Sunday, June 3, 2012

MLB Mock Draft 2.0

It's almost here.  The Draft is upon us.  Here's my final mock draft.

#1 - Houston Astros
Kyle Zimmer

Position: P
School: San Francisco

Throws: R; Bats: R

Measurables: 6'3, 210

DOB: 09/13/1991

The Astros are going through a transition time.  They have a new general manager and will be moving from the National League Central to the American League East.  Luckily, they have the #1 overall pick in this year’s draft to help restock an improving farm system.  Unlike some years – notably 2009 and 2010 – there is no clear best player in this year’s draft.  With the door wide open, pitcher Kyle Zimmer has all the qualifications to step through that opening.  Standing at 6’4 and weighing 220 lbs, Zimmer has prototypical size.  Zimmer is also an excellent athlete.  On the mound, Zimmer can bring premium heat, with a fastball that sits in the mid 90’s and can touch 99.  A curveball that is almost as good compliments the heater and Zimmer rounds out his arsenal with a potential plus changeup.  As a total product, Zimmer offers a very good floor and very good upside, which is a good combination to procure with the #1 overall pick.

#2 - Minnesota Twins
Byron Buxton

Position: OF
School: Appling County HS (Georgia)

Throws: R; Bats: R

Measurables: 6'2, 190

DOB: 12/18/1993

A few years ago, the Twins drafting with the #2 overall pick would be unfathomable.  This franchise has been in the playoffs as recently as 2010, marking the 6th time they had made the playoffs in a 9 year stretch.  If the season were to end today, the Twins would again draft second.  A rebuild may be in order.  Drafting outfielder Byron Buxton would be a good start to that rebuild.  The Twins have had a history of draftin toolsy, speedy prep outfielders in the recent past – Aaron Hicks and Ben Revere – and Buxton certainly fits that bill.  The Georgia prep product has blazing speed that will serve him well in centerfield and on the bases.  Buxton also has above-average raw power and good bat speed, giving him the chance to develop into the elusive 5 tool player.  Buxton is fairly raw, but oozes unbelievable tools.  Those tools translate into nearly unparalleled upside, something the Twins would love to draft. 

#3 - Seattle Mariners
Mike Zunino

Position: C
School: Florida (Junior)

Throws: R; Bats: R

Measurables: 6'1, 215

DOB: 03/25/1991

The Mariners have one of the top farm systems in baseball already and with the #3 overall pick, it should only get better.  Led by their trio of arms, Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, and last year’s #2 overall pick Danny Hultzen, the farm system should begin to percolate talent upwards that will contribute to the major league squad.  The Mariners could use a good hitting prospect to go along with Nick Franklin to compliment those arms and Mike Zunino could be that guy.  He’d be far from a reach – he’s #2 on my personal big board – and there is no guarantee Jesus Montero will be able to stick at catcher, so Zunino won’t be blocked.  Zunino has an above-average hit tool and plus power that he’s already shown in game situations.  That should translate to a fantastic offensive catcher.  Defensively, Zunino should have no issues and has a good chance to be an above-average signal-caller with polish.  Zunino’s calling card is more his “safeness” – he’s got a great floor, despite some minor plate discipline issues – but there’s no reason Zunino can’t be just as good as a recent “safe” catcher in Buster Posey. 

#4 - Baltimore Orioles 
Kevin Gausman

Position: P
School: LSU (Sophomore)
Throws: R; Bats: L
Measurables: 6'4, 185
DOB: 01/26/1991 

In case anyone has missed, the Baltimore Orioles are in contention in the American League East to start June.  That is not a misprint.  It will still be seen if the Orioles can keep up this pace, but they do seem to be making a statement that they can compete sooner rather than later.  Top prospects Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy – both prep players – should be ready to help soon and adding another guy who can move up with them would make sense.  That would mean a fairly polished college player.  LSU pitcher Kevin Gausman fits that bill. Gausman stands an impressive 6’4, but only weighs 185 lbs, so he has room to fill out.  On the mound, Gausman’s fastball sits in the mid 90’s and can touch 98.  To round out his repertoire, Gausman adds an above-average 2-seamer and a plus changeup.  The LSU tiger also has two breaking balls, a slider and curveball, but both are inconsistent and fringe offerings, a knock against Gausman.  Despite that, Gausman should move fairly fast and still has significant upside, something the Orioles will need in a tough division.

