Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Draft Prospect Rankings + Draft Mocks

With the draft not even a month from now we are going to lay out lots of draft coverage from now on. We follow this draft class even more closely as the Rays have 10 selections in the 1st round and 12 in the first two rounds. Andrew Friedman already pointed out that the 6th-8th of June are the most important days in Rays history. And they will spend.
Kevin and Doug started by pointing out some hitters to watch and by also posting a college pitcher follow list. In the coming weeks we are going to post more scouting reports on interesting prospects. Today, however, I'm going to post a cummulative prospect ranking list and the chance of each of these prospects to be available at the Rays 1st (24th overall) and 2nd/3rd pick (31st and 32nd overall).

For the prospect rankings I've combined the rankings by ...
  • Baseball America (top 50; all other prospects who are in the other lists get a 60)
  • MLB Bonus Baby (top 100; all other prospects who are in the other lists get their respective ranking in MLB Bonus Baby's top 150 or otherwise a 160)
  • Diamond Scape Scouting (top 100; all other prospects who are in the other lists get a 110)
  • Sports Illustrated/Jon Heyman (top 25 + 10 additional prospects who get a 35; all other prospects who are in the other lists get a 45)
I took these sources as they seem to be fairly accepted in the scouting industry (and as they are free). If you know of any up-to-date prospect rankings I should also add, please let me know.

Then I looked at the following mock drafts in order to know where these ranked prospects are expected to be taken. I, again, concentrated on 4 sources:
Again, if you know any other widely accepted and up-to-date mock drafts, please let me know.

The following table then shows you, how the prospects in this draft are being ranked and which prospects are available for the Rays first 3 picks:

(Click at the table for a larger view)

Going by the rankings, Jose Fernandez (a local power arm), John Stilson (high effort starter who has great stuff, but could wind up closing), Henry Owens (good FB, big curve, excellent potential) and Javier Baez (toolsy prep-IF who does it all. Could wind up as a 2B/3B or even C) are the highest likely top prospects to fall to the Rays. In fact, BA and Jon Heyman mocked Jose Fernandez as the 24th pick while Prospect Junkies projected the Rays to select Owens 24th overall. They all are very impressive talents for a 24th selection (while I would stay away from a pitcher who has a high chance of winding up in the pen with this selection --> no Stilson) and this is one sign for the incredible depth of this years' draft. All of them are high potential picks and I like them for the Rays while still hoping for anybody of Josh Bell, Mikie Mahtook or Daniel Norris falling to 24.
Considering the Rays' 2nd and 3rd selection, Derek Fisher (prep COF, some say he has the top HS power potential), Anthony Meo (#2 starter ceiling) and C.J. Cron (C/1B; very advanced power bat; destroys NCAA pitching) are the highest ranked likely available prospects according to the sources. I would be so happy if the Rays could land 2 of these 3 with the 31st and 32nd selection. Especially C.J. Cron is repeatedly (BA, MiL-Ball and SBN) mocked as the Rays 2nd selection. He fills maybe the only immediate need of the system (a fast advancing power bat) while still being a value pick. I hope the Rays to select him either here or with one of their later picks (24 is too early).

And ... as you all know, it's not over after the 1st round. The Rays have 7 more picks in the 1st supplemental round and then 2 more in the 2nd. And, what can I say ... the talent is very, very deep in this range! The Rays will come away with a high amount of high quality picks! I can't wait for the draft to finally happen.


  1. I'm not too big on the guys who could be there for the Rays. I'm not sold on Stilson just yet, I'm not a big fan of Javier Baez' profile, I think he'll end up at 3B, where he'll be athletic and should be a good defender with some speed, but the bat won't be great. He should be above-average there, but I want more upside if it's available, which it is this year. Speaking of upside, I'm not that big a fan of Jose Fernandez, either. He's already 19 (we think) and filled out pretty well (well enough to warrant concerns about his body going forward), and while he has touched 98, he sits 92-94, and there are a number of other, more athletic and projectable high school pitchers who sit there, also. The offspeed stuff can be good, so I could see him as a workhorse #2-3, but I could also be wrong on him, I have heard conflicting reports on his delivery, consistency and command. Owens could be the best guy there, although he is mostly projection.

    I would love Josh Bell or Daniel Norris at 24, but it's probably not going to happen. Otherwise, I like Andrew Susac (switch-hitting catcher with great defensive potential and improving bat) and Tyler Anderson (left-handed James Shields, low-90's FB w/sink, great changeup, also has a curve and slider, great command and feel for pitching).

    I like Fisher and Cron for 31 and 32, but also Michael Kelly (HS RHP, high upside guy), Josh Tobias (HS 2B/CF with great speed and some pop, switch-hitter) and HS OFers Brandon

  2. You're totally right! I wouldn't take Stilson either before 38 (I totally forgot that he was included when writing the post above). I like Baez, though, as he may be able to switch to 2B and/or C as well and as his bat should be more than fine. Fernandez seems to be only behind Guerreri, Norris, Bradley and Bundy considering prep pitchers. And ... by nearly all draft gurus he seems to be ahead of Owens, Stephenson, Kelly, Beede (= the next crop). His FB and good offspeed stuff seem intriguing to me despite him being older.

    I personally like Beede, Stephenson, Wong and also Kelly next to Fisher, Meo and Cron for 31/32. But, maybe I'd wait for one of these prep pitchers to fall to 38?

    I, right now would take (based on John Sickels mock draft):
    24 Wong (simply a good BB player), 31 Cron, 32 Meo, 38 Nimmo, 41 Story, 42 Kelly, 52 Carpenter, 56 Tilson, 59 Armstrong, 60 Kukuk

  3. This link will take you to an MLB Mock Draft Database that stays current.

  4. I know it, thx diamondtom! I just don't know most of the guys behind the mocks and their scouting background.

  5. It's amazing to me that the Rays could walk away from this draft with Wong, Cron, Meo and Nimmo -- all of those guys are upper-half first-rounders in most years.

  6. BurGi, This is good research.

    Callis' picks are up at:

    He had Jose Fernandez at 24, Kolten Wong at 31 and Matt Purke 32.

  7. Adding to that, here is what Callis said of each:

    24. RAYS: With a record 12 picks in the first two rounds of the draft, Tampa Bay can take a little of everything. Several of the best players available at this point figure to be high school pitchers, such as Jose Fernandez, a local Tampa product; Arkansas righty Dillon Howard; or Californians Robert Stephenson, Henry Owens and Joe Ross.

    Projected Pick: Jose Fernandez.

    31. RAYS: After taking on some risk with a high school arm at No. 24, Tampa Bay could opt for Wong. His track record for hitting makes him one of the safer picks in the draft.

    Projected Pick: Kolten Wong.

    32. RAYS: Purke began the year as a potential No. 1 overall pick, and if ever a team could afford to gamble on a player with major health and signability questions, it's Tampa Bay. If he bounces back, he's the steal of the draft at No. 32. If not, the Rays have 11 other choices in the first two rounds and take a compensation pick in 2012.

    Projected Pick: Matt Purke

  8. Thx Anon,

    I add Calis' mock as well as Jon Mayo's (MLB) top prospect list to the table and post an update in the next weeks.