Brad and Matt do a Mock Draft: Part 1 (1-27)

Mock drafts for the MLB Draft are fairly useless as they are normally all off after the first few picks.  With that we decided to do one mock draft instead of going head to head.  It provides a good level of conflict as the other person always takes the players you want in a spot.  With that we both included our picks for each spot.  We will be going to 50 picks to get the Phillies first two picks.  At both #7 and #47 we will both submit our picks and reasoning.  Now expect us to get no picks right.  I have odds, Brad’s got the evens. -Matt

#1 Houston Astros select Brady Aiken, LHP, Cathedral Catholic HS (California)

I think the Astros think a lot about Rodon or getting cute with another player on an underslot deal, but ultimately Aiken offers the most upside and is polished enough he could move almost as quickly as a college pitcher through the system. (Brad: Aiken)

#2 Miami Marlins select Carlos Rodon, LHP, NC State

It sure will be fun to watch Rodon shut down Ryan Howard and Dom Brown, (among others), a couple times a year in a very short time. Keith Law had the Marlins in on a bat a couple weeks ago, (he’s since changed his mock pick to Rodon), so maybe Alex Jackson, but after a resurgence from his early season doldrums, I think Rodon will prove too good to pass up. With four early picks, this could be an underslot opportunity, but I don’t think so. (Matt: Kolek)

#3 Chicago White Sox select Tyler Kolek, RHP, Shepherd HS (Texas)

I think the White Sox board goes Aiken, Rodon, Kolek and they are going to take whoever is on the board here. As a baseball fan the thought of a Rodon-Sale rotation is really exciting, but the White Sox have gone big tools early in the draft recently with Hawkins and Anderson. I think there is a small chance they go Jackson here, but it is hard to pass on Kolek’s electricity. (Brad: Jackson)

#4 Chicago Cubs select Nick Gordon, SS, Olympia HS (FL)

I could see The Cubs looking for a bargain on Aaron Nola at this spot, but I think Gordon’s positional certainly leads them to take him as the first prep bat, ahead of Alex Jackson. If Tyler Kolek somehow slips this far, as I think he might, I think he’d be the pick without much debate. (Matt: Nola – underslot)

#5 Minnesota Twins select Alex Jackson, C/OF

I think the Twins would love for Gordon or one of the pitchers to be here, but Jackson is the last of the first tier of prospects and is a good get. If Jackson can stick at catcher he might be the best player in the draft. Either way a core of Buxton, Sano, Meyer, Stewart, and Jackson is pretty good. (Brad: Kolek)

#6 Seattle Mariners select Aaron Nola, RHP, LSU

Nola’s been getting a lot of buzz in the press, and his low floor and theoretical quick arrival are very attractive. I don’t think Seattle’s angling for a college arm, but he’s the safest guy left after Rodon, IMO, and maybe he gives you a slight discount. He won’t get past #7, the way it seems, so that maybe-$275k discount at #6 won’t change your franchise, but it might be a nice bump for the Mariners pick at #29 if they have someone in mind. (Matt: Nola)

#7 Philadelphia Phillies select Sean Newcomb, LHP, Hartford (Brad)

If the draft shakes out this way, it’s Newcomb, Kyle Freeland, or Bradley Zimmer, I think. If so, the Phils go for the workhorse frame and velocity over the smaller guy or the bat. I’d personally be fine with any of the three, I suppose, though I may prefer Zimmer of that bunch, and Touki Toussaint overall. Forget Michael Conforto here – the Phils lack the requisite, let’s say, “guts”, it would require to pick another junior from Oregon State.

#7 Philadelphia Phillies select Sean Newcomb, LHP, Hartford (Matt)

I agree with Brad here, I think it is down to the three college guys. The Phillies like big pitchers and Newcomb fits the mold. Newcomb lacks the flash some expect, but there is enough projection that he could be very good. If the Phillies play their hand right they could save some money here as well. I would personally take Hoffman if the board plays out like this, but the voices for immediate production may be too loud in the FO right now.

