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2017 MLB Mock Draft Version 1

Draft : : Mock Draft
Brian Sakowski         David Rawnsley         Jheremy Brown         Vincent Cervino         Patrick Ebert         Nick Faleris         Greg Sabers        
Published: Wednesday, May 10, 2017





2017 MLB Draft Preview 2017 MLB Draft Order MLB Draft Top 150 Prospects (April '17)

With the draft just about a month away, the Perfect Game scouting staff has joined with a pair of contributors from 2080 Baseball, old friend Nick Faleris and new friend Burke Granger, to produce our first (of three) mock draft of the season. This is a collaborative mock draft, with each contributor being assigned either 4 or 5 picks. These picks reflect how we personally feel at each spot, which is to say, most of the motivation behind each pick comes from how we would pick in that spot, if we were the scouting directors/general managers of each respective team. We did take into account other factors like historical draft trends for each team to some degree, as well. 

In our two other mock drafts to follow, as we get closer to the draft, the picks will more closely reflect how we see the draft shaping up, teams being tied to players, etc. 

With the first pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, the Minnesota Twins select...



1. Minnesota Twins | Hunter Greene, RHP/SS, Notre Dame HS (Calif.)
 Greene has everything he needs to become the 1st prep RHP drafted #1 overall. He's made a jump from easy upper 90s last summer to reaching triple digits this spring and will still only be 17 years old on draft day. He's also shown the breaking ball and changeup to go with it and has huge impact potential; not to mention he's also a 1st round talent with the bat, having won the HR Derby at the PG All-American Classic last summer. (GS)


2. Cincinnati Reds | Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt
Brendan McKay has been linked to the Reds all spring. However, Joey Votto will be paid $150M over the next six years to be Cincinnati's 1B and both his talent and contract will likely prevent a future trade. Also, McKay did not throw especially well in two April starts that were attended by Reds brass, including their GM. Wright has been brilliant after a slow start, and looks like the pitcher that many had as a potential 1:1 choice preseason. (DR)


3. San Diego Padres | Royce Lewis, OF, JSerra HS (Calif.)
Royce Lewis represents the Padres’ focus on drafting the best player available as he has a chance to have a plus hit tool along with excellent speed and the positional flexibility to play shortstop or centerfield at the next level. Lewis has had a bit of a down senior season, but his potential is too enticing to pass up and the Padres would allow him ample time to develop as they see themselves in the midst of a full rebuild. (VC)


4. Tampa Bay Rays | Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, Louisville
The Rays would be thrilled to get McKay at this spot, although the past two years they have taken toolsy prep players with their first picks, so this would buck that trend. The biggest question moving forward is how McKay is developed given his two-way prowess. However, the ease of his delivery, low- to mid-90s fastball and hammer curve, along with his lefthandedness, will likely push him towards the mound, at least to begin his career. (PE)


5. Atlanta Braves | Austin Beck, OF, North Davidson HS (N.C.)
After taking prep pitchers with their first three picks last year and their first two picks in 2015, the Braves could stay on brand here and select prep lefty Mackenzie Gore (N.C.). Instead, I’m guessing they take the best prep bat available in Austin Beck. After sitting out the showcase circuit last summer while recovering from a torn ACL, Beck has shot up draft boards thanks to a strong spring where he’s demonstrated very loud tools overall. (BG)
 

6. Oakland Athletics | J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, North Carolina
The Athletics get arguably the collegiate arm with the best pure stuff in the class with Bukauskas here. Armed with a mid-90's fastball and double-plus slider; Bukauskas' delivery and arm action concerns are somewhat alleviated by the power of his stuff. He may end up a reliever long term, but could end up a dynamic closer. (BS)


7. Arizona Diamondbacks | MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville HS (N.C.)
A PG All-American last August, Gore has built upon his strong performance on the summer circuit with a standout spring, cementing his spot as one of the top arms in the class. The uber-athletic lefty boasts a low-to-mid-90s heater backed by a trio of secondaries – curveball, slider and changeup – all project as at least above-average. His combo of stuff, projection, polish, and ease of delivery/arm action make him a top-of-draft candidate. (NF)


