2016 MLB Mock Draft: Spring Training Edition

Spring training is coming up, college baseball is underway, and top prospect lists are being updated. Do you know what that means?

If you guessed, “It’s time for another mock draft,” then you are correct. And to make things even more interesting, the compensatory picks will be included this time around. The same rules apply, the draft will be done based on organizational depth rather than best player available, and if there is no clear deficiency, then best player available will be considered. With that being said…

1. Philadelphia Phillies

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Remember last year when everyone and their mother thought that the Arizona Diamondbacks would grab Brendan Rodgers with the first overall pick, but then towards the end, Arizona made it abundantly clear they would go after anyone but Rodgers? Well, Dansby Swanson became the first overall pick, and you know the rest of the story.

For the longest time, I’ve been sure that the Phillies would go high school with the first overall pick, but part of me has started to wonder if the Phillies system is ready to start contributing now? After all, Aaron Nola and Maikel Franco made it, and it won’t be long before we see JP Crawford, Mark Appel, and other parts of Philly’s system come up.

If the Phillies’ are ready to move from long term rebuild mode, perhaps now would be a good time to invest in the top college arm. AJ Puk may not have had the best debut of the 2016 collegiate season, but that shouldn’t discourage scouts too much. The Gators Saturday starter is an imposing presence on the mound, and he can only fill out more and improve his command and control as the season continues.

Philly will want to quickly transition from one dominant lefty starter (Cole Hamels) to another, and the quicker they do so, the faster they can get themselves in the conversation for a future NL East title.

Previous: Jason Groome, LHP, Barnegat HS, New Jersey

2. Cincinnati Reds

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For the longest time, I’ve avoided giving the Reds a pitcher, mainly because I felt that the Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake deals helped repopulate the Reds system with solid arms. During the offseason, I fully expected the Reds to sell off their major pieces for even more prospects, leading to a fully replenished system.

It’s too bad there’s no such thing as a do-over.

Good lord, in the deals for Todd Frazier, Aroldis Chapman, and the failed deal for Jay Bruce, the Reds were fleeced so badly, Sandy Alderson would have felt sorry for them. Thankfully, the Reds can erase the memory of the offseason they had by grabbing the top lefty prep pitcher in the draft, Jason Groome. 

We’ve gone over how Groome is as a pitcher, and how his advanced stuff could lead to an accelerated development. Groome also has shown that he can adapt to change, not only taking over the ace role at IMG during his junior year after Brady Aiken went down, but transitioning from Barnegat to IMG, then going back to Barnegat. The one issue will probably be the competition level for Groome in New Jersey, while it is one of the better baseball states on the east coast, it doesn’t have the competition level that a state like California or Georgia would have. Still, Groome shouldn’t find the transition from prep to pro too difficult, and if he does go to Cincinnati, he will join a seriously intriguing young staff in the near future. Additionally, the Reds do have a large enough signing pool for them to sway Groome from going to Vanderbilt.

Previous: Delvin Perez, SS, International Baseball Academy, Puerto Rico

3. Atlanta Braves

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The Atlanta Braves couldn’t be any more open about their plans for the 2016 season. Sell off as many assets not named Freddie Freeman as they can in the hopes that this new team they assemble is ready in time for the opening of SunTrust Park. They have not only their shortstop of the future, but also a considerable amount of high quality pitching talent. What they lack, however is a major league ready outfielder.

The first “staying the same as last time” pick of this mock is Louisville’s Corey Ray. Ray has been nothing less than a spark plug for the Cardinals offense, and given the start he’s had already for the team, there definitely will be talk about him being the first overall pick soon. Ray’s athleticism and tools make him an almost instant contributor, think of him as a left-handed version of Justin Upton, but he will need to work on his plate discipline if he wants to be a major threat.

Ray will be an exciting player to watch, both during this college season and when he does get drafted.

Previous: Ray

4. Colorado Rockies

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If you count the acquisition of Jeff Hoffman, the past four drafts for the Colorado Rockies have been nothing but absolute boons. While Jon Gray is the only big leaguer for the Rockies right now, things look especially promising for the other pieces and how they factor into the future. With that being said, I can imagine the Rockies deciding to take a gamble this time around with a batter whose stock has done nothing but rise.

I’ve been admittedly skeptical about Kyle Lewis,  but after seeing what he’s done the past few games, it’s possible he could end up being the second best outfielder in the draft. Lewis, who’s been an absolute terror in non conference play, and not against weak opponents, mind you, has the ability to be a powerful producer at the plate. Because of this, I can imagine Lewis thriving playing in the thin air of Denver. He and David Dahl would make up a dangerous future middle of the order, and could help the Rockies gain some footing finally in the NL West.

