2014 MLB Mock Draft: Updating the Latest Predictions from Around the Web

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2014

2014 MLB Mock Draft: Updating the Latest Predictions from Around the Web

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    Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press

    With MLB's 2014 first-year player draft just over 24 hours away, now is as good a time as any to take a final lap around the web and take a look at how those in the know see things playing out.

    As we did two weeks ago in our initial version of this mock draft clearinghouse, we'll compare the mock drafts that some of the best in the business have compiled and see if we can come to a consensus on who is going to wind up where.

    Our panel, which was previously five deep, has been trimmed to four: Baseball America's John Manuel and ESPN's Keith Law are the holdovers, joined by newcomers Jim Callis of MLB.com and B/R's Adam Wells.

    Just like before, I'll cast the deciding vote in the event of a tie.

    Was there a change at the top of the draft? How many newcomers knocked their counterparts out of the first round? Is there a chance that we'll see any of these players in the big leagues before the 2014 season comes to an end?

    The answers to all those questions and more can be yours, if you'll just click on the orange button below (or the orange arrows above).

     

    *Only 26 teams have first-round picks. The Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers all forfeited their first-round selections by signing free agents with draft-pick compensation attached to them over the winter.

    *Additionally, the Toronto Blue Jays have two first-round picks, the second coming due to the team's inability to sign last year's first-round selection, Phil Bickford.

    *All ESPN links require an Insider subscription. Most Baseball America links require a subscription as well.

1. Houston Astros

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    Projected Picks

    LHP Brady Aiken, Cathedral Catholic (Calif.) HS (4): Callis, Law, Manuel, Wells

     

    Previous Pick: LHP Carlos Rodon, North Carolina State

     

    San Diego high-schooler Brady Aiken has surpassed North Carolina State's Carlos Rodon as the consensus top talent in the draft, so it makes sense that he's replaced Rodon as the first overall pick.

    Aiken, who has drawn comparisons to Philadelphia's Cole Hamels and Los Angeles' Clayton Kershaw (video above), has a trio of pitches that could all become plus offerings and excellent command of his arsenal.

    Aside from his talent, ESPN's Keith Law notes that the chance to work out an under-slot deal with Aiken could be a factor in Houston's thinking as well.

     

2. Miami Marlins

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    Projected Picks

    LHP Carlos Rodon, North Carolina State (2): Callis, Law

    C/OF Alex Jackson, Rancho Bernardo (California) HS (2): Manuel, Wells

     

    Previous Pick: Jackson

     

    Miami's farm system has a plethora of young pitching but lacks impact bats, which would make Alex Jackson a logical selection here. But both CBS Sports' Jon Heyman and ESPN's Keith Law believe that demographics may play a major role in owner Jeffrey Loria's final decision. Per Law:

    "I've heard this comes from the owner: If the Cuban-American lefty (Rodon) is there at No. 2, take him, and we'll have a pair of Cuban aces at the top of our rotation."

    It makes sense from a marketing angle, for sure, but whether it's the best baseball decision isn't so clear.

    That's not to take anything away from Rodon, arguably the best pitcher in this college class. He's got some wear-and-tear on his arm, which is a concern, but as B/R's Adam Wells notes, "He's a left-hander who can touch 97 with one of the best sliders in the draft."

    Pitchers like that are tough to pass on, even for a player (Jackson) who has the best bat speed of any high school player.

3. Chicago White Sox

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    Projected Picks

    RHP Tyler Kolek, Shepherd (Texas) HS (3): Callis, Law, Manuel

    LHP Carlos Rodon, North Carolina State (1): Wells

     

    Previous Pick: LHP Brady Aiken, Cathedral Catholic (Calif.) HS

     

    Built like a linebacker, 6'5", 250-pound Tyler Kolek is perhaps the most intriguing of the top-rated prospects available.

    He's got the best fastball in the draft, which sits in the mid-90s and hits triple-digits routinely, but Kolek's command—and secondary pitches—all need significant work. Still, his upside is significant, and he'd immediately become the best pitching prospect in Chicago's system.

