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2014 MLB Draft: Mock Draft 3.0

2014 MLB Draft: Mock Draft 3.0
Touki Toussaint (Photo: Baseball Prospectus)
April 6, 2014
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The college baseball season is entering its third month, and things are definitely starting to shape up. The top talents on both the high school and college level are asserting themselves, while other players are sliding some.

Maybe it is just because of how weak last year was, but every week I am more and more impressed by this class. I feel there is a good chance the Indians can get a player at number 21 overall who will be better than a few guys who went in the top 10 last year.

Without future ado here is my third mock....

1. Houston Astros, Brady Aiken, LHP, HS

- Was tempted to put him first in the last mock. Aiken is first now, some talk comparing him to Kershaw that is how special Aiken is looking right now.

2. Miami Marlins, Tyler Kolek, RHP, HS

- Marlins kept Meek who lives in Oklahoma. Reports have had them loving Kolek since the beginning. Rodon would seem a lock here, but at the same time, good chance they stick to the arm they have scouted heavily and like.

3. Chicago White Sox, Carlos Rodon, LHP, NC State

- Rodon’s floor is right here. He is a rare power lefty, but is having a down year like most of his NC state teammates. I am sure the White Sox would be more than happy to grab him right here.

4. Chicago Cubs, Tyler Beede, RHP, Vanderbilt

- Beede has shown improved control. He seems a likely top five pick, and this is the rare time when a top player fits a team’s needs. Beede has impressed me a lot with his growth this year.

5. Minnesota Twins, Jeff Hoffman, RHP, East Carolina

- Twins have a lot of talent, but much like the Cubs could use more pitching. Hoffman was viewed as 1B to Rodon’s 1A, and while neither has lived up to the billing the upside is too great to pass on here.

6. Seattle Mariners, Aaron Nola, LHP, LSU

- Mariners are a safe drafting team. Nola has continued to be the best pitcher in college baseball in terms of numbers. Nola reminds me a bit of Hultzen a few years ago, and just seems like the safe pick the Mariners like.

7. Philadelphia Phillies, Alex Jackson, OF/C, HS

- Phillies love to draft athletes, and they love to grab prep players. Jackson is the top prep bat in this draft. He even projects to have plus power which the Phillies also love. He is just too good to pass on right here.

8. Colorado Rockies, Grant Holmes, RHP, HS

- Holmes is my third prep pitcher off the board and the fourth prep player in this mock. Last year Holmes might have been the first prep player off the board. He has shown high velocity, and when you’re the Rockies you can never have enough young arms.

9. Toronto Blue Jays, Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco

-The top player is clearly Zimmer here. The Jays tend to lean to preps, but Zimmer is a 6’5” centerfielder with plus speed and seems to finally be developing power.

10. NY Mets, Nick Gordon, SS, HS

- Mets are another team that goes prep, and Gordon reminds me a bit of Dominic Smith their first rounder last year. Both are players who when people talk about them say he’s just a ball player. Gordon will stick at SS and has some great tools.

11. Toronto Blue Jays, Sean Newcomb, LHP, Hartford

- Newcomb has been untouchable for Hartford. He is not facing the toughest competition, but with his stuff and left handness he seems a lock to go right around or near the top 10.

12. Milwaukee Brewers, Luke Weaver, RHP, FSU

- Brewers have often grabbed college players; here they get Weaver who has been great for FSU all year. He pitched well in the summer and has continued this year. He doesn’t have ace stuff but seems a good bet to be a solid 2/3 type.

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

- San Diego often grabs power bats, and the top college power bat to me is Schwarber. He will be given every chance to stick at catcher, but his future seems to be at first. Last year the Padres grabbed a college catcher with good power in Renfroe.

14. San Francisco Giants, Michael Conforto, OF, Oregon State

- Giants often like safe bets; no one is safer than Conforto. Conforto leads college baseball in walks and on base percentage, and a good eye stays the same no matter the level. He doesn’t have the sizzle of others, but very safe bet to make the majors.

15. Los Angeles Angels, Luis Ortiz, RHP, HS

- Angels tend to draft prep players, and Ortiz is the top prep pitcher in that second tier. He lacks some of the sizzle of the other arms, but there is a reason he is viewed so highly. He has excellent control for his age, and his pitches grade out as all being potential plus offerings.

16. Arizona Diamondbacks, Trea Tuner, SS, NC State

- Diamondbacks grabbed a sliding Shipley last year and they could do the same with Turner. The Diamondbacks have been looking for a SS of the future for so long, Turner could be that player. He has had the worst year of his college career, but the bat and speed should both play.