#8 Colorado Rockies select Kyle Freeland, LHP, Evansville

The Rockies seem to be linked to a lot of college arms, from what I’ve read, so I’ll give them Freeland here over a bat or a prep arm. They’ve got a competitive balance pick at #35, so you could see an underslot move if they don’t love their options for #8 slot money. (Matt: Freeland)

#9 Toronto Blue Jays select Trea Turner, SS, North Carolina State

The Blue Jays covet Hoffman and have picks 9 and 11 around the Mets at 10. The Mets don’t seem in on Hoffman, but covet a lot of the same players as the Blue Jays, so the Jays likely pass on taking Hoffman here. The system has a ton of upside pitchers, meaning a Hoffman/Touki pairing is unlikely. In that case I think they take the best player on the board in Turner. (Brad: Touissant)

#10 New York Mets select Michael Conforto, OF, Oregon State

Probably the best college hitter and best college outfield prospect in the draft, Conforto’s played a little bit of 3B recently, but I don’t imagine that will factor into this pick as it’s coming a little late to be evaluated properly. Not sure I see the Mets looking for pitching here with the upper echelon gone, so this could be a spot for Bradley Zimmer, also, but I lean towards the Oregon State star. (Matt: Conforto)

#11 Toronto Blue Jays select Jeff Hoffman, RHP, East Carolina

As I alluded at #9, the Jays have been linked to Hoffman ever since his injury and it hard to see him falling farther than here. They can move money around to make this work, but it shouldn’t take too much to get this done. (Brad: Hoffman)

#12 Milwaukee Brewers select Grant Holmes, RHP, Conway HS (SC)

I was completely enamored of Holmes a couple weeks ago, and was hoping the Phillies would consider him. I’ve cooled some since, but I think he’s got a real solid floor for a prep guy, and we could see him in the big leagues as soon as a handful of the college arms who will be taken in the first round.

#13 San Diego Padres select Touki Toussaint, RHP, Coral Spring Christian HS (FLA)

I don’t know if the Padres are linked specifically to Toussaint, but he has the most upside on the board and taking Bradley Zimmer here seems too similar to last year’s pick of Hunter Renfroe.  If he continues his growth, Touki’s upside is immense. (Brad: Toussaint)

#14 San Francisco Giants select Erick Fedde, RHP, UNLV

Keith Law had the Giants interested in Hoffman, so clearly the TJ surgery itself is not going to hold them back from taking the right player at this spot. You may get a discount, as well, and Fedde was ranked in this range or picked in other mocks around this range a couple times prior to his injury. (Matt: Zimmer)

#15 Los Angeles Angels select Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco

I am sure the Angels would love for a pitcher to be here, but Zimmer is a top 10 talent and him falling to 15 would be a great pick for the worst farm system in baseball. (Brad: Zimmer. Whoa, “Brad: Zimmer” – crazy right?)

#16 Arizona Diamondbacks select Kyle Schwarber, C, Indiana

I had them on Max Pentecost here right up until I had to pick, but Keith Law has recently mentioned Schwarber as a “possibilily”, and since I liked Arizona for a college backstop in the first place, Schwarber’s where I see them heading. (Derek Hill)

#17 Casey Gillespie, 1B, Wichita State

I expect this to be an underslot pick.  If that is the case I expect a college bat here and Gillespie could be a Butler replacement eventually. (Brad: Luis Ortiz, underslot)

#18 Max Pentecost, C, Kennesaw State

Sounds like the Nats are in on college bats. If Pentecost is around, he fits them pretty well. He could be a discount guy much higher in the draft, which could net someone a significant savings – the difference between the Cubs at #4 and this pick is just shy of $2.5M. How much of that Pentecost would give back remains to be seen. (Matt:Pentecost)

#19 Cincinatti Reds select Sean Reid-Foley, RHP

The Reds have had a ton of success with prep RHP and Reid-Foley is the best on the board here and is good value at 19.  The Reds are an org who is going to go best player available and figure it out later so this pick could vary greatly based on how the draft falls to them.(Brad: Reid-Foley)

#20 Tampa Bay Rays select Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt

Beede showed off on Friday night, striking out 14 in eight innings while walking just two, and threw about 65% of his pitches for strikes. That kind of dominance, even against admittedly sub-par competition, is what had him on the top five on a lot of boards earlier this year. Tampa’s pitching development staff just might see Beede as a challenge they can meet. (Matt: Derek Hill)

#21 Cleveland Indians select Michael Chavis, 3B, Sprayberry HS (GA)

Not sure what the Indians do here, but after bucking their trend of college players by picking Clint Frazier.  Chavis could go much higher than 21, and he is more appealing than getting another OFer or reaching into the next tier for a starting pitcher.(Brad: Brandon Finnegan)

