'06 Draft: First Round Mock Draft Projections

The time has finally come. With the draft just days away now, it's time for the final prediction as to who will end up where. Jason Avery takes a look at the draft, and projects the entire first round, who will select who, and why.

With the draft just a few days away, it's time to take a look at how the first three rounds of the draft could unfold, so lets get down to business.

1. Kansas City - Andrew Miller, LHP, North Carolina
The Royals are undergoing a leadership change with Dayton Moore taking over for Allaird Baird, but that shouldn't hinder the Royals from taking the best overall talent this year.

2. Colorado - Evan Longoria, 3B,Long Beach State
The Rockies will be all over Miller if the Royals pass on him, but the Rockies will be more than happy to grab a polished bat. Longoria might face a move to second base with Ian Stewart and Troy Tulowitzki already on the left side of the infield.

3. Tampa Bay - Brad Lincoln, RHP, Houston
The D-Rays are in the market for a college pitcher, and Lincoln ranks only behind Miller at the head of the class. Lincoln should move very quickly and offer a much better return than Dewon Brazelton did three years ago at this spot.

4. Pittsburgh - Greg Reynolds, RHP, Stanford
Reynolds had a super April when he had three consecutive complete-game victories and flew up draft boards around baseball. He struggled in his last start, but Brandon Morrow and Tim Lincecum have also struggled of late, and Reynolds has the best chance of the three to stay as a starter.

5. Seattle - Luke Hochevar, RHP, Fort Worth (American Association)
The M's have had no issues giving out big bonuses over the last few years, and have dealt with Scott Boras in the past as well, so those won't be issues here. If the M's sign Hochevar quickly, he won't need much seasoning in the minors to join Felix Hernandez in the rotation.

6. Detroit - Drew Stubbs, OF, Texas
The Tigers are said to be considering prep left-hander Clayton Kershaw and Hochevar as well, but Stubbs offers terrific athleticism and could be a Gold-Glove caliber center fielder. He has shown more patience at the plate this spring, and if he cuts down on his strikeouts, he could be the best player from this draft class.

7. Los Angeles Dodgers - Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Highland Park HS (Texas)
The Dodgers have had great success with high school players, and Kershaw fits their profile to a tee. Kershaw has seen his stock soar after his velocity spiked into the mid-90s with an above-average curveball. Kershaw also throws a good changeup and has a solid pitchers frame.

8. Cincinnati - Brandon Morrow, RHP, California
After seeing the Texas products taken in front of them, the Reds opt for a potentially dominant closer, if they wish to move him there. However, with the year Morrow had with the Bears, he should get the opportunity to stick as a starter to begin his pro career.

9. Baltimore - Tim Lincecum, RHP, Washington
The Orioles will be tempted to take Virginia prep right-hander Jeremy Jeffress, but Lincecum is the best player available, and his stuff should provide instant help at Camden Yards.

10. San Francisco - Max Scherzer, RHP, Missouri
Picking this high is new territory for the Giants, and they could also look at UNC right-hander Daniel Bard, or Nebraska right-hander Joba Chamberlain, but Scherzer has been lights out since his return and even though he is a Boras client, he gives the Giants a power arm that they need.

11. Arizona - Daniel Bard, RHP, North Carolina
Bard has been an enigma this spring, but when you have a fastball that reaches the high-90s with a solid slider, you won't fall to far. The D-Backs have taken several Boras clients in the past, so Scherzer could fit here, if he is available.

12. Texas - Joba Chamberlain, RHP, Nebraska
Chamberlain has had a so-so year, but a polished pitcher who profiles as a workhorse in the majors are always sought after, but he'll need to watch his body as he gets older.

13. Chicago Cubs - Bill Rowell 3B Bishop Eustace Prep HS (New Jersey)
Rowell has a lot of power potential in his left-handed bat, and the Cubs certainly aren't afraid to take high school players. Rowell has good hands and an above-average arm, and could start his career at shortstop (where he presently plays), but may outgrow the position.