17. Kansas City Royals, Brandon Finnegan, LHP, TCU

- Kansas City has been focused on adding arms and Finnegan is worth the risk here. If he was four inches taller, he would be the top pick in this draft. He has three pitches which all look like potential plus pitches. Worst case you end up with a Billy Wagner type of closer.

18. Washington Nationals, St Jacob Gatewood, SS, HS

- Nationals take the biggest name on the board which is Gatewood. Gatewood was viewed as a top five pick during the summer, but he has underperformed. Nationals have taken risks on sliding talent with big time upside. Gatewood fits that mold and really has All Star potential.

19. Cincinnati Reds, Max Pentecost, C, Kennessaw St

- Reds simply take the best player available here. Pentecost doesn’t have a single below average skill. Finding a catcher with his skill set is very hard as only seven catchers had an OPS+ over 100 last year.  There is tons of value for a team in a plus bat behind the plate.

20. Tampa Bay Rays, Michael Gettys, OF, HS

- Gettys might have the best bat speed in this draft. He has 70 grade speed, and is a lock to stay in center. He also has plus power, so the only question is will he hit enough. The Rays have taken risks on upside before, and Gettys is worth the risk here.

21. Cleveland Indians, Touki Toussaint, RHP, HS

- Toussaint has had a bit of a rollercoaster ride over the past few months. His stock was down after a middling summer season, but seems to be rebounding after a very good start to the season. He has shown well in early season showcases, and teams are remembering why he was once a top 10 talent in the draft.

22. Los Angeles Dodgers, Mac Marshall, LHP, HS

- Dodgers are notorious for drafting high school arms Marshall has pitched well and is rising. He is an athletic lefty which is something that teams are always looking for.

23. Detroit Tigers, Nick Burdi, RHP, Louisville

- Burdi could make the majors next year as no one throws harder. He could be the long term solution in the back of the pen and could help Tigers this year.

24. Pittsburgh Pirates, Braxton Davidson, OF/1B, HS

- Pirates often go upside and Davidson is loaded with it. His bat and hit tool in general will take him far. He isn’t a crazy athlete, and defensively he brings nothing to the table. Yet his hit tool and power potential are too good to pass on.

25. Oakland A’s, Matt Chapman, 3B, Cal State Fullerton

- No one drafts better than the A’s. Chapman according to some has the best right handed power of any college bat. There is currently no harder commodity to find than right handed power in the majors. Chapman would fit in with what the A’s look for in terms of their offense and could be the future at third if Donaldson struggles or gets too expensive.

26. Boston Red Sox, Scott Blewett, RHP, HS

- Blewett is rising, thanks to his size and projection. Right now he isn’t much to look at and his velocity isn’t high, but teams like what they think he can become.  He is a cold weather arm with a lot of upside.

27. St. Louis Cardinals, Derek Fisher, OF, Virginia

- Cardinals tend to go with college guys and Fisher would be a great value here. He was viewed as a top 10 player to some and top five to start the year.  His injury has hurt his stock, but before the injury he was playing well and looked like a top 20 lock. Just a very good value pick right here.

(Compensation round picks in this section)

28. Kansas City Royals, Michael Cederoth, RHP, San Diego St

- Cederoth has been used mostly in the pen, potential as a starter but worst case a pen arm, throws hard.

29. Cincinnati Reds, Cameron Vagra, RHP, HS

- Reds have had luck with prep pitchers, like preps who throw hard, Older HS arm or would go higher, Cincy kid.

30. Texas Rangers, Marcus Wilson, OF, HS

- Wilson might be the best athlete in the draft, I see a bit of Lofton in him, very raw though

31. Cleveland Indians, Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, HS

- Reid-Foley is like Ortiz where he is not as sexy a pick as some of the other high school arms. There are names on the board with more upside than him. He looks like a mid-rotation innings-eater type with two plus pitches. He needs to refine his stuff, but he isn’t super projectable. Of all the high school arms he might be the safest bet.

32. Atlanta Braves, Michael Chavis, 3B, HS

- Braves love to draft in-state, Chavis is a name on the rise thanks to his power.