#5 - Kansas City Royals
Mark Appel

Position: P 
School: Stanford (Junior)

Throws: R; Bats: R

Measurables: 6'4, 195

DOB: 07/15/1991 

Royals top prospect Wil Myers is having a tremendous year and should be ready to break into the majors leagues soon.  Myers will join a lineup that includes other high ceiling young players like Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, and Salvador Perez.  The future is now for the Royals and adding a pitcher that can be part of that now movement would be ideal.  Mark Appel might be more raw than the Royals would like, but there is no denying his premium stuff.  That stuff includes a fastball that touches the high 90’s routinely coming from an impressive 6’5, 225 lb frame.  In addition to that, Appel throws an impressive slider and an improving changeup.  The athletic Appel has gotten hit hard at times, but if he can figure things out, his upside is tremendous.  That would be a welcome addition to a Royals team that has its eyes on the playoffs, with a plan to make it there in the near future. 

#6 - Chicago Cubs
Carlos Correa

Position: SS
School: Puerto Rico Baseball Academy

Throws: R; Bats: R

Measurables: 6'4, 190

DOB: 09/22/1994 

Rumors have recently come out that the Cubs are willing to part with two of their best players, pitcher Matt Garza and shortstop Starlin Castro.  That apparently signals a full-fledged rebuild.  High schoolers with significant upside never hurt in such a situation.  Prep shortstop Carlos Correa fits that bill perfectly.  Adding him to the system in tandem with last year’s first round pick, Javier Baez, would give the Cubs two potential premium bats that could hold down the left side of the infield in Chicago for years to come.  Correa has a premium hit tool, the frame and bat speed to develop above-average power, and enough athleticism that he will have a good shot to stick at shortstop.  Even if he has to move off shortstop, Correa has arguably the best pure bat in the draft and the best upside behind Buxton. That’s something the Cubs won’t want to pass up. 

#7 - San Diego Padres 
Albert Almora

Position: OF
School: Mater Academy (Florida)

Throws: R; Bats: R

Measurables: 6'2, 180

DOB: 04/06/1994 

The Padres have drafted aggressively recently, going after players with significant upside when possible.  Elite players with that type of upside seem to thin out by the time the Padres pick, with Albert Almora and Lucas Giolito being the two players that stand out.  Giolito has seen his stock drop due to injury, while Almora’s stock has went the opposite direction this spring.  Therefore, Almora gets the nod here to the Padres.  Almora is similar to Buxton in that he has a chance to be a 5-tool player.  The difference is Almora’s chance is greater, although the tools won’t be as loud.  The Hurricane commit has a great hit tool, above-average power potential, great instincts on the bases and enough speed to stick in centerfield where he showcases a strong and accurate arm.  For a prep player, Almora also displays an advanced feel for the game and great polish.  That should help him reach his great ceiling and move quickly, with a lower bust potential than the average player coming out of high school.  

#8 - Pittsbugh Pirates 
Lucas Giolito

Position: P

School: Harvard-Westlake HS (California)

Throws: R; Bats: R

Measurables: 6'6, 230

DOB: 07/14/1994 

At some point, Lucas Giolito will be drafted by someone.  If he makes it to number 8 in the draft, he’ll be head and shoulders above the rest of the field in terms of talent.  In recent years, the Pirates have been aggressive in adding high upside talent no matter the price, albeit under a different CBA.  Even with the new spending restrictions, Giolito’s talent is too good to pass up, even if the Pirates have been linked to cheaper, safer players, notably Deven Marrero and Chris Straton.  The big knock on Lucas Giolito heading into the draft has been the fact that he injured his elbow this spring and essentially missed his senior season.  That’s also the only knock.  Giolito has a 6’6, 230 lb frame the screams workhorse.  Along with, the prep righthander reportedly hit triple digits in the spring with his electric fastball.  Giolito already reportedly has plus-plus curveball and a plus changeup. To top off that impressive pitch arsenal, he also has better than average polish for a high school pitcher that could help him move quickly through a system.  Even with the injury risk, Giolito stands with the likes of Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa in terms of upside and probably doesn’t make it out of the top 10 of the draft.  The Pirates could be hoping he makes it to the back end as far as #8.

