, Marietta HS (GA) – Clarke still has some problems with pitch recognition, but he is a much more improved player than who he was last summer. He still has the excellent athleticism that the Phillies seek, but he also offers better refinement and effort, and he just looks more mature. Previously: #28.
28. Los Angeles Dodgers – Sammy Solis, LHP, San Diego – Whereas teammate Kyle Blair has slowly started dropping off the radar as a first round candidate, Solis has stepped up after missing last year with a back injury. The Dodgers love their left-handed arms, and I have to think that Solis is right near the top of the board, being a Southern Californian and having a great comeback season. Previously: #37.
29. Los Angeles Angels – Stefan Sabol, C, Aliso Niguel HS (CA) – This one is getting tougher, because the early reads on Sabol’s catching continue to be mixed. His athleticism is still never in question, so whichever team picks him has the alternative of developing him as a premium defender in the outfield. However, if the Angels pick him this early, it will be as a catcher. Previously: #23.
30. Los Angeles Angels – Scott Frazier, RHP, Upland HS (CA) – Frazier has jumped on to the early round scene with an excellent early round of games, including a no-hitter that featured plus stuff and results. He offers premium projection and a big frame, both things the Angels love, and the most important thing in this pick is that they get upside with signability, and Frazier is expected to be signable for slot this early. Previously: NR.
31. Tampa Bay Rays – Robbie Aviles, RHP, Suffern HS (NY) – There is still no conclusive read on how Aviles’ Florida commitment affects his signability, and that will play a big part in his draft position come June. Being a cold-weather pitcher, teams are going to have limited looks on him, so his signability is a big factor, since he’ll be a little behind as it is. He’s quite projectable, though, and the Rays could get premium talent for their buck here, since this pick is compensation for not signing LeVon Washington a year ago. Previously: #42.
32. New York Yankees – LeVon Washington, OF, Chipola JC (FL) – I defended Washington early on when scouts were saying that he lost a step, but it’s gotten far enough into the season for me to start worrying. His plus-plus elite speed just isn’t there right now, and he doesn’t offer enough other tools to be a top ten or even top twenty pick. I do still like his bat, but this is as far as I can go. Previously: #8.

Stay tuned for the next part tomorrow, when I’ll give you my latest supplemental first round mock draft.

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March 22, 2010 - Posted by | Mock Draft

30 Comments »

  1. Christian Colon falling to the Giants – from your typing fingers to God’s ears.

    Yes Colon had a poor start to his season however he had a monster weekend in Washington. Will this have an affect?

    Comment by william | March 22, 2010 | Reply

    • One weekend doesn’t change anything, especially against a weak Washington team. He’ll have to have more weekends like that, but against good pitching.

      Comment by andyseiler | March 22, 2010 | Reply

  2. I like the McGuire before Taillon. Machado before Colon and Cabrera??? http://www.fullertontitans.com/sports/m-basebl/recaps/031910aaa.html (he’s back!) Your street creds dropping with that one. I like Castellanos with Red Sox, they like the hard nosed brawlers not the showcase pansies.

    Comment by William | March 22, 2010 | Reply

    • Machado’s almost universally considered better than Cabrera at this point, mainly because Machado has a much better chance of sticking at shortstop. Colon has dipped due to the slow start, and a number of teams preferred Machado over him anyway. There are questions about asking price for both, though, as they are both Boras clients.

      Colon having one good weekend doesn’t change much. He needs to start piling the good weekends together against better teams and better pitching. He’s going to be facing some good pitching a few times, so we’ll see what he does.

      Comment by andyseiler | March 22, 2010 | Reply

      • Colons history of performance with Cal State Fullerton and Team USA this summer is much more that a prep with questionable D that had a good outing with Team USA and playing mid level competition at best in hs. Just sayin.

        Comment by William | March 22, 2010

      • I think you’re thinking about it too much in terms of production. Machado has a higher ceiling with both the bat and the glove compared to Colon, and when he faced the stiffer competition, he excelled. That’s what it comes down to in the draft.

        Comment by andyseiler | March 22, 2010

      • Everyones definition of competition is highly subjective, so lets agree to disagree.

        Comment by William | March 22, 2010

  3. A couple of questions about Pomeranz and Sale, as they are 2 of the top candidates to be drafted by the Indians.

    – What seperates these 2, if anything at all?
    – What has impressed you most about Pomeranz so far this year?
    – Is Sale’s delivery a concern amongst scouts?

