The 2014 MLB Draft is a little more than two months away and it is shaping up to be one of the best pitching classes in years. The Pirates will be selecting 24th, 65th, and 74th at this point though there is a chance they could move up. In the mock I have developed, I've weighed a variety of reasons to come to the selections I've made. As you read through the mock draft, you will get an understanding why for each team may make the selection I have made for them. In addition, I have provided videos for each prospect I believe will be selected in the 1st and 2nd Round. For some prospects, it was difficult acquiring videos and had to use some dated footage but these still provide some evidence of the players skills. Please enjoy.
1. Houston Astros - LHP Carlos Rodon (North Carolina State University)
Houston has slowly emerged from the ashes as a young ball club with loads of talent in their minors. While the system is not built to the extent of the Cardinals, Pirates, or Cubs, Houston has a top ten system thanks to their philosophy of drafting the best player available and trading veterans for young prospects. Houston has been stockpiling high-upside pitchers with some position prospects sprinkled in between. The Astros will draft the best player for the third consecutive year when they nab Carlos Rodon from NC State. Rodon has an ideal pitcher's frame with wide shoulders, thick legs, and above average height. Rodon flashes several above-average to plus pitches. The 4S fastball (92-95) explodes out of his hand with tailing action. he locates the pitch all around the strike zone. His 2S fastball (90-91) has hand side tail but his command can be somewhat lacking at times with both pitches. His slider (89-91) sits comfortably as a plus offering with tight spin and a lot of horizontal movement that forces swings. The changeup is highly projectable with great deception but still requires some work. In addition, Rodon has a show-me curve that could be an above average offering but is minimally used at this time. Rodon projects as a top of the rotation arm and would join a potential rotation including Foltynewicz and Appel.
2. Miami Marlins - RHP Tyler Kolek (Shepherd HS, TX) Committed: TCU
Miami has shown a preference for taking high school players over college. They have also shown an ability to draft and develop talent, in recent years graduating players from their farm like Jose Fernandez, Giancarlo Stanton, and Christian Yelich. Last year, Miami had a safe bat fall to them in the draft. This year, with the 2nd pick, they could either go college pitcher or high school hitter. Relying on their draft philosophy, the Marlins will stick with the high school ranks and nab the future 1A to their ace. Kolek is a monster of a high school pitcher standing at 6'6 and weighing 250 lbs. His fastball (92-95) is heavy, coming in a downward plane and has some horizontal leak to it. The curveball (77-79) is a future above average to plus pitch but has been inconsistent. The slider ((84-86) has more vertical break to it on the glove side and is considered a potential plus offering. Kolek's changeup is a work in progress due to being rarely used. Kolek is a projectable power arm with a workhorse build.
3. Chicago White Sox - C Alex Jackson (Rancho Bernardo HS, CA) Committed: Oregon
Chicago suffered for years which was the result of taking cheap and "safe" selections in the draft. By doing so, they passed over high upside talent and hurt their farm system. In recent years, however, the White Sox have changed their approach, resulting in a recent influx of young, high upside talent such as Courtney Hawkins, Keon Barnum, and Tim Anderson. The White Sox will continue to target high school players and this one may have the highest upside of them all. Jackson is rated so highly due to his absolutely stunning bat paired with strong defensive skills. Jackson hits for plus power to all fields with plus bat speed. There is a slight uppercut in his swing but could easily be ironed out. Defensively, Jackson can easily stick at catcher due to a plus, accurate arm, soft hands, and sound blocking skills. Jackson is a bigger guy, close to 210 lbs. which may force a move to RF, where he could easily excel and the bat would play.
4. Chicago Cubs - RHP Jeff Hoffman (East Carolina University)
Ever since Theo Epstein arrived on the scene in Chicago, the Cubs have gone from being a laughing stock on draft day to having one of the best farms in baseball. The Cubs have now shown they will take the best player available and build their team more through the draft and less by free agent signings. With a future plethora of position prospects, the Cubs are looking to have quite the future offense. Unfortunately, the pitching in the organization is severely lacking. By taking the best player available, the Cubs will nab a potential ace. Hoffman saw his stock skyrocket when he dominated the Cape this past summer. Hoffman has a tall, lean frame that still has some projection left. Hoffman commands a plus fastball (93-95) with superb tailing action. The curveball (77-80) has a 1-7 hard break, flashing plus potential. Hoffman's last pitch is an average changeup (86-88) with tailing action and consistent arm action. Hoffman repeats his delivery and pitches on a steep, downward plane. Hoffman has the potential to be a potential ace.
5. Minnesota Twins - OF Michael Gettys (Gainesville HS, GA) Committed: Georgia
Minnesota has quite the farm due to a recent string of exceptional drafts. If the Twins stay the course, going with high upside talent, they will find themselves with another potential five-tool talent. Though many Twins fans will be praying for the selection of Vanderbilt ace Tyler Beede, Gettys will be too tempting to pass up. Gettys is one of the best athletes in the class who can do just about anything on the diamond. Defensively, Gettys projects as an above average defender in RF due to a plus arm and blistering speed. At the plate, Gettys annihilates pitches with plus bat speed and plus-plus power. Mechanically, Gettys has some issues at the plate including a large transfer of weight after a toe tap. He has shown some struggles with off speed pitches and has swung and missed at more pitches than most top-hitting prospects. With some adjustments and better coaching, Gettys could become a five-tool terror in an organization that already features Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano.
6. Seattle Mariners - SS Trea Turner (North Carolina State University)
Seattle has seen their recent draft picks stumble slightly out of the gate but have remained committed to drafting the best player available in the first round. The Mariners will be salivating when they see SS Trea Turner available to them at No. 6. Turner is a game changer at a premium position. Turner has plus speed and defensive skills. He is an accomplished base stealer, showing advanced skills in reading pitchers deliveries and timing throws. Defensively, he has plus tools across: soft hands, great range, strong arm, and quick reflexes. At the plate, Turner has plus bat speed and hits for gap power. He covers all parts of the plate and has a willingness to take pitches to the opposite field. There are some weight transfer issues but nothing to scare a team off. Turner is an exciting player who has the ability to play plus defense at SS and be a top of the order bat.
7. Philadelphia Phillies - RHP Tyler Beede (Vanderbilt University)
Philadelphia is an organization desperate for talent in anyway. After their top three prospects, they take a major nose dive. Perhaps the biggest contributor to the sheer drop in talent was the Phillies surrendering draft picks to sign overpriced free agents (before last year, the Phillies had only one, non-supplemental first round pick since 2008). With such a high pick, the Phillies seem unlikely to not draft well here and could possibly strengthen their pitching by nabbing Vanderbilt ace Tyler Beede. He has two plus fastballs, a 4S (94-96) that is located throughout the zone and a 2S (92-94) that has good tailing and sinking action, generating a high rate of ground balls. Beede's curveball (80-82) has a hard 12'6 break that shows nice form and tight spin though he can struggle with a consistent release point. Lastly, the changeup (77-79) is among the best in the class.The pitch has hard sinking and tailing action and is hidden well by good arm action, making it extremely difficult to hit. Beede projects as a workhorse with ace upside but the control will have to improve.
8. Colorado Rockies - SS Jacob Gatewood (Clovis HS, CA) Committed: USC
Colorado has quietly built a strong system that has a little bit of everything but not a ton of depth. Colorado may do best taking a pitcher here but it will be very difficult for the Rockies to pass on a high upside, potential five tool talent. Gatewood is a tall, thin middle infielder who is built in the Troy Tulowitzki-mold. Gatewood has a plus arm, soft hands, quick reflexes, and good footwork around the bag. The only concern is his lateral range is less than desirable at the moment. At the plate, Gatewood has elite bat speed that generates above average power to all fields. With improved approach, Gatewood could developed plus contact skills making him a potentially lethal offensive shortstop. On the basepaths, Gatewood has average speed and doesn't figure to be a major base stealing threat.
