2015 MLB Mock Draft, 3.0

The 2015 MLB Draft is one month away. Jeff Ellis breaks down the buzz surrounding the first round and mocks out the first 42 picks of the draft.

Awaiting Image
Garrett Whitley
Niskayuna HS / 6'1 / 195 lbs
  • OF
  • [1] #1

Analysis

Whitley is a legitimate five-tool prospect. Since he is a big kid from New York, he will get the poor man’s Mike Trout comparison. I know Trout was a New Jersey kid but it will still happen because most people will assume Whitley is from the NYC Metro area. In actuality, he is from upstate New York. The upside is closer to a poor man’s Matt Kemp, still very good. The Diamondbacks have scouted him heavily. He will sign under slot and save them a few dollars. It seems with no star power at the top of the draft that the Diamondbacks will look for upside and under slot value with this pick. This is not a bad idea if they are constantly able to snap up the top sliding talent. The draft might be weak at the top but the rest of it is typical.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Dansby Swanson
Vanderbilt / 6'1 / 190 lbs
  • SS
  • [1] #2

Analysis

Swanson is reported to be the top player on the Astros’ board. They won’t risk him getting away from them. The Astros have heavily scouted up-the-middle talent and Swanson is their guy. He is the safest bet to stick at shortstop of any of the early bats. His speed is his best tool followed by the hit tool. A lot of draft pundits are starting to lock this pick in now.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Jon Harris
Missouri State / 6'4 / 190 lbs
  • RHP
  • [1] #3

Analysis

I think a few teams in the top-10 are going way under slot. The Rockies have four picks in the top 50. They could go under slot here and then take some big risks later. Harris is not far in terms of talent from Kyle Funkhouser, who has more polish and is a safer arm, at least to me. Harris, however, should be a lot cheaper to sign. Harris and his sinking fastball fit the Colorado model. He is an arm who has shown a lot of improvement this year.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Brendan Rodgers
Lake Mary HS / 6'0 / 185 lbs
  • SS
  • [1] #4

Analysis

Texas goes prep with first round picks as much as anyone. They have spent three top picks in the last decade on college guys. They have been tied to a lot of pitchers, but Rodgers is too good to pass on. They can grab the top talent, the consensus number one player. Unless they decided to take someone like Kolby Allard, I just can’t see them not taking Rodgers, if he is here.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Daz Cameron
Eagles Landing HS / 6'0 / 185 lbs
  • OF
  • [1] #5

Analysis

The Astros have scouted Cameron heavily. They have been linked to him more than any other team. It seems like Kyle Tucker might be the fall back pick here if Cameron is off the board. Cameron could still go number one. The Astros are looking for a prep outfielder here. Cameron has had an uneven year. He has lacked urgency through the process and seems a bit bored.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Dillon Tate
UC-Santa Barbara / 6'2 / 200 lbs
  • RHP
  • [1] #6

Analysis

I hear that the Twins have been big Kolby Allard fans but Tate sitting here unexpectedly could cause a shift. They are a team that leans heavy prep so Allard makes a lot of sense and, if healthy, he would be one of the top five guys in this draft. Tate has been top three on every board almost the entire year, however. There is effort in his delivery and his command is an issue. He has ace upside but the issues might not make him quite the slam dunk pick he was once viewed to be.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Alex Bregman
LSU / 6'0 / 190 lbs
  • IF
  • [1] #7

Analysis

The Red Sox would be so happy with this pick. I did not think it would happen but with players like Daz Cameron and Garrett Whitley elevating, I think there is a good chance the Red Sox will have a shot at one of the college shortstops. Bregman would be a redraft which the Red Sox often do. I have written on Bregman extensively; he is a top-three talent to me so a steal right here.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Tyler Jay
Illinois / 6'1 / 185 lbs
  • LHP
  • [1] #8

Analysis

The White Sox are really good at developing pitchers, one of the best – if not the best – in baseball. A few years ago they got a lefty who fell in the draft because of concerns he was destined to be a bullpen arm. I would say Chris Sale worked out pretty well. Jay would be off the board if he was a proven starter. I think he would be a favorite for number one if he had gotten the chance to start. He projects for three plus pitches and has plus control. Fun to think in three years the White Sox could have a near all lefty rotation with Sale, Jose Quintana, Carlos Rodon and Jay.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Walker Buehler
Vanderbilt / 6'1 / 160 lbs
  • RHP
  • [1] #9

