The best day of the year in finally here! Because of MLB pushing the draft back to All-Star Week, it has been 13 months since our last draft and this one is going to be bonkers, with very little consensus at the top.
We’ve waited long enough. Let’s get to it.
1. Pittsburgh Pirates – Henry Davis, C, Louisville
I think this pick ultimately comes down to Davis and Marcello Mayer, with the difference being who will sign for less. Mayer is essentially locked into Detroit at three, so Davis would be the one who could slip farther, meaning he will be the one to cut a deal and be the top pick.
2. Texas Rangers – Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit Prep HS (TX)
There’s a lot of Kahlil Watson buzz here and apparently Jack Leiter is in play. But the Rangers aren’t winning anytime soon so high school vs. college shouldn’t matter and I can’t pass up the hometown kid who has arguably the highest upside in the draft.
3. Detroit Tigers – Marcelo Mayer, SS, Eastlake HS (CA)
The war room in Detroit celebrates as it gets the top player on their board in Mayer. If he’s not here, Jackson Jobe and Brady House seem to be the hot names.
4. Boston Red Sox – Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt
The war room in Boston celebrates as Leiter gets to them at No. 4, adding a frontline arm to an organization that direly needs one.
5. Baltimore Orioles – Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston State
If Leiter or Davis were here, I do think they would be the pick. But they’re not and Mike Elias likes to play games, so we’re going to play games here. Cowser is a very good player in his own right and is in the second tier of players in the draft. Baltimore cuts a deal here to spend big later on.
6. Arizona Diamondbacks – Kahlil Watson, SS, Wake Forrest HS (NC)
Watson has gotten a lot of late buzz and could certainly be off the board by this point. But I think Arizona jumps at the opportunity to add one of the prep shortstops and Watson is the player with arguably the highest upside in the entire class.
7. Kansas City Royals – Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt
I genuinely do not believe I am writing this, but there is a very real possibility that Rocker is on the board at No. 7. If he is, I don’t think Dayton Moore hesitates to submit this pick. Prospect fatigue is awesome.
8. Colorado Rockies – Brady House, SS, Winder-Barrow HS (GA)
The Rockies need everything so they should take the top player on their board. That would be House in this scenario. Pair him with Zac Veen and you could dream of two prolific power threats at Coors Field.
9. Los Angeles Angels – Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall HS (OK)
Death, taxes, and the Angels need pitching. They should be ecstatic to see Jobe still on the board here, who could wind up being the best pitching prospect in this draft class.
10. New York Mets – Ty Madden, RHP, Texas
After going with high school position players the last three years, I’m going to give them a college arm here. Madden is the third best college arm in the class after the two Vandy hurlers.
11. Washington Nationals – Will Bednar, RHP, Mississippi State
We have our first example of a player riding a helium wave from a dominant College World Series. The Nationals are a pretty safe bet to be targeting a college arm and Bednar has seen his stock rise exponentially.
12. Seattle Mariners – Matt McClain, SS, UCLA
After Henry Davis, the second tier of college bats seem to be McClain, Cowser and Sal Frelick. The Mariners appear to be in on all of them and I have them going with the middle infielder here in McClain.
13. Philadelphia Phillies – Sal Frelick, OF, Boston College
Frelick and Cowser are similar players but Frelick is 5’9” has more speed while Cowser is 6’3” with more power. Frelick’s speed and left-handed bat would fit nicely at Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies are looking for a long-term answer in center field.
14. San Francisco Giants – Benny Montgomery, OF, Red Land HS (PA)
The Giants add to a rising system by shooting for upside here in Montgomery, the top prep outfielder in the draft.
15. Milwaukee Brewers – Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State
Wicks is the top college left hander in the draft and has a relatively high floor with good command of a solid three-pitch mix to go along with the best changeup in the draft.
16. Miami Marlins – Will Taylor, OF, Dutch Fork HS (SC)
With one of the better farm systems and an exciting young core coming together in Miami, I have the Marlins chasing upside in Taylor, who is arguably the best athlete in the draft.
17. Cincinnati Reds – Sam Bachman, RHP, Miami (Ohio)
The Reds go for one of the second-tier college arms here in local product Bachman and have plenty of financial resources to make a splash later on in the first round.
18. St. Louis Cardinals – Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, Ole Miss
The Cardinals are ecstatic by this outcome as there is no way Hoglund would be available had he not underwent Tommy John. This is a steal if he comes back healthy.
