Scout MLB Publishers' 2016 Mock Draft, picks 1-70

The Scout Network is a leading source of information about baseball's next generation of stars. We put our collective knowledge of the baseball prospect landscape to the test with our Scout MLB Publisher's 2016 Mock Draft. Scout MLB Publishers, contributors and friends of the network got together to mock-up the first 70 picks of this year's draft. The MLB Draft is less than a week away and our Scout MLB group has been busy preparing for the busiest three days of the MLB season. Our group of MLB Publishers, writers and friends of the network recently got together to mock up the first 70 picks of the MLB draft. Below are the results of that mock draft, with commentary on each pick. We had a great time putting ourselves in the role of Scouting Director and we hope you enjoy reading this draft. To get a complete list of Scout's MLB sites, please click here.

Round One

Pick #1 Philadelphia Phillies:  A.J. Puk, LHP, University of Florida

Selection made by Chuck Hixson, PhillyBaseballInsider Publisher

The Phillies farm system is better than it's been in years, especially where pitching is concerned. So, why do the Phillies take another pitcher with the first overall pick? When you take a deeper look at the young pitching prospects in the Phillies organization, the vast majority are right-handers. Puk's left arm will be a perfect addition to the young arms in the system and he should be able to move pretty quickly, so he can easily be a part of the team when they are in a better position to be true contenders. Plus, at 6' 7", 230 pounds, Puk has the kind of build that the Phillies love in pitchers. 

Pick #2 Cincinnati Reds: Corey Ray, OF, University of Louisville

Selection made by Taylor Blake Ward, InsidetheHalos Publisher

The primary thing when it comes to the Reds is athletes with big tools. Ray fits the mold, as he profiles best as a future center fielder with his toolset matching up to be above-average in every aspect. He's refined his approach to become a more polished hitter and could be up with the big boys before too long, in the midst of a rebuild. He's shown more power than expected already, and his speed is fantastic which could turn him into one of the most coveted players in this draft. You could register this as slightly underslot, which could bode well in saving a few nickles and dimes for upside picks following - but not too far under slot to make this seem like a mistake; Ray is a stud.

Pick #3 Atlanta Braves: Jason Groome, LHP, Barnegat HS (NJ)

Selection made by Bill Shanks, AtlantaDugout Publisher

The Braves have made pitching a priority in the rebuilding process, so taking the number one high school pitcher available makes sense. Groome's upside seems tremendous, as he's dominated opponents. The Braves have always preferred high school pitchers from the north. Groome will join young arms like Kolby Allard and Mike Soroka, last year's first round picks, as top prospects for the long-term.

Pick #4 Colorado Rockies: Blake Rutherford, OF, Chaminade Prep (CA)

Selection made by Jerry Espinoza, InsidetheHalos Contributor

At 19-years-old, Rutherford is older than the typical high school draft pick but his hit tool is one of the best in the draft. He has natural left-handed swing and hits for contact with power. He also has good plate discipline and will take a walk. Rutherford moved to the top of the order and he did his job all season, taking pitchers deep into counts. Rutherford is more than just his bat. He is a team leader, stays positive in the face of adversity, excels in pressure situations, and has a sports pedigree as his father played football for Eastern Michigan and his older brother is playing baseball at Cornell. 

Pick #5 Milwaukee Brewers: Mickey Moniak, OF, La Costa Canyon HS (CA)

Selection made by Jeff Ellis, Scout MLB Draft Expert

I will say this, there is no chance the Brewers will get a chance to draft Moniak. He is the number three player on my board. He is a sure centerfielder with a polished approach and at least average tools across the board with an above-average hit tool and plus speed and defense. He is a future top of the order bat who might still have some pop as he adds more muscle to his frame. It is fun to think of a future outfield of Brett Phillips, Trent Clark and Moniak for the Brewers.

Pick #6 Oakland A's: Kyle Lewis, OF, Mercer University

Selection made by Melissa Lockard, OaklandClubhouse Publisher

The A's have two major needs in their system right now: upper-level starting pitching talent and outfield talent. I think they will target both areas early in this draft, starting with Lewis, who gives them a power bat who could move fairly quickly through their system. The A's have plenty of familiarity with the Southern Conference and the Mercer program. Lewis' strike-outs will be a concern for a lot of teams, but the A's will be drawn to Lewis' power and his athleticism. Rutherford, Moniak and Ray are also likely to interest the A's, but all three are gone already in this mock draft. 

Pick #7 Miami Marlins: Delvin Perez, SS, International Baseball Academy (PR)

Selection made by Max Wildstein, HardballScoop Publisher

Delvin Perez is one of the best prep school gloves in the draft. The 6'3'', 165-pound shortstop has a strong arm, amazing athleticism, as well as exceptional hands, range and baseball IQ. Just 17, there is still way more work that needs to be done to his swing. He has a powerful swing, but does not have the best approach at the plate. The Puerto Rican product is not committed to a college, so it should not be a problem to sign the infielder. He could really be a force in the Marlins offense and their infield in the future, if they selected him.

Pick #8 San Diego Padres: Riley Pint, RHP, St. Thomas Aquinas HS (KS)

Selection made by David Jay, MadFriars Co-Publisher

In a year when the strength of the draft is more about the top-100 than it is the top-5, San Diego GM A.J. Preller and his braintrust find themselves in a really good place. With Pint on the board at number eight, the Padres start their run of six picks in the top 85 with the best velocity in the class. The big righty from Kansas, whose arm and protection of it have famously made him a focus of Jeff Passan's "The Arm," has the combination of stuff, tools and acumen to be a beast, and he fits well within Preller and scouting director Mark Conner's profile. At number eight overall, there shouldn't be an issue getting Pint away from his LSU commitment.