9. Toronto Blue Jays - RHP Touki Toussaint (Coral Springs Christian Academy, FL) Committed: Vanderbilt
Toronto has developed a lot of good talent in the past few years. The unfortunate thing is, none of it is on their major league roster. Instead of waiting for players to develop or giving them a shot at the 25 man, Toronto went into win-now mode, trading several top prospects for immediate help. The result has yet to pay off and has severely weakened their farm. Toronto is very good at drafting and will get their farm system back on track with the selection of Touki Toussaint. Perhaps having the highest upside of anyone in the draft, Toussint is a long, lean, athletic pitcher who is highly projectable. Toussaint has a three pitch mix. The fastball (92-95) has good life but has additional movement due to Toussaint's inconsistent delivery and release point. Overall, the pitch looks to be a plus offering. The curveball (74-76) is thrown hard with tight spin and a sharp break and is a potential plus-plus offering. The changeup (83-85) is inconsistent due to its infrequent use. With its development, Toussaint could become a very well-rounded starting pitcher. The mechanics need to be adjusted and his release point is inconsistent. Toussaint is a boom/bust prospect who, if he reaches his ceiling, could be the best pitcher in the draft.
10. New York Mets - LHP Brady Aiken (Cathedral Catholic HS, CA) Committed: UCLA
The Mets are quietly building one of the better farm systems in baseball with a good combination of young pitching and position prospects. Aiken is tall, strong, and loose pitcher and is the best high school lefty in the draft. The fastball (89-92) has run and sink to both sides of the plate and is commanded very well. The curveball (74-76) is a potential plus offering with hard spin and bite that shows swing/miss potential. Lastly, the changeup (82-84) is an above average offering that shows good arm speed and some sinking action. Aiken has some mechanical issues that will need to work on but ultimately projects as a potential No. 2 starter.
11. Toronto Blue Jays - 1B Braxton Davidson (T.C Roberson HS, NC) Committed: UNC
In addition to trading away a lot of talent for immediate help, Toronto has also struggled, at times to sign their draft picks. In the past six years, the Blue Jays have failed to sign three first rounders, most recently being Phil Bickford. To compensate for the loss of Bickford, the Jays will be able to draft a high ceiling, potential middle order bat in Braxton Davidson. Sloped shouldered, incredibly strong, and tall, Davidson looks the part of a 1B. At the plate he demonstrates a plus approach, potential plus-plus power, and plus bat speed. He dominates the inside part of the plate but struggles with some away pitches. Defensively, Davidson moves very well with very good athleticism and a strong, accurate arm. There is still some work to do with the feet but he has the skills necessary to be an above average defender with a plus bat.
12. Milwaukee Brewers - RHP Grant Holmes (Conway HS, SC) Committed: Florida
Milwaukee has one of the worst farms in baseball due to a combination of giving up first round draft picks, trading away prospects, and not developing what they have left. The Brewers desperately need to start rebuilding unless they want to suffer the same fate as an organization like the Astros. They need just about everything but it would probably be best to start with pitching and a high upside arm like Grant Holmes would be a great start. Holmes is a physically mature flamethrower from South Carolina. The fastball (91-94) doesn't have a ton of movement but is commanded extremely well and kept down in the zone. The power curveball (82-85) is already considered a major league average pitch and has the potential to be a plus-plus offering. It has tight spin and bites hard late which, when added with the velocity, is nearly unhittable. Lastly, the changeup (80-82) is an above average offering that could become a plus pitch with a little more refinement. The mechanics are pretty sound though he can be a little rigid at times. Holmes has a tremendous amount of upside and could turn into an ace when all is said and done.
13. San Diego Padres - LHP Sean Newcomb (University of Hartford)
San Diego has a lot of pitching in the minors and may be better served trying to find some offense. The Padres, however, will look for more pitching as they try to build a high caliber staff that will play well in their pitcher-friendly ballpark. Newcomb, a big, strong left hander, will be the man they find. Newcomb comes from a small-school but has a huge amount of potential. The fastball (94-96) is very heavy, thrown on a steep, downward plane and some tail on it. The slider (86-88) is his out-pitch and a potential plus-plus offering due to a massive amount of horizontal break. Lastly, the changeup (82-84) is an average pitch that needs a decent amount of work. Newcomb slows down his arm speed and struggles to command it particularly well. Newcomb has a workhorse build and could easily turn into a No. 1 or 2 starter though his command will have to improve.
14. San Francisco Giants - RHP Luis Ortiz (Sanger HS, CA) Committed: Fresno State
San Francisco has fallen on hard times in the draft, seeing a numerous amount of the selections falter the past few years. The Giants draft philosophy continues to emphasize drafting your strengths, in the their case: pitchers, outfielders, and catchers. It seems unlikely they will shy away from this. Even after nabbing a shortstop in the first round this past year, they ended up taking 21 pitchers. Most of what the Giants have, currently, are complimentary pieces but little in the way of impact talent. These fortunes may change if they grab Luis Ortiz who has gotten rave reviews from scouts for his fierce dedication to baseball. The fastball (91-93) is exceptionally commanded, worked all around the zone, changing eye levels and hitting corners. The slider (83-84) is an above average offering that breaks hard with tight spin. Ortiz has a good feel for his changeup (82-84) and the pitch shows solid fade action and good deception. Ortiz has good size and the natural stuff to make him an exceptional pitcher. Ortiz is extremely dedicated to his craft and projects to be a No. 2 or 3 starter at the next level.
15. Los Angeles Angels - SS Nick Gordon (Olympia HS, FL) Committed: Florida State
The Angels have one of the worst farm systems in baseball, having traded away much of their talent for immediate help and surrendering first round draft pick for free agents. In addition, these acquisitions have put them into a limbo where they aren't winning but they aren't losing. This is perhaps the worst thing that can happen when you are hoping to win-now. The Angels have, for now, decided to keep their first round pick and, if they are smart, will acquire young talent with an eye on the future. Though a pitcher could make sense here, the Angels may find it hard to ignore Nick Gordon. Gordon is the brother of Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon. Much like his brother, Nick is a glove first shortstop who could eventually turn into a solid offensive threat as well. At the plate, Gordon has above average bat speed and a smooth swing giving him the tools necessary to become a productive hitter. The power is average now but could sit, one day, at above average. Defense is where Gordon will make his money due to plus tools all across the board: lateral range, arm, accuracy, footwork, and hands. At the very worst, Gordon will be a glove-first shortstop. At the very best, Gordon will develop into a five tool shortstop who hits for above average power and plays gold glove defense.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks - RHP Aaron Nola (Louisiana State University)
Arizona has recently taken it upon themselves to following a new strategy, focusing on pitching and contact hitters to build up their roster. Arizona has a severe lack of outfield prospects but, without a talented outfielder at this point, it seems more likely they turn to their number strength, pitching. Aaron Nola, the top pitcher in the SEC, he has been nothing short of spectacular for the Tigers. He throws from a low 3/4 slot that is close to sidearm. Nola has a 2S fastball (90-93) that has a lot of hand side tail. His power curve (77-80) that breaks hard grading out to be a potential plus pitch. Lastly, Nola's changeup (82-84) is an average pitch but is coupled well with the fastball. Nola is undersized and doesn't pitch on a downhill plane but he is one of the smartest pitchers in the class. He pounds the corners, changes eye levels, and sets up his pitches. Nola could get to the majors quickly and has No. 2 upside.
17. Kansas City Royals - C Max Pentecost (Kennesaw State University)
Kansas City finds itself in a difficult spot in the draft. They traded away much of their top talent for immediate help. Even by doing so, the Royals still have some prospects, though, none on the same level as Myers, Montgomery, and Odorizzi. Kansas City usually favors college players early before turning to the high school ranks. Barring another overdraft, will acquire Max Pentecost. He is a strong, solid catcher who projects for above average offense and defense. Behind the plate, Pentecost receives well, has soft hands, and a strong, accurate arm. At the plate, Pentecost has a smooth, line drive swing, generating above-average bat speed and power. Pentecost has a high floor and, at the worst, will be a league average hitter who plays exceptional defense.
