2014 MLB Draft: Mock v2.0

Kiley breaks down the industry buzz by projecting the top picks with the draft under a week away.

2014 MLB Draft Rankings: The Scout 291, More College Prospects & More HS Prospects

2014 Mock Drafts: 1.0 & 2.0

2014 MLB Draft Reports & Videos: 1-3 (Free), 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, 13-15, 16-18 (Free), 19-21, 22-24, 25-27 & 28-30

2015/2016 MLB Draft Rankings (May 2014): 2015 College, 2016 College & 2015-16 High School


We're at the time in the pre-draft process where the decision-making scouts are locked in meetings all day, with a few slipping out to see specific players at regionals, like TCU lefty Brandon Finnegan, with recent health concerns. Therefore, it's impossible to get them on the phone as they're stacking the board and sleeping 99% of these days. After this weekend and early next weekend, advisors start to become an essential part of the process as the top of boards have been formed, calls are going out and players are coming in for private pre-draft workouts. That's when legitimate buzz about certain players fitting at certain picks in the top half of the round have some real oomph to them when coming from the right source. So, this projection should change a good bit, particularly near the top, before draft day, but this is the best I can do right now.

The other thing to keep in mind--this is something I've referred to since I missed the top three picks in last year's final mock but they went off the board in the order I had them ranked--is that when there's conflicting information or a coin toss in order between a few options, I'm going with the one that fits the scouting director's drafting style and/or which one I have ranked higher, particularly in the top 10-15 picks where smokescreens are most common. Both of those are more predictive than industry rumors at this point but I'll still tell you what the rumors are in the analysis so you can feel plugged in to the process.

Lastly, the #1 overall pick is still up in the air and with no elite $6-7 million players in this year's draft, it's as wide open as it's ever been. Since I've found people like when I go long-form on stuff like this, I spelled out everything I'm hearing and have worked out about the process for this pick. What happens there will obviously shuffle the picks below them as a top tier of 6 players seems to have emerged and I think they go in the top 6 picks in some order, barring a late injury or signability shenanigans.

Pick
1
Houston Astros
Player: Brady Aiken
Height: 6-4
Weight: 215
Age (Draft Day): 17.8
Position: P
Bats: L
Throws: L

General Manager: Jeff Luhnow
Scouting Director: Mike Elias
Draft Slot Amount: 7922100

ANALYSIS: Fans are talking about the Astros pick here like it's a whodunit mystery with a correct answer that you can figure from the facts given, but that's not the way to think about it. This year, like the last two years, the Astros are working out their options at 1-1 (this year it's 6 players in the top tier), price shop for each one in the weeks leading up to the draft, then logically work out which 1-1 pick at which price (in combination with who they could get with the money they potentially save if they go well underslot at 1-1) is the best option. They've made this decision either hours rather than days before the draft in the past two years and I've been assured they don't know who they're taking yet this year, either.

It works out that the rumored tire kicking targets for Houston are also my top 6 prospects this year (Brady Aiken, Carlos Rodon, Alex Jackson, Nick Gordon, Aaron Nola, Tyler Kolek), which I believe is enough to constitute those as the top tier, though any one draft room may differ by a player or two. It sounds like the industry and probably even the Astros think Aiken is the best prospect, but Houston is very aware of the track record of prep arms versus hitters and seems very wary about going prep arm at 1-1. Lucky for them, Aiken should come in a good bit below the $7.9 million slot.

Unlucky for them, their next best option is an advanced college arm that could move quickly and may be the best fit for what they're looking for (Rodon) is repped by Scott Boras and is asking for at least the full slot at 1-1. Even if the Astros have Rodon at #1 on their board, he isn't the best value when talent-wise it's a dead heat and one player cost 7 figures more than another.

Nola's 1-1 rumors have been relatively quiet and I don't think he's a real option here as with the raw prep arm, Kolek. The interesting X-Factors to watch are Gordon and Jackson. Both are prep bats that were elite national standouts as far back as their sophomore years in high school and the list of prep bats with that kind of long resume and plus tools and/or playing premium positions that end up going in the top 5 picks is insanely good (Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer, Justin Upton, etc.). If you like the tools an makeup of Gordon and Jackson and the only question if they will be a quick-moving bat that becomes a big league regular, history says the odds are good; much more kind than the track record of prep arms.