Pick #9 Detroit Tigers: Nick Senzel, 3B, University of Tennessee

Selection made by Chris Brown, TigsTown Staff Writer

While the Tigers were hoping Perez or Pint might fall to them, they are more than happy to take the most polished bat in the entire draft. Right-handers Dakota Hudson and Matt Manning were also considerations, but Senzel’s track record as a hitter was too strong to ignore. He’s done nothing but produce in college, he had a strong showing with wood bats in the Cape Cod League, and the Tigers have seen him a ton at Tennessee over the last few years while scouting 2014 draft pick Will Maddox and 2015 draft picks Christin Stewart and A.J. Simcox. We think the bat is a plus, we believe in his ability to eventually tap into his above-average raw power, and we think he’ll work defensively at either third base or second base

Pick #10 Chicago White Sox: Dakota Hudson, RHP, Mississippi State University

Selection made by Mike Nester, NorthSidersReport Publisher

The White Sox need to re-stock their farm system and the 2016 draft will be a good place to start. With the top six position players off the board, the White Sox end up with one of the top college pitchers in the draft, something they’ve been familiar with in the last two drafts—Carlos Rodon (2014-North Carolina State) and Carson Fulmer (2015-Vanderbilt). Hudson provides the South Siders with a projectable front-line starter to add to an already young and deep rotation. He already possess a big league fastball that’s hit the upper 90s this spring and some feel his best pitch is his slider. It will be interesting to see what the White Sox do if one of the top position players is available when they pick at #10. The White Sox haven’t been shy about their intentions of adding a starting pitcher and with the new rules in place, the player they draft here may not be with the White Sox long.

Pick #11 Seattle Mariners: Joey Wentz, LHP, Shawnee Mission East HS (KS)

Selection made by Rick Randall, SeattleClubhouse Publisher

Seattle has been said to be looking for a bat here, but if the top part of the Draft unfolds as many are anticipating, most of the elite hitting talent will be gone by the time they get their first selection. The 18-year-old Wentz and his mid-90s fastball, plus curve and above-average control all packed in an athletic, projectable, 6'5'' frame and a controlled, balanced, three-quarters delivery has been one of the faster climbing draft prospects this spring, and Seattle has been tied to him. He’s committed to Virginia – a school that the M’s and scouting director Tom McNamara have dipped into frequently – and may be a tough sign away from that commitment. Picking at No. 11 in a system that is suddenly lacking in starting pitching talent, Seattle will be drawn to Wentz's tremendous upside. It will be hard for M's GM Jerry Dipoto, McNamara and the rest of the scouting department to pass him, even if it does take an over slot ($3,286,700) offer. 

Pick #12 Boston Red Sox: Braxton Garrett, LHP, Florence HS (AL)

Selection made by Joe Becerra, Scout MLB Draft Contributor

One of the more polished prep players in this year's draft, Garrett doesn't possess anything overpowering but has a great makeup and advanced off-speed pitches. Typically prep pitchers take the most time to develop, however, Garrett is rare in the fact that he really isn't that far off from the major leagues. Being left handed doesn't hurt either. Good value for the Red Sox here at 12.

Pick #13 Tampa Bay Rays: Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Vanderbilt University

Selection made by Mike Hattery, Scout MLB Draft Contributor

I'm a firm believer in best player available over fit. Sheffield was the best player left on the board and a clear top-five guy for me. Sheffield sits 94-95 with the fastball, at times running it up to 98-99 and has truly swing-and-miss stuff. The slider is an average or better pitch already, with a strong likelihood of becoming plus. Sheffield is roughly six feet tall or shorter, which could be reason for a slide, because shorter pitchers tend to be undervalued. However, I trust the Rays to bet on his upside, which is huge.

Pick #14 Cleveland Indians: Nolan Jones, 3B, Holy Ghost HS (GA)

Selection made by Jeff Ellis, Scout MLB Draft Expert

I know I am the high man on Jones, but I believe in his athleticism and ability at the plate. Jones is a young, cold weather player with an advanced approach at the plate. He has size and swing to generate power down the road. He is one of those players I never hear a negative report on, and most that see him come away raving. More than likely he will add muscle, lose a little speed and move to third, but he is not a bad defender at short now. There is a chance for an average to above-average defender here with an above-average hit tool and plus power.

Pick #15 Minnesota Twins: Matt Manning, RHP, Sheldon HS (CA)

Selection made by Bill Seals, OaklandClubhouse Staff Writer

The Twins love high school arms and this tall right-hander from California fits the bill, and has been on the radar of the scouting staff. The son of former 6'11'' NBA player Rich Manning, Matt stands at 6'6'' and also stars on the hardwood (committed to Loyola Marymount for baseball and basketball). Manning’s fastball sits in the mid-90s and he has hit a peak of 98-99. The right-hander’s frame has nice projectability, and his curveball and change-up each have potential to be plus pitches. Through seven starts this season, Manning had struck out struck out 70 in 35.1 innings, allowing 13 runs and posting a 1.58 ERA. The chance to play baseball and basketball in college appeal to Manning, and the Twins will have to dip into the pocketbook with an over-slot deal to sign him.

