With the draft only a month away, I figured I would post my first Mock draft with a description for each player. All the information provide come from a combination of reports I've read as well as observations from video and watching these players live.
1. Houston Astros - OF Clint Frazier, Loganville High School (GA) [Commitment: Georgia]
- For the second year in a row, the Astros choose the highest upside player in the draft. Frazier is a monster of a player, considered to be a 5-tool talent. On the year, the number 1 high school prospect is batting .521, 13 HR, 34 RBI. Frazier has incredibly fast wrists and drives the ball to all fields. Ultimately, Frazier may end up in a corner outfield spot as his range, while above average, may not be enough for CF.
2. Chicago Cubs - RHP Mark Appel, Stanford University
- GM Theo Epstein has stated in several places the Cubs are looking for an ace in the draft. Appel would seem to fit the short and long term plans for the Cubs. Appel has the ability to move quickly through the system and could debut as soon as September if he was to sign right away. Appel was showing reasons to be a high draft pick earlier this season and while he has cooled off slightly, he is still getting very good results with his 5 pitch repertoire.
3. Colorado Rockies - RHP Jonathan Gray, University of Oklahoma
- The Rockies are top heavy with talent in their farm system. What they lack is a projected ace to anchor what will be a very young rotation. Gray fits with what exactly the Rockies may be looking for. Gray shot up the draft boards with a great spring season. Gray has 2 plus-plus pitches, a triple digit fastball, and hard curveball that sits around 87 MPH. The only complaint about Gray is he relies almost entirely on these two pitches and has not developed a changeup that he trusts at all.
4. Minnesota Twins - LHP Sean Manaea, Indiana State University
- Manaea has not had a tremendous spring as he has struggled with wildness and been inconsistent at times. Nevertheless, Manaea has a tremendous amount of potential and is arguably one of the best LHP's to come through the draft in a long time. Some may see Manaea at 4 being a risk for the Twins but for a team without a top pitching prospect, Manaea is the best choice at the spot. Manaea's plus fastball, sitting roughly at 94-96, is complimented by a newly added split-finger changeup, a slow slurve, and hard slider.
5. Cleveland Indians - 3B Kris Bryant, University of San Diego
- Bryant is the top power hitting college player in the draft. The Indians will be quickly to jump on the multi-hitting tool talent at No. 5, Bryant isn't all power as he has shown great discipline at the plate this season, drawing 53 BB compared to 31 SO. Bryant makes adjustments at the plate and is willing to take the ball the opposite way. Defensively, Bryant may be best suited for 1B or a corner OF spot.
6. Miami Marlins - OF Austin Meadows, Grayson High School (GA) [Commitment: Clemson]
- The Marlins need to rebuild through the draft in order to have a chance at building a consistent winner in Miami. Meadows may be the player who could ultimately compliment or replace Giancarlo Stanton in a few seasons. Meadows is a 5-tool talent with more speed than Frazier but with a slightly weaker arm. Meadows crushes the ball, hitting for high average and power. He has above average speed on the basepaths. A few adjustments at the plate could make Meadows one of the top prospects in baseball.
7. Boston Red Sox - 3B Colin Moran, University of North Carolina
- Moran has had an up and down season. He started out slow before exploding at the plate. Arguably he has the best hitting tools in the draft. His plate discipline is a notch above Bryant's though the power is slightly below. Defensively, Moran has his problems but plays a passable 3B. A move to a corner OF spot or 2B may be the best for Moran as his bat would still play at both positions.
8. Kansas City Royals - RHP Braden Shipley, University of Nevada
- Kansas City is desperate for starting pitching throughout their system. They gave away their two top pitching prospect, Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery, for immediate help at the ML-level over the offseason. Shipley would be a decent building block for the Royals. I don't see him turning into an ace but he could definitely turn into a fine 2-3 starter. His low to mid 90's fastball is a good pitch that is complimented by some great secondary pitches including the best changeup in college baseball.
9. Pittsburgh Pirates - LHP Trey Ball, New Castle High School, (IN) [Commitment: University of Texas]
- Ball is the top 2-way athlete in the draft class who is projected to be pitcher going down the road. Ball fits the projectable frame the Pirates look for, standing at 6'6, 175 lbs. Ball gets very good results on the mound, with a low 90's fastball, high 70's changeup, and mid-80's slider. Ball holds his velocity well throughout games and he hasn't been overtaxed on the mound. If it doesn't go right on the mound, Ball could quickly be converted to a corner OFer.
