The MLB Draft is tomorrow!
I feel like Annie praying for tomorrow to come as fast as it can (the 1999 adaptation with Alicia Morton is the best one, don’t @ me and Giphy was really lame in not letting me gif it) but the draft is really exciting for a lot reasons, mainly being that we finally get something MLB related to really watch and be excited for. There are tons and tons of rumors swirling (especially around a certain Top-5 team) so it’s time for an update right at the buzzer! I will mainly discuss the rumors that I’ve heard around each pick if available and ultimately who I think they will go with moreso than the makeups of each player. I also included what I had each team picking in my Mock Draft 1.0 to show the comparison between then and now.
#1 Overall – Tigers: Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Arizona State
(Mock Draft 1.0: Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Arizona State)
This is the only pick in the draft that’s pretty much locked in, Torkelson is the easy answer for the Tigers and while there had been some rumors they would underslot with Asa Lacy, I don’t think they’d actually do that and pass the seemingly best player in the draft class. Unless something absolutely insane happens, Tigers fans can rightfully start their parties now.
#2 Overall – Orioles: Austin Martin, SS/OF, Vanderbilt
Mock Draft 1.0: Austin Martin SS/OF, Vanderbilt)
This is where the insanity can truly begin. As of this writing, there’s rumored to be up to five players in consideration here (Asa Lacy, Zac Veen and Nick Gonzales all are widely speculated to be in play here) but ultimately I think the Orioles will go with Austin Martin who a lot of people, including myself, think has the best hit tool in the class. A lot of people will probably argue the pick will be whoever takes the biggest discount, and that could very well be, but in the end talent should prevail over the money/signability.
#3 Overall – Marlins: Asa Lacy, LHP, Texas A&M
(Mock Draft 1.0: Asa Lacy, LHP, Texas A&M)
The Marlins will be thrown for a loop if the O’s end up going Lacy but in this Mock, I think he “falls” to the Marlins who’ll immediately nab him. There’s some rumors of Zac Veen, who is from the state, but I think if Lacy gets here, he will definitely be the pick no questions asked.
#4 Overall – Royals: Zac Veen, OF, Spruce Creek High School
(Mock Draft 1.0: Nick Gonzales, 2B, New Mexico State)
The Royals absolutely love Veen and that seems to be no secret as we get closer to the 10th of June. There were talks that the Royals were going to focus in on Nick Gonzales as their pick but that sounds like it has changed. Now if Veen goes to Baltimore (the more likely vs Miami) then I’d willingly bet they go with Gonzales but in this mock, Veen is on the board and they’re more than thrilled to get him.
#5 Overall – Blue Jays: Max Meyer, RHP, Minnesota
(Mock Draft 1.0: Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia)
This is going to be an interesting pick. The reason why I say that is because the team seemingly was all over Emerson Hancock, grateful that he would get to them. However between the rise of Meyer and the fact teams are concerned over Hancock’s spring, his secondaries and his fastball not getting swings and misses, I think they love Meyer more now than Hancock and they would have no issues passing Hancock for Meyer unlike a few months ago.
#6 Overall – Mariners: Nick Gonzales, 2B, New Mexico State
(Mock Draft 1.0: Zac Veen, OF, Spruce Creek High School)
Everything I’ve read/heard places Gonzales here if he is still on the board. Even when this was the case weeks ago, I thought that the Mariners would get a shot at the upside of Veen due to him not being on the board but a few things have changed; Veen gaining even more steam meaning he won’t be available here and the Mariners focusing more on the infield here per Dipoto. Unless the O’s get really screwy and take Gonzales there, I think the Mariners are the team that will take him.
