MLB Draft: First Round Breakdown

As promised, here is a break down of the first round picks, along with my mock picks. Due to time constraints, I haven’t given info about the supplemental picks.

First Round Picks:
1. Nationals – Bryce Harper, C, CC of S. Nevada
Mock Picks: Harper
This was a no brainer; even as an outfielder (which is where he’ll play), Harper was the top player in the draft.

2. Pirates – Jameson Taillon, RHP, The Woodland HS (TX)
Mock Picks: Deck McGuire, Manny Machado
Solid pick here; early word was they were going with Machado. Yesterday afternoon is was reported that Taillon was their guy. He’ll take time, but he’ll be worth the wait.

3. Orioles – Manny Machado, SS, Brito Private HS (FL)
Mock Picks: A.J. Cole, Taillon
Machado was the best player available. I’m sure they would have preferred Taillon, but they aren’t upset here. He’s a few years away, but there really isn’t anyone in front of him at short.

4. Royals – Christian Colon, SS, Cal State Fullerton
Mock Picks: Taillon, Yasmani Grandal
After reports that they almost had a deal in place for Grandal, the Royals went with Colon. He’ll move fast, but definitely wasn’t the best player available. Many experts believe that he’ll be a cheap sign, so they can spend a little money in the next few rounds.

5. Indians – Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Ole Miss
Mock Picks: Karsten Whitson, Pomeranz
Even with somre recent struggles, Pomeranz was the top college lefty. This was a solid pick, as he could move fairly fast.

6. Diamondbacks – Barret Loux, RHP, Texas A&M
Mock Picks: Zach Cox, Chris Sale
The first over draft; I had Loux at the 24th pick with my last mock and I considered him a reach there. He should have been a supplemental pick. The D’backs passed on better picks in Sale and McGuire.

7. Mets – Matt Harvey, RHP, North Carolina
Mock Picks: Anthony Ranaudo, McGuire
Not a horrible pick, but not the most solid either. Harvey has injury concerns, but has pitched well as of late. They would have been safer taking Sale or McGuire as well.

8. Astros – Delino DeShields Jr., OF, Woodward Academy (GA)
Mock Picks: Colon, Michael Choice
I wasn’t crazy about this pick; it has nothing to do with DeShields, but more to do with the Astros weak system. I’d have taken a college player that will move faster. DeShields is a little raw and will take some time.

9. Padres – Karsten Whitson, RHP, Chipley HS (FL)
Mock Picks: Pomeranz, Whitson
Whitson seemed like a good pick; he fits the recent mold of Padres going for high ceiling HS players. He was the best HS pitcher here.

10. Athletics – Michael Choice, OF, Texas-Arlington
Mock Picks: C. Sale, Dylan Covey
I never expected to Choice to still be here. He’s a natural fit with this system and could be a quick mover, depending on when he signs.

11. Blue Jays – Deck McGuire, RHP, Georgia Tech
Mock Picks: Machado, Cox
Here’s another player that dropped; McGuire is a steal at 11. He’ll definitely help the Jay’s system and was the best player available.

12. Reds – Yasmani Grandal, C, Miami
Mock Picks: Covey, Colon
Prior to posting yesterday’s mock, I had Grandal here but changed it due to reports that the Royals almost had a deal in place. He’s a natural for this team, who doesn’t have much depth at catcher.

13. White Sox – Chris Sale, RHP, Florida Gulf Coast
Mock Picks: Alex Wimmers, Bryce Brentz
Sale should have gone higher; one expert thought that he dropped due to concerns over his mechanics. The White Sox win out due to those concerns, stealing him here.

14. Brewers – Dylan Covey, RHP, Maranatha HS (CA)
Mock Picks: Brentz, Josh Sale
I thought the Brewers would go with a hitter; instead they take a high ceiling HS arm. I don’t think this is as bad of a pick as some experts do; even with signability concerns, he’s worth the pick. The Brewers need more immediate help than Covey can bring, but he’s better than a lot of the college pitchers here.

15. Rangers – Jake Skole, OF, Blessed Trinity HS (GA)
Mock Picks: Brandon Workman
I thought the Rangers would pick Workman in both Mocks, but they went with Skole, which is a reach. Part of the reason was a pre-draft deal being in place; he’s expected to sign shortly. They also wanted to play it safe, since they’d lose this pick if they couldn’t sign their selection.

