With the draft less than 36 hours away, College Baseball Nation has completed its final formal mock draft before Sunday’s festivities. As readers will see, there’s still a tremendous amount of uncertainty heading into the draft with a good chance much of the ambiguity will not be cleared up until early Sunday evening.
Please stay tuned to my Twitter feed for the latest real-time updates. Otherwise, enjoy!
1) Pittsburgh Pirates; Marcelo Mayer, SS, Chula Vista, CA (HS)—As of Saturday morning, the Pirates had not made a final decision as to whom they would take, but all signs point to Mayer with HS shortstops Jordan Lawlar and Kahlil Watson as back-up plans.
2) Texas Rangers; Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt —While many believe Leiter will price himself to Boston at 4, Rangers GM Chris Young is said to love Leiter. Watson is also in play here.
3) Detroit Tigers; Brady House, SS, Winder, GA (HS)—Mayer has long been Detroit’s first choice, but if he’s off the board, it will be between House and prep fireballer Jackson Jobe. Given the inherent risks present with HS righties, we believe the Tigers will opt for House’s explosive bat and wide array of physical tools.
4) Boston Red Sox; Henry Davis, C, Louisville —Leiter’s a no-brainer here if he’s still around. If not, Davis is most likely the guy. There is, however, some chatter that Vanderbilt right-hander Kumar Rocker could be in play.
5) Baltimore Orioles; Kahlil Watson, SS, Wake Forest, NC (HS)—At various points in the spring, Baltimore had been linked to House and Davis, and there are some who believe that GM Mike Elias may do something significantly under slot with college OF Colton Cowser to save money for subsequent picks. But we’ll go with Watson, who has garnered strong interest from the Baltimore brass since last summer.
6) Arizona Diamondbacks; Jordan Lawlar, SS, Irving, TX (HS)—This is believed to be the floor for Lawlar, who could otherwise head to Vanderbilt then re-enter the draft again in just two years due to his advanced age for the class. Boston College CF Sal Frelick has also been connected to Arizona.
7) Kansas City Royals; Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt—The Royals, who have in past drafts made a name for themselves by taking high profile college arms that have fallen, remain the floor for Rocker. Other names linked to Kansas City are House, Watson, and Cowser.
8) Colorado Rockies; Will Taylor, OF, Irmo, SC (HS)—House has been the object of Colorado’s affection all spring. In his place is Taylor, an uber-athletic prep bat whose stock has risen dramatically since last summer.
9) Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Jackson Jobe, RHP, Oklahoma City, OK (HS)—After Detroit, the Angels are the first legitimate landing spot for Jobe. Other names under consideration here include Taylor, HS righty Bubba Chandler, toolsy prep OF Benny Montgomery and several college arms.
10) New York Mets; Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston State—Cowser has a skillset not too dissimilar from current outfielders Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo, and would be a great fit. Other guys bandied about here include Frelick, UCLA SS Matt McLain, and a plethora of college arms.
11) Washington Nationals; Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, Ole Miss—The Nationals have never been afraid of taking injured or HS arms in the 1st round. This would also be a suitable landing spot for Jobe.
12) Seattle Mariners; Matt McLain, SS, UCLA—Much like the Mets, the Mariners have been looking almost exclusively at college performers—Cowser, Frelick, and Texas right-hander Ty Madden have also received extended looks here.
13) Philadelphia Phillies; Benny Montgomery, OF, Lewisberry, PA (HS)—Montgomery has been the player connected most prominently to Philadelphia all spring.
14) San Francisco Giants; Sal Frelick, OF, Boston College—The Giants have long coveted college performers who can play up the middle, and Frelick fits this to a “T.”
15) Milwaukee Brewers; Harry Ford, C, Kennesaw, GA (HS)—The Brewers have a strong reputation as an organization that successfully develops college arms, but Milwaukee’s best work has been with pitchers taken well after Round 1. As such, we have them popping Ford, who has been linked to the Brew Crew for weeks.
16) Miami Marlins; Will Bednar, RHP, Mississippi State —The Marlins have been hard to get a bead on this spring. However, they typically covet power arms with pitchability, and Bednar has been a fast riser since his heroics in Omaha.
17) Cincinnati Reds; Bubba Chandler, RHP, Bogart, GA (HS)—Cincinnati has the extra money necessary (from its supplemental picks at 30 and 35) to buy Chandler out of his Clemson football commitment. Don’t be shocked if the Reds target HS slugger James Wood later.
18) St. Louis Cardinals; Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State—St. Louis is expected to select a college pitcher that falls. This could be Wicks, or it could be someone like Bednar or Hoglund.
19) Toronto Blue Jays; Trey Sweeney, SS, Eastern Illinois—Sweeney likely has more helium now than any other hitter in the draft. He put up great conventional numbers during the spring, while his exit velocities and performance at various workouts have been jaw-dropping.
20) New York Yankees; Colson Montgomery, SS, Holland, IN (HS)—The Yankees are looking at a bunch of high-ceiling HS bats such as Montgomery, Benny Montgomery, and Taylor. Hoglund is also a possibility here.
21) Chicago Cubs; Sam Bachman, RHP, Miami (OH)—The Cubs covet college arms and prep bats, and Bachman landing here would represent a substantial value play.