8. Philadelphia Phillies | Pavin Smith, 1B, Virginia
One of the premier bats in all of college baseball, Virginia’s Pavin Smith has one of the more polished lefthanded strokes and overall approaches we’ve seen in the last couple of years. He’s hit over .300 in each of his three seasons though it’s his ability to show his big raw power in games this spring that could push Smith even higher than this draft position. Consider this: Smith has struck out just seven times in 183 at-bats this spring. (JB)


9. Milwaukee Brewers | Jordan Adell, OF/RHP, Ballard HS (Kent.)
Adell might be the toolsiest prospect in the class overall. Having run a 6.18 60 yard dash and thrown 97 MPH from the OF at PG National; those tools--along with his tremendous power--have been on display for years now. The question with Adell has always been if he can make consistent quality contact, and he has made excellent strides with his hit tool over the years and currently in middle of a monster HS Season. Also can reach 96 MPH with a sharp slider on the mound. Talent to look like like a steal at #9 in the future (GS)
 

10. Los Angeles Angels| Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt
Kendall's struggles this spring have been symbolic of Vanderbilt's as a whole, especially his elevated strikeout numbers.  Still, the tools that made Kendall a consideration for the first overall pick a few short months ago are still evident.  The Angels do happen to have the best centerfielder/player in baseball in Mike Trout, but they are in no position to not draft the best player available. (DR)



11. Chicago White Sox | Seth Romero, LHP, Houston
Echoing recent picks of NC State’s Carlos Rodon (2014) and Vanderbilt’s Carson Fulmer (2015) the White Sox will be getting perhaps the most polished college arm. Earlier in the year Romero had been mentioned as a 1:1 candidate and led the country in strikeouts per nine at an absurd mark of 15.43 before his indefinite suspension. Romero has since been reinstated, but while the risk is there, the reward is too high to pass up. (VC)


12. Pittsburgh Pirates | Shane Baz, RHP, Concordia Lutheran HS (Texas)
Baz is quickly forcing his name up draft boards, and when draft day actually hits he could find himself being taken among the top 5-7 overall picks. With an incredibly live arm that easily produces mid-90s velocities – approaching triple digits at times – Baz in a candidate to move relatively quickly through the minors leagues as he could be one of the most complete prep righthanders since Josh Beckett and Jose Fernandez. (PE)


13. Miami Marlins | Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida
Though sidelined last fall with arthroscopic surgery on both knees, Faedo still entered the season as a potential 1:1 candidate after standing out on a loaded Florida staff that featured three top 50 picks in 2016. While he's had a couple of uncharacteristically rough outings this year, he’s also flashed dominance, posting five starts where he didn’t allow a run. With a low 90s fastball and one of the better sliders in the class, Faedo makes sense here. (BG)


14. Kansas City Royals | Trevor Rogers, LHP, Carlsbad HS (N.M.)
Rogers has had scouts in the Four Corners are scrambling this season, as he's reportedly been up to 97 MPH from the left side while showing an extremely easy delivery, a potential plus slider, and lots of strikes. He's more raw than even a typical prep arm, though he's older for his grade, but the upside here is tremendous; plus it doesn't hurt that the Royals have been linked to the native New Mexican this spring. (BS)


15. Houston Astros | Sam Carlson, RHP, Burnsville HS (Minn.)
Carlson has seen a steady progression in his stuff over the past 12 months, including close to a five MPH uptick in his sitting fastball velocity (now regularly in the 91-95 mph range) and significant improvement in the consistency of both his slider and changeup (each of which project above average). The broad-framed righty has already begun to add strength in his trunk and core and projects as a durable workhorse with lots of heft to his stuff. (NF)


16. New York Yankees | D.L. Hall, LHP, Valdosta HS (Ga.)
One of the top prep lefthanders in the country, Hall's had a very steady performance this spring after showing electric stuff all last summer. Though not overly physical, Hall oozes athleticism, can run his fastball up to 96 mph and offers one of the best breakers in the high school class, a hammer CB with sharp 12-6 shape. (JB)


17. Seattle Mariners | Adam Hasely, CF, Virginia
Haseley was a top 100 player coming out of HS and has turned himself into a 1st rounder at Virginia. After two solid seasons at UVA, he's really made a jump this year, hitting around .400 and almost doubling his career HR total, while walking nearly twice as much as he's struck out. He's looking to become the third 1st rounder from the '13 17u National Champion Orlando Scorpions team, joining Foster Griffin ('14) and Brendan Rodgers ('15). (GS) 
 