#7 Overall – Pirates: Heston Kjerstad, OF, Arkansas
(Mock Draft 1.0: Austin Hendrick, OF, West Allegheny High School)
Ever since I released my first Mock Draft when I heard some stuff publicly about Hendrick willing to underslot for the Pirates and them coming close to a deal, I have heard absolutely nothing but the Pirates taking Kjerstad here. They are clearly in love with him and think they can improve his questionable hit tool problem. It’s also possible the money saved with Hendrick could cause them to go big down the line but ultimately I think they opt for who they really believe in which would be Kjerstad. Pete Crow Armstrong’s name also has been linked to them within the last few days.
#8 Overall – Padres: Mick Abel, RHP, Jesuit HighSchool
(Mock Draft 1.0: Mick Abel, RHP Jesuit High School)
Robert Hassell III has been the very popular public name here but the Padres love their prep players and I think they have absolutely no issues taking a shot on Abel’s upside here. I’m not as high on Abel as others are but he still is part of the dynamic big three (Kelley and Bitsko the other two) and popular belief is that Abel will be off the board first of the three.
#9 Overall – Rockies: Garrett Mitchell, OF, UCLA
(Mock Draft 1.0: Garrett Mitchell, OF, UCLA)
I think Mitchell and the Rockies are a good fit for each other despite the question mark that surround Mitchell in the form of his hit tool. It’s a huge problem but he was quite the raw power and I definitely see the Rockies wanting to take a shot here on that kind of power with half his games a year in Coors. Pitching has been linked to them lately but it’s really hard for me to see them going with a pitcher in the first round.
#10 Overall – Angels: Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia
(Mock Draft 1.0: Max Meyer, RHP, Minnesota)
A few months ago, I talked about the possibility of Emerson Hancock sliding down in a Brady Singer fashion (2018) and publicly it seems that the notion is very real. When push comes to shove, I think the Angels, with all their starting rotation woes, will swoop him up and hope he can reach the front line ace status that a lot of people believe he has. I think this is Meyer’s floor if he does fall this far but I really think he won’t be an option for them.
#11 Overall – White Sox: Jared Kelley, RHP, Refugio High School
(Mock Draft 1.0: Jared Kelley, RHP, Refugio High School)
The White Sox have a very well documented heavy college player history over the last 20 years but this is the year they break that with the selection of not just a prep player but a right handed prep pitcher. They were connected to Jared Kelley this winter and into the spring and he continues to be in the consideration for the pick. Reid Detmers, Mick Abel, Patrick Bailey, Garrett Crochet, Tyler Soderstrom and the local boy Ed Howard have been connected here as well but I ultimately think they go with the prep pitcher with the most upside of the big three (Kelley, Bitsko and Abel) in the form of Kelley even if that means passing Detmers.
#12 Overall – Reds: Reid Detmers, LHP, Louisville
(Mock Draft 1.0: Reid Detmers, LHP, Louisville)
If Detmers falls like this, the Reds will definitely take him. The Reds are the second team in a bit of a stretch where Tyler Soderstrom’s name pops up as a possible candidate but ultimately I think they will go with Reid if he falls here. If he doesn’t fall here then I think they might go with Soderstrom or Austin Hendrick (if he doesn’t get picked by Pittsburgh at 7).
#13 Overall – Giants: Tyler Soderstrom, C/3B/OF, Turlock High School
(Mock Draft 1.0: Heston Kjerstad, OF, Arkansas)
I first had the Giants taking Kjerstad but with him going to Pittsburgh, I think the next option for them is Soderstrom who has gained some big helium due to the fact he has been taking reps at third and also in the outfield. I haven’t really heard/seen any other names associated with the Giants but I could also potentially see Pete Crow Armstrong or Austin Hendrick being a potential fit here as well
#14 Overall – Rangers: Austin Hendrick, OF, West Allegheny High School
(Mock Draft 1.0: Carmen Mlodzinksi, RHP South Carolina)
It’s not that I don’t love Mlodzinksi any more (trust me I do) but I think a lot of teams are really looking at the outfielders of the class putting some late emphasis on them and Hendrick fits the bill for the Rangers. There have been so many names linked to the Rangers that it’s really hard to exactly pin point where they will go. Prep Pitching is something they are not afraid of and very could easily go Nick Bitsko here as well.
