2017 Draft Discussion: Week of May 23rd

I have no updates of individual prospects, because I received another interesting submission from John Yarusinsky.  It is a mock draft that he did, and represents a lot of work.  I appreciate this very interesting commentary and hope you enjoy it.

Thank you, John.

2017 MLB Mock Draft: Version 1.0
By John Yarusinsky

It’s Monday, May 15, 2017 and we are less than one month away from the 2017 MLB First Year Player Draft that takes place on Monday, June 12, 2017. Given this amazing reality, I give to you my first ever attempt at creating a mock draft. One thing needs to be noted before I continue: 99.9 percent of the time, teams are going to select the best player available. In creating this mock draft; however, I took a plethora of things into consideration. First off, is there an organizational need? Are teams going to pass on a highly touted, but “raw” high school outfield prospect; who might reach the big leagues in five years and instead, select a college pitcher that will be major league ready in two years? Secondly, are signability concerns going to scare teams away? In past drafts, high school prodigies have strongly voiced their decision to attend college, instead of signing with respective clubs. Thirdly, MLB teams that exceed their bonus pools through the first ten rounds will face stiff financial penalties. Time is money and there’s no doubt it gravely affects how teams value a player’s worth. Lastly, where do the players reside? California and Georgia are hotbeds for prospects, whereas, Idaho; not so much. Putting up big numbers in the latter might not be that impressive to evaluators.

So with all of that in mind, let’s discuss the focus of this mock draft. Put simply, I attempt to predict the first 30 picks in round one, given all of the intricacies as described above. For each team I will list the recommended slot value for that given pick, as well as bonus pool money to spend through the first ten rounds. I will also provide a brief explanation of why this team SHOULD select this player over others. Creating this mock draft has been challenging; yet gratifying and I hope it will be informative for everyone who happens to come across it. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to email me ayarusinskyj@gmail.com.  With that, let’s dive in!

Mock Draft
1. Minnesota Twins

Slot value: $7,770,700
Bonus pool: $14,156,800
Pick: Brendan McKay LHP/1B (University of Louisville)

Analysis: Evaluators alike champion high school prodigy Hunter Greene as the best two-way prospect in the country, but all McKay has done is excell at Louisville. McKay in 11 starts on the mound has pitched to a 1.92 ERA in 75.0 innings pitched while striking out 103 batters. In 47 games overall, McKay is hitting .389 including 15 home runs. He’s only struck out 22 times in 201 plate appearances. McKay is going to get a lot of money, but the Twins could sign him for under slot to save money in the later rounds. McKay is the best player available.

2. Cincinnati Reds
Slot value: $7,193,200
Bonus pool: $13,658,400
Pick: Hunter Greene RHP/SS (Notre Dame HS, CA)

Analysis: Greene is the next best available, regardless of organizational need. Recently, Greene stopped pitching in order to save his electric arm. He’s going to be drafted as a pitcher, though. His fastball has been clocked between 97-101 MPH and he’s hit 102 periodically. Greene has a college commitment to UCLA and there’s a good chance he receives slot money. His future is on the mound and lord knows the Twins need pitching which is why he could go number one overall; however, the Reds can certainly benefit from his services if McKay is off the board.

3. San Diego Padres
Slot value: $6,668,100
Bonus pool: $11,839,000
Pick: MacKenzie Gore, LHP (Whiteville HS, NC)

Analysis: Last season as a junior, Gore went 12-1 with a 0.08 ERA in 83.1 innings while fanning an astonishing 174 batters. He’s having another incredible season as expected as Whiteville is heading to another state playoff run. Although Gore has an unorthodox leg lick, he repeats his delivery with ease. Gore throws four pitches and although his secondary stuff is considered raw, he reminds a lot of evaluators of Braves pitching prospect Kolby Allard. The Padres have six pitching prospects in their top 10 and Gore could very well be the 7th. He has a strong commitment to attend East Carolina, so the Padres will most likely pay top dollar.

4. Tampa Bay Rays
Slot value: $6,153,600
Bonus pool: $12,528,100
Pick: Royce Lewis, SS/OF (JSerra Catholic HS, CA)

Analysis: The UC Irvine commit should be the next one off the board. Lewis has played the majority of time at shortstop; however, he has the agility and speed to become a center fielder. His hitting approach is considered unorthodox, but Lewis shows excellent follow through which translates to extra base hits. The Rays have whiffed on plenty of first round picks in recent drafts, so Lewis’ versatility gives the Rays options. If the Padres pass on Gore, expect the Rays to snatch him up instead of going with Lewis.

5. Atlanta Braves
Slot value: $5,707,300
Bonus pool: $9,881,200
Pick: Kyle Wright, RHP (Vanderbilt University)

Analysis: In the past two drafts, the Braves have drafted high school pitchers Ian Anderson and Kolby Allard. There’s no such thing as enough pitching, especially for the Braves who are in the middle of a rebuild. Wright is having a fine season at Vanderbilt, albeit for a few hiccups here and there; however, he’s averaging more than a K per inning. He would be a cost effective sign and can help the Braves as a middle of the rotation option in two years or less. There’s also some potential ceiling for Wright and that’s right up the Braves’ alley.

6. Oakland Athletics
Slot value: $5,303,000
Bonus pool: $11,407,500
Pick: Pavin Smith, 1B (University of Virginia)

Analysis: Next to McKay, scouts herald Smith as the next best college bat available. Although Smith is limited to first base, he provides enough offensive pop to make up for it. Smith is someone who makes contact consistently and in an expansive park like the Coliseum, Smith’s overall game would play nicely. The A’s also could use a first baseman down the road and since he’s a college junior, it would be cost effective as it would most likely be an under slot sign.

