With the draft roughly six weeks away, it’s time to take our first look at the picks and start putting some names with MLB teams.
Welcome to MLB draft season! Okay, in truth, for many of us, and likely for many reading this, draft season began, oh, roughly 10 months ago after about a one month break following the previous draft.
However, this year’s draft is just around the corner now, and it’s time to start looking more deeply into the teams and who they will choose at their selection. While mock drafts are fun to put together, more informative are the discussions around the picks with teams that inform better how things could break down on when the MLB draft happens on June 12th.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
1. Minnesota Twins
RHP/SS, Notre Dame HS (CA)
While the Twins have the largest draft pool this season, it is not like previous seasons, where there was a huge gap between the #1 pick and future picks in draft pool money due to the new CBA. Greene has the highest level of talent in the draft by a ways with an elite arm off the mound and a legit bat at the plate. Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs recently said the only true 80-grade tool in this draft would be Greene’s arm at shortstop, but most likely Greene is going to be a pitcher for the Twins.
2. Cincinnati Reds
1B/LHP, University of Louisville
#1/2 are nearly written in pen in most mock drafts with Greene and McKay. McKay’s tremendous hitting in 2017 has led to a number of teams discussing him as a hitter first, but he’s a very high-floor guy who would be a legit top of the draft talent off the mound as well. Interesting fit in Cincinnati as at the plate, he does remind me a lot of former Cincinnati Red first baseman Sean Casey.
3. San Diego Padres
IF/OF, JSerra Catholic HS (CA)
Lewis has struggled some this spring, but he has arguably the most athleticism of any player in the entire draft. He has a strong arm that will play in the outfield and speed to burn that worked up the middle defensively. I’d gauge him as a future 2B or CF, not a SS, but he’s got an offensive profile that would lead one to think he could put up decent pop numbers along with very good speed, which would be an asset up the middle.
4. Tampa Bay Rays
RHP, Vanderbilt University
Wright was a strong consideration as the best player in this draft class in early mocks done last summer and last fall, but struggles early in the spring saw him drop down a number of boards. He’s turned around his season significantly, showing dominance of the SEC. Wright doesn’t have elite pitches, but his feel for pitching and ability to manipulate pitches in multiple ways is ahead of the normal draftee, giving him a very high floor.
5. Atlanta Braves
LHP, Whiteville HS (NC)
The Braves love athletic players who have plenty of projection left that they can develop within their system. Gore is a perfect fit in this draft as quite possibly the best athlete in the entire draft. He’s not got the elite stuff that Greene does, but he’s just a tick below, and he’s got much more physical projection left that could lead to him ending up even better in the long term, and he’s left-handed.