With the draft order set, it’s 2.0 for 2014 MLB Mock Draft
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With the 2013 MLB season now in the books, the first round of the 2014 MLB draft has been set. Here is by still very early look at how I see the first round going if the draft were held today, including the Competitive Balanced Lottery round. Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2014 MLB mock draft:
1. Houston Astros — Carlos Rodon, LHP, North Carolina State
The “Lastros” have now secured the first-overall pick a record three years in a row. Barring an injury or signability issues, their prize this year will be Rodon, a 6’-3”, 240 pound southpaw with exceptional stuff. As a sophomore for the Wolfpack, he posted a 2.99 ERA, 1.05 WHIP with 184 K/45 BB over 132.1 innings. He then went out and dominated for the Collegiate National Team, going 3-0 with 21 K/4 BB over 17 shutout innings, allowing just five hits. He has a five-pitch arsenal that includes a mid-90s heater, a power slider, a lethal cutter, an above-average curveball and a change-up with nice fade. He commands all of them well and is comfortable throwing any of them in any situation. After taking Mark Appel with the first-overall pick in this year’s draft, he and Rodon could form a devastating 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation for an organization loaded with talent.
2. Miami Marlins — Trea Turner, SS, North Carolina State
There are a lot of players who could go second-overall but I like Turner, a 6’-1” right-hander with plus/plus speed, an excellent approach at the plate and a kid who will remain at a premium position due to his silly range, strong arm and instincts on the field. Over 56 games as a sophomore, he hit .368/.455/.553 with 30 stolen bases and drew 38 walks to just 30 strikeouts. He also hit seven home runs, showing developing power. As a freshman, he led the nation in stolen bases with 57 and was only thrown out four times. An alumni of Team USA Baseball, he is a franchise-type player and should be a huge fan favorite.
3. Chicago White Sox — Jacob Gatewood, SS, Clovis HS (CA)
With maybe the worst farm system in baseball, the White Sox have a chance to add a franchise player here and should go after the kid with perhaps the highest ceiling among the prep bats. Gatewood is a 6’-5”, 190 pound right-hander with some serious raw power, as well as excellent bat speed. He won the Junior Home Run Derby at Citi Field, slugging 13 home runs — three of them reaching the third deck. I also got to see him launch several bombs out of Wrigley Field as he won the home run derby at the 2013 Under Armour All American Game. He most likely will have to move off shortstop but his canon arm and instincts should play well at the hot corner or a corner outfield spot where his bat will more than justify the position. High character kid who is committed to USC.
4. Chicago Cubs — Jeff Hoffman, RHP, East Carolina
With Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Albert Almora and Jorge Soler leading the way, the Cubs have some outstanding offensive potential coming through the system at a rapid pace. By selecting Hoffman here, they can hopefully add that ace in the rotation they so desperately need. The 6’-4”, 200-pound right-hander was dominate at the Cape Cod League this year. Over 24.1 innings, he had 33 K/5 BB and allowed 20 hits for Hyannis. His fastball can touch 98 mph, and both his curveball and change-up are solid offerings and getting better. Over 15 starts as a sophomore, he had a 3.20 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 84 K/39 BB over 109.2 innings. His 7.3 innings-per-start show the kind of stamina he has, and he maintains velocity deep in games.
5. Minnesota Twins — Tyler Kolek, RHP, Sheppard HS (TX)
After selecting flamethrower Kohl Stewart fourth-overall this year, the Twins can add another power arm in Kolek, a 6’-6”, 240 pound right-hander who can touch triple-digits with his fastball. I got to see him throw at Wrigley and he was hitting 99 mph with ease. He also shows a good feel for a slider that has plus potential. His size suggests even more velocity could be coming, and he has great body control considering his frame. He has been timed at 4.8 in the 40, showing great athleticism. He is another in a long line of country strong, hard throwers from the state of Texas.
6. Seattle Mariners — Michael Gettys, OF, Gainesville HS (GA)
There isn’t much to nitpick about the 6’-2” right-hander with all five tools. He has plus speed, an arm that has been clocked at 100 mph from the outfield and, with great bat speed, the power is coming fast. A two-way player with great stuff on the mound, his future is in the outfield where his speed and arm make him a legitimate center field prospect at the next level. Another kid who I got to see launch bombs out of Wrigley, as well as show off him arm with a strike to third base from centerfield, the Mariners would be getting a high character kid with as much talent as anyone in the 2014 MLB draft.
7. Philadelphia Phillies — Tyler Beede, RHP, Vanderbilt
At 6’-4” and 215 pounds, the right-hander has the size, along with the stuff, to be an ace at the next level. He features a classic three-pitch mix with a mid-90s plus fastball with great movement, a plus power curveball and a deceptive change-up that freezes hitters. Opponents hit just .187 against him as a sophomore as his ability to miss bats is something to see. The one knock on him is that he also has a tendency to miss the strike zone. His stuff and make-up are top notch, however, and if he can harness his control as a junior, he could challenge Rodon for the top pick. Posted a 2.32 ERA, 1.26 with 103 K/63 BB over 101 innings for the Commodores.
8. Colorado Rockies — Sean Newcomb, LHP, Hartford
The 6’-5”, 240-pound southpaw was among the leaders in K/9 with a 11.5 mark this season thanks to a fastball that can touch 95 mph. Over 13 starts, he had a 3.75 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 92 K/37 BB over 72 innings while holding hitters to a .213 batting average. With increased improvement of his command, as well as secondary stuff, he should be a big name to watch next year.
