The MLB amateur draft will be held June 4-6, which is now less than five months away. With team needs becoming more and more clear, the draft is slowly starting to shape up. Of course, we still have to wait and see what these players do in their final seasons of high school and collegiate careers before we can put a stamp on anything. As of right now, however, this is the way I see it. Previous mock draft can be seen here.
I have also included the supplemental first-round picks for the draft. With all but one (Prince Fielder) significant free agent signed, the order seems set. Here is how the supplemental rounds work:
- A player has to be with the team for the entire season for them to get compensation.
- The former club has to offer him a guaranteed one-year deal worth the average salary of the 125 highest-paid players from the prior season. The offer must be made by the end of the five-day “quiet period” and the player will have seven days whether to accept the offer or not.
- A team signing a player who would require compensation will give up their first-round pick, unless they are picking in the top 10. If they pick in the top 10, they would give up their second highest pick.
- The player’s former team will receive a pick at the end of the first round. Reverse order of winning percentage will be used in determining the order.
1. Astros — Lucas Giolito, 6’-6”, RHP, Harvard Westlake HS (CA)
Do you take the most polished and MLB ready pitcher in Mark Appel, or do you gamble on a kid whose ceiling is ridiculous? The Astros can’t afford to mess up drafts, especially the top overall pick, but Giolito is just too good to pass on. His fastball already hits 98 mph, and his curveball and slider are already above-average pitches with plus potential. He also mixes in a change-up and split-finger to keep hitters off balanced. His size, poise, command and effortless delivery all add up to a future ace. Went 9-1 with a 1.00 ERA and 78 strikeouts over 70 innings as a junior, allowing only 42 hits and one home run.
2. Twins — Mark Appel, 6’-5”, RHP, Stanford
The Twins would be thrilled to have Appel fall into their laps. They need starting pitching and Appel will be able to help a lot sooner than Giolito. He can dial his fastball up to 98 mph, has a plus swing-and-miss slider, an above-average change-up with late fade and will also mix in a cutter. Like Giolito, has the frame to be a workhorse, top-of-the-rotation ace. Went 6-6 with a 3.02 ERA and 83 K/26 BB over 104.1 innings as a sophomore for Stanford last season.
3. Mariners — Byron Buxton, 6’-1”, OF, Appling County HS (GA)
The Mariners, acknowledging their need for offense, traded one of their best future arms in Michael Pineda for the Yankees top prospect, Jesus Montero, a power hitting, right-handed catcher. With King Felix still perched atop the rotation for now, and top prospects Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen and James Paxton coming along quickly, they opt for more offense with Buxton. When you watch Buxton play, Justin Upton comes to mind. A superior athlete, His elite speed and strong, accurate arm will allow him to stay in center field at the next level. Has extremely quick wrists and an easy, fluid swing. Features tremendous pull power from the right side and is a classic combination of speed and power.
4. Orioles — Michael Wacha, 6’-6”, RHP, Texas A&M
The Orioles, needing all kinds of help, take a safe approach and grab one of the more MLB-ready college pitchers in the draft. Wacha is a superb command pitcher who had 123 K/30 BB over 129 innings for the Aggies last season. His fastball can touch 95 mph, but not a lot of movement on it. His change has true plus potential and his curveball is still developing. He also pitched for Collegiate Team USA, tossing 11.1 innings, allowing one run with 12 strikeouts to only three walks. With another year at Texas A&M to work out the kinks, Wacha should develop into a frontline workhorse for the Orioles.
5. Royals — Deven Marrero, 6’-1”, SS, Arizona State
The Royals need pitching in the worst way, but find Marrero too tempting too pass on. Arguably the best defensive shortstop in the draft, his bat isn’t too far behind. He was Pac-10 defensive player of the year last season and could contend for a Gold Glove in the future. Hit .397 in 2010 and became the first Stanford freshman to lead the team in RBI (43). Shows a great approach at the plate, as he has only struck out 54 times in 96 games at ASU. Has the ideal size (6’-1”, 190), range and footwork to be a gold-glove caliber shortstop down the road. Led Collegiate Team USA with 19 hits, 14 RBI, five doubles and six stolen bases over 14 games during the summer.