Pick #16 Los Angeles Angels: Cal Quantrill, RHP, Stanford University

Selection made by Taylor Blake Ward, InsidetheHalos Publisher

The Angels are in a scenario where their system needs the best overall player in every part of the draft. Quantrill hasn't thrown a pitch competitively in a year, but his upside would have had him as a top-five selection if healthy and possibly the first overall selection. When he's healthy, he mixes a plus changeup and plus fastball that ranges into the mid-90's with solid command. He has front of the rotation like stuff, and could be up the majors soon, which would not only improve the farm system, but improve the big league club in just a few years.

Pick #17 Houston Astros: T.J. Zeuch, RHP, University of Pittsburgh

Selection made by Jason Burke, AstrosinOrbit Publisher

Our own draft analysts have said that Zeuch has some helium as the big day draws closer, and with him being projected in the top-25 or so picks, the Astros could certainly snag him a few picks early. His fastball hits 96-97 with sink and he represents the highest upside of the pitchers projected to be available at this point in the draft.

Pick #18 New York Yankees: Cody Sedlock, RHP, University of Illinois

Selection made by Patrick Teale, PinstripesPlus Publisher

The Yankees are a team trying to reverse their aging trend and for the most part they are getting younger. In an ideal world, rehabbing Stanford ace Quantrill would last until the Yankee selection here where the Bombers would be happy to snap him up as Scouting Director Damon Oppenheimer and company have a long history of re-drafting players [Quantrill was a 26th-round pick out of high school in 2013]. If he's gone like he is here in the publisher's mock draft then a selection like Sedlock makes too much sense. Like James Kaprielian, last year's first round pick, Sedlock is a college arm with not only a ton of polish but some considerable upside too and Oppenheimer and the Yankees love taking players with a lot of Cape Cod League success. The former reliever turned starter has one of the nastier sinker-slider combos in the draft and his other two pitches show a lot of long-term potential as well, and he may not be long for the minor leagues either given his high level of pitchability. 

Pick #19 New York Mets: Joshua Lowe, 3B/SS, Pope HS (GA)

Selection made by Rick Laughland, AmazinClubhouse Publisher

With David Wright's injuries piling up, it's finally time for the Mets to draft their third baseman of the future. The 18-year-old Lowe stands 6'4'' and 190 pounds and was named a first team All-American in 2016. Lowe's left-handed power bat could be a lethal force for the Amazin's down the road, but he'll need a few seasons until he is big league ready.

Pick #20 Los Angeles Dodgers: Zack Collins, C/1B, University of Miami

Selection made by Jerry Espinoza, InsidetheHalos Contributor

Collins is an on-base machine. He set the pace for Miami with a .540 OBP, and hit .364 with 12 home runs. He is still fresh for a catcher and improved in his first full season as a the main catcher at Miami. It still is possible he will move to 1B but for now he has improved enough to stay behind the plate. Dodgers have Miami alums in Yasmani Grandal and Garrett Kennedy, and now add a solid bat with average and power ability. Collins was All-ACC in both 2015 and 2016 and has been compared to Michael Conforto with more pop.

Pick #21 Toronto Blue Jays: Ian Anderson, RHP, Shenendehowa HS (NY)

Selection made by Joe Becerra, Scout MLB Draft Contributor

I had read something earlier in the year where Anderson could be the "Mike Trout" in this year's draft. Now, I believe that to be pretty far-fetched, and that is not a knock on Anderson and all, because Trout is all-world. But what I think that article was trying to say is that for a prep pitcher, he has the ability and the talent to reach the major leagues quickly. His fastball sits in the low to mid 90's and can top out in the 96-97 MPH range. Many consider Anderson a top-15 pick easily, so at #21 for Toronto President Mark Shapiro and the new front office of the Toronto Blue Jays, this is a great pick.

Pick #22 Pittsburgh Pirates: Connor Jones, RHP, University of Virginia

Selection made by George Von Benko, PiratesDugout Publisher

When Houston selected Zeuch from Pitt with their pick, I decided to go with one of the best college pitchers available, the right-hander Jones from Virginia. Not the sexiest pick, Jones has been a standout performer for the Cavaliers for three years and may have the highest floor among this draft's college starters. 

Pick #23 St. Louis Cardinals: Will Craig, 3B, Wake Forest University

Selection made by Brian Walton, TheCardinalNation Publisher

The St. Louis Cardinals have a well-founded reputation for drafting and developing pitchers. Their recent success with position players, however, has been spotty. The system’s last great hitting hope, Oscar Taveras, passed away 18 months ago and no one has taken his place. While St. Louis has a long-term third baseman in Matt Carpenter, he can also play second and first at the highest level.

With the 23rd overall pick, the Cardinals took Craig. There is no doubt that the reason Craig would be selected in the first round is because of his hit tool, and is considered by many to be the most complete hitter in this draft class. The 6'3'', 230 pounder is well-built, with an especially strong base and possesses raw power that is above-average. Though he has plus arm strength, some scouts feel his lack of agility will push him to first base eventually. Craig will go as far as his bat will take him.

First-round Compensation Picks

Pick #24 San Diego Padres: Forrest Whitley, RHP, Alamo Heights HS (TX)

Selection made by David Jay, MadFriars Co-Publisher

The strength of this draft is high school pitching, and while that's a risky profile, it's an area where San Diego Scouting Director Mark Conner and the Padres are comfortable. The club is already running out one of the youngest rotations in full-season ball this year, and I've got them on the way to doing so again in 2017 with Pint and Whitley at the top of the class. The big, hard-throwing Texan Whitley is easy to like in the compensation round, with great arm speed and the makings of a plus breaking ball, as well. At this point, I've got two of my top four overall arms on the board without having to get cute with signing bonuses.

