ANDREW SHURTLEFF/Associated Press
28. Kansas City Royals (Compensation for loss of free agent Ervin Santana)
The Pick: Kodi Medeiros, LHP, Waiakea HS (Hawaii)
Medeiros to the Royals at No. 28 has been a popular pick within the industry for a while now, and the organization only furthered the belief that it will grab the Hawaiian left-hander by inviting him for a predraft visit on Monday. If he doesn’t make it to them, the Royals could target other high-upside high school prospects such as Michael Gettys, Jacob Gatewood, Monte Harrison and Spencer Adams.
29. Cincinnati Reds (Compensation for loss of free agent Shin-Soo Choo)
The Pick: Jacob Gatewood, SS/3B, Clovis HS (Calif.)
The void at shortstop in the Reds system isn’t going to solve itself, and while they traditionally have targeted power arms and college bats, I could see them deviating from that trend this year to go all-in on a player such as Jacob Gatewood. The California prep isn’t a lock to stay at shortstop, and he’ll likely be a work in progress at the dish for several years, but his enormous upside should at least warrant consideration at this slot.
30. Texas Rangers (Compensation for loss of free agent Nelson Cruz)
The Pick: Michael Gettys, OF, Gainesville HS (Ga.)
With pick No. 30 in the draft, the Rangers are once again in a position to grab an athletic, high-risk/reward prospect from the prep ranks. They’ll have to wait to see who’s still on the board at this point, but they could have several intriguing options in Gettys—who arguably has the highest ceiling in the class—as well as Jacob Gatewood and Ti’Quan Forbes.
31. Cleveland Indians (Compensation for loss of free agent Ubaldo Jimenez)
The Pick: Casey Gillaspie, 1B, Wichita State
If the Indians go for upside at No. 21—as they absolutely should—the switch-hitting Gillaspie would be a solid high-floor play at No. 31, given the lack of impact corner bats in their system. A.J. Reed could also be an option at this slot, and the same goes for Virginia standouts Derek Fisher and Mike Papi.
32. Atlanta Braves (Compensation for loss of free agent Brian McCann)
The Pick: Spencer Adams, RHP, White County HS (Ga.)
The Braves are known for targeting high-upside pitchers from the Southeast, and this year should be no different. The only question is who will still be available when they make their first selection at No. 32. Adams is a best-case scenario for them here, with Foster Griffin, Cameron Varga and Michael Kopech representing next-in-line options if he’s already off the board.
33. Boston Red Sox (Compensation for loss of free agent Jacoby Ellsbury)
The Pick: Derek Fisher, OF, Virginia
If the Red Sox select a pitcher with their first pick as I predict, then they should be able to grab one of the more advanced college hitters still on board, with Derek Fisher, Casey Gillaspie, Mike Papi and A.J. Reed representing potential options.
34. St. Louis Cardinals (Compensation for loss of free agent Carlos Beltran)
The Pick: Foster Griffin, LHP, First Academy HS (Fla.)
With four of the first 71 picks in the draft, the Cardinals will once again have the opportunity to be creative with their spending despite having to draft at the end of the first round. As has been the case in previous years, the organization will likely target a mixture of college and prep prospects with its early picks but will have to wait and see how the entire first round plays out before employing a specific strategy.
If the left-hander Griffin is unavailable, I could see the Cardinals targeting prep right-handers Spencer Adams or Cameron Varga with this pick.