6. Cubs — Kevin Gausman, 6’-4”, RHP, LSU
Theo Epstein gets his first crack at the draft for the Cubs and takes something the team is in dire need of, pitching. Gausman is a power righty who can get his fastball up to 99 mph. His long, easy delivery gives his fastball late life, running in on hitters. His change-up has late, fading action and should be an above-average pitch while his breaking ball is still developing. Had a 3.51 ERA with 86 K/23 BB over 89.2 innings as a freshman for LSU, allowing only five home runs. Gavin Cecchini could also be the pick here as Theo drafted his brother, Garin Cecchini, and is very familiar with Gavin.
7. Padres — Gavin Cecchini, 6’-1”, SS, Barbe HS (LA)
If the Cubs pass on Cecchini, the Padres will be ecstatic. They need a shortstop and Gavin’s ceiling is higher than Marrero’s, at least offensively. As a junior last season, he hit .402 with six HR, 43 RBI and 53 stolen bases, showing his elite wheels and one of the better bats in the draft. Has gap power and the potential to be a major run producer to go along with elite speed. Has the arm, range and footwork to maintain the position but could move to second or third because of his bat. Led U18 Team USA with a .469 average at the Pan Am Championships, adding 10 RBIs and eight stolen bases while playing a flawless second base. Extremely high understanding of the game.
8. Pirates — Lance McCullers, 6’-2”, RHP, Jesuit HS (FL)
McCullers was once thought as a top-5 lock for the draft. While he hasn’t necessarily done anything to hurt his stock, other players have shown improvements in their game over the summer to leap frog him at this point. His arm is electric, and one of the most powerful in the draft. His fastball hits 97 mph with ease. He also has a knee-buckling curve to go along with a plus slider. Has a feel and poise for the game not seen in many players his age. There are questions about his command, however, and he will have to prove this season that he can control his arsenal of pitches consistently. Still, he has one of the highest ceilings in this draft, and the bloodlines as well. His father, Lance McCullers, was a seven-year major league starting pitcher.
9. Marlins — Mike Zunino, 6’-2”, C, Florida
This ain’t your older brother’s Marlins people. With a new stadium, fancy logo and cash to burn, they have moved away from the kiddie table and are now spending with the big boys. This would be a perfect fit as they grab a kid from their own backyard in Zunino, the best catching prospect in the draft. Zunino hit .371 with 19 home runs, 67 RBIs and a .442 OBP as he was named the SEC Player of the Year in 2011. He has a patient approach at the plate and generates a ton of pull power. As great as he is offensively, defense is where he shines. With good hands, a strong and accurate arm and tremendous footwork, he fields his position like a major-league veteran. Should be a fast riser to the show.
10. Rockies — Victor Roache, 6’-1”, OF, Georgia Southern
Sure, the Rockies could always use pitching and could opt for some of it here as there is plenty of it to go around in this draft. But Roache’s bat was made for Coors Field, any field really. Roache led the nation in home runs last year with 30. One of the best power hitters in the draft, he can hit the ball out to all fields with his superb bat speed. His approach at the plate is getting better and more refined every year, so he should be a good average hitter to go along with all of the home runs he is going to hit. Hit .316 with six home runs and 28 RBIs over 42 games at the Cape Cod League, leading the league with a 1.004 OPS as well. He struck out 44 times, but also had 30 walks, showing improvement at the plate.
11. Athletics — Max Fried, 6’-4”, LHP, Harvard Westlake HS (CA)
The A’s love drafting pitchers and Fried could be a steal if they end up getting him here. Already on everyone’s radar as one of the best left-handed prep pitchers, he is going to get a ton of attention from scouts this season after transferring to Harvard Westlake and teaming up with Giolito. He started honing his curveball when he was 12, modeled it after Sandy Koufax, and now owns possibly the best in the draft. He also has a sinking fastball that touches 94 mph and a change-up that projects to a plus pitch in the future. At 6’-4” and 180 lbs, he has the frame to add more velocity as he matures. Could be a top-five pick when all is said and done.