#9 - Miami Marlins 
David Dahl

Position: OF
School: Oak Mountain HS (Alabama)

Throws: R; Bats: L

Measurables: 6'2, 185

DOB: 04/01/1994 
The Marlins have been tied to Albert Almora if he makes to them, showing interest in adding a prep outfielder to their organization.  That would mark the third prep player in third years, with outfielder Christian Yelich two years ago and pitcher Jose Fernandez last year preceding this year’s draft. Both have found significant success so far, so the Marlins could continue the trend, and if not with Almore, with prep outfielder David Dahl.  Dahl has a very similar profile to Almora, with an above-average all-around game highlighted by plus speed and a plus arm.  Dahl adds a balanced, smooth swing with above-average bat speed that should give him a good hit tool.  Knocks on Dahl include questions about his in-game power and his demeanor, as he’s been described as lazy and unmotivated.  That aside, Dahl has plenty of talent and would be a welcome addition to any farm system, including the Miami’s. 

#10 - Colorado Rockies
Max Fried

Position: P
Harvard-Westlake HS (California)
Throws: L; Bats: L

Measurables: 6'4, 170

DOB: 01/18/1994 
At this point, Max Fried simply has the type of upside it’s hard to pass on.  The prep lefty stands at 6’4, but only weighs 170 lbs right now, leaving plenty of room to fill out.  Considering he already throws in the low 90’s as a southpaw, Fried could have elite velocity as a finished product if he adds strength.  The high school teammate of Lucas Giolito also has an average curveball and an impressive changeup that should be a plus pitch in the future, giving Fried a solid arsenal.  Add his immense projectability and Fried’s upside is nearly limitless.  That’s the type of addition the Rockies could use in their farm system to give them more upside 

#11 - Oakland Athletics 
Deven Marrero

Position: SS
School: Arizona State

Throws: R; Bats:
Measurables: 6'1, 175

DOB: 08/25/1990 

With a poor spring, Marrero’s stock has dipped from being a potential top 5 pick to a guy who will most likely hear his named called in the middle of the first round.  Marrero has bounced back a little in the last few weeks and he’s still an elite defender at a premium position, shortstop.  Marrero also has excellent plate discipline, making him a good fit in Oakland.  Add in the fact that Oakland has had trouble finding good positional players while having excellent pitching the last several years, and the Athletics may prefer a bat in this year’s draft.  Marrero’s offensive probably won’t even be special, but he’s got the chance to be an above-average offensive shortstop fueled by good on-base numbers if everything clicks.  That would make him incredibly valuable considering how elite he is defensively. 

#12 - Mets 
Courtney Hawkins

Position: OF
School: Carroll HS (Texas)
Throws: R; Bats: R
Measurables: 6'0, 200

The Mets are in the midst of a rebuild.  Adding Zack Wheeler for Carlos Beltran and drafting outfielder Brandon Nimmo last year  infused significant upside into their farm system.  It would be beneficial if that trend continued.  Courtney Hawkins would definitely fit the upside bill.  The prep outfielder from Texas has massive raw power, an excellent arm, and above-average speed that allows him to fit the mold of a prototypical right fielder.  Hawking has some swing-and-miss in his game and will pile up his fair share of strikeouts, but he also has the potential to hit enough balls over the fence to make the tradeoff very worthwhile.  Hawkins would fit well into a Mets farm system that looks to rebuild a winner in New York. 