    Thanks. Looking forward to the next few rounds.

    Comment by JP_Frost | March 22, 2010 | Reply

    • What separates them from each other or from the rest of the college pitching pack?

      Pomeranz has impressed me with his consistency. He consistently dominates the competition, and that’s without the best team behind him.

      Sale’s delivery is less of a concern than the delivery of Pomeranz, mainly because Pomeranz is seen as less athletic than Sale. Pro pitching coaches should have an easier time correcting any of Sale’s flaws, since he’s athletic enough to find a consistent release point.

      Comment by andyseiler | March 22, 2010 | Reply

      • Thanks for the info.

        I meant what seperates Pomeranz from Cole. Does one have better stuff, command, projectability, etc?

        Comment by JP_Frost | March 22, 2010

  4. As a Reds fan, yes, I’m not loving the Gibbs projected pick. I might even prefer Grandal if they had to go the college catcher route. I won’t be surprised if they do something like this though. As irresponsible as it is to pass up the sheer amount of high-ceiling hs pitching talent they probably will.

    Any thoughts on Kyle Parker and whether or not he’s forcing first round attention?

    Comment by blackout | March 22, 2010 | Reply

    • Parker has definitely had a great start to the season, but there are still some questions to be answered. The biggest question is how much of a premium he puts on his football playing. Will he even be signable this year? There’s no way of knowing right now, so that’s why I left him out, and you won’t see him in my mocks going forward until there some sort of answer.

      Comment by andyseiler | March 22, 2010 | Reply

      • The football question is a concern, but there are far fewer questions about the bat and ability than there were coming into the year. The guys is doing the little things and has clearly taken a step forward in terms of plate discipline, which may have as much to do with finally getting a handle on the time management and work involved in handling both starting QB and middle of the order bat responsibilities. I guess my question is, based on talent, and ignoring signability concerns, where would you mock him? Based on current reporting, I think the Yanks would be nuts to take Washington at that spot if Parker continues this pace and is available. I thijnk it will take first round money to keep him off the gridiron this fall, but that is a distinct possibility.

        I also am starting to wonder if the Reds don’t combine a signability pick with a home state slant and select Alex Wimmers. It’s certainly not indefensible as long as Wimmers beats the tar out of weak Big Ten lineups.

        Comment by blackout | March 22, 2010

  5. I want a HS projectable arm falling to the Yanks

    Comment by Jake H | March 22, 2010 | Reply

  6. Being a Pirates fan, I would hate for them to pass on Taillon. But, I also think that McGuire makes sense if the want someone to sign for slot money. Which would leave them room for over slot picks like last year.

    Comment by Chris | March 22, 2010 | Reply

  7. Cards fan here. I would sure hope if Brentz falls to the Cards at #24 they would take him. With a few very intriguing arms in our system and not many upper tier hitters this would be a logic choice. Nothing against Allie as he has an electric arm…but I am very high on Brentz.

    Comment by JC | March 22, 2010 | Reply

    • I know a lot of people are high on Brentz because of his numbers. They’re definitely outstanding. However, he just simply lacks the tools of an upper-tier draft prospect, which is why he’s more of a late first-rounder, though he has room for more. He’s a corner outfielder as a pro, with a plus arm, but with average range, and he really needs to clean up his outfield routes. With the bat, yes, he has plus tools, but he still struggles with pitch recognition. That’s going to be the thing that hamstrings him throughout his pro career.

      Comment by andyseiler | March 22, 2010 | Reply

      • I get it. He needs to improve as an OF and pitch recognition. But plenty players in the past have gotten drafted with just a plus tools with the bat. He has a plus bat and arm. Pitch recognition can be taught with the right hitting instructor and his outfield routes can be more well defined with a solid OF instructor. Plus arms and bat are hard to teach. I am not basis my love for him due to his stats…but everything I have seen on video and written by draft analysts. If he makes it to the Cards I just can’t see them passing on one of the best pure bats in the draft.

        Comment by JC | March 22, 2010

  8. So you like McGuire better than Pomeranz right now?

    Comment by Jeff | March 22, 2010 | Reply

  9. What are Cabreras numbers so far? I hear that he is really struggling badly. I saw him play a lot last summer and he seem’s like a real talent.

