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2014 Draft: Mock Draft 1.0

2014 Draft: Mock Draft 1.0
October 24, 2013
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The MLB draft is about eight months away, but I am already getting daily questions about it.

The baseball season is coming to an end and all the summer baseball leagues are done, so a lot of places are releasing their big boards and talking about the big name players in the draft. I released my own big board about a month ago, so instead here is my first mock of the year.

For those who are new to my mocks, I am trying to predict what each team will do. I do this by pouring over recent draft history and trying to find a pattern. I look at what each team’s front office has done traditionally and go from there.  So without further ado here is my first mock for the 2014 draft.

1. Houston Astros - Carlos Rodon, LHP, NC State
-Top player, would have gone first last year, power lefty, get the hype train ready.

2. Florida Marlins - Tyler Kolek, RHP, HS
-Marlins kept Meek who lives in OK, love OK arms, Kolek from Texas but is top HS arm in draft.

3 Chicago White Sox - Trea Tuner, SS, NC State
-White Sox took a SS last year but doesn’t affect pick, might be an 80 runner, plus bat, will stick at SS.

4 Chicago Cubs - Jacob Gatewood, SS, HS
-Cubs focus of late on power, Gatewood top power in class, approach is draft power early.

5. Minnesota Twins - Touki Toussaint, RHP, HS
-Twins have focused on prep players; Toussaint has the tools to be a one, power arm with good secondary stuff.

6. Seattle Mariners - Jeff Hoffman, RHP, East Carolina
-Mariners tend to take top player left, Hoffman has stuff to challenge for top pick but fails to dominate, could go 1st or 21st.

7. Philadelphia Phillies - Michael Gettys, OF, HS
-Phillies love to draft athletes, great athlete with excellent bat speed, also throws 90.

8. Colorado Rockies - Alex Jackson, OF/C, HS
-Rockies take BPA, Jackson has a plus bat and plus power, add in a legit chance to catch and he is the top guy.

9. Toronto Blue Jays - Brady Aiken, LHP, HS
-Jays draft prep players early; Aiken is a great athlete who is the 2nd best lefty in the class, great upside.

10. NY Mets - Grant Holmes, RHP, HS
-Mets are another team that goes prep, Holmes is a little small but has everything else you would want, fits in with a guy like Smith from last year who is a baseball junkie.

11. Toronto Blue Jays - Braxton Davidson, OF, HS
-Another prep player for Jays, good athlete with plus power, could rise a lot this year.

12. Milwaukee Brewers - Tyler Beede, RHP, Vanderbilt
-Beede is a bit overvalued but a good pick here, good numbers at Vandy, just doesn’t appear to have number one upside.

13. San Diego - Michael Cederoth, RHP, San Diego St
-No one throws harder in the draft; he is a big pitcher who has the potential to go in the top five.

14. San Francisco Giants - Kyle Scwarber, C/1B
-Massive power, best hitter in B10 last year, seen Hafner comparison, more than likely a first baseman going forward.

15 Los Angeles Angels - Kodi Medeiros LHP HS
-Angels tend to draft prep player, throws from slot which scares teams, smallish as well, but throws hard and a good athlete, worst case is relief arm.

16. Arizona Diamondbacks - Sean Newcomb, LHP, Hartford
-Big lefty, small school guy who has performed well, some top ten talk for him.

17. Baltimore Orioles - Ti’quan Forbes, SS, HS
-Will have to move off SS because of size, is a plus bat and plus athlete, shined against the best.

18 New York Yankees - Brandon Finnegan, LHP, TCU
-Hard throwing lefty, has three plus pitches, only concern is size, this is his floor.

19. Kansas City Royals - Aaron Nola, RHP, LSU
-He was the Friday starter for LSU last year over Ryan Eades (2nd round), fast mover, good but not great stuff.

20. Washington Nationals - Derek Fisher, OF, Virginia
-Nationals take biggest name on board, Fisher is a guy who is a top five player to some, plus bat and plus power, some project as an All Star talent.

21. Cincinnati Reds - Nick Gordon, SS, HS
-Reds tend to go with prep players, Gordon is a natural SS, good approach at plate, could go higher since he is a natural SS.