#22 Los Angeles Dodgers select Nick Burdi, RHP, Louisville

Burdi could be rushed to the bigs in a bullpen role very shortly, possibly in time to help the Dodgers as they make a playoff push this fall. Burdi has touched 103 and sits in the 96-100 range with a nasty slider and has been in the bullpen at Louisville and is likely to stay there in the pros. (Matt: Finnegan)

#23 Detroit Tigers select Brandon Finnegan, LHP, TCU

There is Finnegan, Fisher and a bunch of raw HS players.  The Tigers love their fast moving guys, and while Finnegan lacks a classic frame, he could be a real steal here if he could buck the trend.  I think there is a lot of buzz here for Burdi, but they would love a Tommy John guy to fall to here. (Brad: Derek Fisher)

#24 Pittsburgh Pirates select Derek Fisher, OF, Virginia

The Bucs, looking for the best player available, pass over Jacob Gatewood’s upside and take Fisher. I could see them on Derek Hill or Michael Gettys, also. I have them on Gettys except Fisher is still on the board here, so he’s the pick. (Matt: Fisher)

#25 Oakland Athletics select Jacob Gatewood, SS, Clovis HS (CA)

The Athletics have turned away from college players early in their last two drafts, going with high upside HS guys.  Gatewood’s hit tool is a major question going and he could continue to fall, but the Athletics need talent in their farm and Gatewood is the best player on the board here and could be a real steal for an organization that has gotten the most out of their players. (Brad: Reaching for TiQuan Forbes)

#26 Boston Red Sox select Mike Papi, OF, Virginia

That’s some outfield in Charlottesville. I think the Red Sox wind up taking either Fisher if he’s still around, or his teammate Papi, or 3B Alex Blandino from Stanford. Keith Law has them looking for a college bat and I think that makes some sense. (Matt: A.J. Reed)

#27 St. Louis Cardinals select Kodi Medeiros, LHP, Waiakea HS (HI)

Medeiros is one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft, if he had prototype size he would be a top pick.  But a year after taking Kaminsky, another small prep arm, Medeiros makes sense for the Cardinals who have been looking prep arms again.  (Brad: Alex Blandino

28 thoughts on “Brad and Matt do a Mock Draft: Part 1 (1-27)

  1. Great read guys, Im on the Touki wagon , but would be alright with Hoffman or Newcomb, and yes Conforto would be a cheeky pick and would probably result in them forfeiting this years draft pick for another one next year. Is that plausible ? Is next years draft substantially better than this year which from what Ive heard is fairly week at the top but solid in 2, 3 round type guys. If you could guarantee that conforto would not sign it should be thought about if next years draft has a larger group of top level talent and with the phillies possibly being able to snag two top level guys in next year draft rather than a fringe top level guy this year.

  2. The more I think about it the more I think Hoffman is the way to go if the Top 5 are gone. As I said in another post, nobody really excites me at 7 if that’s the case. Not saying none of these guys will pan out but I just assume go with Hoffman. That being said, I still wdnt be shocked if one if those 5 make it to Phils at 7. I could see a couple under slot deals happening.

  3. Wow, I hope to God you are wrong about “voices for immediate production” but if you are right, that mindset is a disaster. You don’t get to pick 7th very often (unless you really suck, which, for the Phillies, is becoming reality), so you have to pick the player you think will become the best major leaguer. Timing is irrelevant for the first pick. Position is irrelevant for the first pick. Need is irrelevant for the first pick. Once you start altering that calculus, you start making mistakes from which it’s virtually impossible to recover, and that’s assuming your scouting is good and you have evaluated the players correctly.

    In 2008, the Baltimore Orioles, who had picked a catcher the year before, used the 4th pick to address a need, picking a solid college pitcher, Brian Matusz. A solid and defensible pick, but not the best player by a long shot. The best player was a guy who was not at a position of need of Baltimore. His name is Buster Posey, and the Orioles screwed up by not picking him. Had they picked him, they could have devleoped Posey and traded the still very valuable Wieters to another team for outstanding players or prospects.

    And that’s just a recent example – baseball history is littered with more egregious “drafting on need” mistakes – including the Mets drafting a guy named Steve Chilcott before Reggie Jackson.

    You pick the frickin’ best player in the first round – every single time, unless you have essentially equal evaluations for two players, and then – and only then – need can be considered. But if one guy is the best guy – that’s your man. If it’s not your man, you can impair the fortunes of your team for years, perhaps even a generation.

