The MLB baseball draft is next month and I’ve read a lot of what teams are planning on doing. I’ve decided to do my own mock draft based of each organization’s needs and what the current rumors are saying. I’m not a huge college baseball expert, but I follow it from a far and learn about current players before the College World Series and the draft.
Without further ado, the Rays are on the clock…
1. Rays – Buster Posey, C, Florida St
Catcher is the one weakness of the organization. Posey will move quickly through the system. Not the best talent in the draft, but he’s signable and will stick at catcher.
2. Pirates – Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Vanderbilt
The Pirates and the new management will show fans that they want to compete. They’ll shell out the money for the top talent.
3. Royals – Aaron Crow, P, Missouri
Crow is a hometown product and fits nicely with what the organization already has pitching-wise.
4. Orioles – Brian Matusz, P, San Diego
If Alvarez were to fall, I’d say he goes here. Instead they take a pitcher that will help sooner rather than later.
5. Giants – Tim Beckham, SS, Griffin HS (GA)
They have some depth at pitching, but are weak in the field. I expect them to take a hitter; he’s the best on the board at this point that will be signed for a decent amount.
6. Marlins – Kyle Shipworth, C, Patriot HS (CA)
They have some players coming through the pipeline, but they, like the Rays, don’t have any catching. He’s the best fit here.
7. Reds – Tim Melville, P, Holt HS (MO)
The Reds take Melville for his 2007 season, which Walt heard a lot about in person (and possibly watched).
8. White Sox – Gordon Beckham, SS, Georgia
Beckham is a solid player and the White Sox need youth soon.
9. Nationals – Justin Smoak, 1B, South Carolina
If the National go on the fire sale, they need to have some guys ready to take over. Smoak will be ready soon, but I think he’ll end up in left field.
10. Astros – Yonder Alonso, 1B, Miami (FL)
Smoak and Alonso are essentially the same, but I don’t think Alonso can play the outfield. Berkman isn’t going to be around forever, and they need depth in the system.
11. Rangers – Shooter Hunt, P, Tulane
The Rangers want a college pitcher that moves through the system fast.
12. Athletics – Jemile Weeks, 2B, Miami
A bit of a stretch, but most picks are interchangible in this draft. Weeks is a solid hitter and they don’t have much in the MI in the system.
13. Cardinals – Christian Friedrich, P, Eastern Kentucky
College pitchers are one of the Cardinals targets in the first round. The outfield is stacked, so they go back to taking some pitching.
14. Twins – Ethan Martin, P/3B, Stephens Co HS (GA)
The Twins are good at finding pitching and I think they’ll take Martin as a pitcher.
15. Dodgers – Gerrit Cole, P, Orange Lutheran HS (CA)
The Dodgers normally take HS players, so Cole would be a good fit. He won’t move through the system like Kershaw, but he’ll be worth the wait.
16. Brewers – Josh Fields, P, Georgia
Fields is that college closer that will be up by the end of the season. I don’t think he’ll be closing right away, but he’ll take over next year.
17. Blue Jays – Alex Meyers, P, Greensburg HS (IN)
Meyers could develop into a middle of the rotation starter, which the Jays don’t have in the system right now.
18. Mets – Tanner Scheppers, P, Fresno St
A fracture in his shoulder has one of the top talents in the draft drop. The Mets are willing to take a chance and give a little extra money for their slot.
19. Cubs – Aaron Hicks, CF/RHP, Woodrow Wilson HS (CA)
Hicks can go either way, so the Cubs have options with him.
20. Mariners – Andrew Cashner, P, Texas Christian
This is a safe pick here, although there are a lot of players they could take.
21. Tigers – Eric Hosmer, 1B, American Heritage HS (FL)
The Tigers get one of the best talent because they will sign about slot value – a la Rick Porcello.
22. Mets – Jason Castro, C, Stanford
After taking the flash pick (Scheppers), they go for the need.
23. Padres – Dennis Raben, OF, Miami (FL)
Raben should move fast, so this is a no brainer.
24. Phillies – Brett Wallace, 3B, Arizona St
Wallace seems like the logical choice based off their system – they have pitching and some outfielders. Infield is the weakness.
25. Rockies – Ryan Perry, P, Arizona
The Rockies always need pitching help and doesn’t rely on the curve (a plus in Colorado).
26. Diamondbacks – Bryan Price, P, Rice
You can never have too much pitching, especially with the team they currently have.
27. Twins – Conor Gillaspie, 3B, Wichita State
They have a couple of 3B in the system, but Gillaspie could be ready before any of them.
28. Yankees – David Cooper, 1B, California
There’s no flashy pick at this point, so they go for the need.
29. Indians – James Darnell, 3B, South Carolina
Same as the Yankees.
30. Red Sox – Casey Kelly, SS/P, Sarasota HS (FL)
Some thought Kelly could go earlier based of his baseball ties, but some teams are scared off by his commitment to Tennessee for football and baseball.
Outside of the first 5-10 picks, most of these guys are interchangible. It’s hard to predict when it’s like this. Most teams have stated there are no clear cut picks in this draft (un-like last year, when the Rays knew they were taking David Price).
Money will be a factor again. Alvarez and Hosmer are both represented by Scott Boras and are asking for large contracts ($8.6MM MLB contract for Alvarez; $7MM bonus for Hosmer). Like I mentioned earlier, Porcello was the top ranked HS pitcher and he dropped to the Tigers because of his bonus demand.
As more developments come in the next few weeks, I’ll update this.