14. Toronto - Kyle McCullough, RHP, Texas
The Blue Jays like to go after polished college players and McCullough fits the bill nicely. McCullough has been up and down this spring, but he has a solid three-pitch mix and shouldn't need much time to be an innings-eater for the Blue Jays.

15. Washington - Jeremy Jeffress, RHP, Halifax County HS (Virginia)
Jeffress has supplanted Jordan Walden as the hardest thrower among prep pitchers, hitting triple digits, but he needs to refine his slider and develop a changeup.

16. Milwaukee - Kyle Drabek, RHP, The Woodlands HS (Texas)
Drabek has slid out of the top 10 due to makeup issues, but he is legitimately the best two-way player in the country--pro or college, and would be a nice pickup here for the Brewers.

17. San Diego - David Huff, LHP, UCLA
The Padres won't venture to far to nab the lefty, who pitched for three different schools in his career, and spurned the Phillies as a 19th-rounder last year. Huff can reach 91 with his fastball, and has a terrific changeup.

18. Philadelphia - Travis Snider, OF, Jackson HS (Washington)
Snider is one of the more prodigious power hitters available in this years draft, and it's scary to think how many homers he could hit in cozy Citizens Bank Park.

19. Florida - Chris Marrero, 3B, Monsignor Pace HS (Florida)
Marrero was upstaged by teammate Adrian Cardenas this spring, but the Marlins will be thrilled to get a local kid, who is a potential five-tool performer this far down.

20. Minnesota - Pedro Beato, RHP, St. Petersburg JC (Florida)
After not signing with the Mets, Beato's sinking fastball that reaches 96 gives the Twins another great arm to add to their burgeoning system, although most teams didn't crosscheck him this spring because of the Mets' control.

21. New York Yankees - Brett Anderson, LHP, Stillwater HS (Oklahoma)
Anderson isn't overly athletic, but he has exquisite command of his lethal arsenal, and is very polished. He has a hard curveball and advanced changeup to go with a fastball that reaches the low-90s.

22. Washington - Hank Conger, C, Huntington Beach HS (California)
Conger has made great strides this spring behind the plate defensively, and he will need a lot of work there, but his bat and power from both sides of the plate will play anywhere on the diamond.

23. Houston - Brett Sinkbeil, RHP, Missouri State
Sinkbeil might have cracked the top 15 had he not suffered a strained oblique muscle, but the Astros will gladly take a pitcher with command of a sinking fastball that can reach 95. He also has a good slider and an improving changeup.

24. Atlanta - Kyler Burke, OF, Ooltewah HS (Tennessee)
This may be a bit of reach, but Burke has emerged as a potential five-tool player this spring, and may need to be drafted here to be signed away from Vanderbilt. He has shown patience at the plate, and has a lot of raw power.

25. Los Angeles Angels - Chris Parmelee, OF/1B, Chino Hills HS (California)
Parmelee has one of the sweetest swings in the draft, and he has good power to all fields. He also has great plate discipline, and also pitched this spring, which is an obvious indicator of his solid arm strength.

26. Los Angeles Dodgers - Jordan Walden, RHP, Mansfield HS (Texas)
After reaching 99 last fall, Walden has seen his velocity fluctuate a great deal this spring, but he has great size and the potential to have three plus pitches, but needs to be more consistent with his delivery.

27. Boston - Matt Antonelli, 3B, Wake Forest
There is a chance Antonelli could go to Toronto at 14, but there is no chance he gets past the Red Sox, who don't let many New England prospects get away from their grasp. Antonelli is a solid defender at third, but may not have the power to stay there.

28. Boston - Brooks Brown, RHP, Georgia
Brown can reach 95 with his fastball, but has thrown harder as a reliever in the past. His curveball is an above-average offering and his changeup has developed nicely this spring.

29. Chicago White Sox - Bryan Morris, RHP, Motlow State CC (Tennessee)
Like Beato, Morris was expected to sign with Tampa Bay before the draft, but he didn't, and the White Sox will be glad to add a pitcher who can touch 95 with his fastball, and has a solid curveball and slider. He needs to refine his delivery and changeup.