Jackson is repped by Boras as well while Gordon is repped by his dad, former big league reliever Tom Gordon. It's believed that Houston prefers Jackson and if he comes in at a price at or below Aiken's, he very well could be the pick here. Boras has said to anyone who will listen that he thinks Rodon and Jackson are the two best players in the draft. He's positioning Rodon as such and will position Jackson lower, but the question is how low and will Boras name a number in an effort to facilitate Jackson at 1-1, something he rarely does.

I think Gordon is just another option, likely the 4th highest one on the board for Houston, that probably goes 5th or 6th if he doesn't go 1st, so an offer that starts with a 4 would be a win for Gordon and nearly $4 million saved for Houston. This is something they will seriously consider if Jackson is asking for too close to slot, they simply won't take a prep arm at 1-1 and they like the potential options at picks 37, 42 and 75 to spend the savings on. Jackson could definitely go 2nd if he doesn't go 1st, but also may drop to 6th.

What may be the motivation to watch in the signability maneuvering for these top couple spots is a pissing match between advisors, with Boras and new rival for the crown Casey Close advising four of these top six players. There's a way for Boras to market his guys to go 1 and 2, but it seems like that won't be enough for him as he's done it all before in the draft: he needs to get a great bonus at both spots as well. What motivates these two guys the most (getting the highest bonus, being the highest pick and/or making the client happy) may be what drives where these top six players go; it would take a real bungling of the situation for one of these players to drop out of the top six picks.

Pick
2
Miami Marlins
Player: Carlos Rodon
Height: 6-0
Weight: 235
Age (Draft Day): 21.49
Current Team: North Carolina State
Position: P
Bats: L
Throws: L

General Manager: Michael Hill
Scouting Director: Stan Meek
Draft Slot Amount: 6821800

ANALYSIS: This one is still hard to figure even if the Astros pick is guaranteed. There are rumors that Rodon, Kolek and Jackson all won't be passed on if they get here and, in this scenario, they're all here. The belief is that the scouting group is split on Kolek and Jackson and ownership wants another Cuban-American arm if the talents are close, favoring Rodon. Marlins sources insist ownership won't influence the pick, but that doesn't mean it won't happen. Nola has also been mentioned here but that seems unlikely. The industry strongly believes the three pitchers go in the top three slots, Rodon is the best available on my board and I'll bet on the guy that the owner wants is the one he gets.

Pick
3
Chicago White Sox
Player: Tyler Kolek
Height: 6-5
Weight: 270
Age (Draft Day): 18.47
Current Team: Shepherd HS (TX)
Position: P
Bats: R
Throws: R

General Manager: Rick Hahn
Scouting Director: Doug Laumann
Draft Slot Amount: 5721500

ANALYSIS: There are also a number of rumors flying about this pick. Nola is an underslot candidate while I've heard the White Sox both hate and love Kolek from various sources. Jeff Hoffman was the guy they wanted and the heavy hitters were at most of Tyler Beede's starts down the stretch, but neither makes sense this high. Again, the industry still strongly believes the three pitchers go 1-2-3 and I haven't heard enough to peg a potential underslot candidate here to break that up.

Pick
4
Chicago Cubs
Player: Aaron Nola
Height: 6-1
Weight: 195
Age (Draft Day): 21
Current Team: LSU
Position: SP
Bats: R
Throws: R

General Manager: Jed Hoyer
Scouting Director: Jaron Madison
Draft Slot Amount: 4621200

ANALYSIS: This is where th draft really opens up, with rumors of Nola, Pentecost, Gordon, Hoffman, Finnegan, Conforto and Freeland all coming up here. I think it's down to Nola, Pentecost and Gordon with the two college players as the real decision in the room. I think Chicago ignores price and take the guy it wants, which I believe is Nola.

Pick
5
Minnesota Twins
Player: Nick Gordon
Height: 6-1
Weight: 175
Age (Draft Day): 18.61
Current Team: Olympia HS (FL)
Position: SS
Bats: L
Throws: R

General Manager: Terry Ryan
Scouting Director: Deron Johnson
Draft Slot Amount: 3851000

ANALYSIS: The Twins have been tied to Nick Gordon all spring. It looked like a done deal that he'd get here, then after Hoffman's injury it was an toss-up and now it looks again like the Twins will get their guy. Aaron Nola is the choice if the Cubs pick the Twins pocket, with Finnegan and Sean Newcomb both mentioned here.

