With the draft getting closer by the pitch, it is time to shake things up a bit. Some of the biggest changes in the rankings come this week and a new name appears on the list. Take a look at the latest mock draft.
1. Arizona Diamondbacks
Selection: Justin Upton
School: Great Bridge HS, Chesapeake, Va.
2005: .535 avg, 11 HR, 6-2B, 2-3B, 26 RBI, 26 R, 6 SB
Why: Upton has been atop the rankings since day one and has shown nothing that would lead the D'Backs to change their minds at this point. Great Bridge High School's head coach Wiley said that the five-tool star is contually working on his defense, likely in the hope that he can stick at shortstop, though the jury is still out.
"He has been taking ground balls everyday," said Wiley.
2. Kansas City Royals
Selection: Alex Gordon
School: U. of Nebraska
2005: .396/.553/.761, 159 AB, 14 HR, 42 RBI, 17 SB, 47 BB, 25 K
Why: Like Upton with the prep class, Alex Gordon is the top choice in the college class. While he probably should be able to stick at thirs, the lefty's bat profiles anywhere on the diamond. Although the Royals have two solid third base prospects in Mark Teahen and Billy Butler, neither will stop them from taking Gordon. He is the best player available with this pick and should end up in KC, ragardless of financial demands.
3. Seattle Mariners
Selection: Cameron Maybin
School: T.C. Roberson HS, Asheville, N.C.
2005: .655/.750/1.103, 13 HR, 9-2B, 22 BB, 50 R, 32 RBI, 4 K, 24 SB
Why: Without Upton in this class, Maybin would be in serious consideration for the top overall pick. He has all the talent in the world and doesn't take any of his skill for granted. Roberson High Coach Tom Smith raves about his superstar outfielder and cites his determination and work habits as a big reason why he should have success in baseball.
"His work ethic is great," said Smith. "His Mom and Dad have two jobs and he knows what work is all about."
Maybin's goal? "To tell his Mom that she doesn't have to work any more," added Smith. Don't worry Cameron, the time for that is almost here.
4. Washington Nationals
Selection: Luke Hochevar
School:U. of Tennessee
2005: 10-2, 1.83 ERA, 88.2 IP, 94 K, 28 BB
Why: While the top pitchers in this draft class are similar in many ways, Hochevar separates himself from the pack with his combination of ideal size and the ability to hit spots with great consistency. At 6-4, the right-hander possesses a prototypical pitcher's body. Although the Tennessee ace already touches the mid-90s with his fastball, it's conceivable he could add more velocity. With an unmatched mixture of top physical skills and a varied arsenal, Hochevar separates himself from the pack as the best pitcher available in this draft.
5. Milwaukee Brewers
Selection: Ricky Romero
School:Cal State Fullerton
2005: 9-4, 2.70 ERA, 96.2 IP, 107 K, 27 BB
Why: The biggest jump in the rankings made by anyone this season belongs to Ricky Romero. The left-hander was always a solid prospect but the numbers he has put up this season and the strides he made along the way have vaulted himtinto the Top10. He owns a low-90s fastball and a hammer curve, locating both very well. Romero fits the Brewers in this slot as they'd team him up with their top pick from last year, RHP Mark Rogers.
6. Toronto Blue Jays
Selection: Ryan Zimmerman
2005: .402/.472/.614, 184 AB, 5 HR, 49 RBI, 14 SB, 23 BB, 9 K
Why: While Zimmerman doesn't possess the ultimate upside that many top-10 picks have, he also isn't nearly as risky as most picks. He is widely regarded as a future Gold Glove third baseman and can certainly hold his own at the plate. Toronto, being a SABR-oriented organization and their belief in safe picks makes them a perfect match for Zimmerman.
7. Colorado Rockies
Selection: Stephen Drew
School: Florida State
Why: Imagine the future of the Colorado infield: Blue chipper Ian Stewart at third base, 2004 1st rounder Chris Nelson at shortstop, Stephen Drew at second base and perhaps even good old Todd Helton at first base. That is a dream infield for any team. Drew still may sign with the Diamondbacks before the 2005 draft but all signs are pointing to his re-entry. His gap power will play very well in Coors and he could move quickly through the system once signed. If he ends up in Colorado, the Rockies will have the best infield in the game by 2008.
8. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Selection: Jeff Clement
2005: .361/.497/.653, 144 AB, 10 HR, 35 RBI, 4 SB, 34 BB, 26 K
Why: While the power and plate discipline are there, the overall numbers are not very impressive for this offense-first backstop. However, given his pedigree and potential to be an impact bat from behind the plate, he'll find his way into the top 10 picks. The Devil Rays have never been solid behind the plate so they may look to end that trend this time around.
9. New York Mets
Selection: Mike Pelfrey
School: Wichita State
2005: 9-2, 1.64 ERA, 98.2 IP, 105 K, 23 BB
Why: The Mets would be extremely happy if Mike Pelfrey fell to them at number nine. Pelfrey has as much upside as any pitcher and may slip only due to the quality of the draft. His fastball reaches the mid-90s with ease and his mid-80s slider projects as a plus MLB pitch. If the Mets are willing to pony up some money for this Scott Boras client, they may have a steal in this slot.
10. Detroit Tigers
Selection: Troy Tulowitzki
School: Long Beach State
2005: .367/.461/.663, 98 AB, 6 HR, 20 RBI, 1 SB, 10 BB, 22 K
Why: The Tigers will have a few solid players to pick from at No. 10. They could go with either shortstop prospect, Tulowitzki or Tyler Greene, or they could go with the pricey and unsigned Jered Weaver – the Angels draft pick from a year ago. If the draft were today, Tulowitzki would be the likely choice. He outperformed Greene during the season and has more long-term projection. He has also shown the ability to recover quickly from the injury that shut him down for the first few weeks of the season. He will fit well into the Tigers organization, which is lacking a top middle-infield prospect.
MLB Mock Draft: 5/6
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