#15 Overall – Phillies: Pete Crow Armstrong, OF, Harvard Westlake High School
(Mock Draft 1.0: Pete Crow Armstrong, OF, Harvard Westlake High School)
I pegged PCA to the Phillies in my first Mock draft and I think the same as of now. The Phillies take the third outfielder in what is a mini run of them and in my opinion he is the best of the three. They’ve been heavily linked to Nick Bitsko as well and they could very well go that route but in the end, they’re definitely going prep in my mind and they take Armstrong over Bitsko.
#16 Overall – Cubs: Nick Bitsko, RHP, Central Bucks East High School
(Mock Draft 1.0: Nick Bitsko, RHP, Central Bucks East High School)
Whoever the Phillies don’t take between Bitsko and PCA is ultimately who I think the Cubs take and in this mock, that means the last of the big three prep pitchers; Nick Bitsko. Bitsko has been getting major steam as a Top-15 pick despite the fact he reclassified and then didn’t throw a single game this spring due to his very high upside. There’s a reason people, including myself, freaked out over Bitsko reclassifying. The Cubs normally love their infielders so an underslot on say Nick Loftin would make a ton of sense but I think with everything about to happen at the Friendly Confines over the next few years, they swing for the major upside of Nick Bitsko.
#17 Overall – Red Sox: Garrett Crochet, LHP, Tennessee
(Mock Draft 1.0: Garrett Crochet, LHP, Tennessee)
I want to go on the record (again) to just put in that I am not very high on Crochet at all, reminds me of Carson Fulmer in some ways. However that isn’t about why the Red Sox take him. The reason why I have them taking him here is that they probably would view Crochet as the best option on their board at this point and they would be happy to take him as a lot of people think he can be a great starter. That’s simply the play here; taking the Best Player Available. They’re also linked to all the prep pitchers so if any of the big three are available, they probably would swoop in and grab them. I also wouldn’t put it past them to shoot for the stars with Dax Fulton (a thought that just came into my mind) as they don’t have a Second Round pick.
#18 Overall – D’Backs: Ed Howard, SS, Mt. Carmel High School
(Mock Draft 1.0: Ed Howard, SS Mt. Carmel High School)
The D’backs have been linked to Ed Howard for quite awhile and the duo makes sense for a lot of reasons. One of the big reasons is that they are familiar with the Chicago South Side High School after taking Alek Thomas two years ago. I could see him falling past this pick into the late first round and Arizona going with Robert Hassell III who is still on the board but in the end, I think Carmel’s connection to Arizona might allow them to underslot him a little so he can play with Alek again and that would be hard to pass up.
#19 Overall – Mets: Robert Hassell III, OF, Independence High School
(Mock Draft 1.0: Robert Hassell III, OF, Independence High School)
There’s a lot of ways this could go, and it’s very possible Hassell III goes a lot higher than this, but I think he falls to the Mets here. Another case where a team takes who they feel is the Best Player Available on their board. If Hassell III is gone then I think they go with one of the college pitchers in Jarvis or Tanner Witt.
#20 Overall – Brewers: Bryce Jarvis, RHP, Duke
(Mock Draft 1.0: Bryce Jarvis, RHP, Duke)
I love Jarvis to the Brewers and now it’s getting major steam that it’s actually the more likely pick here. He would definitely help the team save money to allow a later overslot pick to swing for some upside later in the draft while getting a really good pitcher on the rise who has used quarantine to build his stock.
#21 Overall – Cardinals: Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP, South Carolina
(Mock Draft 1.0: Cade Cavalli, RHP, Oklahoma)
Mlodzinski got a huge stock boost after performing so well in the Cape Cod and I think it’s very reasonable for the Cardinals to take him here as it seems they are locked in on college pitching with this pick. Mlodzinski has more of a good chance to stick in the rotation versus Cavalli and they won’t have to experiment as much, especially given the public lack of analytical focus the club has.
