As of Monday we are sitting 1 week away from the awaited 2015 MLB Draft. Sitting 9 days out from the draft we still are fairly unsure who the Arizona Diamondbacks plan to take with the #1 overall selection. Once Arizona selects the draft still can go in any which way depending on who Houston selects with the #2 overall pick.
Below is a quick list of the top 26 selections for this year’s draft. I think my top 10 selections are fairly certain to be taken in some order, after that it gets more vague of who will go where. I have added video to my top 5 picks. More video to follow for the large mock draft coming next weekend.
I will be posting my final version of this mock draft in the upcoming week!
Here is how I see things playing out so far. (All Video Credit goes to Fangraphs Video Library at the following Link https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXytxPs81CsWXgt1rSkgc9aIPe0LvxRnT )
1. Arizona Diamondbacks – Dansby Swanson, SS, Vanderbilt
Arizona has been all over the map it has seemed this spring with who they might take #1 overall. Now that the draft is 9 days til it is upon us indications lead the Diamondbacks are linked to 3 players. Vanderbilt SS Dansby Swanson, Illinois LHP Tyler Jay and Georgia Prep C Tyler Stephenson.
All 3 options would lead Arizona to cutting a deal with this pick in hopes to later pay someone over slot for a later selection. All that being said I think Swanson is the guy to go here. Swanson is the best overall College Bat and has proven he can stick at SS. He will require close to 80% of the slot bonus which can leave Arizona enough wiggle room for an over slot pick later.
2. Houston Astros – Brendan Rodgers , SS, Lake Mary HS (FL) Florida State Commit
Last year the Astros ran into signing issues when they selected Brady Aiken with the #1 overall pick. Now with two picks in the top 5 I think the Astros go with the top HS product available. Rodgers coming into the spring seemed to be a consensus #1 overall pick, but with an average spring he seemed to slide some in draft rankings. I only see Rodgers sliding 1 spot from the top and fitting in nicely for the Astros.
3. Colorado Rockies – Tyler Jay, LHP, Illinois
Colorado would take either Swanson or Rodgers if either fell to them here at #3. Finding a heir to Troy Tulowitski would be a big help, but as of now that seems to be just a dream. Jay at the start of spring floated around the mid to back end of the 1st round. After going out this spring and proving he has 3 plus pitches that can all be thrown for strikes, he has quickly moved to the top of the list among all pitchers in this draft. I think Colorado would take him here.
4. Texas Rangers – Jon Harris, RHP, Missouri State
Texas is one team I can’t really read or find enough real information on who they might select at #4. Evidently Jon Daniels has been rumored to be looking for a college player. Harris was rumored to go here earlier this month, but that has since seemed to have faded away. I feel that could be a bit of a smoke screen, Harris is one of the better arms in this draft and could be a big impact for the Rangers in 2 1/2 years.
5. Houston Astros – Kyle Tucker, RF, Plant HS (FL) Florida Commit
Taking two HS bats in this draft may not be the strategy for Houston, but both of these bats will be impact bats once they get to the bigs. Preston Tucker is currently an OF for the big league club and I think Jeff Luhnow and co. will grab the second Tucker who may have more pop in his bat than big brother. Kyle Tucker has a much more advanced HS bat that most and could be a 20+ homerun hitting at the big league level.
6. Minnesota Twins – Alex Bregman, SS, LSU
The Twins will be sitting on someone falling to them if Jon Harris makes it into the top 5. I think if Bregman is here they don’t pass on him. The toolsy SS will fit in nicely in a Twins system that is starting to build. Bregman could play along side last year’s 5th overall selection Nick Gordon.
7. Boston Red Sox – Andrew Benintendi, CF, Arkansas
Benintendi has been the late bloomer of all late bloomers I have ever heard of. At the start of the year it was reported he was draft eligible. Once reported Benintendi took off, destroying everything in the SEC conference. A month ago he was a late first rounder, now he’s being rumored heavily top 10 and could easily fit in here with the Red Sox.
8. Chicago White Sox – Carson Fulmer, RHP, Vanderbilt
Fulmer is a guy who could be up in the big leagues this year if the White Sox choose to put him in the back of their bullpen. Fulmer brings 2 plus plus pitches with a changeup that can be plus at times. Looking at recent drafts I think Fulmer goes here as the White Sox have a trend of picking college pitchers in recent drafts (Carlos Rodon, Tyler Danish, Chris Sale). I think Dillon Tate is also an option here for the Sox.
9. Chicago Cubs – Dillon Tate, RHP, UC Santa Barbara
The past few drafts the Cubs have taken two top college bats (Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber) , both of which will be making long term results for the North Siders. Little pitching available in the system I think the Cubs take an arm here. I think Tate falls, but with his instant impact ability I see Epstein taking a chance on the righty. James Kaprielian has also been a rumor to fit in here.
10. Philadelphia Phillies – Tyler Stephenson, C, Kennesaw Mountain HS (GA) Georgia Tech Commit.
Stephenson has some serious helium right now to be selected here at 10. Philly has also touched base on Prep Outfielder Trenton Clark and Catcher Chris Betts. I think if Philly wants more of an impact now player they could go Ian Happ or Walker Buehler, but when it comes down to it on draft day I think Philly takes Stephenson.