    MLB.com's Jim Callis says that NC State southpaw Carlos Rodon is the team's first choice and that they'd take him if he fell, while ESPN's Keith Law reports that the White Sox prefer Kolek to Brady Aiken and would take the impressive Texan over his Californian counterpart if both are still available.

     

4. Chicago Cubs

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    Projected Picks

    OF Michael Conforto, Oregon State University (2): Callis, Law

    RHP Tyler Kolek, Shepherd (Texas) HS (1): Wells

    LHP Carlos Rodon, North Carolina State (1): Manuel

     

    Previous Pick: Kolek

     

    Taking an outfielder over a pitcher may seem like an odd choice for the Cubs, whose farm system lacks young arms with upside.  But as usual, there's a method to the madness of GM Jed Hoyer and team president Theo Epstein.

    Per MLB.com's Jim Callis:

    Chicago wants pitching and covets Rodon, who could land here if Jackson goes to Houston or Miami. But if Rodon goes in the top three, the Cubs may not like any of the arms enough to take them this high...There's a growing sense that they'll save money to go after pitching later by cutting a deal with Conforto or Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost. Chicago could take (high-school infielder Nick) Gordon, but it doesn't appear to be in on (high-school catcher/outfielder Alex) Jackson.

    Conforto, whom B/R's Mike Rosenbaum compares to Minnesota left fielder Josh Willingham in the video above, isn't the sexiest pick that Chicago could make. But he's perhaps the sensible choice, as noted by ESPN's Keith Law (subscription required):

    "Conforto is the Aaron Nola of college position players this yearsafe, unexciting, but with a lot of probability of playing in the big leagues for a long time."

    Given the current state of the Cubs outfield (and with two exciting prospects in center fielder Albert Almora and right fielder Jorge Soler), a stable, dependable left fielder may be the perfect addition.

5. Minnesota Twins

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    Projected Picks

    IF Nick Gordon, Olympia (Florida) HS (4): Callis, Law, Manuel, Wells

     

    Previous Pick: Gordon

     

    With the fifth pick in the 2014 draft, the Minnesota Twins select...the same guy they were going to select before, Nick Gordon.

    It's the first time that we've not had a change between mock drafts, which gives us a pretty good indication that if Gordon isn't the Twins' pick, someone did a really good job of spreading misinformation.

    The son of former All-Star pitcher Tom "Flash" Gordon and the younger brother of Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon, Nick is considered to be the best shortstop in the draft by many, including B/R's Adam Wells:

    He's the best pure shortstop prospect in this draft with plus range to both sides, elite arm strength and plus speed.

    Despite being just 6'1" and 170 pounds, Gordon has surprising power in his swing with excellent bat speed and wrist strength. He's got a good eye at the plate and will hit plenty to become a star at the MLB level.

    If Gordon pans out, the Twins could have one of the best left-sides of the infield down the road with him at shortstop and Miguel Sano at third base.

6. Seattle Mariners

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    Projected Picks

    C/OF Alex Jackson, Rancho Bernardo (Calif.) HS (2): Callis, Law

    LHP Sean Newcomb, University of Hartford (2): Manuel, Wells

     

    Previous Pick: RHP Aaron Nola, LSU

     

    Taking the player many believe to have the best bat in the draft makes sense for a team like Seattle, which continues to search for more offense.

    Jackson could potentially stick behind the plate, but between Mike Zunino's presence and the Mariners' outfield situation, a shift to right field is likely in his future.

    It's hard to pass on a prospect like Hartford southpaw Sean Newcomb, but the team's immediate needs makes breaking this tie relatively easy.

7. Philadelphia Phillies

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    Projected Picks

    RHP Aaron Nola, LSU (4): Callis, Law, Manuel, Wells

     

    Previous Pick: LHP Kyle Freeland, Evansville (Indiana) University

     

    While the name changes, the end result is the same: Philadelphia takes a college pitcher, opting for the starter that ESPN's Keith Law (subscription required) believes could make an impact relatively quickly:

    I've heard they want a college guy who will move fast to help the big league club, which would be Nola, who would be my pick for the first non-reliever from this draft to reach the majors (excluding any contractual side deals).