#22 Overall – Nationals: Tanner Burns, RHP, Auburn
(Mock Draft 1.0: Tanner Burns, RHP Auburn)
I kept the Nationals pick the same because I believe that there will be a run of pitching here now and they want a college pitcher here in the first round. They’re linked to just about everyone left on the board here (Wilcox, Cavalli, Cecconi and others). There are some injury concerns here but the Nationals have shown they are not afraid to take a risk on pitchers with more of an injury history than those without if they believe in the upside which makes me believe they will take Burns here with the pick.
#23 Overall – Indians: Cade Cavalli, RHP, Oklahoma
(Mock Draft 1.0: Patrick Bailey, C, North Carolina State)
The pitching run continues here with Cade Cavalli who I’d have to imagine is near the top or at the top of the Indians board at this point. They still might go catcher here in the form of Patrick Bailey or Dillon Dingler, both of who they’ve been linked to (especially if Bailey falls like I have here) but in the end I think the “pitching factory” of recent years takes the college pitcher who some believe has front of the rotation starting upside off the board.
#24 Overall – Rays: Dax Fulton, LHP, Mustang High School
(Mock Draft 1.0: Dax Fulton, LHP, Mustang High School)
This definitely is more of a gut feeling than actual concrete out in the media (I feel like I’m the only one suggesting it) but I really believe the Rays swing for the fences here with Fulton. There’s a lot to love and given the wild draft environment this year, I think teams are going to be more willing to jump for the player they love if they know they won’t be able to get him later, especially with prep players. Fulton has been talked about as a Competitive Balance Round A Pick and the Rays have been linked to Nick Loftin, Jared Kelley (if he falls) and Ed Howard (if he falls) but I don’t think Fulton will fall and the Rays know it so they take their guy here and look for a shortstop/utility guy later if Kelley isn’t on the board.
#25 Overall – Braves: Chris McMahon, RHP, Miami
(Mock Draft 1.0: Bobby Miller, Louisville)
The Braves have been pretty connected to McMahon as we get closer to the draft and I think they will take him here to continue the run of pitchers here. The organization is familiar with him (they took him in the 33rd Round in 2017) and he’s has potential to relatively move up the organization fast to be in Atlanta sooner rather than later. At this point, it’s a coin flip to guess which college pitcher they will go but I think familiarity allows the Braves to pick him once again.
#26 Overall – Athletics: Patrick Bailey, C, North Carolina State
(Mock Draft 1.0: Cole Henry, RHP, LSU)
The A’s are the ones to break up the pitching run to take the top catcher in the draft. I know it’s a far far fall for someone who a lot of people think will go to the White Sox at 11 but I really think a lot of teams will look at pitching and take that over a catcher but the A’s simply take who they believe is the best player available on their board. They’ve been connected to a lot of the college hitters and this would be the best name of them.
#27 Overall – Twins: Nick Loftin, SS, Baylor
(Mock Draft 1.0: Drew Romo, C, The Woodlands High School)
Drew Romo is all but off to LSU so that means he won’t be available for the Twins here at 27th Overall. However they have been linked to a lot of infielders and Loftin has been getting a lot of links to the end of the first round so it would make sense for them to grab the one they probably value the highest. I also thought about maybe putting Jordan Westburg here but I think they like the more flexible Loftin if he’s still on the board.
#28 Overall – Yankees: Dillon Dingler, C, Ohio State
(Mock Draft 1.0: Austin Wells, C, Arizona)
The Yankees love their first round catchers and Dingler here seems to be the more appropriate pick here. In the 1.0 version, I mentioned that it was a toss up between Wells in Dingler in my mind and it still is except the coin landed on Dingler this time. I don’t really think that they’d go any other route other than catcher but one never really knows and lately there’s been a variety of players mocked to them.