18. Washington Nationals - 1B Kyle Schwarber (University of Indiana)
Washington missed out on a first round draft pick but will look to get back to their exceptional drafting ways in 2014. The Nationals have a slight preference for college players though they are a true best player available drafting team. The Nationals will nab Kyle Schwarber with their first selection. Currently a catcher for the Hoosiers, Schwarber will get moved off the position for the less physically demanding 1B. He is the top power bat in the draft. At the plate, Schwarber commands the strike zone with a smooth swing, strong eye, and elite power to all fields. He squares up pitches consistently and draws a fair amount of walks which is a beautiful thing for a hitter. Defensively, it seems unlikely that he stays at catcher. He has a below average arm, poor receiving skills, and isn't exactly light on his feet. A transition to 1B may be necessary where the bat will play. Schwarber is a future middle of the order bat who will get on base at a high clip. The question remains, what will his defense look like?
19. Cincinnati Reds - LHP Kodi Medeiros (Waiakea HS, HI) Committed: Pepperdine
Cincinnati likes two things on draft day: outfielders and undersized pitchers. Cincinnati has struggled to find a bona fide staff ace, relying on Johnny Cueto as their No. 1 starter. While the Reds will continue to search for their potential ace, they will nab one of the most advanced high school pitchers in the draft. Kodi Medeiros is undersized but has some of the most eye-popping pitches. The fastball (92-94) has a ton of arm side life. The slider (76-78) is a plus-plus offering with incredible horizontal and vertical break, sometimes looking like a slurve. The pitch has been described by scouts as being the best breaking ball in the class. Medeiros third potential plus offering is a changeup (80-82) that has arm side run similar to his fastball. Due to Medeiros somewhat small frame, some believe he will get moved to the bullpen. However, being drafted by an organization that seems to covet undersized pitchers, Medeiros will, in all likelihood remain a starter with Cincinnati where he could become a No. 2 or 3 starter.
20. Tampa Bay Rays - RHP Sean Reid-Foley (Sandalwood HS, FL) Committed: Florida State
Tampa Bay is an organization that assembled its current team by smart draft choices, selling high on veterans, and making savvy trades. While the Rays are in the midst of contention, they're skills in the draft have diminished and they haven't hit on a first rounder since David Price. Their 2011 draft class of ten first rounders have been mostly a failure. Tampa has, in recent years become a pitching factory and will most likely seek a pitcher with the 20th pick. Sean Reid-Foley would be a local selection and is very projectable. Reid-Foley has the ideal pitchers frame with sloped shoulders, long, thick legs, and big hands. The 4S fastball (88-92) is commanded well throughout the zone and is used to change eye levels on batters. His 2S (87-89) has good tailing action and is used to jam right handed hitters. The slider (78-80) projects above average but, as of now, is inconsistent. Occasionally the pitch doesn't break enough vertically, resulting in the pitch being left up and very hittable. The change is a nice pitch with hard splitting action with some depth to it. Reid-Foley only uses it on occasion and mostly as a way to set up his fastball. It could turn into an above average pitch once he focuses on it more. Reid-Foley has an ideal build and has been getting better and better. Easily projects as a future No. 2 or 3 in the AJ Burnett-mold.
21. Cleveland Indians - RHP Luke Weaver (Florida State University)
Cleveland, in recent years, has done a fairly good job of drafting position prospects. With that being said, their ability to draft pitchers remains suspect. Picking at No. 21, the Indians will struggle to find a potential top of the rotation arm. Nevertheless, they may be able to take a potential middle of the rotation who could rise quickly. Polished, athletic, with sloped shoulders and lanky arms, Weaver is an enticing selection for the Tigers. The fastball (91-94) has strong tailing action and is an above average offering. The slider (81-83) is a potential plus offering which has good tilt, sometimes sweeping, other times breaking hard. The curveball (69-71) is a show-me offering and sits average at best. His changeup (79-81) has nice tailing action and is thrown with consistent arm speed. Weaver factors to be a No. 3 or 4 starter but he is very polished and reliable. He understands how to pitch and sets up his pitches very well.
22. Los Angeles Dodgers - OF Brad Zimmer (University of San Francisco)
Los Angeles is a system that should be better with some above average prospects but nothing that really makes someone go "wow!" They got a potential steal in Chris Anderson last year but, after him, Lee has been inconsistent and Urias is undersized. However, with the pitching depth they have on their ML roster and Ned Colletti's tendency for short sighted moves, I could see them making a small overdraft to acquire a player who could reach the majors quickly. Brad Zimmer is the brother of Royals top prospect, Kyle Zimmer. The lean and athletically built Zimmer is a potential five tool talent. On defense, he covers a lot of ground, taking good routes to balls, and has an above average arm that is accurate. Offensively, Zimmer has above-average bat speed that generates potentially plus power (though it is only average at the moment). Depending on what tools develop, Zimmer could be anything from a lead off hitter to a middle of the order bat. He plays the game with high intensity and could move up the board as he continues his season.
23. Detroit Tigers - RHP Scott Blewett (Charles W. Baker HS, NY) Committed: St. John's
Detroit has surrendered several draft picks in the past few years to make splashes in free agency. Doing so has led to a extremely poor farm system rating among one of the worst in baseball. The Tigers will look to continue building their pitching stock when they grab the fast rising, high upside Scott Blewett. The fastball (92-94) has recently seen an increase in velocity. The curveball (74-76) has 11-5 break that is inconsistent. if he harnesses the command of the pitch, it could be a plus offering. He has an advanced feel for the changeup (80-82) shows nice fade with proper arm action. Blewett will need to harness his command and correct his mechanic but could develop into a top of the rotation arm.
24. Pittsburgh Pirates - 3B Mike Chavis (Sprayberry HS, GA) Committed: Clemson
Pittsburgh has built one of the best farm systems in baseball due to a strategy of best player available, highly projectable arms, and toolsy outfielders. The Pirates will be selecting outside the Top 15 for the first time in 14 years so it will be interesting to see how the Pirates approach the draft. With the uncertainty of who the best player available could be, the Pirates may take a slightly different approach, looking for the highest upside player while attempting to fill a hole in the system. While this may seem a poor strategy, the Pirates would only be doing this if someone in the Top 10-15 doesn't drop. The Pirates could also take another strategy, taking an overdraft at No. 24 to save money in later rounds. The draft is so deep this year, it actually wouldn't be a bad idea. My belief is the Pirates will nab Michael Chavis at No. 24. The kid can flat out hit. Chavis is strong and compact, standing at 5'11. He has a simple swing that generates plus bat speed that he uses to crush the ball. Chavis has potential plus power with current plus power to his pull side. He has a good eye and commands the outer half of the plate fairly well. Defensively Chavis is a work in progress. He needs some adjustments on footwork and quickening his release but he has a sound glove and above average range.
25. Oakland Athletics - LHP Justus Sheffield (Tullahoma HS, TN) Committed: Vanderbilt
Oakland has recently adjusted their draft strategy of taking safe college players, instead going after high upside players from all ranks. The result has been a vast increase in talent, namely players along the line of Addison Russel, Bill McKinney, and Dylan Covey. It seems unlikely that, after seeing the payoff of this new philosophy, Billy Beane will revert back to his old ways. I fully expect for him to after the best high school arm available. This would be the extremely dedicated Justus Sheffield. How dedicated is he? Just recently he dropped out of school for a week so he could attend a showcase in San Diego without forfeiting his eligibility his senior year at Tullahoma. Sheffield is compact with a wide frame and is undersized. His delivery is simple and sound with a 3/4 slot. The fastball (88-92) has some cut to it and is commanded well. The curve (76-78) flashes plus potential with good depth and rotation. The slider (80-81) has both strong vertical and horizontal break, creating solid tilt and making it an above average offering. The change (77-79) was deceptive with some depth and hand side run. Sheffield pounds the lower half of the zone, working on a downhill plane. He shows an advanced pitching IQ and is a very tempting pick on draft day. He projects as a No. 2 or 3 starter.