33. Boston Red Sox, Matt Imhof, LHP, Cal Poly

- Imhof has been dominant this year battling Finnegan for the strikeout title, big lefty with low to mid 90’s velocity

34. St. Louis Cardinals, Kodi Mederios, LHP, HS

- Mederios is a nice upside bet, if he can be worked with he could be something special, worst case he could be a late-inning pitcher who is death on lefties

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

35. Colorado Rockies, AJ Reed, 1B, Kentucky

- Reed has shown massive power this year, would be a good fit for the Rockies  

36. Miami Marlins, Erick Fedde, RHP, UNLV

- Fedde has had a rough year, but the projection is still there, mid-rotation starter with three average to plus offerings

37. Houston Astros, Alex Verdugo, OF/LHP

- Astros often take risks and Verdugo is a risk here.  Once viewed as a first rounder, possible top 15, good value here

38. Cleveland Indians, Alex Blandino, 2B/3B, Stanford

- Indians always grab up the middle players. After grabbing a pair of prep players, I would think they would look to add a college player here.  Blandino came into the year well thought of in spite of an awful sophomore season. This year Blandino has been fantastic. He has a great eye with a 5:1 walk to strike out ratio. He projects to have above-average power from the right side as well.

39. Miami Marlins, Foster Griffin, LHP, HS

- Griffin is a player who could go higher, lefty with some nice projection

40. Kansas City Royals, Ti’Quan Forbes, SS, HS

- Royals grab one of my favorites, young for his class, looks likely to stay at SS

41. Milwaukee Brewers, Chris Ellis, RHP, Ole Miss

- Ellis is a big-bodied pitcher who has performed well this year, good projection in arm.

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

User Comments

bill w.
May 30, 2014 - 12:53 PM EDT
indians need power....J R Reed 1b Kentucky best power hitter in college......Michael Chavis 3b best power hitter in high school..... Both fall in Cleveland's draft range
Chris
April 11, 2014 - 7:14 AM EDT
"Fedde has had a rough year, but the projection is still there, mid-rotation starter with three average to plus offerings."

Feede is 6-1 with 61 ks in 57 innings and has an era of 1.74, how is that rough? He's been one of the best pitchers in college this year and unless he gets injured, there is no way in "H" he makes it past Boston. Honestly, I don't think he will make it to Boston.
Homer
April 10, 2014 - 7:48 AM EDT
Rocky55,
Completely agree, the Tribe could set themselves up for yrs. this is a really deep draft tons of talent HS SP, and very nice college players with some upside left.
Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing a heavy pitching draft at the top with some of the talent that should be there through the first 5 rds.
I think the Tribe make a huge jump forward with the farm simply by going BPA (or best Pitcher) and not getting too cute with signing bonus, with $8 M allotment and several high pks they can afford to go after talent first. Then worry about overages, etc later.
Rocky55
April 9, 2014 - 12:18 AM EDT
Walter, that's Mike Papi, a 1b/RF from U of Virginia. I've had a mancrush on him since I saw him play early last season. He's an all around good hitter with a great eye and lots of power potential. His arm and legs are plenty good enough for RF, his presumed position in pro ball. I'm repeating myself, but he reminds me of Paul O'Neill of Reds & Yankees fame. He's been pitched around a bit this year with the injury to Derek Fisher but his OBP has been close to .500 most of the season.

Same Payton. He's a really nice college player with limited power & (IMO) limited pro upside at 5'8", although he is a good hitter & plays defense like a football player. Aggressive, I mean. He might get drafted higher this year because he should be cheap to sign. I'd take him.

I'm with you Jeff, I'm really liking this draft. We could make out like bandits & set ourselves up for years to come if we do it right. Every mock I see, even the ones that include Round 2, I'm thinking "Where's this guy, what about that guy." We could take four college guys and not screw it up, and that's after the top rated college guys are gone. Zimmer's the one I really want but I don't think he falls to 21. I wouldn't even scream if we ended up with Fisher. That's one sweet, easy swing. Just haven't seen the results. Yet.
Walter
April 8, 2014 - 10:36 PM EDT
Sorry for my ignorance. But who is Papi? What position does he play? I assuming 1B or the outfield.

You mentioned Payton from Texas. Is that the same Payton the Indians drafted last year that they could not sign.?
Jeff
April 8, 2014 - 5:02 PM EDT
I love this draft, guys the Indians can have a chance to get in rd 2 this year will be better than some guys who went in the supplemental rd last year. The high school arms are the deepest position to me, then college arms. Bats are weaker, but some interesting guys who aren't getting as much love out there. Guys like gillaspie, papi, and Davis who dont get much first round 1. I am still a fan of Payton from Texas, and color me intrigued by Zarley Z from KSU
Jeff
April 8, 2014 - 4:58 PM EDT
Stinnett, is my one regret, if I redid the mock today he goes in round 1, Cardinals feel like a likely landing spot
Jeff
April 8, 2014 - 4:57 PM EDT
I am with you Rocky, I am much higher on Davis than Chapman. I think Davis can handle the OF and his arm is an asset there. I think the power, eye, and hit tool are all superior to chapman. But thus far no one had agreed with me.

