2014 MLB Mock Draft: Early Look at Next Year's 1st Round
Mock drafts don't get any harder than the Major League Baseball draft. With the mix of college and high school players, expansive farm systems and the new salary concerns, it is a mocker's nightmare.
That doesn't mean it isn't fun. So, I've decided to look ahead to next year's draft. Yes, a lot will change between now and then, but this is an inexact science at any time of the year.
For the mock order, I just went according to the overall standings on June 6.
1. Miami Marlins: Carlos Rodon, LHP, North Carolina State
Carlos Rodon would have gotten consideration for No. 1 in this year's draft.
He can touch the upper 90s on the gun, and he throws a very live ball. He has a good cutter and curveball and a developing splitter.
In his first two years at North Carolina State he has gone 18-2 with a 296/81 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
He has a nice frame and a delivery that suggests he can hold up to the rigors of being a top-of-the-rotation starter.
2. Houston Astros: Alex Jackson, C, Rancho Bernardo HS, California
Alex Jackson is catcher and outfielder. He is a good defensive catcher, but he may end up making the same switch as Bryce Harper and move to the outfield.
He hit .343 this spring with 37 hits, 14 home runs and 33 RBI. He has a powerful and natural swing, and will make an impact no matter where he winds up playing.
3. Milwaukee Brewers: Tyler Beede, RHP, Vanderbilt
Tyler Beede is a 6'4", 215 pound right-handed starting pitcher with smooth mechanics and a mid-90s fastball.
He was taken in the first round by the Blue Jays in the 2011 draft, and he hasn't done anything at Vanderbilt to change that lofty draft status.
He went 14-0 this spring while setting a school record for wins. He posted a 2.20 earned run average with 101 strikeouts in 98.1 innings.
4. New York Mets: Michael Cederoth, RHP, San Diego State
At 6'6" and throwing heat, Michael Cederoth cuts an imposing figure on the mound. He needs to develop his accuracy and arsenal, but he throws a live ball and has top-of-the-rotation potential.
5. Chicago Cubs: Touki Toussaint, RHP, Coral Springs Christian HS, Florida
With the ability to already hit upper 90s on the radar gun, Touki Toussaint will garner plenty of attention.
The Cubs passed on flame-throwing Jonathan Gray with the second pick in this year's draft, but they will get their arm in next year's.
6. Toronto Blue Jays: Justus Sheffield, LHP, Tullahoma HS, Tennessee
The Blue Jays love taking high school pitchers. Justus Sheffield is 6'0" and a solid 190 pounds. He has the frame and stuff to handle being a top lefty.
7. Seattle Mariners: Jacob Gatewood, SS/RHP, Redwood HS, California
Jacob Gatewood is a great athlete and he is 6'5" with room to add bulk on his frame. He probably winds up as an outfielder who can hit for power. The Mariners need to stockpile bats.
8. Chicago White Sox: Kel Johnson, OF, Home School, Georgia
The White Sox need to add some power into their system. Kel Johnson has plenty of power, and he has room to add bulk on his 6'4", 215 pound frame.
9. Los Angeles Angles: Mark Zagunis, C, Virginia Tech
Mark Zagunis is a good athlete behind the plate, and he has the ability to hit for power and average. He is a safe pick for the Angels, and they could use one of those.
10. Kansas City Royals: Brett Austin, C, North Carolina State
There will be plenty of catching talent in this draft. Brett Austin may is one of those prospects, but he may wind up in the outfield. He's played there at N.C. State along with catcher.
He's a quality bat with decent power, but will be more of an average and gap hitter.
11. Los Angeles Dodgers: Trea Turner, SS, North Carolina State
The way the Dodgers' offense has struggled this year, bats should be a priority for them.
Trea Turner will not only be a credit on defense, but he has decent pop, can hit for average, and he is a terror on the bases.
12. Minnesota Twins: K.J. Hockaday, 3B, Maryland
The Twins are struggling to score runs. They are going to need plenty of bats in their system to improve.
K.J. Hockaday is 6'3", 215 pounds and has great power. He broke Mark Teixeira's Maryland high school home run record.