    Nola's arm angle is funky and raises some concerns, but he commands all of his pitches well and goes after hitters from both sides of the plate.

    Taking a close-to-major league-ready arm makes sense for the Phillies, who will still be trying to contend with their aging core for at least another year or two.

8. Colorado Rockies

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    Projected Picks

    LHP Kyle Freeland, Evansville (Indiana) University (3): Callis, Manuel, Wells

    C/1B Kyle Schwarber, Indiana University (1): Law

     

    Previous Pick: RHP Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt University

     

    Kyle Freeland is another pitcher with terrific stuff but an unorthodox arm angle, something that can scare teams off. That doesn't apply to the Rockies, as Colorado's team doctor performed arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow while Freeland attended Thomas Jefferson HS in Denver. (h/t MLB.com)

    Both MLB.com's Jim Callis and Baseball America's John Manuel say that the Rockies would love to grab Aaron Nola, but Philadelphia beats them to the punch. Still, Freeland, one of the best strikeout artists in the draft, is a terrific consolation prize.

9. Toronto Blue Jays

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    Projected Picks

    RHP Touki Toussaint, Coral Springs (Florida) Christian Academy (2): Law, Wells

    SS Trea Turner, North Carolina State University (2): Callis, Manuel

     

    Previous Pick: Toussaint

     

    Toronto picks at No. 9 and again at No. 11, with the New York Mets picking between them. While Touki Toussaint would be a great choice here, MLB.com's Jim Callis has swayed my tiebreaker vote:

    The same three names come up again and again for Toronto's two picks at Nos. 9 and 11: Hoffman, Turner and Coral Springs (Fla.) Christian Academy right-hander Touki Toussaint. Of that trio, the Mets are most likely to take Turner at No. 10, so he could be the choice here.

    While the Blue Jays are risking the Mets snagging Toussaint next, the chance to snag Turner, the draft's second-best shortstop prospect after Nick Gordon, is one they can't pass up.

10. New York Mets

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    Projected Picks

    OF Michael Conforto, Oregon State University (2): Manuel, Wells

    LHP Sean Newcomb, University of Hartford (2): Callis, Law

     

    Previous Pick: Conforto

     

    According to MLB.com's Jim Callis, the New York Mets are changing their approach to this year's draft:

    After taking high school position players with its previous three first-round selections, New York is tied to college prospects this year. The Mets' top three targets look like (Michael) Conforto, (Sean) Newcomb and (Trea) Turner in some order

    With Conforto and Turner already off the board, that leaves the Mets with Newcomb, the Hartford southpaw that reminds B/R's Mike Rosenbaum of another former Mets pitching prospect—current Oakland starter Scott Kazmir.

     

     

11. Toronto Blue Jays

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    Projected Picks

    RHP Jeff Hoffman, East Carolina University (3): Callis, Law, Manuel

    RHP Grant Holmes, Conway (South Carolina) HS (1): Wells

     

    Previous Pick: Hoffman

     

    Rather than take Touki Toussaint, who has great potential but is still incredibly raw, Toronto takes an injured pitcher that, at one point, was in the conversation as a possibility for the draft's first overall pick, East Carolina's Jeff Hoffman.

    Aside from the talent aspect, Hoffman, who recently went under the knife for Tommy John surgery, could be a strategic choice by the Blue Jays—despite having Scott Boras as an agent—as ESPN's Keith Law opines (subscription required):

    If I were GM Alex Anthopoulos -- humo(u)r me for a moment while I inject my own opinion -- I'd take Hoffman and offer him half of the slot figure, $2,888,300, for this pick.

    Hoffman has no alternative. He's out until roughly this time next year recovering from Tommy John surgery, so he can't go back to school and improve his draft stock because he won't pitch. He still gets seven figures and can rehab with a professional team that's invested in getting him healthy for the long haul, and the Jays get enough to grab at least one more first-round talent, maybe two, with later selections.

     

    *This is a compensation pick for failing to sign 2013 first-round pick Phil Bickford.