26. Boston Red Sox - OF Mike Conforto (Oregon State)
Boston has one of the best farm systems in baseball, benefiting from strong scouting and taking the best player available. The Red Sox were able to take highly projectable high school left hander Trey Ball last year and, this year, they will go after a bat. Mike Conforto fits that bill perfectly: he's all bat and just about zero glove. At the plate, Conforto hits with plus bat speed that generates plus power. He is fairly advanced in his approach, knowing when to attack and can drive pitches to the opposite field. Defensively, Conforto isn't skilled, showing a lack of ability with the glove, poor instincts, and a slight above average arm. If a team wants him in the field, he will almost certainly be a 1B. A transition to DH could be even more fitting. Conforto is a middle of the order bat but will need substantial defensive work.
27. St. Louis Cardinals - RHP Dylan Cease (Milton HS, GA) Committed: Vanderbilt
The Cardinals, whether you love them or hate them, draft and develop extremely well. The Cardinals prefer college pitchers and catchers though they are not opposed in going after projectable high school players. The Cardinals will go against their usual strategy and, instead, grab a projectable arm. Cease has the slopped shoulder build who isn't fully developed yet. The fastball (92-95) rockets out of his hand with good life and is spotted well. The curve (75-76) is highly projectable with good, 12-6 break and potentially above average overall. The change (80-82) has nice action but isn't used as well since Cease can just overpower everyone he faces.Cease is a potential ace if he continues to develop.
COMPENSATION ROUND A
28. Kansas City Royals - 3B Matt Chapman (California State University, Fullerton)
Kansas City has favored college players the past several years and will return to that philosophy with their Compensation Round pick. Matt Chapman is a 6'1, athletically built 3B who has the potential to be a very big contributor at the next level. Chapman has above average bat speed that he mixes with a sound approach at the plate to hit for plus contact and above average power. Chapman is very strong defensively with excellent charging skills, slick glove work, and an above average arm. Chapman may not be the biggest power hitter but he'll justify his role at the hot spot with tremendous defense and a boat load of extra base hits.
29. Cincinnati Reds - OF Dylan Davis (Oregon State University)
Having acquired a pitcher, the Reds will turn to hitting with their compensation pick. Davis is an advanced college bat with average defensive skills. Davis is strongly built with a well developed upper-body. At the plate, Davis has a selective approach, working counts and looking for pitches to drive. He has above average bat speed that creates some loft in his swing, leading to some scouts believing he will develop above average or plus power. Defensively, Davis is destined for a corner outfield spot where he will do fine. He moves decently, has good instincts, and has a plus arm. Potential 5 or 6 hitter.
30. Texas Rangers - RHP Jordan Brink (Fresno State University)
Texas will have given up its first pick in the draft to sign Shin-Soo Choo but we'll get the 30th pick in the draft. Texas favor the best player available with a preference for power arms. They don't mind taking risks as evidence by recent draft selections. The arm that will interest them most is Fresno State ace, Jordan Brink. The fastball (92-94) has recently seen an uptick in velocity with hand side run, making it a plus offering. The curveball (83-85) breaks hard with slight horizontal and a ton of vertical movement. Lastly, Brink has begun to work on a changeup (78-80) has average potential but will be important to his development. Brink isn't as polished as some of the other college arms but he has a lot of upside and could become a solid No. 3 starter or a power reliever. Brink will need to hone his command and, if he does, he will possibly move up into a mid-first round draft pick.
31. Cleveland Indians - RHP Cobi Johnson (James W. Mitchell HS, FL) Committed: Florida State
Cleveland has shown a recent trend towards high school players and I believe this trend will continue under GM Chris Antonetti. Having already nabbed a solid bat in Braxton Davidson, the Indians will attempt to at least add depth to a system lacking pitching. Cobi Johnson will be a fine acquisition. He is tall and lanky with room to add strength and a few ticks to his pitches. The fastball (89-91) is a solid pitch with good command. The curveball (77-79) flashes plus potential with hard 12-6 break with tight spin. Lastly, the changeup (80-82) is still developing but he has shown a decent feel for the pitch thus far. Johnson can be inconsistent with his pitches, which he will need to work on in order to become the potential front-line starter of which he is capable.
32. Atlanta Braves - OF J.D. Davis (California State University, Fullerton)
Atlanta has shown a liking for college players. Having surrendered their first selection to sign Ervin Santana, they will look to make a solid selection with their compensation pick. J.D. Davis' loud bat with draw them in. Davis is one of the top 2-way college prospects in the draft though his future is at the plate. Davis has plus bat speed that generates above average power. The ball explodes off of Davis' bat, driving the ball hard to all fields. In the field, Davis has a plus arm and a glove that projects best at 1B though he's been playing mostly in the outfield. Davis could very well move up the draft boards but scouts are still uncertain regarding his plate discipline. At a time, however, where right handed power is fading away, Davis will be a breath of fresh air.
33. Boston Red Sox - RHP Erick Fedde (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
Boston has been a best player available organization for quite some time. The Red Sox will not care about position or organizational depth when they nab the unusually highly projectable right hander from UNLV. Erick Fedde is a tall, lanky 6'4, 175 lb right hander who has room to add several ticks onto his fastball. The fastball (90-92) fastball that has late life. The slider (81-83) is a future plus offering that he commands well in the strike zone. The pitch has good tilt and is kept low in the zone. Lastly, Fedde has an improving changeup (82-84) that has some fade action. Fedde commands his fastball and slider with plus control though he will need to harness his changeup. Potential No. 3 or 4 starter or late-inning reliever.
34. St. Louis Cardinals - RHP Michael Cederoth (San Diego State University)
St. Louis will look to shore up its pitching by selecting the towering Michael Cederoth at No. 34. Cederoth is a lean 6'7, 210 lb right hander who flashes some impressive pitches. The fastball (95-97) is a future plus-plus offering that explodes from his hand and flashes late movement. After the fastball comes the slider (85-87) that flashes plus potential with sharp bite but is very inconsistent. The changeup (84-86) is a show-me pitch now that is pretty flat but, when coupled with the fastball, can easily throw off hitters. Like the slider, Cederoth struggles to command the pitch. Cederoth must harness his control if he wants to be successful. He has the build to be a frontline starter but, without control, he'll be limited to a late-inning relief pitcher.
COMPETITIVE BALANCE ROUND A
35. Colorado Rockies - LHP Brandon Finnegan (Texas Christian University)
The Rockies will have already gotten a steal when Jacob Gatewood fell to them at #7, now Colorado will turn to the college ranks, their preferred area to draft from. They will find a physically limited left hander who flashes some impressive offerings. Finnegan is a modest 5'11, 185 lbs with thick legs and a power arm. The fastball (93-96) is impressive with some tailing action. The slider (85-88) has nice tilt to it and figures to be an above average offering. His changeup (82-85) is thrown with consistent arm action and has some fade to it. Finnegan's major knock is control. If he can't master his pitches, he will quickly be moved to a reliever where his arm would be a welcome to just about any bullpen. If he stays as a starter, he is a potential No. 3 or 4 starter.
36. Miami Marlins - SS Greg Deichmann (Brother Martin HS, LA) Committed: Louisiana State
The Marlins failed to sign their Competitive Balance pick from the year before when Matt Krook chose to attend college. The Marlins will make good use of the pick, selecting a high school position player. Deichmann has a projectable 6'2 with an athletic build. At the plate, Deichmann swings with above-average bat speed that generates lift and potential plus power. He does have some swing/miss issues due to his aggressive swing but with some minor adjustments he could really harness his hitting skills and achieve above average contact skills. In the field, Deichmann has excellent footwork around 2B. He has soft hands, good range, and an above average arm. Deichmann has the potential to play any infield position and may be most interesting at 2B though he'll be drafted as a SS and that'll be the first position he is given a shot at.
