Updated June 4, 2014
Well, it all comes down to this. With the 2014 MLB draft just two days away, this will be my final 2014 MLB mock draft of the year. In my final mock last year, I got 28 of 33 first-round picks correct and hit on five — none of which were the top four. We will see how this year goes as this is shaping up to be a very unpredictable draft. Here is my final 2014 MLB mock draft:
1. Houston Astros — Brady Aiken, LHP, Cathedral Catholic HS (CA)
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The Astros are reportedly looking at a number of players here, but I think they end up taking Aiken. Prep arms are always a risk but Aiken is as polished as they come and he has very good mechanics, as well as some silly stuff. He wowed scouts all year with his added velocity and has touched 96 mph this year. He adds two potential plus off-speed offerings and he has excellent command of his stuff. He finished the spring with 97 K/13 BB over 53.2 innings, allowing just 23 hits. Committed to UCLA.
2. Miami Marlins — Alex Jackson, C/OF, Rancho Bernardo HS (CA)
Carlos Rodon would be tough to pass on here, but I have a feeling the Marlins go bat and select the best prep one available. Jackson is a 6’-2”, 215 pound right-hander with some of the best power in the 2014 MLB draft — if not the best. He also has an advanced approach at the plate and a plus arm that would play perfect in a corner outfield spot if he doesn’t stick at catcher — which doesn’t seem likely. Over 25 games, he hit .403/.587/.944 with five doubles, 10 home runs and 20 walks to seven strikeouts. Committed to Oregon.
3. Chicago White Sox — Carlos Rodon, LHP, North Carolina State
There is a lot of talk about Tyler Kolek here, but if Rodon is still on the board, you have to assume he would be the guy. Plus, as I have mentioned in previous 2014 MLB mock drafts, Kenny Williams hasn’t taken a prep arm in the first round since 2001. The 6’-3”, 240 pound southpaw was inconsistent throughout the season but finished very strong, posting a 1.46 ERA, 1.11 WHIP with 57 K/13 BB over his last six starts (43.1 IP.) He has TOR stuff headlined by a plus/plus slider and mid-90s heat. He has great stamina and a loaded arsenal.
4. Chicago Cubs — Nick Gordon, SS, Olympia HS (FL)
If it unfolds like this, my guess would be Gordon. Not only could he save the Cubs a little bit of money for later in the draft, he has some serious offensive upside and plays a premium position very well. With his plus speed, advanced approach from the left side, plus arm and overall instincts for the game, he’s a potential superstar in the making. Over 30 games this spring, Gordon hit .506/.613/.874 with 10 doubles, six home runs and 19 stolen bases. He drew 18 walks and struck out just three times. Committed to Florida State.
5. Minnesota Twins — Tyler Kolek, RHP, Shepherd HS (TX)
I can’t see Kolek getting past the Twins here. Arms like his don’t come around often and, at 6’-5” and 240 pounds, he already is a man. He can touch triple-digits with ease, shows a future plus slider and has a good feel for a change-up that he simply doesn’t need right now. Over 54.1 innings, he had 112 K/6 BB, allowing two runs on 20 hits. He threw a first-pitch strike to 132/194 batters and averaged 86.6 pitches-per-start as his coaches did a great job of protecting his golden arm. Committed to TCU.
6. Seattle Mariners — Trea Turner, SS, North Carolina State
I don’t see Turner this high on many people’s boards, but I like him here if it shapes up like this. Turner started the season off slow but was a beast down the stretch, hitting .407/.527/.678 with five doubles, a triple, three home runs and 15 walks over his last 15 games, as well as stealing 10 bases. The 6‘-1“, 175 pound right-hander has plus/plus speed, an advanced approach at the plate and showed his developing power in the second half — something scouts wanted to see. He has all the tools to stick at shortstop including great range.
7. Philadelphia Phillies — Aaron Nola, RHP, LSU
The Phillies have been linked to Nola, and I don’t see him falling past them here. He is one of the safest players in the 2014 MLB draft and could rise quickly through their system. 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, and his slider is a quality offering, although it has been a bit inconsistent this season. Over 16 starts, he posted a 1.47 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 134 K/27 BB over 116.1 innings. Over 332 career innings at LSU, he now has 345 K/52 BB. A poised pitcher with pin-point control and a great track record.