Pick
6
Seattle Mariners
Player: Alex Jackson
Height: 6-1
Weight: 220
Age (Draft Day): 18.44
Position: C
Bats: R
Throws: R

General Manager: Jack Zduriencik
Scouting Director: Tom McNamara
Draft Slot Amount: 3575900

ANALYSIS: The Mariners seem poised to take whichever of the top six players falls to them, which in this case is Alex Jackson, the guy they've been rumored to be coveting all spring. There has also been rumors all spring that the M's are hot after Sean Newcomb and if the wrong guy falls here, the belief is that he'll be the pick with Hoffman, Conforto, Nola and Turner all mentioned here.

Pick
7
Philadelphia Phillies
Player: Jeff Hoffman
Height: 6-4
Weight: 185
Age (Draft Day): 21.41
Current Team: East Carolina
Position: P
Bats: R
Throws: R

General Manager: Ruben Amaro
Scouting Director: Marti Wolever
Draft Slot Amount: 3300900

ANALYSIS: The Phillies are hot after Nola, but every team in front of them is kicking the tires as well, so it seems unlikely he gets all the way here. The Phils have been tied to Jacob Gatewood, Brad Zimmer, Jeff Hoffman, Kyle Freeland, Michael Conforto and Sean Newcomb with Newcomb having the most late helium at this pick. Freeland, Hoffman and Newcomb are the finalists with the Phils favoring an advanced arm and Hoffman's upside is too much to ignore.

Pick
8
Colorado Rockies
Height: 6-4
Weight: 185
Age (Draft Day): 21.06
Current Team: Evansville
Position: P
Bats: L
Throws: L

General Manager: Dan O'Dowd
Scouting Director: Bill Schmidt
Draft Slot Amount: 3190800

ANALYSIS: The Rockies have been tied to Freeland, a Denver native, for awhile as they favor tall pitchers with sink on their fastball to fit in their ballpark. Nola is the dream here, but he won't make it. Turner and Pentecost are real possibilities here, with Tyler Beede a longshot.

Pick
9
Toronto Blue Jays
Player: Trea Turner
Height: 6-2
Weight: 175
Age (Draft Day): 20.93
Current Team: North Carolina State
Position: SS
Bats: R
Throws: R

General Manager: Alex Anthopoulos
Scouting Director: Brian Parker
Draft Slot Amount: 3080800

ANALYSIS: Toronto has been tied to lots of players, a function of their history of aggressively chasing upside and/or tough signs while also having lots of scouts and two picks in the top 11. There's a rumor they've already cut a deal with Touki Toussaint at the 11th spot, as they aren't worried the Mets will take him. The Jays are rightfully worried that the Mets may take Turner, because they absolutely would, so they take him here. Sean Reid-Foley, Grant Holmes, Newcomb, Pentecost and Finnegan have all been mentioned here as well.

Pick
10
New York Mets
Height: 6-1
Weight: 220
Age (Draft Day): 21.26
Current Team: Oregon State
Position: RF
Bats: L
Throws: R

General Manager: Sandy Alderson
Scouting Director: Tommy Tanous
Draft Slot Amount: 2970800

ANALYSIS: The Mets #1 target is Turner, but the industry belief is he doesn't slip past the Jays at 9. Zimmer, Conforto and Newcomb are the backup plans, with Conforto the most advanced of the three and the believed preference if things play out this way.

Pick
11
Toronto Blue Jays
Height: 6-2
Weight: 195
Age (Draft Day): 17.96
Position: P
Bats: R
Throws: R

General Manager: Alex Anthopoulos
Scouting Director: Brian Parker
Draft Slot Amount: 2888300

ANALYSIS: The long-rumored Toussaint pick is a well-known rumor here, though a late rumor I heard last night has Virginia closer Nick Howard in play here well under slot, as many teams think he can start, but could also rush to the big leagues as a reliever. This is believed to be Jeff Hoffman's floor if he gets this far.

