1. Washington Nationals: Steven Strasburg, RHP, San Diego State
Pretty much a consensus here as the pressure is now on Strasburg to become the next big thing and not the next big Mark Prior.
2. Seattle Mariners: Dustin Ackley, 1B/OF, North Carolina
Rumor is Ackley isn’t a sure thing here because of his signability issues, but it would be hard for the Mariners to pass on him here.
3. San Diego Padres: Donovan Tate, CF, Cartersville H.S. (GA)
Tate is the sure thing in terms of signing but RHP Aaron Crow is a potential option here, with signability again being a factor.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates: Aaron Crow, RHP, Fort Worth Cats (MO)
Crow was the ninth overall pick in the Rule Four Draft for the Nationals last year but decided not to sign. If he asks for more than he did last year, he will be very hard to sign but is worth it if a deal can get done.
5. Baltimore Orioles: Zach Wheeler, RHP, East Paulding H.S. (GA)
The Orioles have been high on Wheeler for a while now and will most likely be the pick here. He has a few pitches above average and probably has the best “stuff” of all high school pitchers.
6. San Francisco Giants: Tyler Matzak, LHP, Capistrano Valley H.S. (CA)
Matzak is probably my favorite pitcher in the draft and has a chance to be very good in the pros. He already has a four pitch repitoire and has all the mechanics that big league ballclubs are looking for.
7. Atlanta Braves: Alex White, RHP, North Carolina
White has been linked to the Braves on multiple occasions and is a safe bet to go here. White relies on his off-speed pitch too often and will have to have more confidence in his fastball as he progresses.
8. Cincinnati Reds: Tanner Scheppers, RHP, Fresno State
Sheppers is the biggest red flag in the draft as injury concerns linger with the 6’4″ righty. However, if the Reds take him and he avoids injury he could be the steal of the draft.
9. Detroit Tigers: Jacob Turner, RHP, Westminster Christian Academy
Like White to the Braves, Turner has been linked with the Tigers for a while. They are also looking at Sheppers, but he is gone in this mock draft. Turner probably has the best fastball in the draft.
10. Washington Nationals: Mike Minor, LHP, Vanderbilt
Minor is the next biggest major-league ready pitcher after Strasburg, and the Nats have to be happy to leave the top ten with two pitchers that can be ready to go in probably a year.
11. Colorado Rockies: Matt Hobgood, RHP, Norco H.S. (CA)
This might be a little early for Hobgood, but Colorado is looking at pitching and likes Hobgood here. He is one of the biggest pitchers in the draft and has powering stuff for a high school kid.
12. Kansas City Royals: Tony Sanchez, C, Boston College
The Royals are looking at a bunch of names so this pick is really up in the air, but Sanchez is the best catcher this year and is a position that they need to upgrade.
13. Oakland Athletics: Grant Green, SS, Southern California
Some think that Green will move to third base and this would make sense for the Athletics as he could be the future there. Even so, he is a great bat anywhere that he plays and makes sense for the Athletics here.
14. Texas Rangers: Mike Leake, RHP, Arizona State
Leake is a value pick here for the Rangers who are looking at a bunch of players. It has been reported that if Crow or Sheppers fall due to the concerns, Texas could be a landing spot for either of the two.
15. Cleveland Indians: Eric Arnett, RHP, Indiana
Arnett is a long pitcher that used to be a basketball player for the Hoosiers. His name has been linked in Cleveland and is not too far away from the majors. Cleveland will definitely look at a pitcher here.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks: Bobby Borchering, 3B/OF,Bishop Verot H.S. (FL)
Borchering has been linked to the D-Backs for a while and gives them a good bat at the hot corner. With back-to-back picks in the first round here, they can get a couple of quality players.
17. Arizona Diamondbacks: Tyler Skaggs, RHP, Santa Monica H.S. (CA)
Skaggs is an interesting that has a lot of upside for the D-Backs if they choose to take him here. They are also looking at a lot of other players with this pick, so it is a mystery who will be taken.
18. Florida Marlins: Chad James, LHP, Yukon H.S. (OK)
James has been linked to the Marlins but there is a rumor that he will demand a large signing bonus that could scare off teams. There are a couple of lefties still available that the Marlins could take a look at if James isn’t their guy.
19. St. Louis Cardinals: Rex Brothers, LHP, Lipscomb
It is well known that the Cards are looking for a lefty pitcher in the draft, and Brothers has as much upside as any pitcher. He throws a mid 90’s fastball with a very good slider that he can get over the plate.
20. Toronto Blue Jays: Kyle Heckathorn, RHP, Kennesaw State
Toronto will more than likely go for a value pick here and I think Heckathorn is the best pitcher left in the draft. He needs to work on command and control but has the body to be a workhorse and already throws two good pitches.
21. Houston Astros: Chad Jenkins, RHP, Kennesaw State
Teammates go off the board back-to-back here as the Astros go with Jenkins. He has been taken earlier in other mocks but I think right here fits him well. The ‘Stros have not been linked to any players and might go with a position player if a value pitcher is not there.
22. Minnesota Twins: Kyle Gibson, RHP, Missouri
If Gibson’s medicals clear, Gibson will be a steal here for the the Twins. They have selected a high school outfielder two years running so look for them to go with a pitcher this year in the first round.
23. Chicago White Sox: Everett Williams, CF, McCallum H.S. (TX)
Williams is small but has a lot of upside to him that the Sox will take a good hard look at. They might go with a college arm but the better bet is that they take the potential pick with Williams.
24. Los Angeles Angels: Drew Storen, RHP, Stanford
Storen might be able to become a starter despite being a reliever for the Cardinal, and with back-to-back picks in the first round, the Angels will likely take a pitcher.