Previous: AJ Puk, LHP, Florida

5. Milwaukee Brewers

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The Milwaukee Brewers are an interesting case study in regards to how a farm system can quickly turn itself around with a few well-thought-out draft picks. What was once decimated in the Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke deals has evolved into a top 10 system, apparently. With that being said, I can imagine the Brewers having a very difficult decision to make with the 5th overall pick.

While the Brewers may have a shortstop waiting in the wings, it doesn’t automatically disqualify them from drafting another one in the future. Just ask the Houston Astros, who drafted Alex Bregman even though they had Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve. That being said, I doubt that Delvin Perez will fall lower than the top 5. Perez’s ability as a fielder trumps his developmental hitting skills, although it doesn’t mean that they won’t improve. Perez is also a fast player, and if his power doesn’t develop, he’d definitely be an exceptional leadoff hitter. If Perez, Jake Gatewood, and Arcia all stick together, chances are the Brewers will have an enviable wealth of middle infield talent that can be used to their advantage.

Previous: Alec Hansen, RHP, Oklahoma

6. Oakland A’s

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In hindsight, going all in for Jeff Samardzjia was a bad idea. Oakland not only gave up a considerable amount of talent that could have been used in a rebuild, but they also didn’t have much to show for it afterward. The A’s constant rebuilding cycle has taken a toll on fans, who don’t know what to expect anymore.

The A’s biggest organizational deficiency is in the outfield, particularly in centerfield. With that being said, it’s possible the A’s go for a proven prospect like Buddy Reed. Reed is a defensive asset as he can cover a lot of ground and his arm is quite excellent. On the offensive side of the ball, Reed is a more contact oriented hitter. In a ballpark like Oakland’s Reed would fit in quite well, in fact, some may call him a younger Billy Burns with a higher ceiling. Because Reed’s hitting ability needs some work, it might take him a little extra time for him to make it to the majors. Still, Reed would represent a commitment to an even stronger and faster outfield defensively.

Previous: Blake Rutherford, OF, Chaminade College Prep, California

7. Miami Marlins

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It’s amazing that the Marlins have been so bad for so long, and yet their farm system has ranked in the bottom half of the league. Granted, a lot of it has to do with prospect graduation and trades, but you’d think a team like Miami would have a Houston-like wealth of prospects that can be used in any way the organization feels. This being said, the Marlins could look for improvement in any position and they’d come out looking good, unless they really reached.

In a particularly weak class for prep pitching, it does seem odd that the consensus top right handed pitcher, Riley Pint falls this low, but given the talent at other positions, it’s not unfathomable to see a player drop. Pint has a devastatingly good fastball and an excellent slider-type pitch, as well as a changeup that can be mixed in if necessary. What he lacks is a track record, playing against top competition has been restricted to showcases. Even if Pint completely dominates the Kansas prep scene, I could see him drop mainly because of the lack of talent. Still, having a future rotation of Tyler Kolek and Riley Pint should be enough for the Marlins and their fans to salivate.

Previous: Nick Senzel, 2b/3b, Tennessee

8. San Diego Padres

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The Padres are the textbook example of why you should never go all in when faced with stiff competition. Considering the fact that the team was already weak enough, weakening the team even further with moves that wiped out a very large portion of your minor league system was bound to bite them sooner rather than later. Even with Craig Kimbrel being traded for a solid group of prospects, the Padres still have a bad system, and any help at any position would work.

I’ve never understood the hate for undersized pitchers, especially considering the recent success of guys like Marcus Stroman and Kelvin Herrera. Considering that, it makes you wonder why Carson Fulmer and now Jordan Sheffield are ranked so high. Sheffield has been impressive in his two starts, especially considering the biggest complaint about him the past two years has been with his control. If Sheffield has truly recovered fully from Tommy John surgery, then there’s no reason why he can’t jump higher on the list.

Previous: Riley Pint, RHP, St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Kansas

9. Detroit Tigers

Daryl Sullivan | The Daily Times 5/16/14 Florida's Harrison Bader (8) beats the throw to Tennessee's Nick Senzel at second in the fifth inning.

Detroit’s decision to go all in for a championship months after selling off pieces like David Price and Yoenis Cespedes shouldn’t come off as a surprise. After all, owner Mike Ilitch has made it clear that he wants to see the Tigers win a World Series before he dies. Because the Tigers are so dead set on going all in, it would make sense for them to consider going after a college player that will develop in the short term and help stabilize the time in the immediate future, rather than the long term investments the team has made the past two years.