7. Arizona Diamondbacks
Slot value: $5,016,300
Bonus pool: $9,905,100
Pick: J.B. Bukauskas, RHP (North Carolina)

Analysis: The D’Backs need some serious help. After trading away Dansby Swanson and Touki Toussaint, the farm system looks famished. Things aren’t so great at the big league club, either. In 11 starts with the Tar Heels this season, Bukauskas is 8-0 with a 1.51 ERA in 71.2 innings. He’s fanned 96 hitters, good for a 12.06 K per 9 ratio. Scouts know that Bukauskas has the potential to be great; however, will he remain a starter long term? The jury is still out as Bukauskas throws two plus pitches, but his changeup isn’t a finished product. If he fails to throw it consistently, we’re looking at a future reliever long term. The D’Backs could opt for Florida’s Alex Faedo instead.

8. Philadelphia Phillies
Slot value: $4,780,400
Bonus pool: $8,729,100
Pick: Austin Beck, OF (N. Davidson HS, NC)

Analysis: If Beck is still on the board at 8th overall, the Phillies should be all over him. Beck tore his ACL in May of 2016; however, he’s led N. Davidson to another state title run. Some scouts have compared him to Wil Myers and even Mike Trout. It’s unlikely Beck will ever reach the Trout ceiling; however, the potential for five tools is definitely there. He’s committed to UNC, so the Phillies will have to come strong.

9. Milwaukee Brewers
Slot value: $4,570,000
Bonus pool: $10,447,000
Pick: Alex Faedo, RHP (Florida)

Analysis: The Brewers have one of the best farm systems in the business. They are still in rebuilding mode and need near big league ready talent. Faedo is that guy. His fastball sits in the mid 90’s and has a sweeping breaking ball that’s unfair against left handed hitters. He did have minor knee surgery in the past; however, he’s shown no signs of rust. I even see a bit of Max Scherzer in his delivery. His ceiling is a 2-3 in the bigs when all said and done.

10. Los Angeles Angels
Slot value: $4,376,800
Bonus pool: $8,212,800
Pick: Adam Haseley, OF (University of Virginia)

Analysis: The Angels have the worst farm system running. They are playing near .500 baseball for now, but some help is needed. Haseley has skyrocketed through the prospect rankings this season. He’s hitting .399 in 46 games and he’s walked 32 times. The impressive part? He’s only whiffed in 17 trips to the plate and in two seasons he only hit 7 home runs. He currently has 12 long balls. Haseley has the ability to play at any spot in the outfield which gives the Angels options. GM Billy Eppler loves him some toolsy players.

11. Chicago White Sox
Slot value: $4,199,200
Bonus pool: $7,921,400
Pick: Jordon Adell, OF (Ballard HS, KY)

Analysis: White Sox GM Kenny Williams selected toolsy high school outfielder Courtney Hawkins in the 2012 draft. It hasn’t worked as planned, but don’t let that fool you. Adell has been compared to Twins’ outfielder Byron Buxton for his overall athleticism and power potential. This season, Adell slugged three home runs in one game. He does have a commitment to attend the University of Louisville, but that shouldn’t matter too much. The White Sox have plenty of pitching for the time being and due to the lack of top outfield talent in their system, Adell would fit nicely.

12. Pittsburgh Pirates
Slot value: $4,032,000
Bonus pool: $10,135,900
Pick: Nick Pratto, 1B (Huntington Beach HS, CA)

Analysis: Pratto is among the best high school bats in America. He has a free and easy swing which allows for a direct swing path to the baseball. Scouts believe he can move to a corner outfield spot down the road. Pratto has dabbled with pitching, although his bat is his calling card. Pratto hits absolute ropes that can translate to more homers down the road. In the first round of the previous four drafts, the Pirates have selected a position player. Expect that trend to continue with Pratto. They have the money to get a deal done and he can be a nice project in the making.

13. Miami Marlins
Slot value: $3,875,800
Bonus pool: $9,375,500
Pick: Jake Burger, 3B (Missouri State)

Analysis: Did Derek Jeter buy the Marlins? Okay…who knows. What we do know is that Burger can rake. In 47 games, the hulky third baseman has 19 home runs and has only struck out 27 times in 232 plate appearances. Burger hit 21 long balls in 56 games last year, so he’s on pace to break his career high. Burger isn’t confused for an athletic specimen, but he can play the position well. Rumor has it that he will move to first, only increasing his versatility. After selecting high school arms in the previous two drafts, the Marlins could use an offensive mastermind like Burger.

14. Kansas City Royals
Slot value: $3,727,600
Bonus pool: $8,076,900
Pick: Shane Baz, RHP (Concordia Lutheran HS, TX)

Analysis: The Royals are going to select a pitcher. The question is, which one? In the first round of previous drafts since 2012, six pitchers have been taken. In the last two drafts, four of those pitchers were high school arms. Expect that trend to continue with Shane Baz. Albeit his bouts of wild control, Baz looks like Jacob deGrom out there and it’s not just his wavy hair. Scouts have also thrown the name Greinke around. His fastball sits in the upper 90’s and he throws four more pitches. The changeup is still lacking and Baz isn’t the biggest kid, but he knows how to pitch. The upside is tremendous. Baz does have a commitment to TCU, so it might be a tough sign for Kansas City.

15. Houston Astros
Slot value: $3,588,200
Bonus pool: $9,039,600
Pick: Sam Carlson, RHP (Burnsville HS, MN)

Analysis: This was by far the most difficult pick for me to predict. I went back and forth for a good hour, deciding on who to go with. In the past five drafts (2012-16), the Astros have selected three position players and three pitchers in the first round. In the last two drafts; however, they’ve selected two high school prep bats (Tucker and Cameron), one college bat (Bregman) and one high school pitcher (Whitley). So, I arrived at Sam Carlson over the likes of high school lefty D.J. Hall and LSU’s. Alex Lange Why? Because Carlson is explosive. His fastball sits in the mid 90’s and he hasn’t reached his ceiling by a long shot. His secondary stuff was good enough to warrant a college commitment to the Florida Gators and when you see how many Florida pitchers have been selected over the years (Puk, Shore, Anderson, Dunning), you know Carlson is legit.