13. San Diego Padres: Drew Ward, 3B, Leedy HS, Oklahoma
Playing in a pitcher-friendly park, the Padres will never be a popular destination for free-agent sluggers.
14. Washington Nationals: Kevin Cron, 1B, TCU
Only one team has scored fewer runs than the Nationals this season.
Kevin Cron should give them some pop. He is a massive 6'5" and 245 pounds. He only hit two home runs this past season, but he also had seven doubles in his 40 hits.
15. Philadelphia Phillies: Cameron Varga, RHP, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, Ohio
16. Cleveland Indians: Gregory Deichmann, SS, Brother Martin HS, Louisiana
Gregory Deichman probably will wind up as a third baseman. He has the body and arm for it. He also has the power in his bat to earn that starting spot.
17. Colorado Rockies: Nick Gordon, SS/RHP, Olympia HS, Florida
Nick Gordon is a good enough athlete that it is hard to project his position, but his talent is undeniable. He is fast and a smooth fielder with a solid arm and good pop in his bat.
18. San Francisco Giants: Daniel Gossett, RHP, Clemson
After shocking most with their selection of Christian Arroyo in the 2013 first round, the Giants could use a safe pick.
Daniel Gossett is that pick. He might not ever be dominant, but he should be able to make a quick trip through the minors and be a competent starter.
19. Tampa Bay Rays: Brady Aiken, LHP, Cathedral Catholic HS, California
The Rays like taking young pitching prospects and stocking their system with arms. Brady Aiken has a very developed breaking ball and good movement on his upper 80s fastball.
20. Detroit Tigers: Hawtin Buchanan, RHP, Mississippi
Hawtin Buchanan is raw, but he is a powerful pitcher standing at 6'9" and 250 pounds. He is a bit of a gamble, but worth the risk for the Tigers.
21. Baltimore Orioles: Gareth Morgan, OF, North Toronto Collegiate SS, Ontario
The Orioles went with a high school arm with Hunter Harvey in this year's first round. They'll return to the high school ranks next year to draft the power bat of Gareth Morgan.
22. Arizona Diamondbacks: Aaron Nola, RHP, LSU
Leading the powerhouse LSU Tigers, Aaron Nola is getting the kind of college experience that will help make his stay in the minors a short one.
23. Pittsburgh Pirates: Carson Sands, RHP, North Florida Christian HS, Florida
The Pirates took high school catcher Reese McGuire in the first round this year. Next year, they will find someone for him to move through the minors with.
Carson Sands is bringing low 90s heat with good movement.
24. New York Yankees: Stone Garrett, OF, George Ranch HS, Texas
Stone Garrett is an outstanding athlete with a live bat. He has a huge ceiling, and a nice piece for the Yankees as they attempt to restock their system.
25. Oakland Athletics: Ryan Castellani, RHP, Brophy Prep, Arizona
Having moved more towards high school prospects from college ones, the A's will grab Ryan Castellani. He stands at 6'4" and has a smooth delivery with low 90s heat.
26. Cincinnati Reds: Alex Blandino, 3B, Stanford
Alex Blandino has a solid frame and good power. The Reds need an upgrade at third, and Blandino could make a quick trip through the minors.
27. Boston Red Sox: Patrick Connaughton, RHP, Notre Dame
Patrick Connaughton plays basketball and baseball at Notre Dame, but it is as a pitcher where his future is the brightest. The Red Sox must continue to add arms.
28. Texas Rangers: Justin Bellinger, 1B, St Sebastians HS, Massachusetts
Justin Bellinger is 6'5", 237 pounds and he has room to add bulk. He has raw power and the potential to be a middle-of-the-lineup hitter.
29. Atlanta Braves: Hunter Cole, OF, Georgia
Hunter Cole made starts at each outfield position for Georgia while starting all 53 games. He hit .303 with four home runs and 33 RBI.
He would have the potential to be the Braves long-term option in left.
30. St. Louis Cardinals: Chandler Shepherd, RHP, Kentucky
I don't think the Cardinals will ever get tired of drafting pitchers. Chandler Shepherd already has three quality pitches and the ability to work deep into games.
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