MLB Draft Fan Mailbag

Less than two weeks before the MLB Draft kicks off! Taylor Blake Ward answers your questions in a short Fan Mailbag.

Lets say Kyle Wright and Hunter Greene go top two. Do you think Padres go Brendan McKay or a prep guy? - @advancedstats23

I've heard so much noise regarding the Padres, I really don't know how to answer this. I recently got an email that I thought was complete balogna, but I had to investigate and touch base with my Padres expert, and he laughed. Last year, I was told by a reliable source that they had a deal in place and it was 100%, and they went with a different deal. A.J. Preller is pulling all the strings, and the exterior noise in the industry is as messy as a TechN9ne song. I'll say this, I've heard from a differing reliable source that they're in on two prep players, but Brendan McKay could change all of that.


Who do you like better for the Angels? Jordon Adell or Adam Haseley? - @dvanhorn27

Jordon Adell. The system needs high-ceiling players of that caliber. That is also coming from the low man on Haseley (sorry, Cavs fans).


I've seen Haseley rise in the draft. I haven't seen too much on him. What is his comp? - @jefifernando57

If you'd have asked me about Adam Haseley before the college season starting, I likely would have said he was one of Virginia's best pitchers as a sophomore and could possibly go on the second day of the draft. After a spring where he's hitting nearly .400 while reaching base in close to half of his plate appearances and showed a sudden power surge, he's shot up draft boards to presumably be a top-10 draft pick. In typical, Cavalier fashion, Haseley rarely strikes out and uses all parts of play. I really don't like comparisons, but I have really drawn myself to believing Haseley is a near copy of Nick Markakis.


How does Brendan McKay compare with Adam Haseley as a corner outfielder? Any chance the Reds take either at No. 2? - @Wrong_Verb

The Reds are very much interested in taking Brendan McKay with the second overall pick. It would be a stretch with Haseley. As for the corner outfield, Haseley would be best suited for right field in my opinion, and McKay shouldn't be anywhere near an outfield if he's taken a hitter.


Is Alex Faedo a possibility for the White Sox at No. 11? - @LucianCharms

When you look at the teams ahead of the Sox, you may see struggles in Faedo falling that far. He was once considered the top talent in this draft, but the knee surgeries in fall and drop in velocity have his stock falling a bit. From everything I've heard, the Athletics (#6), Phillies (#8) and Angels (#10) are in on college arms. If he somehow finds a way past them, it's not a reach the White Sox would have desire in taking him, though from noise around the industry, they may be targeting toolsy outfielders.


Is Royce Lewis a shortstop long term? What kind of power do you see him ending up with? - @bowers_joel

It really depends on who takes him and his development. Cliche, I know, but he has the skill set to be a shortstop, but the arm is the only question that would keep him from shortstop and he'd have more value in center field than second in the long haul. Teams will send him out as a shortstop though. If Lewis physically matures the way he should, you could see average power out of him, but he's strong enough now with the bat speed to be a consistent gap hitter with 10-15 home runs.


Angels go arm or bat at No. 10? - @KyleShowalter

Yes. One of those will be the options. Hopefully whoever they pick has two arms.


Do you have a mock top 15? - @theDarrendude

No, but I do have a mock the top 36. Expect one that goes two rounds in the next week or so.


Could you see the Angels going with Keston Hiura at No. 10, or is that too high? - @TroutPls

Yes. Hiura is the best hitter in this class, and hardly anyone is arguing that. The Angels head haunchos have seen him lately, and it may be his ceiling in the draft. Also, when you can dictate the draft market (not many high-quality college hitters) that early, you can expect some of your desired pieces to fall to you in the second if you're picking high enough. I wouldn't say it's expected, but don't see it as an over draft or oddity if he's taken around that 10th pick.


What will the Angels focus on drafting beyond the first round? - @jim_zhou

Athleticism. When you look at last year's draft for the Angels, beyond the first-round, you can see 24 guys with near or above average athleticism. That's the strategy from pick one to pick 40.


Would you feel comfortable if Angels drafted Seth Romero with their first pick? Second round? - @AaronTheLess

I've answered enough, "if the Angels," questions for the day, so I'm going to alter the question. Do I feel comfortable with a team taking Seth Romero in the middle of the first round? Yes. The talent isn't going to be questioned, he's a top-five pitcher in this draft class. As for the off-field problems, I think it's a serious concern that whichever teams takes him is going to have to answer and eliminate quickly. No team wants to be a baby sitter, but with a talent like this, it may be required.


What's changed with Griffin Canning? Confidence? Hitting his spots more frequently now? Is he an overdraft in the top 10? - @AaronTheLess

I don't see anything different with Canning from when I saw him a sophomore to as a junior. Velocity, command, sharpness of breaking ball; it's all pretty much the same. If I remember right, he was a top 30 talent when I made my pre-season list, and he's probably jumped into the top-25 by this point. I think top 10 would be an overdraft, but wouldn't be surprised if he was taken just outside of that.


Any decent college arms out there? First round caliber of course. - @Tstevens80

Yes. When it comes to the scouting scale, there are roughly 15 college pitchers who are average to above-average prospects (50-grade or better). Beyond that, there's a high multitude of second and third round college pitchers who have just below-average potential, meaning, each team will likely get a quality pitching prospect out of this draft.





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