12. Milwaukee Brewers

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    Projected Picks

    RHP Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt University (1): Callis

    LHP Kyle Freeland, Evansville (Indiana) University (1): Law

    C Max Pentecost, Kennesaw State University (2): Manuel, Wells

     

    Previous Pick: RHP Luke Weaver, Florida State University

     

    Milwaukee's farm system is in such disarray that the Brewers could go in multiple directions with this pick, perhaps opting for a pitcher who could reach the big leagues faster than catcher Max Pentecost will.

    That said, Pentecost is arguably the best catcher in the draft, one who should hit enough to be a difference-maker at the next level, as B/R's Adam Wells points out: "He's got all the defensive chops to stay behind the plate at the highest level. He projects as an average hitter with a disciplined eye and some power with solid bat speed." 

13. San Diego Padres

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    Projected Picks

    RHP Touki Toussaint, Coral Springs (Florida) Christian Academy (2): Callis, Manuel

    SS Trea Turner, North Carolina State University (2): Law, Wells

     

    Previous Pick: OF Bradley Zimmer, University of San Francisco

     

    While the consensus is that San Diego would like to take a bat with this pick, Trea Turner is already off of the board, and the other bats available may be a bit of a reach at No. 13.

    At only 17 years old, Touki Toussaint is still incredibly raw and isn't going to move quickly through a team's farm system. But he's near the top of San Diego's wish list, according to MLB.com's Jim Callis, and he has perhaps the highest upside of any player still available.

     

     

14. San Francisco Giants

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    Projected Picks

    OF Derek Hill, Elk Grove (California) HS (1): Manuel

    RHP Grant Holmes, Conway (South Carolina) HS (2): Callis, Law

    RHP Sean Reid-Foley, Sandalwood (Florida) HS (1): Wells

     

    Previous Pick: Holmes

     

    For only the third time in the first 14 picks of the draft, we don't have a change of heart by our panel of experts, which keeps South Carolina prep star Grant Holmes heading to B/R's hometown of San Francisco.

    Holmes may not have elite size at 6'2", 190 pounds, but the Giants do as good a job as any club when it comes to developing pitchers and have had success with those considered to be undersized, like Tim Lincecum (5'11", 170 pounds) before. 

15. Los Angeles Angels

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    Projected Picks

    RHP Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt University (1): Law

    C/1B Kyle Schwarber, Indiana University (3): Callis, Manuel, Wells

     

    Previous Pick: Schwarber

     

    After sacrificing their first-round pick in each of the last two drafts to sign high-profile free agents (Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton), the Los Angeles Angels will look to bolster what is one of the weaker farm systems in the game with an experienced college player.

    As B/R's Adam Wells notes, Indiana's Kyle Schwarber isn't going to change the fortunes of a franchise on his own, but he's the kind of prospect that any team would love to have down on the farm.

    Kyle Schwarber isn't exactly a franchise savior, but he'd be as good as any player in the system before taking an at-bat in the minors. He's got the best raw power of any college player in the class with above-average bat speed and a strong approach.

    The Indiana University star isn't going to stay behind the plate in pro ball and will likely end up at first base, but the bat profiles well over there.

    The selection of Schwarber may seem a bit odd, given the presence of Pujols and the team's last first-round pick, C.J. Cron, both first basemen, but Schwarber's bat is potentially too explosive for the Angels to pass on.

16. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Projected Picks

    C Max Pentecost, Kennesaw State University (1): Callis

    OF Monte Harrison, Lee's Summit (Mo.) West HS (1): Law

    OF Bradley Zimmer, University of San Francisco (2): Manuel, Wells

     

    Previous Pick: LHP Brandon Finnegan, TCU


    Two years after his older brother, Kyle, was selected fifth overall by the Kansas City Royals, 6'5" Bradley Zimmer will join him as a top prospect for a major league organization.

    As B/R's Mike Rosenbaum notes in the video above, there are some questions about whether Zimmer's speed will translate to the next level and whether he'll ever develop more than gap power. But he's a super-athletic outfielder with one of the better bats in the college draft class and could move quickly through the minor leagues.