#13 - White Sox
Michael Wacha 

Position: P
School: Texas A&M (Junior)
Throws: R; Bats: R
Measurables: 6'6, 195
DOB: 07/01/1991 

The White Sox have been hesitant to spend on the draft recently.  I see no reason to see that trend reverse and the White Sox would welcome an arguably top 10 talent fall a bit to them at 13.  That’s especially true if it’s a college pitcher like Wacha because presumably he will be cheaper and because the White Sox have found success recently with college pitchers, notably Chris Sale.  For his part, Wacha stands at 6’6, 200 lbs, giving him room to improve on his fastball that already sits in the low 90’s.  The heater isn’t the Aggie product’s best pitcher either as Wacha throws the best changeup in the draft.  To round out his repertoire, Wacha throws both a slider and a curveball, but similar to fellow college pitcher Kevin Gausman, both offerings are fringe at best and will need work.  Still, Wacha mixes solid upside with the ability to move quickly and a good floor thanks to his fastball-change up combination that should wreck havoc on experienced hitters.

#14 - Reds
Marcus Stroman
Position: P
School: Duke (Junior)
Throws: R; Bats: R
Measurables: 5'9, 185

Stroman is tiny.  He’s listed at 5’9, 185 lbs and even that may be generous.  Despite his alleged shortcomings – his lack of height – Stroman does not lack in the “stuff” category.  Stroman’s fastball routinely sits in the mid 90’s with plenty of late tailing action.  To compliment his fastball, Stroman throws a nasty hammer curveball.  The Duke product needs to work on refining his command on both pitches and a lack of a third pitch may send him directly to the bullpen.  The Reds may jump on that.  Starting pitcher Johnny Cueto – who only stands 5’10 –  has had success and that may give the Reds the confidence to pick Stroman despite his height.  That could turn out to be a rewarding pick if the right-hander can become an elite closer quickly, providing Aroldis Chapman the chance to move to the rotation. 

#15 - Cleveland Indians
Lance McCullers Jr.

Position: P
School: Jesuit HS (Florida)
Throws: R; Bats: L
Measurables: 6'1, 190
DOB: 10/02/1993

Not too long ago, Lance McCullers junior was considered the top prep arm in the draft.  Over the last several months his stock has slipped some, but the prep right hander from Florida still has premium stuff.  His arsenal is highlighted by a fastball that can hit triple-digits and sits in the 94-96 range deep into games.  McCullers adds a nasty slider with great bite and an extremely raw changeup.  His lack of a third pitch and lack of even average command at this stage has scouts already pegging him as a future reliever.  This spring, McCullers has showed increased pitchability but the reality remains that McCullers will have to beat the odds to be a major league starting pitcher.  That said, his stuff is so good that if everything does turn out well, he’s a front-of-the-rotation pitcher.  That’s the type of upside the Indians could use in the farm system and would give them two very good young prospects in McCullers and last year’s first round pick, Francisco Lindor. 

#16 - Washington Nationals
Gavin Cecchini

Position: SS/2B
School: Barbe HS (Louisiana)
Throws: R; Bats: R
Measurables: 6'0, 175
DOB: 12/22/1993 

Gavin Cecchini is arguably a high school version of Deven Marrero.  He’s excellent defensively at shortstop with great instincts and an above-average arm that’s extremely accurate. Gavin’s older brother Garin is part of the Red Sox’s farm system and Garin should follow in his brothers footsteps as a good infield prospect coming out of Louisiana.  Offensively, Cecchini has good discipline and a polished approach at the plate.  A solid hit tool should give him the ability to post good on-base numbers, even if a perceived lack of strength and less than impressive bat speed means that Cecchini has limited power upside.  Still, he would be another solid prospect to add to an already 

#17 - Toronto Blue Jays
Matt Smoral

Position: P
School: Solon HS (Ohio)
Throws: L; Bats: L
Measurables: 6'8, 220
DOB: 03/18/1994 

Under general manager Alex Anthopoulos, the Blue Jays have created a pattern of selecting prep players, especially prep pitchers with massive upside.  Towering lefty Matt Smoral – he stands 6’7 and weighs 225 lbs – fits that bill perfectly.  The prep pitcher from Ohio sits in the low 90’s with his fastball and can hit as high as the 94-95 mph range.  Smoral also possess a plus slider and impressive command for such a tall, young pitcher.  Smoral will have to improve his changeup to have a viable 3 pitch mix to be a successful starter, but Smoral’s upside due to his size and athleticism are undeniable and make him the type of player the Blue Jays love to draft. 