8. Colorado Rockies — Kyle Freeland, LHP, Evansville
Freeland didn’t allow a home run all season — a span of 99.2 innings. That alone should make him the number-one target for the Rockies. He adds some incredible command of his stuff, too — another very important thing for pitching at Coors. The 6’-4”, 190 pound southpaw features a plus slider and his fastball sits in the low/mid 90s. He adds a solid change-up with good sink and, even though there is some effort to his delivery, most believe he can remain a starter. He posted a 1.90 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 128 K/13 BB over 99.2 innings this season.
9. Toronto Blue Jays — Jeff Hoffman, RHP, East Carolina
With the Jays having two picks in the top 11, I can see them grabbing Hoffman here, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. When healthy, he has maybe the best stuff in this draft, including a fastball that can touch 98 mph, a plus change-up and plus slurve. At 6’-4” and 185 pounds, he has a great pitcher’s body and this could end up being the steal of the draft if he returns to form in a year or two.
10. New York Mets — Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco
I think the Mets take the best overall college bat in the 2014 MLB draft with Zimmer, a 6’-5”, 200 pound left-handed hitter with power and speed. He impressed everyone with his hit tool this season and he has a solid approach at the plate. With a strong arm and his athleticism, he could stick in center field but may end up in a corner outfield spot. Over 54 games, he hit .368/.461/.573 with 10 doubles, seven triples, seven home runs and drew 31 walks to 34 strikeouts. He swiped 23 bases but was thrown out 11 times, showing some needed improvement in his base running.
11. Toronto Blue Jays — Touki Toussaint, RHP, Coral Springs HS (FL)
The Jays are doing some gambling in this mock draft but could end up the big winners if Hoffman regains his stuff and Touki lives up to his potential. At 6’-3” and 190 pounds, he has electric stuff and can touch 97 mph with his fastball to go along with a filthy, mid-70s hammer curve. His command, however, can get the best of him. He is still relatively new to pitching and is a great athlete so the concerns aren’t as big. Committed to Vanderbilt.
12. Milwaukee Brewers — Kyle Schwarber, C/1B, Indiana
The Brewers are always mum on who they are targeting. The last I heard was they were looking for either an impact bat or arm with their pick … okay, then. I like Schwarber here as his offensive potential is crazy. He has immense power from the left side and an advanced approach. If he can’t stick behind the plate, first base seems like a likely destination, although he is athletic and his strong arm could work in a corner outfield spot. The 6’-1”, 240 pound left-handed hitter is hitting .358/.464/.659 with 16 doubles, six triples, 14 home runs and has drawn 44 walks to 30 strikeouts through 59 games. He has added 10 stolen bases.
13. San Diego Padres — Max Pentecost, C, Kennesaw State
I have liked this pick for a while and I am sticking with it. Pentecost put his name into the first round after winning the MVP at the Cape Cod League over the summer and continued to impress all spring. The 6’-1”, 190 pound right-hander is a great athlete with a strong arm that could easily handle a corner outfield spot if he doesn’t stick behind the plate. He is hitting .416/.470/.624 through 59 games with 21 doubles, nine home runs and 24 walks to just 25 strikeouts, showing a very good approach at the plate. He has also gone 16-for-18 in stolen base attempts, showing above-average speed.
14. San Francisco Giants — Sean Newcomb, LHP, Hartford
The 6’-5”, 240 pound southpaw can touch 98 mph with his fastball and adds a slider that shows plus potential. He wasn’t facing the best competition this season but he simply blew away the opposition. Over 14 starts, he posted a 1.25 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 106 K/38 BB over 93.1 innings. He held opponents to a miniscule .162 BAA and allowed just seven extra-base hits — all doubles. The one knock on him is his command, everything else is brilliant.
15. Los Angeles Angels — Tyler Beede, RHP, Vanderbilt
I have heard Beede likely isn’t falling out of the top-15 picks. After his last start, in which he had 14 strikeouts over eight shutout innings against Xavier, hitting 99 mph with his fastball and showing off his TOR stuff, I feel like I have him too low. I have been a huge supporter of him all year, and he is another guy who is going to be steal looking back in a couple of years.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks — Grant Holmes, RHP, Conway HS (SC)
At 6’-2” and 200 pounds, Holmes has three pitches that are present above-average to plus offerings. His fastball has touched 98 mph but has been sitting around 92-94, and he adds a plus curveball that sits 79-81 with late bite and great depth. His change-up is already an above-average offering, sitting 84-86 mph. The talk always revolves around his projection, or lack thereof. With his current stuff, however, he doesn’t need it. Committed to Florida.