16. Cubs – Hayden Simpson, RHP, S Arkansas
Mock Picks: Grandal, Alex Wimmers
Major stretch here; he wasn’t considered a first rounder by anyone. One Cubs scout was told that he wouldn’t be around by their next pick, so they jumped on him. MLB Bonus Baby predicted him in the 4-7 round range. He’s got a small frame and pitched for a small school. There were much better options here.

17. Rays – Josh Sale, OF, Bishop Blanchet HS (WA)
Mock Picks: Austin Wilson, Stetson Allie
I thought Sale would have been gone before this, but he’s the perfect pick for the Rays. They tend to draft raw, projectable HSers and that’s exactly what he is.

18. Angels – Kaleb Cowart, SS, Cook County HS (GA)
Mock Picks: Choice, Harvey
With 5 picks, I thought the Angels would mix HS players with college ones; I though this would be one of the college ones. Cowart’s been all over the draft rankings, so this is a fitting pick.

19. Astros – Michael Foltynewicz, RHP, Minooka Community HS (IL)
Mock Picks: LeVon Washington, Nick Castellanos
Another reach by the Astros; I had him as a second rounder. He, much like DeShields, won’t move fast; he’ll have more upside in the long run. They could have taken Aaron Sanchez or Stetson Allie, who project to be better.

20. Red Sox – Kolbrin Vitek, 2B, Ball State
Mock Picks: J Sale, Ranaudo
Vitek was all over the place in Mocks; he ranged from top 10 pick to supplemental pick. He falls pretty much in the middle. There are questions as to if he can stick at second; he could end up in the outfield. Even if he does, he’s a solid pick. He is also close to signing.

21. Twins – Alex Wimmers, RHP, Ohio State
Mock Picks: Castellanos, A.J. Cole
I was expecting another HS arm here, but they have been taking some college pitchers in the last couple of years. John Sickels compared him to Scott Baker, which shows he’s a good fit for this system. It’s a solid pick.

22. Rangers – Kellin Deglan, C, R.E. Mountain SS (B.C.)
Mock Picks: Jesse Hahn, Asher Wojciechowski
Much like pick 15, this was about signability. Deglan signed last night for $1MM; very reasonable for a bankrupt team. Again, there were many better players available.

23. Marlins – Christian Yelich, OF, Westlake HS (CA)
Mock Picks: Anthony Wolters, Justin O’Connor
Yelich was another stretch; he was second rounder at best. There were better OF options out there, but he’s pretty signable.

24. Giants – Gary Brown, OF, Cal State Fullerton
Mock Picks: Kyle Blair, Loux
Brown can be a solid player, but the Giants need more OBP guys and Brown is not that. If he plays the corner, he doesn’t have the power to profile there either. The jury is out on this one.

25. Cardinals – Zack Cox, 3B, Arkansas
Mock Picks: James Paxton, Vitek
I never expected Cox to drop, but concerns over his demands caused this. It was said yesterday morning that he wanted a deal like Pedro Alvarez and a MLB deal; he also is a draft eligible sophomore, so that adds to his leverage. He’ll probably end up at second, but his bat will play almost anywhere. By far the best hitter in the draft.

26. Rockies – Kyle Parker, OF, Clemson
Mock Picks: Harvey, Brett Eibner
I thought Parker was a second rounder, but the Rockies felt otherwise. He may not be that big of a stretch though. Eibner would have been a better pick though.

27. Phillies – Jesse Biddle, LHP, Germantown Friends HS (PA)
Mock Picks: Mel Rojas Jr, Cowart
I figured a HS player would be picked here recently, I just didn’t expect the local kid. Biddle has a strong background, but he could have been had later on. This was about signability and PR.

28. Dodgers – Zach Lee, RHP, McKinney HS (TX)
Mock Picks: Cowart, DeShields Jr
Lee is a questionable pick, since he’s committed to LSU football. Many are expecting that the cost conscience Dodgers would be OK with letting him go and getting the pick back next year; Logan White has already shot this down.

29. Angels – Cam Bedrosian, RHP, E Coweta HS (GA)
Mock Picks: Aaron Sanchez
Right demographic, wrong name. I thought Sanchez was a solid pick for the Angels; they go with the former reliever’s son. Bedrosian is a solid pick, maybe a couple picks too high.