     

17. Kansas City Royals

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    Projected Picks

    RHP Erick Fedde, UNLV (1): Manuel

    LHP Brandon Finnegan, Texas Christian University (1): Law 

    OF Derek Fisher, University of Virginia (1): Wells

    OF Derek Hill, Elk Grove (California) HS (1): Callis

     

    Previous Pick: Fisher

     

    It's taken a while, but we've finally reached the first pick where each of our experts have a completely different take on what a team is going to do.

    ESPN's Keith Law (subscription required) says that Kansas City wants someone—preferably a pitcher—that has the potential to move quickly through the minor leagues. That would seem to limit them to a player from the college ranks.

    A starter in college, Finnegan projects to be a power reliever at the next level given his size (5'11"), excellent control and high-effort delivery. With the potential for two plus pitches, he could develop into a shutdown closer in a short period of time.

18. Washington Nationals

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    Projected Picks

    RHP Erick Fedde, UNLV (1): Law

    SS Jacob Gatewood, Clovis (California) HS (1): Manuel

    1B Casey Gillaspie, Wichita State University (1): Callis

    RHP Jeff Hoffman, East Carolina University (1): Wells

     


    Previous Pick: Fedde

     

    That UNLV ace Erick Fedde is on the shelf after undergoing Tommy John surgery isn't going to scare off the Washington Nationals, who took a high school pitcher with the 16th overall pick in 2013, Lucas Giolito, for whom it was known surgery was needed as well.

    Fedde's not quite as polished as some of the other college arms in the draft, but he has the potential to develop into a solid contributor to a major league rotation. Per B/R's Mike Rosenbaum:

    The 21-year-old works comfortably in the mid-90s with his fastball, and he has a pair of secondary pitches (changeup, curveball) that should receive at least average grades at maturity.

     

19. Cincinnati Reds

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    Projected Picks

    LHP Brandon Finnegan, TCU (1): Callis

    RHP Grant Holmes, Conway (South Carolina) HS (1): Manuel

    OF Derek Hill, Elk Grove (California) HS (1): Wells

    C Max Pentecost, Kennesaw State University (1): Law

     


    Previous Pick: RHP Sean Reid-Foley, Sandalwood (Florida) HS

     

    With three of the four choices by our panel already selected, the Cincinnati Reds wind up with the one player still available, California prep outfielder Derek Hill.

    As ESPN's Keith Law notes (subscription required), Hill's baseball pedigree is strong: 

    Hill's father, Orsino, reached Triple-A and scouts Northern California for the Dodgers, and Darryl Strawberry is his cousin, so his bloodlines are strong. He's also one of the most explosive athletes in this draft class, a plus runner who's already a 65-70 defender in center, and has a simple, balanced swing.

    B/R's Adam Wells, the lone member of the panel who has Hill going to Cincinnati, compares the youngster to a current member of the Reds outfield: "Think of Hill as Billy Hamilton with less speed (because no one runs that fast) and more natural strength to drive the ball into gaps."

20. Tampa Bay Rays

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    Projected Picks

    RHP Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt University (1): Manuel

    1B Casey Gillaspie, Wichita State University (2): Law, Wells

    OF Bradley Zimmer, University of San Francisco (1): Callis



    Projected Pick: Gillaspie

     

    Ranked as the top first-base prospect in this year's draft class by Baseball America, Casey Gillaspie may not be as versatile as his older brother Connor, who can play both corner infield positions, as he's limited to first base as a left-handed thrower and a less-than-elite athlete.

    But he's got an advanced approach when it comes to hitting and has power from both sides of the plate, though it's more pronounced when he's hitting as a lefty.

21. Cleveland Indians

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    Projected Picks

    RHP Erick Fedde, UNLV (1): Callis

    LHP Brandon Finnegan, TCU (1): Manuel

    OF Monte Harrison, Lee's Summit (Mo.) West HS (1): Wells

    RHP Luis Ortiz, Sanger (Calif.) HS (1): Law

     

    Previous Pick: LHP Kodi Medeiros, Waiakea (Hawaii) HS

     

    Perhaps the best pure athlete in this year's draft, Missouri's Monte Harrison is one of the more rawbut intriguingprospects available. Per B/R's Adam Wells:

    The Missouri high school star has a commitment to play wide receiver at Nebraska, so it's not surprising that he has tremendous running speed and covers a ton of ground in center field.