16. New York Yankees
Slot value: $3,458,600
Bonus pool: $6,912,800
Pick: Griffin Canning, RHP (UCLA)

Analysis: Since the 2013 draft, every Yankees first round pick has been from California, whether it’s at the high school or collegiate level. Granted in 2014 the Yankees didn’t have a first round pick, but this fact is indicative on how the Yankees go about their business. The Yankees selected UCLA righty James Kaprielian in 2015 and it’s likely they’ll go the same route and sign Canning. Both pitchers have similar profiles. Advanced changeup, mid 90’s heater and above average breaking ball. Canning, put simply, knows how to pitch. The Yankees will most likely go the collegiate route to save money; however, if some of the better high school arms and bats fall to them, circa Blake Rutherford last year, the Yanks will change strategy in a hurry.

17. Seattle Mariners
Slot value: $3,333,200
Bonus pool: $6,737,300
Pick: Jeren Kendall, OF (Vanderbilt University)

Analysis: Since selecting college left hander Danny Hultzen in 2011, the Mariners have drafted a college player every year except 2014 (Jackson) and 2015 (None). Kendall has been impressive for the Commodores through 48 games. He’s hit 13 home runs which is a career high. The problem with Kendall is that he swings and misses a ton. Scouts have an incredibly difficult time forecasting what kind of a player he will be down the road. Regardless, his athleticism and running ability provides room for growth. If Kendall shortens up his swing and develops better pitch recognition, the Mariners could use a table setter at the top of the lineup.

18. Detroit Tigers
Slot value: $3,214,600
Bonus pool: $6,520,100
Pick: D.L. Hall, LHP (Valdosta HS, GA)

Analysis: In round one the previous two drafts, the Tigers have selected a college bat (Stewart) and two high school pitchers (Burrows and Manning). Hall fits right in with the latter. He’s not the biggest kid in the world; however, Hall has a good feel for pitching. His fastball has excellent movement and his curveball is a tick above average. At times, his delivery looks fluid and other times it’s a struggle. There’s a lot of upside with Hall. He does have a college commitment to Florida State, so it’s something for the Tigers to keep in mind.

19. San Francisco Giants
Slot value: $3,101,700
Bonus pool: $6,363,600
Pick: Keston Hiura, 2B/OF/DH (UC Irvine)

Analysis: The Giants did not have a first round pick in 2016, so they’re out for redemption. In previous drafts, the Giants love their college players. Keston Hiura fits that bill. Hiura is currently hitting .405 with UC Irvine, including 27 extra base hits in 46 games. He has more walks (44) than strikeouts (30). Injuries have limited Hiura to a bona fide DH which has clouded what kind of defensive player he will be in the future. Regardless, he makes solid contact and .405 is nothing to sneeze at. Hiura should sign for slightly under slot.

20. New York Mets
Slot value: $2,994,500
Bonus value: $6,212,500
Pick: Alex Lange, RHP (LSU)

Analysis: After the Matt Harvey squabble, the Mets need help. Other starters have also gone down to injures lately and free agency will be looming over the head of the front office when it comes to their young pitchers. Lange is someone who can answer the bell in a hurry. He has two plus pitches that are major league ready. The problem for Lange is his bouts of wild control. If he can learn to pace himself, we are looking at a mid rotation starter for years to come. The Mets have also taken two college pitchers in the first round of last year’s draft, so Lange could follow suit.

21. Baltimore Orioles
Slot value: $2,892,400
Bonus pool: $6,846,700
Pick: Bubba Thompson, OF (M. Thoolen Catholic HS, AL)

Analysis: After whiffing on Josh Hart in 2013, the Orioles might try their luck with the toolsy Thompson. The Alabama commit is incredibly fast and his defensive capabilities are off the charts. The only question, is can he hit? Thompson makes solid contact at times, but there’s concern for his long swing which can offset power potential. He does have explosive bat speed which can force the Orioles’ hand. Thompson has incredibly high ceiling and although it might cost above slot to get a deal done, we could be looking at the next Adam Jones.

22. Toronto Blue Jays
Slot Value: $2,795,200
Bonus pool: $8,231,000
Pick: Clarke Schmidt, RHP (South Carolina)

Analysis: Schmidt will miss all of this season and part of next season due to the dreaded Tommy John surgery. Before the injury, Schmidt was an easy top 10 pick across draft boards everywhere. In 9 starts with the Game Cocks in 2017, Schmidt was 4-2 with a 1.34 ERA in 60.1 innings while punching out 70 before going down. The Blue Jays have two first round picks in this year’s draft (28th overall as well), so they can afford to take a gamble and sign Schmidt for cheap. When healthy, Schmidt throws three plus pitches. His delivery is easy and repeatable. He’s what they look like. Coming back from Tommy John isn’t a sure thing; however, the Blue Jays have nothing to lose.

23. Los Angeles Dodgers
Slot value: $2,702,700
Bonus pool: $5,794,200
Pick: Blayne Enlow, RHP (St. Amant HS, LA)

Analysis: The Dodgers have selected only two high school pitchers in the first round since 2010 (Lee and Holmes).There’s a good chance that Enlow will be the third. The right hander has excellent movement on his fastball and it sits in the mid 90’s. He has an above average 12-6 curve and although his changeup isn’t a finished product, it’s improved slightly. Enlow has a repeatable delivery and he throws strikes like it’s going out of style. He has an incredibly high ceiling. Enlow is committed to attend LSU, so the Dodgers will pay over slot to sign him.

