2014 MLB Mock Draft: Fresh First-Round Projections to Start the New Year

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2014 MLB Mock Draft: Fresh First-Round Projections to Start the New Year
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

A brand new year brings with it great expectations. Never is that more evident than when talking about Major League Baseball's annual draft, which provides fans of every team with hope for the future. 

Unlike the last two drafts, which did feature a lot of great talent at the top but lacked depth, the 2014 class is shaping up to be very strong. It is led by a pair of teammates from North Carolina State, left-handed pitcher Carlos Rodon and shortstop Trea Turner. 

Rodon, in particular, will be the man to watch this spring. He's got all the pressure in the world on his left arm, entering the year as the No. 1 player available. Given the high level of performance he has shown the last two years, combined with top-of-the-rotation stuff, the Wolfpack ace doesn't seem likely to buckle under the pressure. 

The high school class is also loaded with talent, though the position players will have to answer many questions about their ability to perform in games. Raw tools are great, but the results have to show for teams to take you in the first round. 

Keep in mind that six months away from the draft, our first mock of the new year is more of a snapshot look at where talent stands as the season gets ready to start. Things will change, players will rise and fall, so don't get too hung up on who your team picks. Pay closer attention to the scouting reports and what these players need to work on. 

Also, free agents like Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana, Nelson Cruz, Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales all have draft compensation attached to them, so if they sign with new teams, the draft order will change as signing clubs forfeit their first-round selections. 

Note: Draft order courtesy of MLB.com. College stats courtesy of NCAA.com.

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