12. Mets — Trey Williams, 6’-1”, 3B, Valencia HS (CA)
The Mets appear as if they will be losing All-Star third baseman David Wright after the season. They can grab his future replacement here in Williams. Has exceptional bat speed which allows the ball to jump off his bat. Tremendous power to all fields, he was once walked with the bases loaded as a sophomore, showing the respect he commands at the plate. In 182 at bats over the last two seasons, he has hit 19 home runs, rarely getting a pitch to hit. Also a standout defensively at third where his strong arm and footwork will allow him to stay at the position in the major leagues. His father, Eddie Williams, played 10 season in the major leagues and was the fourth overall pick by the Mets in 1983.
13. White Sox — David Dahl, 6’-2”, OF, Oak Mountain HS (AL)
The White Sox get one of the purest hitters in the draft and a Jacoby Ellsbury-type player. As a junior at Oak Mountain high, Dahl batted .449 with 18 doubles, three triples and two home runs while driving in 29 runs. He struck out only 10 times in 118 at bats, posted a .703 slugging percentage, .493 on-base percentage and hit .488 with runners in scoring position. He then joined U18 Team USA and hit .364 with 11 runs, nine RBI and seven stolen bases batting leadoff, while also playing flawless defense for the gold medal winners. Runs a 6.5/60 and should be a real threat on the base paths. Aside from his offensive prowess, Dahl also has a plus arm, great range and a very high understanding of the game.
14. Reds — Walker Weickel, 6’-6”, RHP, Olympia HS (FL)
The suddenly aggressive Reds add one of the fastest-rising prospects in the draft in Weickel, who saw his stock soar after going 2-0, 0.66 ERA with 12 K/2 BB over 13.1 innings for gold medal winning U18 Team USA at the Pan Am Championships this past Fall. With his long frame and pitching over the top, Weickel’s delivery is downhill and deceptive. His fastball hits 94 mph and should generate more velocity as he matures. With both his low-70s curveball and low-80s change-up projecting as plus pitches, he is one of the top arms in the draft, and with a strong follow up senior season, could shoot up draft boards come June.
15. Indians — Chris Beck, 6’-3”, RHP, Georgia Southern
The Indians are another team that needs a whole lot of help and opt for a power righty with a ton of potential. At 6’-3” and 220 lbs, Beck has the frame to handle a workload as a frontline starter. Went 9-5 with a 3.23 ERA and 109 K/40 BB over 103 innings as a sophomore in 2011, allowing only three home runs. He turned heads at the Cape Cod League, posting a 2.12 ERA with 41 K/13 BB over 51 innings, showing good command of his pitches. His fastball hits 96 mph, and both his slider and change are quality pitches. With teammate Victor Roache expected to be a high pick as well, Beck will get a lot of looks from scouts in 2012.
16. Nationals — Brian Johnson, 6’-4”, LHP, Florida
The Nationals are building a contender, and with the possible signing of Fielder, could be in position to do so as early as this season. Taking one of the more MLB-ready pitchers in the draft would be a wise choice for GM Mike Rizzo. Johnson, a 6’-4”, 225 lb lefty, went 8-3 with a 3.62 ERA and 72 K/15 BB over 79.2 innings for the Gators in 2011, showing superb command of his pitches. Has a low-90s fastball with sink, an above-average change-up and his slider projects to a plus pitch at the next level. Has great mound presence and an advanced feel for pitching. Also a tremendous hitter and could be drafted high as an outfielder. In 12 at-bats for Collegiate Team USA, he smashed three home runs, drove in five runs and walked three times.
17. Blue Jays — Hunter Virant, 6’-4”, LHP, Camarillo HS (CA)
There are a lot of great left-handed prep pitchers in this draft. Virant may be the most polished of them all and the Blue Jays add more depth to their system. Has four pitches that all grade out to at least average, and with his 6’-4”, 180 lb frame, has a lot of room for improvement. His fastball is his best pitch, sitting in the low 90s, and his curveball has serious potential. He is also a freak athlete with elite speed and a tremendous hitting abilities. Another member of U18 Team USA, Virant is a gamer who plays his best in the biggest events.
18. Dodgers — Nick Williams, 6’-3”, OF, Ball HS (TX)
Like McCullers, Williams was also once considered a top-five lock for the draft. While others have seen their stock soar through summer and fall events, Williams has seen his drop mainly because of their success. Still one of the best power hitters in the draft, the lefty, who has drawn comparisons to Ken Griffey Jr. because of his stroke, is still raw in a lot of areas. He is a regular on the home run derby circuits and the 6’-3” lefty generates incredible pull power and makes it look effortless with his short swing. He also has excellent speed, which should make him a threat on the base paths once he becomes a better base runner. His arm has been clocked at 93 mph, and mixed with his speed, makes him a plus defender as well. Williams has as much talent as anyone in the draft, he just needs some refining.