    Comment by Joe C | March 22, 2010 | Reply

    • And don’t forget, scouts are acutely aware that Cabrera is typically a year or two older than his competition. As a 19-year-old he has to be extraordinary to stand out. His tools are outstanding, so I’m sure scouts are focusing on them. Anyone know if it’s an issue of his not being pitched to? That can wreak havoc on young hitters.

      Comment by blackout | March 22, 2010 | Reply

  10. Teams are going right after Yordy Cabrera. I have seen at least 4 of his games. He has not squared up on any balls in the games I have gone to. On Friday someone said he was 1 for his last 20+. But he does look like a MLB player in uniform. He looks physicaly bigger and stronger than even some college players.

    Comment by Nathan | March 22, 2010 | Reply

  11. Kevin Gausman seems like a guy the Astros would take, but it seems like he would fit for them at pick 33, more so than at 19. They could get a lot more value at 19 and still get Gausman in the supplemental, right? (I’ll have to see who you gave them at 33 instead, though.)

    I don’t like Cox at 8. Although I don’t think he’d threaten to return to school going that high, he’d still want a little more than slot I’m sure. However, I don’t like his power ceiling as much as I did at the start of the season, when I considered him a possibility at 8. I’ve soured on him a bit, even though he is playing great and has shown some good discipline at the plate. Tell me I’m wrong when it comes to his power. What’s with this I hear about him at second??

    I’d really like to see them take the high school arm that drops to 8 (Taillon, Cole, Covey, Whitson). Maybe Brandon Workman, he’s looked good this year and has some upside as a starter (and has a high floor as a power reliever). Why are you sold on the Astros taking a bat rather than an arm at 8?

    Comment by Joshua B. | March 22, 2010 | Reply

    • I can’t speak for Andy, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they took a bat. If they went with a bat, Cox or Wilson seem like good guesses. Mayo has Cox as a future plus hitter who should have at least average power. A .300/20 hitter with good discipline from the left side to go with adequate defense at 2B is a pretty good player. Even though the Razorbacks have moved him to 2B, a team could still like him enough at 3B. But, he probably has more value at 2B.

      I would be ecstatic if they drafted Wilson. They strongly considered Lawrie at #10 a couple years ago, so they could take a player like Wilson at #8.

      But, it will boil down to who’s there and who they feel is best. I wouldn’t mind if they took a HS or college arm, as long as they’re a starter. Sale would be nice if he fell. Workman is fine, though he’d be a better pick at #19 than #8. Renaudo would be good as long as his price isn’t exorbitant.

      Comment by astrosfan76 | March 23, 2010 | Reply

      • I’m going back and forth on Cox. Personally, I tend to think he’d have too little range at second–and too strong an arm. I guess I came into the season thinking he had .300/30 upside. Maybe he still does. I am very impressed with the discipline he’s shown. That was my greatest concern with him coming in. I think he’s a great prospect, but is #8 too high. Maybe my concerns are a little exaggerated. Especially since his upside may be higher than anyone in Houston’s system.

        I like Gausman too, but I like him better at 33. Then again, I like Andy giving them Bedrosian there too!

        Comment by Joshua B. | March 23, 2010

  12. O’Connor has yet to step foot on a baseball diamond this high school season and he’s just given a slot in the first round? Is that realistic?

    Comment by Mark | March 23, 2010 | Reply

  13. the pirates have enough depth, they need an impact pitcher like Taillon

    Comment by Kyle Stanzel | March 24, 2010 | Reply

    • while i agree tht tallion is the better player. id still rather have the buccos take mcguire or brentz for tht matter. NH would never spend a 1st round pick on a HS pitcher. the obvious choice is either a solid pitcher or an OF with great pop in his bat

      Comment by Greg | March 25, 2010 | Reply

  14. I certainly hope you’re wrong about the Yanks taking Levon Washington. No way would I take him with a first round pick. He is a singles hitter, thats all. His greatest attribute is his speed. I’d much rather see them take a H.S. arm unless a Josh Sale or an Austin Wilson fell to them at 32.

    Comment by JohnC | March 26, 2010 | Reply

  15. Little bit late to the party, but given the Cubs’ really strong connections with the State of Virginia through Billy Swoope (http://www.thebaseballcube.com/scouts/10125.shtml), Hahn makes a lot of sense.

    Comment by Outshined_One | March 28, 2010 | Reply


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