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2014 Draft: Mock Draft 2.0

2014 Draft: Mock Draft 2.0
Max Pentecost (Photo: BigLeagueFutures.net)
March 14, 2014
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Everyone else is releasing a mock draft, and now that we are a month into the college baseball season, here is mine. With each pick, I look at the team's recent history and project who I think they will take based on that.  I will do quick hits for the mock, rather than long explanations. I do explain the Indians picks because this is an Indians site, and I figure people care more. The top two are unchanged since my first mock in October and about six picks stayed the same throughout.

While I am adding the compensation round picks for this mock, I am not including picks for unsigned players, as there is a chance they won’t sign and those picks won’t happen. 

1. Houston Astros - Carlos Rodon, LHP, NC State

-Top player, would have gone first last year, power lefty, get the hype train ready

2. Miami Marlins - Tyler Kolek, RHP, HS

-Marlins kept Meek who lives in OK, love OK arms, Kolek from Texas but is top HS arm in draft

3. Chicago White Sox - Tyler Beede, RHP, Vanderbilt

-Beede is pitching well, cut down on his walks; strikeouts are up, putting full package together

4. Chicago Cubs - Jeff Hoffman, RHP, East Carolina

-Hoffman has been awful, but Cubs can take the risk, need pitching depth, Hoffman has ace upside

5. Minnesota Twins - Trea Turner, SS. NC State

- Twins have a lot of talent, but no one who looks like future SS, Turner has 80 speed and can stick at SS

6. Seattle Mariners - Aaron Nola, LHP, LSU

- Mariners are a safe drafting team, Nola dominant to start year, high floor player, safest bet of any pitcher

7. Philadelphia Phillies - Jacob Gatewood, SS, HS

-Phillies love to draft athletes, they also like guys who big time power, Gatewood is both in one package, huge boom or bust

8. Colorado Rockies - Brady Aiken, LHP, HS

-Rockies take BPA, right now that’s Aiken who came out hitting 97 this spring, could go top three, my top prep arm

9. Toronto Blue Jays - Alex Jackson, OF/C, HS

-Jays draft prep players early; Jackson is a top five to some, but consensus top 10 player, viewed by some as top prep bat

10. NY Mets - Grant Holmes, RHP, HS

-Mets are another team that goes prep, Holmes is a little small but throws hard, I'm keeping this pick from last mock

11. Toronto Blue Jays - Nick Gordon, SS, HS

-Another prep player for Jays, Gordon is rising, looks like a sure fire SS, which always rise on draft day

12. Milwaukee Brewers - Erick Fedde, RHP, UNLV

-Brewers have often grabbed college players, Fedde a great value right here, most places in top ten

13. San Diego Padres - Kyle Schwarber, C/1B, Indiana

-San Diego often grabs power bats, Schwarber has the power to work in Petco, built like Pronk

14. San Francisco Giants - Brandon Finnegan, LHP, TCU

-Giants often like safe bets, and they aren’t afraid of smaller hard throwing pitchers, worst case could be great closer

15. Los Angeles Angels - Touki Toussaint, RHP, HS

-Angels tend to draft prep player, Toussaint has as much upside as any prep arm, Angels minors a mess and needs big time upside

16. Arizona Diamondbacks - Sean Newcomb, LHP, Hartford

-Big lefty, if he had pitched better would be a top 10 guy, Zona great at developing talent, could be very good, another pick staying the same

17. Kansas City Royals - Luke Weaver, RHP, FSU

-Kansas City has been focused on adding arms, Weaver pitching very well, could be a 2/3 type

18. Washington Nationals - Derek Fisher, OF, Virginia

-Nationals take biggest name on board, Fisher is a guy who is a top five player to some, plus bat and plus power, injury issue just arose

19. Cincinnati Reds - Michael Gettys, OF, HS

-Reds tend to go with prep players; Getty’s has speed to share and great bat speed, future CF if hit tool develops

20. Tampa Bay Rays - Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco

-Zimmer is a future CF, fast and big at 6’5”, if you think power is coming then he is a top 15 pick, upside potential

21. Cleveland Indians - Max Pentecost, C, Kennessaw St

-Indians love to draft up the middle talent. They have tried for years to add depth at catcher; maybe they have it in Wolters and Meija. Teams can never have enough depth and having too many good offensive catchers is a great thing. Pentecost has average skills but sure bet to stay behind the plate and be an above-average hitter.

