College baseball is in full swing and high school baseball is getting underway. With that, it is time to start to looking towards that June draft more and more. Jonathan Mitchell and I have decided that we will be doing several mock drafts leading up to the draft and we would like to introduce the first of our MLB Draft mock drafts. It is still so early and so much could happen between now and the draft but we can still guess at where guys might go at this point. Jonathan and I alternated taking picks, providing some commentary on each pick as well. Here is the first addition of the MLB Dirt 2012 Mock Draft.
1. Astros (Mike): Mark Appel (RHP – Stanford) If Giolito would not have gotten hurt I would be taking him here at number one. Now though, I am taking Appel with the number one pick. He has had some questions around him but the way he overpowered Rice, one of the best teams in the nation last Friday, really helped his stock. If he keeps this up, I do not see why he can’t be the number one pick in June.
2. Twins (Jonathan): Lucas Giolito (RHP – California HS) It would be very hard to pass on Lucas Giolito. He is a big right-hander that can hit triple-digits. The Twins like to take safer picks and Florida catcher Mike Zunino is a possibility but when your highest ceiling arm might be Hudson Boyd you cannot pass on an arm this talented even with a minor UCL injury.
3. Mariners (M): Mike Zunino (C- University of Florida) I think the Mariners have to go with a bat here and Zunino is the guy. He is showing great power for a catcher this year and he is the complete package as a catcher. He also is not far from the bigs and will fit in nicely with the core of young bats and pitchers that the M’s have.
4. Orioles (J): Byron Buxton (OF – Georgia HS) He has the best tools in the draft with 5-tool potential at a star position and the Orioles are rebuilding so a college player is not necessary when a player with Buxton’s potential is on the board. He is not quite as polished as Bubba Starling was but he is good enough that he could be taken ahead of this pick when the actual draft happens.
5. Royals (M): Kevin Gausman (RHP – Louisiana State) He is a great pick here for the Royals and one could argue that he is the better of the collegiate pitchers compared to Appel. Gausman is very lengthy at 6’4″ projecting room to grow. He has one of the best fastballs in the draft, sitting in the mid 90s and capable of touching the high 90s. He has promising secondary pitches to go with as well.
6. Cubs (J): Carlos Correa (SS – Puerto Rico HS) He may be a little too similar to last year’s top pick, Javier Baez, but the bat and potential to stay at SS are so good that he could be popped here at #6. I think the Cubs would love for Gausman or Appel to fall here, though.
7. Padres (M): Deven Marrero (SS – Arizona State) The Padres added a lot of near major league talent this off season and Marrero is very polished and pretty close to the bigs. He may not have the highest ceiling compared to other guys available here but he is much more of a sure thing. He’s a great athlete, has elite defense at shortstop and is a great hitter.
8. Pirates (J) Gavin: Cecchini (SS – Louisiana HS) I think the Pirates would love Marrero here since he is much closer to MLB ready, but Cecchini is believed to have just as good of a bat as his brother Garin and the ability to stay at SS. Very good upside pick and happens to fill an organizational need.
9. Marlins (M): Max Fried (LHP – California HS) I think the Marlins would have loved Correa here because of his demographics but Fried is a great pick. A high upside high school arm that pitches at the same high school as Giolito. Fried has great command and stuff for a high schooler and is one of the best LHP available in the draft. His best pitch is a very nasty curveball that he pairs with a plus fastball.
10. Rockies (J): Michael Wacha (RHP – Texas A&M) Hard to pass on an arm that can reach 97 mph and also has a plus change-up and durable size. David Dahl was also a consideration here thanks to his athleticism and tools.
11. Athletics (M): Kyle Zimmer (RHP – San Francisco) The A’s have been known for drafting college guys with their first round picks and Zimmer is a great pick for them here. He has really jumped up draft boards this year with a fastball sitting in the high 90s. He also has a plus curveball and is one of the best athletes in the draft. He could move even higher on the draft board with a strong season.
12. Mets (J): David Dahl (OF – Alabama HS) He has loads of tools and the athleticism to stay, and be very good in center field. The Mets system is close to void of position prospects and it needs upside players like Dahl and Nimmo from last year’s draft.
13. White Sox (M): Walker Weickel (RHP – Florida HS) The White Sox are also known for drafting college guys in the first round as their last 9 first round picks have been college players but I think they break away from that this year. The system is by far the worst in the league and they need a high upside guy like Weickel. He has a big build at 6’6″ with a great fastball and two potentially plus secondary pitches in his curve and changeup.
14. Reds (J): Stephen Piscotty (3B – Stanford) The bat is too good to pass and it is near MLB ready. I also think he can stay at third base. A college arm is one I was looking for but it felt like too much of a reach with Piscotty sitting there.
15. Indians (M): Matt Smoral (LHP – Ohio HS) Smoral has a big build at 6’8″ 225lb and is a high upside lefty. The Indians dealt away some of the systems best pitching prospects in the Ubaldo deal and Smoral would be a great addition to the system. He is has a fastball in the low to mid 90s with a sharp curveball to go with.