Pick
12
Milwaukee Brewers
Height: 6-11
Weight: 185
Age (Draft Day): 21.14
Current Team: TCU
Position: P
Bats: L
Throws: L

General Manager: Doug Melvin
Scouting Director: Bruce Seid
Draft Slot Amount: 2805700

ANALYSIS: The Brewers are in a position to wait and see who slips to them from the big second tier of talent. Pentecost, Zimmer, Holmes, Finnegan and Newcomb are the top names on my board and all fit here, along with the already-chosen Conforto, and the available Sean Reid-Foley, Tyler Beede, Derek Hill and Michael Chavis, who have also been mentioned. The Brewers are notoriously tight-lipped and that amount of names means I have no idea who they will pick, though a healthy Finnegan (provided he looks fine this weekend) is believed to fit in picks 10-15 by nearly every scout I talk to and the Brewers have leaned to college arms early in recent drafts.

Pick
13
San Diego Padres
Height: 6-1
Weight: 190
Age (Draft Day): 21.24
Current Team: Kennesaw State
Position: C
Bats: R
Throws: R

General Manager: Josh Byrnes
Scouting Director: Billy Gasparino
Draft Slot Amount: 2723300

ANALYSIS: The Padres also are looking to pounce on someone who slips and Pentecost makes a ton of sense here even with Austin Hedges already in the system. The Pads would love to get Turner here and also have been linked to Freeland, Finnegan and Conforto, who are all off the board in this scenario.

Pick
14
San Francisco Giants
Player: Sean Newcomb
Height: 6-5
Weight: 240
Age (Draft Day): 20.98
Current Team: Hartford
Position: P
Bats: L
Throws: L

General Manager: Brian Sabean
Scouting Director: John Barr
Draft Slot Amount: 2613200

ANALYSIS: Newcomb is in play at most of the 9 picks ahead of the Giants here, so he's a nice value. The Giants love big guys that throw hard and Newcomb is more than just that, while also being relatively new to baseball. These next few picks (Newcomb, Zimmer, Schwarber, Holmes) could go in almost any order as all four teams are on all four players. The Giants would like a shot at Finnegan, as well. Derek Hill, Touki Toussaint, Sean Reid-Foley and Chavis are other options.

Pick
15
Los Angeles Angels
Player: Brad Zimmer
Height: 6-5
Weight: 205
Age (Draft Day): 21.52
Current Team: San Francisco
Position: RF
Bats: L
Throws: R

General Manager: Jerry Dipoto
Scouting Director: Ric Wilson
Draft Slot Amount: 2475600

ANALYSIS: I've heard the Angels with college corner bats Conforto, Zimmer and Schwarber along with college lefties Freeland and Newcomb.

Pick
16
Arizona Diamondbacks
Height: 6-0
Weight: 240
Age (Draft Day): 21.25
Current Team: Indiana
Position: C
Bats: L
Throws: R

General Manager: Kevin Towers
Scouting Director: Ray Montgomery
Draft Slot Amount: 2338200

ANALYSIS: The Snakes are also on college corner bats Schwarber, Zimmer and Conforto along with Stanford infielder Alex Blandino, Tyler Beede, Monte Harrison and Michael Chavis.

Pick
17
Kansas City Royals
Player: Grant Holmes
Height: 6-1
Weight: 205
Age (Draft Day): 18.2
Current Team: Conway HS (SC)
Position: P
Bats: R
Throws: R

General Manager: Dayton Moore
Scouting Director: Lonnie Goldberg
Draft Slot Amount: 2200600

ANALYSIS: KC is hot after power arms, with Hawaiian prep lefty Kodi Medeiros one of the top targets, though most believe they'll wait until their next pick to pop him. Holmes is a great value here with Touki, Newcomb, Finnegan, Luis Ortiz, injured UNLV righty Erick Fedde and Reid-Foley all in play along with risky prep bats Michael Gettys and Jacob Gatewood. This is also the first spot where Forrest Wall is in play.

Pick
18
Washington Nationals
Player: Luis Ortiz
Height: 6-3
Weight: 220
Age (Draft Day): 18.7
Current Team: Sanger HS (CA)
Position: P
Bats: R
Throws: R

General Manager: Mike Rizzo
Scouting Director: Kris Kline
Draft Slot Amount: 2145600

ANALYSIS: The Nats are also after power arms with Ortiz, Fedde, Beede, Reid-Foley, Nick Howard and Jeff Hoffman all possibilities, along with Gatewood. Ortiz has a clean bill of health and the stuff is back, so he fits well in this range.

