It’s been too long since any good work has been done around this joint, so I thought I’d toss my hat back in the ring with something big. The MLB draft is less than a week away now, and for the first time in my life as a baseball fan, I’ve taken a pretty significant interest in draft prospects. I have to give the credit to Drb and Shankbone for that, as their draft knowledge really helped make me a fan over the past year. Honestly, I still do a lot more reading and listening on the matter than I do writing and talking, but I’ve been following this draft class (especially the college ranks) pretty heavily all spring. I decided, very last minute, to put together a mock draft of my own.
To make things a little different, and since this is a Giants blog, I wanted to take on a bit more than just the first round, as you see in most standard mocks. So, here you will find the first 52 picks in next week’s first-year player draft. Why 52? Well, that just so happens to be the Gigantes 2nd round pick, so I thought it a good stopping point for this exercise.
A few things to note here. With both lost and compensation picks factored into the equation, the “true” first round is only 27 picks. The Royals have the first compensation pick at 28, and the 2nd round doesn’t actually begin until Houston’s pick at 42. I have been keeping tabs on a good number of these players for most of the season, but I also referenced MLB.com’s draft profiles for my comments section. The specific grades that I noted for an individual player came straight from MLB. I had nothing to do with those.
After analyzing this class pretty closely through sites like MLB Pipeline, Baseball America, Scout.com (Kiley McDaniel), and Shankbone’s Giants discussion groups at Minor League Ball, it’s hard not to fall in love with all the pitching talent, especially on the high school side. Yes, Brady Aiken and Tyler Kolek have separated themselves at the top, but I seriously think all 30 teams could draft a prep arm with their first pick, and each team would probably feel good about that pick. When (injured) flamethrower Dylan Cease doesn’t even make a 52-pick mock, you know you’re working with a loaded bunch of pitchers.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this mock. As I said, this is a first for me, and I’m very excited about it. I’m also very excited about the potential the Giants have to snag a solid player at pick #14. My selection of Derek Hill might not be most popular, and some will undoubtedly find it a reach, but the kid is moving up charts big time lately, and I think he’s a guy that has a chance to really do big things on a diamond. And hey, if Max Pentecost or Grant Holmes happen to fall to 14, that wouldn’t hurt my feelings a bit! Knowing the Giants though, they’ll probably go in a completely different direction and surprise us all. Either way, happy draft season!
Please, feel free to leave me some feedback below, as I would love to discuss any of these picks.
- HOU | Brady Aiken | LHP | 6-ft-3 lefty with 3 potential + pitches. 65 FB 60 CV 60 CH
- MIA | Alex Jackson | C | Best pure bat in the class. Comp’d to Wil Myers. Could move to OF.
- CHW | Carlos Rodon | LHP | Stout college ace was clear-cut #1 entering season, battled some consistency issues.
- CHC | Tyler Kolek | RHP | 6-ft-5 Texan is one of hardest throwing prep arms of all-time.
- MIN | Nick Gordon | SS | Can field, run and throw with the best in the class. Will he hit?
- SEA | Aaron Nola | RHP | One of the elite NCAA arms this year, carves hitters with exceptional command from 3/4 slot.
- PHI | Trea Turner | SS | Was an easy top 5 pick entering the season, but struggled offensively for a good bit of year. Could see him dropping out of the top 10.
- COL | Kyle Freeland | LHP | Evansville lefty has a + FB and ridiculous K/BB numbers. Delivery concerns some scouts.
- TOR | Touki Toussaint | RHP | Big arm speed, athletic, best curve in class. Repeating delivery is the issue.
- NYM | Brad Zimmer | OF | 6-ft-5 CF has the ability to do a little bit of everything. Power is a concern.
- TOR | Jeff Hoffman | RHP | ECU ace had TJ surgery mid-season. Was in top 5 consideration before, not sure where he fits now. Maybe TOR takes a big upside risk?
- MIL | Max Pentecost | C | Arguably the best college bat in the class. Has ability to stick at C.
- SD | Grant Holmes | RHP | Prep arm has one of the biggest FB/CV combos in class, but gets knocked for his body.
- GIANTS | Derek Hill | CF | If Holmes is still here, the Giants would have to seriously consider him. There’s been a lot of buzz about Hill lately. One of the best defenders in the class. Has a chance to hit. Elk Grove kid, dad was a big leauger. Maybe a slight reach for the Gigantes? Personally, I don’t see anyone in the next 5 picks who I’m in love with, so I think I’d be happy with Hill in this spot.
- LAA | Sean Newcomb | LHP | Sturdy frame, great FB. Struggles with control at times.
- AZ | Tyler Beede | RHP | Considered a top 10 talent early in the year. Has the size and stuff, but lacks consistency.
- KC | Michael Conforto | OF | Great plate approach, big power. One of the top bats in the class. Might end up relegated to 1B.
- WAS | Brandon Finnegan | LHP | Was cruising before late shoulder injury. Tim Lincecum body and arm speed, from the left side.