Pick #25 San Diego Padres: Alex Kirilloff, OF, Plum HS (PA)

Selection made by David Jay, MadFriars Co-Publisher

Padres' GM A.J. Preller likes big tools, and he and most of his staff watched Kiriloff's impressive power display at the PG All-American Game last summer. With Will Craig off the board, Kiriloff is an easy choice here. The Pennsylvania prep can get a little long with his swing, but that's not been a major concern for most of the decision-makers in the Padres' front office over time, and he's a well-rounded hitter, not just someone selling out to pull with power. I've called him as an outfielder here, but he may ultimately wind up at first base. Either way, the bat and athleticism are enough to carry him.

Pick #26 Chicago White Sox: Taylor Trammell, OF, Mount Paran Christian HS (GA)

Selection made by Mike Nester, NorthSidersReport Publisher

Trammell is an athletic outfielder with great speed and a football standout in high school — count White Sox President Kenny Williams in. Quick out of the box and a plus-plus runner, Trammell is still learning the game but can concentrate his efforts on baseball as he’s already decided he wants to purse a career on the diamond. The White Sox lack speed and Trammell could develop into a center fielder with leadoff skills, as he receives high marks for his knowledge of the strike zone. Scouts also feel he could develop some power to his games, equally with his bat speed.

Pick #27 Baltimore Orioles: Kyle Muller, LHP, Jesuit College Prep (TX)

Selection made by Kevin Jimenez, InsidetheHalos Contributor

Over the past few years, the Orioles have shifted from drafting college-only players in the first round to high-upside high school players. Although tall, Muller fits his 6'5" frame well. With plenty of room to grow, he shows a repeatable delivery with above-average pitches all-around. Perhaps most importantly, he has a clean health record. He has the potential to be a top-of-the-rotation pitcher.

Pick #28 Washington Nationals: Matt Thaiss, C, University of Virginia

Selection made by Mike Hattery, Scout MLB Draft Contributor

One of the predictors that is favored by the thinking front office is K%. Hitters who can post very low K% have a very strong likelihood of success. In this department, Thaiss is off the charts. While there's a longstanding joke that there is no such thing as a catching prospect, Thaiss' contact ability is simply too good to pass up. The bar for an impact catcher is pretty low, offensively. Thaiss has shown the skill to stay at catcher defensively and that bat could play up nicely. For the risk-averse, Thiass is a very nice target.

Pick #29 Washington Nationals: Buddy Reed, OF, University of Florida

Selection made by Mike Hattery, Scout MLB Draft Contributor

After getting a high-floor guy in Thaiss, the Nationals gamble on big-time upside in Reed. Reed is one of the best pure athletes in this class. He is full of upside and his ability to defend center field is better than average. Reed has upside with the bat that could allow his plus speed to truly play up. Reed is an absolute steal in this position.

Pick #30 Texas Rangers: Justin Dunn, RHP, Boston College

Selection made by Jeff Ellis, Scout MLB Draft Expert

Dunn was far-and-away my top player on the board. He is a top-20 talent in this draft to me. He has all of six starts this year but hits 98 sits 92-95 and has two other average pitches. The track record is as short as Dunn but the fastball is a plus pitch. If he had been starting all year for Boston College, I think he could have been a top-10 pick. There is some room for comparison between the Rangers top pick last year, Dillon Tate, and Dunn. 

Pick #31 New York Mets: Nick Banks, OF, Texas A&M

Selection made by Rick Laughland, AmazinClubhouse Publisher

In three seasons at Texas A&M, Banks recorded a .332 average and 900 OPS including 19 home runs and 119 RBIs. Banks isn't a physical specimen by any stretch as evidenced by his slightly above-average power numbers and defense, but he proved to be a steady presence in the lineup and durable player during his collegiate career.

Pick #32 Los Angeles Dodgers: Eric Lauer, LHP, Kent State

Selection made by Jerry Espinoza, InsidetheHalos Contributor

Lauer has given up eight runs in 104 innings, which is a 0.69 ERA. He averaged 11 strikeouts per 9 innings and has an easy repeatable delivery. He led the Cape Cod League last summer in strikeouts. Lauer has a very good fastball and developed a slider that has become his out pitch. His Kent State coach has compared him to Jon Lester and has said Lauer has ice water in his veins. He throws 90-93 with his fastball, a curveball, change up, and the slider. 

Pick #33 St. Louis Cardinals: Chris Okey, C, Clemson University

Selection made by Brian Walton, TheCardinalNation Publisher

St. Louis’s perennial Gold Glove Award winner, Yadier Molina, is nearing his mid-30s. The only potential replacement currently in the Cardinals' system is a former high school third baseman, Carson Kelly, whose bat is not yet fully developed. Hence, the organization’s selection of Clemson catcher Okey at 33rd, who will enter as a second horse in the Molina successor race.

Unlike several other top catching prospects, there seems universal agreement that Okey is strong enough defensively to remain at the position. The two-time collegiate Team USA veteran gets high marks for leadership and has improved each year with the bat to the point he is considered to have advanced power, bat speed and batting average which all project well.