22. Los Angeles Dodgers - Luis Ortiz, RHP, HS

-Dodgers are notorious for drafting high school arms; Ortiz has plus command and good secondary stuff, safest bet of high school arms, I'm keeping this one the same

23. Detroit Tigers - Nick Burdi, RHP, Louisville

-Burdi could make the majors next year, sits in upper 90’s, hits 100, reliever who could be an All-Star, another pick staying the same

24. Pittsburgh Pirates - Dylan Crease, RHP, HS

-Big time velocity, Pittsburgh graduated a ton of arms time to replenish the system, Pirates seem to have a velocity fetish

25. Oakland A’s - Michael Cederoth, RHP, San Diego St

-Moved to bullpen, throws upper 90’s, if he was a starter he could go higher, worth trying him as a starter first

26. Boston Red Sox - Braxton Davidson, OF/1B, HS

-Limited defensively, most likely 1B, but good hitter with solid power upside, sliding a bit

27. St. Louis Cardinals - Chris Ellis, RHP, Ole Miss

-Cardinals tend to go with college guys, Ellis had a good Cape season, big frame, pitching very well to start year, another pick staying the same

(The next picks are the compensation picks which are still in the first round)

28. Kansas City Royals - AJ Reed, 1B, Kentucky

-Would go in top 10 rounds as a left-handed pitcher, showing massive power this season, helium candidate

29. Cincinnati Reds - Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, HS

-Reds have had luck with prep pitchers, Foley is a guy people are divided on, pitching well to start season

30. Texas Rangers - Michael Conforto, OF, Oregon State

-Rangers often grab the top sliding talent; Conforto to some is a top 15 guy, maybe top 10

31. Cleveland Indians - Ti’quan Forbes, SS, HS

-There are some Lindor qualities with Forbes. Both were extremely young guys in their draft class and both have the skills to stay at short. Forbes might grow out of shortstop, but every skill for him could be above-average. I am sure they saw him last year when scouting Silento Sayles. One of my personal favorites, but he fits what the Indians look for in players and position.

32. Atlanta Braves - Mac Marshall, LHP, HS

-Braves love to draft in-state, Marshall is a good athlete and polished for his age, you can never have enough lefties

33. Boston Red Sox - Justus Sheffield, LHP, HS

-Boston taking another upside flier here, Red Sox tend to really value left-handed pitching, Sheffield could go much higher

34. St. Louis Cardinals - Cobi Johnson, RHP, HS

-Johnson feels like a Cards pick, dad is Blue Jays pitching instructor, good athlete, mid 90’s stuff

(The next picks are the competitive balance picks, are still in the first round)

35. Colorado Rockies - Alex Verdugo, OF/LHP, HS

-Two-way guy, ultimate position depends on the team he ends up on, top talent left on the board

36. Miami Marlins - Kodi Medeiros, LHP, HS

-Medeiros has fallen because people think he's gimmicky, lefty with upside, Miami can take risk with three firsts

37. Houston Astros - Matt Chapman, 3B, Cal State Fullerton

-Having a great year, one of the best right-handed bats in the draft, going to end up at 3B where his power is adequate

38. Cleveland Indians - Forrest Griffin, LHP, HS

-Griffin is a name on the rise. He is a huge lefty at 6’5”, but right now is more of a soft tosser. I think his worst case is as a LOOGY. The hope is that that with his size, once you get him with more coaching and fix him mechanically he might gain some velocity.  He has the feel for three pitches and I think he has a good potential to be a mid-rotation starter.

39. Miami Marlins - Michael Chavis, 3B, HS

- Rising player, good power potential, might have to move off 3B, generating some buzz early

40. Kansas City Royals - Scott Blewett, RHP, HS

-Come on his name sounds like "blew it," big arm, mechanically needs some help, throws low 90’s

41. Milwaukee Brewers - Kyle Freeland, LHP, Evansville

-A good Cape season brought Freeland back on the map, looks like a back-end lefty, fits the Brewers mold for talent

So there it is, 41 picks, and three of them belong to the Indians. I was able to find three guys who all fit the Indians approach. It is an approach that makes sense because there is just more value in up the middle talent, and if a player struggles there, they can be moved elsewhere without any issues.  A catcher, shortstop, and a left-handed starter are all positions that carry a lot more value than really any other positions.

Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffmlbdraft, or email him at jellis121@yahoo.com

User Comments

Hermie13
March 17, 2014 - 10:10 AM EDT
@Walter

Correct, if the Tigers sign Drew our Ubaldo pick moves up 1 spot. Most other teams rumored to be in on him though wouldn't move our pick up (Boston, Yanks, Mets)...
Walter
March 16, 2014 - 1:12 PM EDT
If the Tigers sign Drew will that mean the Indians move up one spot from 31 to 30? Then Red Sox would get another pick at #34?
GSon
March 15, 2014 - 1:25 PM EDT
Heath Quinn: Was drafted by the Indians in the 12th round. The reds and one other team had interest in him as well. Quinn, through his advisor, told each of the clubs that he had a "#" that would cause him to forego he college commitment to Samford. None of the clubs, including the Indians met that number, so he kept his work. While at Samford, he's had an impressive start to his college career.

Wil Crowe is another one of those later round picks that decided to go with education over starting their professional career. Crowe chose to go with the USC Gamecocks.. As a freshman, he's made four starts with a microscopic ERA. He's a good one that got away.. but will be draft eligible again in two years..

Aaron Brown decided to stay at Pepperdine..his 11th round draft position said not much in the way of a signing bonus, so, he'll be available again in just under three months.. He's a two way guy that pitches (sub 3 ERA in a handful of starts) and hits (third on the team with a .340 BA)..

Each of the three guys mentioned have a chance to be decent prospects. Only Quinn has the making of an elite prospect..
Walter
March 15, 2014 - 12:19 PM EDT
Just curious to know the 2 pitchers that the Indians were not able to sign in last year draft in Brown and Crowe. How are they doing this in college ball? Are they eligible for this years draft? are they moving up the draft board?

Same questions pertaining to Heath Quinn?
Homer
March 15, 2014 - 1:05 AM EDT
I had Bradley Zimmer on my list...I must have deleted him...?

Who I really covet are Weaver, Newcomb, Ellis, Burdi, and Cobi Johnson. I think Weaver could still add to his slender frame. Newcomb is just a big power LH - doubt he's there. Ellis I think is moving up - might pitch himself higher. Burdi will move fast, possible AS CL qkly. I could see Cobi Johnson getting a bit stronger / filling out a bit more, potentially adding 2-3 mph on his FB.

Kyle Schwarber is a future 1b/DH/C type - maybe similar to a Ryan Doumit type player. I could see him falling to 31-38, tons of talented HS arms could push some of these "limited" players down. I do think Schwarber will be a good hitter, maybe Kendrys Morales type numbers (recent yrs) at best. Position is limited though.

Bradley Zimmer tall, slim LH CF could develop some power. Would be a nice pick, but I'd prefer any of the pitchers I mentioned above including Nick Burdi. Maybe Burdi would sign ($500K) underslot, with the suggestion he'd have a chance at a Sept call up.

Another thought, with three picks the Tribe might have the opportunity to do something similar to what the Royals did last yr. That is, grab a player they like high at a reduced price and then grab a cpl high cost players that are tumbling (S.Manaea). The Tribe will certainly have more options with three high pks.
Walter
March 14, 2014 - 11:21 PM EDT
The reason I ask the question is there a player in this draft that could be the next Wacha or Trout that could land in Indians lap like it did for the Angels and Cardinals.

I'm no expert and is the reason I enjoy reading Jeff's analysis of the draft.
Rocky55
March 14, 2014 - 11:13 PM EDT
One more thing: I want Mike Papi of Virgina, in case anyone didn't know yet. Not at #21 because we won't need to take him there. Number 31 or 38 would be fine.
Rocky55
March 14, 2014 - 11:05 PM EDT
I'm actually hoping for Luke Weaver at #21. This is a reasonable slot for him & he would be a really nice pickup. He's got solid stuff & quite a bit of upside for a college guy. He might not make it to #21 though.
I don't believe that Newcomb will last to #21 either. I'd bet against it. A guy that I could see falling is Trea Turner. I'm not sure I'd even pick him at #21.
Also, Fisher's injury that Jeff mentioned, a broken hamate bone, will keep him out of action for 4 to 6 weeks. He then has to rehab. He'd have maybe a month to re-establish his value. If he fell to #21 I'd wave at him as he continued to fall. I don't really like Schwarber, I don't think he has the bat speed to hit pro fastballs. He's hitting like crazy but I think he's a mirage. Also, no way he sticks at catcher. Thome was better at 3B than Schwarber would be at catcher.
Also would love to grab Zimmer at #21. Anyone seeing vids of this kid with a bat would forget about any of the HS bats. As Jeff mentioned the power isn't there yet but this kid has some serious upside.
You see the dilemma here? I've mentioned maybe four guys that could be around at our 1st pick; Jeff had to decide on one. He's trying to do the mock the way he believes it will happen. I'd have Kolek. Turner, & Gatewood all much lower, based on personal opinion, but Jeff's slots are more realistic. His predictions are much more probable but they're not what I would do. I enjoy reading mocks but I'd be shitty at producing them.
Homer
March 14, 2014 - 9:26 PM EDT
I agree, these have to be high upside quick returns. I'll throw out some names I'd like to see the Tribe land in no particular order...