37. Houston Astros - 3B Jack Flaherty (Harvard-Westlake HS, CA) Committed: UNC
Houston will look for the best player available when they draft at No. 37. While they may look for more pitching, particularly another college arm, I could see the Astros thinking offense, especially after a rather top heavy pitching draft in 2013. jack Flaherty wouldn't be a disappointing selection. The wide shouldered, slightly thick framed Flaherty is the ideal build for a 3B. He has many traits that indicate a plus defender including above average arm strength, great lateral range, great charging skills, and quick reflexes. Offensively, Flaherty currently has gap power that scouts believe will turn into plus power. He has a selective approach at the plate with a fluid swing. He squares up just about everything thrown at him. In addition, Flaherty is an outstanding pitcher with three above average pitches.
38. Cleveland Indians - LHP Kyle Freeland (Evansville University)
The Indians will continue to adding to their pitching surplus with later first round picks when they take Evansville ace at No. 38. Freeland has a four pitch arsenal that he commands extremely well. The fastball (90-93) has a lot of sinking and tailing action, making it an above average offering. The curveball (74-76) is a show-me offering that will probably be dropped once he gets to the majors. The slider (85-87) is his best offering, thrown with good tilt and exceptional speed and projects to be a plus offering. Lastly, Freeland has an advanced feel for his changeup (84-86) and is thrown with consistent arm action. Freeland has some timing issues in his delivery that will need to be ironed out before he can progress. Potential No. 4 starter.
39. Miami Marlins - RHP Nick Burdi (University of Louisville)
Miami usually prefers taking high school players with the first few selections and then try to nab a college pitcher. While this isn't always the case, it will be for this draft. After grabbing two high upside high school prospects, the Marlins will take a change on Louisville closer Nick Burdi. The hope will be that they can transition Burdi to a starting pitcher. Burdi is highly athletic with a strong build and explosive arm. The fastball (95-97) has reached triple digits regularly. The pitch is thrown on a consistent downhill plane, keeping it low in the zone and some hand side run. The slider (88-90) has late break that tends to sweep of the plate. In addition, Burdi has added a new changeup (87-89) that he commands well and is thrown with consistent arm action. Burdi has sought to hone in his mechanics, though, there are still some minor issues he needs to correct. Burdi projects to be a closer in the Craig Kimbrel-mold. If he stays as a starter, he will take longer to reach the majors and won't throw with the blistering speed but projects as a No. 1 or 2 starter.
40. Kansas City Royals - RHP Mike Kopech (Mt. Pleasant HS, TX) Committed: Arizona
Kansas City will have gotten a college player with their first selection and a high upside arm with their second. With their third selection, this will turn to the high school ranks again and nab another high upside pitcher. Mike Kopech is highly projectable with a long, loose frame and room to add muscle. The fastball (92-94) has hard tailing action and is commanded fairly well. The curveball (73-75) has plus potential with hard, 11-5 bite with tight spin. Kopech has a tendency to tip the pitch and drop his arm slot, something that will need to be fixed. The slider (74-76) is average and in need of more vertical break. The changeup (77-79) is improving with consistent arm action but rarely used. Kopech mechanics are a concern as he has a lot of unnecessary movement in the delivery which results in average command outside of his fastball. If Kopech can harness his command, he has the arsenal to be a No. 2 or 3 starter but he is a high risk prospect.
41. Milwaukee Brewers - OF Derek Fisher (University of Virginia)
Having grabbed a high upside arm with potential ace upside, the Brewers will start to look for offense to flush their farm system with. While only a few weeks ago it would have seemed crazy someone like Derek Fisher could slip out of the first round, a hamate injury has recent damaged Fisher's stock. The Brewers will take the change and scoop him up with the No. 41 selection. The outfielder from Virginia has a potential plus bat with question marks regarding his defense. Fisher has above average to plus bat speed and drives the ball to all fields. Fisher doesn't hit for major power yet but many think he could develop plus power with some minor adjustments. Defensively, he has decent speed but poor instincts and a weak arm. At best, he'll end up in LF though I could see a transition to DH where the bat will play. Fisher has a high floor and could be a steal for the Jays.
42. Houston Astros - RHP Cameron Varga (Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, OH) Committed: UNC
Following their best player available mentality, the Astros will nab the highly projectable Cameron Varga. The right hander from Ohio has a nice three pitch mix. He is physically mature with an athletic build and loose arm action. The fastball (93-95) has good late run and sink, making it a potential plus pitch. The curveball (79-82) has nice shape with inconsistent hard bite. The changeup (80-82) is rarely used and is inconsistent. Varga will need to improve his control and improve his command of the secondary offerings. Varga has a power arm that could work best in the bullpen or at the back end of a rotation.
43. Miami Marlins - OF Alex Verdugo (Sahuaro HS, AZ) Committed: Arizona State
Miami likes young, projectable talent that they can develop. Say what you want about how the ML club is run but the Marlins do let their prospects develop. While another college player may be grabbed her, I think they will instead grab one of the top two-way prospects in the draft. Verdugo is a thick legged outfielder and pitcher. He has only average speed so it seems unlikely he stays in center at the next level. If anything, he will be a corner OF where the bat will certainly play. He has a bit of unnecessary motion in his load but has a short, aggressive swing with above average bat speed. He only hits for average power but, with the build and some projection, he could hit for above average power when it is all said and done. In the field, he has an above average arm and good instincts. He should turn into an above average outfielder who is better known for his bat.
44. Chicago White Sox - SS Joey Pankake (University of South Carolina)
Chicago has mostly favored college players but, a new, invested interest in the draft will benefit the White Sox. They will grab another college player who is raw but could develop into perhaps the second best college shortstop in the draft. Joey Pankake is an enticing selection because of how well he performs despite being so raw. At the plate, Pankake has a line drive swing that commands the strike zone. He generates plus bat speed and has the potential for plus power. There are some mechanical issues that need to be adjusted in his swing. In the field, Pankake has a cannon arm, though it can be inaccurate. The major question is does he have the range to stay at shortstop. If he can, his stock will increase, possibly rocketing him into the first round.
45. Chicago Cubs - RHP Keith Weisenberg (Osceola HS, FL) Committed: Stanford
The Cubs are in desperate need of pitching and will look to nab a high upside high school arms when they grab Keith Weisenberg. Highly projectable with loose arms and a big frame, Weisenberg generates easy velocity throwing on a downhill plane. The fastball (90-92) has a ton of movement on it with sinking and arm side run. The slider (81-83) has good depth and tilt with more vertical break, projecting to be an above average offering. The changeup (77-79) is an advanced pitch with good depth and arm side action. Weisenberg will be a project as he has some refinement needed in his delivery and needs to do a better job in repeating his delivery. Weisenberg has a high ceiling and could turn into a No. 2 or 3 starter.
46. Minnesota Twins - RHP Keaton McKinney (Ankeny HS, IA) Committed: Arkansas
Minnesota needs more pitching and love upside with their selections. Keaton McKinney is the top pitcher from Iowa and highly projectable at that. McKinney is a big framed, wide shouldered right hander who is very strong and athletic. The fastball (89-92) command has been improving with a good plane and is kept low in the zone. His split-changeup (80-82) has good depth with nice sinking action and is deceptive. His third offering, the curveball (77-78) has improving rotation with some strong vertical break; it should turn into an above average offering. McKinney has the build to be a workhorse and has a good feel for pitching. He needs some mechanical adjustments but these are not seen as major areas of concern. Potential No. 3 or 4 starter.
47. Seattle Mariners - LHP Mac Marshall (Parkview HS, GA) Committed: Louisiana State
Seattle will be looking for arms following their selection of Trea Turner in the first round. They will be very enticed by Mac Marshall. Wide framed with sloped shoulders, Marshall has a lot of projection left. He flashes an above average fastball (90-92) that is thrown effortless with some hand side life on it. The curveball (77-79) is a potential plus offering with good rotation and depth that breaks close to a slider. The changeup (78-80) is one of the best in the high school ranks with a good deal of deception. Marshall is advanced for a HS arm who has a feel for pitching and sets up his pitches. Potential No. 3 starter.