Pick #34 St. Louis Cardinals: Logan Shore, RHP, University of Florida

Selection made by Brian Walton, TheCardinalNation Publisher

A polished collegiate arm was St. Louis’ choice at #34. There are those who think of Shore like another Cardinals' first-rounder, Michael Wacha, in terms of his readiness to move quickly and high floor. Wacha, never considered to be a top of the rotation pitcher, made up for it by reaching the majors 11 months after being drafted, so the bar is set high.

Shore registers highest on the dependability scale - durable, an excellent fielder and with good mechanics which translate into excellent command. The best pitch of the Gators junior is his changeup, but he also features a curveball. Shore’s fastball is in the 89-94 range.

Competitive Balance Round A

Pick #35 Cincinnati Reds: Will Benson, OF, The Westminster Schools (GA)

Selection made by Taylor Blake Ward, InsidetheHalos Publisher

Once again, athleticism is the premier focus for the Reds. Benson fits the mold, being a premier athlete, and his baseball skills aren't too rough either. His bat speed is nearly unmatched in this draft, and his power will be his carrying tool. Strikeouts will come, but it's something that can be corrected with time in the minors, which is exactly what the Reds can do with him since he's just a teenager. The Reds can begin to go upside here, and Benson has some of the highest ceilings in the draft.

Pick #36 Los Angeles Dodgers: Alec Hansen, RHP, University of Oklahoma

Selection made by Jerry Espinoza, InsidetheHalos Contributor

Hansen is a gamble but has shown enough "stuff" to be worth it. The Dodgers have taken two players that pitched in the Dodgers Classic at Dodger Stadium and Hansen would be #3 after handling UCLA at Dodger Stadium this year. He will need to harness his control but with professional instruction that should happen. He was drafted by his hometown Rockies in 2013 but did not sign. Hansen's fastball reaches 98 and he arguably has the best stuff in the draft. He throws a fastball, plus slider, above-average curve ball, and an average change-up. His control issues will make or break him.

Pick #37 Oakland A's: Corbin Burnes, RHP, St. Mary's College (CA)

Selection made by Melissa Lockard, OaklandClubhouse Publisher

The A's have had plenty of looks at Burnes, who pitches 20 minutes away from the Coliseum. Burnes has dominated for the Gaels this year and he has a promising four-pitch mix that includes a fastball that could grade out as plus once he fully matures. He isn't huge (6'1'', 185), but the A's have never shied away from smaller right-handers if their stuff is there (see: Gray, Sonny; Hudson, Tim; Harden, Rich). The A's also love pitchers who are good athletes, and Burnes fits that bill. Oakland should be able to get Burnes at slot or slightly under here, which could give them a little added flexibility later in the draft.

Pick #38 Colorado Rockies: Zack Burdi, RHP, University of Louisville

Selection made by Jerry Espinoza, InsidetheHalos Contributor

Burdi and his brother Nick have pushed each other throughout their careers. It is not a bad thing but a "if we both push each other, we will both get better" type of exchange. The younger Burdi has been a closer, but there is starter potential here. His fastball sits 95-98 and has topped 101. Burdi throws a heater, slider, and change up. Another Cape Cod League alum, he picked up velo during the summer. A legitimate flame thrower with a tight breaking slider, his change-up has good fade and he throws it with the same arm action as his fastball. All plus pitches.

Pick #39 Arizona Diamondbacks: Kevin Gowdy, RHP, Santa Barbara HS (CA)

Selection made by Kimberly Contreras, OaklandClubhouse Staff Writer

Gowdy, an 18-year-old control pitcher, has three solid pitches, all with good sink from a low side arm release: fastball (93-93) change-up (said to have great deception) and a slider (his out pitch.) All three are reasons why he notched an impressive K/BB ratio of 84/5 in his senior season. Gowdy is tall, lanky and, at 18, has a lot of filling-out to do. He’s a well-rounded athlete, having played baseball, soccer and basketball most of his young life. Most impressive is the black belt he earned in Tae Kwon Do. The mental strength required to achieve that level will serve him well throughout his career.

Family is the most important thing to the young right-hander, and aside from Low-A Kane County and Double-A Mobile, the Diamondbacks' affiliates are all relatively close to the family’s California home which should help with his signability away from his UCLA commitment. And, when it comes time to call Chase Field his home, that sink in his pitches will also be of great value in the hitters’ park. He has drawn comps to Chris Archer and Corey Kluber.

Pick #40 Atlanta Braves: Robert Tyler, RHP, University of Georgia

Selection made by Bill Shanks, AtlantaDugout Publisher

The Braves have kept an eye on Tyler for three years now. His stock dropped a bit after an elbow scare a year ago, but his junior season was a success. The Braves took Alex Wood out of UGA a few years ago, and he didn't take long for him to make it to Atlanta. The Braves will hope for the same results for Tyler, who at worst looks like a good late-inning reliever.

Pick #41 Pittsburgh Pirates: Brandon Marsh, OF/RHP, Buford HS (GA)

Selection made by George Von Benko, PiratesDugout Publisher

Marsh has some serious tools that need refining, but he is an outstanding athlete, something the Pirates value highly.

Second Round

Pick #42 Philadelphia Phillies: Heath Quinn, OF, Samford University

Selection made by Chuck Hixson, PhillyBaseballInsider Publisher

The Phillies certainly do need to address their lack of offensive prospects in this draft. Quinn has a solid approach at the plate and has a combination of both speed and power, two things lacking in the current crop of prospects in the Phillies system. The fact that Quinn has been able to reduce his strikeouts even as his power numbers went up show good potential at the plate and since this draft isn't deep in power bats, the Phillies have to jump on early if they're going to get quality.