10. Toronto Blue Jays - RHP Ryne Stanek, University of Arkansas
- Stanek was my favorite pitcher coming into the season as he has, in my opinion, the best stuff of anyone in the class. Unfortunately, Stanek hasn't taken off this season, struggling with wildness and leaving the ball up in the zone. Some people are now seeing Stanek's future as a reliever/closer. His mechanics are below what they need to be and this may be a cause for his wildness but the pitches are there. His fastball and slider are both considered to be plus pitches and he also features a solid curve and a developing, low 80's changeup.
11. New York Mets - C Jonathan Denney, Yukon High School (OK) [Commitment: Arkansas]
- It was shown this offseason that the Mets really covet their first round pick as they were unwilling to give it up to sign OF Michael Bourn this offseason. Keeping the pick will pay off when they select Denney, the top catching prospect in the draft. He is a top defensive catcher with an excellent arm who is also a very strong hitter. Denney has plus power and above average bat speed and a good eye at the plate. There isn't a lot to not like about the top catching prospect in the draft.
12. Seattle Mariners - SS J.P. Crawford, Lakewood High School (FL) [Commitment: USC]
- Seattle is consistent in selecting the top available talent, regardless of position. Crawford will easily fit the bill for the Mariners who are in need of a shortstop but is also the top available talent. What teams will love about him is his incredible hard work ethic and positive attitude he brings to the game. Crawford has hit for high average, posting a high OBP and hitting for reasonable power. Due to his size, it is reasonable to believe that Crawford will add power as he fills out. Defensively, Crawford is the best defensive SS in the draft and will stay at the position at the next level.
13. San Diego Padres - RHP Kohl Stewart, St. Pius X High School (TX) [Commitment: Texas A&M FOOTBALL]
- San Diego is a team that may be looking for a RHP to compliment their 2012 selection, LHP Max Fried. Selecting RHP Kohl Stewart at No. 13 may be San Diego's best bet. Stewart will be considered to be a very tough sign as he has a strong commitment to Texas A&M for football. Stewart has a power arm, running his fastball up to 97 MPH but sometimes straightens out, making the pitch hittable. His slider has the potential to be a plus pitch, sitting in the mid-upper 80's. Stewart is still working on a changeup but it could be a very good pitch down the road.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates - 1B Dominic Smith, Serra High School (CA) [Commitment: USC]
- Smith is the top power hitting high school prospect in the draft (Yes, even more so than Frazier and Meadows). What really makes Smith intriguing as a hitter, however, is his natural ability at the plate. He makes it look easy, squaring up just about every single pitch thrown to him and hitting it HARD. Defensively, Smith is one of the best in the draft. He has fantastic footwork, a strong arm, and very soft hands. With all of Smith's tools, he could move very well through a system.
15. Arizona Diamondbacks - RHP Chris Anderson, Jacksonville University
- Anderson is a high upside pitcher who isn't getting consistent results. For the Diamondbacks, however, he is the best pick at No. 15. Anderson, if he reaches his potential, could turn into an ace pitcher, the one Trevor Bauer didn't develop into right away for the Diamondbacks. Arizona must be patient with Anderson and all of their pitching prospects. Anderson features a mid-90's fastball, a tight curveball, and a nice changeup. Anderson is built like a workhorse and could be a great pickup at No. 15.
16. Philadelphia Phillies - OF Ryan Boldt, Red Wing High School (MN) [Commitment: Nebraska]
- Philadelphia is slowly rebuilding their farm system after being buyers for several years. To finish off the minor league rebuild, drafting CF Ryan Boldt could be the cherry on top. Boldt has a line drive swing and drives the ball to all fields. There isn't an incredible amount of loft to his swing and, as a result, he doesn't hit for a lot of power yet. Some adjustments will fix this. Defensively, Boldt takes excellent routes to balls and has a plus arm. On the basepaths, Boldt is raw but could accumulate high amounts of SB as these skills develop.
17. Chicago White Sox - RHP Jonathan Crawford, University of Florida
- Crawford has the potential to be one of the top pitchers in the draft but hasn't put it entirely together. He has had flashes of utter dominance and complete ineptitude. His fastball shoots up into the upper 90's and has late sinking action. His secondary pitches have lots of potential with an above average slider and a developing curveball and slider. Crawford is at his best when he commands all of his pitches but he has starts where he doesn't have a feel for any of them. After drafting a high school player for the first time in a long time, the White Sox will look to grab a college player once again.