    1. By the way, I’m not making any particular comment on the pitcher you identified – I have no idea how good he is or whether the Phillies think he is the best player available or if he, in fact would be the BPA. My point relates solely to draft philosophy.

      1. I don’t disagree with you, but given the players likely to be there at 7, I’m not sure it makes much difference this year. There are maybe two higher risk/higher ceiling guys you can make a case for at 7, but neither is a slam dunk.

        1. Obviously that changes if certain players unexpectedly drop to 7, but one would assume that the Phillies won’t screw that up if it happens, regardless of philosophy.

      2. I really do wonder about the whole thing with Wolever telling the media the mindset has changed. I mean, what’s the purpose of announcing what you’re going to do prior to the draft? If it’s a true statement of intentions, it seems like very poor baseball strategy, which I wouldn’t put past the Phillies, and also an unusually open communications strategy, which doesn’t sound like the front office AT ALL.

        Here’s my theory: they have their eye on somebody at #47 that we’re not even talking about, and have an idea of the number they need to hit to keep him away from college. They need to deter other teams from taking this person in the first round. So they let it be known that they are in the market for college pitchers, take one underslot at #7 (in this scenario, it might be someone of considerable lesser quality than Nola or Hoffman, though who knows, maybe Hoffman would be open to an underslot deal due to the injury), and then lie in wait for the guy (or guys) they secretly like at #47.

        That would be very much a Phillies-type maneuver. I think that, disasters like Hewitt and Greene notwithstanding, they think their competitive advantage is their ability to find guys in further down the draft board like Cosart, Brown and even Howard.

        This would also maybe explain the otherwise inexplicable thing where they made an example of Wetzler and Monda, and seemed to be perfectly happy to let it be known that they had done so. If they agree to the underslot deal with another 3rd year college player, they want it to be known that they won’t screw around.

        1. It makes no sense to take a lesser guy with the #7 pick in the draft so that you have extra $ for #48. Now, if you can save some $ on Hoffman, who most definitely is not a lesser guy, or Beede, who probably is not a lesser guy, then more power to them. Given the guys on the board for #7 of this mock, I think I prefer Hoffman, if a few $ can be saved. I doubt you can shave more than $400-500K.

          1. It might make sense in the following scenario: they think that after the Top 5 there is a big dropoff in talent/certainty (there does appear to be), and they like someone in the next group of 10-20 players more than the consensus. So you pop that guy at #7, agree to pay him beforehand what he would get at, say, #20 (the slot there is around $2 million), and then you have an extra $1.3 million to spend at #47. Or further down the draft board, for that matter. Maybe they know there’s a guy out there who could be wooed out of a firm college commitment if they throw another million dollars at him. Or maybe the plan would be to divide that money up among 2 or 3 other guys who they like further down. Just a thought. It seems to me that the best way to hedge your bets in the MLB draft is to pick a large quantity of guys with upside and hope you hit on a couple of them. It’s not like the NBA–no one player, no matter how talented, can transform the franchise.

            1. One of the major excuses given for the Phillies lousy drafts has been basically ‘it’s tough to find a reasonable probability guy with a reasonable ceiling drafting near the bottom of round one or in the supplemental 1a, so the Phillies were justified in going long-shot boom/bust guys, because what they need is a star and they can just buy average players’. Well, a much better chance of getting a star at #7 than at #48 or later. There are definitely major talents available at #7, even the way this mock breaks. Hoffman is injured, but a major talent and most guys come back from TJ — I wouldn’t take him if we were talking about a shoulder injury. Beede is erratic, but a very significant talent. Much better than you’re going to get going overslot at #48. You say you prefer a nearly ready bat. I’m not sold on either, but Zimmer and Conforto certainly a lot better than anything you’ll find at #48. Freeland and Newcomb also very solid pitching talents. Holmes and Toussaint, especially Toussaint, interesting HS arms outside the top tier. I really don’t see the sense dropping outside this second talent tier with our first rounder. The sort of scenario you are proposing is drafting a Gatewood. I’m not even sure he’d give you much of a bonus discount. He certainly is not on a talent par with the top dozen guys In the draft. This isn’t last year’s draft where you can get a guy as good as Crawford as the 16th or 20th rated guy, at least not with any decent odds of doing so, and you’re talking dropping as far down as the 27th best guy. That’s going back to the days when we took Hewitt and LGJ.

