The NCAA tournament has begun, and nearly all high school prospects have finished their senior campaigns, making it the perfect time for our first extended mock draft, which includes all the compensatory and competitive balance round selections. Enjoy!
Without further ado, let’s take a look at our most recent projections for the first round.
The Twins are hosting Hunter Greene for a pitching session next week and will no doubt use the time to gauge whether or not he’ll accept less than the slot of $7.7 million, something the front-office seems incredibly interested in. Minnesota has three of the first 35 picks, and seems intent on spreading some of that money around. Going with someone other than Greene would likely allow them to save anywhere from $1-2 million on their first pick. While Brendan McKay might be the safest pick, count us among the ever-growing base that expects them to go with the higher ceiling of Vanderbilt’s Wright.
Season stats (pitching): 5-5, 0 SV, 2.98 ERA, 15 GP, 15 GS, 96.2 IP, 74 H, 32 ER, 28 BB, 113 K, .210 AVG
Notable: Allowed just nine runs and 24 hits over his last six starts, spanning 53.2 innings.
McKay was recently named Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s Player of the Year, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him claim the same honor from Baseball America later this month. For now, however, the lefty’s attention will be on getting Louisville back to the College World Series for the first time since 2014.
Season stats (pitching): 9-3, 0 SV, 2.31 ERA, 15 GP, 15 GS, 97.1 IP, 61 H, 25 ER, 33 BB, 131 K, .178 AVG
Season stats (hitting): .356/.476/.683, 54 R, 13 2B, 1 3B, 17 HR, 56 RBI, 45 BB, 35 K, 1-for-1 SB
Notable: The only player to win more than once, McKay is a shoe-in to win his third consecutive John Olerud Award as the nation’s top two-way player
The Padres and Greene seem to be a match made in heaven, and despite the fact that he’s hands down the top prospect in this year’s class, it’s seeming increasingly likely that he’ll slip to the third overall pick.
Season stats (pitching): 3-0, 0 SV, 0.75 ERA, 5 GP, 5 GS, 28.0 IP, 18 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 43 K
Season stats (hitting): .324/.374/.598, 23 R, 6 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 28 RBI, 8 BB, 12 K, 2-for-3 SB
Notable: Greene was named MVP of the Mission League late last month.
While Greene is the top prospect in the 2017 draft class, it was actually Lewis who was honored as the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of California. Arguably the top position player available this year, Lewis would be a steal for the Rays at No. 4.
Season stats: .377, 32 R, 4 HR, 25 SB
Notable: Lewis will likely be the highest-drafted player from JSerra since Austin Hedges was selected in the second round back in 2011.
Rumors about Beck dropping down draft boards don’t seem to make much sense to us. Can you really fault the guy now, for not taking part in the showcase circuit last year because of an injury? The Braves have held several workouts with the outfielder and seem to be zeroing in on him as one of several candidates. After going after pitching with their last four first round selections, Beck makes sense. If they do go the pitching route again, MacKenzie Gore would be their guy.
Season stats: .590/.700/1.218, 12 HR
Notable: Beck hit three homers in his final high school game, a loss in the third round of the state playoffs
The A’s will have their pick of several players, including Gore, Pavin Smith and J.B. Bukauskas, but it’s hard to deny Gore’s ceiling. After earning state Gatorade Player of the Year honors, the left-hander claimed the national award this week, becoming the first player from North Carolina to do so.
Season stats: 10-0, 0.20 ERA, 68.1 IP, 145 strikeouts
Notable: Gore led Whiteville to their fourth consecutive appearance in the state title game
Bukauskas, not likely national player of the year Brendan McKay, was named ACC Pitcher of the Year after a tremendous campaign that saw him rank among the best in the nation in hits allowed per nine innings (5.66), earned run average (2.02), strikeouts per nine innings (11.2) and strikeouts (111). He was the driving force that led UNC back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2014. His slider is also the best non-fastball offering in the 2017 draft class. If Arizona stays in the playoff hunt, it would be tempting to bring Bukauskas up for the stretch run.