First mock was Finnegan, Reid-Foley, Imhof, would have potentially had Papi but more likely Davis to Indians in round 2, as I think Papi is higher than Davis on most boards

If you followed me in the past I think small pitchers are an incredible market inefficiency, I was all for Gray as a candidate but was happy with Lindor. I wanted Stroman over Naquin. When the big board drops Finnegan will be in my top ten.
Homer
April 8, 2014 - 9:24 AM EDT
Rocky55,

That would be a nice draft. I really like Finnegan, I'd suspect a hard throwing LH like Finnegan will be gone, but his size might cause him to slide - he seems to be a high effort guy too. Then there's guys like Sean Newcomb, Matt Imhof, and Kyle Freeland that's some talented LHSP.

Overall, I'm impressed with the college prospects and depth of HS SP prospects. I think that's how the Tribe might draft, leaning heavy on some college picks with a good mix of HS SP prospects. I think this draft could really boost the Tribes system with 2/3 really good hits.

Jake Stinnett is an interesting arm, he's really developed as a pitcher since his move from 3rd. I like him, as a senior sign, he could get snagged up pretty quickly by a team that is looking to add a low mileage arm, with talent and little signing leverage.

I really like Jake Cosart he will likely get picked in the 2nd or 3rd rd. He's a RS Fr at Seminole State JC in Fla. (transfer from Duke) his bro. pitches with the Astros. Cosart has matured physically since HS, he's now 6'2 210 (?) with little physical projection left. That's not the case on the mound, he's really come on as a SP prospect, he's now up to 98 from the mound with qkly developing secondaries.
Rocky55
April 7, 2014 - 8:08 PM EDT
Jeff, you were this close to mock immortality. Imhof & Finnegan & one of Papi or JD Davis would be possibly my fave draft ever. Get Jake Stinnett in the 2nd & you get a statue.

Re JD Davis, I don't know if you've seen him hit but IMO his bat is far superior to his teammate Chapman. Chapman is a pretty good 3B and Davis is a 1B but he's an athlete and a pitcher with a 93-94 FB who might be tried in RF. I think he's in the argument with Reed for best two-way player in college.
Jeff
April 7, 2014 - 5:11 PM EDT
Money has been set, I think the Indians have like the 6th highest amount
Jeff
April 7, 2014 - 5:10 PM EDT
Not mad at all Rocky, saw Blandino listed at 2B/3B so listed him there. I have not see him this year, only going by boxscores. As for the stats on Blandino I straight blew that, had multiple tabs open. Mocks tend to be messy for me. I must have given him some one elses line, or I had number fatigue. Plain and simply I messed up.

As for the college pitching originally I had Imhof and Finnegan to the Indians. Then I looked at it again and realized I needed to make changes. Both went higher then.

Tooki is the perfect WC type to grab when you have 3 firsts, he could end up being the best player in the draft its possible. Foley was the top player on my board though I debated Imhof and him till the end. Last pick I felt like they would grab one bat, so I looked at the top college bats and it came down to Blandino, Papi, and JD Davis. So I grabbed the only one with up the middle potential. I remembered Blandino at SS in the past and thought he was at 2B this year.


PS only got mad last time, when people started acting like I had zero knowledge.
Tondo
April 7, 2014 - 10:34 AM EDT
In response to James 1st comment here, College/high floor vs HS/high upside: read Jeff's comments on some teams. Giants and Cards like College/safe bets. Mets, angels, phillies like HS risks...see a trend there? Who's deep in the POs seemingly every season and who is not? The mlb season is a marathon, but most people still think you win it with Usain Bolt types.
Walter
April 7, 2014 - 10:32 AM EDT
Has the pool money been set by MLB for this upcoming draft. Or is it still in limbo because of Drew and Morales are still FA?
Nick S
April 7, 2014 - 9:56 AM EDT
Wacha was considered a two pitch pitcher in school by scouts and Espn. Law said wacha and sonny gray were best setup men in the major leagues.
Daingean
April 7, 2014 - 7:52 AM EDT
Here is how I predict it would go if the Indians were drafting today:

1. Chapman 3B - Grant hasn't taken a pitcher with his first pick. I think this is an admission that he doesn't trust the Indians development staff with pitchers (he's even gone out of his way to draft a position guy with the first piek i.e. Naquin over Wacha). While his MO has been to take middle of the diamond guys (either move them out of SS i.e. Chiz), I think he may go corner as the team is stock piled with MO guys.

