Sunday, June 5, 2011

The RaysProspects Mock Draft

BurGi and I went back and forth to make up a first-round mock. Enjoy!

1. Pittsburgh Pirates (Burgi) select Danny Hultzen (LHP; COL; Virginia) - Despite a reported high price tag (don't take the 13 mil. $ talk seriously) he should command a lower bonus than Cole/Rendon/Bundy while being nearly as talented and more polished. The Pirates save a couple mil. $ for later on and still take a top-of-the-draft talent. I am okay with this strategy if the draft class is very deep.
2. Seattle Mariners (Kevin) select Anthony Rendon (3B; COL; Rice) - Seattle definitely could use a bat, and if the Pirates take either Hultzen or Cole this pick is a no-brainer. He hasn't had a great spring but he's still easily the top hitter in the draft.
3. Arizona Diamondbacks (Burgi) select Gerrit Cole (RHP; COL; UCLA) - Very tough choice as the Diamondbacks are reportedly looking at Hultzen and Bauer. Nevertheless I am going with Cole (over Bauer) as I think he is the better prospect and the Diamondbacks will invest heavily in this draft.
4. Baltimore Orioles (Kevin) select Dylan Bundy (RHP; HS; Owasso HS (Oklahoma)/University of Texas commit) - In a very strong year for prep pitching, Bundy is a cut above them all thanks to his rare mix of current stuff and polish. Baltimore has done a nice job developing pitching lately and it should continue here.
5. Kansas City Royals (Burgi) select Trevor Bauer (RHP; COL; UCLA) - The Royals are reportedly looking at college pitching and Dylan Bundy. Bundy went to the O's at 1-4 and thus they select the top college pitcher on their board. This reportedly is Trevor Bauer. Fan favorite and Kansas native Bubba Starling stays on the board as well.

6. Washington Nationals (Kevin) select Bubba Starling (OF; HS; Gardner-Edgerton HS (Kansas)/University of Nebraska commit) - A lot of buzz recently here. Starling has some big-time star potential, but he's still somewhat raw as a two-sport star (with a football scholarship to Nebraska). Washington has spent big on Strasburg and Harper, and while this isn't the #1 overall pick, they should do it again with Starling.
7. Arizona Diamondbacks* (Burgi) select Sonny Gray (RHP; COL; Vanderbilt) - Gray is a bit of the wildcard of the top college pitching talent. He could very well end up as a #1/#2 starter. On the other hand his high effort delivery could limit him to the bullpen. In the pen he should develop into a top notch closer, though. Francisco Lindor, Matt Barnes and Jed Bradley have been in consideration for this pick as well.
8. Cleveland Indians (Kevin) select Taylor Jungmann (RHP; COL; University of Texas) - Indians like college pitching, so Jungmann, Jed Bradley, Matt Barnes are all in the mix, plus Bauer or Gray if they somehow fall. Jungmann doesn't have an ace ceiling but he should move through the system very quickly.
9. Chicago Cubs (Burgi) select Francisco Lindor (SS; HS; Montverde Acadamy (Florida)/Florida State University commit) - While having hoped for Bubba Starling to fall, they can select the other top 10 prep position prospect. Top defensive SS with above average bats don't grow on trees and Lindor is more polished than other HS classmates. High upside pick for the Cubs at 1-9.
10. San Diego Padres* (Kevin) select Matt Barnes (RHP; COL; Connecticut) - I'll admit I have no idea where San Diego is going with this pick. It's unprotected so a safe pick like Barnes or Jed Bradley makes sense, but a college hitter like Cory Spangenberg or even Levi Michael might fit.