17. Kansas City Royals — Michael Conforto, OF, Oregon State
Arguably the best college hitter in the 2014 MLB draft, Conforto has an advanced approach at the plate and can hit the ball hard to all fields. At 6’-3” and 215 pounds, the left-handed hitter should continue to add power as he matures. He is an average defender in left, but he has a very accurate arm. Through 59 games, he is hitting .345/.504/.547 with 16 doubles, seven home runs and has drawn 55 walks to 38 strikeouts. Another guy with a strong track record of hitting.
18. Washington Nationals — Derek Hill, OF, Elk Grove HS (CA)
Hill is a superb defender in center field with plus speed (6.38/60) and great instincts. He is a student of the game and has bloodlines. His offense is still catching up, but he shows a good approach at the plate and, at 6’-2” and 180 pounds, many believe more power will come as he matures. Over 26 games, he hit .517/.600/.782 with nine doubles, seven triples and 18 stolen bases. Committed to Oregon.
19. Cincinnati Reds — Luis Ortiz, RHP, Sanger HS (CA)
Ortiz started the year with a forearm injury and his draft status cooled off a bit. But now that he is fully healthy, he is back in first-round talks. The 6’-2” right-hander has some of the best stuff in his class, including a fastball that touches 97 mph and sits 92-95. He adds a potential plus slider, and both his change-up and curveball are solid offerings. He has great command of his stuff and throws everything with ease. He is one of the older players in his class and there isn’t much projection left, but he doesn’t need much. Committed to Fresno State.
20. Tampa Bay Rays — Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Sandalwood HS (FL)
Reid-Foley has been one of the quickest risers after an impressive spring in which he showed the makings of a four-pitch mix. His curveball is one of the best in his class — an upper-70s hammer with great depth. His fastball touches 94 mph with late life, his slider shows flashes of plus potential and his change-up is still developing. At 6’-4” and 190 pounds, the right-hander has upside due to his athleticism and easy delivery. Over 65.2 innings, he had 120 K/15 BB and allowed just 17 hits. Committed to Florida State.
21. Cleveland Indians — Michael Chavis, 3B, Sprayberry HS (GA)
Known for his massive power potential, Chavis showed a much improved hit tool this spring, as well as above-average speed. The 5’-11”, 200 pound right-hander is a very good athlete and should be able to handle the hot corner where his strong arm and bat would play well. He has excellent bat speed, a great approach at the plate and can hit to all fields. Over 30 games, he hit .536/.632/1.143 with seven doubles, 14 home runs, 17 stolen bases and 16 walks to just 10 strikeouts. Committed to Clemson.
22. Los Angeles Dodgers — Michael Kopech, RHP, Mount Pleasant HS (TX)
The Dodgers are great at developing young pitching and Kopech would come to them with two plus offerings in his bag already. His fastball can touch 98 mph and his slider is filthy. I saw him strike out Alex Jackson on three straight sliders at the Under Armour AA game at Wrigley, then strikeout Monte Harrison and Michael Gettys in one inning of work. The 6’-4”, 190 pound right-hander finished with 129 K/18 BB over 64 innings, allowing just 25 hits. Committed to Arizona.
23. Detroit Tigers — Casey Gillaspie, 1B, Wichita State
I keep seeing a power arm linked to the Tigers with this pick, but I am going with a power bat. Gillaspie is a 6’-4”, 240 pound switch-hitter with tremendous power, an advanced approach and a great track record. As a sophomore, he drew a ridiculous 62 walks over 66 games and added 16 doubles and 11 home runs. This season, he hit .389/.520/.682 over 59 games with 15 doubles, 15 home runs and drew 58 walks to just 28 strikeouts. He also is a great defender at first base.
24. Pittsburgh Pirates — Jacob Gatewood, SS, Clovis HS (CA)
At 6’-5” and 200 pounds, Gatewood has easy raw power from the right side and wins just about every home run derby he enters, including the one at Citi Field during the All-Star break when he sent three balls into the third deck. His hit tool has been questioned, but he has made adjustments, shortening his swing a bit. Another question is where he will play on the field. He plays shortstop now but most feel he will move off the position at the next level. He is a good athlete and his strong arm should hold up at the hot corner where the power would more than justify. Committed to USC.