I don’t think I ever mentioned that Nick Senzel is primarily a second baseman, and for that reason, it would take him out of being selected by a lot of teams, but Senzel would be a perfect fit here. Having him become the heir to Ian Kinsler would make perfect sense because Senzel is at his highest value as a second baseman. Additionally, his offense would allow him to be a contact oriented run producer, especially in a park like Comerica.

Previous: Chris Okey, C, Clemson

10. Chicago White Sox

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The White Sox have overseen a slow, but steady improvement in their system since it bottomed out back in 2014. Selecting high profile college arms like Carlos Rodon and Carson Fulmer has seen to that, while Tim Anderson and Courtney Hawkins have been solid long term prospects. With that being said, it would be hard for them to deviate from their strategy, but I could see them possibly taking a shot on a potential high riser.

The first newcomer to this month’s mock is Anfernee Grier, but let’s call him Penny. Penny has been nothing but a sparkplug for the Auburn Tiger offense, and his defensive presence in the outfield has been noticed. Penny has the speed to be a top of the order hitter, and his contact is exceptional. He does have projectable power as well. Overall, he has the tools to be a game changer, and it’s a possibility that if he continues the tear he’s on, he could make a case to be one of the top 2 outfielders in the draft.

Previous: Buddy Reed, OF, Florida

11. Seattle Mariners

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You can count on one hand the number of Seattle Mariners first round draft picks that have had a solid career with the team this millennium. That’s sad. The common joke among Mariners fans is that they can’t develop talent, and to be honest, that’s a pretty fair critique. Sure, there’s the occasional success, like Kyle Seager or Taijuan Walker, but those periodic successes are interspersed among failure after failure. It almost seems as if a top prospect with a red flag will have to fall into their lap in order to change their fortunes.

There are probably a lot of Oklahoma fans that will want to kill me when they read this, but I feel that the most likely prospect to fall is Alec Hansen. I’m not the only one to think that, as Baseball Prospectus’ Christopher Crawford mentioned in a Reddit AMA that Hansen was his most likely candidate to fall stock wise. But enough about the negativity. Hansen’s assortment of pitches makes him an attractive option, and his build makes him an ideal starter. Still, his command and control do need to be addressed, and considering the fact that he sat out both summer ball and fall ball show that there could be an underlying injury issue that could affect his stock even more.

Previous: Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Vanderbilt

12. Boston Red Sox

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The Red Sox are one of the more underrated teams when it comes to drafting talent. With a lot of their picks from the early 2010s starting to make an impact now, like Blake Swihart, Deven Marrero, and Brian Johnson, it may be time to start developing some more long term prospects.

Even though the Sox drafted Andrew Benintendi last year, I could see them going back to the outfield, especially if the presumed top bat, Mickey Moniak were available. Although a lot of scouts would say that Blake Rutherford is the top high school outfielder, it’s possible that Moniak could surpass Rutherford, much like Clint Frazier surpassed Austin Meadows in the 2013 draft. Moniak right now would be more of a Brandon Nimmo type player, one who may not have the power, but can still keep a game going by hitting to the gaps. There’s a possibility that Moniak could develop power and be a Mookie Betts type talent, especially with his defensive ability. Still, Moniak has to be one of the more exciting players in this draft, and it will be interesting to see how he and Rutherford play each other off.

Previous: Kyle Lewis, OF, Mercer

13. Tampa Bay Rays 

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When MLBPipeline released Tampa Bay’s top prospects list a few days ago, it surprised me that they weren’t ranked higher. Considering a lot of the prospects that they have in that system have been there since 2011 and have really matured into potential future cogs, it’s almost disappointing this team wasn’t ranked higher. Still, it allows me to see what exactly the Rays are organizationally deficient in, and while it doesn’t look like much, perhaps another prep hitter wouldn’t hurt?

I go back to my Boston selection to start this off, but there are some people who still believe that Blake Rutherford is the consensus top prep position player in the draft. Now whether or not he can prove it and not suffer Daz Cameron Syndrome (Have a drop off in stats and become almost unsignable with the exception of that one team that has an absurdly large bonus pool) is entirely up to him. Rutherford is probably the most well known prep player because of what he did his junior year, and because of that, people know what to expect from him. Still, Rutherford will provide offensive potential and defensive skill, with some speed. It’s entirely possible that he could surpass Mikie Mahtook as the best up-and coming outfielder in the Rays’ system and make an interesting tandem with Garrett Whitley.

