Since my last posted cumulative mock draft board lots of highly regarded sources posted their mock drafts. Right now the cumulative board includes the mock drafts of the following 9 sources:
- Baseball America (1st round)
- Minor League Ball/John Sickels (1st and 1st supp. round)
- Prospect Junkies (1st round)
- SB Nation Mock Draft (1st, 1st supp. and 2nd round)
- Perfect Game (1st round)
- MLB / Jonathan Mayo (1st round)
- Jim Callis (1st round)
- Frank Piliere (1st round ... I've to admit that I don't get some of his explanations for picks, but he is a well regarded source)
- Diamond Scape Scouting (1st and 1st supp. round ... not a real mock, but a should draft)
Lets take a look at the board first. At the bottom I'm giving my take on the board and on other draft observations.
(Click at the table for a larger view)
- The mock drafts have the Rays selecting the following players with their 1st pick: Jose Fernandez (3 times), Robert Stephensen (2), Taylor Guerreri (1), Blake Swihart (1), Henry Owens (1) and Josh Osich (1). That's 8 pitchers in 9 mocks. I personally agree with Kevin, though. While the Rays should take the best player available, I think they should prefer hitters early on as the pitching class is very, very deep and they can get 1st round talents in the 1st supp. and even 2nd round. Therefore I'd like them to take one of Bell, Baez, Mahtook, Wong, Cron, Nimmo and Susac (in that order) with the 24th overall selection unless Daniel Norris or Tyler Guerreri fall to them. The only other pitcher (with the exception of the defenitely not falling guys) I'd consider with the 24th selection is Tyler Anderson as he is very advanced.
- More and more mock drafts have signable guys and slightly overdrafts being selected early on. I see this happening even more this year than in the last years as this draft class is that deep and as teams want to save some money for later rounds. Popular candidates for being selected above their reported talent level are Alex Meyer, C.J. Cron, Tyler Anderson and Michael Levy.
- The first late risers (a la Michael Choice last year) are being mentioned. These late risers often are draft favorites of few teams and they mostly sign for slot money. The most popular late riser is Larry Greene. Greene is a power hitting corner outfielder with enough speed and a good throwing arm. His profile makes him an excellent fit for RF.
- I see the Rays selecting their first pitcher with the 31st or 32nd overall pick. Their should be a combination of very well regarded high ceiling pitchers available with these picks. Henry Owens, Robert Stephensen, Dillon Howard, Tyler Beede, Anthony Meo and Josh Osich are just some of them.
- One more draft board riser and faller: Cory Spangenberg is more and more mentioned as 1st round selection. Derek Fisher, however, seems to be seen as a 1st supp. round selection after being mentioned as 20-30 pick before. I would be thrilled if the Rays could grab him with one of their supp. round picks.