24. Boston Red Sox
Slot value: $2,614,500
Bonus pool: $5,667,100
Pick: Heliot Ramos, OF (Leadership Christian Academy, P.R.)

Analysis: You have to go all the way back to 2009 in order to see the last Puerto Rican-born draft pick that Boston selected (Fuentes). Boston has a pretty good track record of making the right decision on draft day and they might score big with Ramos. The 17 year old is an imposing figure at 6’1” 188. Ramos is still growing and scouts believe the power potential is there. He has a ton of moving parts to his swing and there’s some doubts on whether or not he will make consistent contact going forward. Ramos has a commitment to attend Florida International and it shouldn’t cost too much over slot to pry him away.

25. Washington Nationals
Slot value: $2,530,400
Bonus pool: $5,503,500
Pick: Luke Heimlich, LHP (Oregon State)

Analysis: If Clarke Schmidt is still available, you might see the Nats pull a Lucas Giolito (2012) and select him. Assuming the Nationals don’t feel like waiting, they need players to help them get to the World Series before Bryce Harper skips town. Enter Heimlich. In 12 starts, the left hander is 7-1 with a 0.71 ERA in 88.1 innings. Opponents are only hitting .162 against him and he’s averaging more than a K per inning. Heimlich has a very low ceiling, but that shouldn’t stop them from taking a polished left hander who can easily become a back-end of the rotation option. Heimlich isn’t flashy by any means, but that’s okay too as he throws three plus pitches. He would also be cost effective.

26. Texas Rangers
Slot value: $2,450,100
Bonus pool: $7,626,600
Pick: Trevor Rogers, LHP (Carlsbad HS, NM)

Analysis: For some reason, Rogers has the Rangers written all over him. He’s a tall; projectable lefty with two near above average pitches. His changeup or lack thereof is still developing and the Rangers are masterminds at developing young arms. The knock against Rogers is that he’s tall and lanky. Some scouts believe this will lead to control issues down the road. Regardless, he has a commitment to attend Texas Tech. With two picks in the first round, the Rangers should be able to get a deal done.

27. Chicago Cubs
Slot value: $2,373,300
Bonus pool: $7,454,900
Pick: Brendon Little, LHP (State College of Florida)

Analysis: Last year the World Series champion Cubbies didn’t have a first round pick. From 2013-15; however, they’ve selected Bryant, Schwarber and Happ. In a draft short on elite college bats, it’s unlikely the Cubs will continue the trend. So, it’s time for Theo Epstein to get creative. This selection will go against the grain. Assuming every pick in this mock draft is off the board, give me Brendon Little. The knock against Little is that he pitches for a junior college. My response, is so what. In 14 games, Little is currently 4-3 with a 2.39 ERA in 79.0 innings pitched. The impressive part, you ask? He’s punched out 124 in those frames. Little possesses a major league ready fastball and slightly above average curve. His changeup is a work in progress, but there’s a lot to like about his mechanics. He’s a project, there’s no doubting that.

28. Toronto Blue Jays
Slot Value: $2,302,900
Bonus pool: $8,231,000
Pick: Brady McConnell, SS (Merritt Island HS, FL)

Analysis: The Blue Jays haven’t selected a shortstop since 2007. That is going to change with McConnell, a Florida commit. Defensively, one can argue that he is the best shortstop in this class. He has instincts that you cannot teach. He has smooth hands and slightly above average range. McConnell is never going to hit for much power, although he has a balanced approach and makes decent contact. There’s room for him to grow into his 6’3” 175 frame. Put simply, McConnell is raw, but he plays the game with passion. It might be a tough sign for Toronto due to his college commitment.

29. Texas Rangers
Slot value: $2,238,900
Bonus pool: $7,626,600
Pick: Evan White, 1B/OF (Kentucky)

Analysis: Plenty of evaluators argue that White is one of the best pure hitters in this draft. The wonky part about White is that he throws lefty, but bats righty. Regardless, White is a base hit machine. His swing doesn’t have many moving parts and his bat to ball instincts are enough to warrant a first round selection. The jury is still out on his overall power potential. In 36 games with the Wild Cats, he is hitting .394. In the field, White is a monster. His speed allows him to cut down on balls in the gap and he has a fairly decent arm. White should sign for under slot and due to his overall baseball instincts, he should move quickly through the system.

30. Chicago Cubs
Slot value: $2,184,300
Bonus pool: $7,454,900
Pick: Brent Rooker, 1B/OF (Mississippi State)

Analysis: If Rooker is still available at 30, the Cubs should be all over him. They might even take him at 27th overall because they would be anxious of him getting away. Rooker can simply rake. He’s currently hitting .404 with 19 long balls and 65 RBI’s in 49 games. There’s not much else to Rooker’s game defensively, but it’s his bat that matters. Rooker has an easy and balanced swing and home runs simply come natural for him. He has excellent bat speed and plate discipline. There’s a lot to like.

