Saturday, October 5, 2013

2014 MLB Mock Draft

1. Houston Astros (51-111) - Carlos Rondon (LHP/NC State)

The Astros are suffering right now, but the team is in great position for the future and have one of the best farm systems in baseball.  With the top pick for the third straight year, they will have the ability to add on another top-of-the-rotation starter in Rondon.  With him and Mark Appel, 2013's top draft pick, the Astros could have the best group of young core pitchers in baseball.

2. Miami Marlins (62-100) - Trea Turner (SS/NC State)

The Marlins have good depth at the top of their farm system for pitching, so I think Miami is more likely to look for a middle infield prospect, something the Marlins need help with.  Turner is a prototypical shortstop, he can hit for average, get on base and is speedy enough to steal when he is on base.

3. Chicago White Sox (63-99) - Tyler Kolek (RHP/Shepher HS TX)

Chicago's farm system is among the worst in baseball, so it is important that they take the best player available.  Kolek won't be in the major for a few years, but has a lot of upside, especially with his fastball, which reaches 97 MPH.

4. Chicago Cubs (66-96) - Jeff Hoffman (RHP/East Carolina)

The Cubs retooled their farm system over the past few seasons by trading pitchers away, but their system is very top-heavy with position players.  Hoffman won't pile up strikeouts, but he has two offspeed pitches that could develop well.

5. Minnesota Twins (66-96) - Alex Jackson (C/Rancho Bernardo HS CA)

Jackson has shown great potential behind the dish and great pop with his bat, but can also play 3B or outfield.  Minnesota has a well stocked farm system across all positions except catcher.

6. Seattle Mariners (71-91) - Jacob Gatewood (SS/Clovis HS CA)

Gatewood made some headlines when he won the junior Home Run Derby last July, but he is a very solid all around player who can hit for power, a rarity at shortstop.

7. Philadelphia Phillies (73-89) - Touki Toussaint (RHP/Coral Springs HS FL)

Minus top prospect Jesse Biddle, the Phillies are very weak at pitching in their farm system.  Ethan Martin looked less than stellar in the majors this season Toussaint has dominated the high school rankings this season and has great raw power with his 97 MPH fastball.

8. Colorado Rockies (74-88) - Braxton Davidson (OF/TC Robertson HS NC)

Colorado is thin in the outfield in the minors so this pick helps them a lot.  Davidson is a left handed power bat that would be great in the high altitude park in Denver.

9. Toronto Blue Jays (74-88) - Tyler Beede (RHP/Vanderbilt)

Toronto overextended their farm system in trades last year and now they need to retool it, especially at pitcher, where the team has issues at both the minor and major leagues.  Beede's fastball reaches mid to low-90s but he also has developed some offspeed pitches that can develop into above average tools.

10. New York Mets (74-88) - Derek Fisher (OF/Virginia)

Fisher has drawn comparisons to Jay Bruce both with the bat and with his maturity level at his age.  Fisher could finally bring the middle of the lineup power bat the Mets need, but he needs to reduce his strikeout rate.  He has added some muscle to his frame, but there is still room to bulk up.

11. Toronto Blue Jays (74-88) - Sean Newcomb (LHP/Hartford)

With two high picks, Toronto can solidify their rotation by adding two young college arms who will be more pro ready than a high school prospect.  Newcomb has a towering frame (6'5", 240) and piles up strikeouts, fanning 92 batters in just 72 innings last season.

12. Milwaukee Brewers (74-88) - Brady Aiken (LHP/Central Catholic HS CA)

Milwaukee currently only has one pitching prospect in the team's top 20 who is a southpaw.  The Brewers will need to bring in more lefty pitchers through their farm system, both as starters and relievers.  Aiken gained a lot of attention in the World Cup 18U Gold game against Japan where he fanned 10 batters.

13. San Diego Padres (76-86) - TiQuan Forbes (SS/Columbus HS MS)

San Diego is very thin at the middle infield positions in their farm system, something they will need to address in the draft.  Forbes is a tall prospect at 6'4" and his frame will give him the opportunity to add some weight, but he rates as a plus defender and has above average speed.

14. San Francisco Giants (76-86) - Derek Hill (OF/Elk Grove HS CA)

San Francisco is very top-heavy at pitching depth in their farm system, especially right handers, so I don't see them adding another arm immediately in the draft.  Instead, Hill, a home-grown prospect, could come into play.  Hill may not knock them out of the park in San Francisco, be he knows how to hit and how to get on base.

15. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (78-84) - Aaron Nola (RHP/LSU)

Am I the only person who finds it fitting that an LSU pitcher's last name is Nola? I hope not.  Either way, the Angels need help in a bad way at pitching.  They already have a weak farm system without any top-tier pitching talent.  To make matters worse, their MLB pitching staff was among the league's worst, ranking 24th in the league in ERA, 20th in strikeouts and 26th in BAA.

