With the 2012 MLB draft June 4-6, it’s time to finish compiling all the data and come up with our final mock draft projecting what every team should do in the first round.
Every team is accounted for and all the top prospects have been mocked, so it’s time to see where your team picks and who we think will fall to them.
1. Houston Astros (56-106): Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
As much as Major League Baseball wants to stir of controversy over whom the Houston Astros will pick at No. 1, there is no question in my mind that they will take Stanford right-hander Mark Appel.
2. Minnesota Twins (63-99): Byron Buxton, OF, Appling County High School (GA)
The stock for high school outfielder Byron Buxton is as high as anyone could imagine, but this is one high school prospect that deserves the praise. If the Twins can really capitalize on Buxton’s potential, he will be an All-Star one day.
3. Seattle Mariners (67-95): Mike Zunino, C, Florida
Florida catcher Mike Zunino is so good that he could walk onto the field right now and earn a spot on the Mariners MLB roster. I love the fit here and what it allows the organization to do with Jesus Montero with a position change.
4. Baltimore Orioles (69-93): Kevin Gausman, RHP, LSU
If the Baltimore Orioles are lucky enough to have Kevin Gausman fall to them at No. 4, they should consider themselves lucky. He will make the starting rotation next season.
5. Kansas City Royals (71-91): Max Fried, LHP, Harvard-Westlake HS (CA)
While left-handed pitcher Max Fried will need more time to develop, there is no reason that he can’t become a dominant star in the majors. He has the size and speed and enough room to grow into an ace.
6. Chicago Cubs (71-91): Albert Almora, OF, Marion Christian Academy (FL)
The need for an elite outfielder in the farm system for the future is something GM Theo Epstein knows all about. Taking Albert Almora will be an easy decision.
7. San Diego Padres (71-91): Carlos Correa, SS, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy
With the hype around Puerto Rican star Carlos Correa and the San Diego Padres need for a shortstop, there is no question who the team will take at No. 7 if he is still there.
8. Pittsburgh Pirates (72-90): Deven Marrero, SS, Arizona State
While shortstop Deven Marrero isn’t the most consistent hitter, his fielding more than makes up for it. Factor in his raw power and a team like the Pirates won’t be able to pass on the project.
9. Miami Marlins (72-90): Andrew Heaney, LHP, Oklahoma State
While Miami will likely have him as a starter at the beginning of next season, he will be nothing more than a fourth or fifth starter throughout his career.
10. Colorado Rockies (73-89): Gavin Cecchini, SS, Barbe HS (LA)
While Troy Tulowitzki is the shortstop right now, he will most likely move to third base as injuries and time wear on him. That’s where a long-term project like Gavin Cecchini comes in.
11. Oakland Athletics (74-88): Courtney Hawkins, RF, Carroll HS (TX)
While Hawkins is one of the roughest prospects coming out of high school, his unreal power and upside will have a team like the Athletics signing up for the long haul.
12. New York Mets (77-85): Kyle Zimmer, RHP, San Francisco
The New York Mets resurgence will come on the arm of soon-to-be ace Kyle Zimmer. Wherever Zimmer falls in the first round, he will be a star.
13. Chicago White Sox (79-83): Chris Stratton, RHP, Mississippi State
The White Sox offense needs a consistent bat, but more than that they need a starting pitcher who can make an instant impact. That’s where Chris Stratton comes in.
14. Cincinnati Reds (79-83): Zach Eflin, RHP, Hagerty HS (FL)
While he is still as rough as they come, Zach Eflin’s mid-90s fastball is enough to get Cincinnati to reach a bit at No. 14 and snag this high school star.
15. Cleveland Indians (80-82): Richie Shaffer, 3B, Clemson
Arguably one of the best hitting infielders in the 2012 draft, Richie Shaffer also comes out as one of the most MLB-ready stars of the year. Great move for the Cleveland Indians.
16. Washington Nationals (80-81): Michael Wacha, RHP, Texas A&M
The Washington Nationals are slowly building quite the pitching arsenal, and adding a college star like Michael Wacha will have them contending for the NL East sooner rather than later.
17. Toronto Blue Jays (81-81): Lucas Giolito, RHP, Harvard-Westlake (CA)
While injuries to this prospect have a few teams concerned, the mainstream perception is that he is fine and is on track to being a great player. If anything, his injury history has given a team like Toronto the chance to snag a potential top-10 player.
18. Los Angeles Dodgers (82-79): Lance McCullers, RHP, Jesuit HS (FL)
While there is as much risk in taking Lance McCullers as any prospect in this year’s draft, it will pay off huge if he decides to become the Dodgers star reliever of the future.
19. *St. Louis Cardinals (90-72): Addison Russell, SS, Pace HS (FL)
With the Cardinals infield transformation a much needed task of this offseason, it will begin with shortstop Addison Russell.
20. San Francisco Giants (86-76): Ty Buttrey, RHP, Providence HS (NC)
While San Francisco’s pitching staff is amazing, adding a talented prospect like Ty Buttrey should be a no-brainer for the franchise.
21. Atlanta Braves (89-73): Tanner Rahier, SS, Palm Desert HS (CA)
While many scouts are questioning what position he will finally end up playing, his bat is intriguing enough to get the Braves to bite and possibly try him at third base.
22. **Toronto Blue Jays (81-81): Hunter Virant, LHP, Camarillo HS (CA)
Every team needs a hard throwing left-hander, so the Blue Jays get a pass for reaching a bit on Hunter Virant.
23. St. Louis Cardinals (90-72): Stephen Piscotty, 3B, Stanford
The Cardinals are desperate for a star at the hot corner and college star Stephen Piscotty could be the long-term prospect St. Louis needs.
24. Boston Red Sox (90-72): Carson Kelly, 3B, Westview HS (OR)
The need for a third baseman in Boston is clear. Kevin Youkilis is not the future, but Carson Kelly might be.
25. Tampa Bay Rays (91-71): Lucas Sims, RHP, Brookwood HS (GA)
The Tampa Bay Rays love to find a raw prospect like Lucas Sims and slowly build him into a star. They will do it again here.
26. Arizona Diamondbacks (94-68): Marcus Stroman, RHP, Duke
The Arizona Diamondbacks had recent success with their pitching prospects, so they will go to the well again and try Duke star Marcus Stroman.
27. ***Milwaukee Brewers (96-66): Brian Johnson, LHP, Florida
The Milwaukee bullpen needs more depth, and Brian Johnson could be the perfect replacement through the middle innings.
28. Milwaukee Brewers (96-66): Stryker Trahan, C, Acadiana HS (LA)
Their need for a catcher will have the Brewers reaching here for Stryker Trahan. While this is a risky pick, its one Milwaukee has to make.
29. Texas Rangers (96-66): D.J. Davis, OF, Stone County HS (MS)
With a physical skill set comparable to a Juan Pierre, the hope is that one day D.J. Davis’ bat will become consistent and he can be an excellent lead-off hitter.
30. New York Yankees (97-65): Matt Smoral, LHP, Solon HS (OH)
It’s unreal that the stock around a 6’8”, left-handed pitcher like Matt Smoral has fallen. The Yankees will be the benefactors of this grave injustice.
31. ****Boston Red Sox (90-72): Tyler Naquin, OF, Texas A&M
While Tyler Naquin doesn’t have the pop in his bat to be a major star, he is consistent enough to stay in the lineup and talented enough in the field to stay a starter in the majors.
*Compensation from Los Angeles Angels for Albert Pujols
**Compensation for failing to sign 2011 first-round pick Tyler Beede
***Compensation from Detroit for Prince Fielder
****Compensation from Philadelphia for Jonathan Papelbon
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