2017 MLB Mock Draft, Version 5.2

Jun 22, 2015; Omaha, NE, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores pitcher Kyle Wright (44) throws during the game against the Virginia Cavaliers in game one of the College World Series Finals at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 22, 2015; Omaha, NE, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores pitcher Kyle Wright (44) throws during the game against the Virginia Cavaliers in game one of the College World Series Finals at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports /

With the draft less than a month away, a fifth look at the upcoming MLB draft is in order.

Before we get started with this MLB mock draft, a few things:
– These are the selections of the writer, based on discussions with scouts and team officials in the game. However, they are not to be viewed as a prediction, but an idea of the direction a team could go in the given scenario presented.
– Players moving up or down is not necessarily an indication of a player’s stock rising or falling. The player is assigned based on a fit, and sometimes that can mean a player moves 10 or more spots in the draft.

1. Minnesota Twins

Impressively, Wright could end up being a guy who did not get selected at all coming out of high school to being the top overall selection in the draft coming out of college. Wright has been a tremendous pitcher for Vanderbilt from the time he stepped on campus, and he’s developed into the top collegiate starter in the nation. Wright is a work out warrior that can impress with his power lifting abilities, and he attempted to “air it out” a bit too much this spring initially, leading to his stuff flattening out. Instead, he found as he was willing to pitch within himself, he could maintain 97 at the top end of his fastball velocity deep into games along with his unique ability to manipulate each of his pitches in multiple ways, really giving his three-pitch off-speed mix dozens of true looks that batters will see over the course of a game. Wright has an ability to profile as a top of the rotation starter who may not be among MLB’s aces, but certainly could be a top starter for any team in the game, akin to peak <strong><a rel=. RHP. Vanderbilt University. Kyle Wright. 1. player. 2

2. Cincinnati Reds

61. Greene’s comments about wanting to skip over the Reds if he doesn’t go #1 overall has led many to believe the Reds will be uninterested in Greene if he were on the board. Instead, the Reds have been noted at multiple events for Greene, and they would certainly be more than interested in his incredible talent. Last season, the Reds were not fazed when they needed to give the top bonus of the draft to their selection at #2 overall, <strong><a rel=. RHP/SS. Notre Dame HS (CA). Hunter Greene. 2. player

3. San Diego Padres

player. 127. The Padres have certainly been tied to Greene heavily, and they would open the bank account to bring him in. If they could not get Greene, they would certainly seek out the highest ceiling they could find, and one could certainly argue that in this year’s draft, that certainly could be Gore. He has the velocity of an elite starter along with the type of breaking pitch that has seasoned scouts uttering four-letter words under their breath. The big “concern” with Gore is his unusual delivery, which features a high leg kick to open, but he has the ability to keep his location, even when his mechanics get a bit off, and as he gains in strength and maturity into his frame, the delivery should present no real issue.. LHP. Whiteville HS (NC). MacKenzie Gore. 3

4. Tampa Bay Rays

North Davidson HS (NC). Austin Beck. 4. player. 21. Beck has been the most variant of high school hitters near the top of the draft this spring. Many see the comparisons to some of the game’s best and dream big, but the reality is that there is a big question on the ability Beck will have to translate his hit tool to professional ball, and after missing the showcase circuit last summer, scouts weren’t able to see him have to face consistent elite stuff the way he will in pro ball. He could end up anywhere from #3 to dropping into the 20s due to that variance, though some compare his current variance to that of <strong><a rel=. OF

5. Atlanta Braves

1B. Huntington Beach HS (CA). Nick Pratto. 5. player. 17. For the Braves, they’re sitting in a spot where they’re going to be meeting with a host of players to find out what the number will be to sign them, preparing to spend heavy over the team’s first 2-4 picks after loading up in the 2016 international market and having a high number of the team’s 2016 picks sign, filling up the team’s rookie league teams, not leaving a ton of space for 2016 picks, meaning the team will likely go big after a few picks rather than spreading across their 11-40 picks. Last week, I profiled Royce Lewis in this spot, and this week I profile Nick Pratto, and I truly believe that the team could go either direction with the Braves having a very strong history and presence in California in the prep market. They’ve been noted scouting both heavily, but the Braves will likely be heavy in the market for a number of guys, including Gore, Beck, Lewis, Pratto, Adell, Baz, Carlson, and others, and like last season, a player could impress them such that he’s outside of consensus in the media before the draft.