18. Detroit Tigers | David Peterson, LHP, Oregon
After a slow beginning of the season, Peterson has been one of the most dominant starters in college baseball over his last nine starts, including a 17 strikeout/0 walk performance against Mississippi State and a 20 strikeout/1 walk masterpiece against Arizona State.  Not coincidently, the big southpaw's stuff has steadily improved as well, as he is now touching 94 mph with outstanding life and showing more snap to his slider. (DR)


19. San Francisco Giants | Logan Warmoth, SS, North Carolina
The Giants have a history of producing middle infield talent throughout the draft and are not afraid to "reach" for a player who they feel will end up being successful. Brandon Crawford (2008), Joe Panik (2011) and Christian Arroyo (2013) illustrate this. Warmoth was a top-5 round candidate preseason, but has been the most productive hitter on one of the best teams in college baseball this season to boost his stock to a potential first rounder. (VC)
 

20. New York Mets | Tanner Houck, RHP, Missouri
Given the Mets unique pitching staff, full of hard-throwing righthanders that bring something completely different to the mound, Houck would seem to be a perfect fit. It’s hard to find a college pitcher (not named Brendan McKay) who has enjoyed more success than Houck the past three years in college, who creates a significant amount of deception and has two ready-made pitches in his low- to mid-90s heater and signature sharp-breaking slider. (PE)


21. Baltimore Orioles | Nick Pratto, 1B, Huntington Beach HS (Calif.)
I was tempted to go with UCLA’s Griffin Canning here, given the Orioles propensity to draft college players in the first round. However, SoCal prep standout Nick Pratto is best player on the board, and his bat could be very impactful, with the potential for both excellent hit and power tools--something the O's system needs. (BG)


22. Toronto Blue Jays | Griffin Canning, RHP, UCLA
Canning represents one of the higher floors of any prospect in the class; and still has the upside of a mid-rotation starter. His fastball will work into the mid-90's and he shows an advanced repertoire of curveball, slider, and changeup--all of which will show above-average on a given day. There are some delivery concerns, but the combination of floor and potential ceiling are a perfect match at this point in the draft. (BS)


23. Los Angeles Dodgers | Brendon Little, LHP, State College of Florida-Manatee
A revelation on the Cape last summer, Little has grown his stock further this spring after transferring UNC and racking up 124 strikeouts over 79 innings of work at SCF. The power lefty works primarily with a 92-95 MPH fastball and a plus 12-to-6 curveball that misses bats with ease. While his changeup and command both need development, he fits nicely here for the Dodgers as a low-mileage upside power arm. (NF)


24. Boston Red Sox | Keston Hiura, 2B/OF, UC-Irvine
If you’re looking for one adjective or word to describe what Hiura is on the diamond, it’s “hitter”. Praised for his bat-to-ball skills and natural feel for the barrel, Hiura is one of the safer picks in terms of offensive potential as he’s hitting well north of .300 on his career and doing so with notable power. The question is where does he end up defensively, second base or a corner outfield spot? (JB)


25. Washington Nationals | Hans Crouse, RHP, Dana Hills HS (Calif.)
Crouse consistently has shown an upper 90's fastball from a unique, very deceptive delivery that helps the pure velocity play up to hitters. He also features a breaking ball with hard spin and good bite. Crouse was a 2016 PG All American and has the potential to be a frontline starter and a fan favorite with the uniqueness he brings to the mound, to go along with the obvious frontline stuff that should miss bats with ease. (GS)
 

26. Texas Rangers | Nick Allen, SS, Francis W. Parker HS (Calif.)
Allen is generally regarded as the best defensive player in the 2017 high school class but scouts also recognize his outstanding secondary skills such as his base running instincts and his ability to square up the ball hard to all fields. Teams seem to have come to peace with his status as perhaps the smallest top prospect in the class as well. (DR)