48. Philadelphia Phillies - 3B Alex Blandino (Stanford University)
Philadelphia needs a bit of everything and, after grabbing a potential ace with their first selection, they will start to add to their future infield. Blandino is a strong, athletic 3B. He is fairly advanced at the plate with a good eye, above average bat speed, and above average power. Blandino moves well at 3B with a plus arm and sound defensive tools. Blandino looks like a guy who can reach the majors quickly where he wouldn't hit for incredible power but will get on base at a high rate. Potential No. 2 hitter with plus defense.
49. Colorado Rockies - RHP Parker French (University of Texas)
As said already, the Rockies have struggled to developed pitching. This problem will not prevent them from targeting a college arm that could rise quickly and fill in the back of their rotation. Parker French is 6'2, 210 lb pitcher with a wide frame and improving stuff. The fastball (91-93) is thrown on a downhill plane and has some sinking action. He commands the pitch throughout the zone. In addition, the slider (80-82) is a potential above average offering that has nice sweeping action. The changeup (82-84) is an improving pitch but isn't featured enough. Parker French has been improving dramatically his junior year and, with some minor mechanical adjustments, he should become a fine No. 4 or 5 starter.
50. Toronto Blue Jays - OF Marcus Wilson (Junipero Serra HS, CA) Committed: Arizona State
With the money they will save signing Aaron Nola and Braxton Davidson, neither of whom are viewed as difficult signs, the Blue Jays will be able to go after a ridiculously high upside position player. The one they will take is OF Marcus Wilson. He is broad shouldered with a lanky frame that leaves tons of room to add weight and muscle. Wilson projects to be above average in just about every faucet of the game. At the plate, Wilson generates above average bat speed that creates loft, leading to a belief he will hit for above average or even plus power. There are few mechanical adjustments he will need as he transfers his weight well and keeps things simple. Wilson has plus-plus speed and, when mixed with strong base running instincts, makes him a huge threat on the bases. Defensively, Wilson looks to be a plus defender in CF. He has a potential plus arm and good instincts though he struggles some with correct routes to the ball. Wilson is one of the most underrated players in the draft and will be a steal for the Blue Jays at No. 50.
51. Milwaukee Brewers - C Jakson Reetz (Norris HS, NE) Committed: Nebraska
The Brewers will continue to seek impact talent when they nab the top high school player in Nebraska. Reetz is a medium framed, athletically gifted catcher with a potential plus bat but question marks on defense. At the plate, Reetz has a simple, smooth, line drive swing that gets good extension that produces consistent, hard contact. Reetz has potential above average power but his line drive swing will lead to more doubles than home runs. Reetz has a solid approach at the plate with a willingness to drive pitches to the opposite field. At catcher, Reetz has a plus arm with strong carry and quick feet. His defensive skills lack refinement with a sub-par pop time and blocking skills. Reetz has incredible upside both at and behind the plate. He will be a project, similar to what the Pirates have been doing with Wyatt Mathisen, but the payoff could be very high.
52. San Diego Padres - RHP Benton Moss (University of North Carolina)
San Diego will continue to add to their pitching depth when they snare a potential starter in Benton Moss. Sloped shouldered with a narrow frame and long legs, Moss presents a solid three pitch mix with some minor mechanical fixes needed. The fastball (88-91) can lack command but has some tailing action to it. The 11-5 curve (75-77) has nice depth and rotation and looks to be an above average offering. Moss also commands a split-change (80-82) that also shows nice depth and movement that make it a potential plus offering. Moss isn't ever going to lead a staff but he will slot in as an inning-eating No. 4 or 5 starter. With some corrections to his delivery and harnessing of his fastball, he should make it to the majors fairly quickly.
53. San Francisco Giants - OF Derek Hill (Elk Grove HS, CA) Committed: Oregon
San Francisco will look for offense in the 2nd round after having acquired a high upside arm. They will stay close to home when they grab OF Derek Hill from the Sacramento-area. Hill has a slender, athletic build with good physical projection. Defensively, Hill is spectacular with an above average, accurate arm, fantastic range, and good range. As a batter, he has fast hands with a simple path to the ball, generating above average bat speed. He currently hits for gap power but will eventually progress into a player with solid pull power. Projects to be a lead off hitter who plays plus defense.
54. Los Angeles Angels - RHP Grant Hockin (Damien HS, CA) Committed: UCLA
Los Angeles will continue to target high school players with upside as they attempt to bring their farm system back from the dead. Hockkin is a projectable right hander with an athletic, mid-sized frame. The 4S fastball (88-90) is commanded well and he uses it to change eye levels. The 2S fastball (87-89) has strong arm side run with tailing action. The curveball (80-81) has good depth and a 11-5 break, making it perhaps a slight above average offering when the spin is tight. His slider (80-82) flashes plus potential with hard biting action and is virtually unhittable low in the zone. Lastly, his changeup (78-79) has some fade and tumbling action. Hockin has a five-pitch mix that needs refinement in addition to some mechanical adjustments. Hockin has a high ceiling and looks to be a No. 3 or 4 starter.
55. Arizona Diamondbacks - OF Stone Garrett (George Ranch HS, TX) Committed: Rice
Arizona is looking for toolsy players who have high contact rates. They are also desperate for outfield depth. When they get to No. 55, they will have Stone Garrett waiting for them. At the plate, Garrett swings hard and has some lift in it. Presently he shows above average bat speed and power with some pull in his swing. Defensively, Garrett moves well, having terrific range and an accurate, above average to plus arm. He will need to work on routes and footwork but he projects as a plus defender at any of the three outfield spots. Due to his power potential, I could see him batting anywhere from 1-6 in the order. He's a very interesting prospect with a lot of projectability left and will meet all the criteria of what the D'Backs want.
56. New York Yankees - RHP Ryan Castellani (Brophy College Prep, NJ) Committed: Arizona State
New York has an improving farm system that lacks depth and pitching. The Yankees surrendered their first three selections (1st round and 2 compensation picks) to sign free agents. As a result, the Yankees will try to address their severe lack of pitching in the minors by nabbing a highly projectable right hander in their backyard. Long, loose, and athletic with sloped shoulders is the ideal pitcher's body and what Castellani presents. He has a loose arm that generates easy velocity. The fastball (90-92) has some late life to it with more to come as he matures. The slider (79-80) is a potential plus pitch that bites hard both vertically and horizontally. He also flashes a big, looping curveball (75-77) that has inconsistent spin but works for now. Lastly, the changeup (78-80) has nice depth and deception with some hand side movement. Castellani is poised on the mound, has a great build, and, with some minor mechanical adjustments, has No. 2 upside as a starter.
57. Kansas City Royals - LHP Carson Sands (North Florida Christian HS, FL) Committed: Florida State
Kansas City will continue to add to their pitching depth when they nab Carson Sands. Somewhat physically matured, lanky, with sloped shoulders, Sands fits into the Barry Zito-mold. The fastball (89-90) is somewhat flat but he commands the pitch well and it seems to jump on hitters. He uses the pitch to change eye levels. The curveball (75-77) has a nice 1-7 break with good shape and depth. He can be inconsistent with the pitch but, if fully harnessed, projects to be a plus offering. Lastly, Sands changeup (77-78) has a lot of fade with deceptive arm action. Sands repeats his delivery well and, with some corrections on timing, should be fine mechanically. He possesses a solid three pitch mix and could turn into a solid No. 3 or 4 starter with repetition.
58. Washington Nationals - SS Ti'Quan Forbes (Columbia HS, MO) Committed: Mississippi
Washington will continue to select the best player available when they take the extremely raw but very toolsy Ti'Quan Forbes. Standing at 6'4 and gifted with incredible athleticism, Forbes is just dripping with projection. He could add 15 lbs to his frame and not miss a beat. Currently, he generates above average bat speed taht could eventually generate above average power. He hammers the gaps now and shows current pull power beyond anything else. There are some medium concerns regarding his somewhat unorthodox swing and he will definitely need to go through some retooling. In the field, Forbes glides at SS, making most difficult plays look extremely easy. He has a plus arm, soft hands, sound footwork, and quick reflexes. He has plus-plus speed with improving instincts on the base paths. Projects to be a sound defender with a solid bat at the top of the order.
