2012 MLB Mock Draft 2.0: Who's Rising and Falling in First-Round Projections?
As I mentioned in my first mock draft, the second installment would offer an expanded view of the first round, including the full supplemental round.
In all honesty, beyond the first 10 picks, most of this draft is up in the air and will revolve around each organization’s respective preference. There are numerous players at each position who could be a perfect fit for each organization’s needs, but this draft could also turn into the type where the top player on the board is continually selected.
So, after taking into account the draft helium associated with so many players in this class, here is Prospect Pipeline’s second mock draft.
1. Houston Astros: Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
The Astros need to build toward the future, and therefore should draft the prospect most likely to meet their respective ceiling rather than simply the player with the highest ceiling.
Previous Mock Draft: Byron Buxton
2. Minnesota Twins: Byron Buxton, OF, Appling County HS (Ga.)
The Twins are probably assuming that the Astros will draft Buxton; however, they will be forced to adjust their draft plan once Appel is selected. They have to go with the best player on the board.
Previous Mock Draft: Mark Appel
3. Seattle Mariners: Mike Zunino, C, Florida
The Mariners have gone heavy on pitching prospects in recent years and lack potential impact bats, especially behind the plate. Jesus Montero is not their preferred long-term option, so the fact that Zunino is a college player who can stick at the position should make him a lock right here.
Previous Mock Draft: Mike Zunino
4. Baltimore Orioles: Kyle Zimmer, RHP, San Francisco
Zimmer has tremendous upside and very little mileage on his arm. The Orioles look more and more like a team capable of competing in the near future, and with Bundy and Machado a few years away, why not add Zimmer to the mix.
Previous Mock Draft: Kyle Zimmer
5. Kansas City Royals: Kevin Gausman, RHP, LSU
The Royals wanted one of the top arms on the board last year; however, Cole, Hultzen, Bauer and Bundy were all taken by the time they drafted. After ultimately selecting Bubba Starling last year, the Royals will take the best arm on the board this year in Gausman.
Previous Mock Draft: Kevin Gausman
6. Chicago Cubs: Lucas Giolito, RHP, Harvard-Westlake HS (Calif.)
Giolito is a serious wild card: He could be selected within the first few picks or slide far enough to be considered unsignable. However, the Cubs need arms in their system after an offensive-oriented draft in 2011, and I think Theo and company might have the courage to go after hard-throwing right-hander.
Previous Mock Draft: Albert Almora
7. San Diego Padres: Carlos Correa, SS, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy (P.R.)
The Padres have had very little success drafting high-upside position prospects with their first-round pick: Matt Bush (No. 1 overall pick in 2004), Matt Antonelli (No. 17 overall in 2006) and Donovan Tate (No. 3 overall in 2009). However, they’re a system lacking left-side-of-the-infield prospects, and it will be hard to pass on the 17-year-old Correa.
Previous Mock Draft: Lucas Giolito
8. Pittsburgh Pirates: Albert Almora, OF, Mater Academy (Fla.)
With the exception of their over-slot purchase of Josh Bell in 2011, the Pirates have targeted front-of-the-rotation arms like Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole. They should look to bolster their already impressive system with elite positional talent in Almora.
Previous Mock Draft: Carlos Correa
9. Miami Marlins: Marcus Stroman, RHP, Duke
Stroman seems like a player who will slip due to his height and the uncertainty whether he has more upside as a starter or reliever. However, I think the Marlins go for it and select one of the best pure arms in the entire draft.
Previous Mock Draft: Andrew Heaney
10. Colorado Rockies: Max Fried, LHP, Harvard-Westlake HS (Calif.)
Fried’s draft stock has been skyrocketing all season, as many scouts believe he has enough potential to warrant a top-five selection. However, I don’t necessarily see that happening, and the Rockies could be in a good position to steal the prep southpaw at No. 10. Then again, there’s also a chance he doesn’t last this long.
Previous Mock Draft: David Dahl
First Round: Nos. 11-15
11. Oakland Athletics: Richie Shaffer, 3B, Clemson
I said it in my last mock draft as well, but Shaffer is precisely the type of player that the A’s love: promising hit tool with present power and advanced plate discipline. They lack a true third base prospect, and Shaffer couldn’t seem like a more perfect fit.
Previous Mock Draft: Richie Shaffer
12. New York Mets: Deven Marrero, SS, Arizona State
The Mets will almost definitely select a shortstop with one of their first-round picks; it’s just a question of whether it’s Marrero or prep standout Gavin Cecchini. I’m leaning towards Marrero due to his experience, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they take the alternative route.
Previous Mock Draft: Michael Wacha
13. Chicago White Sox: Courtney Hawkins, OF, Carroll HS (Texas)
The White Sox love their toolsy prep outfielders, and Hawkins seems to be their guy. Their farm system is easily the worst in baseball (and I’m a White Sox fan), so they should look to obtain the best player that's still on the board.