Picks 1-30 Summarized:

1. Twins- Brendan McKay LHP/1B (University of Louisville)
2. Reds- Hunter Greene RHP/SS (Notre Dame HS, CA)
3. Padres- MacKenzie Gore, LHP (Whiteville HS, NC)
4. Rays- Royce Lewis, SS/OF (JSerra Catholic HS, CA)
5. Braves- Kyle Wright, RHP (Vanderiblt)
6. A’s- Pavin Smith, 1B (University of Virginia)
7. D’Backs- J.B. Bukauskas, RHP (North Carolina)
8. Phillies- Austin Beck, OF (N. Davidson HS, NC)
9. Brewers- Alex Faedo, RHP (Florida)
10. Angels- Adam Haseley, OF (University of Virginia)
11. White Sox- Jordon Adell, OF (Ballard HS, KY)
12. Pirates- Nick Pratto, 1B/OF (Huntington Beach HS, CA)
13. Marlins- Jake Burger, 3B (Missouri State)
14. Royals- Shane Baz, RHP (Concordia Lutheran HS, TX)
15. Astros- Sam Carlson, RHP (Burnsville HS, MN)
16. Yankees- Griffin Canning, RHP (UCLA)
17. Mariners- Jeren Kendall, OF (Vanderiblt)
18. Tigers- DL Hall, LHP (Valdosta HS, GA)
19. Giants- Keston Hiura, 2B/OF/DH (UC Irvine)
20. Mets- Alex Lange, RHP (LSU)
21. Orioles- Bubba Thompson, OF (M. Thoolen Catholic HS, AL)
22. Blue Jays- Clarke Schmidt, RHP (South Carolina)
23. Dodgers- Blayne Enlow, RHP (St. Amant HS, LA)
24. Red Sox- Heliot Ramos, OF (Leadership Christian Academy, P.R.)
25. Nationals- Luke Heimlich, LHP (Oregon State)
26. Rangers- Trevor Rogers, LHP (Carlsbad HS, NM)
27. Cubs- Brendon Little, LHP (State College of Florida)
28. Blue Jays- Brady McConnell, SS (Merritt Island HS, FL)
29. Rangers- Evan White, 1B/OF (Kentucky)
30. Cubs- Brent Rooker, 1B/OF (Mississippi State)

90 thoughts on “2017 Draft Discussion: Week of May 23rd

    1. I definitely think the Phils are going hitter in this draft. Faedo is good, but the Phils should look for upside

  1. Good list, John. Here’s the way I have it:

    1. Twins … Kyle Wright
    2. Reds … Hunter Greene
    3. Padres … Royce Lewis
    4. Rays … Brendan McKay
    5. Braves … Adam Haseley
    6. A’s … Pavin Smith
    7. D-Backs … Jordon Adell
    8. Phillies … Shane Baz
    9. Brewers … Trevor Rogers
    10. Angels … JB Bukauskas

    1. Hinkie…..If the A’s do go with Pavin Smith…then I am on board with Beck.
      As for Baz… HS pitchers with extreme hi velo have too much unpredictability with health concerns to them

      1. Romus … Totally agree that HS pitchers are the biggest risks in the draft. The fact that Baz throws hard probably puts him in an even higher risk category. However, the Phillies farm system is at a point where they can roll the dice on a guy with “ace” potential. They are as deep in prospects as any team in baseball. They do lack “superstar” level guys. The fact that the Braves (according to John Manuel) have vetted Baz makes me feel even more comfortable with him. Also, at a time when the Phillies rebuild may be entering a phase of adding star players through FA and trades, Baz may be the most attractive trade piece of any prospect they could pick at 1-8.

    2. I cover MacKenzie Gore for the local newspaper. There is no way he doesn’t go in the top 8. He is mostly likely going to the Padres at 3 or Braves at 5. If he makes it to the Phillies at 8, they would be nuts to not take him

  2. I’ve been the biggest Pavin Smith fan on here for the past 6 weeks. Shane Baz has now moved to 1B, for me. Worst case scenario for the Phillies … Baz goes 1-5 to Atlanta and Smith goes 1-6 to Oakland.

    1. Hinkie, I’m crushed. But seriously, I don’t (can’t) trust HS arms. At least not this high in the draft. But given the reports on Baz, I would take him if Smith, Beck, and Pratto were gone. Burger has also become more appealing recently. An advanced bat with an advanced approach at the plate is what they’re looking for IMO.

      P.S. the A’s never hold on to their young talent for long. Maybe we can swipe Pavin from them later?

      1. Very unlikely that Smith, Beck, and Pratto will all be gone when the Phillies pick at 1:8.

        Really hope that Smith will be available for the Phillies, though he be very well be off the board.

      2. I have Pratto going mid-first round. If it weren’t for a report that Phillies liked him I don’t think anyone would be talking about him at 6.

  3. Where would Moniak be predicted if he were in this draft? I have a feeling he would not be in the top 2.

      1. Some reports say that Royce Lewis is Mickey Moniak but with more speed and pop.

  4. I’m really surprised people aren’t higher on Burger. He has tremendous bat-to-ball skills, huge home run totals, a chance to stick at 3B, and is a college guy who will cost less and get to the majors sooner with lower risk. That sounds like a steal at 8 to me.

  5. I also think the the A’s will grab Pavin Smith. Nonetheless, Beck, Baz and Haseley will be there at 1.8 which are good Plan B option for the Phils. I don’t think any of the 3 will sign underslot so the Phils should just go BPA – which is Beck.

    1. About Austin Beck … He’s as talented as any HS batter in this draft, but I’ve read he has the same problem Jayson Groome had last year … the dreaded “concerns about his makeup”. Jordon Adell has the same tools as Beck, but comes with none of those same concerns.

      1. winning can cure a lot of misgivings. with the winning attitude across all minor league levels, the positive vibes in the locker room will be beneficial for the kids especially to a young highly touted player like Beck. Also, Beck is also projected to play RF – a hole that the Phils has been trying to solve since the departure of Werth (I see Ortiz and Cozens more as a 1B/LF guy).

        If Beck indeed has make up issue, his overall 5-toolish skill set can be a very good trade chip.

      2. I wouldn’t doubt Beck one bit. This kid’s work ethic is off the charts

        1. Questions about Beck’s makeup doesn’t necessarily mean he has a bad work ethic. He probably has a great work ethic. He rehabbed his blown out knee and made it back to the diamond in less than a year. Questionable makeup could mean many things. Scouts may think Beck is selfish, isn’t coachable, or something more nefarious. Last year, scouts believed Jayson Groome was more worried the money than being a great ball player. Not saying any of these things are true. Just saying Keith Law was told by scouts from different teams that Beck has questions about his makeup. This may raise red flags with some teams. Other teams may not care at all.