16. Arizona Diamondbacks (81-81) - Kyle Schwarber (C/1B/Indiana)

Arizona has one of the more balanced farm systems in baseball, so they can pretty much take anyone with this spot, including Schwarber, who is the best player available.  Schwarber can play either catcher or first base, but with Paul Goldschmidt locked up at first, his future may be behind the dish in Arizona.

17. Baltimore Orioles (85-77) - Kel Johnson (OF/Home Schooled GA)

Baltimore has a glaring hole at outfield in the minor league level, especially after trading L.J. Hoes to Houston.  Johnson has to potential to be a Jayson Werth type of player, especially if he adds some bulk to his frame.

18. New York Yankees (85-77) - Brandon Finnegan (LHP/TCU)

With the Yankees trying to stay under the luxury tax, the team will need to bolster their farm system, especially in the pitching department, which has not produced a consistent, solid starting pitcher since Andy Pettitte.  Finnegan was great for Team USA last summer and developed a nasty slider in the process.

19. Kansas City Royals (86-76) - Michael Cederoth (RHP/San Diego State)

Another team taking the best player available, Kansas City took a huge step in the right direction this season and they still have a solid farm system as well.  Cederoth is 6'6" and is every bit of a power pitcher as pitchers of that height tend to be.  His fastball has clocked in at the triple digits.

20. Washington Nationals (86-76) - Jack Flaherty (3B/RHP/Harvard Westlake HS CA)

He may be listed as a third baseman, but Flaherty can pretty much play anywhere on the infield and projects as both a third baseman or a pitcher in the majors.  Flaherty went 13-0 last season with 112 strikeouts as Harvard-Westlake won a state championship, but he also hit .360 and scored 31 runs in just 114 plate appearances.

21. Cincinnati Reds (90-72) - Grant Holmes (RHP/Conway HS CA)

Cincinnati's farm system as a whole is weak, but especially at pitching.  Holmes could develop into a very good back of the rotation option for the Reds over the years.

22. Tampa Bay Rays (91-71) - Max Pentecost (C/Kennesaw State)

Tampa Bay is thin at catcher in their minor league system, so adding someone behind the dish would be beneficial for them.  Pentecost was named the summer player of the year by Perfect Game.

23. Texas Rangers (91-71) - Luis Ortiz (RHP/Sanger HS CA)

The Rangers have little pitching depth in the minor league system so this becomes an obvious choice for them.  Ortiz carries a 97 MPH fastball along with a mid 80s slider and change up.

24. Cleveland Indians (92-70) - Michael Gettys (RHP/OF/Gainseville HS GA)

Gettys has a mid 90s fastball and a cannon for an arm from the outfield.  He has the ability to flourish at either position in the majors.  The only problem for Cleveland, however, is that Gettys has declared to go to Georgia next fall so there is a chance he may not sign.

25. Los Angeles Dodgers (92-70) - Zach Shannon (3B/RHP/Moeller HS OH)

It will be interesting to see which direction Shannon goes in.  At one hand, he has a big bat and the potential to be a 30 home run threat.  On the other hand, his fastball clocks in at 94 MPH and he has a pair of breaking balls that he uses as well.  Either way he has shown a lot of potential.  He also may not sign after committing to Ohio State.

26. Detroit Tigers (93-69) - Nick Gordon (RHP/SS/Olympia HS FL)

The Tigers are another franchise with a weak farm system that needs to be addressed.  Gordon has potential as a pitcher, but I think his real future is at shortstop.  Another prospect who may not sign after committing to Florida State.

27. Pittsburgh Pirates (94-68) - Nick Burdi (RHP/Louisville)

The top player available, Burdi could be the final piece of a potentially young Pirates rotation in the future.  His fastball clocks in at the low 90s but has great movement.

28. Oakland Athletics (96-66) - Dylan Cease (RHP/Milton HS GA)

Cease is not a big body, but with a 97 MPH fastball, not too many people will complain.  Cease has committed to Vanderbilt in the fall.

29. Atlanta Braves (96-66) - Kodi Medeiros (LHP/Waiakea HS HI)

With most of the Braves prospects graduating to the majors, the team will need to replenish their farm system.  Medeiros has a fastball that clocks in at 95 MPH to go along with an above average breaking ball.  He has been virtually unhittable in high school and has committed to Pepperdine.

30. Boston Red Sox (97-65) - Luke Weaver (RHP/Florida State)

Weaver took a huge step forward in his sophomore year at Florida State, emerging as the staff's ace during the postseason and holding opponents to a .221 batting average.  He has a repertoire of pitches that he uses effectively.

31. St. Louis Cardinals (97-65) - Chris Ellis (RHP/Ole Miss)

Another tall, lanky power pitcher who projects to be a back of the rotation starter or a productive member of the bullpen during late innings.  He also has experience as a closer.

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