Season stats: 9-1, 0 SV, 2.53 ERA, 15 GP, 15 GS, 92.2 IP, 62 H, 26 ER, 37 BB, 116 K, .188 AVG
Notable: Bukauskas was one of just five pitchers to finish the regular season undefeated, with nine or more victories.
We had Faedo slipping a bit in our last mock, but his performance on May 25th reminded everyone why he was considered a candidate for the top overall spot earlier this year: low 90s fastball, plus slider, above-average changeup and above-average command. The Phillies may be tempted to go several other directions here, but Faedo can help them the quickest.
Season stats: 7-2, 0 SV, 2.80 ERA, 15 GP, 15 GS, 96.1 IP, 81 H, 30 ER, 32 BB, 113 K, .225 AVG
Notable: After tossing five wild pitches in his freshman and sophomore campaigns, Faedo has zero this year.
Like so many others on this list, Adell also earned state Gatorade Player of the Year honors, after a campaign that saw him slug a mind-boggling 24 home runs in just 34 games. In addition to his plus raw power, Adell also has above-average speed and arm strength, giving him arguably the highest ceiling in this draft class.
Season stats: .554/2.091/1.434, 52 R, 9 2B, 0 3B, 24 HR, 60 RBI, 32 BB, 9 K, 18 SB
Notable: Adell finished the season five home runs shy of the state record set by Shon Walker in the early 1990s
The Angels have their eyes on several prospects that will probably be gone by the time they pick at No. 10, including Adell, Beck and possibly Faedo. With them gone, they’ll turn to a local native in Canning. The right-hander has been arguably the most consistent starter in college baseball this season, and has shown four offerings that grade out above average.
Season stats: 7-4, 0 SV, 2.34 ERA, 17 GP, 17 GS, 119.0 IP, 93 H, 31 ER, 32 BB, 140 K, .213 AVG
Notable: Canning struck out at least ten batters in half of his 16 regular season starts, and struck out 12 three times.
Kendall may not have as high a ceiling as some of the prep prospects available, but his floor is as an elite defender with plus-plus speed. Even if his hitting and newly-discovered power don’t carry over into pro ball, he’ll still likely carve out some kind of career at the big-league level. If they do…look out. A major wart that could scare some teams away, however, is Kendall’s proclivity to strike out, which he’s done in nearly 30% of his at-bats this year.
Season stats: .310/.379/.569, 58 R, 9 2B, 5 3B, 15 HR, 51 RBI, 24 BB, 69 K, 18-for-22 SB
Notable: With 65 career stolen bases, Kendall is still 31 short of the Vandy career record set by Charles DeFrance in the early 1980s.
The Pirates will no doubt be tempted to take a chance on lefty Trevor Rogers here, but if Baz is still available he’s the better option. He’s got a track record of showing up on the showcase circuit, and he’s been clocked as high as 98 mph this spring, leading Concordia Lutheran to the state semifinals.
Season stats: N/A
Notable: If selected in the first round, Baz would be the second Concordia Lutheran alum drafted in the first round in the past three seasons (Ke’Bryan Hayes, 2015)
The Marlins seem to be looking almost exclusively at pitchers this year, and if things shake out this way, Hall and Rogers seem to be the most likely candidates for this selection. Much like the pick before, Hall has more polish than the fast-rising lefty from New Mexico. He’s had a rough spring, but the talent is still there, including a mid 90s fastball and a curveball that may be one of the best in the prep ranks.
Season stats: N/A
Notable: Hall pitched as a freshman at Valdosta High, transferred for his sophomore and junior campaigns, and then went back to Valdosta to pitch his senior year
The aforementioned, late-rising Rogers is one of the draft’s most interesting prospects. Blessed with incredible size (6’6″) and a projectable frame, Rogers has scouts dreaming on his potential. His fastball currently sits 91-97, but there’s at least a few more mph in there as he fills out. His slider flashes above-average and his mechanics are incredibly clean for someone of his size. The New Mexico Gatorade Player of the Year, Rogers faced 223 batters this season and struck out 61% of them, while allowing just 14 hits. While this may be his floor, he could end up going as high as No. 5.