  6. John Y., this was a great piece that you did, and it is much appreciated. I agree with Kurdt. Beck, Baz and Haseley are it for me and probably in that exact order.

    1. Thanks! In my second mock, I have Baz going higher. Haseley also can go high as 7

        1. Jim has his second mock and assume he’ll post it next week. Awesome of Jim for posting johns work and great work John, keep it up.

      1. Loved the work you put into your mock draft and your willingness to share it here. Thanks.

  7. Question. Why do Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Miami, and Houston who all draft after us have significantly more bonus money??

      1. If the Phillies do take Beck…I would hope they would be confident enough in his mental makeup to preclude any misgivings.
        I remember Bryce Harper had some ;rough around the edges; personality traits that were mentioned in his write-ups.
        I guess for some kids it is there character make-ups.

        1. Romus, just like last year, we should be able to sniff out the pick a week or so before the draft. Negotiations are likely to be taking place at that point. A friend texted me and reminded that he wants whoever Pat Gillick likes. While he doesn’t do the groundwork, I bet they run the finalists by him for closer evaluation. I believe that’s what happened last year with Moniak.

          1. If we hear reports about Charlie Manuel going out to look at hitters that would be a telltale sign as well. I remember reading that he loved Moniak last year.

          2. Agree 8mark/JL26…..Gillick and Manual go out and see for themselves then they help make the org’s decision. Though have to think by then it is down to a few prospects since the cross-checkers have already helped trimmed the list.

  8. I’m also optimistic about the Phillies landing quality prospects in the second and third round.
    If any of Mark Vientos, Blayne Enlow, Quentin Holmes, or Brendon Little make it to #45 that would be great. Otherwise, someone like Garrett Mitchell, or Drew Waters could be available.
    In the third round, college pitchers like Zac Lowther (one of my favorites), Luke Heimlich, or Garrett Cave might be had. Another kid I like a lot is HS OF Cole Turney.
    Finally, I’d like the Phillies to pick St Joe’s U catcher Deon Stafford in the 4th or 5th round.

    1. Little would be a nice touch…local kid. Then again, Jesse Biddle was also local.

    1. You get me too it Hinke he has Pratto at 11. Nothing about Beck having issue’s just that he was hurt last yr.

      1. Tim … It took me a little while, but I found the mention of Beck’s questionable makeup. It’s from Keith Law’s March 23 chat. http://meadowparty.com/blog/2017/03/23/klawchat-32317/

        Rob: Kendall still ranked #1 on your draft board??? What do you think of this Austin Beck climbing up boards? Top five guy?
        Keith Law: Beck is a very toolsy prep OF, not a top five guy, more than enough questions about feel to hit and about his makeup (I have no idea what, but three scouts from different teams all independently mentioned that to me). He’s probably ahead of Adell at this point. As for #1, it’s not Kendall, but I won’t do a formal ranking until mid-April, I think.

        I don’t make this stuff up. If I post something, it’s because I’ve either read it somewhere or heard it somewhere.

        1. Hinkie:
          On the Good Phight, their talent analyst is not very high Pavin Smith also.
          Has him pictured as someone closer to a Colin Moran….selected as the 6th pick by the Marlins a few years ago and now is at AAA with the Astros organization.
          Moran and Smith has similar college mertrics…then again so did Conforto and Benentendi, so take your pick.
          The ACC is a decent conference with possibly the second or third best pitching next to the SEC and/or maybe the PAC12..

            1. Hinkie…yes he did that article on May 8th….and then yesterday he mentioned to me the Colin Moran omp…. I had alluded to Conforto and Benentendi and their time frame from the June draft to their MLB debut.
              He may have soured a little on Smith over these last few weeks.

            2. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. You and I (and 8mark) like Pavin Smith; Cormican not so much (apparently). That’s the fun of the draft … having an opinion … and then looking back a few years later to see how smart or dumb you were. Last year, I was all about Cal Quantrill at a big discount with the 1-1 pick. I still follow him to keep track of his progress. Quantrill’s been pretty good in his comeback from TJ. I also called for the Phillies to pick AJ Alexy with a later pick. The Dodgers drafted him in the 11th round. Proud to say he’s been excellent in full season ball as a 19 year old. On the other hand, I was a big Joe Rizzo (Mariners 2nd round pick) and JB Woodman (Blue Jays 2nd round pick). They haven’t been too good.

        2. Depends on what teams scouts are saying what really . A team might want Beck to slip so they get some thing going on his make up. The local scouts who know him the best will! Know what’s up. I know 3 National sport writer’s who have there own network of scouts . That’s how I know about Mickey Mo last yr and Baz early this yr.

        3. Ok but that chat was early in the season. Anyway yes we can disagree it’s only guessing. By the way how’s Aiken doing I didn’t know he won’t get his arm back.

          1. I have read that Brady Aiken has gained too much weight, and his velo is really down. I don’t think the weight gain is the reason he isn’t throwing as hard, but it has zapped him of his athleticism. From what I’ve read, Aiken was barely touching 90 MPH. There are hundreds of positive TJ surgery outcomes. Unfortunately, for the Indians, Brady Aiken doesn’t appear to be one of them.

            1. Your right but when given a chance to avoid it you should. Just saying that’s why I believe in bats first. You do a good job with the Draft.