Previous: Will Benson, 1B/OF, Westminster Christian School (GA)

14. Cleveland Indians

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The Indians are probably the most underrated team in the AL. If it weren’t for the Mets with their insanely good rotation, Cleveland’s staff would probably be mentioned as one of the top, if not the top rotations in baseball. Assuming Cleveland’s offense gets in line with its rotation, the Tribe could make a serious push in the AL Central.

I believe that the best GMs draft on a cycle. The idea is you start with high school talent at a set year and continue to do so for a couple years until the high school class of said year becomes college juniors, then you take a college junior. If that’s the case, then the Indians could complement Clint Frazier and Rob Kaminsky with Connor Jones. Jones would probably be considered one of the more majors ready talents in the draft. Jones is also a proven big game pitcher and has experience shouldering big loads, like when he took over for Nathan Kirby last year.

Even though Virginia’s track record with starters that go pro hasn’t been the greatest, I could see no better place for Jones to go because of how Cleveland has managed to turn Kyle Crockett into an asset in the bullpen. If they can repeat what they’ve done with Crockett, it would be possible to do the same with Jones.

Previous: Cal Quantrill, RHP, Stanford

15. Minnesota Twins

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How often is it that a team has a shot to grab a home state product, especially a good one? The Twins have been a good example of a team taking advantage of home state talent, see Joe Mauer in 2001 for reference, and it could be possible, especially with this year’s crop of pitching talent, that they add on more.

Logan Shore may not be as high profile as his teammates AJ Puk and Buddy Reed, but his past two outings have been compelling enough for him to get in serious conversation to be a Tier 1/Tier 2 college pitcher. He does have a low to mid 90’s fastball, and his changeup has to be one of the best in the class. Shore, as mentioned in the opening paragraph, is a Minnesota native as well, and would be a popular pick for the Twins if he’s available.

Previous: Nick Banks, OF, Texas A&M

16. Los Angeles Angels

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If there were a special subgenre of comedians that focused explicitly on baseball, a lot of jokes would be made at the expense of the Angels minor league system. What appeared to be going forward when the team selected lefty Sean Newcomb stagnated with Taylor Ward, then dropped to ungodly levels of awful when Newcomb and Chris Ellis were sent to the Braves for Andrelton Simmons. At this point, the Angels’ scouting department could throw darts at photos of prospects and draft an improved system.

One of the few instances where best player available is the only strategy that I can think will save a team works best here, and there is no better choice than Vanderbilt outfielder and College World Series hero Bryan Reynolds. Reynolds has proven himself time and time again that he can be counted on in big moments, and even though he is more of a project as a collegian than a major league ready talent, his season so far at Vanderbilt shows that there is a lot of potential. Reynolds may not be as excellent a defender as his peers, but his fit as a left fielder will be crucial for the Angels in the long run. Reynolds also has some speed and power, giving him the makings of a leadoff hitter. Reynolds may not be an instant improvement, but his selection would be crucial in a long rebuilding of one of the worst farm systems in baseball.

Previous: Mickey Moniak. OF, La Costa Canyon HS, California

17. Houston Astros

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It’s almost unfair to give the Astros a first round pick after they’ve practically hand picked their future team the past three years, but rules are rules, and the Astros now have the 17th overall pick. After a major splurge on position players though, it may be time to go back to pitching, even if it hasn’t been their forte.

Finding a left-hander that fits is usually a task, but the fact that there is an available Tier 2 lefty available bodes well for Houston. This isn’t the first time that Matt Krook has been mocked to Houston here, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Krook has progressed slowly, but surely since coming back from Tommy John, and if he is fully recovered, he could be the ace that George Horton saw when he committed to Oregon. Having him in a future Astros rotation alongside Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers would give Houston a devastating young rotation. that will keep them competitive.

Previous: Logan Shore, RHP, Florida

18. New York Yankees

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Even though calling the Yankees’ farm system a strong one would definitely be a stretch, the fact that they’re starting to realize the importance of development shows that the system could reach high potential in a couple years, at least until the Yankees sacrifice their first round pick in 2018 to sign Bryce Harper. But that’s another story. Anyway…

While I’ve been fairly consistent with who I think the Yankees could select here, it’s time to change it up a bit, with first baseman Will Benson now taking the spot. Benson, as I’ve said before, has a very big, athletic frame, something the Yankees are particularly fond of. He also can play in the outfield, giving him an alternative if first base doesn’t work out. Having Benson become Mark Teixiera or Jacoby Ellsbury’s successor would be a definite step up for the Yankees, especially if it’s such a talented and youthful player like Benson.