#29 Overall – Dodgers: JT Ginn, RHP, Mississippi State
(Mock Draft 1.0: JT Ginn, RHP, Mississippi State)
This is again another gut feeling vs actual things out in the media but they’re familiar with him, they love him (he was their first rounder two years ago) and even with the Tommy John Surgery, they aren’t afraid to take him in my mind because they are most familiar with him. Short, simple and to the point.
#30 Overall – Orioles: Jared Jones, RHP, La Mirada High School
(Mock Draft 1.0: Jared Jones, RHP, La Mirada High School)
The O’s are really swinging for upside here as that would be the goal and focus of a most likely underslot at #2 and they grab one of the biggest helium prospects in all of the class. Jared Jones’ stock has risen tremendously over the last few months of quarantine and it would match perfectly with the strategy that the O’s want to attack this year’s draft with. If Jared Kelley falls this far, that also has been a scenario I’ve heard where they would take him.
#31 Overall – Pirates: Bobby Miller, RHP, Louisville
(Mock Draft 1.0: Dillon Dingler, C, Ohio State)
After taking Kjerstad at #7, the Pirates grab one of the better college pitchers left on the board in Miller. There hasn’t been much that I’ve seen in regards to them and this pick but it would make the most sense to grab a college pitcher given the depth of them in this class. I could also see Carson Montgomery here but he’s a really pricey buy and it could scare a lot of teams off.
#32 Overall – Royals: Carson Tucker, SS, Mountain Pointe High School
(Mock Draft 1.0: Carson Montgomery, RHP, Windermere High School)
Let’s get this out of the way now. Carson Montgomery could play in any of the spots from 30 to 37 however after hearing his price tag, it could potentially scare teams off here so he is an option at everyone of these picks. However I think the Royals grab Carson Tucker who has been gaining some steam publicly over the last few weeks. Simply looking as the Best Player Available on the Royals board in my opinion.
#33 Overall – D’backs: Cole Wilcox, RHP, Georgia
(Mock Draft 1.0: Cole Wilcox, RHP, Georgia)
Another case of taking the best player available on their board, the D’Backs grab a college pitcher in Wilcox. There’s a split on what people think about him in terms of starter vs reliever (I think he’s a reliever long term) but ultimately the D’backs will grab him and hope he can start long term. If they were able to underslot Howard, they could also probably underslot Wilcox to have even more play in the rest of the draft.
#34 Overall – Padres: Austin Wells, C, Arizona
(Mock Draft 1.0: Tyler Soderstrom, “C” – Turlock High School)
With the DH coming to the National League, the Padres nab Austin Wells, a bat first raw power type who can mash. His ability to stay behind the plate is in question but if not, 1B/DH sounds just about right for him and for a team that will need a masher down the road.
#35 Overall – Rockies: Jordan Walker, 3B, Decatur High School
(Mock Draft 1.0: Jordan Westburg, SS, Mississippi State)
The Rockies love their 1B/DH masher types and this is exactly the profile Walker fits into. It’s really a match made in heaven, even if there is a questionable hit tool involved, and the Rockies can dream about 40+ HR a season at Coors.
#36 Overall – Indians: Daniel Cabrera, OF, LSU
(Mock Draft 1.0: Daniel Cabrera, OF, LSU)
I really like Cabrera a lot and he has been gaining some helium as of lately to be selected around this point so the pairing would make sense. Cabrera, in my opinion, would be a steal here and could be looked back upon as “wow why did we pass on him”.
#37 Overall – Rays: Carson Montgomery, RHP, Windermere High School
(Mock Draft 1.0: Nick Loftin, SS, Baylor)
Montgomery’s price tag might scare teams away but the Rays have never been one to shy away from upside when it sits in front of them. I think if they really love him, they will fork over the money needed to buy him out of his Florida State commitment and walk away with both Dax Fulton and Carson Montgomery, two of the best prep pitchers in this year’s class.
That wraps it up! The MLB Draft is tomorrow and we shall see what fun awaits us! It’s been a blast leading up to this point and I can’t wait to see it all unfold.