            2. Sorry can’t respond directly. To be clear, I’m not advocating the Phillies take this course of action. I’m just trying to figure out why they might be declaring to the world their intention to take a low-risk, close-proximity guy at #7. This seems lie one possible strategy. I definitely don’t see any way they would take Gatewood at #7 and definitely can’t see any way he lasts until #47, so it seems like you misunderstood me, or perhaps I was unclear.

              Like most everyone on this site, I would personally prefer for the Phillies to take the best player available at #7, regardless of age, position, etc. However, it seems like the Phillies have been saying they plan to prioritize a certain type of low-risk pick. I was just trying to figure out why they would take that course of action.

  4. IMO, I see the Mariners and Phillies flipping….Seattle taking the big lefty Newcomb and Phillies taking the LSU righty, Aaron Nola

  5. I doubt we get Gordon or Jackson. Jackson will go Top 5. And the Twins are enamored with Gordon.

    That being said I think I can see the Mariners grabbing Nola. He’d be great in the confides of Safeco Field. His home vs Road stats would be fun to watch.

    I’m kind of assuming that either the Marlins or Astros will pull something crazy out of their ass for the draft. Sox and Cubs would grab Kolek and Rodon respectively if they have the chance.

    For the Phillies I’d be happy with Freeland or Hoffman. Even Touki.

  6. If it goes as you say ahead of them I don’t see them passing on Beede or Hoffman. I think they covet a power arm from the right side…

    1. Wonder if Beede could be had for a lot less than slot, in that case he might be the guy they would take in the scenario I envisioned above.

    2. Beede’s been so inconsistent this year, that unless they saw him last weekend and think he’s got it all figured out, they’d better be getting a discount for that one, as he’s not going anywhere else close to #7, IMO.

  7. I hope your right, cause if I read one more mock, saying they don’t see the Phillies changing. That, until proven wrong its the toolsy kid greenwood,

    1. Relax rocccom……Amaro and Wolever practically came out and said it, it probably will be a pitcher if Gordon is not there at 7.

    1. I would have picked him at 9, as that’s what I think TOR will do, but he’s still on the board at 13 in our mock and that’s the next likely spot I saw him going. Here’s my current 1-27, in order, without regard to our mock picks:

      1 Houston Astros Brady Aiken LHP Cathedral Catholic HS (CA)
      2 Miami Marlins Carlos Rodon LHP North Carolina State
      3 Chicago White Sox Alex Jackson C Rancho Bernardo HS (CA)
      4 Chicago Cubs Nick Gordon SS Olympia HS (FL)
      5 Minnesota Twins Tyler Kolek RHP Shepherd HS (TX)
      6 Seattle Mariners Aaron Nola RHP LSU
      7 Philadelphia Phillies Sean Newcomb LHP Hartford
      8 Colorado Rockies Kyle Freeland LHP Evansville
      9 Toronto Blue Jays Touki Toussaint RHP Coral Springs Christian HS (FL)
      10 New York Mets Michael Conforto OF Oregon State
      11 Toronto Blue Jays Jeff Hoffman RHP East Carolina
      12 Milwaukee Brewers Grant Holmes RHP Conway HS (SC)
      13 San Diego Padres Trea Turner SS North Carolina State
      14 San Francisco Giants Erick Fedde RHP UNLV
      15 Los Angeles Angels Brad Zimmer OF San Francisco
      16 Arizona Diamondbacks Kyle Schwarber C Indiana
      17 Kansas City Royals Luis Ortiz RHP Sanger HS (CA)
      18 Washington Nationals Max Pentecost C Kennesaw State
      19 Cincinnati Reds Sean Reid-Foley RHP Sandalwood HS (FL)
      20 Tampa Bay Rays Tyler Beede RHP Vanderbilt
      21 Cleveland Indians Brandon Finnegan LHP TCU
      22 Los Angeles Dodgers Nick Burdi RHP Louisville
      23 Detroit Tigers Derek Fisher OF Virginia
      24 Pittsburgh Pirates Michael Gettys RHP Gainesville HS (CA)
      25 Oakland Athletics TiQuan Forbes SS Columbia HS (MS)
      26 Boston Red Sox Mike Papi OF Virginia
      27 St. Louis Cardinals Alex Blandino 3B Stanford

        1. We’ll see whether Hoffman falls that far. Seems like he will but you never know who will decide it’s worth the risk or who can convince him to sign for enough discount to get them someone they also want later. The Cubs have about 80 picks in the first three rounds, so they’re players, I think.

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