19. Cardinals — Albert Almora, 6’-2”, OF, Marion Christian Academy (FL)
Lose one Albert, gain another. The Cardinals get the Angels first-round pick as part of the Pujols signing. Almora is a five-tool prospect who is mature beyond his years as a player. A six-time member of Team USA (a record), Almora showed his savvy veteran leadership at the Pan Am Championships this fall, winning MVP honors hitting .421 (16 for 38) with a team leading 11 runs, five doubles, 11 RBI and nine stolen bases as Team USA went 9-0, outscoring opponents 88-8. He has a plus arm and his speed should allow him to play center field at the next level. A total package of offense, defense, speed and an extremely high understanding and passion for the game, Almora gives the Cardinals a fan favorite for the next decade.
20. Giants — Matthew Smoral, 6’-8”, LHP, Solon HS (OH)
The Giants have been very good at evaluating pitching talent in the draft over the years. They grab yet another prep lefty in this deep class and get a kid with a ton of upside. At 6’-8”, Smoral has the size and durability to be a workhorse starter at the next level. His easy, fluid delivery only adds to that potential. He features a low-90s fastball and a change-up with late sink. Both pitches are potential plus offerings and he has command of both of them. He is very aggressive on the mound, attacking hitters inside and out, without fear.
21. Braves — Joey Gallo, 6’-5”, RHP/3B, Bishop Gorman HS (OK)
The Braves have pitching all over the place so they opt for their next great third baseman in Gallo, a 6’-5” 210 lb left-handed hitter who hit .471 with a 1.756 OPS and 25 home runs over 121 at bats for perennial powerhouse Bishop Gorman last season. He does have a big swing that could lead to a lot of strikeouts, but the power potential is ridiculous. Yet another member of U18 Team USA, Gallo hit .271 with one home run, 10 RBI, four stolen bases and 10 walks over 15 games while playing mostly at first base. He also shines on the mound with a fastball that touches 95 mph, and a quality change and curveball. His bat, however, is what scouts drool over.
22. Blue Jays — Rock Rucker, 6’-5”, LHP/OF, Redan HS (GA
The Blue Jays get the 22nd pick after failing to sign their first round pick from last season, Tyler Beede. After taking Virant at #17, the Jays add another left-handed prep pitcher in Rucker, a kid with a very high ceiling now that he seems to be fully committed to the mound. With a fastball that touches 95 mph, and a hammer curve that projects to plus, Rucker is an intimidating force on the mound due to his size and mound presence. A superb athlete, his speed and outfield instincts will allow him to field his position well. Could also be drafted as a power hitting outfielder if he chose, but the mound is where he belongs.
23. Cardinals — Lucas Sims, 6’-2”, RHP, Brookfield HS (GA)
The Cardinals take one of the liveliest arms in the draft in Sims, a power righty who has been clocked at 98 mph with his fastball. He also owns a 12-6 hammer curve than can be filthy at times. As with most prep pitchers, his changeup is still developing but looks to be a good offering at the next level. Went 4-1 with a 2.38 ERA with 52 strikeouts over 32 innings as a junior in 2011. Has a bulldog mentality on the mound, attacking hitters without fear. He could be a tremendous closer down the line with his arsenal and make up.
24. Red Sox — Stryker Trahan, 6’-2”, C, Arcadiana HS (LA)
The Sawks grab the best prep catcher in the draft in Trahan, a left-handed hitter with big time power. With his short stroke and excellent bat speed, he generates incredible power and should hit for a high average. Hit .460 with five home runs as a junior in 2011 with a 1.281 OPS. At 6’-2” and 215 lbs, he makes for a big target behind the plate and his strong arm and footwork make him a solid defender. Has been clocked at 6.64 in the 60. Phenomenal athlete who could be a standout right fielder if he chooses.
