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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.
19. Kansas City Royals — Ti’Quan Forbes, SS, Columbia HS (MS)
At 6’-4” and 180 pounds, the right-hander oozes potential due to his defensive abilities, strong arm, plus speed (6.4/60) and developing raw power. He has shown a patient approach at the plate, driving the ball to all fields, and his size suggests more power will come. He hit .391/.447/.758 as a junior with only seven strikeouts over 103 plate appearances. If teams believe he can stick at shortstop, he could shoot up draft boards.
20. Washington Nationals — Kyle Schwarber, C, Indiana
Maybe the best power bat in college, the 6’-0”, 230-pound left-hander also has a great approach at the plate and should hit for a high average at the next level. His ability to remain behind the plate is still up for debate, but he wants to stay there and has been working hard on his defense. Over 61 games as a sophomore, he hit .366/.456/.647 with 10 doubles, 18 home runs and drew 42 walks to just 37 strikeouts. He then hit .308/.396/.436 over 21 games for The Collegiate National Team with 11 walks. We all saw the premium put on college bats in this year’s draft, and Schwarber should benefit from that next year.
21. Cincinnati Reds — Dylan Cease, RHP, Milton HS (GA)
With a fastball that sits in the 93-96 mph range, the 6’-2” right-hander is another hard throwing prepster in a class deep on them. He adds an above-average curveball and is a very athletic player who also shines on the offensive end. The mound is where he dominates, however, and he still has projection left. Plus, he plays in Georgia where they grow elite players on a farm somewhere.
22. Tampa Bay Rays — Jack Flaherty, 3B/RHP, Harvard-Westlake HS (CA)
Like Gatewood, Flaherty is a 6’-4”, 200-pound right-hander with massive power potential. The ball jumps off his bat and his plus bat speed suggests he should hit for a high average, as well. He doesn’t have quite the arm of Gatewood, but he should be able to stick at third due to his range and instincts. He has shown above-average speed but probably isn’t a guy who is going to steal many bases. Playing for a national powerhouse, he will get plenty of attention this year. He is a baseball player in every sense of the word. Committed to North Carolina.
23. Texas Rangers — Aaron Nola, RHP, LSU
Maybe the best control artist available in the 2014 MLB draft, the 6’-1” right-hander features a plus, low-90s fastball with nasty sink to it. He offsets his fastball with a deceptive change-up that freezes hitters. As a freshman, he had 89 K/7 BB over 89.2 innings and 40 of those strikeouts were looking. He was lights-out as a sophomore for LSU, going 12-1 over 17 starts with a 1.57 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 122 K/18 BB over 126 innings. His size limits his upside a bit, but you’d be hard pressed to find a better pitcher, in the true sense of the word, out there.
24. Cleveland Indians — Zach Shannon, 3B/RHP, Moeller HS (OH)
A two-way prospect who may have more upside as a hitter, the 6’-3”, 220-pound right-hander has a canon arm (95 mph) and his power bat would play well at the hot corner. He has shown the ability to hit to all fields and has good bat speed. On the mound, he also has an upper-70s curveball that shows plus potential to go along with his plus fastball that hit 95 mph at the PG Classic. He hails from the same school that produced Ken Griffey Jr., Batty Larkin and Buddy Bell.
25. Los Angeles Dodgers — Mac Marshall, LHP, Parkview HS (GA)
One of the better southpaws in the 2014 MLB draft, Marshall’s fastball sits in the low/mid-90s and he has worked hard on his delivery and command over the past year. He also flashed a potential plus curveball at the Perfect Game Nationals. At 6’-2” and 185 pounds, he is a great athlete who has been clocked at 6.7 in the 60. As a junior, he had 80 K/32 BB over 46 innings for one of the premiere programs in the country. Committed to Georgia.
26. Detroit Tigers — Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Sandalwood HS (FL)
The 6’-3”, 210-pound right-hander flashes a plus fastball that touches 94 mph with late life, thanks to his easy delivery and strong build. He also features a filthy, upper-70s curveball that may be one of the best in his class, as well as a slider that looked like a future plus pitch at The Tournament of Stars in North Carolina. He has put his name on the map over the last month and has huge upside due to his size, easy delivery and stuff. Committed to Florida State.
27. Pittsburgh Pirates — Luis Ortiz, RHP, Sanger HS (CA)
The 6’-3”, 220-pound right-hander will be almost 19 on draft day, making him one of the older players in his class. Because of this, his upside isn’t as high as others on this list. That said, his stuff is really good and his fastball sits in the 92-95 mph range. He adds a developing plus slider that sits in the mid-80s and his offspeed stuff is still in the developmental stages. He has great mound presence and feel for his pitches, and he also is a good athlete.
28. Oakland Athletics — Cobi Johnson, RHP, James Mitchell HS (FL)
At 6’-4” and 180 pounds, the right-hander has the ideal size for a frontline starter. His fastball has touched 93 mph, and he adds a solid curveball. His change-up, like most prep pitchers, is still developing, but he shows a good feel for pitching, and his athleticism will help with his progression. He has shown very good command of his stuff and had 103 K/14 BB over 71 innings as a junior. He also hit .426/.508/.703 over 30 games with 18 stolen bases. His velocity does drop off in later innings, but he should gain more stamina as he fills out his frame. He struck out three in one perfect inning at the PG Classic. Committed to Florida State.