#18 - Los Angeles Dodgers 
D.J. Davis

Position: OF
School: Stone County HS (Mississippi)
Throws: L; Bats: L
Measurables: 6'1, 180

The Dodgers are under new ownership and early indications are that the new ownership will be willing to spend money.  That could mean the spending on upside in the draft to help a farm system that currently lacks it.  Currently, Davis has one tool that absolutely stands out, his electric speed.  By the clock, Davis is faster than Reds prospect Billy Hamilton.  Davis will never be any type of power threat, but he’s got enough strength and bat speed to be a line drive gap-to-gap hitter with an above-average or better hit tool.  Defensively, Davis covers plenty of ground in centerfield and his arm is playable, even if it’s below-average. 

#19 - St. Louis Cardinals 
Andrew Heaney

Position: P
School: Oklahoma State (Junior)
Throws: L; Bats: L
Measurables: 6'2, 175 lbs

The Cardinals have great pitching depth in their farm system, but it never hurts to add more.  That’s especially true if they could add a good left-handed pitching prospect like Oklahoma State’s Andrew Heaney.  On the mound, Heaney has a clean, effortless delivery that allows him to throw a fastball that can touch 95 and sits in the low 90’s.  Heaney compliments his heater with a breaking ball and a changeup that are both earn average grades but play up due to Heaney’s plus command with his entire arsenal.  Heaney also is able to miss bats and projects as a solid mid-rotation starter with #2 upside due to his strong pitchability.

#20 - San Francisco Giants
Ty Hensley

Position: P
School: Sante Fe HS (Oklahoma)
Throws: R; Bats: S
Measurables: 6'4, 220
DOB: 07/30/1993
The Giants have found good success picking pitchers recently, especially high school pitchers.  San Francisco mixed it up last season, but that doesn’t mean they won’t return to the prep pitching ranks.  Ty Hensley would be a good pick for the Giants.  The prep righty oozes upside thanks to a 6’5, 220 lb frame that can already hurl a fastball that touches 97.  Hensley adds a great curveball that may actually be better than his heater and he’s flashed a plus changeup in the past.  The University of Mississippi commit is an excellent all-around athlete that will help him on the mound as well as it helps him in the batter’s box, where he’s quite the hitter too.  Ultimately, the prep pitcher from Oklahoma has everything – athleticism, size, and good present-stuff – that teams look for in a prep pitcher in the second half of the first round and that’s the type of player the Giants have developed well recently.  Hensley may be next. 

#21 - Atlanta Braves
Richie Shaffer

Position: 1B/3B/OF
School: Clemson (Junior)
Throws: R; Bats: R
Measurables: 6'4, 195
DOB: 03/15/1991

The Braves have a history of drafting pitchers, but at this point could use a bat, especially one with power.  Clemson Tiger Richie Shaffer fits that bill.  The college corner infielder has plus raw power along with a good hit tool to all parts of the field.  Shaffer also has excellent plate discipline and has walked more this season than struck out.  Defensively, Shaffer has an outside shot to stick at third base or right field, but most likely will be forced to first base which hurts his stock a bit.  Still, his offensive game is about as complete as possible, making him a nice potential addition to a Braves farm system that is stocked more with pitching and good defenders rather than pure hitters.

#22 - Toronto Blue Jays 
Stryker Trahan

Position: C
School: Acadiana HS (Louisiana)
Throws: R; Bats: L
Measurables: 6'1, 215
DOB: 04/25/1994 

As stated earlier, the Blue Jays love drafting high upside prep players.  Balance is also a good thing, so pairing a prep hitter with pitcher Matt Smoral makes sense.  Catcher/outfielder Stryker Trahan could be that hitter.  Trahan has impressive raw power that gives him significant offensive potential.  Defensively, most scouts believe Trahan will have to move from behind the dish, but Trahan does have good athleticism and a strong arm.  Ultimately, Trahan’s career could go a myriad of directions but the Louisiana prep player has significant tools and upside that an organization like the Braves crave.  