Previous: Zack Collins, C/1B Miami

19. New York Mets

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Mistakes can be made by even the best of minds. When Sandy Alderson signed Michael Cuddyer last season, you would have found it very difficult to find any Mets fan that agreed with the move, especially when the team forfeited the first round pick which became Mike Nikorak. Now a year later, with both a top 20 pick thanks to other teams signing QO free agents, and a second first rounder for losing postseason hero Daniel Murphy, the cycle of repopulating a farm system that has seen plenty of graduation over the past few years, will begin.

It took me a while to figure out the best fit for the Mets, but I believe they could, for the time being, kill two birds with one stone by selecting two way player Josh Lowe. The third baseman and right-handed pitcher may be forced to choose a position in the future, but as of now there is a benefit to having that type of versatility. Would Lowe be David Wright’s eventual successor? Would he possibly be a future member of the rotation if any of the Big 5 leave? And it’s not like Lowe is better at either position right now, as a third baseman he does have solid lefty power and professional defense. As a pitcher, he’s got a low 90’s fastball, and developmental secondary pitches, but his frame is suitable for a big league pitcher. Either way, if the Mets take him, they could have themselves a good problem.

Previous: Bobby Dalbec, 3B, Arizona

20. Los Angeles Dodgers

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The Dodgers have had the benefit of a particularly strong system the past couple years, and with plenty of future assets expected to make an impact in the long term, as well as the immediate impact guys like Corey Seager, it’s possible the Dodgers could make their system a strength in time for their free agent additions to stop being productive. Because the Dodgers have a solid amount of talent, they could draft whomever they want with the 20th pick.

I have to admit that Drew Mendoza seems like an intriguing prospect. While he doesn’t have the profile that Brendan Rodgers had last year, he still could make a Rodgers type impact. He has the ability to hit for average and power, and his defensive ability seems to translate better to third base, although he has shortstop experience. Think a younger Manny Machado. Overall, I think Mendoza and Corey Seager would make a solid left side of a future Dodgers infield, and it will be interesting to see if the Dodgers decide to go for a long term third base project as the heir apparent to Justin Turner.

Previous: Bryan Reynolds, OF, Vanderbilt

21. Toronto Blue Jays

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College baseball is the one sport where draft picks can come from anywhere at anytime, in addition to the powerhouse schools. While the success is varied, it shows that anything can happen at anytime. One of the beneficiaries of this has been mid major conferences, who have seen a few first round picks come in and show that there is something worth watching out in the smaller universities.

Whereas Kyle Lewis is this year’s top mid major hitting prospect, his summer ball teammate Eric Lauer could be the top pitching prospect. Lauer hails from Kent State, a MAC school that has had a track record for producing major league players, like Dustin Hermansen and Andrew Chafin. Lauer’s a lefty who has four pitches, all of which as of now would profile as average to above average. Even though Lauer’s 2016 debut wasn’t stellar, he was roughed up by his other summer ball teammate Connor Jones’ Cavaliers, he still could figure to be a solid first round pick for a team that wants a safe bet. Toronto seems like a solid destination, as Lauer was taken by the Jays in 2013. He would be an excellent mid rotation starter in a staff headlined by Marcus Stroman, Marco Estrada and fellow prospect and small school talent Jon Harris.

Previous: Drew Mendoza, 3B, Lake Minneola HS, Florida

22. Pittsburgh Pirates

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There’s a lot to be said for rising stock. What you would expect to maybe be a second round pick has an outstanding start and soon enough, he rockets up the board. Given my conservatism when it comes to mocking, I tend to take things a little slower, but when a prospect demands attention, I’m prepared to look.

Probably one of the biggest surprises of the past two weeks has been Cal ace Daulton Jefferies. Jeffries has been untouchable in his last two starts and has struck out 17. An undersized righty, Jefferies has a low to mid 90’s fastball that shoots out thanks to his delivery. Jefferies does have two secondary offerings that are average, but he makes up for it by being a solid defender. I feel that Jefferies would fit well alongside future Pirates Tyler Glasnow and Jameson Taillon, as well as Gerrit Cole. Jefferies would probably fit best as a 4th starter for the team.