Pick #43 Cincinnati Reds: Ryan Zeferjahn, RHP, Seaman HS (KS)

Selection made by Taylor Blake Ward, InsidetheHalos Publisher

This is a little off-the-page, but Zeferjahn fits the Reds game plan perfectly. I'll revert to the last two picks, and continue to repeat myself ... the Reds like athletes. A two-sport star in Kansas, Zeferjahn has some cool tools in a big slider and mid 90's fastball. He's still pretty raw, but being a teen arm gives the Reds the luxury of developing him into whatever they desire. Mix his power arm with his athleticism, it's a near no-brainer the Reds save a little bit in taking a guy under slot and get exactly what they're looking for.

Pick #44 Atlanta Braves: Lucas Erceg, 3B, Menlo College

Selection made by Bill Shanks, AtlantaDugout Publisher 

With the pitching taken care of already, the Braves can seek help offensively. Erceg is one of the more interesting bats in the draft, which is something the Braves sorely need. Erceg can join last year's high pick Austin Riley to become a solid third base prospect. How far away is he? Could Erceg be up in a few seasons, or will it take him longer.

Pick #45 Colorado Rockies: Gavin Lux, SS, Indian Trail Academy (WI)

Selection made by Jerry Espinoza, InsidetheHalos Contributor

Lux grew up around baseball and his uncle is a college coach in Wisconsin. Lux was the Wisconsin Player of the Year after hitting .544 with 5 home runs and 19 RBI in 17 games. He has above-average tools and is a good character guy. He donates his time to Special Olympics and Children's Hospital as well as teen depression and suicide prevention. He stands 6'2", weighs 180, and he will fill out and should develop more power. He shows polish, and is mature beyond his years.

Pick #46 Milwaukee Brewers: Sean Murphy, C, Wright State University

Selection made by Jeff Ellis, Scout MLB Draft Expert

I have Murphy rated as one of the top-35 players in this class. He is a clear plus defender at catcher with an elite arm and quick hands. He has a future, worst case, as a solid backup catcher thanks to his defensive skills. He broke his hamate bone in his hand and it slowed down what had been a hot start. Murphy is a big kid with potential right-handed power. If he had been healthy all year and hit how he was hitting before injury, he would have been a sure first-rounder. 

Pick #47 Oakland A's: Kyle Funkhouser, RHP, University of Louisville

Selection made by Melissa Lockard, OaklandClubhouse Publisher

The A's were very close to taking Funkhouser last season in the first round, so if he's available at this point in the draft, it will be hard for the A's to pass him up, even with his up-and-down season. He has pitched better down-the-stretch and still struck-out more than a batter an inning this season, even with his struggles. The A's have had plenty of success developing pitching. With Funkhouser's talent and his experience in a big conference, he could rise quickly with the A's pitching development staff behind him.

Pick #48 San Diego Padres: Bryan Reynolds, OF, Vanderbilt University

Selection made by David Jay, MadFriars Co-Publisher

Unheralded coming out of high school, all Reynolds has done for three years against the nation's best collegiate talent is hit. He can seem like something of a 'tweener', without enough power to look like a corner outfielder, and not enough speed to profile in center, but I like the track record of production and think the ability to barrel the ball reliably will be a good carrying tool for Reynolds. I've also left myself enough flexibility to continue to be aggressive through the rest of the early rounds.

Pick #49 Chicago White Sox: Cooper Johnson, C, Mount Carmel HS (IL)

Selection made by Mike Nester, NorthSidersReport Publisher

If the White Sox take a catcher in their first three picks, he will immediately become the organization’s top-rated prospect behind the plate. Not only is Johnson a local product but he draws rave reviews for his defensive work. A member of the gold medal winning Team USA 18-and-under national team last summer, Johnson also gets high marks for his work ethic and make-up. The University of Mississippi commit is regarded as the best defensive high school catcher in the draft and his ceiling will be determined by how well he develops as a hitter.

Pick #50 Seattle Mariners: Daulton Jefferies, RHP, University of California

Selection made by Rick Randall, SeattleClubhouse Publisher

Jefferies entered the year as Cal's unquestioned ace, but a calf injury and a strained shoulder muscle kept him out of action for more than eight weeks. Now healthy once again, Jefferies ended the year on a strong note in his final two outings, ending with five inning of one-hit work against Washington State and wrapping his junior campaign with a 7-0 record, 1.08 ERA and 53 strikeouts over his 50 innings all told. He is a lot like the M’s first two picks from last year (Nick Neidert and Andrew Moore) in that he is a 6-foot right-hander without a lot of bulk. Also like Moore, he’s a good athlete with a solid delivery and a fastball that works in the 92-94 range. Jefferies’ secondary offerings (slider and changeup) aren’t consistently great, but he gets good fade on his changeup and his fastball command helps both secondaries play up. He could be a fast mover in the pros.

Pick #51 Boston Red Sox: Anfernee Grier, OF, Auburn University

Selection made by Joe Becerra, Scout MLB Draft Contributor

As the season rolled along, Grier's stock has been soaring and soaring. I personally don't think Grier has any business being taken this far down in the draft, as I believe he should be a first round pick. A very toolsy and athletic player during his time at Auburn, Grier has really locked in and kicked it up a notch this season, giving his star a little more shine to it. A Starling Marte type player, and a player who could play either corner outfield, Grier is someone who I think can really make a major impact relatively soon. If he somehow manages to make it to #51, the Red Sox should be doing flips.