25. Rays — Addison Russell, 6’-1”, SS, Pace HS (GA)
The Rays always have one of the best farm systems in baseball and add a stud shortstop to the mix in Russell, one of the best all-around prospects in the nation. With soft hands, exceptional range and a canon arm, he fields his position effortlessly but a move to third could come due to his size. Played for U18 Team USA at the Pan Am Championships hitting .393 with nine RBI, four stolen bases and he hit the team’s only home run of the tournament, a grand slam in the bottom of the first inning against Canada in the gold medal game that put the game away early for Team USA. Overall, he hit .364 with 14 RBI, six stolen bases and a 1.095 OPS over 15 games for the team. One of those players that makes the game look incredibly easy.
26. Diamondbacks — Marcus Stroman, 5’-9”, RHP, Duke
With Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson and Trevor Cahill already in the rotation, and super prospects Tyler Skaggs and Trevor Bauer on the way, the Diamondbacks are loaded with starting pitching. Stroman gives them their closer of the future and should be ready to contribute quickly. With a fastball that touches 95 mph, and a tight slider that can be ridiculously mesmerizing at times, he is one of the most ready pitchers available in the draft. Went 8.1 scoreless innings for the collegiate Team USA, striking out 17, while walking just one. At the 2010 Cape Cod League, he tossed 25 scoreless innings, striking out 32 while walking just three, including registering 10 saves.
27. Tigers — Jake Barrett, 6’-3”, RHP, Arizona State
The Tigers add one of the better college pitchers in the draft, and a player who could rise quickly through their system. At 6’-3” and 220 lbs, he is a power righty who throws a heavy fastball that sits in the mid-90s with late life. He also has a power curve that projects to plus, and his change-up is above average. Went 7-4 with a 4.14 ERA and 72 K/21 BB as a sophomore for Arizona State in 2011. Has great command, and mixed with his aggressiveness, could be an excellent closer at the next level.
28. Brewers — Taylore Cherry, 6’-9”, RHP, Vandalia Butler HS (OH)
The Brewers farm system ranks near the bottom, and building a good one starts with pitching depth. Cherry is a big righty who can get his fastball up to 98 mph thanks, in most part, to his 6’-9” frame. His delivery is easy and fluid, and he looks like he could pitch a doubleheader without tiring. Went 6-1 with a 1.38 ERA and 94 K over 56 innings as a junior, earning him Gatorade Player of the Year honors in the state of Ohio. Both his curve and change-up look to be above-average pitches at the major-league level. Another kid with a very high ceiling.
29. Rangers — Rio Ruiz, 6’-1”, 3B, Bishop Amat HS (CA)
The Rangers have Adrian Beltre locked in at third base until 2015, when at that point, can hand over the keys to Ruiz, one of the best third base prospects in the draft. Defensively, his soft hands, range and strong accurate arm make him one of the best at the position. At the plate, his plus bat speed from the left side allows him to make consistent contact to all fields. Hit .455 with 19 extra base hits in 101 at bats as a junior. Very disciplined in all aspects of the game and a student of the game.
30. Yankees — Tanner Rahier, 6’-2”, SS, Desert HS (CA)
Derek Jeter is nearing the end of his Hall of Fame career and soon the Yankees are going to try and find a replacement for his position and leadership abilities. Rahier is the kind of kid who is up for that challenge. To say he is a hard worker is an understatement. Known for having one of the most stringent workout regimens anyone has ever seen, the payoff can be seen in his abilities on the baseball field. His arm has been clocked at 93 mph, and his plus-range at footwork make him a legitimate shortstop at the next level. His short, compact swing generates plus power, and his bat speed allows him to catch up to any pitch, making him a great contact hitter. Has elite speed as he runs a 6.6/60. Finished second at this year’s Power Showcase held at Chase Field, after leading the first round with 11 home runs. Tremendous character and a great all around athlete.
31. Red Sox — Carlos Correa, 6’-4”, SS, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy (PR)
This draft is heavy on shortstops, and Correa could end up being the best of the bunch. A defensive whiz with a ton of offensive potential, Correa has the frame to be a power-hitting third baseman while maintaining his gold-glove defense. Has a strong and accurate arm, as well as great range and footwork. At the plate, he makes consistent contact and has an advanced approach. An exciting player to watch and a kid who will have a ton of scouts watching his every move this upcoming season.