30. St. Louis - Justin Masterson, RHP, San Diego State
Masterson pitched well in moving up from the NAIA level, and he keeps the ball down in the strike zone. Masterson sits in the low 90s, but his slider and changeup need more work.


31. Los Angeles Dodgers - Colton Willems, RHP, John Carroll Catholic HS (Florida)
The Dodgers add to their pitching haul with Willems, who has reached 96 this spring, but hasn't had consistency with the command of his hammer curveball.

32. Baltimore - Stephen King, SS, Winter Park HS (Florida)
Scouting Director Joe Jordan has no issues taking prep players that need time to grow into their tools, and King is loaded with them, but he hasn't played up to his potential, and has also had injuries in the past.

33. San Francisco - Kevin Mulvey, RHP, Villanova
Mulvey is similar to Masterson in that he had a losing record this spring, but pitched much better than his numbers showed. Mulvey has good command of a four-pitch mix, with his improving changeup just behind his other offerings.

34. Arizona - Ian Kennedy, RHP, USC
The D-Backs aren't afraid of Boras clients, and Kennedy would give Arizona a prospect that could be in the majors by the end of 2007--if he signs quickly, which is always a question mark with Boras' guys.

35. San Diego - Kris Johnson, LHP, Wichita State
Johnson is a draft-eligible sophomore after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. The Shockers have kept Johnson on a tight leash as he recovers, and he was beginning to show his pre-surgery stuff late in the season. Johnson carries one of the highest ceilings of any left-hander available this year.

36. Florida - Kasey Kiker, LHP, Russell County HS (Alabama)
Like Drabek, Kiker's makeup has also come into question, and even though Kiker doesn't have ideal size (5-foot-11), he brings serious heat with his fastball, which has reached 97, to go with a good breaking ball and solid changeup.

37. Philadelphia - Aaron Miller, OF, Channelview HS (Texas)
At this time last year, Miller was considered a better prospect as a left-handed pitcher, but his stuff didn't improve much, and his bat blossomed this spring. He has solid power and should become a better overall hitter once he focuses just on that. He may need to go here to keep him away from Baylor.

38. Atlanta - Chris Tillman, RHP, Fountain Valley HS (California)
At 6-foot-6, Tillman oozes projection and can sit in the 90-94 range, although his velocity has been up and down. He also has a power curveball and throws a split-finger fastball for a third pitch.

39. Cleveland - Matt Latos, RHP, Coconut Creek HS (Florida)
Latos saw his stock dip when he was roughed up in a showdown against Stoneman-Douglas' Brandon Holden, but pitched better afterward and has some of the most electric stuff in the draft, reaching 97 with his fastball and a power curveball, but he needs more consistency.

40. Boston - Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Notre Dame
One of the biggest wild cards in the draft, Samardzija could be looking at an NFL career next spring, but the Red Sox have extra picks and the money to try and keep him away from football. If the Red Sox can keep him, they will have a pitcher that can reach 96 with secondary stuff that needs work, but he could be the college right-hander with the highest ceiling in the draft.

41. New York Yankees - Chad Tracy, C, Pepperdine
The Yankees don't have a replacement for Jorge Posada in the minors, and Tracy shouldn't need a lot of seasoning in the minors. Tracy has good plate discipline and hits well to all fields, and he has improved defensively.

42. St. Louis - Max Sapp, C, Bishop Moore HS (Florida)
Sapp has some of the best raw power of anyone in the draft, and his bat will play anywhere on the field, but he may not stay behind the plate. He has worked hard on his defense, but needs lots of work there.

43. Atlanta - Jason Place, OF, Wren HS (South Carolina)
Place has some of the best tools of any player available in the draft, but he has been dogged by nagging injuries in the past, and will need refinements with his swing to use all of the field.

44. Boston - Dallas Buck, RHP, Oregon State
Buck has learned how to pitch without his best stuff this spring due to a sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. He topped out at 94 in the past, but has been in the mid-80s this spring, and has used his slider and changeup to get more outs.

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