    Harrison will slide down the first round because of questions about his bat. The focus on two sports means he's missed precious at-bats, so his approach and pitch recognition are lacking. He's got bat speed, good hip rotation and wrist strength, though he doesn't make good use of his strong lower half in the swing. There's plus raw power in the bat just waiting to come out with the right development.

    You could certainly make a case for the Indians to take California prep arm Luis Ortiz or one of the college pitchers still on the board, but Harrison's potential upside may be too great for them to pass on here.

22. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Projected Picks

    RHP Spencer Adams, White County (Ga.) HS (1): Wells

    OF Derek Fisher, University of Virginia (1): Law

    RHP Sean Reid-Foley, Sandlewood (Florida) HS (2): Callis, Manuel

     

    Previous Pick: Adams

     

    You don't often think of a prep athlete as being able to move through a team's minor league system quickly, but that's exactly what you get with Florida's Sean Reid-Foley.

    Named as the most major league-ready right-handed high school pitcher in this year's draft by B/R's Mike Rosenbaum, Reid-Foley has impressed scouts with the way he carries himself on the mound.

    Per Baseball America (subscription required):

    Reid-Foley is a natural strike-thrower who pounds the zone and mixes his pitches well, and evaluators lauded his competitiveness. Some scouts don’t like the way his arm works in the back, but he is able to repeat his delivery. At 6-foot-2, 216-pounds, the Florida State signee has a large frame and a strong, durable build made to handle innings.

23. Detroit Tigers

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    Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press

    Projected Picks

    RHP Nick Burdi, University of Louisville (2): Manuel, Wells

    OF Derek Hill, Elk Grove (California) HS (1): Law

    RHP Nick Howard, University of Virginia (1): Callis

     

    Previous Pick: Burdi


    If you're looking for the player in this year's draft who could be the first to reach the major leagues, look no further than Louisville's flame-throwing reliever, Nick Burdi.

    B/R's Adam Wells sees a scenario in which Burdi is wearing a Detroit uniform before the 2014 season ends:

    The Tigers can draft Burdi, sign him right away, give him a month or two in the minors and plug him into their bullpen for the stretch run. They need arms to get outs, with Joe Nathan blowing saves and the team ranking 26th in relievers ERA.

24. Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Projected Picks

    SS Jacob Gatewood, Clovis (Calif.) HS (1): Callis

    OF Monte Harrison, Lee's Summit (Mo.) West HS (1): Manuel

    RHP Luis Ortiz, Sanger (Calif.) HS (1): Wells

    OF Bradley Zimmer, University of San Francisco (1): Law

     

    Previous Pick: Harrison

     

    If there's anything that we've learned over the years about the draft in any sport, it's that it's largely a crap-shoot. The "sure things" are few and far between, and even the most talented players can fall flat on their face against higher levels of competition.

    As ESPN's Keith Law (subscription required) notes, that risk is significant when it comes to prep shortstop Jacob Gatewood:

    An all-or-nothing prospect: Gatewood has huge raw power and very little present feel to hit, but if it clicks, you might have a 30-35 homer third baseman or right fielder who hits in the middle of your lineup. The risk that he never gets out of Class A, however, is real.

    Power—especially from the right side of the plate—is at a premium in baseball these days. Gatewood's potential makes him a worthy gamble for the Pirates to take.

25. Oakland Athletics

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    Projected Picks

    3B Alex Blandino, Stanford University (1): Manuel

    IF Michael Chavis, Sprayberry (Ga.) HS (1): Wells

    SS Ti'Quan Forbes, Columbia (Miss.) HS (1): Law

    OF Monte Harrison, Lee's Summit (Mo.) West HS (1): Callis

     

    Previous Pick: Chavis

     

    One of the better bats in the high school class, Michael Chavis doesn't necessarily have a set position at the next level. Athletic and versatile enough to bounce around the infield and play some corner outfield, the Georgia prep star would make it three consecutive drafts in which Oakland selected a high school position player (SS Addison Russell in 2012, OF Billy McKinney in 2013).