1s. Reid-Foley HS P - Grant has gone pitcher with his second pick the past few years and I think he'll do the same with the supplemental pick. Until the team shows it can develop a pitcher, I think Grant will continue to go position in the first but still give the development staff a premium pitcher or two.

1c. Forbes SS with competitive balance pick - Grant can't help himself when a high rated middle of the diamond guy is available. The HS SS is too tempting.

Then with the 2. Grant goes pitching again if the value is there.
Homer
April 7, 2014 - 6:31 AM EDT
I'd like to see the Tribe go with something like...

1.21 Sean Reid-Foley - RHSP HS, Fla.
1.31 Matt Imhof - LHSP Cal Poly
1.38 Chris Ellis - RHSP Ole Miss
2.67 Jake Cosart - RHSP Seminole JC, Fla

Foley has improved this spring, more consistent hitting mid 90's. Showing natural progress.

Imhof is a solid low/mid 90 lefty, might not make it this far, he's not a sexy pk, just really really good.

Ellis good size, durable RHSP with some upside, IMO. Low/mid 90's with solid CB and CH.

Cosart, RS Fr transfer from Duke has been pitching FT over 1 yr (upside). Hits 98 good to avg secondaries. Bro. pitches for Astros.
Willie
April 7, 2014 - 6:21 AM EDT
Walter, Derek Fisher has a broken hamat bone in his hand. Should be out a cpl mths, costing a highly regarded prospect ranked anywhere from 5-25 at some point this yr.
Rocky55
April 7, 2014 - 1:20 AM EDT
Touki might be the most talented pitcher in the draft but he's raw as steak tartare. Probably have to pick him if he's there but I hope he's not. Huge bust risk, Tribe not known for developing the raw HS guys.

Reid=Foley is a personal fave & I'm higher on him than Jeff. Watch vid of the PG game in Petco last year on youtube. The kid is big ,strong, & has a really nice arm.

Blandino has been a 3rd baseman all year. I assume that you believe he'll be moved to 2B because he's a shitty 3B; he is. Then again. he did play 2 games at 2nd as a freshman...and 11 at DH. Maybe he's a DH? Anyway, it's kind of a stretch to call him an up the middle guy to fit him into the Tribe's predicted penchant for drafting them. Is his 5:1 BB/K ratio a career mark? This year, he has 12 walks & 9 K's. That's only 5:1 in common core math. He does have an .878 OPS...in a year flush with 1.000 OPS players. Louisiana Lafayette has a team OPS of .949. Plus, Stanford is known for churning out successful hitters; no, wait...

Don't get angry again Jeff, I'm just kidding a little. I do wonder how you could get us through 3 top picks in a year with more college pitching talent than I've ever seen, without getting us at least one. Maybe we get Imhof at 21. OB would like that. Sounds good. Put another way:

I'll take my draft with a 1st course of Imhof, hold the Blandino.

Jeff
April 7, 2014 - 12:08 AM EDT
All three guys should be gone by the Indians selection but would not be shocked if one did. Ortiz is a lot safer than Toussaint who has a much higher ceiling but on the other side might fail to make it to AA. Ortiz is viewed as a safe 2/3 where Toussaint could be a 1 . Fisher wasn't killing the ball preinjury was more of a 15-20 guy, worth considering at 21. Not a big injury just knocking him out for a time, some people had fisher the top college bat in the draft to start the year. I was not one
Walter
April 6, 2014 - 11:04 PM EDT
Great job Jeff! I reviewed mock draft 3.0 and 3 players fell out of top 41 Cobi Johnson, Justin Sheffield and Kyle Freeland. Do you see any of the 3 falling to the Indians in the 2nd Round?

Secondly...Is Ortiz having a better year than Toussaint is the reason the Angels would take Ortiz over Toussaint?

Thirdly...What is Derek Fisher injury that his stock is falling? If he is a top 10 player should the Indians consider him at #21?
James
April 6, 2014 - 8:48 PM EDT
Well, I at least like this better than the soft-tossing lefty and adequate catcher from last time. At some point the Indians need to realize that high-floor, low-ceiling, safe bets turn into exactly that and not the FOR starters you need to win championships....With 5 top 100 picks, I would like to see the tribe gamble on high upside.

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