2017 MLB Mock Draft: Breaking Down Top Prospects and Predictions

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJune 8, 2017

FILE - In this June 12, 2016, file photo, Louisville's Brendan McKay (38) rounds the bases following a solo home run during the fourth inning of an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional game against UC Santa Barbara, in Louisville Ky.  The phrase “total package,” as applied to a baseball player or any other athlete, is often thrown around too casually. But there really is no other way to describe Louisville’s Brendan McKay.(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)
Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press

It's draft season, baby. While the NHL and NBA editions are later this month, the MLB draft is just just days away.

Below, we'll break down my mock draft and take a closer look at some of the top prospects.

                  

Mock Draft

  1. Minnesota Twins: Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt
  2. Cincinnati Reds: Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS (CA)
  3. San Diego Padres: MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville HS (NC)
  4. Tampa Bay Rays: Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, Louisville
  5. Atlanta Braves: Royce Lewis, SS/OF, JSerra Catholic HS (CA)
  6. Oakland Athletics: J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, North Carolina
  7. Arizona Diamondbacks: Pavin Smith, 1B, Virginia
  8. Philadelphia Phillies: Adam Haseley, OF, Virginia
  9. Milwaukee Brewers: Jordon Adell, OF, Ballard HS (KY)
  10. Los Angeles Angels: Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt
  11. Chicago White Sox: Austin Beck, OF, North Davidson HS (NC)
  12. Pittsburgh Pirates: Shane Baz, RHP, Concordia Lutheran HS (TX)
  13. Miami Marlins: Trevor Rogers, LHP, Carlsbad HS (NM)
  14. Kansas City Royals: D.L. Hall, LHP, Valdosta HS (GA)
  15. Houston Astros: David Peterson, LHP, Oregon
  16. New York Yankees: Nick Pratto, 1B, Huntington Beach HS (CA)
  17. Seattle Mariners: Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida
  18. Detroit Tigers: Tanner Houck, RHP, Missouri
  19. San Francisco Giants: Evan White, 1B, Kentucky
  20. New York Mets: Logan Warmoth, SS, North Carolina
  21. Baltimore Orioles: Griffin Canning, RHP, UCLA
  22. Toronto Blue Jays: Sam Carlson, RHP, Burnsville HS (MN)
  23. Los Angeles Dodgers: Bubba Thompson, OF, McGill-Toolen HS (AL)
  24. Boston Red Sox: Keston Hiura, OF/2B, UC Irvine
  25. Washington Nationals: Seth Romero, LHP
  26. Texas Rangers; Nate Pearson, RHP, Central Florida
  27. Chicago Cubs: Nick Allen, SS, Parker HS (CA)
  28. Toronto Blue Jays: Alex Lange, RHP, Louisiana State
  29. Texas Rangers: Jake Burger, 3B, Missouri State
  30. Chicago Cubs: Luis Gonzalez, CF, New Mexico

              

Analysis

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

There's rarely consensus in MLB draft boards, even at the very top, but Vanderbilt pitcher Kyle Wright seems like the safest bet to be the leading overall pick this year by the Minnesota Twins.

As ESPN Insider Keith Law wrote on June 1: "I've heard that the Twins are in on at least four players at No. 1, including Brendan McKay (as a bat or a two-way guy but not just as a pitcher), MacKenzie Gore and Hunter Greene, but the current betting in the industry is that they will take Wright as the prospect with the best combination of floor and ceiling."

Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com added: "The Twins continue to look at a number of candidates, with Wright seeming to be the front-runner among those handicapping from behind. Greene, Brendan McKay, Royce Lewis, Gore and Pavin Smith are all still in the conversation."

Meanwhile, Bleacher Report's Joel Reuter provided a scouting report on Wright:

"He's a standout collegiate performer with an advanced four-pitch mix, easy mechanics and remaining projectability in a 6'4" frame that has already tacked on 40 pounds of muscle since he walked on campus at Vanderbilt. His fastball now tops out at 97 and he backs it with a curveball that keeps lefties off balance, a hard slider that serves as his strikeout pitch against righties and a passable changeup."

Interestingly, however, Wright isn't the top player on MLB.com's Top 100. That distinction belongs to high school pitcher Hunter Greene, who has electric stuff which includes a fastball that can touch 100 mph, though he often sits more in the 95-97 mph range.

With a strong slider and changeup as well, Greene has an impressive repertoire for a high-schooler.

There's an argument to be made for Greene having more upside than Wright, though, of course, Wright is the more proven commodity. It's a good choice to have, and the Twins can't really go wrong. In turn, neither can the Cincinnati Reds.

And Wright isn't even the second prospect on MLB.com's big board. Rather, Brendan McKay comes in at No. 2, and if teams knew whether he'd be a better pitcher or first baseman at the next level, he might be the No. 1 pick.

That said, the fact he's a top prospect at two positions makes him feel like a particularly safe choice. Surely the Tampa Bay Rays would be thrilled if he was available at No. 4.

It's a good year to have a top-five pick, as players like MacKenzie Gore and Royce Lewis are considered top prospects as well. The main question surrounding the latter seems to be whether he can stick at shortstop, but the alternative—moving him to center field—doesn't hurt his future value much.

It's possible a few players could dip in or out of the top five. But don't be surprised if Wright, Greene, Gore, McKay and Lewis are the first five players off the board in some order.