27. Chicago Cubs | Nate Pearson, RHP, College of Central Florida
Nate Pearson is an attractive piece for any team as he has an explosive fastball that touches triple digits. Pearson is incredibly physically-gifted, a whopping 6-foot-6 and 245-pounds, which allows him to maintain his stuff deep into starts. The offspeed pitches project well but ultimately it will be his command and strike-throwing abilities that dictate whether he will start or be a high-leverage reliever. (VC)


28. Toronto Blue Jays | Evan White, 1B/OF, Kentucky
After snapping up one of the most polished pitchers available in this year’s draft in Griffin Canning the Blue Jays follow that up by taking one of the most polished hitters in Evan White. With a clean and easy stroke and projectable power that has started to appear more frequently in games, White is a good overall athlete who profiles in a similar fashion to Darin Erstad in that he can play both center field and first base at a high level. (PE)


29. Texas Rangers | Alex Lange, RHP, Louisiana State
Pairing a fastball that can sit in the mid-90s with a hammer curveball with 12-6 movement, Lange has ranked among the SEC strikeout leaders throughout the entirety of his collegiate career. An intense competitor with a true out-pitch, it’s easy to envision Lange pitching high leverage innings in relief if he’s not able to refine his below average control enough to stay in the rotation. (BG) 


30. Chicago Cubs | Heliot Ramos, CF, Leadership Christian Academy (PR)
Rocketing up draft boards for over a year now, native Puerto Rican Heliot Ramos absolutely fits the mold of a highly athletic, extremely toolsed-out upside play for the Cubs here. With plus raw pop and a plus arm to go along with tantalizing athleticism, Ramos' upside is among the best in the entire class; though he comes with the typical amount of prep hitter risk levels. (BS)


31. Tampa Bay Rays | Jake Burger, 3B, Missouri State
With the Rays boasting one of the youngest systems in the game with upside and risk, Burger slots in nicely as a performance college bat with plus raw power (currently third in Div. I with 19 home runs) and an offensive profile that echoes that of 2014 Tampa first-rounder (20th overall) Casey Gillaspie. Burger isn’t likely to win batting titles, but with development, he has the upside of an impact middle-of-the-lineup power bat. (NF)


32. Cincinnati Reds | Drew Waters, OF, Etowah HS (Ga.)
There aren’t many that have the collection of tools that Waters has shown both on the summer circuit and throughout this spring at Etowah HS (GA). He packs plenty of quick-twitch muscle and athleticism into his 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame, whips the barrel head through the zone from both sides of the plate with strength, and shows standout speed and arm strength. If it’s tools you’re looking for, Waters may be your guy. (JB)


33. Oakland Athletics | Calvin Mitchell, OF, Rancho Bernardo HS (Calif.)
Mitchell can flat out rake, with an extremely aesthetically-pleasing lefthanded swing that can be impactful--both in terms of hit and power tools--at the MLB level. A 2016 PG All American, Mitchell shows an advanced approach, controlling the strike zone well, with the ability to drive the ball to all fields with authority. (GS)


34. Milwaukee Brewers | Blayne Enlow, RHP, St. Amant HS (Lous.)
The Brewers picked up Kentucky high school outfielder Jordan Adell at No. 9 or another of the big group of high school outfielders, such as Georgian's Cole Brannen or Alabama's Bubba Thompson, might have been in play. Instead, they will continue their recent of high end high school players with Louisiana's Enlow, owner of perhaps the best curveball in the 2017 high school class. (DR)


35. Minnesota Twins | Clarke Schmidt, RHP, South Carolina
A consensus mid-to-late first-round pick only a couple of weeks ago, Clarke Schmidt suffered a torn UCL that will require Tommy John surgery. Still a high-end talent even after the injury, Schmidt has a strong two-pitch mix of fastball and slider with arguably the most consistent and impressive track record in the SEC. The Twins will be getting a player who could end up being the steal of the draft at 35. (VC)

 
36. Miami Marlins | Mark Vientos, SS, American Heritage HS (Fla.)
Vientos could be the most celebrated hometown pick for the Marlins since Jose Fernandez, as he plays at nearby high school powerhouse American Heritage, and with a strong finish to the spring, the 2016 PG All-American could go much higher than this. With a tall and still projectable build, Vientos continues to add strength and the results have shown up in the batter’s box where he shows big-time offensive potential at a premium infield position. (PE)
 

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