19. Toronto Blue Jays – Anthony Solometo, LHP, Bishop Eustace HS (NJ)
There seems to be a lot of buzz around Solometo and Toronto. I’ll bite. Best high school southpaw in the draft with a rather high floor for a prep arm.
20. New York Yankees – Gavin Williams, RHP, East Carolina
The Yankees appear to be in on college pitchers and Williams is seeing his stock rise after a strong super-regional performance.
21. Chicago Cubs – Harry Ford, C, North Cobb HS (GA)
Ford has massive upside as an athlete who could certainly stay behind the play, but has the speed to profile at a number of positions. The Cubs are about to embark on a rebuild and adding a player with Ford’s flexibility would be a great addition.
22. Chicago White Sox – Colson Montgomery, 3B, Southridge HS (IN)
The White Sox appear to be in on high school bats and really like Montgomery. If they want him, they’ll have to take him here.
23. Cleveland Indians – Jud Fabian, OF, Florida
Fabian is the most polarizing player in the draft. He entered the spring as perhaps the top position player but has struck out a ton this season, so much so that he might fall out of the first round. He adjusted his swing and has cut the whiff rate while still impacting the ball, and he plays a fantastic center field. This is a boom or bust pick, but here’s betting Cleveland, a team that needs any offensive impact, takes that chance.
24. Atlanta Braves – Bubba Chandler, RHP/SS, North Oconee HS (GA)
The Braves love taking players from their backyard and appear to be focused on pitching at the top of this draft. Chandler being on the board here is the best of both worlds.
25. Oakland Athletics – Wes Kath, 3B, Desert Mountain HS (AZ)
The A’s are targeting high school bats and are rumored to like Kath a lot, who is one of the better pure hitters among the prep players in this draft. He’s hit over power right now and is likely destined for a move to the hot corner in pro ball, where his plus arm will fit nicely.
26. Minnesota Twins – Michael McGreevy, RHP, UC Santa Barbara
He could be off the board at this point. Heck he probably will be. but this is one pick I’m not changing. This has to happen. If you’ve seen Little Big League, you know. If not, go watch Little Big League.
27. San Diego Padres – Frank Mozzicato, LHP, East Catholic HS (CT)
A.J. Preller has been all over the northeast this spring and Mozzicato just seems like a Padres pick. He has big upside as his fastball is high 80s-low 90s but his bread and butter is a plus curveball that is one of the better breaking balls in the draft.
28. Tampa Bay Rays – Joe Mack, C, Williamsville East HS (NY)
Some clubs have Mack as the top catcher in the draft and he could certainly be off the board before this. There’s big upside here and you know the Rays, who don’t have to rush him, will probably have him reach that ceiling.
29. Los Angeles Dodgers – Peyton Stovall, 2B, Haughton HS (LA)
Stovall has one of the better hit tools amongst the prep hitters and the Dodgers certainly have a track record of developing hitters.
30. Cincinnati Reds – Chase Petty, RHP, Mainland HS (NJ)
I went to see Petty this spring and, to no surprise, there was a large scouting contingency present. The Reds have a lot of room to make a splash on Day One and in this scenario are able to float Petty down with an over slot bonus. Putting him in the organization that employs Kyle Boddy would be a fascinating development.
31. Miami Marlins – Ryan Cusick, RHP, Wake Forrest
After going for upside in the first round, I have Miami taking the top college pitcher on the board here in Cusick.
32. Detroit Tigers – Andrew Painter, RHP, Calvary Christian HS (FL)
Detroit lands arguably the top prep bat and arm in the class. Not too shabby.
33. Milwaukee Brewers – Izaac Pacheco, 3B, Friendswood HS (TX)
After going with the college arm in Wicks, Milwaukee targets a high school bat here in Pacheco, who will fit the profile at the hot corner if he hits enough.
34. Tampa Bay Rays – Jaden Hill, RHP, LSU
Hill entered the spring as one of the top college arms in the class before requiring Tommy John surgery. The Rays can take their time with him and will certainly find a way to maximize his potential.
35. Cincinnati Reds – Matt Mikulski, LHP, Fordham
The Reds will have to go over-slot to sign Petty at 30. They take one of the top college seniors in the draft here in Mikulski, who they can save some money on while still getting a legit talent. Quite a pitching coup here for Cincinnati.
36. Minnesota Twins – Ethan Wilson, OF, South Alabama
Minnesota stays in the college ranks and takes Wilson here, who is one of the better college bats on the board. He will likely be limited to left field defensively, but you are buying the bat here.