Pick #52 Arizona Diamondbacks: Joe Rizzo, 3B, Oakton HS (VA)

Selection made by Kimberly Contreras, OaklandClubhouse Staff Writer

At 5’11”, and 215 lbs, Rizzo has completed the bulk of his growth, but as one who was raised in a house that focuses on fueling the body with what is consumed, he is focused on taking care of himself throughout his career.

Rizzo is listed as a third baseman, but he will be drafted and converted to a catcher. His quick hands, strong arms, translate to good defensive skills, combined with his personality; strong leadership skills and grinder mentality, it would be a natural fit. Chase Field is a hitters ballpark, especially for right handers, but Rizzo is a hitter-first, and a left-handed power hitter, who flashes power to the pull side second.

Pick #53 Tampa Bay Rays: Ryan Boldt, OF, University of Nebraska

Selection made by Mike Hattery, Scout MLB Draft Contributor

Currently a center fielder, Boldt fits better in a corner. Nothing flashes off the charts for Boldt tools-wise, but he handles the bat well. Average power paired with solid plate discipline and good contact skills make Boldt a nice grab for the Rays here in the second.

Pick #54 Baltimore Orioles: Sheldon Neuse, SS, University of Oklahoma

Selection made by Mike Hattery, Scout MLB Draft Contributor

After drafting a player with high upside in the first round, the Orioles could go with a more sure-fire college player in this round. With a questionable future with their position players, they could go with Neuse here. Neuse is gifted with a strong arm and a smooth swing, but poor range. Scouts see him as a 2B, 3B, C, or maybe back to a reliever.

Pick #55 Cleveland Indians: Jon Duplantier, RHP, Rice University

Selection made by Jeff Ellis, Scout MLB Draft Contributor

For once I did not take the top player on my board, which was Carter Kieboom. The reason is that he is a bit too similar to my top selection for Cleveland, Nolan Jones. Duplantier is still one of the top-40 players in this class to me and was an easy selection here. He is a big kid with velocity, athleticism and smarts. He has worn down a bit as the year as gone, but after missing all of last year due to injury, this is not a shock. One of my favorites in this class, he would appeal to the Indians front office. While he didn’t go to an Ivy League, he was accepted at Yale. A work horse all year with exciting potential, Duplantier is a steal at 55.

Pick # 56 Minnesota Twins: Drew Mendoza, SS/3B, Lake Mineola HS (FL)

Selection made by Bill Seals, OaklandClubhouse Staff Writer

Another likely over-slot deal here for the Twins is this standout infielder from a suburb of Orlando, who fell several spots in our mock draft potentially due to signability (Mendoza is committed to Florida State). Minnesota would likely need to go under-slot for its next three picks if it’s able to sign both Matt Manning and Mendoza. The 6'4'', 200-pound Mendoza should move off shortstop to third base in the future, where his plus-plus arm and power potential should still play well. Mendoza has drawn comps to former big-league third baseman Robin Ventura, a run-producing left-handed hitter that bats in the middle of the order. The biggest question about Mendoza is whether he will develop more power as he grows into his body and gets stronger, or if he’ll continue to be more of a doubles hitter. 

Pick #57 Toronto Blue Jays: C.J. Chatham, SS, Florida Atlantic University

Selection made by Joe Becerra, Scout MLB Draft Contributor

One of the more raw shortstops in this year's class, Chatham has pretty good upside and is a good choice for Toronto here at #57. After dealing away several of their top prospects last trade deadline, the Jays are looking to re-stock the pond. Chatham is someone who some think will move to 3B in the future but I think he sticks at SS, because of his athleticism. I think Chatham is a guy who won't hit for a high average, but can maybe hit 15-20 homers a year, down-the-road when he's fully developed.

Pick #58 Washington Nationals: Anthony Kay, LHP, University of Connecticut

Selection made by Mike Hattery, Scout MLB Draft Contributor

For me, Kay should be a first-round compensation pick. Kay is a pitcher who gets undervalued because of his sub-six-foot height. The fastball runs up to 95 and sits with solid command at 91. The change-up is already an above-average offering with the missing link being a breaking ball of quality. If Kay can improve the slider/curve, he offers a ton of value at the back-end of the second.

Pick #59 San Francisco Giants: Carter Kieboom, 3B/SS, Walton HS (GA)

Selection made by Melissa Lockard, OaklandClubhouse Publisher

The Giants don't pick until late, so there isn't likely to be much strategy involved beyond taking the best available talent on their board. The Giants like good make-up guys with strong bloodlines and have done well developing infielders. Kieboom ticks all of those boxes.

Pick #60 Los Angeles Angels: Hunter Bishop, OF, Serra HS (CA)

Selection made by Taylor Blake Ward, InsidetheHalos Publisher

Bishop is expected to be better than his brother Braden, who was a third-round pick last year. A two-sport athlete, Hunter has the athleticism desired among teams, and has the tools that fit the current strategy of the Angels. He has plenty of speed, will improve in the field, and has some diversity due to how athletic he is. Although there are rumors it will take a bit of money to nab him from his college commitment, the Angels will be able to put the money towards an upside position player by going a very small margin under slot, and still get a player they feel will become a future talent in the league.