Season stats: 11-0, 0 SV, 0.33 ERA, 11 GP, 11 GS, 63.1 IP, 14 H, 3 ER, 13 BB, 134 K
Notable: Rogers tossed four no-hitters in 2017, and on April 21st threw a perfect game
Once upon a time, the Astros seemed destined to end up with a hitter, possibly UC Irvine’s Keston Hiura, or Missouri State’s Jake Burger, but as the draft gets closer, it seems they’re more likely to go after college pitching. Peterson would be the most logical choice, with great size, a low 90s fastball, an above-average breaking ball and plus command.
Season stats: 11-4, 0 SV, 2.51 ERA, 15 GP 15 GS, 100.1 IP, 88 H, 28 ER, 15 BB, 140 K, .237 AVG
Notable: With 17-strikeout and 20-strikeout performances, Peterson had two of the five highest single-game strikeout totals of the year
If Smith somehow drops all the way this far, the Yankees will likely abandon whatever gameplan they had and scoop him up. Arguably the draft’s best pure hitter, Smith has tapped into some power this year, and his plate discipline will make him a dangerous weapon for years to come.
Season stats: .341/.428/.561, 52 R, 11 2B, 1 3B, 12 HR, 72 RBI, 38 BB, 11 K, 2-for-2 SB
Notable: Smith finished the season ranked seventh nationally in runs-batted-in and third with a 20.3 K/AB mark.
The Mariners would love to get their hands on any number of college bats, including Smith, Jake Burger or Adam Haseley, but Hiura’s bat has a chance to be special. He didn’t play the field at all this season, giving him just one place to focus, and focus he did. A torrid final stretch catapulted him to the NCAA batting crown with a .442 mark. He showed more pop than expected and sneaky speed on the basepaths.
Season stats: .442/.567/.693, 48 R, 24 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 42 RBI, 50 BB, 38 K, 9-for-15 SB
Notable: In addition to leading the nation in batting average and on-base percentage, Hiura finished in the top 15 in walks, doubles and slugging percentage.
The Tigers are renowned for their love of velocity, and Pearson’s fastball is arguably the best in this class after Hunter Greene’s. He was clocked at 101 mph as recently as last week. He probably won’t find his way into the top-20 unless Detroit pulls the trigger on him here.
Season stats: 5-2, 0 SV, 1.56 ERA, 13 GP, 13 GS, 81.0 IP, 60 H, 14 ER, 23 BB, 118 K, .235 AVG
Notable: Over his final seven starts, Pearson allowed just three earned runs (0.60 ERA) and struck out 62 in 45 innings.
This seems like a match made in heaven. The Giants love college bats, and they especially love college players who have a track record of winning. Haseley has won everywhere he’s been and he put together a truly magical campaign for the Cavs this season, leading the squad in nearly every offensive category including home runs and on-base percentage, while flirting with a .400 average for the majority of the season.
Season stats: .393/.492/.662, 67 R, 15 2B, 1 3B, 14 HR, 55 RBI, 43 BB, 20 K, 10-for-14 SB
Notable: Despite making his mark as a hitter, Haseley has posted an 18-5 record in three seasons on the mound for UVA.
Don’t let Burger’s quiet performance in the NCAA regionals fool you, he’s still going to be drafted somewhere in the first round. You’ll hear his name bandied about in connection with each team from here on out.
Season stats: .335/.451/.665, 68 R, 12 2B, 0 3B, 22 HR, 65 RBI, 42 BB, 35 K, 3-for-4 SB
Notable: Burger earned MVC Player of the Year honors, and claimed a spot on the Collegiate Baseball All-America squad for the third year in a row.
The Orioles have seemingly narrowed their vision on college pitching, and Lange is arguably the best available. Scouts are torn over his ability to remain as a starter, but everyone seems to agree he’ll make a dominant closer if he can’t hack it in a rotation. O’s fans would likely prefer someone more inspiring, but with just one of the first 59 picks, they’ll likely play it safe.