Previous: Connor Jones, RHP, Virginia

23. St. Louis Cardinals

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Before anyone yaps my ear off about how the draft is about taking the best player available, let me say, yes, I know. Thank you, please sit down. Still, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take the best player at a position available. The Cardinals will be on the lookout for Yadier Molina’s heir in the future, and I can tell you right now, Brayan Pena is definitely not that answer. What better place to look then, then in the college ranks?

For the past 3 months, I’ve pegged Chris Okey, considered the best catcher in the class, ahead of guys like Zack Collins and Matt Thaiss, and while he hasn’t shown it offensively, I feel that offense for a catcher is a pleasant surprise, rather than an expectation. Okey has the poise of a 10 year veteran, and having played on two collegiate national teams has meant that he’s handled the best of the best. Okey is comparable to Yadier Molina as well, he may not be a world beater on offense, but he gets by, but his defense is impressive enough. Having Okey catch the Cardinals staff would be expected, considering his leadership ability, and I feel that he would be able to command a lot of respect from his peers.

Previous: Herbert Iser, C, Miami Killian HS, Florida

COMPENSATION PICKS

For the comp picks, rather than a spiel before introducing the player, I will stick to just explaining why said player would be a good fit at this spot. Thank you.

24. San Diego Padres (Justin Upton)

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Braxton Garrett has to be one of the more pro-ready high school arms in this draft. His curveball makes him an especially tricky starter to go up against. He would be a nice long term project, but don’t be surprised if the Padres accelerate his development if he were to succeed at the low levels.

25. San Diego Padres (Ian Kennedy)

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Avery Tuck may be a local kid, but that doesn’t mean that he’s just that. Tuck may be developmental, in the fact that he’s a classic inconsistent power hitter, but given San Diego’s issues with hitting, it would be a good idea to nurture him into a more well-rounded middle of the order hitter.

26. Chicago White Sox (Jeff Samardzjia)

CORAL GABLES, FL - FEBRUARY 14: Zack Collins #0 of the Miami Hurricanes hits a double scoring three runs against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the second inning on February 14, 2015 at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field in Coral Gables, Florida. Miami defeated Rutgers 9-5. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Zack Collins

Complementing Jose Abreu’s power with a younger power hitter like Zack Collins would make the White Sox a formidable opponent. Plus, it would finally answer the longstanding question, “Who will catch all those young arms?”

27. Baltimore Orioles (Wei-Yin Chen)

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I think part of the problem with the Orioles inability to develop pitching has to do with who they select. If they go for a pitcher from a proven program like Ben Bowden, they’re not going to have to readjust his game too much. At worst, he ends up in the bullpen, but at best, he becomes a mid rotation starter.

28. Washington Nationals (Jordan Zimmermann)

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Nick Banks seems to be a likely choice here, mainly because I like him as the possible heir to Jayson Werth’s position. His speed will also be a major help producing runs in the future, although his defense will put him in a corner outfield spot.

29. Washington Nationals (Ian Desmond)

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Considering how Lucas Giolito has done with the Nationals after going under the knife, would it surprise anyone if they drafted Cal Quantrill and had that deadly of a young combination? On potential alone, these two could be on the same level as Gio Gonzalez and Max Scherzer.

30. Texas Rangers (Yovani Gallardo) 

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Jesus Luzardo has been mentioned as a dark horse candidate to be a first round prospect mainly because his build and the fact that his pitches can only improve with development. The Rangers could make a solid future rotation out of him, Dillon Tate and Luis Ortiz.

31. New York Mets (Daniel Murphy)

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It came down to a home state product and a collegian from Georgia, but Robert Tyler would win out here mainly because of his arsenal. I feel that in the future, Tyler would make a solid bullpen arm, with the potential to start if any of the big 5 leaves. If he continues to pitch this way, you can expect him to jump back into the first round.

32. Los Angeles Dodgers (Zack Greinke)

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The Dodgers are big on speed. and there is no faster pitcher than Zach Burdi, brother of Twins future closer Nick. Zach however is a starter, and he would make a very dangerous homegrown rotation arm.

33. St. Louis Cardinals (John Lackey)

(Photo by Michelle Bishop)

Will Craig has to be one of the more underrated power hitting first baseman in this year’s draft. Considering St. Louis’ success with power hitting first baseman, I can imagine them going after him.

34. St. Louis Cardinals (Jason Heyward)

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I’m sure Cardinals management is probably still kicking themselves on letting Rob Kaminsky go in the Brandon Moss deal, so they could go after another Northeast prep product like Ian Anderson, who has a great pitchers’ body and a solid arsenal.

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