Pick #61 Houston Astros: Bo Bichette, 2B, Lakewood HS (FL)

Selection made by Jason Burke, AstrosinOrbit Publisher

With the success that Houston had last season, they are drafting a little lower than we are accustomed to with GM Jeff Luhnow at the helm, so there isn't necessarily a book on the players that he likes to draft just yet. What we do know is that he took Daz Cameron in last year's draft, which could lead to Bichette being taken here. Bichette is the son for former big leaguer Dante, who most notably slugged his way to a 14-year career, mostly with Colorado.

Pick #62 New York Yankees: Austin Bergner, RHP, Windermere Prep (FL)

Selection made by Patrick Teale, PinstripesPlus Publisher

This is where the Yankees can be a little less conservative if Cody Sedlock is their first-round pick. Bergner and Riley Pint [a consensus top-10 overall pick] are widely considered the two biggest upside right-handed arms among the high school pitchers in the draft, but Bergner isn't projected to go nearly as high merely because of his strong commitment to the University of North Carolina. With a live fastball that routinely sits in the low-to-mid-90s and one of the better breaking balls coming out of the high school ranks he has plenty of stuff. The delivery reportedly needs work and that's where a ton of intrigue comes in; would he be better off getting professional coaching right away and be a bit more protected innings-wise given his strenuous delivery? The Yankees are hoping he's open to the idea because slotting him into the system would instantly give the Yankees a lot of much needed high-end pitching depth down on the farm.

Pick #63 Texas Rangers: Alex Speas, RHP, McEachern HS (GA)

Selection made by Taylor Blake Ward, InsidetheHalos Publisher

I was very surprised to see Speas still on the board, but he seems to be one of those forgotten guys lost in this draft. His upside is giant thanks to a mid 90's fastball with serious movement that jumps on hitters. He also has a plus curve that will get pro bats to flail at. He's raw enough to develop however desired, and the Rangers have had plenty of success recently in getting pitchers similar to Speas. If their first pick really is a college pitcher with enough polish to be a quick riser, they can take on a risk like Speas, and see his floor as a premier reliever of the future at worst.

Pick #64 New York Mets: Zach Brown, RHP, University of Kentucky

Selection made by Rick Laughland, AmazinClubhouse Publisher

A project pick, Brown's 4.85 ERA in three seasons at Kentucky was alarmingly high to most scouts and talent evaluators. The Mets have stockpiled pitching prospects at all levels of the minor leagues, which will make it doubly difficult for Brown to carve out his niche. The SEC product will need refine his mechanics and master his pitching command if he wants to get the attention of the Mets' front office. 

Pick #65 Los Angeles Dodgers: Nick Lodolo, LHP, Damien HS (CA)

Selection made by Jerry Espinoza, InsidetheHalos Contributor

Lodolo is a towering 6'6" and at just 180 pounds, his projection is obvious. He has raw mechanics with an extremely easy delivery. There will definitely need some work on his command at the pro level, but with professional coaching it should come. His fastball sits 88-90, tops at 91 with some sink. His curveball sits 71-74 with sharp vertical break like 1-7. The Dodgers stay local with the La Verne product.  

Pick #66 Toronto Blue Jays: Michael Shawaryn, RHP, University of Maryland

Selection made by Joe Becerra, Scout MLB Draft Contributor

Coming into this season Shawaryn was one of the top pitching prospects, if not the top guy, in the Big Ten. After following many drafts over the years for the Cleveland Indians, I see this is a classic Mark Shapiro type guy. Shawaryn has a high floor, with a limited ceiling. He's a pretty safe pick at this point, as he has been highly productive throughout his time at Maryland

Pick #67 Kansas City Royals: Cole Stobbe, 3B, Millard West HS (NE)

Selection made by Kevin Jimenez, InsidetheHalos Contributor

For the past decade, the Royals have concentrated on high upside players that have experience on big stages. Stobbe would continue this tradition. As a player who contributed to winning the gold medal in the 18-and-under World Cup in Japan, he shows an ability to swing for contact and some power. He is a solid all-around player that fits at second or third in the future.

Pick #68 Pittsburgh Pirates: Bailey Clark, RHP, Duke University

Selection made by George Von Benko, PiratesDugout Publisher

Clark has been on scouts’ radars since high school. He lost his rotation spot at Duke in April, and but he has showed off an electric fastball and flashes of command in the past.

Pick #69 Baltimore Orioles: J.B. Woodman, OF, University of Mississippi

Selection made by Kevin Jimenez, InsidetheHalos Contributor

Due to a questionable position player crop in the system, the Orioles would likely target another college bat that they can have confidence in. Arguably the biggest riser in this draft, Woodman has made adjustments to become a quick-swinging, line-drive hitter with an above-average arm. Scouts view him as a centerfielder moving forward due to his arm strength.

Pick #70 St. Louis Cardinals: Jared Horn, RHP, Vintage HS (CA)

Selection made by Brian Walton, TheCardinalNation Publisher

St. Louis concludes this mock draft at number 70. After taking three college players prior, it was time to reapply some of the potential cap savings to convince a top high school arm to alter his college plans. The choice is Horn, a right-handed pitcher from Vintage High School in Napa, California.

Despite still being just 17 years of age, the long-time Cal Berkeley commit is a well-developed at 6'4'', 220 pounds, and like so many of the top athletes, was the quarterback for his high school squad. As a pitcher, Horn already possesses heat that has touched 97 and has a developing curve and changeup. If the Cards can secure Horn’s name on a contract, he would be a superb get in the second round.


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