2017 MLB Mock Draft: 1st-Round Predictions for Most Coveted Baseball Prospects

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 12, 2017

LOUISVILLE, KY - JUNE 09: Brendan McKay looks on against the Kentucky Wildcats during the 2017 NCAA Division I Men's Baseball Super Regional at Jim Patterson Stadium on June 9, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The 2017 MLB draft is just hours away from kicking off, with the Minnesota Twins on the clock and likely preparing to take what they hope will be their rotation cornerstone of the future.

Vanderbilt pitcher Kyle Wright had seemingly become something of the consensus expectation to go No. 1 overall, but nothing is ever for certain in these situations. Louisville do-everything star Brendan McKay has a real shot at going No. 1 should the team feel he's more signable. 

Wright could become the second Vanderbilt player in three years to go with the top pick and the school's first pitcher to be taken with the top pick since David Price in 2007. 

Here is a look at how the entire first round may wind up playing out. 

     

Mock Draft

1. Minnesota Twins: Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt

2. Cincinnati Reds: Hunter Greene, RHP/SS, Notre Dame HS

3. San Diego Padres: Brendan McKay, 1B/LHP, Louisville

4. Tampa Bay Rays: MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville HS

5. Atlanta Braves: Royce Lewis, SS/OF, JSerra Catholic HS

6. Oakland Athletics: Austin Beck, OF, North Davidson HS

7. Arizona Diamondbacks: Adam Haseley, OF, Virginia

8. Philadelphia Phillies: Pavin Smith, 1B, Virginia

9. Milwaukee Brewers: Jordon Adell, OF, Ballard HS

10. Los Angeles Angels: J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, North Carolina

11. Chicago White Sox: Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt

12. Pittsburgh Pirates: Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida

13. Miami Marlins: D.L. Hall, LHP, Valdosta HS

14. Kansas City Royals: Trevor Rogers, LHP, Carlsbad HS

15. Houston Astros: Evan White, 1B/OF, Kentucky

16. New York Yankees: Griffin Canning, RHP, UCLA

17. Seattle Mariners: Jake Burger, 3B, Missouri State

18. Detroit Tigers: Shane Baz, RHP, Concordia Lutheran HS

19. San Francisco Giants: Logan Warmoth, SS, North Carolina

20. New York Mets: David Peterson, LHP, Oregon

21. Baltimore Orioles: Nick Pratto, 1B, Huntington Beach HS

22. Toronto Blue Jays: Tanner Houck, RHP, Missouri

23. Los Angeles Dodgers: Bubba Thompson, OF, McGill-Toolen HS

24. Boston Red Sox: Nate Pearson, RHP, College of Central Florida

25. Washington Nationals: Seth Romero, LHP

26. Texas Rangers: Alex Lange, RHP, LSU

27. Chicago Cubs: Keston Hiura, 2B/OF, UC Irvine

28. Toronto Blue Jays: Stuart Fairchild, OF, Wake Forest

29. Texas Rangers: Brian Miller, OF, North Carolina

30. Chicago Cubs: Nick Allen, SS, Parker HS

31. Tampa Bay Rays: Matt Sauer, RHP,  Righetti HS

32. Cincinnati Reds: Gavin Sheets, 1B, Wake Forest

33. Oakland Athletics: Tanner Burns, RHP, Decatur HS

34. Milwaukee Brewers: Tristen Lutz, Martin HS 

35. Minnesota Twins: Heliot Ramos, OF, Leadership Christian Academy

36. Miami Marlins: Kevin Smith, SS, Maryland

     

Picks of Note

1. Minnesota Twins: Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt

If the Twins are still deciding between Wright and McKay, it's probably prudent that we highlight what makes him such a tantalizing prospect. The righty is 5-5 with a 2.98 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 15 starts, striking out 113 batters in 96.2 innings.

Minnesota is likely attracted to Wright's relative safeness. Barring injury, Wright has the stuff to make a relatively fast trek up to the majors and is the most complete pitcher in the class. His fastball sits comfortably in the mid-90s, a stellar curve that he uses as his favorite out pitch and a slider that has real potential to sneak up on left-handed batters.

Wright has also developed a changeup he used to his advantage in his most recent start against Clemson.

"I've gotten better and better each week with it," Wright said, per Todd Shanesy of GoUpstate.com. "It can take over games because you can't see it. I've gotten more confidence with it each time I’m out there. It's a pitch I work on a lot throughout the week and bring to games on the weekends."

There really isn't much to quibble with here. If Wright's improved command from the second half of the season sticks, he's got all the makings of a good MLB starter.

     

2. Cincinnati Reds: Hunter Greene, RHP/SS, Notre Dame High School

Greene has the highest ceiling in this class. He's a reasonable pick here at No. 2 at either of his positions, though players who can touch triple digits are not often left at shortstop.

The Reds could allow Greene to stick at shortstop for the rest of the summer before trying to build his arm talent into more of a long-term bet on the mound. Greene has mostly subsisted on the high school level with his fastball and a couple of breaking pitches (curve and changeup) that will need some work to become elite secondary pitches.

Still, Greene has enough talent to be the first right-handed pitcher to ever go No. 1 overall out of high school. He's that talented.

(Also: If it doesn't work out, he can easily move to the infield and become a strong prospect.)

     

3. San Diego Padres: Brendan McKay, 1B/LHP, Louisville

Another dual-position player, McKay has an even harder decision than Greene choosing his long-term path. The Louisville product is 9-3 with a 2.31 ERA and 0.97 WHIP, fanning 131 batters in 97.1 innings. He's added 17 home runs and 56 runs batted in with a .356/.476/.683 slash line at first base and has been perhaps college baseball's most valuable player.

"It is hard," McKay said, per Steve Jones of the Courier-Journal, "but if you could figure out a way to manage it, (a two-way player) could help a lot. ... As long as I can do it, I want to try to do it. When it comes to the point when somebody says, 'Hey, it's got to be one way or the other,' then at that point, you'll make that choice."

McKay boasts a solid fastball that sits in the low 90s, but it's his curveball that's been his calling card as a pitcher. It's already a plus pitch that will only get better if he focuses on being on the mound full time.

His fielding likely makes him a first base-only prospect in the field, but he's added a ton of pop to his bat in 2017. After hitting only 10 homers in his first two collegiate seasons, McKay has become a middle-of-the-order powerhouse for Louisville. 

The hesitance about where to slot McKay shouldn't have any hindrance on his draft stock. He should get real consideration by Minnesota at No. 1 and would probably be a 50-50 toss-up with Greene at No. 2. 

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