22. Tampa Bay Rays - Alex Verdugo, RF/LHP, HS
-Verdugo is viewed as a top ten talent by some, excellent athlete, five tools but none plus-plus, throws in 90’s.

23. Texas Rangers - Dylan Crease, RHP, HS
-Crease is one of the harder throwing guys in the draft, needs to work on secondary offerings, love the upside.

24. Cleveland Indians - Luke Weaver, RHP, FSU

-Weaver has drawn a few Tim Hudson comparisons. He is a bit of a late bloomer, he dominated the ACC last year. He hits the upper 90’s. He was great for Team USA, and is coming on strong for this year.  He could end up in the top ten if he continues to develop and grow on his success.

25. Los Angeles Dodgers - Luis Ortiz, RHP, HS
-Dodgers are notorious for drafting high school arms, Ortiz has plus command and good secondary stuff, safest bet of high school arms.

26. Detroit Tigers - Nick Burdi, RHP, Louisville
-Burdi could make the majors next year, sits in upper 90’s, hits 100, reliever who could be an All Star.

27. Pittsburgh Pirates - Cameron Varga. RHP, HS
-Great stuff, secondary offerings are developed, but very old for prep player will turn 20 not long after draft.

28. Oakland A’s - Jack Flaherty, 3B, HS
-Plus bat, power, and bat speed, solid athlete, comes from a high school baseball powerhouse.

29. Atlanta Braves - Kel Johnson, 1B, HS
-Braves love to draft Georgia talent, solid athlete with plus power, could play OF as well.

30. Boston Red Sox - Max Pentecost, C, Kennessaw St
-Top pure catcher in the draft, will stick at catcher, solid bat, really good year at the Cape.

31. St. Louis Cardinals - Chris Ellis, RHP, Ole Miss
-Cardinals tend to go with college guys, Ellis had a good Cape, big frame, bit raw, good upside.

(The next picks are the competitive balance picks which are still in the first round)

32. Colorado Rockies - Mac Marshall, LHP, HS
-Sits in low 90’s, two good secondary offerings, solid athlete, another possible Braves pick.

33. Baltimore Orioles - Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco
-Brother of Kyle Zimmer, has solid tools, question is will the power develop, looks like a safe bet to make the majors.

34. Cleveland Indians - Cobi Johnson, RHP, HS

-The Indians over the past few years have taken sons of people with baseball ties. Cobi Johnson is the son of Blue Jays pitching instructor Dane Johnson. Cobi has plus athleticism and plus command. His fastball is in the lower to mid 90’s, and his secondary offerings both look like average to plus pitches. He is advanced for a high school arm.

35. Florida Marlins - Michael Conforto, OF, Oregon St
-Big time power, concerns about how much he strikes out, could be a prototypical corner outfielder.

36. Kansas City Royals - Justus Sheffield, LHP, HS
-Power throwing lefty, good secondary offerings, some concern about his size.

37. Milwaukee Brewers - Joey Gatto, RHP, HS
-Gatto is a guy I expect to rise, plus athlete, he sits in the low to mid 90’s, has a frame to add more velocity.

Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffmlbdraft, or email him at jellis121@yahoo.com

User Comments

Jeff
October 25, 2013 - 9:18 PM EDT
Weaver is a guy a like, and I for one would never take a relief arm in the top few rounds. Burdi has great stuff but I have no interest.

Johnson and Gatto are very closer, though I like Johnson better

Flaherty is a solid player, but you dont look at need. You draft the best guy and to me thats Weaver, guy was dominant last year

Good catch Bob you are right on that will fix next time as article is a bit old now, would end up with Sheffield and Zimmer in the mock
Bob
October 25, 2013 - 10:17 AM EDT
I believe Baltimore traded their competitive balance pick in the bud norris deal. So Houston would be picking at spot 33.
Walter
October 24, 2013 - 9:36 PM EDT
Jeff, Thanks for the explanations on the draft process. 2014 draft could be very important to the Indians future.