  9. Here’s my 2.0 version. I will post an updated one to reflect College World Series play on Monday!

    1. Twins- Brendan McKay LHP/1B (University of Louisville)
    2. Reds- Hunter Greene RHP/SS (Notre Dame HS, CA)
    3. Padres- Kyle Wright, RHP (Vanderbilt)
    4. Rays- Royce Lewis, SS/OF (JSerra Catholic HS, CA)
    5. Braves- MacKenize Gore, LHP (Whiteville HS, NC)
    6. A’s- Pavin Smith, 1B (University of Virginia)
    7. D’Backs- J.B. Bukauskas, RHP (North Carolina)
    8. Phillies- Austin Beck, OF (N. Davidson HS, NC)
    9. Brewers- Alex Faedo, RHP (Florida)
    10. Angels- Adam Haseley, OF (University of Virginia)
    11. White Sox- Jordon Adell, OF (Ballard HS, KY)
    12. Pirates- Shane Baz, RHP (Concordia Lutheran HS, TX)
    13. Marlins- Nick Pratto, 1B/OF (Huntington Beach HS, CA)
    14. Royals- Sam Carlson, RHP (Burnsville HS, MN)
    15. Astros- Jake Burger, 3B (Missouri State)
    16. Yankees- Griffin Canning, RHP (UCLA)
    17. Mariners- Jeren Kendall, OF (Vanderiblt)
    18. Tigers- DL Hall, LHP (Valdosta HS, GA)
    19. Giants- Brent Rooker, OF (Mississippi State)
    20. Mets- Keston Hiura, 2B/OF/DH (UC Irvine)
    21. Orioles- Bubba Thompson, OF (M. Thoolen Catholic HS, AL)
    22. Blue Jays- Alex Lange, RHP (LSU)
    23. Dodgers- Blayne Enlow, RHP (St. Amant HS, LA)
    24. Red Sox- Heliot Ramos, OF (Leadership Christian Academy, P.R.)
    25. Nationals- Luke Heimlich, LHP (Oregon State)
    26. Rangers- Trevor Rogers, LHP (Carlsbad HS, NM)
    27. Cubs- Evan White, 1B/OF (Kentucky)
    28. Blue Jays- Clarke Schmidt, RHP (South Carolina)
    29. Rangers- Logan Warmoth, SS (North Carolina)
    30. Cubs- Brendon Little, LHP (State College of Florida)

    1. John … I think the guy you’re missing is David Peterson. I could see Peterson going as high as 1-10 to the Angels. He could also go the Pirates at 1-12, the Mariners at 1-17, and the Red Sox (who drafted him 3 years ago) at 1-24.

      1. I don’t see him making the top 15, and he might fall out. The guy looks like a reliever to me and teams might be reluctant to take a chance. He’s too tall IMO and he might have problems locating down the road. I might take another look in the 3rd version of my mock, but that’s why I’ve kept him out thus far

      2. John … not giving you a hard time, but David Peterson has had no problem with his control or command this season. His K/BB rate is Cliff Lee-like … 131 K’s, 13 BB. I believe that’s the best ratio in the draft.

        1. That is as good as Eshelman’s was in 2015 at Cal State Fullerton…and his was less BBs….139K vs 7 BBs.

  10. Question for anyone – where would Beck slot immediately in our prospect rankings?

    1. Based on MLB Pipeline, I’d say 7-10 for both Smith and Beck. The Phillies have a really deep system

  11. Now that the Phillies have fallen to the second worst record in baseball, it’s worth keeping track of the best prospects for the 2018 draft (it should also ease the sting of the constant stream of losses). Everyone knows about Clemson OF/1B Seth Beer … .336/.505/.654/1159, 56 K, 118 BB, 26 HBP, 32 HR so far in his first two seasons of college ball. Don’t count out Oregon State SS Nick Madrigal. He’s a Jose Altuve type of player. Madrigal is just 5’7″, but he can really hit .386/.421/.558/1009, 18 doubles, 2 triples, 4 HR, 15 SB this season. Maybe the top two college pitchers next year will be LHP Connor Pilkington of Mississippi St and RHP Brady Singer of Florida. Two of the top prep players for 2018 will be power hitting OF Jarred Kelenic and power pitcher Kumar Rocker.
    My early top four for the Phillies would be:
    1. Jarred Kelenic
    2. Seth Beer
    3. Nick Madrigal
    4. Kumar Rocker


    1. You’re all over it, Hinkie. Thanks for priming the pump for our prospective consolation prize next year. Me? I’m in on college bats or arms that are close to mlb ready both this year and next.

    2. Not sure Hinkie which is the best way to go…hitters like Theo or pitchers like Braves’ John Coppollela seems to be headed.
      Cubs got somewhat lucky with Arrieta turning it around in that trade with the Os

      1. Maybe they were lucky or maybe they identified a very talented player who needed good coaching and a new approach. I think the latter is very possible and, to me, the best GMs are looking to maximize value by taking a player that struggles in one environment and then providing that player with what he needs to succeed in his new environment.

        One thing that caught my attention a few years ago was when Scott Boras absolutely raved about the instruction his players were getting in the Chicago system. That told me a lot – and, frankly, with all the money being poured into major league organizations, there’s no excuse for sub-par instruction.

        1. Good thought.
          But how do you quantify how well a coaching and the developmental program is doing…other than players succeeding on the mound or at the plate?
          For example……Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ and picked in the first round…and started hitting on day one in the minors and have not stopped.
          Did Cubs coaches simply stay out of their way and let them do what they do best?
          It is hard to determine that.
          Hoskins really has not needed hitting instructions from what I have seen out of Sac State.
          So yes good coaching is needed but to what extent?

          1. It’s hard to tell, especially at the minor league level.

            At the major league level, over time, I think it’s a bit easier to tell. When you see a coach whose players never improve (Steve Henderson), that’s probably telling you something. On the other hand, when you see a guy like Ray Searage who takes one mediocre player after another and leaves them vastly improved as a group – well, that’s probably the coaching to some degree.