25. Los Angeles Angels: Reymond Fuentes, OF, Fernando Callego H.S. (PR)
Fuentes is going to be a boom or bust pick but has all the upside in the world. Despite his small frame, the nephew of Carlos Beltran has a chance to be something special if he gets a little bigger and hits for some power.
26. Milwaukee Brewers: Mike Trout, CF, Millville H.S. (NJ)
The Brewers would really like to get some pitching here, but there is a bit of a dropoff at this point in the draft. Trout is very good value here for the Brewers who will look to build their farm system. He excels at the plate and is good enough for now in the field.
27. Seattle Mariners: A.J. Pollock, CF, Notre Dame
Just like the Brew Crew, the Mariners are looking for a college pitcher ready to go but there are no good fits here. Pollock is a good pick here that gives good value and a polished position player as the second first round pick for them.
28. Boston Red Sox: Max Stassi, C, Yuba City H.S. (CA)
The Red Sox ultimately would like to get some help in the outfield, but the crop of college talent will more than likely be gone at this point, leaving the Bo Sox to take the next best option, which is Stassi.
29. New York Yankees: Slade Heathcott, CF, Texas H.S. (TX)
Heathcott has been scouted by the Yankees very hard and is a likely bet to come off the board here. He has great tools but off the field concerns might scare some teams away.
30. Tampa Bay Rays: Jiovanni Miller, SS, Bonita H.S. (CA)
Like the Red Sox, they hope an outfielder is available but will go with the next best option as well. Miller could go earlier in the draft but if he makes it to the Rays, there is a shot they swipe him up.
31. Chicago Cubs: Brett Jackson, OF, California
Of the players the Cubs are interested in, Jackson is only possibility to be left when the Cubs pick at 31. Jackson has shown flashes of potential and with some coaching could be a good pick here for the Cubbies.
32. Colorado Rockies: Randal Grichuk, OF, Lamar Consolidation H.S. (TX)
After taking a pitcher with their first selection, the Rockies go ahead and take a position player with some good upside in Grichuk. He has been having good workouts for teams and could find his name slip into the first round if he is lucky.
General manager Doug Melvin and new amateur scouting director Bruce Seid will have their hands full when the First-Year Player Draft begins starting June 9th. Who each team picks is more up in the air than any other sport’s draft, but the Brewers look to be heading towards drafting a pitcher with the 26th overall pick. Here are some of their options:
*NOTE*– Pitchers Steven Strasburg, Aaron Crow, Tanner Scheppers, Shelby Miller, Rex Brothers, Zach Wheeler, Tyler Matzek, Jacob Turner, Alex White, Mike Leake, and Mike Minor are all presumed to have been taken at this point, the 26th pick, in the draft.
1. Kyle Gibson, RHP, Missouri
The Brewers have also stated that they would like a pitcher that has a little bit of experience and that is closer to Major League ready as opposed to a project. While there is a good chance Gibson is gone at this pick, he has to be on the top of the Brewers’ board of reasonable pitchers. Gibson is an extremely talented pitcher who features a fastball in the 89-93 mph range with a good changeup and developing slider. Recently Gibson has complained of forearm soreness, but if his physical clears he should be a sure-fire first round draft pick. With good size and good velocity, he is fairly close to reaching the Majors and would have to be the Brewers’ first option.
2. Garrett Richards, RHP, Oklahoma
Richards is an interesting prospect because he has all the tools to be a great big leaguer, but his results have not been great this year. He had a rough Big 12 Tournament in which he gave up ten home runs but still projects to be a late first rounder because of his potential. He throws in the high 90’s on his fastball and throws a slurve that gets very good movement. His problem is that he throws too many pitches out over the plate in the upper-half of the strike zone. The Brewers might take on this player as they have developed good pitching in the past. Richards could be a steal.
3. Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Santa Monica H.S.
Even though Skaggs is a high schooler, he has above average stuff and is further along in his progression than most high school pitchers. With a solid fastball and an above-average curveball, Skaggs is someone with a lot of potential that has already showed progress with his work. It goes against what the Brewers initially wanted to do but if they really think Skaggs can be the man down the line, they should pull the trigger on the youngster.
4. Eric Arnett, RHP, Indiana
A former basketball players, Arnett is an absolute workhorse that can pitch deep into ballgames. He really made strides this year to become a better all-around pitcher and has bumped himself into a likely first round selection. A low 90’s fastball has good placement and, with such long arms, he can hang on to it longer than most players. His slider shows a lot of promise that has an early break to it, and his changeup has shown signs of improvement. His workload has been huge this year but if he shows he can handle it, he could be an excellent pickup for the Brewers and is not far away from the majors.
5. Matthew Hobgood, RHP, Norco, CA H.S.
Hobgood is a big ol’ boy at 6’4″, 240 pounds and really knows how to throw the rock hard. With a combination of one of the best curveballs in the nation this year, combined with a hard downward fastball, Hobgood is an intruging prospect that has been catching the eye of many scouts. His changeup is a work in progress but his potential seems to be through the roof.
6. Alex Wilson, RHP, Texas A&M
After deciding not to sign with the Cubs last year despite great numbers for the Aggies, Wilson’s numbers went down this year and leaves a lot to be desired for scouts. A big red flag is that he is coming off Tommy John surgery and is a question mark to ever regain what he had last year. He has good stuff with a fastball that reaches 95 mph and a decent slurve that has good speed, but was taken out of the rotation in the middle of the year. If he can overcome the surgery and continue to work on his pitches, he could be a middle of the rotation guy.