25. Oakland Athletics — Brandon Finnegan, LHP, TCU
With a fastball that can touch 100 mph and a plus, power slider, Finnegan has some of the best stuff in the 2014 MLB draft. At 5’-11” and 185 pounds, people are always going to question his size as a frontline starter, but his track record suggests he should be able to handle the workload. The southpaw had a shoulder injury earlier in the season but has looked fully healthy since his return. Through 15 starts, he has a 2.07 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 122 K/25 BB over 91.1 innings, showing great command of his stuff.
26. Boston Red Sox — Erick Fedde, RHP, UNLV
With the Red Sox having a comp pick at 33, I could see them taking a gamble on Fedde here and hoping for a full recovery. When healthy, his stuff is electric and he was getting some top-five love before he went down. His fastball sits in the low 90s and has late life. He flashes a plus slider and his change-up is solid. He has great command of his stuff and, at 6’-4” and 180 pounds, he has projection left. He finished the season with a 1.76 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 82 K/21 BB over 76.2 innings.
27. St. Louis Cardinals — Spencer Adams, RHP, White County HS (GA)
At 6’-4” and 180 pounds, Adams is a terrific athlete who stars in three sports and can touch 95 mph with his fastball. Because of his size and athleticism, there is room in the tank for added velocity and his loose, easy mechanics bode well for his secondary refinement and command. His slider shows plus potential, and he also adds a curveball and change-up, giving him a four-pitch mix.
28. Kansas City Royals — Braxton Davidson, OF/1B, Roberson HS (NC)
An advanced hitter, Davidson is a 6’-3”, 210 pound left-hander with great power potential. He has excellent bat speed and a patient approach. He doesn’t offer much speed, but he has a strong arm and could handle left field but may end up at first base where the pressure would be on his bat. He puts on shows in the batting cage and the power plays up in games, too. Committed to North Carolina.
29. Cincinnati Reds — Monte Harrison, OF, Lee’s Summit HS (MO)
Harrison is an exceptional wide receiver and committed to play both sports at Nebraska. Most believe he will sign, however, especially if he gets drafted in the first round. With his plus arm (97 mph from outfield), he has upside as both a pitcher and hitter. He has great bat speed and more power should come as he matures due to his 6’-4”, 185 pound frame. He adds good speed and has all of the raw tools to be a great one once he starts focusing full time on baseball.
30. Texas Rangers — Foster Griffin, LHP, The First Academy (FL)
Foster showed an advanced feel for the mound this spring and he also touched 95 mph with his fastball. At 6’-5” and 190 pounds, the southpaw adds a change-up with good deception and his slider projects to an above-average offering. He has very good command of his stuff and is aggressive on the mound, attacking both sides of the plate. He has the size, stuff and mound presence you want in a frontline starter.
31. Cleveland Indians — Ti’Quan Forbes, SS, Columbia HS (MS)
Forbes has all the tools to remain at shortstop, but at 6’-4” and 175 pounds, he could outgrow the position. His strong arm would play well at third but he would have to develop more power. He has great speed (6.4/60) and a move to center field could work, as well. Offensively, he has a good approach at the plate and can drive the ball to all fields due to his bat speed. He has a lot of upside and, if the power comes, he will end up being a steal here. Committed to Ole Miss.
32. Atlanta Braves — Michael Gettys, OF, Gainesville HS (GA)
Gettys is one of my favorite players in the 2014 MLB draft, and I think he has the potential to go a lot higher. I’m still putting him higher than most, and I feel like he is going to make a lot of people look stupid in a few years. He has plus speed, a plus/plus arm and has shown in-game power this season. The knock on him is his hit tool, but like Gatewood, he made some adjustments and the results were immediate. Over his last 16 games, he hit .460/.565/.940 with six doubles, six home runs and 12 stolen bases and showed a much better approach at the plate. Committed to Georgia.
33. Boston Red Sox — Alex Blandino, 2B/3B, Stanford
One of the purest college bats in the 2014 MLB draft, Blandino has a great approach at the plate and very good bat speed. At 6’-0” and 190 pounds, he has shown the power many wanted to see this season. He has the abilities to stick at third but many believe he will make a move over to second base. Through 58 games, he is hitting .312/.399/.540 with 13 doubles, 12 home runs and has drawn 29 walks to 30 strikeouts. Stanford hitters get a bad rap, but this kid can hit.