11. Houston Astros (Burgi) select Jed Bradley (LHP; COL; Georgia Tech) - That's another very tough choice. The Astros would have loved to take Bubba Starling or Francisco Lindor. They have been linked to Archie Bradley and Taylor Guerreri as well and are said to spend big bucks. However, with Jed Bradley one of the elite college pitchers is still on the board. Therefore I chose him over the high demanding Archie Bradley.
12. Milwaukee Brewers (Kevin) select Archie Bradley (RHP; HS; Broken Arrow HS (Oklahoma)/University of Oklahoma commit) - Like Starling, he also has a scholarship to play QB at a big-time football program. Milwaukee's system is barren so they'll just take the best player available.
13. New York Mets (Burgi) select Alex Meyer (RHP; COL; Kentucky) - The Mets are said to look for a college pitcher. They hope for Sonny Gray, Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley. None of them is still on the board. Thus, they select Alex Meyer who is also rumored to be of interest at this point. I also considered George Springer at this point.
14. Florida Marlins (Kevin) select Mike Mahtook (OF; COL; LSU) - Florida has been linked to college bats, so Mahtook, Cory Spangenberg, and Levi Michael are the candidates. They've drafted Mahtook before, out of HS, so they're quite familiar with him.
15. Milwaukee Brewers* (Burgi) select George Springer (OF; COL; Connecticut) - Lots of draft analysts mock Mahtook to the Brewers at 15 ... and I agree with them. Nevertheless, I also considered George Springer and Taylor Guerreri at this point. Springer makes perfect sense after the Brewers' first selection being a tough sign. And he is not at all an overdraft at 15.

16. Los Angeles Dodgers (Kevin) select Tyler Anderson (LHP; COL, Oregon) - The Dodgers shocked everyone by drafting and signing Zach Lee last year, but a repeat isn't likely with MLB controlling their financials. Anderson should sign for slot.
17. Los Angeles Angels (Burgi) select Javier Baez (3B/2B; HS; Arlington CD School (Florida)/Chipola JC commit) - I think the Angels will select a top 15 player who is falling. Javier Baez, Josh Bell, Blake Swihart, Taylor Guerreri and Daniel Norris are the 4 top-ranked players left. Of these five, Javier Baez and Daniel Norris were linked the most to the Angels. If it's a toss-up I see them taking the position player.
18. Oakland Athletics (Kevin) select Levi Michael (SS; COL; North Carolina) - Oakland is also looking for a bat and might flirt with picking Josh Bell, but for now he seems unsignable. George Springer has been hotly linked to them, but with him off the board they'll select the next best college bat.
19. Boston Red Sox (Burgi) select Joshua Bell (OF; HS; Jesuit College Prep/Texas commit) - The Red Sox also have multiple picks in the early rounds and they are going to make an even bigger splash than in the years before. Bell and his bonus demands could fall to 26 as well, but it's no sure thing. So, they take one of the best players available (next to Daniel Norris and Taylor Guerrieri) without hesitation about the bonus demands.
20. Colorado Rockies (Kevin) select C.J. Cron (1B; COL, Utah) - As much as I want him to slip to the Rays, he's clearly the top college hitter still on the board and that's the area the Rockies have shown the most interest in.

21. Toronto Blue Jays (Burgi) select Taylor Guerrieri (RHP; HS; Spring Valley HS (South Carolina)/South Carolina commit) - The Blue Jays are looking at the best player available. And while I have not seen one mock which had them taking Guerrieri I have him as the best player on the board. Daniel Norris is liked by the Jays but he seemed to have slipped lately. I see Guerrieri ahead of him.
22. St. Louis Cardinals (Kevin) select Daniel Norris (LHP, HS; Science Hill HS (Tennessee)/Clemson commit) - Norris is probably the best player left on the board at this point, and he fits the Cardinals' draft strategy much the same way as when they got Shelby Miller at pick #19 in 2009. There are rumors that he wants a $4 million bonus, but who knows how serious that is?
23. Washington Nationals (Burgi) select Cory Spangenberg (3B/2B; JuCo; Indian River State/Miami commit) - The Nationals see their window of competition opening in the near future. They need some fast advancing players. As they passed on a college pitcher and as Alex Meyer (whom they would have loved with 1-23) is gone, the take a college bat. Cory Spangenberg has a great hit tool and could advance very fast.
24. Tampa Bay Rays (Kevin) select Brandon Nimmo (OF; HS; East HS (Wyoming)/Arkansas commit) - All right, here we are. I'm going with Nimmo because of his high ceiling and wide array of tools. I would've taken C.J. Cron here had he fallen, but I rank Nimmo over my next top college hitter, Kolten Wong. I know there's been a lot of buzz that the Rays will take a prep pitcher here, but my preference is to snap up Nimmo knowing there will be quality HS pitching at #31: Jose Fernandez, Tyler Beede, Robert Stephenson, and Henry Owens are all still on the board.
25. San Diego Padres (Burgi) select Kolten Wong (2B; COL; Hawaii) - With Wong and Nimmo on the board at 1-24 I might have leaned towards Wong (as Nimmo might be available with 31/32) while being totally happy if the Rays chose Nimmo with this pick like Kevin did. The Padres would have loved to have Cory Spangenberg still available here. As he is already taken they go with one of the next college bats on their board. Wong is very advanced and polished at the plate and can become an above average (offensive) 2B-man in the majors fairly quickly.