Is the main reason you choose Weaver as the 24th pick is the concern of Indians starting pitching depth or is he the best available at that point? Reason I ask u have Burdi going 2 picks later. You say Burdi is major league ready next year. He could be potential closer fairly quickly? Is there more upside with Weaver being frontline SP. or Burdi being top notch closer?

Another weakness in Indians system is 3B. Would Flaherty be a good option? Who has better potential between Johnson and Gatto? Thanks!
OB
October 24, 2013 - 7:00 PM EDT
Kazmir would likely accept a qualifying offer. He's a nice starter, but I think teams would be very hesitant signing him if they had to give up a first round (or even second round) pick.
Jeff
October 24, 2013 - 6:44 PM EDT
I would be suprised if they offer Kaz arbitration, but after the TImmy deal all bets are off.

What happens is the team who signs the player lose their pick, if they are one of the top ten teams then they lose their second. The pick is gone, its basically deleted from the draft and everyone moves up one spot. The Indians pick will be after initial first round. Right now there are 31 picks, but again if a team loses a pick then there would be less.

They would get a larger pool each pick having the assigned value, I did the math earlier this year but I believe having 3 picks where I projected them would be equal to the amount of cash the team with the 3rd overall pick had, so it gives them a lot of wiggle room
Walter
October 24, 2013 - 5:04 PM EDT
I want to ask a technical questions regarding how the mlb draft works under the new player agreement.

Scenario # 1

Kazmir and Jimenez reject qualifying offers from the Indians. New team sign them to new contracts and Indians receive 2 first round picks. Where would they make these picks at?

Scenario #2

Kazmir and Jimenez reject offers. Signed by other teams. Indians receive 2 picks in the 1st round. However Indians sign Beltran to multi contract. Which #1 pick do the Indians lose for this signing?

If for some reason that scenario #1 happens, the Indians will have total of 4 picks. My question is how much money does MLB give the Indians for the slotted money to sign there 14 picks in the first 10 rounds?
Daingean
October 24, 2013 - 3:41 PM EDT
Jeff, just debating. I agree that HS prospects present the highest ceiling and I prefer to draft them but I think you have to do what you do best. The Braves for instance do a much better job developing pitchers than position players but even then a lot of their guys become trade fodder for more established guys or position players. We have developed 1 starter (Salazar) in recent years. I just think that until we can prove we can develop a pitcher, drafting pitching in the first round is throwing away our picks. We can still try pitching with our #2 picks (still premium) until we prove we can develop them.
Jeff
October 24, 2013 - 3:33 PM EDT
Weaver would have gone around that point or maybe up to about 5 to 7 picks higher. I like Weaver, the velocity and his college dominance along with his time with Team USA make him a favorite of mine for that first pick.

Daingean - If you saw my earlier article, I take the risk on a high school arm because thats where you find the best pitchers

Kevin- I agree I might be too high on Toussaint but hearing more positive on him than Holmes who I like better. AS for Turner, SS rise up big time, I might have him too low, but he is a sure fire top 5 pick
Kevin
October 24, 2013 - 2:57 PM EDT
No chance Turner or Toussaint will go that high....
Daingean
October 24, 2013 - 1:35 PM EDT
I understand the desire to draft pitching........I just am not comfortable with the org's ability to develop pitchers. We took two HS guys with premium picks recently Howard and Brown.....neither have progressed yet.......If I were to take a pitcher with a 1st round or supp first then I'd got with a college guy.....just don't trust this org yet with pitchers.....
Trent
October 24, 2013 - 11:23 AM EDT
Jeff- I've been hearing this draft is a much stronger draft class compared to last years. In your opinion where would Weaver have been selected in last years draft?
Rocky55
October 24, 2013 - 9:27 AM EDT
Interesting opening salvo, although I'm not the biggest Weaver fan. With 3 picks in the top 40 or so in a deep Draft, we don't have to hit a HR at #24 (although I'd like to). I liked Cobi Johnson in the Petco game, an all around solid HS pitcher. I'd rate Sean Reid-Foley pretty close to Johnson but much prefer Michael Kopech to either. Nice call with the HS pitcher at 34, this Draft is full of nice, high-upside HS arms.

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