  12. MLB.com had a new mock up today:

    1. Twins: Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt

    2. Reds: Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, Calif.)

    3. Padres: MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville (N.C.) HS

    4. Rays: Brendan McKay, 1B/LHP, Louisville

    5. Braves: Adam Haseley, OF, Virginia

    6. Athletics: J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, North Carolina

    7. D-backs: Royce Lewis, SS/OF, JSerra Catholic HS (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)

    8. Phillies: Pavin Smith, 1B, Virginia

    9. Brewers: Jordon Adell, OF, Ballard HS (Louisville, Ky.)

    10. Angels: Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida

    They have Beck going to the Yankees and Baz going to the Pirates.

    1. Wright going 1-1 to Twins is apparently gaining traction. Wow, they see Beck and Baz dropping. Best of all, Pavin 1-8! There isn’t a clear consensus but from what I’ve been reading, he should be in the neighborhood of 6-10.

      1. 8mark…..unless MKlentak sees Smith as a future OFer (LFer)….I do not see the Phillies selecting him.
        First base becomes a real conundrum next season if they do not move anyone off of it.

        1. BPA, Romus! Plain and simple. Smith wouldn’t likely be up until opening day ’19. That’s a long time in baseball. Between now and then –

          1) Joseph should be dealt relatively soon while his stock is highest. Let’s not hold on to him too long. He’s a streaky hitter, classic AL-DH commodity.

          2) Hoskins belongs up here no later than June whatever the date. He’ll have more than a season and a half to show his wares.

          3) If Pavin is raking in the minors, we have the best of problems. Based on our greatest need at the time, MacKlentak will have to decide the value of each player:
          a) as a Philly, or
          b) in a trade that brings back a seriously nice return.

          1. *Seriously nice return includes a top line starting pitcher with a head on his shoulders.

          2. BPA that is a well-overused term….. at 18th or 28th maybe …at 8th, someone like Beck or Baz could also be considered bPA……it is murky water as to BPA at that early of a pick

        2. That was my initial reaction too. I’d hope he can play a passable left ala Schwarber.

          I’m not sure how much trade value he has as a 1B prospect. We’ll see. Depth’s a good thing though. If Hoskins doesn’t pan out for whatever reason having Pavin would be a good thing.

          1. Overall….1B only draftees in the first round….very poor outcomes….similar to HS pitcher draftees in the first round

            1. He is athletic, at 6’2″, 210 lbs, according to reports I have read.
              So that may be what they could be thinking.

  13. Baseball America had another mock that I saw on twitter today, they have us picking Faedo with a note that their scouts have been bearing down on college talent.

  14. We need a big thumper who can be MLB ready in 2yrs.If Pavin fits bill I have no problem. What we need to do in the next 1 1/2 yrs is to find out if some of our better prospects,can play another position. Can Joseph or Hoskins play OF. Can Kingery play 3B. Can Knapp do anything other than catch? So many holes, but we seem heavy at 1B, 2B, and C. I also want Cozens and Hoskins up in June to see if they are viable candidates.

    1. TomyVurry….Hoskins did play LF in 2012 at Sac Stae for 37 games…..so it is not entirely strange to him. But the Ruf experiment, when I think back on it, is disturbing but it may have been that way since his bat never came around.
      Hoskins on the other hand, has a better hit tool than Ruf had.

  15. I agree that we should be more aggressive promoting certain “less risky” projects….er, I mean prospects like Quinn and Cozens who don’t rank as highly now but could still turn out to be productive big league players. Let’s find out about them now, along with Hoskins, before the September wave of Alfaro, Crawford and Kingery arrive. Yes, I believe Jetpax will move up to Lehigh in June. He’ll compete for a major league roster spot in the spring. Winter ball will afford them the opportunity to see if he can play 3b. His biggest adjustment will be his throwing motion. That’s if Cesar doesn’t get traded. (I can’t believe I just typed that!)

    Draft wise, let’s keep the focus on college talent. We’ve greater need for safe, near MLB ready players than a bunch of HS maybes. Go get the big stars via FA or trade. We’ve got a lot of young chips.

  16. I dont trust our scouts. But i could care less if he is high school or college. Best player available. no matter if he is a firstbasemen or not. just get a stud.and not the studs you use to put up dry wall

  17. Everyone forgets about Pullin who I think has a legitimate​ chance to be an everyday LF in the majors.

  18. Tim you could be right he might be really good. But nick williams at double a was great. and now he isnt the same at triple a.

  19. As JL26 posted earlier, BA mock 3.5 was released Friday. http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/2017-mlb-mock-draft-3-5/#2rG6IHWGLqRTjuQw.97

    1 Twins … Kyle Wright
    2 Reds … Brendan McKay (as a 1st baseman)
    3 Padres … Hunter Greene
    4 Rays … Royce Lewis
    5 Braves … MacKenzie Gore
    6 A’s … JB Bukauskas
    7 DBacks … Pavin Smith
    8 Phillies … Alex Faedo (The Phillies were bearing down on the college talent, particularly early in the class.)
    9 Brewers … Jordon Adell
    10 Angels … Adam Haesley
    13 Marlins … Shane Baz
    20 Mets … Nick Pratto
    26 Rangers … Austin Beck

    I would be absolutely disappointed with Alex Faedo at 1-8. Faedo reminds me too much of Zach Efflin, right down to the surgeries on both knees this off season. For me, it’s still:
    1A Pavin Smith
    1B Shane Baz
    If both are gone, I’d want one of the following: Nick Pratto, Jordon Adell, Austin Beck, or Mark Vientos (probably at a nice discount). If they’re dead set on a college player, I’d pick David Peterson.

    1. I rather have Griffin or Peterson if there going co!lege . Which is weird they must want a fast moving pitcher.

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