18. Los Angeles Dodgers - C Reese McGuire, Kentwood High School (WA) [Commitment: San Diego]
- The Dodgers have not had a top catcher since Russell Martin left in 2010. McGuire is Jon Denney-lite. He possess many of the same defensive skills, power ability, bat speed, but lacks plate discipline. McGuire, if he refines his approach at the plate, could become an amazing player and one of the top catchers in the game. The Dodgers will not take the draft lightly, even if they are in win-now mode, they will still want to acquire top prospects to either compliment their team or trade for players.
19. St. Louis Cardinals - RHP Ryan Eades, Louisiana State University
- The Cardinals are big on draft pitchers and middle infielders. Eades fits the perfect mold of a pitchers body standing at 6'3, 205 lb. Eades could turn into a solid 2-3 starter with a three pitch mix: fastball, curveball, and changeup. Eades would be much higher but his command problems and inability to repeatedly locate pitches has led to problems on the mound. The Cardinals will most likely identify these problems and turn him into a top pitcher.
20. Detroit Tigers - LHP Ian Clarkin, James Madison High School (CA) [Commitment: San Diego]
- The Tigers have gotten mixed results on drafting pitchers: Verlander was a massive success, Porcello never amounted to what they hoped, and Turner was traded. Clarkin, another arm from the high school ranks, could very well be the Tigers pick at No. 20. Clarkin is a power lefty with a low-mid 90's fastball, slowly, looping curveball, average changeup, and occasional slider. Many have Clarkin as a sleeper candidate and I have to agree, this kid could be tough.
21. Tampa Bay Rays - OF Aaron Judge, Fresno State University
- Tampa Bay is well-known for going with the best available talent, regardless of numbers. Aaron judge will be that player at No. 21. Judge is a big boy, standing at 6'7 and is apparently loaded with power. I say apparently because, up until this year, he wasn't hitting for any power. Judge has a short and simple swing but he is prone to a high number of strikeouts. His career will be defined by whether he can start hitting with power. Defensively, he moves well for being such a big guy, starting as Fresno State's CF but I can see him quickly being moved to RF or 1B.
22. Baltimore Orioles - RHP Bobby Wahl, University of Mississippi
- The Orioles may be looking for more pitching to shore up their future rotation. With an established core of position players at or coming up to ML, the Orioles future will be made or broken by pitching. Drafting Kevin Gausman last season was a good start but they will need more. Bobby Wahl could be the pitcher they are looking for. Wahl was being mentioned earlier this season as a Top 10 pick but some peripherals have been a cause for concern. He is 8-0 on the season with a 1.22 ERA, an OPPBA of .188, has only allowed 2 HR in 73 2/3 innings and 1.07 WHIP. The major concerns, however, is that a guy with Wahl's stuff should be striking out more than 7.21/9 and be walking fewer than 4.03/9. Currently, his FIP is 3.83. Nevertheless, Wahl could be a great No. 2 starter if he begins to command his pitches better.
23. Texas Rangers - 3B Joey Martarano, Fruitland High School (ID) [Commitment: Boise State FOOTBALL]
- I can't name any player ever to be born in Idaho all though I am sure there are plenty. Martarano is a multi-sport athlete who has caught a lot of attention in the past few months. If he chooses to go to college for football, his baseball career will end as Boise State does not have a team. Defensively he does fine at 3B but due to his size, he may need to make the move to 1B. Martarano has a strong swing and crushes the ball when he connects. He has some holes in his swing right now and will start out his career striking out a lot. On the basepaths, Martarano has surprising speed. Due to him being a part time player right now, not fully committed to the sport like other high school players, it is unclear what Martarano's ceiling could be.
24. Oakland Athletics - 1B DJ Peterson, University of New Mexico
- Before last season, Oakland had selected a college player with their first overall selection since 1996 (they did take high school players with supplemental picks). I expect Beane to return to his model for college players. Peterson would be a nice grab at No. 24. He hasn't gotten the same headlines as Bryant or Moran but is arguably one of the best pure hitters out of college. He has a smooth swing with above average power and a good approach at the plate. He seems profiled for 1B or RF.