Type A First Round Supplemental Picks
32. Twins (Michael Cuddyer) — Travis Jankowski, 6’-3”, OF, Stony Brook
Jankowski is the prototypical leadoff hitter. He hit .355 with three home runs, 38 RBI and 30 stolen bases last season. He also showed a great approach at the plate by taking 20 walks while only striking out 22 times over 54 games. The left-handed hitter is just as aggressive at the plate as he is on the base paths and will be an immediate fan favorite because of his hustle. Has great instincts in the outfield, and with his speed and strong arm, will be able to stay in center field. Hit .329 over 44 games at the Cape Cod League, ranking among the stolen base leaders with 15.
33. Padres (Heath Bell) — Ty Hensley, 6’-5”, RHP, Santa Fe HS (OK)
At 6’-5” and 225 lbs, Hensley is a future workhorse at the next level. He can dial his fastball up to 95 mph, and his curve is a potential plus/plus pitch. As with most high-school pitchers, his change-up is still developing but should be an average pitch at least. Has some mechanics issues, but those can be fixed with proper coaching and experience.
34. Athletics (Josh Willingham) — Kenny Diekroeger, 6’-2”, SS, Stanford
Diekroeger is an extremely intelligent baseball player. Able to play any position on the field, shortstop is his natural position, and he should be able to stay there at the next level due to his remarkable athleticism. Was a second-round pick by the Rays in 2009 after hitting .586 with a .688 OBP but chose to attend Stanford. Was Pac-10 freshman of the year as he hit .356 with 41 RBI, becoming the first freshman to lead the team in RBI. Average slipped to .293 this year as he was still adjusting to the new NCAA bats that favor pitchers. The team that drafts him will get a professional in every sense of the word, on and off the field.
35. Mets (Jose Reyes) — Clate Schmidt, 6’-1”, RHP, Allatoona HS (GA)
A fast-rising prospect, Schmidt’s fastball has been clocked at 96 mph and his low-80s curve is a plus pitch already. Needs to add another off-speed pitch if he wants to remain a starting pitcher, but his work ethic shows a third pitch will come. His delivery has some effort to it but his athleticism makes up for it. With another year to add that third pitch, and room for more added velocity, Schmidt could continue to rise up draft boards come June.
36. Cardinals (Albert Pujols) — Jesse Winker, 6’-3”, OF, Olympia HS (CA)
Winker is a left-handed hitter with excellent bat speed and an impressive approach at the plate. Hit .509 with seven home runs as a junior. At 6’-3” and 200 lbs, he has raw power to all fields and gets good reads on pitches. Was named most outstanding pitcher at the Pan Am Championships, going 2-0 with 10.1 scoreless innings for gold-medal-winning Team USA. His bat, however, is what scouts are in love with, and with another strong senior season, could be a first-round draft pick.
37. Red Sox (Jonathan Papelbon) — Duane Underwood, 6’-2”, RHP, Pope HS (GA)
Underwood is a hard-throwing righty whose fastball can hit 97 mph with ease. He also features a hard curve that projects to a plus pitch and a deceptive change-up that is still developing. His command can get away from him at times, but his strong arm, athleticism and high baseball IQ will have many teams flocking to Georgia to see his talents.
38. Rangers (C.J. Wilson) — Lewis Brinson, 6’-3”, OF, Coral Springs HS (FL)
Brinson hit .473 with four home runs, 23 RBIs and a 1.496 OPS over 20 games as a junior. He was 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts and had 16 walks, leading to a .623 OBP. His stock is soaring after more than holding his own at summer tournaments, establishing himself as one of the best all-around players in the country. Has plus bat speed and gap-to-gap power, which could turn into home-run power as he matures. His speed and strong arm make him a solid defensive player as well. With a strong senior season, could be first-round material.
39. Brewers (Prince Fielder TBD) — Jesmuel Valentin, 5’-11”, SS, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy (PR)
This pick will belong to the Brewers once prince Fielder signs with another team. Jesmuel has a strong knowledge of the game having grown up around it. His father, Jose Valentin, was a 16-year, major-league veteran and taught his son well. He is also built like his dad — 5’-11” and 180 lbs — and he’s a switch hitter. Has the range, soft hands and strong arm to be a very good defensive shortstop in the majors. At the plate, his short stroke generates gap-to-gap power and could develop more when he matures. Timed at 6.68/60, so should steal some bases as well. Gained a reputation as a clutch hitter throughout summer-league tournaments and his stock is soaring right now.