Previous Mock Draft: Courtney Hawkins
14. Cincinnati Reds: Michael Wacha, RHP, Texas A&M
Even after the offseason trade that sent Yasmani Grandal, Yonder Alonso and Brad Boxberger to the Padres, the Reds still have a strong farm system. Wacha could be a solid addition to their 2015 starting rotation.
Previous Mock Draft: Matt Smoral
15. Cleveland Indians: Chris Stratton, RHP, Mississippi State
Another player whose stock has continued to gain momentum over the course of the season, Stratton has a big-league slider and has proven himself against some of the best collegiate hitters in the SEC. They lost college arms in Drew Pomeranz and Alex White last season, so it’s likely they’ll look to replenish their system.
Previous Mock Draft: Zach Eflin
First Round: Nos. 16-20
16. Washington Nationals: Andrew Heaney, LHP, Oklahoma State
The team’s lowest draft pick in the last four years, the Nationals won’t be able to go after the high-upside players as they have in recent memory. Instead, they will look to add another talented arm to their rotation, and why not make it the top collegiate left-hander?
Previous Mock Draft: Max Fried
17. Toronto Blue Jays: David Dahl, OF, Oak Mountain HS (Ala.)
The Blue Jays have made a habit of drafting toolsy, high-ceiling players—primarily outfielders. This year should be no different, and they will likely target Dahl if he’s still available. If not, they could go after a promising prep arm in Eflin or McCullers Jr.
Previous Mock Draft: Chris Stratton
18. Los Angeles Dodgers: Zach Eflin, RHP, Hagerty HS (Fla.)
The Dodgers aren’t afraid to gamble on a player with signability issues, or, in general, a player that other teams are hesitant to draft. Eflin fits the mold of the pitching prospects in their organization and could be a steal at No. 18.
Previous Mock Draft: Marcus Stroman
19. St. Louis Cardinals: Gavin Cecchini, SS, Barbe HS (La.)
The Cardinals have a pretty loaded system at nearly every position except shortstop. And with Rafael Furcal’s window gradually closing due to age, they might want to secure the best remaining shortstop on the board, which will either be Cecchini or Marrero. They have four first-round picks (including the supplemental round) and seemed poised to target as many potential impact bats as possible.
Previous Mock Draft: Deven Marrero
20. San Francisco Giants: Matt Smoral, LHP, Solon HS (Ohio)
Smoral has seen limited action this spring as he recovers from foot surgery to repair a minor broken bone. This might scare enough teams away from selecting the outrageously tall left-hander, but he’s bound to be selected in the first round—unless signability seems highly improbable. So, if he’s still available, I could see the Giants drafting Smoral here.
Previous Mock Draft: Victor Roache
First Round: Nos. 21-25
21. Atlanta Braves: Stephen Piscotty, 3B/LF, Stanford
The Braves have recently targeted players who are relatively easy signs but still match a need within their system. They currently have a substantial crop of up-the-middle bats and pitching prospects, so they could be targeting a corner player with some thump in his bat.
Previous Mock Draft: Tyler Naquin
22. Toronto Blue Jays: Lance McCullers, Jr., Jesuit HS (Fla.)
After taking a position player with their first pick in the draft, the Blue Jays will likely go for the best of both worlds and select a high-upside pitcher here.
Previous Mock Draft: Gavin Cecchini
23. St. Louis Cardinals: Tyler Naquin, OF, Texas A&M
As I mentioned, the Cardinals are going after bats, and if Naquin—who arguably has the best hit tool in the entire draft—slides this far, they will jump all over the opportunity.
Previous Mock Draft: Pierce Johnson
24. Boston Red Sox: Joey Gallo, 3B/RHP, Bishop Gorman HS (Nev.)
The new Collective Bargaining Agreement will prevent the Red Sox from splurging on their first-rounders. However, given this is their first pick, there’s no reason to think that they won’t be aggressive with their pick, and Gallo could be their guy.
Previous Mock Draft: Stephen Piscotty
25. Tampa Bay Rays: Stryker Trahan, C, Acadiana HS (La.)
After drafting a host of toolsy position prospects last year—and considering their system is loaded with promising arms—the one area they must address in this draft is catcher. Trahan fits the Rays’ mold in a highly athletic catcher with considerable upside.
Previous Mock Draft: Stryker Trahan
First Round: Nos. 26-31
26. Arizona Diamondbacks: Hunter Virant, LHP, Camarillo HS (Calif.)
He’s slipped down most teams' draft boards, but that’s mainly because he isn’t overly projectable and has signability issues. However, if the Diamondbacks feel they can sign him, they could add Virant to a system that’s absolutely loaded with top-notch pitching prospects.