26. Boston Red Sox (Kevin) select Blake Swihart (C; HS; Cleveland HS (New Mexico)/Texas commit) - Burgi had them taking Josh Bell at #19 and while it would be unusual for them to take another high schooler with reportedly big bonus demands, I don't see who else makes sense here. I think they'd want to snag a college pitcher that fell, but the top one left without injury concerns (like John Stilson and Matt Purke) is Andrew Chafin and Josh Osich and it's too early for them.
27. Cincinnati Reds (Burgi) select Sean Gilmartin (LHP; COL; Florida State) - The Reds prefer fast moving college players as their window of competition is now. They would have loved to have Tyler Anderson still available. But, as he and other top college bats like Levi Michael or Kolten Wong are already gone they reach for a college pitcher. With Josh Osich and Andrew Chafin being options I have them taking Sean Gilmartin.
28. Atlanta Braves (Kevin) select Jose Fernandez (RHP; HS; Alonso HS (Florida)/South Florida commit) - I think Atlanta will tap into the glut of remaining high school pitching. Fernandez maybe isn't their ideal guy, but the Braves generally don't rock the boat as far as over-slot bonuses are concerned, and Fernandez should fit the bill nicely.
29. San Francisco Giants (Burgi) select Robert Stephenson (RHP; HS; Alhambra HS/Washington HS) - The Giants seem to look at power arms early on and in this scenario some of them are at or near the top of the draft board. Henry Owens, Dillon Howard, Joe Ross and Josh Osich are all possibilites but I go with Robert Stephenson and his excellent projectability.
30. Minnesota Twins (Kevin) select Kyle Winkler (RHP; COL; Texas Christian) - When in doubt with the Twins, take a guy who can throw strikes. Winkler fits their profile nicely, though they may also opt for an athletic outfielder like Brian Goodwin.

31. Tampa Bay Rays (Burgi) select Henry Owens (LHP; HS; Edison HS/Miami commit) - With this pick the Rays have plenty of arms and bats to choose from. With the best bats gone (next on my board: Story, Goodwin, Vogelbach) I'll go with a pitcher with this pick. Henry Owens is at the top of my board at this point and he is very projectable. It seemed that his star faded a bit which made him available at 31. For a more detailed look at him check out our writeup on him.
32. Tampa Bay Rays (Kevin) select Josh Osich (LHP; COL; Oregon State) - I like the Henry Owens pick, giving the Rays two high-ceiling high school guys. I don't see the Rays going with three in the first round, and I think they will make a "safe" pick like Osich. It wouldn't be my ideal but the Rays should be able to get guys like Vogelbach and Story, who I also like, in the supplemental round. Osich should move through the system quickly though there's a decent chance he winds up a reliever. Still nothing wrong with mid-90s heat from the left side.
33. Texas Rangers (Burgi) select Andrew Susac (C; COL; Oregon State) - I like the Osich pick as he has decent upside for a college pick. With this pick I hope Trevor Story, Dan Vogelbach and some prep pitchers like Tyler Beede are available with 38, 41 and 42. Susac very well could be the answer to the Rangers' long term catching woes. He is solid defensively and improved his bat a lot this year. Other possibilities: Austin Hedges and Trevor Story. I think the Rangers would have taken Nimmo or Osich if not taken by the Rays earlier on.

* ... compensation pick for not signing last years' 1st rounder (D'Backs: Barrett Loux; Padres: Karsten Whitson; Brewers: Dylan Covey)


  1. I'm hoping for.............
    1A C.J. Cron
    1B & 1C 2 of...Jose Fernandez,Brandon Nimmo,Robert Stephenson,& Henry Owens.

  2. The Rays need a Felix Hernandez!

  3. I'm hoping we can somehow get the majority of Cron, Wong, Susac, and/or Nimmo.

  4. the rays need a damn miracle....

  5. devon conley out of new mexico would be a good choice, fast on his feet. he is an unbelievable defensive player.