    B/R's Adam Wells sees Chavis as the possible heir-apparent for current Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson:

    He has all the makings of an above-average big league third baseman with arm strength, agility, lateral quickness and footwork.

    Chavis' bat is solid with a short, compact swing that allows him to make a lot of contact. He's not going to hit a lot of balls over the fence, but he has the natural strength and hip rotation to be a 15- to 20-homer player at his peak.

26. Boston Red Sox

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    Projected Picks

    3B Alex Blandino, Stanford University (2): Callis, Law

    RHP Erick Fedde, UNLV (1): Wells

    RHP Luis Ortiz, Sanger (Calif.) HS (1): Manuel

     

    Previous Pick: OF Marcus Wilson, Junipero Serra (California) HS

     

    ESPN's Keith Law (subscription required) says that Boston would like to take a college bat with this pick, and Stanford's Alex Blandino is arguably the best one left available.

    Baseball America (subscription required) believes that Blandino may ultimately land  at second base, though it's possible that he winds up bouncing around the infield:

    Blandino projects more as a fringe-average or average power hitter rather than a true bopper, so a move to second base fits better than third. He’s an average defender with good hands and an average arm, and if his bat doesn’t develop he may be athletic enough to be a utility infielder, playing all three spots.

27. St. Louis Cardinals

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    Projected Picks

    IF Michael Chavis, Sprayberry (Georgia) HS (1): Manuel

    LHP Foster Griffin, The First Academy (Florida) HS (1): Callis

    LHP Justus Sheffield, Tullahoma (Tenn.) HS (1): Law

    RHP Luke Weaver, Florida State University (1): Wells

     

    Previous Pick: Griffin

     

    At 6'5", 195 pounds, Foster Griffin has one of the more projectable frames in the entire draft, with plenty of room to bulk up. His future role on a major league pitching staff, however, isn't quite as predictable.

    Per ESPN (subscription required):

    Mechanically, Griffin is still a work in progress. He has a low-effort delivery, but his front half will open up too early and at times his glove hand will finish towards his knee which leads to him missing spots. With some mechanical refinements and an improved breaking-ball, Griffin has No. 3 starter potential, with swing man or lefty-on-lefty reliever floor.

     

First-Round Recap

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    USA TODAY Sports
    PickTeamPlayerPositionDraft Pos. Change
    1.HOUBrady AikenLHP+2
    2.MIACarlos Rodon LHP-1
    3.CHWTyler Kolek LHP+1
    4.CHCMichael Conforto OF+6
    5.MINNick GordonIFEven
    6.SEAAlex JacksonC/OF-4
    7.PHIAaron NolaRHP-1
    8.COLKyle FreelandLHP-1
    9.TOR Trea TurnerSSNew Addition
    10.NYMSean Newcomb LHPNew Addition
    11.TORJeff HoffmanRHPEven
    12.MILMax PentecostCNew Addition
    13.SD Touki Toussaint RHP-4
    14.SFGrant HolmesRHPEven
    15.LAAKyle Schwarber C/1BEven
    16.ARZBradley Zimmer OF-3
    17.KCBrandon FinneganLHP-1
    18.WASErick Fedde RHPEven
    19.CINDerek HillOFNew Addition
    20.TBCasey Gillaspie 1BEven
    21.CLEMonte HarrisonOF+3
    22.LADSean Reid-FoleyRHP-3
    23.DETNick Burdi RHPEven
    24.PITJacob Gatewood SSNew Addition
    25.OAKMichael Chavis IFEven
    26.BOSAlex Blandino IFNew Addition
    27.STLFoster GriffinLHPEven

     

    Biggest Jump: OF Michael Conforto (up six spots)

    Biggest Drop: C/OF Alex Jackson (down four spots)

     

    Fell out of First Round

    • RHP Spencer Adams, White County (Ga.) HS
    • RHP Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt University
    • OF Derek Fisher, University of Virginia
    • LHP Kodi Medeiros, Waiaka (Hawaii) HS
    • RHP Luke Weaver, Florida State University
    • OF Marcus Wilson, Junipero Serra (Calif.) HS