59. Cincinnati Reds - RHP Joe Gatto (St. Augustine Prep, NJ) Committed: North Carolina
Cincinnati will continue their quest for pitching when they nab Joe Gatto, the third pitcher they select. Gatto is a strong 6'5 who is well-proportioned with some projection left. His mechanics are mostly sound though he does come across his body at times. The fastball (90-92) has good arm side run and sink at times making the pitch an above average offering. The curveball (76-78) is a knee buckler with spin and bite that breaks hard through the zone. Lastly, his slider (83-85) has good horizontal movement and depth, making it difficult to square up. Gatto will need to develop an off-speed offering as he progresses but the makeup is there for a potential top of the rotation starter. There is still projection left due to his big frame and present abilities. Cincinnati may have finally found their man. Potential No. 1 or 2 starter.
60. Texas Rangers - SS Shane Benes (Westminster Christian Academy, MO) Committed: Missouri
Texas usually favors power arms but will look at the best player available in round two and find one of the biggest steals in the draft. Shane Benes has been called by many scouts as being the best shortstop to ever come out of the state of Missouri. He is a two-way prospect who has seen unprecedented success both on the mound and at the plate. Defensively, Benes could play all around the diamond with exceptional charging skills, a plus arm, soft hands, and above-average footwork around the bag. He has good instincts and quick reflexes which make him a prime candidate for SS. At the plate there are some mechanical issues to work out. Benes generates above-average bat speed and shows plus power potential. He has some tweaks to work on in his swing, particularly his load and adjustment to off-speed. Benes will be a project but could turn into something special when all is said and done.
61. Tampa Bay Rays - 3B Sean Bouchard (Cathedral Catholic HS, CA) Committed: UCLA
Tampa will never overlook high upside talent, regardless of position. When Sean Bouchard is available to the Rays in the 2nd round, they will take little time in calling his name. Bouchard is athletically built, standing at 6'3 with a loose frame. Defensively, he has good arm strength, charges very well, moves laterally well, and has quick instincts. He has plus defensive potential if everything continues to progress. At the plate, Bouchard has some problems with his swing, getting off balance on some swings. He generates above average bat speed, has quick hands, and has potential bat speed. He has a simple approach and dominates the inside half of the plate. With some adjustments at the plate, Bouchard could develop into a power bat with plus defensive skills.
62. Cleveland Indians - OF Kel Johnson (Home School, GA) Committed: Georgia Tech
Cleveland will add to their offensive depth when they draft the high risk/high reward Kel Johnson. Tall and lanky with a big, athletic frame, Johnson possesses the tools of a middle of the order bat but needs a lot of work. At the plate, he has good pitch recognition and above average bat speed. Johnson has a tremendous amount of power to all fields that will probably manifest itself into plus-plus when he has fully matured. His swing will need a few adjustments including his hand load but nothing looks to be too big a problem. In the field, Johnson profiles as a LF. He has surprising speed for his build and possesses an above average arm. He has good instincts in the field and gets a good first step. Profiles as a middle of the order bat with potential plus-plus power.
63. Los Angeles Dodgers - RHP A.J. Vanegas (Stanford University)
Los Angeles, after acquiring an interesting OF prospect in Brad Zimmer, will look for a player who could possibly help them much sooner, even possibly late in the season. A.J. Vanegas was acclaimed as a high school arm back in 2010 and continues to be an interesting pitching prospect at Stanford. The Stanford reliever commands a two pitch mix. The fastball (95-98) has plus-plus velocity and jumps on hitters in a hurry. The slider (82-84) has good tilt and late bite to make it a potential plus offering. Vanegas major concern is control. Both pitches could be plus offerings but without the ability to effectively locate both pitches consistently is troubling. The control will need to improve and there will have to be some mechanical fixes to keep his delivery simple. Potential late inning reliever with closer potential if command improves.
64. Detroit Tigers - OF D.J. Peters (Glendora HS, CA) Committed: California State-Fullerton
The Tigers will attempt to rebuild their farm this season. Having already taken the high-floored Luke Weaver, the Tigers will take more of a risk when they grab the hulking D.J. Peters in the 2nd round. Standing at 6'6, Peters is lean and muscular with a surprisingly thin build for his frame, making him very projectable. Peters has a steady, calm approach at the plate. He doesn't extend his hands and shows excellent pitch recognition and patience. He generates above average bat speed and potential plus power is manifesting. Defensively Peters is a RF with surprising speed. The arm strength is only average but will improve with better footwork and some mechanical adjustments. Peters will take some time to develop as he is still maturing but his advanced approach at the plate really stands out. Future No. 5 or 6 hitter.
65. Pittsburgh Pirates - LHP Dave Peterson (Regis Jesuit HS, CO) Committed: Oregon
The Pirates have taken high school players with their 2nd round selection every time since 2009, after failing to sign Tanner Scheppers. The Pirates have targeted the best player available in the 2nd round, leading to some high risk/high reward prospects. Even with the new CBA that limits draft spending, don't expect the Pirates to play it safe in the 2nd round. They will look for high upside talent, regardless of position. They will grab the very projectable Dave Peterson with their 2nd round pick. Long and lean with good arm speed, Peterson is built to be a front of the rotation starter. The mechanics are a bit awkward at times and could use some adjustments but he does, already, pitch on a downward plane with a 3/4 slot. The fastball (89-90) has a ton of life on it with a lot of arm side run. The curve (77-78) has hard spin and solid sweeping action, making it a potential plus offering. The changeup (78-80) has some split-finger action that has some depth and could turn into a potential plus offering. Peterson fits the Pirates-mold of tall, projectable arms that could easily add velocity. Potential No. 1 or 2 starter.
66. Oakland Athletics - 2B Forrest Wall (Orangewood Christian School, FL) Committed: North Carolina
Oakland will, again, go with upside when they take the top 2B in the class. Forrest Wall shows the skills to be both above average offensively and defensively. Wall shows plus speed which helps him play top notch defense at 2B. He has strong lateral range, good footwork, and body control. He has a below average arm which keeps him at 2B. At the plate, Wall generates plus bat speed, causing the ball to explode off his bat. He shows plus contact skills due to a strong eye, short swing, and excellent bat control. Wall has the potential for above average power at the next level and should play exceptional defense. He will get on base at a high rate and be a solid No. 2 hitter.
67. Atlanta Braves - RHP Chris Ellis (University of Mississippi)
Atlanta likes tall, lanky pitchers. Combined with their preference for college players, they won't look past Chris Ellis. The staff ace of Ole Miss, Ellis has a smooth delivery and a loose arm. Ellis will need to fix his inverted W in his motion to prevent potential injury. The 2S fastball (90-91) has late run action that he uses inside on right handed hitters. His split-finger fastball (89-90) dives hard and is likely to improve as he gains strength. The power curveball (77-79) has a 12-6 break with plus potential. The circle change (83-85) flashes plus potential with good dive and run. Ellis has No. 1 or 2 potential if he can get stronger.
68. Boston Red Sox - SS Milton Ramos (American Heritage Plantation HS, FL) Committed: Florida Atlantic
Boston has built one of the top farms in baseball by going with consistent upside talent. Boston will gobble up Milton Ramos when they get to the No. 68 selection. Ramos is a potential plus-plus runner and future lead off hitter. Ramos plays strong defense at shortstop. He charges exceptionally well and flashes an above average arm. His lateral range is sound but he could use some work around the bag. At the plate, Ramos has a short, line drive swing with above average bat speed. He only has average power though, as he gets stronger, it could increase. Ramos is a project but he's been flying under the radar and could develop into a fun, top of the order bat with blazing speed.