40. Phillies (Ryan Madson) — Adam Brett-Walker, 6’-5”, OF/1B, Jacksonville
One of the top power hitters in the draft, Walker hit .409 with 13 home runs and 73 RBI over 61 games as a sophomore in 2011. Has a long swing that leads to a lot of strikeouts, but he isn’t afraid to take a walk either. Struggled at the Cape Cod League hitting .216 with 56 strikeouts over 38 games. Still, at 6’-5” and 220 lbs, his power and hitting ability will draw a lot of interest come draft time.
Type B First Round Supplemental Picks
41. Astros (Clint Barmes) — Jake Cosart, 6’-1”, RHP, Clear Creek HS (TX)
When you can throw 99 mph, you are going to get some attention. At 6’-1” and 165 lbs, the power Cosart generates from his arm is scary. At the 2011 Perfect Game National Showcase, he hit 99 mph on the radar gun, easily the fastest time at the event. It must run in the family bloodline — his brother Jarred Cosart, a top prospect for the Astros, hit 102 mph at the 2008 Perfect Game World Showcase. Jake shows signs of a future devastating curve but is still inconsistent with his command. A strong senior season, and added weight, could see him sky rocket when the draft comes around.
42. Twins (Jason Kubel) — Stephen Piscotty, 6’-3”, 3B, Stanford
After grabbing Appel with the second overall pick, the Twins grab his teammate in Piscotty. With his smooth swing and excellent bat speed, Piscotty is one of the purest hitters in the draft, able to spray the ball to all fields. He hit .364 with three home runs and 40 RBI over 57 games as a sophomore in 2011. He then led the Cape Cod League with a .349 average. His lack of power could force a move to left field where his strong and accurate arm could play well.
43. Cubs (Aramis Ramirez) — Kyle Zimmer, 6’-3”, RHP, San Francisco
The Cubs add more depth to their farm system by adding Zimmer, a power righty whose fastball has been clocked at 97 mph with late sink. He also features a power curve that projects to a wipe-out pitch at the next level. His slider is above average, his change-up is still developing, and he has excellent command of all four pitches. He had a 3.38 ERA at the Cape Cod League with 37K/14 BB over 48 innings. At 6’-3”and 200 lbs, he has the frame to be a workhorse.
44. Padres (Adam Harang) — Cody Poteet, 6’-1”, RHP, Christian HS (CA)
The Padres have one of the better farm systems in baseball, pitching depth being their best asset. Poteet is seen as undersized by some scouts, but his arm strength leaves little concern. He can crank his fastball up to 96 mph, and his hard mid-70s curve is one of the best in the country. His change-up is still developing but is very deceptive at times and projects to an above-average offering. He has an easy delivery and is very aggressive on the mound, attacking hitters with superb command. He keeps the ball down, showing good signs of a ground-ball pitcher. Has been a member of Team USA since he was 14.
45. Pirates (Ryan Doumit) — Carson Kelly, 6’-2”, 3B/RHP, Westview HS (OR)
With Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon, the Pirates are building a great rotation through the draft. They add some more depth in Kelly, an athlete who excels both on the mound and at the plate. He hit .473 with 14 home runs as a junior and is a line-drive hitter with power to all fields. Has very good bat speed and a solid approach at the plate. His strong arm and athleticism should allow him to stick at third base, if he chooses. As a pitcher, his curve, sinker and 93 mph fastball are all quality pitches with the ability to get better with more time and focus on the mound. Was outstanding at the Pan Am Championships for Team USA, going 2-0 1.29 ERA and 12 K/1 BB over 14 innings.
46. Rockies (Mark Ellis) — Kayden Porter, 6’-5”, RHP/1B, Spanish Fork HS (UT)
The Rockies go with even more power in Porter, a 6’-5” 240 lb first baseman with immense power to all fields. At the triple-A home run derby last year, going up against professional players, he stole the show by making it to the final round while launching several 450-foot+ home runs, including a 474-foot shot to dead center field. He also is a star on the mound with his fastball reaching 93 mph with room for more velocity. His curveball sits in the low 80s with sharp break and is a nice compliment to his fastball.
