2014 MLB Mock Draft: Predicting the Top 10 Picks of Day 2
While the first day of the MLB draft generally garners the bulk of the publicity, there is still plenty of talent to be had from Rounds 3 to 40.
The second day of the draft will kick off with the third round, starting at pick No. 75, and while the "can't miss" prospects may be gone, there has been plenty of talent plucked from the third round over the years.
A total of five Hall of Famers have been taken in the third round, including Bert Blyleven (1969), Dennis Eckersley (1972), Gary Carter (1972), Eddie Murray (1973) and Tony Gwynn (1981).
Among other retired players, David Cone, Jimmy Key, Ray Lankford, Marquis Grissom, Tim Salmon and John Olerud were also selected in the third round of their respective classes.
Looking at the active field of players, A.J. Pierzynski, Bronson Arroyo, Justin Morneau, Grady Sizemore, Curtis Granderson, Adam Lind, Ian Desmond, Brett Gardner, Jonathan Lucroy, Craig Kimbrel, Kyle Seager, Addison Reed and Tony Cingrani all saw their names called in Round 3.
With all that said, here are my projections for who could be taken with the first 10 picks of Day 2 (selections 75-84). Could they follow in the footsteps of those aforementioned players?
75. Houston Astros: RHP Chris Oliver, Arkansas
1. LHP Brady Aiken, Cathedral Catholic HS (Calif.)
37. OF Derek Fisher, Virginia
42. 1B A.J. Reed, Kentucky
The Pick: RHP Chris Oliver, Arkansas
There are questions about whether Chris Oliver can remain a starter as a pro, as his curveball shows flashes but is inconsistent, and his changeup is still a work in progress. However, he can run his fastball into the mid-90s consistently, and he has a projectable 6'4" frame with room to fill out.
He was 9-4 with a 2.51 ERA as one of the weekend starters for Arkansas this year, and after Houston took back-to-back college bats Thursday, Oliver would give a deep Astros system another potentially plus arm.
76. Miami Marlins: RHP Brett Graves, Missouri
2. RHP Tyler Kolek, Shepherd HS (Texas)
36. C Blake Anderson, West Lauderdale HS (Miss.)
43. SS Justin Twine, Falls City HS (Texas)
The Pick: RHP Brett Graves, Missouri
Baseball America rank: 61
MLB.com rank: 80
After drafting three straight high school prospects on the first day of the draft, the Miami Marlins would be receiving a slightly more polished college arm here, albeit one that is still a work in progress as far as his arsenal is concerned.
His fastball grades out as plus already, as he commands it well and can dial it up to 97. However, his slider is inconsistent, and his changeup is still a work in progress. He's undersized at 6'1" and 190 pounds, and that is likely the biggest reason he's still on the board, but his ceiling is high enough that he's worth the risk here.
77. Chicago White Sox: RHP Michael Cederoth, San Diego State
3. LHP Carlos Rodon, North Carolina State
44. RHP Spencer Adams, White County HS (Ga.)
The Pick: RHP Michael Cederoth, San Diego State
Baseball America rank: 45
MLB.com rank: 59
The run on college arms continues with Michael Cederoth, but the big 6'6" right-hander has worked as a reliever this spring, where he has thrived thanks to one of college baseball's best fastballs.
He regularly works in the mid-90s but can dial it up to the triple digits, and while his secondary stuff is still developing, his slider is a potential out pitch. The White Sox need quality arms wherever they can get them. After saving 20 games with a 2.28 ERA and 9.6 K/9 at San Diego State, Cederoth would be a welcome addition to their organization.
78. Chicago Cubs: C Jakson Reetz, Norris High School (Neb.)
4. C/OF Kyle Schwarber, Indiana
45. RHP Jake Stinnett, Maryland
The Pick: C Jakson Reetz
Baseball America rank: 62
MLB.com rank: 40
Yes, the Chicago Cubs need pitching. And yes, they already drafted a potential catching prospect in Kyle Schwarber with the No. 4 pick in the draft. However, there's a good chance Schwarber winds up at first base or in the outfield, and this is an organization that really has nothing behind Welington Castillo at the catcher position.
Jakson Reetz made a name for himself by winning MVP honors at the Perfect Game All-American Classic, and unlike Schwarber, there is no question about whether he'll be a catcher over the long term. He brings good athleticism to the position and has all the tools to turn into a plus defensive catcher, and he should also develop into a solid hitter due to a compact, line-drive swing that could generate some power.
79. Minnesota Twins: LHP Carson Sands, North Florida Christian HS (Fla.)
5. SS Nick Gordon, Olympia HS (Fla.)
46. RHP Nick Burdi, Louisville
The Pick: LHP Carson Sands, North Florida Christian HS (Fla.)
Baseball America rank: 53
MLB.com rank: 53
The best prep left-hander still on the board, Carson Sands went 11-1 with a 0.58 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 60.2 innings at North Florida Christian High School this spring, pitching alongside another Day 2 prospect in outfielder Matt Railey.