Pick
19
Cincinnati Reds
Height: 6-3
Weight: 210
Age (Draft Day): 18.84
Current Team: Sandalwood HS (FL)
Position: P
Bats: R
Throws: R

General Manager: Walt Jocketty
Scouting Director: Chris Buckley
Draft Slot Amount: 2090500

ANALYSIS: The Reds have also been tied to (wait for it) power arms at this spot, with Reid-Foley the most common name who also has a lot of similarities to Nick Travieso, another Florida prep power arm the Reds took in the first round a few years back. He turned in his worst outing of the year last week at a Florida prep All-Star Game in Sebring, but he's been lights out almost every other outing this year. Chavis has also been mentioned here along with Derek Hill, as they are at many other picks. The Reds are on Kodi Medeiros and would have to take him here to snatch him from the Royals, who pick before Cincinnati picks again.

Pick
20
Tampa Bay Rays
Player: Derek Hill
Height: 6-1
Weight: 175
Age (Draft Day): 18.43
Current Team: Elk Grove HS (CA)
Position: CF
Bats: R
Throws: R

General Manager: Andrew Friedman
Scouting Director: R.J. Harrison
Draft Slot Amount: 2035500

ANALYSIS: The Rays would love a shot at Conforto, Schwarber, Zimmer or Pentecost here and will take long looks at Reid-Foley and Beede. Chavis, Monte Harrison and Ti'Quan Forbes have also been mentioned but Hill's athleticism and potential Gold Glove defense also fits the Rays drafting style.

Pick
21
Cleveland Indians
Height: 6-11
Weight: 200
Age (Draft Day): 18.82
Current Team: Sprayberry HS (GA)
Position: 3B
Bats: R
Throws: R

General Manager: Chris Antonetti
Scouting Director: Brad Grant
Draft Slot Amount: 2008100

ANALYSIS: I haven't heard a ton of names here other than Chavis, as Cleveland is near the tail end of the second tier and, as with many of the picks in this range, will look to see who from that second tier happened to slip through the cracks.

Pick
22
Los Angeles Dodgers
Player: Nick Howard
Height:
Weight:
Age (Draft Day): 21.72
Current Team: Virginia
Position: P
Bats: R
Throws: R

General Manager: Ned Colletti
Scouting Director: Logan White
Draft Slot Amount: 1980500

ANALYSIS: The Dodgers have been tied to a number of names, including Reid-Foley, Derek Hill, Spencer Adams, Jack Flaherty, Nick Burdi, Alex Verdugo, Brandon Finnegan and Luis Ortiz at the pick, mostly prep arms as is the Dodgers' tendency. Howard is rising late as a potential quick-moving closer, but the separator for him with the Dodgers is the cleaner delivery, arm with little wear (Howard plays 3rd in college as well) and a real chance to start, as many saw from him on the Cape last summer. This short-term and long-term interests aligning is a great fit for a team in contention that also loves picking young arms.

Pick
23
Detroit Tigers
Player: Nick Burdi
Height: 6-4
Weight: 215
Age (Draft Day): 21.38
Current Team: Louisville
Position: P
Bats: R
Throws: R

General Manager: Dave Dombrowski
Scouting Director: David Chadd
Draft Slot Amount: 1953100

ANALYSIS: Burdi and the Tigers is the laziest and most-repeated team/player rumor I've heard the summer and it won't go away. Detroit is even more in love with young power arms than the Dodgers, so they also could be on any of the power arms I mentioned up there.