69. St. Louis Cardinals - LHP Matt Imhof (California Polytechnic State University)
St. Louis will continue to horde pitchers when they nab their third straight pitcher and second from the college ranks. Matt Imhof has been flying under the radar, showing workhorse capability and two potential plus offerings. The fastball (89-91) has strong cutting action and has a willingness to bring it inside against RHH. The curveball (74-76) has a massive 12-6 break that starts by the eyes and comes down to the knees. The changeup (82-84) doesn't show much besides coming in on a downward plane with some fade. Imhof has the frame to add about 10 lbs and clean mechanics. There is a little drift to the left handed batters box on his step but he commands his pitches well, throws on a downward plane, and has a pretty decent idea of what he is doing as a pitcher. Potential No. 2 or 3 starter.
COMPETITIVE BALANCE ROUND B
70. Arizona Diamondbacks - C Grayson Greiner (University of South Carolina)
Arizona is seeking contact oriented hitters with projection. There is a lot to like about Grayson Greiner and will be very tempting to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Greiner is quite tall for a catcher, standing at 6'5 with sloped shoulders and lanky build. At the plate, Greiner generates above average bat speed with some lift in his swing. With some added muscle, Greiner could develop potential plus power and he already shows the ability to really drive the ball hard. He will need, however, to correct his pull oriented approach at the plate which leaves him susceptible to outside pitches. Behind the plate, Greiner has an accurate, plus arm with a quick release. Grayson has soft hands and projects to be an all-around above average defensive catcher.
71. Arizona Diamondbacks - RHP Mitch Hart (Granite Bay HS, CA) Committed: Southern California
Arizona will have two consecutive draft picks after trading with the Padres, with the second of those two picks, the Diamondbacks will turn back to pitching. Lean and projectable at 6'4, Hart is a project with a bunch of mechanical flaws that need to be corrected before he can progress. The timing issues are very problematic and his arm slot varies considerably. With some corrections, Hart could easily add a lot on his pitches. The fastball (87-90) has some cutting action to it and has the ability to consistently pound the zone with it. The curveball (77-78) has an 11-5 break with good spin and enough depth to make it a future above average offering. The change (80-82) has strong tumbling action that comes out with good arm action. Hart has a lot of projection in him with the potential for three solid offerings. There is a lot of work to be done but an organization now dedicated to developing pitchers will waste no time in grabbing someone like Hart. Potential No. 4 or 5 starter.
72. St. Louis Cardinals - OF Gareth Morgan (North Toronto Collegiate Institute, ON) Committed: NC State
St. Louis will not be opposed to grabbing a projectable outfielder from an area that rarely produces talent. With a big frame and potentially lethal bat, Morgan is rated as the top prospect coming from Canada. The 6'4 right hander has potential plus-plus power, above average bat speed, though some pitch recognition issues that will need to be worked out. In the field, Morgan has plus defensive tools across the board with a power arm, blistering speed, and solid routes to fly balls. Morgan is far from a finished product and will need some mechanical adjustments but has incredible upside. Potential middle of the order bat and 5 tool talent.
73. Tampa Bay Rays - OF Monte' Harrison (Lee's Summit HS, MO) Committed: Nebraska
It's already been said the Rays will not overlook high upside talent. The Rays love projectable pitchers and toolsy position players. Monte' Harrison will provide their system with a player who could develop into a 5 tool talent. At the plate, Harrison has above average bat speed but is pull-happy. Regardless, Harrison makes good contact and hits the ball hard. With some mechanical adjustments, Harrison could develop above average to plus power. In the field, he has a plus arm with great accuracy. Harrison has plus speed and uses it to get to just about everything hit at him, taking good routes to balls in play. Harrison is also a 4-star football recruit which will make him a difficult sign but he could be well worth the money. Potential top or middle order bat and ability to stay in CF.
74. Pittsburgh Pirates - OF Scott Hurst (Bishop Amat Memorial HS, CA) Committed: California State-Fullerton
Pittsburgh loves toolsy outfielders and projectable pitchers. In every draft ,save one, under Neal Huntington, the Pirates have gone with high school players in the 2nd round. I don't see this changing, even with this pick being a Competitive Balance Selection. Scott Hurst has a medium athletic build and tightly wound strength. At the plate, Hurst has plus bat speed that generates strong pull power. He has simple swing mechanics that allow him to consistently hit the ball hard to all fields. Defensively, Hurst has a plus-plus arm and plus speed. His instincts are second to none in the draft class and easily projects to be a top-notch center fielder. Hurst has a desire to be the best and wants to win. He has a strong work ethic and will be a steal on draft day.
75. Seattle Mariners - RHP Micah Miniard (Boyle County HS, KY) Committed: Western Kentucky
Seattle will continue to target high upside high school arms. Micah Miniard is a very tall, projectable talent who has the build to turn into a front of the rotation starter. Standing at 6'7 with a lean and lanky frame, Miniard is still becoming accustom to his body. He has a short stride with good extension out front and quick arm action. Miniard throws on a steep downhill plane. The fastball (90-92) is pretty straight but comes in on a good plane. The pitch will continue to add velocity as Miniard matures and gets stronger. In addition, he has a slider (81-83) that flashes plus potential with good depth and late, hard bite. Miniard has some severe mechanical issues from the stretch, causing him to lose velocity. As Miniard continues to mature and get stronger, coupled with improved mechanics, he could evolve into a front line starter who flashes a plus sider. There is a lot of work to be done but that shouldn't scare off teams looking for high-upside pitching.
76. Houston Astros - RHP Jesse Lepore (Trinity Catholic HS, FL) Committed: Miami
77. Miami Marlins - RHP Zech Lemond (Rice University)
78. Chicago White Sox - RHP Sam Coonrod (Southern Illinois University)
79. Chicago Cubs - OF Jon Littell (Stillwater HS, OK) Committed: Oklahoma State
80. Minnesota Twins - RHP Jake Reed (University of Oregon)
81. Seattle Mariners - 3B Montrell Marshall (South Gwinnett HS, GA) Committed: Auburn
82. Philadelphia Phillies - 1B A.J. Reed (University of Kentucky)
83. Colorado Rockies - RHP Pat Connaughton (University of Notre Dame)
84. Toronto Blue Jays - C Chase Vallot (St. Thomas More HS, LA) Committed: Mississippi State
85. New York Mets - 3B Taylor Sparks (University of California, Irvine)
86. Milwaukee Brewers - RHP Cre Finfrock (Martin County HS, FL) Committed: Central Florida
87. San Diego Padres - OF Grant Heyman (College of Southern Nevada)
88. San Francisco Giants - LHP Foster Griffin (The First Academy, FL) Committed: Mississippi
89. Los Angeles Angels - RHP Brandon Murray (Hobart HS, IN) Committed: South Carolina
90. Arizona Diamondbacks - OF Brian Anderson (University of Arkansas)
91. Baltimore Orioles - C Connor Lynch (Georgia Institute of Technology)
92. New York Yankees - OF Trenton Kemp (Buchanan HS, CA) Committed: Fresno State
93. Kansas City Royals - LHP Alex Destino (North Buncombe HS, NC) Committed: South Carolina
94. Washington Nationals - RHP Jake Cosart (Seminole State University)
95. Cincinnati Reds - RHP Nick Howard (University of Virginia)
96. Texas Rangers - OF Luke Bonfield (IMG Academy, FL) Committed: Arkansas
97. Tampa Bay Rays - RHP Dan Mengden (Texas A&M University)
98. Cleveland Indians - RHP Keven Pimentel (Shoreham Wading River HS, NY) Committed: Miami
99. Los Angeles Dodgers - OF Jeren Kendall (Holmen HS, WI) Committed: Vanderbilt
100. Detroit Tigers - RHP Karsten Whitson (University of Florida)
101. Pittsburgh Pirates - SS Josh Morgan (Organ County Lutheran HS, CA) Committed: UCLA
102. Oakland Athletics - 3B Jared Walker (McEachern HS, GA) Committed: Kennesaw State)
103. Atlanta Braves - RHP Trevor Megill (Loyola Marymount University)
104. Boston Red Sox - OF Zach Shannon (Anderson HS, OH) Committed: Ohio State
105. St. Louis Cardinals - OF Senquez Golson (University of Mississippi)
106. Miami Marlins - RHP Jake Godfrey (Providence Catholic HS, IL) Committed: Notre Dame