47. Athletics (David DeJesus) — Jeremy Baltz, 6’-3”, OF, St. John’s
Baltz has one of the most polished bats in the draft. He hit .396 with 24 home runs and 85 RBI as a freshman in 2011, earning him NCAA Freshman of the Year honors. He then tore up the Cape Cod League hitting .321 with two home runs and 23 RBI over 42 games, including a league-leading 13 doubles. He also showed off his advanced plate discipline by walking 25 times while only striking out 22 times over that span. With another impressive sophomore campaign, Baltz could shoot up draft boards come June.
48. White Sox (Mark Buehrle) — David Thompson, 6’-2”, 3B, Westminster Christian HS (FL)
Thompson has drawn comparisons to David Wright of the Mets because of his size, power and ability to hit for a high average. As a junior, he hit .525 with 17 HR and 45 RBI, including a two-game stretch where he went 7-for-8 with five home runs and 10 RBI. The White Sox’ farm system is one of the worst in baseball, and Thompson will help shore up some offensive liabilities they have down on the farm.
49. Reds (Ramon Hernandez) — Courtney Hawkins, 6’-3”, OF, Carroll HS (TX)
Hawkins is a five-tool prospect with tremendous power to all fields. He hit .410 with 15 home runs and 22 stolen bases as a junior. His plus arm (clocked at 92 mph from the outfield), mixed with his 6.6/60 speed, project him as a future right fielder in the majors. Still raw with his plate discipline, but that can be said about most high school players. Committed to Texas and could be a tough sign, but worth the risk here.
50. Blue Jays (Frank Francisco) — Richie Shaffer, 6’-4”, 3B/1B, Clemson
Shaffer is a big-time power hitter who won the home run derby at the Cap Cod League this year by hitting six home runs in a one-round contest at Fenway Park — two of them landing on Lansdowne street. Over 36 games in the league, he hit .263 with six home runs, 11 doubles and 22 RBI. His lack of range at third will most likely keep him at first, but his strong arm could play as a corner outfielder. His long swing leads to a lot of strikeouts but his power potential is what scouts come to see.
51. Dodgers (Rod Barajas) — Josh Elander, 6’-0”, C, TCU
Elander is an offensive catcher with great plate discipline. He hit .333 with five home runs, 38 RBI and nine stolen bases over 48 games for TCU in 2011. He also added 28 walks, showing his advanced approach at the plate. Just average defensively, Elander is athletic enough to improve enough behind the dish to stay at his position.
52. Cardinals (Octavio Dotel) — Alex Bregman, 5’-11”, C/INF, Albuquerque Academy (NM)
Bregman is an advanced hitter with an easy swing and power to all fields. As a junior, he hit .678 with 19 home runs, and his 6.8/60 speed allowed him to steal 23 bases as well. He is still raw as a catcher but has shown the ability to stay at the position at the next level. Hit .417 with seven RBI and five stolen bases for Team USA at the Pan Am Championships, coming up with clutch hit after clutch hit. Plays the game very hard and has a high understanding of the game.
53. Blue Jays (Jon Rauch) — Keon Barnum, 6’-4”, 1B, King HS (FL)
Barnum is a big time power hitter who has power to all fields from the left side of the plate. Hit .491 with six home runs and 10 stolen bases in 55 at-bats his junior season. He also walked an incredible 26 times, showing amazing discipline for his age. At 6’-4”, 220 lbs, has the frame, to go along with a plus arm and defense, to stick at first base.
54. Rangers (Darren Oliver) — Skye Bolt, 6’-2”, OF, Holy Innocents HS (GA)
Bolt is a switch hitting outfielder with a short, quick swing from both sides of the plate. Has been timed at 6.61 in the 60. Excellent bat speed and consistent contact project him as a high-average hitter at the next level. Also could add some serious power as he matures.
55. Blue Jays (Jose Molina) — Max Foody, 6’-4”, LHP, IMG Baseball Academy (FL)
At 6’-4”, 225 lbs, Foody is a big, power lefty with a lot of upside. His fastball touches 94 mph, and his curveball is a potential plus pitch. Had surgery in 2010 to repair a torn labrum but appears fully recovered and could move up the boards with a strong senior season.