#23 - St. Louis Cardinals 
Stephen Piscotty

Position: 3B/OF
School: Stanford (Junior)
Throws: R; Bats: R
Measurables: 6'3, 195

To balance out taking Andrew Heaney, the Cardinals may look to add another fast moving bat to pair with 2011 first round pick Kolton Wong.  Stephen Piscotty fits the bill due his advanced plate discipline and good hit tool.  Opinions are mixed on both Piscotty’s power and glove -  Piscotty has a strong arm but may need to move off third base and to the outfield and his power production has been average at best – but Piscotty should offer a safe floor with good on-base numbers.  If he can add some power and stick at third base, he could be a long term above-average major league quality starter.  That’s the type of prospect the Cardinals seem to develop well. 

#24 - Boston Red Sox 
Chris Stratton

Position: P
School: Mississippi State (Junior)
Throws: R; Bats: R
Measurables: 6'3, 190
DOB: 08/22/1990
The Red Sox could use pitching all the way up and down the system.  If a talented college pitcher like Chris Stratton makes it to the Red Sox, expect them to pull the trigger.  Stratton, who stands 6’2 and weighs 197 lbs, has smooth delivery that pumps out three above-average pitches.  His fastball sits in the low 90’s and can touch 95, plenty of velocity for a right handed pitcher.  That’s especially true because the heater has nice tailing action and Stratton commands it well.  Stratton rounds out his arsenal with a slider that garners a true plus grade and a curveball that grades out at slightly above-average.  Stratton’s poise and feel for pitching are also lauded.  Combine that with his above-average command and Stratton’s already good stuff plays up, making him an exciting pitching prospect that’s produced good results against the SEC this year.

#25 - Tampa Bay Rays 
Victor Roache

Position: 1B/OF
School: Georgia Southern (Junior)
Throws: R; Bats: R
Measurables: 6'1, 225
DOB: 09/17/1991

The Rays have had one of the top farm systems in baseball for years.  Generally, it’s been filled with athletic outfielders and great young pitching prospects.  Farmhands with significant power potential haven’t been as prevalent.  To change that, the Rays could draft college first baseman/outfielder Victor Roache.  Roache has some of the best raw power and usable game power in the entire draft.  Coming with that power is some swing-and-miss, but it’s not a major red flag for Roache.  What is a red flag was his injured wrist that required complicated surgery and prevented him from playing this past spring.  Still, Roache’s upside is an absolute masher, even if that bat doesn’t come with batting titles.  Teams will gladly accept that tradeoff, whether it comes from a corner outfield spot, where Roache may be able to stick, or first base, Roache’s likely defensive destination. 

#26 - Arizona Diamondbacks
Corey Seager

Position: SS/3B
School: Northwest Cabarrus HS (North Carolina)
Throws: R; Bats: L
Measurables: 6'3, 205
DOB: 04/27/1994

The Diamondbacks have a farm system that oozes with pitching, led by Tyler Skaggs, Trevor Bauer, and Archie Bradley.  This late in the first round, when the best player available becomes less obvious, it could be an easy decision for Arizona to target a hitter.  Third baseman Corey Seager can just do that; he can flat out hit.  The prep player who’s brother plays for the Mariners has an excellent hit tool. He also has good power potential, and while he plays shortstop now, he’s big enough that third base will be his future home.  There, Seager should be above-average defensively.  Putting it all together, the prep player from North Carolina has the upside to be a cornerstone third baseman if everything goes right.  His floor isn’t terrible either for a high schooler and would make a good addition to the Diamondbacks farm system.

#27 - Milwaukee Brewer
Tyler Naquin

Position: OF
School: Texas A&M (Junior)
Throws: R; Bats: L
Measurables: 6'3, 190
DOB: 04/24/1991

The Brewers have back to back picks, with the second one being “more” protected.  That means this one is less protected and a college player may be the right direction.  Last year, the Brewers took two college pitchers, so a hitter would help create a balance.  Texas A&M outfielder Tyler Naquin could fill that role.  Naquin arguably has the best hit tool in the entire draft, showing it throughout his college career.  He hasn’t shown much power, however, and that’s a part of his game that will likely always be below-average.  Defensively, Naquin has good speed, but it may not be enough to stick in centerfield, especially with his tendency to take poor routes.  Naquin does have a tremendous arm and it will play well in right field, but he doesn’t have the prototypical power for a corner outfield spot.  That’s led to the dreaded “tweener” label, but despite that, Naquin has just enough tools, highlighted by his ability to simply hit the ball, that he will be an attractive hitter for an organization to add to their farm system late in the first round.