34. St. Louis Cardinals — Cameron Varga, RHP, Cincinnati Hills HS (OH)
Of the 174 outs Varga recorded this spring, 144 came via strikeout. The 6’-4”, 200 pound right-hander has a great pitcher’s body and his fastball has been sitting 92-94 mph, along with an upper-70s curveball with great depth. Even though he is one of the older players in his class, his arm is fresh as he was a shortstop his first two years of high school. Considering how much he has progressed in such a short time, there is still projection left. On the season, he has 144 K/6 BB over 58 innings, allowing just one run on 14 hits. He is also a terrific athlete. Committed to North Carolina.
35. Colorado Rockies — Matt Imhof, LHP, Cal Poly
At 6’-5” and 220 pounds, the southpaw has the size you want in a workhorse. He will only be 20 years old come draft day, making him one of the youngest college players in the draft. His fastball sits in the 89-92 mph range and can touch 94 due to his smooth, effortless delivery. He adds solid secondary stuff and knows how to mix his pitches well. Over 15 starts, he had a 2.45 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 124 K/42 BB over 99.1 innings. He did have some command issues late in the season but he held opponents to a .195 BAA.
36. Miami Marlins — Forrest Wall, 2B, Orangewood Christian HS (FL)
Wall showed off his plus speed, advanced hit tool and mature approach at the plate this spring. The 6’-0”, 190 pound right-hander is a quick-twitch athlete with excellent bat speed and sprays the ball to all fields. Most feel more power will come, and he projects to a top-of-the-order hitter with the ability to rack up stolen bases and get on base at a high clip. Over 18 games this year, he hit .531/.634/.877 with 12 extra-base hits and was a perfect 26-for-26 in stolen base attempts. He also drew 19 walks to just six strikeouts. Committed to North Carolina.
37. Houston Astros — Kodi Medeiros, LHP, Waiakea HS (HI)
Medeiros’ fastball can touch 95 with great movement and late life. His slider sits in the upper-70s with silly break and his change-up has nice deception. At 6’-0” and 185 pounds, the southpaw doesn’t offer much projection, and he pitches almost sidearm, raising questions about his ability to remain a starter. His stuff, however, is elite. Committed to Pepperdine.
38. Cleveland Indians — A.J. Reed, 1B/LHP, Kentucky
Reed was an absolute stud on both the mound, as well as the plate this season. The 6’-4”, 240 pound left-hander came into the season with more upside as a power arm but now seems destined to go the offensive route as he led the nation in nearly every power category. Over 62 games, he hit .336/.476/.735 with 18 doubles, 23 home runs and 49 walks to 48 strikeouts. There is swing-and-miss to his game but the power potential is massive. On the mound, he went 12-2 with a 2.09 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 71 K/29 BB over 112 innings and he can hit the mid-90s with his fastball.
39. Pittsburgh Pirates — Derek Fisher, OF, Virginia
Fisher came back from a broken hamate bone in his right hand and hit two home runs in his first two games, a great sign considering the injury is known to sap power. At 6’-3” and 210 pounds, the left-handed hitter is a great athlete who should develop more power as he matures. He will end up in left field and there are questions about his defense but his bat has a lot of potential.
40. Kansas City Royals — Chase Vallot, C, St. Thomas More HS (LA)
Power comes easy for Vallot and the 6’-1”, 205 pound right-hander has some of the best of it in his class. He also showed a better overall hit tool this spring, and his plus arm and footwork behind the plate should allow him to stick there — although the arm and bat would play well in a corner outfield spot. Over 36 games, he hit .550/.656/1.107 with 14 doubles, 13 home runs and 62 RBI and led his team to a state title. A great kid who is a tireless worker, Vallot is a leader both on the field and off. Committed to Mississippi State.
41. Milwaukee Brewers — Scott Blewett, RHP, Baker HS (NY)
At 6’-6” and 220 pounds, Blewett has the size you want in a frontline starter. He also has the arm as his fastball can touch 95 mph. He adds a potential plus curveball with great looping action, as well as a change-up and a circle-curve (change) he has been working on. With his size, stuff and smooth mechanics, there is a lot of projection left. Committed to St. Johns.
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