11. Cincinnati Reds – Daz Cameron, CF, Eagle’s Landing Christian HS (GA) Florida State Commit
If Cameron falls this far Cincinnati will not hesitate to take him. Cameron had an average spring, but his tools, makeup and ceiling are as high as can be. Cameron would be a very nice fit here for the Reds.
12. Miami Marlins – Trenton Clark, LF, Richland HS (TX) Texas Tech Commit.
Miami has a very long and strong track record of taking HS prep players from the Midwest. Clark has solid tools and will supply the fish with good value at 12.
13. Tampa Bay Rays – Garrett Whitley, CF, Niskayuna HS (N.Y.) Wake Forest Commit.
Whitley has been said to be the next Mike Trout. Tampa Bay might have a hard time passing on a player with that kind of compliment and a ceiling similar.
14. Atlanta Braves – Walker Buehler, RHP, Vanderbilt
Atlanta would love to take Stephenson here is he happened to fall to 14, with that not happening, I think Atlanta goes in the direction of a strong college arm. Buehler had some durability issues early this spring, but with a strong scouting experience in the midwest I think the Braves take Buehler. Cornelius Randolph is also an option here.
15. Milwaukee Brewers – Kyle Funkhouser, RHP, Louisville
Funkhouser was a preseason mid tier to top ten kind of arm. After a few injuries he snuck up boards all the way to #4 with Texas. Since the start of May Funkhouser has fallen out of that conversation. I think the Brewers grab a college arm here and Funkhouser will be the option.
16. New York Yankees – James Kaprelian, RHP, UCLA
The Yankees system has plenty of bats to go around, but not enough arms. Word around the front office is they want an arm. Kaprelian evidently has a high ticket price, but the Yankees usually don’t shy away from that sort of thing.
17. Cleveland Indians – Ian Happ, 2B, Cincinnati
Happ is still in question of whether he can play 2B at the big league level. He can certainly hit there, but will his defensive skills hold up? I think Cleveland takes Happ and keeps him in the OF. Happ pulls similar makeups, however, to Kipnis and Joey Panik of the San Francisco Giants.
18. San Francisco Giants – Mike Nikorak, RHP, Stroudsburg HS (PA), Alabama commit
Nikorak is one of my favorite Right Handed HS pitchers in this year’s draft. I think he could be one of the quickest HS arms to get to the show. The Giants in the past have been an organization to stray away from typical industry picks, but here they stick to the plan and take the first HS Righty.
19. Pittsburgh Pirates – Kolby Allard, LHP, San Clemente HS (CA) UCLA Commit
Allard is my favorite HS pitcher in this draft. 3 Plus pitches already coming together very nicely. He has had some lower back issues this spring that have hurt his draft prowess. I think Allard is top 10 worthy if 100% healthy. Pittsburgh has been known to develop pitchers well, they won’t have any trouble with Allard.
20. Oakland Athletics – DJ Stewart, 1B/OF, Florida State
Stewart for me resembles a Left handed hitting Jeff Bagwell. Stewart supplies a great amount of pop in his bat and could help Oakland’s low offensive numbers in 3 years. Oakland has been rumored to be in on Stewart among Kevin Newman, Cody Ponce and Richie Martin.
21. Kansas City Royals – Cornelius Randolph, SS, Griffin HS (GA) Clemson Commit
One of my favorite HS hitters in this year’s draft. Randolph has a very developed bat with superb pop. The only question that remains for Randolph is position, he’s been projected all over the infield depending on who you ask. If it were me, he plays 3B for me.
22. Detroit Tigers – Phil Bickford, RHP, Southern Nevada JC (NV)
The Tigers are a team for me that I am slightly unsure about. I believe this pick is an arm no doubt, but with a few prep arms available they could easily take one of those and pass on Bickford. The former Cal State Fullerton turned Junior College righty for me is the better option who was already selected in a draft much higher than this. (Toronto #10 overall, 2013)
23. St. Louis Cardinals – Donnie Dewees, OF, North Florida
Dewees is the college type the St. Louis Cardinals love. He has put up some ridiculous numbers this past spring and should continue to do so at the next level. I think the Cardinals stay with their history of College players and select Dewees. Kevin Newman has also been rumored to be taken here.
24. Los Angeles Dodgers – Brady Aiken, LHP, IMG Academy (FL), No Commit
The Dodgers have money to spend and have a big league roster built to afford a draft pick that will require a little TLC. Aiken went #1 overall last year only to end up not signing and pitching a few bullpens this spring at IMG Academy, before succumbing to Tommy John surgery. I think Aiken is the pick, which once healthy could pay huge benefits for the Dodgers in the coming years.
25. Baltimore Orioles – Kevin Newman, SS, Arizona
Newman has fringy tools up the middle, but should be good enough to stay there for his career. 10-15 bombs won’t be a bad mix for the Orioles who have struggled to get more than 5 bombs from their up-the-middle players.
26. Los Angeles Angels – Cody Ponce, RHP, Cal Poly Pomona
Ponce is a flame throwing right hander out of a Division II California College. Being local to the Angles he has gotten many up close views. I think the Angels take a college player here and my guess would be Ponce.
Other Names of mention:
College: Blake Trahan, Richie Martin, Mikey White, Scott Kingery, Kyle Holder, Alex Young, and Kyle Cody.
High School: Ashe Russell, Nolan Watson, Austin Smith, Beau Burrows, Juan Hillman, Jake Woodford.
I will have more video in my 2nd version of my mock draft that will release right before the real draft.