Pick
24
Pittsburgh Pirates
Player: Tyler Beede
Height: 6-4
Weight: 215
Age (Draft Day): 21.03
Current Team: Vanderbilt
Position: SP
Bats: R
Throws: R

General Manager: Neal Huntington
Scouting Director: Joe DelliCarri
Draft Slot Amount: 1925500

ANALYSIS: The Pirates have been opportunistic in recent years and figure to be again this year, selecting in the scraps of tier two. Beede is a reclatmation project that's worth the gamble here and the Pirates have also been tied to bats like Blandino, Harrison and Forbes

Pick
25
Oakland Athletics
Height: 6-2
Weight: 195
Age (Draft Day): 18.82
Position: CF
Bats: R
Throws: R

General Manager: Billy Beane
Scouting Director: Eric Kubota
Draft Slot Amount: 1898000

ANALYSIS: The A's have been tied to tons of names this spring: Forbes, Harrison, Derek Fisher, Luke Weaver, Matt Imhof, Michael Chavis and Blandino. I think it comes down to Forbes and Monte Harrison here and both should go in the next 5-7 picks.

Pick
26
Boston Red Sox
Player: Erick Fedde
Height: 6-4
Weight: 175
Age (Draft Day): 21.28
Current Team: UNLV
Position: P
Bats: R
Throws: R

General Manager: Ben Cherington
Scouting Director: Amiel Sawdaye
Draft Slot Amount: 1870500

ANALYSIS: The Red Sox are another club that's opportunistic when they pick late and are one of the clubs that are expected to roll the dice on Fedde in this range. The Sox are also on Derek Fisher and Luke Weaver, though they aren't dogmatic about the type of player they'll take, so there's a number of possibilities at this pick, along with pretty much any pick this low in the round.

Pick
27
St. Louis Cardinals
Height: 6-0
Weight: 190
Age (Draft Day): 21.58
Current Team: Stanford
Position: SS
Bats: R
Throws: R

General Manager: John Mozeliak
Scouting Director: Dan Kantrovitz
Draft Slot Amount: 1843000

ANALYSIS: Blandino, Forrest Wall, Foster Griffin, Braxton Davidson and Jack Flaherty are all in play here and the Cards would love a shot at Derek Hill. I think they lean to the most advanced bat available in this situation.

Pick
28
Kansas City Royals
Height: 6-0
Weight: 180
Age (Draft Day): 18.03
Current Team: Waiakea HS (HI)
Position: P
Bats: L
Throws: L

General Manager: Dayton Moore
Scouting Director: Lonnie Goldberg
Draft Slot Amount: 1815500

ANALYSIS: Medeiros is heavily-rumored at this pick and this is his most likely landing spot, as the other team after him, the Reds, are at the next pick and would likely take him there if he's on the board. Gatewood, Gettys, Derek Fisher, Forrest Wall and Spencer Adams have all been tied to the Royals here, as well.

Pick
29
Cincinnati Reds
Player: Derek Fisher
Height: 6-3
Weight: 210
Age (Draft Day): 20.79
Current Team: Virginia
Position: CF
Bats: L
Throws: R

General Manager: Walt Jocketty
Scouting Director: Chris Buckley
Draft Slot Amount: 1788000

ANALYSIS: Again, Medeiros is the pick if he's on the board here, but he likely isn't. Fedde also fits if he slips this far. Derek Fisher is the best value here and isn't tied to first base like Casey Gillaspie or A.J. Reed, who would be blocked by Joey Votto for the foreseeable future even if they work out.

Pick
30
Texas Rangers
Height: 6-4
Weight: 190
Age (Draft Day): 17.78
Current Team: Columbia HS (MS)
Position: SS
Bats: R
Throws: R

General Manager: Jon Daniels
Scouting Director: Kip Fagg
Draft Slot Amount: 1760500

ANALYSIS: The Rangers like upside and, as you'd expect, have been tied to Forbes, Harrison and Gettys here, along with some prep arms like Ortiz and Adams. This may be Forbes' floor if he gets past Oakland's pick at 25. Fisher could also fit if he's on the board here.

Pick
31
Cleveland Indians
Player: Derek Fisher
Height: 6-3
Weight: 210
Age (Draft Day): 17.96
Current Team: T.C. Roberson HS (NC)
Position: CF
Bats: L
Throws: L

General Manager: Chris Antonetti
Scouting Director: Brad Grant
Draft Slot Amount: 1733000

ANALYSIS: The Indians have been tied to Gillaspie and Reed here, along with some high school players like Chase Vallot, Marcus Wilson, Luis Ortiz and Alex Verdugo.