Season stats: 9-5, 0 SV, 2.95 ERA, 16 GP, 16 GS, 103.1 IP, 94 H, 33 ER, 34 BB, 124 K, .240 AVG
Notable: The Orioles have drafted a player from LSU in the first round three times, the last coming in 2012 (Kevin Gausman).
Warmoth has been one of the most consistent performers in college this year, showcasing solid defense, a great arm, contact skills, a little bit of power and good baserunning ability. He’ll likely be the first college shortstop off the board, and Toronto loves college hitters.
Season stats: .336/.404/.554, 60 R, 19 2B, 5 3B, 10 HR, 49 RBI, 28 BB, 47 K, 18-for-21 SB
Notable: Warmoth struggled in UNC’s disappointing NCAA regional run, going 2-for-16 (.125) and leaving 10 batters on base.
The Dodgers have eyes for Thompson, who is rising up draft boards and could be the second high school outfielder off the board on day one of the draft. He gets a plus grade for his speed, and has above-average ability at the plate, but his defensive ability is what makes him really special.
Season stats: N/A
Notable: Thompson turned down several football scholarships, before committing to play baseball at Alabama.
The Red Sox rarely let need dictate their drafting. As such, it wouldn’t be a shock to see them go after one of the high-risk outfielders from the high school ranks, but we think they’ll take a hard look at Enlow, who could sneak his way into the first round on the strength of one of the best curveballs in the prep class. The LSU commit gets above-average grades across the board, despite not having premium fastball velocity, but at 6’4” and 180 pounds, there’s still plenty of projection left.
Season stats: 1.01 ERA, 11 GP, 69.2 IP, 101 K
Notable: Notable MLB alums from St. Amant High include Reid Brignac, Andy Sheets and Ben Sheets.
The Nats have intentionally gone after injured players the past few years and have been rewarded in a big way. Schmidt underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this spring, and shouldn’t take the mound until 2018 at the earliest. If he can get back to pitching the way he was before his injury, the Nats will have another steal.
Season stats: 4-2, 0 SV, 1.34 ERA, 9 GP, 9 GS, 60.1 IP, 41 H, 9 ER, 18 BB, 70 K, .194 AVG
Notable: Schmidt’s brother Clate was drafted in the 20th round in last year’s draft, and now pitches in A-ball for the Tigers.
Huntington Beach High came into the season as one of the top teams in the country, but stumbled just short of the state finals, and while there was plenty of blame to go around, it seems as though Pratto bears the brunt of the criticism. With a rough spring, it’s likely he’ll drop quite a way on day one, but he’s still talented enough to warrant a first round selection.
Season stats: N/A
Notable: Pratto shared Sunset League MVP honors with teammate Hagen Danner, who is also expected to be an early pick.
Seemingly every expert has Allen tied to the Cubbies. For those who aren’t familiar with him, Allen is an undersized (5’8″) player who is easily the best defensive shortstop in this draft class. He should hit just enough to stick in a big-league lineup, and his speed should allow him to steal 20-25 bags a year.
Season stats: .297/.434/.494, 25 R, 10 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 17 BB, 4 K, 17-for-23 SB
Notable: Allen committed to Southern California as a 15-year old.
The best prospect to come out of Minnesota since Joe Mauer, Carlson opened some eyes this spring by increasing his velocity into the upper 90s, reportedly touching 99 mph once and putting his name in contention for a spot in the first round. The Jays love high-risk, high-reward pitchers with premium velocity, so if he’s still available, expect them to take a long look.
Season stats: 3-1, 0.41 ERA, 34 IP, 68 K
Notable: Carlson’s brother Max, a sophomore on the Burnsville squad, should be a highly-ranked prospect in the 2019 class.