Analysis

Last year a scout told me the Cubs were huge on Kyle Schwarber. I didn’t listen and that was a mistake I won’t repeat. When that scout said the Cubs were in on pitchers and that Buehler is a guy they liked, I merely said thank you. The Cubs have drafted more than a few undersized arms. Buehler’s height and size won’t bother them. A lot of teams in the top-10 have him on their list by many accounts. The only knock is size and the injury concern that goes with it.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Tyler Stephenson
Kennesaw Mountain HS / 6'4 / 210 lbs
  • C
  • [1] #10

Analysis

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro was seen scouting Stephenson but then again Georgia is loaded this year. Any smart GM would spend time seeing all the great match-ups of prep talent in the Georgia playoffs. Stephenson is thundering up boards thanks to his combination of arm behind the plate, size and plus power. He has a rare package of skills in a position one does not typically find them in. I think he can stick at catcher but the bat projects to play anywhere.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Kyle Funkhouser
Louisville / 6'2 / 210 lbs
  • RHP
  • [1] #11

Analysis

The Reds are in a position to just take the top talent who falls. In a draft with likely 3-4 guys who aren’t viewed as consensus top-10 guys rising up there should be a lot of options here. Funkhouser could go as high as three. I have him here because of what I have heard of other teams’ preferences. He looks like a future innings eater with some front of the rotation potential. He is also the size the Reds have looked for in recent pitchers they have drafted. A top-10 talent at 11 would seem like an easy choice here.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Kyle Tucker
Plant Senior HS / 6'4 / 175 lbs
  • OF
  • [1] #12

Analysis

A lot of teams are in on Tucker, so he isn’t likely to get past the 12th pick. He is a big kid with a sweet swing who is in a lot of top-10 lists. Tucker projects for plus power from the left side. The Marlins like high upside prep players. Tucker would be the top player to fit that bill right and a Florida kid, to boot.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Carson Fulmer
Vanderbilt / 5'9 / 190 lbs
  • RHP
  • [1] #13

Analysis

Fulmer is an eye-of-the-beholder guy. If you look at the stuff and numbers, he looks like a top-10 talent. I am in that camp. If you look at the effort in his delivery and his size then you think he will be a reliever. His size will hurt him and with several prep players rising, it causes him to slide down a bit. Tampa last year went with a highly productive college player and Fulmer would fit that mold this year, as well.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Kolby Allard
San Clemente HS / 6'2.5 / 175 lbs
  • LHP
  • [1] #14

Analysis

The Braves are going upside. When Braves GM John Hart was general manager of the Texas Rangers, he would more often than not go prep arms early. Allard, if healthy, would have been a top-five pick. He is a bit undersized but was often compared to Brady Aiken this year, in a good way. He has every chance to go much higher if he can pitch well when he returns from injury. He is the top prep arm and a great pick right here that falls into Atlanta’s lap.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Mike Nikorak
Stroudsburg HS / 6'5 / 205 lbs
  • RHP
  • [1] #15

Analysis

The Brewers went for tools, tools, and more tools last year. I am not sure outside of maybe Donny Everett there is a pitcher with more upside than Nikorak from the prep ranks. He is 6’5”, 225 pounds and hits 98. He is a cold weather arm with more rubber on the tire than your typical prep arm. His size and velocity will be what gets him drafted. He is in-play in the top-10, as well, because of his upside.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Donny Everett
Clarksville HS / 6'2 / 220 lbs
  • RHP
  • [1] #16

Analysis

I am conflicted with the Yankees. The reports have them linked to several prep players, and yet last year in the top-10 rounds they took one prep player. The year before the Yankees had three first-round picks and spent two on safe college hitters. Everett has as much upside as any pitcher in this draft. He has hit 100 and has the size teams look for. He is going in the first round and the Yankees are a team that has been linked to him.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Ian Happ
Cincinnati / 6'05 / 180 lbs
  • 2B
  • [1] #17

Analysis

I have had Nick Plummer here in every previous mock draft. The issue is I think the industry is a little down on him. He showed up in the spring with a little extra weight. The Indians had a recent issue with a high draft pick and conditioning issues, which might scare them off of Plummer. Happ is the Rodney Dangerfield of this draft, he gets no respect. Cincinnati has been awful this year, but that’s not his fault. He has above-average power, the best current hit tool in the draft, and a very high walk rate. He had hernia surgery before the season and his slash is still .366/.490/.683. I think he should be tried at second or third. I think third has a chance to be the right position for him to maximize his value. He isn’t eye popping like some other players but he gets the job done.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Kevin Newman
Arizona / 6'1 / 180 lbs
  • SS
  • [1] #18