16. Nationals (J): Lance McCullers (RHP – Jesuit HS, Tampa, FL) I think the Nationals go for an upside play here and McCullers is as good as any to take a gamble on with his upper-90s fastball. Also considered high school catcher Stryker Trahan.
17. Blue Jays (M): Stryker Trahan (C – Louisiana HS) Anthopoulos loves his high upside guys and Trahan fits that description. He has great power, makes good contact, and is a plus defender. He has the makings to be a talented MLB catcher.
18. Dodgers (J): Joey Gallo (3B – Nevada HS) One of the best power bats in the draft. Period. He has a very strong arm and if he has to move off of third I think he should be tried in right before first base. The Dodgers have a major void of positional prospects and Gallo would help fill that void.
19. Cardinals (M): Albert Almora (OF – Florida HS) This was a tough pick for me as the Cardinals are known for taking college bats in the first round but I like Almora here. He is one of the top high school outfielders in the draft. His game is pretty polished and he has the ability to hit for a high average with good power. He is very athletic and has great defense in center.
20. Giants (J): Chris Beck (RHP -Georgia Southern) I really feel they will take a college arm and Stroman could go here but Beck projects as the more likely one to stick as a starter thanks to a much better frame and a better third pitch.
21. Braves (M): Trey Williams (3B – California HS) Williams is one of the best prep bats available in the draft and I think the Braves system could use a guy like him. He has a great approach at the plate and the ability to hit for power and a good average. On top of that he has the ability to stick at third base.
22. Blue Jays (J): Hunter Virant (LHP – California HS) I really want to take someone like Nolan Fontana or Diekroger because I like their position and the Jays need infield prospects but the draft is not meant for need but for talent and the Jays have an approach geared towards upside arms and Virant is very projectable and possibly has the highest ceiling of any arm available at this spot.
23. Cardinals (M): Lucas Sims (RHP – Georgia HS) Sims is a great prep pitcher with loads of arm strength. His fastball sits sin the mid 90s and touches the high 90s. He has a nasty 12-6 curve that is a potential plus pitch and he has a good changeup as well but it needs to be worked on.
24. Red Sox (J): Nolan Fontana (SS -Florida) Nick Williams and Courtney Hawkins are both upside options here but, call it a gut feeling, I think they go college here. Fontana is disciplined, has great makeup, earns the “grinder” tag, can hit, and can play above-average defense at short. Also think Marcus Stroman and Kenny Diekroger could be in the mix. Again, this is a reach but it’s a gut call.
25. Rays (M): Courtney Hawkins (OF – Texas HS) Hawkins is a high ceiling prep outfielder who flashes 5 tool potential. The Rays have drafted a lot of high ceiling prep outfielders over the past couple years and I think Hawkins is a great fit. He has huge power potential, the ability to drive the ball, but is still somewhat raw.
26. Diamondbacks (J): Nick Williams (OF – Texas HS) He has loads of tools and might have the most offensive upside of any player left. He adds a good upside positional prospect to a pitching rich system. Also considered Jameis Winston but felt he was too much of a reach at this moment.
27. Brewers (M): Kenny Diekroeger (SS – Stanford) The Brewers drafted a pair of college arms last year and I think that they will draft another college guy here in Diekroeger. He has elite athleticism, plus speed and range and the ability to stick at short in the future. He can hit the ball and should hit for a great average.
28. Brewers (J): Marcus Stroman (RHP – Duke) I think the Brewers would be thrilled for Stroman to fall here. He is very undersized but I think he has a couple of years in him as a starter before he ever has to move to the pen where he will be light out.
29. Rangers (M): Brian Johnson (LHP/1B -Florida) Johnson is a legit two way player but I think he will be drafted with plans of him becoming a pitcher. He is one of the best LHP available in the draft and I think would be good value for the Rangers at this pick. He has a fastball in the low 90s with an above average curve. Also considered Jake Barrett for the pick.
30. Yankees (J): Addison Russell (SS – Florida HS) The Yankees like upside picks and Russell is a powerful shortstop with huge power potential and might be able to stay at the position but has plenty of arm if he has to move to third base.
31. Red Sox (M): Clate Schmidt (RHP – Georgia HS) Schmidt’s stock has been rising lately and he would be a nice pick for the Sox. Has good velocity with a fastball in the mid to upper 90s and a sharp breaking ball that could be a plus pitch.
Filed under: Draft Coverage, On the Farm - Prospects Tagged: | Addison Russell, Albert Almora, Brian Johnson, Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa, Chris Beck, Clate Schmidt, Courtney Hawkins, David Dahl, Deven Marrero, Gavin Cecchini, Hunter Virant, Joey Gallo, Kenny Diekroeger, Kevin Gausman, Kyle Zimmer, Lance McCullers, Lucas Giolito, Lucas Sims, Marcus Stroman, Mark Appel, Matt Smoral, Max Fried, Michael Wacha, Mike Zunino, MLB Draft, Mock Draft, Nick WIlliams, Nolan Fontana, Stephen Piscotty, Stryker Trahan, Trey Williams, Walker Weickel