#28 - Milwaukee Brewers
Lucas Sims

Position: P
School: Brookwood HS (Georgia)
Throws: R; Bats: R
Measurables: 6'3, 190
DOB: 05/10/1994 

If the Brewers take a safer college bat with their first “less” protected pick, then the natural compliment to that would be a high upside prep pitcher.  Enter Lucas Sims. Sims has a projectable frame at 6’3, 190 lbs.  His fastball already sits in the low 90’s and can touch 97, so the pitch should be a good one in the future as the young pitcher fills out.  Sims adds a slider and curveball to compliment the heater and both pitches flash plus at time.  Currently, Sims has problems with his command, but his smooth arm action and good athleticism suggest he’ll be able to repeat his delivery with practice, improving his ability to locate his pitches. If that happens – if Sims develops plus command – his stuff could improve with his command and make Sims a front-of-the-rotation starter.  That’s no guarantee that happens, as Sims’s value relies highly on projectability, but there’s plenty of upside involved with the prep pitcher from Georgia and that’s something the Brewers would like to add to their farm system.

#29 - Texas Rangers
Brian Johnson

Position: P
School: Florida (Junior)
Throws: L; Bats: L
Measurables: 6'3, 225
DOB: 12/07/1990 

The Rangers have a great farm system filled with players with tremendous upside.  A majority of them are positional players, so adding an arm to the system, especially a farm with a good floor that can move quickly, would help bring balance to the farm system.  Considering the mode the Rangers are in currently – win a world series – a quick moving player would be especially helpful.  Gator Brian Johnson has the tools and polish to succeed quickly.  The lefty has a four pitch mix that includes a fastball that sits in the high 80’s and touches the low 90’s.  Johnson also has a good curveball and a slider and changeup that are both major league quality pitches.  He has great command of all four pitches and throws strikes, generating a surprising amount of swings-and-misses.  Johnson will most likely hit the ground running and could be one of the first players from the 2012 draft to make the major leagues. 

#30 - New York Yankees 
Lewis Brinson

Position: OF
School: Coral Springs HS (Florida)
Throws: R; Bats: R
Measurables: 6'3, 170
DOB: 05/08/1994 

Recently the Yankees have leaned towards drafting toolsy, athletes from the high school ranks that play premium defensive positions.  Lewis Brinson could continue that tradition.  The prep outfielder from Florida oozes tools.  Brinson stands at 6’4, 185 lbs and can run like a gazelle.  He’ll have plus range in centerfield with a plus arm to boot.  Offensively, Brinson is a project.  His approach is raw and his swing is long, leaving plenty of holes in his swing.  However, Brinson does have very impressive raw power that he’s showcased in batting practice and homerun contests.  Brinson definitely has huge bust potential, but he also has a massive ceiling. 

#31 - Boston Red Sox 
Zach Eflin

Position: P
School: Hagerty HS (Florida)
Throws: R; Bats: R
Measurables: 6'4, 200
DOB: 04/08/1994

Pitching has been the Achilles heel of the Red Sox of late, and while you never want to draft for need, a prep pitcher with upside – such as Zach Eflin - would be a good addition to the Red Sox farm system.  Eflin stands at 6’4 and weighs 200 lbs, giving him an excellent pitchers frame and a bit of room to add muscle.  Eflin’s fastball already sits in low 90’s and can touch as high as 97.  He adds a great changeup, one of the best in the prep ranks this year.  Eflin rounds out his arsenal with a curveball that flashes plus at time but is loopy and slurvy at other times.  Eflin’s stock was skyrocketing this spring until an injury sidelined him for April but he’s since been cleared and given a clean bill of health.  Eflin got plenty left to prove but also has plenty of upside, making him an attractive option in the back end of the first round.


  1. Kyle Seager does play for the Mariners, his brother's name is Corey.

  2. The astros already said they're taking Appel #1. Zimmer has zero chance.

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