Analysis

The Giants are one of the hardest teams to figure out. They don’t have a set rhyme or reason to their picks. When I was looking at past history, they are a team that targets shortstops early along with big bodied pitchers. I debated Mike Matuella, Cody Ponce and Newman here. I ended up with Newman because he was the safest player and one who is very high on some boards. Newman’s rise has been well documented. He is a solid defender at short with good speed and a projected plus hit tool. When the Giants have gone the college route, they have gone with safer production guys of late and Newman is certainly that.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Mike Matuella
Duke / 6'6 / 220 lbs
  • RHP
  • [1] #19

Analysis

The Pirates are a team that goes for upside and are not afraid of risk. A few years ago they drafted Mark Appel even though they had no clue if he was signable because he was on the board. He didn’t sign and they ended up with Austin Meadows the next year as the comp pick instead. Matuella, if he had been healthy and performed like last year, would have been a favorite to go number one. He has three big red flags from an injury perspective, but the Pirates are a top-20 team that is not risk adverse and might roll the dice.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
D.J. Stewart
Florida State / 6'0 / 230 lbs
  • OF
  • [1] #20

Analysis

The A’s lean college bats heavily in round one. Stewart is a guy who, if it was 1999, would be a slam dunk to the A’s. He has one of the best eyes in the class. He has been an on-base machine who has had some power emerge this year. He gets hit for being a bad body guy but he just has a wider built. He looks like the running back he used to be in high school. Stewart is a left fielder long term but the offensive stats are impressive. The A’s often do like former or current shortstops. I could see a Rickie Martin, Kyle Holder or Blake Trahan slide up to here as well.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Phil Bickford
Southern Nevada / 6'4 / 200 lbs
  • RHP
  • [1] #21

Analysis

Bickford is another player I am not sure what to make of. He is all over draft boards at this point. Bickford is undersized and has two pitches but he has the pedigree of being a former high pick and he throws hard. He’s a real love-or-hate type of guy, it seems. The Royals have no issues with undersized arms. I am going to have people saying this is way too low or too high and none saying it’s right.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Trenton Clark
Richland Hills HS / 6'0 / 200 lbs
  • OF
  • [1] #22

Analysis

The Tigers often go for athletic prep players or hard throwing college arms. Clark fits the mold as an athletic prep player. They might take some guff for passing on the local kid Nick Plummer, but I think the height and projection differential would cause them to lean towards Clark. Clark might end up in the corners but his bat speed and power potential are going to get him drafted on Day One.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Nathan Kirby
Virginia / 6'2 / 185 lbs
  • LHP
  • [1] #23

Analysis

It is quite a fall for Kirby, who had to be tempting for the Cleveland Indians who have taken a Virginia player in four straight drafts, and the Royals, who have gone for lefthanders early and often. The Cardinals always have pitching depth but this is a case of value being too good to pass on. Kirby was projected at one point as a top-five pick. He has had some control issues in college and the injury issue that has caused his stock to tumble. A team like St. Louis could draft him and expect to clean up his issues. Then in two years they could end up with a solid three or four pitcher, if not more.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Nick Plummer
Brother Rice HS / 5'11 / 200 lbs
  • OF
  • [1] #24

Analysis

I am a big Plummer fan. I think the fact he is under six feet tall could cause him to slide a bit if he gets past certain teams which aren’t as focused on height. Cleveland, Oakland, and the Royals are all in play based on past history. The Dodgers can simply take the best player here. Over the summer, Plummer looked like a top-10 pick with a plus hit tool and power potential but conditioning is an issue and there could be a case of out-of-sight, out-of-mind here, as well. He is still top 15 on most boards and a steal of a pick here.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Ke'Bryan Hayes
Concordia Lutheran HS / 6'1 / 210 lbs
  • 3B
  • [1] #25