29. Atlanta Braves — Marcus Wilson, OF, Serra HS (CA)
At 6’-3” and 180 pounds, the right-hander is raw in areas but has a lot of upside based on his plus speed and ability to drive the ball to all fields. His size implies more power will come. He also has a plus arm and is one of those players that gets better every time out. One of the youngest players in the 2014 MLB draft and one of those quick-twitch athletes that scouts love. Committed to Arizona State.
30. Boston Red Sox — Brady Aiken, RHP, Cathedral Catholic HS (CA)
One of the youngest players in the 2014 MLB draft, the 6’-4” southpaw is an alumni of Team USA Baseball and is very polished on the mound. His fastball sits in the low 90s, and both his curveball and change-up are solid offerings. He has great control of his pitches and dominated at The Tournament of Stars, striking out seven over three scoreless innings. He then earned the win in the gold medal game against Japan at the World Cup Championships in Taiwan, striking out 10 over seven innings, allowing just one run. He had a 1.18 ERA and 80 K/25 BB over 53.1 innings as a junior for a team that included 2013 fourth-round pick Stephen Gonsalves. Committed to UCLA.
31. St. Louis Cardinals — Kodi Medeiros, LHP, Waiakea HS (HI)
Medeiros was the talk of the PG Classic. Some people described his stuff as filthy, nasty and some players tweeted he had some of the best stuff they have ever seen. He hit 95 mph with his fastball and added a nasty, filthy slider that sat in the low 80s. What really makes him nasty and filthy, however, is his delivery. He throws from low three-quarters — almost sidearm. You don’t see a lot of sidearm, frontline starters in the majors so it will be interesting to watch him his senior season. Also, at 6’-0” and 185 pounds, his size may limit his upside. Nonetheless, he established himself as one of the most exciting players in the country and if any team can develop him, it’s the Cardinals.
Competitive Balanced Lottery Round A
32. Colorado Rockies — Gregory Deichmann, SS, Brothers Martin HS (LA)
Left-handed hitting power shortstops are a nice commodity to have, and the 6’-2”, 190-pound Deichmann has a chance to stick at short due to his strong arm, speed and instincts in the field. He has excellent bat speed and can put on displays in the cage during batting practice. Even if he ends up at third, the power and arm will play well. Committed to USC.
33. Houston Astros — Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco
The younger brother of Royals prospect Kyle Zimmer, Bradley is a 6’-5”, 205-pound, left-handed hitter who has tremendous speed for his size. He also has a great arm and instincts in the field. Over 58 games as a sophomore, he hit .320/.437/.512 with 12 doubles, seven home runs and stole 19 bases. He also shows a great approach at the plate as he drew 29 walks to 31 strikeouts and was hit by a pitch a whopping 16 times, proving he’ll do whatever it takes to get on base. He showed off his wheels for The Collegiate National Team, swiping 11 of 12 bases over 21 games while also hitting an even .300. An exciting player who could shoot up draft boards with another impressive junior season.
34. Cleveland Indians — Chase Vallot, C, St. Thomas More HS (LA)
One of the youngest players in the draft, the 6’-0”, 205-pound right-hander generates a ton of raw power due to his bat speed and strong wrists. His strong arm, size and footwork should allow him to stick at a premium position and he also has pretty good speed. Another player I got to see at Wrigley, he hit a couple bombs out of the park with ease and showed a polished approach at the plate during the game. Committed to Mississippi State.
35. Miami Marlins — Jakson Reetz, C/RHP, Norris HS (NE)
A terrific athlete and two-way player, the 6’-1”, 200-pound right-hander’s ability to stick behind the plate make him a highly touted prospect. More of a line drive hitter now, more power should come as he matures, and he has the bat speed to back it up. Can hit the low-90s on the mound so his arm plays well behind the plate and he makes for a big target. Committed to Nebraska.
36. Kansas City Royals — Justin Smith, OF, Bartram Trail HS
The 6’-2”, 200-pound right-hander has all five tools, including a canon arm in the outfield (92 mph) and plus speed (6.6/60). He is still considered raw in some areas, but his excellent bat speed, along with his frame, make for a huge upside. He stood out at the East Coast pro tournament making several strong plays in the outfield and driving the ball to all fields. Many are expecting a huge senior season.
37. Milwaukee Brewers — Kel Johnson, OF, Home School, (GA)
A 6’-4”, 210-pound right-hander who has been a fixture on Perfect Game tournaments, Johnson is home schooled by his parents and plays for the East Cobb Braves — one of the premiere youth baseball operations in the country. Power would be his best tool right now as he generates a ton of it with his strong wrists and bat speed. A player who you come to watch hit batting practice. Finished second to Gatewood in the home run derby at Citi Field, hitting 11 in total. Committed to Georgia Tech.
Next five: Scott Hurst, Foster Griffin, Monte Harrison, Mike Papi, Joey Pankake
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @DanMKirby for 2014 MLB draft updates, prospect news and Cubs ramblings.