25. San Francisco Giants - LHP Robert Kaminsky, St. Joseph Regional High School (NJ) [Commitment: UNC]
- Kaminsky has been called one of the best LHP in the draft. As a junior he threw 3 no-hitters. He has a threw pitch mix with improving command over each. His fastball has been clocked as high as 96, his hammer curve, sitting in the high 70's, has plus potential, and he has a solid changeup. Kaminsky could be a steal for the Giants in the later half of the 1st round.
26. New York Yankees - LHP Kevin Ziomek, Vanderbilt University
- In recent years, the Yankees have taken to rebuilding their floundering minor league system. For the past 5 years, they have stuck to high school players. With their slow progress and the lack of pitching depth in the system, Brian Cashman may look to college arms with the No. 26 pick. Kevin Ziomek may be a good fit for him. Ziomek works at a fast pace and has strong command of all three of his pitches. Similar to Gonzales, he doesn't have an incredibly high ceiling but should develop into a solid ML-starter. His fastball is a low 90's offering while both his curveball and changeup are both considered above average pitches.
27. Cincinnati Reds - LHP Marco Gonzales, Gonzaga University
- If Gonzales is available, the Reds will quickly take him. Gonzales' name has been mentioned as high as 10th with most having him in the mid 1st round range. Gonzales is a polished southpaw with a low 90's fastball, plus changeup and an average slider and curveball. Gonzales could quickly move through the minor league system due to his strong command and by just knowing how to pitch. He has a very high floor but not a very high ceiling. He won't be an ace but could be a solid No. 3 and the stats back up that claim.
28. St. Louis Cardinals - SS Oscar Mercado, Gathier High School (FL) [Commitment: Florida State]
- The Cardinals like drafting middle infielders and Mercado's availability will make them very happy. Mercado is a defensive-oriented shortstop with a line drive swing. His defense is arguably better than Crawford's but his bat is weaker. It is foreseeable that Mercado could turn into a leadoff hitter due to his line drive swing, willingness to hit to all fields, and speed. He looks to be more of a doubles hitter but he has the frame where he could add power, standing at 6'2.
29. Tampa Bay Rays - RHP Brett Morales, King High School (FL) [Commitment: Florida]
- Morales didn't start focusing on pitching until last season and the results have been extraordinary. Morales has a 3 pitch repertoire that he mixes extremely well. He has a good feel for his pitches and doesn't overuse any of them. His fastball touches 94 but his changeup may already be a plus offering. In addition, his curveball is developing and could become an out pitch. Morales is practically in the Rays backyard, attending King High School in Tampa, FL.
30. Texas Rangers - OF Phil Ervin, Samford University
- Ervin has 20-20 potential with incredible speed and even more incredible bat speed. He isn't the biggest guy, standing at 5'11 but he handles himself well at the plate and in the field. His approach at the plate is poor, making him a project but the bat speed and power make him very intriguing for the Rangers. Defensively, he is a center fielder and could stick at the position but it may be wise to move him to a corner OF spot, preferably RF.
31. Atlanta Braves - RHP Andrew Mitchell, Texas Christian University
- A power pitcher, Mitchell has potential but doesn't get the results. Mitchell has a straight, 94 MPH fastball, an inconsistent curveball that, when working, looks to be a plus pitch, and a changeup with good potential. Mitchell experiences periods of wildness. Regardless of his issues on the mound, Mitchell is strong-willed and doesn't fall apart or lose faith in himself on the mound. With some mechanical work, Mitchell could develop.
32. New York Yankees - SS Andy McGuire, James Madison High School (VA) [Commitment: Texas]
- McGuire projects more as a 3B then a SS but he does fine at either position nonetheless. He has very good range with a strong arm. He isn't as refined defensively as Mercado or Crawford but should do fine in the infield. McGuire has a simple swing with pull power but has mostly gap power. With Cito Culver not producing in the minors and Derek Jeter reaching the final years of his career, McGuire is a logical move by the Yankees.
33. New York Yankees - RHP Trevor Williams, Arizona State University
- Williams is a solid pitcher with a limited ceiling and high floor. Williams has exceptional control and is a strikethrower. He trusts his stuff and commands his pitches throughout the strikezone. He has a high 80's fastball and also uses a curve-slider-change to complete his repertoire. Williams reminds me a lot of a Jeff Karstens-type who gets good results with average stuff due to excellent control.