Analysis

The Orioles are another prep heavy team and they have gone with the son of a former major leaguer recently with great results. Hayes reminds me a lot of his father, Charlie. He looks like a future above-average starter at third. He is a solid defender with a solid bat. He might not be a star down-the-road but he is one of the safer prep bats. He is a guy who is in the 20’s on most boards.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Cody Ponce
Cal-Poly, Pomona / 6'5 / 235 lbs
  • RHP
  • [1] #26

Analysis

Ponce is a guy who has been in play for nearly ten picks now. I am not as high as others on him, but he is a top-15 guy on more than a few boards. I was told the Angels do like him a little and the reports have them heavy on college arms. Ponce would be the upside gamble over the safer James Kaprielian, who is also in play for this pick. Ponce needs more time to develop as a small school guy with under-developed secondary stuff.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Brady Aiken
IMG Academy / 6'4 / 215 lbs
  • LHP
  • [1A] #27

Analysis

I mentioned before that the Rockies have four picks in the first 50. If there is a team that can gamble, it’s the Rockies. If they go under slot early then they can roll the dice and get possibly the best player in this draft in Aiken. I have only read the rumors. I have no clue on the medicals but this is a logical place for him to a team that would have the money to sign him.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Drew Finley
Rancho Bernardo HS / 6'3 / 200 lbs
  • RHP
  • [1A] #28

Analysis

Finley is a hot name of late. He is a right-hander who doesn’t throw hard and doesn’t project for more velocity, so it might seem surprising to see him here. Finley grew up with a father who was a scout and he has always been around the game. His secondary stuff is nicely developed for a prep arm and I think he could move quicker than your typical prep player. A lot of teams are in play for him. Atlanta, with all of their picks, can just sit back and grab the top prep talent here, which to many would be Finley.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Chris Betts
Wilson HS / 6'4 / 210 lbs
  • C
  • [1A] #29

Analysis

The Blue Jays are a team that looks for upside. Betts is a top 20 talent to some who has plus power and a strong arm. I am in the camp where I don’t think he will stick behind the plate but the power will allow the bat to profile anywhere. If he does stick at catcher then he would be a steal here.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
James Kaprielian
UCLA / 6'4 / 200 lbs
  • RHP
  • [1A] #30

Analysis

As was previously mentioned, the Yankees have been linked heavily to pitchers, many of them prep pitchers. I just can’t mock them another prep arm after how conservative they have been the last two drafts. Kaprielian has some inconsistencies but when the stuff plays up, he looks like a top-25 player. He is in-play to teams in the mid 20’s and would be a solid value here.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Andrew Benintendi
Arkansas / 5'10 / 180 lbs
  • OF
  • [1A] #31

Analysis

I just have to deal with the fact I am much higher on Benintendi than everyone else. I get number translations aren’t perfect but what he has done this year is still amazing. Even if you think the power is a complete mirage then he still has potential as a plus speed centerfielder with an above-average hit tool. I know a lot of places have a second round grade on Benintendi and by a lot, I mean all. Yet for a team that values production he could be a surprise pick.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Ashe Russell
Cathedral HS / 6'4 / 195 lbs
  • RHP
  • [1A] #32

Analysis

Ashe Russell is another one of those guys who is all over the board. His upside is front of the rotation but many have questions about his mechanics and command. He is a big kid with a nice slider and good velocity. With any of these prep arms, it is more what teams are looking for or value in particular in young arms. Most prep arms will have a few warts that will cause some teams to pass, and other teams to not care. A guy like Russell could slide out of round one or could end up in the top-20. It just takes one team.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Alonzo Jones
Columbus HS / 5'10 / 190 lbs
  • 2B
  • [1A] #33

Analysis

Jones has been hurt and missed a lot of time this spring. He could easily end up in the second round or even fall far enough to go to college. I have him going to the Royals because, as an organization, they value speed. The fastest player in this draft is Jones, who some have compared to Billy Hamilton. He would have been a first day lock if he had been healthy.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Jacob Nix
IMG Academy / 6'4 / 205 lbs
  • RHP
  • [1A] #34

Analysis

The Tigers have been linked to Nix who was the other player involved in the Brady Aiken-Houston Astros fiasco last year. He has pitched well this year but the reports haven’t been anything more than what you would expect for a guy who is basically a college freshman. He isn’t splashing and nothing has changed, which is fine. He was paid like a first round pick a year ago before the deal fell apart. Nix has the big body and velocity the Tigers look for, so he makes sense to them. They can still look to grab those fast moving bullpen arms after going upside early.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Cornelius Randolph
Griffin HS / 6'1 / 190 lbs
  • OF
  • [1A] #35