Chris Ellis
Kyle Schwarber
Nick Burdi
Derek Fisher
Luke Weaver
Sean Newcomb
Brandon Finnegan
Erick Fedde

A cpl HS I like...
Dylan Crease
Cobi Johnson
Luis Ortiz
Michael Kopech

I'd love to see the Tribe land 2 of: Newcomb, Weaver, Ellis, Fedde, Finnegan, Burdi with picks 21 / 31 plus an upside HS arm like Johnson / Kopech at 38.
GSon
March 14, 2014 - 8:21 PM EDT
I almost didn't write this...

The time and effort that went into making poor suggestions in this mock draft is fair game to be commented upon provided the tenor of the discussion is not personal or derogatory. Taking editorial license regarding a "DREAM DROP", that is, "...Who from the top 20 could fall to the Indians? as queried by Walter.." would start with # 20 pick and progress upward. TBH, any one from # 20 to # 14 (excluding Fisher) could be considered by the Indians with their pick at # 21. It was "not a manipulation" nor was the answer framed in that manner. Selecting Newcomb in that spot, just fits as the BPA, IMHO and why I suggested it. He comes from a cold weather area, so his exposure to the majority of baseball will be limited.. but at 6'5" and pushing 250 with a FB that sits around 94-95 and touches 97 MPH, this isn't a kid that needs to be put on seven different programs to bring his physical maturity and physique to an elite level. He also features what has been called one of the best WIPE OUT SLIDERS in the prep ranks. It is good enough right now to start making comps as lofty as rivaling Steve Carlton's. It is already a ML level plus pitch. The only thing holding him back is a quality third pitch, but he has flashed a changeup that could become a solid to spectacular third pitch.

In short.. this is the kind of pitcher the Indians should be focusing on as the BPA and their first player selected.

Not a catcher.. who had a good Cape performance as his benchmark for taking him in the first round.

Not a Shortstop...either . The Indians are LOUSY with shortstops everywhere and at every level.

I didn't like your # 21 pick for the Indians. I could live with the other two picks, but neither one says "upside" like first round picks should. If the Indians are going to sustain a winning team, these picks in THIS draft, especially, have to provide a chance to impact the next three years. A soon to be moved from SS to some other position SS and a soft tossing loogy don't get the job done.. and if that pains your tender sensibilities regarding the opinions rendered.. get over it.. grow some thicker skin..

See you at Salt River Fields one week from today !!
You've been a little rude.. I mean me, criznit.
March 14, 2014 - 7:23 PM EDT
Hey Jeff sorry if you feel I insulted you, I was just teasing you a little bit. I know you know your stuff and a lot of things will happen before draft day. I don't like your 1st tribe pick at all and its possible you are trying to think to much like like you believe the F.O thinks on draft day. After your Pentecost pick, 4 of your next 6 picks are starting pitchers.. Before draft day some players will rise and some will fall and people will certainly disagree on the best
player available. That is even more true the further removed from the #1 overall pick in the draft you get.
Jwahoo
March 14, 2014 - 7:18 PM EDT
@ Jeff

I did not mean to offend you although either I or someone already has. I said I understand going for the top players just if you have guys around the same skill level I would prefer to go with pitching.