He saw an uptick in his velocity as a senior, as he now sits in the low 90s consistently, and his stock climbed as a result. He complements that fastball with a good 12-6 curve and a decent changeup. With a projectable 6'3" and 205-pound frame, there's a lot to like about Sands for a Twins organization that needs all the help it can get on the mound.
He also seems to have that 'bulldog' mentality that teams love, as his coach Mike Posey discussed with Nick Twardus of the Tallahassee Democrat following a big win back in May:
"Carson's good. In pressure situations, Carson pitches his best," Posey added.
80. Seattle Mariners: LHP Mac Marshall, Parkview HS (Ga.)
6. OF Alex Jackson, Rancho Bernardo HS (Calif.)
74. OF Gareth Morgan, Blyth Academy (Ontario)
The Pick: LHP Mac Marshall, Parkview HS (Ga.)
Baseball America rank: 57
MLB.com rank: 66
Another prep left-hander with a solid three-pitch repertoire, Mac Marshall features a fastball that sits 90-92 but can reach 94. He complements it with an above-average changeup and a curveball that also has a chance to be an above-average pitch.
He was 9-0 with a 0.58 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 60.2 innings this spring for Parkview High School after starring for Team USA in the under-18 tournament in Taiwan last summer. He is committed to play at LSU next year.
81. Philadelphia Phillies: RF Dylan Davis, Oregon State
7. RHP Aaron Nola, LSU
47. LHP Matt Imhof, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo
The Pick: RF Dylan Davis, Oregon State
Baseball America rank: 93
MLB.com rank: 74
The Phillies took college arms with their first two picks, and now they will turn their attention to addressing their aging offense. At this point, their farm system is thin enough that drafting the best available player would probably be the best strategy, and adding perhaps the top college bat still on the board in Dylan Davis makes sense.
Davis led the Cape Cod League with a .567 slugging percentage last summer, and he has the power bat and strong throwing arm to be a big league right fielder. His numbers were down a bit this spring at Oregon State, but he still hit .290/.348/.446 with 21 extra-base hits. He has also been clocked at 97 off the mound, though he's rarely been used as a pitcher.
82. Colorado Rockies: RHP J.B. Bukauskas, Stone Bridge HS (Va.)
8. LHP Kyle Freeland, Evansville
35. 2B Forrest Wall, Orangewood Christian HS (Fla.)
48. RHP Ryan Castellani, Brophy Jesuit Prep School (Ariz.)
The Pick: RHP J.B. Bukauskas, Stone Bridge HS (Va.)
Baseball America rank: 33
MLB.com rank: 38
Arguably the biggest signability risk in the early rounds of this year's draft, J.B. Bukauskas asked not to be included in the 2014 draft, saying he will honor his commitment to North Carolina, according to Jim Callis of MLB.com.
Outfielder Josh Bell made a similar statement back in 2012 before being selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates and signing for $5 million, but with the new bonus pool system, teams can't simply throw money at Bukauskas to get him to sign.
Still, after reaching for their third Day 1 pick in Ryan Castellani (No. 98 prospect in BA rankings), they could offer Bukauskas above slot.
He's undersized at 5'11", but so is Craig Kimbrel. Bukauskas is also similar to Kimbrel in that he has a similar repertoire, with a fastball that can touch triple digits and a potential plus slider. He's worth the risk here for a Rockies team that always needs quality pitching.
83. Toronto Blue Jays: SS Milton Ramos, American Heritage School (Fla.)
9. RHP Jeff Hoffman, East Carolina
11. C Max Pentecost, Kennesaw State
49. RHP Sean Reid-Foley, Sandalwood HS (Fla.)
The Pick: SS Milton Ramos, American Heritage School (Fla.)
Baseball America rank: 48
MLB.com rank: 46
Highly regarded high school shortstops don't often slip in the draft, but Milton Ramos has done just that after looking like a safe bet to be picked at some point on Day 1.
It's his glove that had him so high on some boards, as many viewed him as the best defensive shortstop of the class. His plus speed gives him great range to go along with his glove skills; the question is whether or not he will hit.
The numbers were certainly there at the high school level, as he hit .424/.500/.727 with four home runs and 11 steals, though he likely won't hit for much power even if his hit tool does come around.
84. New York Mets: RHP Zech Lemond, Rice
10. OF Michael Conforto, Oregon State
The Pick: RHP Zech Lemond, Rice
Baseball America rank: 78
MLB.com rank: 58
Rice has a history of producing closers who are drafted high, including David Aardsma and Tony Cingrani, and Zech Lemond bested them all with a school-record 14 saves as a sophomore. He opened the 2014 season as the team's closer once again but moved to the rotation midseason, and he was injured as a result of making the transition.
With a fastball that sits 92-96, a terrific 12-6 curveball and a solid changeup, he has the repertoire to start and will likely begin his pro career in that role. A full-time move to the bullpen could put him on the fast track to the big leagues, though, and the Mets need all the relief help they can get at this point.