- CIN | Sean Reid-Foley | RHP | Prep arm could be considered by Giants at #14; I wouldn’t mind. 60 FB 60 SL
- TB | Monte’ Harrison | OF | Stud athlete, big arm. Committed to Nebraska for football & baseball.
- CLE | Michael Chavis | 3B | Might be the 2nd best prep hitter in the class. Takes knocks for his defense and size. Strong arm. Shankbone likes him as a possible Giants pick at 14, and I wouldn’t be a bit disappointed by that.
- LAD | Jacob Gatewood | SS | 6-ft-5 lanky frame with freakish power. Bat wasn’t as consistent as hoped this spring.
- DET | Nick Burdi | RHP | Big relief arm with a FB that grades out at 80.
- PIT | Kodi Medeiros | LHP | Hawaiian lefty has a funky delivery and nasty stuff. A definite wildcard in this class.
- OAK | Ti’Quan Forbes | SS | MS prep looking to follow in Billy Hamilton’s footsteps. Doesn’t have quite the speed, but his athleticism and bat should give him plenty of opportunity to succeed.
- BOS | Kyle Schwarber | 1B | Some mocks have him going much earlier. Elite lefty bat, but lacks a defensive position (and abilities).
- STL | Forrest Wall | 2B | Solid prep hitter, with near-elite speed on the bases to boot.
- KC | Nick Howard | RHP | Stock has been rising of late. FB goes 95-98, teams might look to make him a starter.
- CIN | Erick Fedde | RHP | Another potential top 10 pick who went under the knife. Has size and ability to grow into frame once he’s healthy.
- TEX | Casey Gillaspie | 1B | Connor’s little bro has a big bat, and should be a good fit for an AL club looking for a bopper.
- CLE | Luke Weaver | RHP | Reminds me of Chris Stratton. Didn’t live up to the pre-season hype, but has seen his stock rising lately.
- ATL | Foster Griffin | LHP | 6-ft-5 GA southpaw could be a perfect fit for his local team in the compensation round.
- BOS | Scott Blewett | RHP | 6-ft-6 New Yorker has a big FB and a solid CV. If his CH develops, he could be a tremendous starter.
- STL | Luis Ortiz | RHP | Big hype entering the year, injuries caused his stock to drop. Could be a good fit for Cards if he’s still available.
- COL | Derek Fisher | OF | One of the better college bats in the class. Doesn’t offer much on defense, but offense could lure COL.
- MIA | Jakson Reetz | C | Not a very deep catching class, but Reetz should stick behind the plate and hit a little as well.
- HOU | Michael Cederoth | RHP | 100 mph arm out of the bullpen could go higher than this if a team wants him to start again.
- CLE | Michael Gettys | OF | One of the better athletes in the class. Will he hit?
- MIA | Spencer Adams | RHP | If he’s still here at this point, MIA would be wise to pluck him and his 95 mph FB.
- KC | AJ Reed | 1B | This year’s Golden Spikes winner has a very powerful bat. Was also UK’s ace on the mound this season.
- MIL | Marcus Wilson | OF | Athletic CA prep has the ability to be a 5-tool talent. Big time risk/reward pick.
- HOU | Alex Blandino | 2B | Stanford 3B was a Cape Cod standout, and has a solid hit tool.
- MIA | Matt Imhof | LHP | Cal Poly lefty has size and deception, but lacks the velocity to make him a 1st round pick.
- CHW | Cameron Varga | RHP | One of the oldest preps in the class has a big frame and solid FB/CV combo. Intriguing pick.
- CHC | Justus Sheffield | LHP | Vandy commit won’t wow you, but has 3 solid pitches that he controls well. Will he sign?
- MIN | Braxton Davidson | OF | Another big upside play. His bat has the potential to be special, but he might end up a 1B or DH in the long-term.
- PHI | Matt Railey | OF | Prep lefty bat plays CF and projects to hit well. One of the older HS players in the class.
- COL | Joey Gatto | RHP | NJ prep is a monster who’s still growing into his body. FB 65 CV 55
- TOR | Taylor Sparks | 3B | Started the year slowly, but has the ability to hit the ball a long way, with a strong arm at 3B.
- MIL | Mac Marshall | LHP | Not the biggest arm in the class, but he features 3 solid offerings and one of the best CH in the draft.
- SD | Michael Kopech | RHP | 6-ft-4 TX righty has a 65 FB and 60 CV, but he lacks control and a 3rd offering.
- GIANTS | Keith Weisenberg | RHP | It will be a shame if the Giants don’t dig into the deep bag of prep arms in this class. I think they will, and here’s my guy. 6-ft-4 FL righty with room to grow; FB reaches 95; repeats delivery; earns high marks for “makeup and intelligence.” I like this guy, and think he’d make a great 2nd round pick. Stanford commit’s can be tough to sign, but the Giants got Ryder Jones in the 2nd last year, so I don’t see that as a major factor here.