Its obvious you have put alot of work into this and it shows. You were right last year and I did not mean to make you think I was trying to be critical of you. Its obvious you have done your homework and hell your probably right. Not everyone is going to always agree 100 percent though on almost anything baseball related. Just because I want pitching does not mean I doubt your opinion. Sorry if you took it personal.
Rocky55
March 14, 2014 - 7:07 PM EDT
In this mock, I want the guy that was right after our three picks:
Ortiz, Marshall, Chavis would be a great draft. Michael Kopech in Round 2. Also, Sean Reid-Foley has major helium & might be the 2nd HS pitcher selected.
F'real
March 14, 2014 - 6:40 PM EDT
Foster Griffin (not Forrest Griffin) has been throwing 90-93 with a good change and curveball per Keith Law. Sounds like more than a soft-tossing LOOGY.
Jeff
March 14, 2014 - 6:22 PM EDT
You always take BPA available, I want some one to explain the logic in taking a reliever over any position. Anyone who doenst think Pentecost is a top 25 talent is not following the game at all. He has been a first rounder on every board since the cape. I like how I was supposed to manipulate the board to have a pitcher fall who I had 5 spots higher. I have been doing this for years, I have the same argument every year, but first time people have been insulting. I sat there with every pick looked at my board and others and figured who fits best.

I study film, I do research, and I talk to people. If you don't like it don't read it
Jwahoo
March 14, 2014 - 6:15 PM EDT
I am not sure if I like the idea of drafting at the two positions we really have good depth at. I know you go for the best players but I mean come on we need pitching and this draft is all about college pitchers right? Unless these guys are head and heels above any other pitchers I would be pretty bummed at adding especially another SS you got Lindor, Ramirez, Rodriguez, Paulino and a few other middle infield guys. You got Santana and Gomes set at C at the major league level and Wolters, Mejia and Haas behind them. Seems a bit silly since we not only have long terms options at both but options even after our long terms options. I am more open to the catcher but another SS? Gotta be some other pitchers around the same talent level.
You've been Herminated
March 14, 2014 - 5:08 PM EDT
I am not saying you should "reach" for a pitcher or anyone for that matter, (cough cough Naquin) but with what are essentially 3 first round draft picks you should surly be looking to draft them (pitchers). Of course the general rule is you draft the best player available, and it would be nice to see the tribe adhere to that rule more often.. Frazier and probably Lindor (some may have disagreed on his draft day) were those guys and others were not. I want the best player available obviously and I really doubt come draft day everyone is going to agree who that player is when it comes time for the tribe to pick.
Hermie13
March 14, 2014 - 4:35 PM EDT
Would not mind seeing the Tribe look at Chavis with one of their 3 picks. Even if he moves off 3B, think he can handle a cOF spot. Dangiean I'm sure will give a better opinion of him (being a Georgia kid) but from what I've seen, like his potential.
Hermie13
March 14, 2014 - 4:31 PM EDT
Still don't get why people get upset over how the Tribe has drafted then say we need to look at drafting a certain position in the first round....

If we draft 3 position players in the 1st round I'm fine with that provided the Tribe thinks they were the best players/fits at those spots. Don't "need" to look at drafting two pitchers. Could draft three pitchers and I'd be fine with it too though.
Hay fever plus a side salad? That's bananas
March 14, 2014 - 4:07 PM EDT
Yeah, though catchers are nice I would be pretty cranked to see them pass on most any pitcher at that spot..... Indians need to do their homework and look to take 2 pitchers early.. Waiting to catch a "high upside" guy later in the draft (think round #2) hasn't been working. Kinda agree with G'son Jeff. Who do you root for, or is it that your so used to Indians drafting poorly you are just playing along?
GSon
March 14, 2014 - 2:07 PM EDT
Hiram.. any one of the three prep arms (Kolek/Cease/Toussaint) would be tremendous additions to the Indians farm system. Toussaint is a good one who should be taken over this catcher Jeff has mocked...

Walter.. Sean "Nukem" Newcomb would be the dream drop.. Also, passing on Burdi or Cederoth would appear to be a mistake.

Taking a catcher that was "...thought to be a sleeper of sorts coming out the prep ranks, there were teams out there thinking of Pentecost as a potential steal beyond the top five rounds of the draft..." in the first round makes this a BAD IDEA. The time to save draft pool money, which is what this mock draft suggests, for an above average arm/ average bat catcher makes this a BAD PLAN.

Come on Jeff..If this is you caring, you need to get a new team. Are you secretly a Cards or A's fan? The guys you've mocked for them are both studs in the making.. You can do better than an okay talented catcher for the first pick in a mock draft...
Bill
March 14, 2014 - 2:06 PM EDT
A j Reed from Ky is best all-around college talent I've seen......He shutout #1 Virginia 1st game then he batted over .500 and hit 7 homeruns in next 11 games...................
Hiram
March 14, 2014 - 1:27 PM EDT
What if Touissant is there at 21?
Walter
March 14, 2014 - 1:09 PM EDT
Who could fall to the Indians from the top 20 that the Indians should consider to take?

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