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 Round One. In the first article, we mocked-up the First Round. In article #3, we take on Round 2.
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
Selection made by Jeff Ellis, SCOUT MLB Draft Analyst
This was my easiest pick so far. I had one player left from my personal top-15 and it was Clark. He has been lost in the shuffle and hasn’t had as much buzz from draft writers of late. He doesn’t have the big power, speed, or sizzle that causes players to pop to the casual draft fan, yet from those who are part of the industry there is nothing but love. I know some who have him in their top-10. He has a potential plus hit tool and his swing while unorthodox has shown some power. It would not be surprising if he ends up showing better power than most expect. A solid but not great athlete, you hope he can stay in centerfield but the bat should play in either corner. He would cost at least full slot here, but since I saved money with Tyler Jay, it’s not a concern. I take far-and-away the top talent on my board here.
Selection made by Bill Shanks, Publisher, AtlantaDugout.com
With Roy Clark back in the Atlanta front office, don’t be surprised to see the Braves go after a kid from the state of Georgia. Dakota Chalmers has gotten better as he has matured with improving velocity and arm action that has impressed scouts. Chalmers’ curve and slider are decent pitches for a young kid.
Selection made by Mark Anderson, TigsTown.com Scouting Director
Playing for a former Blue Jays scout at North Florida, Donnie Dewees enters this year’s draft as one of college baseball’s top hitters; ranking highly in nearly every statistical category nationally. Dewees is a natural hitter with a compact swing that gets his barrel to the ball consistently and he has enough strength and bat speed to show fringe home run power and excellent doubles power to the gaps. A centerfielder in college, Dewees may end up in left field because of a weak throwing arm, but his potential to hit for average, steal bases with his plus speed, and move through the minor leagues quickly is appealing in the late-20s of a relatively weak draft crop.
Selection made by Patrick Teale, Publisher, PinstripesPlus.com
This would be the dream scenario for the Yankees, being able to steal what arguably could have been the top two picks overall a few months ago. Of course, there's always a bit of a risk taking injured players and Mike Matuella certainly fits that bill with his checkered injury history. The Yankees have proven more than capable of finding and developing solid pitching in the later rounds of these drafts -- what they need, and what they hardly ever get a shot at is obtaining the high-end arms. Some critics believe Matuella is destined for the bullpen long-term simply because of his inability to stay on the field for any length of time but the Yankees wouldn't mind rolling the dice to see if they can keep him healthy and develop him as a starting pitcher with the fallback option of him becoming a Dellin Betances-like impact reliever. Pairing him with Brady Aiken is just the kind of pitching juice this organization needs to go with the plethora of position prospects making their way to the Bronx.
Selection made by Melissa Lockard, SCOUT MLB Editor
Having taken the more polished position player, Andrew Benintendi, with their first pick, the Giants head back to the high school ranks for their second selection. Justin Hooper comes from their backyard and the Giants have seen plenty of him during his years at De La Salle. Hooper is the kind of pitcher the Giants love: a big, durable frame with plus stuff in need of some refinement. San Francisco has an excellent track record developing high school pitchers. Hooper could be a bit of a project, but his ceiling is a top-of-the-rotation starter if he reaches his full potential.
Selection made by George von Benko, Publisher, PiratesDugout.com
The 18-year-old Ashe Russell is committed to Texas A&M. He’s been on the radar as a draft prospect for years and has consistently performed well against elite high school competition in showcase events. At 6’4’’ and 195 lbs., Russell has the big frame scouts love. He can touch 97 with a lot of movement, and he adds a slider that flashes plus. The change-up is still developing but he has a great pitcher’s body with room for more.
Selection made by Ryan Schinstock, Publisher, RoyalCurve.com
Alonzo Jones is a guy that I almost picked with the 21st overall pick. I was pretty excited to see him still available with pick 33. Jones is fast. Really fast. He is a shortstop who has the potential to stick at the position. He could also move to second or center. His raw athleticism and baseball instincts should allow him to play wherever the Royals feel he can most benefit the club. Scouts have compared him to Billy Hamilton because of his speed and the versatility his athleticism affords him. His stock has dropped slightly since breaking his hamate bone this season. The subsequent surgery has kept him from finishing out the season. Like most guys with extraordinary speed, Jones doesn’t have a lot of power. Despite the lack of power, he generates decent bat speed. He generally produces line drives or ground balls, thus allowing him to use his speed to wreak havoc on the basepaths. Perhaps the most telling sign that Jones was destined to be a Royal is his advice for underclassmen: “Trust the Process.”
Selection made by Mark Anderson and Chris Brown, TigsTown.com Writers
Cody Ponce, like Phil Bickford before him, is the type of big, hard-throwing pitcher the Tigers love. Ponce offers a low-to-mid-90s fastball and secondary pitches that are intriguing, but need continued development, with his cutter currently offering the most promise. There are some inconsistencies in his delivery, but if those can be smoothed out he looks the part of a durable mid-rotation starter.
Pick #35 (Comp.), Los Angeles Dodgers: Peter Lambert, RHP, San Dimas (Calif.) HS
Selection made by Vanessa Armas, InsidetheHalos.com Contributor
Despite it being a fairly new front office for the Dodgers, LA still seems to be continuing in the direction of prep-heavy picks. Peter Lambert is a raw talent. The Dodgers acquire raw players that they can develop themselves, so picking a raw prep pitching talent that they can develop in the minors right now would be ideal. LA has previously done well with developing high school pitchers like Zach Lee, Chris Withrow and Clayton Kershaw. Lambert has an athletic body type and a four-pitch mix that allows him a wide range of different speeds and movement to improve on.