Previous Mock Draft: Hunter Virant
27. Milwaukee Brewers: Victor Roache, OF, Georgia Southern
After selecting Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley in the first round last year, the Brewers will be after the projectable bats—especially to fill the void left by Prince Fielder. After Joey Gallo, Roache is the next likely candidate that they will target.
Previous Mock Draft: Joey Gallo
28. Milwaukee Brewers: Addison Russell, SS/3B, Pace HS (Fl.)
As much as they need a legitimate power bat, the Brewers’ system also lacks a genuine shortstop prospect. They could ultimately kill two birds with one stone and select Russell, though his signability is slightly concerning.
Previous Mock Draft: Walker Weickel
29. Texas Rangers: Ty Hensley, RHP, Santa Fe HS (Okla.)
A power pitcher with electric stuff, the Rangers will gladly draft Hensley if he slides this far.
Previous Mock Draft: Lance McCullers, Jr.
30. New York Yankees: Lucas Sims, RHP, Brookwood HS (Ga.)
After going heavy on bats in recent years, the Yankees will need to go after a pitcher who possesses both a high-ceiling and overall pitchability. Sims is a sleeper in this draft class—mostly a product of the other arms on the board—and could flourish in the Yankees’ system.
Previous Mock Draft: Lucas Sims
31. Boston Red Sox: Corey Seager, 3B, Northwest Cabarrus HS (N.C.)
If the Red Sox stick to their aggressive draft strategy, as I discussed with their previous selection, it would make sense for them to target one of the best prep bats in Seager.
Previous Mock Draft: Pat Light
First Round-Supplemental: Nos. 32-35
32. Minnesota Twins: Pierce Johnson, RHP, Missouri State
If the Twins don’t secure Mark Appel with the No. 2 overall pick, they will look to draft a secure and established collegiate arm, and Pierce Johnson could be at the top of their list.
33. San Diego Padres: Carson Kelly, 3B/RHP, Westview HS (Ore.)
Yes, Kelly has major signability issues. However, he’s one of the top two-way talents on the board and could get considerable money thrown his way if he’s still available with this pick.
34. Oakland Athletics: Trey Williams, 3B, Valencia HS (Calif.)
After drafting a sound, collegiate player with their first pick, the A’s could go the opposite route with their next selection and draft Williams—who has one of the highest ceilings among all prep players.
35. New York Mets: D.J. Davis, OF, Stone HS (Miss.)
There's a good chance that the fastest player in the draft won't last this long, as there's a great deal of projection involved in making Davis a first-round pick. Although, his baseball skills actually don't lag too far behind like some other immensely gifted draft hopefuls.
First Round-Supplemental: Nos. 36-40
36. St. Louis Cardinals: Clint Coulter, C, Union HS (Wash.)
Still targeting impact bats, Coulter has one of the best hit tools in the draft, though he may not necessarily stay behind the plate. Either way, he’d be a solid sign for the Cardinals if he lasts this long.
37. Boston Red Sox: Alex Wood, LHP, Georgia
After going big on elite prep bats with signability concerns, the Red Sox would be wise to take a safer approach here and go after one of the more polished college arms in Wood.
38. Milwaukee Brewers: Adam Brett Walker, 1B/OF, Jacksonville
Since it’s no secret that the Brewers want to add power to their system, it’s conceivable that they could stretch a bit and select Walker with their third pick. He may be a first baseman, or they could choose to develop him as an outfielder—either way, he has ample present power.
39. Texas Rangers: Walker Weickel, RHP, Olympia HS (Fla.)
Weickel may not make it to the supplemental round, but if he does, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Rangers try to lock him up.
40. Philadelphia Phillies: Tanner Rahier, SS, Palm Desert HS (Calif.)
Having to wait until the 40th-overall pick to make their first selection, the Phillies should be targeting an advanced bat—whether it’s of the prep or collegiate variety is obviously yet to be determined. But if Rahier is still available, he seems like a no-brainer right here.
First Round-Supplemental: Nos. 41-45
41. Houston Astros: Mitch Haniger, OF, Cal Poly
If the Astros decide to draft Appel over Buxton with the 1-1 pick, they’ll likely go for the toolsy outfielder type here, and in my opinion, their best option will be Haniger.
42. Minnesota Twins: Chris Beck, RHP, Georgia Southern
Just as the Astros will reverse their draft strategy with their second pick—as determined by their selection at No. 2 overall—the Twins will do the same. Expect them to add an established college arm here.
43. Chicago Cubs: J.T. Berrios, RHP, Papa Juan XXIII HS (P.R.)
After drafting a pitcher with their early first-round selection, it seems likely that they’ll add another in the supplemental round. It’s hard to say whether they will target a high school or college pitcher, but if Berrios is still available, they could select the Puerto Rican right-hander.