Analysis

Randolph is similar to Ke’Bryan Hayes from earlier but with better power and a less defined position. Randolph has above-average power and hit tools. He has played shortstop but is going to have to move off the position. He is going to be tried at third but might end up in the outfield. He has been scouted heavily like all the Georgia prospects. He could easily go higher; this is more of his draft floor here at 35.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Dakota Chalmers
North Forsyth HS / 6'3 / 195 lbs
  • RHP
  • [1A] #36

Analysis

Chalmers burst onto the scene this year and has performed well all season. He was well known before but he has looked better in the spring and became a hot name in a loaded state. He has the beginnings of three pitches. He hits 98 right now despite a frame that needs to add some more mass. He is a solid athlete who projects well down-the-line as a starter.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Chandler Day
Pataskala HS / 6'4 / 165 lbs
  • RHP
  • [CA] #37

Analysis

A lot of people are down on Day from where he was in the winter. He is a Vanderbilt commit who I still don’t think gets to campus. The Astros are big on the idea of guys who are young for their age grouping. For instance, the reason they appear to be willing to pass on Brendan Rodgers is that he will turn 19 in August. On the other hand, Day won’t be 18 until the day before Memorial Day. It’s all projection as he is a big, cold weather arm. After projecting two bats I looked at what arm would fit what the Astros look for and to me it was clearly Day.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Mitchell Hansen
Plano HS / 6'4 / 190 lbs
  • OF
  • [CA] #38

Analysis

After having the Rockies go with back-to-back arms instead I have them signing the top athlete on the board here thanks to money savings early. Hansen is a very good athlete with a hard commit to Stanford. It is going to take a nice bonus to get him to walk away. He is like a lite version of Garrett Whitley. Instead of being a guy with five potential plus tools he projects to have five above-average to plus tools. His speed and arm are his best tools and both look plus. He could easily be a plus defender anywhere in the outfield. He has an advanced approach for a high school player and would be a value pick here, albeit a pricey one.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Donnie Dewees
North Florida / 6'0 / 180 lbs
  • OF
  • [CA] #39

Analysis

I mentioned before that the Cardinals are one of the most conservative drafting teams. Dewees is an interesting up-the-middle bat. He is very similar to Andrew Benintendi and I could understand why people might like either one more. Dewees, by reports, has the better hit tool but has faced lesser competition. He did very well in the Cape against top competition and caught a few scouts’ eyes there. He had been on the radar of scouts before the season began and the big numbers this year should see him go in the top-two rounds.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Beau Burrows
Weatherford HS / 6'1 / 180 lbs
  • RHP
  • [CA] #40

Analysis

Burrows has some of the best velocity in this class of any of the prep arms but is undersized and maxed out physically. The question is can the changeup and curve develop enough to ensure he can start? If not, he has a future as a dominant bullpen arm. He is the top arm in the state of Texas, a well-known player who fits the tools approach and would be a value pick here.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Jalen Miller
Riverwood HS / 6'1 / 185 lbs
  • SS
  • [CA] #41

Analysis

After taking two upside arms for California, I have the Braves dipping into the very deep Georgia talent pool to take a bat. Miller is a prep shortstop who everyone projects to stick there. He is a good athlete who projects average to above-average tools in most areas. Shortstops always rise and in a deep class Miller seems a lock to end up in the top-50 picks.

Player Profile

Awaiting Image
Jeff Degano
Indiana State / 6'4 / 220 lbs
  • LHP
  • [CA] #42

Analysis

I had not heard of Jeff Degano until I saw his name in another mock draft recently. Then I saw him in another mock draft and decided I needed to figure out who this guy is. I talked to a scout from Indiana but they missed him a year ago. This was because he had Tommy John surgery last year. I emailed with his coaches and it’s an interesting tale I will save for a capsule later. He has three legit pitches in a big 6’4”, 200-pound frame. He is from Surrey, Canada, and took the JUCO route to Indiana State. A guy with some projection left thanks to his size and missed time. His numbers this year are better than when Sean Manaea pitched for ISU. After the safer Ian Happ, the Indians could stick to their college route early and get an interesting cold weather arm, who has more upside than your typical college junior.

Player Profile

To see all of SCOUT's MLB Draft content, click here


Scouting Baseball Top Stories