Selection made by Ryan Sullivan, NatsGM.com
A two-time Cape League batting champion, Kevin Newman is a surprise name still available here in the Comp Round of this draft, as he is seen as just a small tier below top college shortstops Dansby Swanson and Alex Bregman. Newman is not an elite athlete or particularly fast, but he has solid actions at shortstop with an average to above-average throwing arm. Offensively, Newman does not flash much power currently, but he controls the strike zone well, has a mature approach and excellent barrel skills. The Orioles do not scout the Cape League particularly hard, but the appeal of a sure-fire college shortstop with a history of hitting with a wood bat would be far too alluring for Baltimore to pass on a pick #36.
Competitive Balance Round A
Pick #37 (C.B. A), Houston Astros: Chris Betts, C, Woodrow Wilson (Calif.) HS
Selection made by Jerry Espinoza, InsidetheHalos.com Contributor
Chris Betts is a left-handed hitting catcher from Long Beach. In 30 games, Betts has hit .473, going 35-for-74 with 5 doubles, a triple, and 8 home runs with 29 driven-in. Betts is regarded as one of the best bats in this draft and has an easy, left-handed swing with pop. Betts also sports an impressive 32 walks to 7 strikeouts. His splits this season are .473/.642/.891 with an OPS of 1.534. Plans as of right now are to keep Betts behind the plate, but he may eventually have to switch to first base. Either way, you'd find a spot anywhere on the field for a left-handed hitting bat as solid as Betts with his 1534 OPS.
Pick #38 (C.B. A), Colorado Rockies: Kep Brown, OF, Wando (SC) HS
Selection made by Jeff Ellis, SCOUT MLB Draft Analyst
There were a few names I had in mind here but many of them came off the board. I imagine I saved close to $3.5 million with the first pick. If I give Trenton Clark full slot and if I went a million over slot here to sign Kep Brown, I would still have plenty to get a top talent at 44. The pick came down to Ke’Bryan Hayes and Kep Brown. Brown is the bigger risk but he has some of the best right-handed power projection in this draft. Brown is a 6’5” outfielder who if not for an injury earlier this year would have been long gone. He is not a bad athlete and should be an average defender. The hit tool is the big question for him, but with his power potential all he needs is an average hit tool. It is a bit of a risk but when you have four picks in the top 50, one can take a risk on a player with massive power who could be a threat for 30 or more homers every year in Colorado.
Pick #39 (C.B. A), St. Louis Cardinals: Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Concordia Lutheran (Tx.) HS
Selection made by Brian Walton, Publisher, TheCardinalNation.com
As our mock completed 36 picks, my hopes were that a potential future replacement for Yadier Molina might still remain on the board for just three more picks. However, the Astros grabbed Chris Betts at no. 37. Would the Cardinals really take two high schoolers with their first two picks, anyway? No one knows for sure, but in a mock, why not? Perhaps if I had known Ke’Bryan Hayes would still be on the board at 39, I would have taken UCLA pitcher James Kaprielian instead of Donny Everett at 23. Still, I could not let this opportunity pass to grab a premier offensive talent at third base, a thin position both in the Cardinals system and MLB as a whole.
The son of former Major Leaguer Charlie Hayes is committed to Tennessee, but reports are that he could be signable at below slot. This is an approach the Cardinals have used in the past to save money for post-10th round long-shots. The 6’1’’, 207-pound Hayes is a proven hitter, with potential plus hit and power tools. Hayes’ defense at third is reportedly good enough that he should be able to remain at the position. This would be especially important for a Cardinals system that has no projected future impact players at the hot corner.
Selection made by Taylor Blake Ward, Publisher, InsidetheHalos.com
After taking a prep player with their first pick, Milwaukee couldn't ignore another prep talent in Mitchell Hansen. With Hansen, the Brewers feel they can set themselves up for a strong future with two players with a high load of tools that they can develop. Hansen is a smart hitter for his age, and could advance at the plate to become special with some added power. Hansen also can play all three outfield positions with his current speed, and his arm speaks for itself, being a left-handed pitcher in high school. Hansen is commitment to Stanford, but the Brewers believe they selected him under slot, and low enough to show Hansen how strongly they feel about him being a part of the future and a potential future star in Milwaukee.
Pick #41 (C.B. A), Atlanta Braves: Beau Burrows, RHP, Weatherford (Tx.) HS
Selection made by Bill Shanks, Publisher, AtlantaDugout.com
The Braves grabbed Garrett Fulenchek out of Texas last year and return for Beau Burrows in 2015. Burrows’ fastball has been clocked at 96 MPH and has made steady progress. Scouts seem to love his arm strength and his aggressiveness.
Selection made by Jeff Ellis, Contributor, IndiansBaseballInsider.com
After grabbing Kolby Allard with the first selection, I was trying to target a college bat at 42. It just so happened that the top player on my board was also a college position player. Scott Kingery is a second baseman from Arizona. His stock has slid a bit because he has not hit as well during the month of May. Kingery has plus present speed and is a solid defender at second base. He won’t hit many homeruns but he has doubles pop. He is also incredibility hard to strike-out, as he had one of the lowest strikeout rates of any power division player. The hit tool is his second-best tool behind his speed and should also be plus. Kingery is a really strong value to me this late in the draft.