9. Toronto Blue Jays — Braxton Davidson, OF, TC Roberson HS (NC)
The 6’-3”, 215-pound left-hander will be one of the best prep bats in the 2014 MLB mock draft (and the real one too) due to his bat speed, advanced approach at the plate and raw power. He shows good pitch recognition, and his strong wrists allow him to wait on any pitch. Over 31 games as a junior, he hit .403 with seven doubles, eight home runs, and drew 30 walks for a .600 OBP/.831 SLG. His strong arm would play well in a corner outfield spot.
10. New York Mets — Grant Holmes, RHP, Conway HS (SC)
A Florida Gator commit, the 6’-2”, 190-pound right-hander hit 96 mph at the Perfect Game Nationals and flashed a plus curveball with excellent command. He also hit 95 mph at the PG Classic, showing one of the better fastballs in the prep class. He adds an above-average change-up, rounding out a solid three-pitch mix. Some scouts think he has maxed out physically, limiting his upside, but as it is, he profiles to a mid-rotation starter and possibly as high as a two. He is a very good athlete with a sound delivery and one of the best prep arms in the draft.
11. Toronto Blue Jays* — Alex Jackson, C, Rancho Bernardo HS (CA)
The Blue Jays get this pick for failing to sign their 2013 first-round pick, Phil Bickford. Jackson, at 6’-2” and 210 pounds, has some of the best power in the entire 2014 MLB draft and the ball jumps off his bat differently than most due to his strong wrists and plus bat speed. While he has the tools to remain behind the plate, some feel he may be better suited for a corner outfield spot where his power and canon arm would play well. He hit .343/.479/.806 over 35 games as a junior with 14 home runs and 29 walks. Committed to Oregon.
12. Milwaukee Brewers — Nick Gordon, SS/RHP, Olympia HS (FL)
The son of Tom “Flash” Gordon, Nick also can sling it on the mound (92 mph) but may have a brighter future at shortstop, where his strong arm, range and instincts will make him one of the better defensive shortstops in the 2014 MLB draft. Offensively, he hits from the left side and projects to a top-of-the-order hitter with speed and a very good approach at the plate. Over 30 games as a junior, he hit .505 with 15 doubles, six triples and 12 stolen bases. Committed to Florida State.
13. San Diego Padres — Michael Cederoth, RHP, San Diego State
He is 6′-6″, 210 pounds and can touch 100 mph with his fastball. Shall I go on? He also adds a mid-80s slider, as well as a mid-80s change-up that is more of an out pitch. His command can be shaky at times as he is still learning how to be a pitcher instead of just running his overpowering fastball. Over 15 starts this year, he had a 4.25 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 109 K/48 BB over 95.1 innings. If he works on his command the way Jonathan Gray did last year, as well as refine his off-speed stuff, he should be one of the first college pitchers off the board.
14. San Francisco Giants — Luke Weaver, RHP, Florida State
A 6’-2”, 180-pound right-hander, Weaver enjoyed an outstanding season for the Seminoles this year. Over 15 starts, he had a 2.29 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 119 K/19 BB over 98.1 innings. His 10.9 K/9 and 6.3 K/BB ratios show the kind of power/command pitcher he is. His fastball sits in the low/mid 90s and he adds a change-up that shows plus potential. There is still room for projection and added velocity as he fills out. Over 21 innings for Team USA, he had 17 K/5 BB.
15. Los Angeles Angels — Touki Toussaint, RHP, Coral Springs Academy (FL)
One of the most electric arms in the 2014 MLB draft (as well as this 2014 MLB mock draft too), the 6’-2”, 190-pound right-hander has touched 97 mph with his fastball and adds one of the best curveballs in the draft; a knee-buckling hammer that sits in the mid 70s. He adds a lot of deception to his delivery, making his stuff that much harder to pick up. The only knock on him right now is his command, which can get the best of him at times. He walked three and struck out three in one inning at the PG Classic. His stuff is outstanding.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks — Michael Kopech, RHP, Mount Pleasant HS (TX)
Another one of those loose arm, projectable right-handers, the 6’-4” Kopech has an electric fastball that can touch 93 mph and he has some deception to his delivery. His mechanics need some refining and he needs to command his secondary stuff better, but the size and stuff are already there. He was absolutely dominant at the Under Armour Game at Wrigley, showing off an explosive mid-90s fastball with late life and a nasty slider with hard bite. Had 129 K/33 BB over 80.1 innings as a junior. Quickly becoming one of my favorite players in the 2014 MLB draft.
17. Baltimore Orioles — Derek Fisher, OF, Virginia
A great athlete, the 6’-3”, 210-pound left-hander greatly improved his approach this season cutting down his strikeouts from 61 to 38 over roughly the same number of plate appearances while upping his walks from 22 to 28. Over 53 games, he hit .306 with 12 doubles, seven home runs, stole eight bases and had a .420 OBP/.505 SLG. His size suggests more power will come and, if it does, he will be one of the better all-around college bats available in the 2014 MLB draft.
18. New York Yankees — Michael Conforto, OF, Oregon State
Maybe the best pure hitter available in the 2014 MLB draft, the 6’-2”, 215-pound right-hander uses the whole field and has a great approach at the plate. Surprising that he falls this far in the 2014 MLB mock draft, I got a chance to see him hit when the Collegiate National team played at Kane County, and I was extremely impressed by the way he handles himself at the plate — waiting for his pitch and driving it to the gaps with ease. He hit .328/.447/.526 over 65 games as a sophomore with 11 home runs and 41 walks. He’s not going to steal many bases, and he will most likely end up in left field. His bat is what will land him in the first round.
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