30.Angels – Chevez Clarke, OF, Marietta HS (GA)
Mock Picks: Josh Rutledge, Yordy Cabrera
In back to back picks and 3rd over all, the Angels take another HS player. Clarke moved around a lot in the rankings. He’s a solid pick here.

31.Rays – Justin O’Conner, RHP, Cowan HS (IN)
Mock Picks: O’Conner, Michael Kvasnicka
O’Conner was expected a little higher than this; the Rays got a good pick here. He fits the mold of their system and we’ll probably be hearing his name in 2-3 seasons.

32.Yankees – Cito Culver, SS, W Irondequoit HS (NY)
Mock Picks: Stetson Allie, Paxton
He wasn’t on any Mock Drafts, so I’d say he was a stretch. They went for the local boy (Rochester is close enough to say home town, right). He’s a 2 way player without a real position; he could be at short or in the outfield. He doesn’t have much power, so he’d profile at center; he really doesn’t have the speed for center though.

Supplemental Picks:
33. Astros – Michael Kvasnicka, C, Minnesota
Mock Picks: Sammy Solis, Jesse Hahn

34. Blue Jays – Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Barstow HS (CA)
Mock Picks: DeAndre Smelter, Austin Wilson

35. Braves – Matthew Lipka, SS, McKinney HS (TX)
Mock Picks: Bedrosian

36. Red Sox – Bryce Brentz, OF, Middle Tennessee
Mock Picks: Yordy Cabrera, Clarke

37. Angels – Taylor Lindsey, SS, Desert Mountain HS (AZ)
Mock Picks: Christian Yelich, Peter Tago

38. Blue Jays – Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Legacy HS (TX)
Mock Picks: Clarke, Tyrell Jenkins

39. Red Sox – Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, LSU
Mock Picks: Kevin Gausman

40. Angels – Ryan Bolden, OF, Madison Central HS (MS)
Mock Picks: Justin Grimm, Taijuan Walker

41. Blue Jays – Asher Wojciechowski, RHP, The Citadel
Mock Picks: Kevin Jacob, Smelter

42. Rays – Drew Vettleson, OF, Central Kitsap HS (WA)
Mock Picks: Micah Gibbs, Deglan

43. Mariners – Taijuan Walker, RHP, Yucaipa HS (CA)
Mock Picks: Marcus Littlewood, Jarrett Parker

44. Tigers – Nick Castellanos, 3B, Archbishop McCarthy HS (FL)
Mock Picks: Rich Hague, LeVon Washington

45. Rangers – Luke Jackson, RHP, Calvary Christian HS (FL)
Mock Picks: Brett Eibner, Brown

46. Cardinals – Seth Blair, RHP, Arizona St
Mock Picks: Vitek, Solis

47. Rockies – Peter Tago, RHP, Dana Hills HS (CA)
Mock Picks: Kris Bryant, Chad Lewis

48. Tigers – Chance Ruffin, RHP, Texas
Mock Picks: Brown, Derek Dietrich

49. Rangers – Mike Olt, 3B, Connecticut
Mock Picks: Robbie Aviles, S. Blair

50. Cardinals – Tyrell Jenkins, RHP, Henderson HS (TX)
Mock Picks: Bryan Morgado, Kyle Blair

Score Card
Picks
Mock Draft 1: 2/50
Mock Draft 2: 3/50
Value Board: 5/50

Players Picked in First Round:
Mock Draft 1: 26/50
Mock Draft 2: 34/50
Value Board: 34/50 (42/100)

Comparisons
My mock did as well as John Sickels, MLB Fanhouse, MLB Bonus Baby, Sports Bank, and Football Fan Spot. The only 2 that did better were Baseball America (4) and Keith Law (8). All of the mocks I compared to were done Friday or earlier; it’s not as fun comparing to the pros when they have the inside on the dealings the day of the draft.

Just for the record, my mock out performed Baseball Prospectus, My MLB Draft, Deep league, MLB Scout Buzz, 5 Tool Talk, Prospect Junkies, MLB.com, Rivals, and MLB Draft Site.

I feel much better about my 3 correct picks; I was worried that I completely butcher it, but it’s pretty hard to predict the draft.

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