44. San Diego Padres: Travis Jankowski, OF, Stony Brook
Who the Padres select really depends on how they approach their previous first-round picks. Given the depth within their system, I have to believe that they’ll go after the best athlete on the board, and that’s clearly Jankowski.
45. Pittsburgh Pirates: Dylan Baker, RHP, Western Nevada CC
The Pirates will definitely target a high-upside arm with at least one of their early picks, and Baker, the top junior college pitcher, could very well be their guy.
First Round-Supplemental: Nos. 46-50
46. Colorado Rockies: Nick Williams, 3B, Galveston Ball HS (Texas)
If they’re able to land Fried—or any other promising and highly touted arm—with their first pick, expect them to go after a high-risk, high-reward talent like Williams.
47. Oakland Athletics: Brian Johnson, LHP, Florida
Although the A’s system is stacked with pitching prospects, Johnson is one of the safer picks in the entire draft class. Regardless of where he’s ultimately selected, the left-hander has the potential to be one of the first from the 2012 draft class to reach the majors due to his pitchability and polish.
48. Chicago White Sox: Avery Romero, 3B/C, Menendez HS (Fla.)
The White Sox love young talent with a high ceiling, and given their lack of promising infield prospects, they could jump all over Romero if he’s still available. Then it’s simply a matter of whether they want to develop him as a catcher or third baseman. Regardless, his hit tool will offer considerable value at either position.
49. Cincinnati Reds: James Ramsey, OF, Florida State
After they are forced to select one of the top remaining college arms on the board with the first pick, look for the Reds to go after a toolsy player—likely an outfielder.
50. Toronto Blue Jays: Patrick Wisdom, 3B, St. Mary's
The Blue Jays will likely continue to add positional depth after loading up on arms in the previous two years. Wisdom may be considered an overdraft at this spot, but it’s important to remember that this class lacks impact college hitters.
First Round-Supplemental: Nos. 51-55
51. Los Angeles Dodgers: Nick Travieso, RHP, Archbishop McCarthy HS (Fla.)
Another power pitcher who fits the Dodgers’ profile, the hard-throwing right-hander could be a steal if he lasts this long.
52. St. Louis Cardinals: Nolan Fontana, SS, Florida
Even though the Cardinals may potentially select a shortstop with one of their earlier picks, Fontana is a solid insurance policy, especially if one of those previous selections is a prep player.
53. Texas Rangers: Jesse Winkler, OF/LHP, Olympia HS (Fla.)
After going all-in on pitchers with their previous two picks, the Rangers could conceivably take a step back and target a promising bat.
54. Philadelphia Phillies: Barrett Barnes, OF, Texas Tech
The Phillies lack positional talent that’s within a few years of reaching the Major Leagues. Drafting Barnes could address this need, not to mention the fact that he’s a big-time sleeper candidate headed into the draft.
55. San Diego Padres: Martin Agosta, RHP, St. Mary's
Agosta has thrived down the homestretch of the season and made his case to be a first-round draft pick. He has pitchability and shouldn’t require too much time in the minor leagues.
First Round-Supplemental: Nos. 56-61
56. Chicago Cubs: Mitch Nay, 3B, Hamilton HS (Ariz.)
The Cubs have struggled to develop legitimate corner infield prospects in recent years, and in turn, have relied heavily on organizational role-players. Nay is a projectable prep bat who could yield immediate results if he’s ultimately willing to sign.
57. Pittsburgh Pirates: Josh Elander, C/OF, Texas Christian
In case Tony Sanchez (No. 4 overall, 2009) doesn’t develop as hoped, the Pirates could look to add a back-up option in Elander, who also has potential in the outfield.
58. Cincinnati Reds: Tyler Gonzales, RHP, James Madison HS (Texas)
The only reason Gonzales drops this far is due to uncertainty surrounding his future as a starter or reliever. He has electric stuff and could be a potential steal if he drops this far.
59. Toronto Blue Jays: Mason Melotakis, LHP, Northwestern State
A big left-hander with plus velocity, the Blue Jays could add a future closer with this selection.
60. St. Louis Cardinals: Daniel Robertson, 3B, Upland HS (Calif.)
There’s no reason that the Cardinals won’t keep adding bats, especially ones this late in the draft that possess a high ceiling like Robertson. Signability may be a concern, but Robertson could be a steal this late in the draft.
61. Toronto Blue Jays: Duane Underwood, RHP, Pope HS (Ga.)
Like McCullers, Jr. and Stroman, Underwood’s height will raise a red flag for most teams. However, if he’s still on the board this late into the supplemental first round, the Blue Jays may gladly snatch up the hard-throwing right-hander.