You won’t ever see Crouse’s mechanics used as an example in a lesson on pitching, and despite the deception it creates, it will likely be addressed once he reaches the pro ranks. Whether that costs him effectiveness is anyone’s guess, but even if it does, Crouse will still own a upper-90s fastball, which will make him a highly sought after prospect on day one.
Season stats: 7-3, 0 SV, 0.88 ERA, 11 GP, 11 GS, 63.1 IP, 35 H, 8 ER, 17 BB, 99 K, .152 AVG
Notable: Crouse racked up 254 strikeouts during his high school career, allowing just 115 hits in 189.1 innings.
If the Cubs draft Allen with their first pick, don’t think for a second they’ll go after a pitcher with their second. After all, Allen is going to be drafted high on the strength of his defense, which means they might still go after a college bat. White’s is as good as any, and his defense sets him apart when it comes to first basemen in this year’s draft class.
Season stats: .366/.442/.629, 46 R, 24 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, 39 RBI, 21 BB, 31 K, 4-for-6 SB
Notable: White was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team all three years at Kentucky.
The Rays love toosly up-the-middle prospects, and Seise is just that. He has one of the strongest arms in this year’s high school class, above-average speed and above-average raw power. If even two of those three carry over into pro ball, the Rays will have a fine pro player. He has the skills to play shortstop, but may outgrow the position and slide over to third base.
Season stats: .444/.560/.911, 37 R, 8 2B, 5 3B, 8 HR, 29 RBI, 23 BB, 17 K
Notable: West Orange High lost in the regional finals of the Florida state playoffs.
Little likely won’t last this long, but if he does, the Reds would be in position to pick up another top-four left-handed pitcher. Little’s secondary offerings flash above-average and his fastball has been clocked as high as 96 mph.
Season stats: 5-3, 0 SV, 2.53 ERA, 15 GP, 15 GS, 85.1 IP, 67 H, 24 ER, 33 BB, 133 K, .213 AVG
Notable: The 14th-best lefty in the 2014 draft class, Little spent his freshman season at UNC, where he made only four appearances.
Sheets had a strong year in 2016, but he took his game to another level in 2017, slugging 20 home runs and finishing second in the nation with 81 runs batted in. An elite defender at first base, Sheets was one of three Deacs named to the All-ACC First Team. After nabbing Gore with their first pick, the A’s return to normalcy with a collegian with an advanced feel for hitting.
Season stats: .322/.429/.634, 55 R, 9 2B, 1 3B, 20 HR, 81 RBI, 44 BB, 33 K, 1-for-1 SB
Notable: Son of former big-leaguer Larry Sheets, Gavin had the game-winning hit in Wake’s regional win against West Virginia.
There’s no question Houck tried to do too much this year. Pitching with very little run support, he often found himself unspooling in the later innings, and he began to wear down near the end of the season, culminating in a forgettable performance in the SEC tournament. When he’s on his game though, he offers premium velocity and two average or better secondary offerings.
Season stats: 4-7, 0 SV, 3.33 ERA, 14 GP, 14 GS, 94.2 IP, 78 H, 35 ER, 24 BB, 95 K, .220 AVG
Notable: Houck received less than three runs of support from his offense this year, and hit 18 batters, good (or bad) for seventh in the nation.
Ramos is the second-youngest player in this year’s draft class, and while incredibly raw, has shown above-average power, arm strength and defensive ability. The Twins have shown a proclivity for drafting from Puerto Rico with their second-round pick last year (Jose Miranda) hailing from the same school as Ramos.
Season stats: N/A
Notable: The Twins have drafted a player from Leadership Christian Academy each of the past two years. Ramos would make it three in a row.
Vientos is the youngest player in this year’s draft class, and will be younger than Carlos Correa was when he was drafted No. 1 overall in 2012. The Miami commit gets above-average grades across the board, except for speed. He’ll likely shift to third base at some point, but should be able to handle shortstop early on in his pro career.
Season stats: .417/.467/.523, 26 R, 6 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 7 BB, 11 K, 2-for-4 SB
Notable: Vientos committed to Miami as a freshman in high school.