Pick
32
Atlanta Braves
Height: 6-5
Weight: 210
Age (Draft Day): 18.98
Current Team: First Academy HS (FL)
Position: P
Bats: R
Throws: L

General Manager: Frank Wren
Scouting Director: Tony DeMacio
Draft Slot Amount: 1705400

ANALYSIS: The Braves love prep talents from the southeast along with lefties and they've been tied to Justus Sheffield, Mac Marshall, Griffin, Medeiros, Adams and Verdugo.

Pick
33
Boston Red Sox
Player: Luke Weaver
Height: 6-2
Weight: 175
Age (Draft Day): 20.79
Current Team: Florida State
Position: P
Bats: R
Throws: R

General Manager: Ben Cherington
Scouting Director: Amiel Sawdaye
Draft Slot Amount: 1678000

ANALYSIS: The Sox are one of the clubs on the late-rising Weaver and should be open-minded at this pick, so see the paragraph below with guys that got squeezed out of this projection for some possible names. Marcus Wilson, Derek Fisher, Chase Vallot and Luis Ortiz have been tied to the Sox.

Pick
34
St. Louis Cardinals
Player: Forrest Wall
Height: 6-0
Weight: 175
Age (Draft Day): 18.54
Position: SS
Bats: L
Throws: R

General Manager: John Mozeliak
Scouting Director: Dan Kantrovitz
Draft Slot Amount: 1650400

ANALYSIS: The Cardinals Florida area scout had Wall on a travel team this fall and this is likely his floor, if he even makes it this far. jack Flaherty is a real threat to go here if the Cards want to jump to the front of the line on him, with many teams behind them eyeing Flaherty in the next 10-15 picks. Harrison, Davidson, Griffin and Verdugo fit here, with Ronnie Williams a late-rising, under-slot possibility.


Things To Keep In Mind For The Sandwich/2nd Rounds

Some of the players that could've been in this projection, but just got squeezed out, grouped by type: Casey Gillaspie, A.J. Reed, Mike Papi, Marcus Wilson, Chase Vallot, Josh Morgan, Jacob Gatewood, Spencer Adams, Alex Verdugo, Michael Kopech, Scott Blewett and Jack Flaherty. Some players that should go in the 2nd round but fit more toward the middle or end of the round: Justus Sheffield, Ronnie Williams, Matt Imhof, Jacob Lindgren and Michael Cederoth, who may slip a long way if his signability ends up higher than anticipated.

From the rumor mill: Prep IF Tate Blackman will turn 20 soon after the draft, but the Royals and Brewers are on him in the 2nd round, with some teams motivated to try him behind the plate. Prep RHP Ronnie Williams was known to be a target of the Cardinals in the late 2nd round, but after a breakout Sebring showing, other clubs in front of the Red Birds like the Rays may now have him targeted higher in the round. Prep RHP Jack Flaherty is a target of the Cubs, Dodgers, Phillies, Cardinals and Indians for an over-slot bonus in the sandwich or 2nd rounds. He could easily go as high as the Dodgers at 22 but the high asking price and multiple teams after the 1st round likely having bonus money saved up will likely push him down into the 30's or 40's.

Prep SS Milton Ramos has been getting a lot of attention down the stretch, with the Marlins bringing a half dozen scouts to Sebring to see him last week and the Phillies also rolling deep at the same event, allegedly also for Ramos; he shouldn't make it to the 50th pick. Canadian prep RF Gareth Morgan has long been a target of the Blue Jays and Phillies and they likely need to take him in the 2nd round to get him. Florida State RHP Luke Weaver is a target for Houston after the 1st round but may go in the late 1st to the Cardinals, Red Sox or A's, who were closely scouting his strong finish.

Lastly, if Jeff Hoffman (unlikely) or Erick Fedde (some chance) make it to the comp rounds, they are believed to be the primary targets for a number of large bonus pool teams. Both will likely raise their signability number if they sneak through the late first round, but most expect them to go in the top 34. Mississippi State lefty Jacob Lindgren and newly-healthy USC-Upstate righty Chad Sobotka are both rising; Lindgren shouldn't get out of the 2nd round and Sobotka won't last long in the 3rd round if he gets there.



Follow Kiley McDaniel on Twitter for more baseball news on the draft, the minor leagues, the big leagues and July 2nd.

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