3/31/14

Through The Fence - Mock v 6.0

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1. Houston Astros — Alex Jackson, C/OF, Rancho Bernardo HS (CA)

I wanted to put Tyler Kolek here, but considering a prep right-hander has never gone first-overall in the MLB draft, I have to go with Jackson, the best prep bat in the draft and a lesser risk than an arm. At 6’-2” and 200 pounds, the right-hander has explosive bat speed and tremendous raw power. I saw him at Wrigley last summer and the ball really does sound different coming off his bat. Whether he stays behind the plate or ends up in the outfield, his bat is what really makes him special and he has an advanced approach at the plate. Through his first seven games, he has gone 11-for-23 with three home runs and four walks to just one strikeout. Committed to Oregon.

2. Miami Marlins — Carlos Rodon, LHP, North Carolina State

Rodon may not be dominating the way many expected, and his stuff and command may not be as crisp as it has been in the past, but he still features a plus/plus slider, a plus fastball and adds a change-up and cutter. At 6’-3” and 240 pounds, he is a proven workhorse with top-of-the-rotation stuff whose delivery looks the same on pitch one as it does on pitch 130. His track record won’t allow him to fall too far, and he could still end up the best player taken from this draft down the line.

3. Chicago White Sox — Brady Aiken, LHP, Cathedral catholic HS (CA)

The White Sox don’t have a strong history when it comes to selecting prep arms in the first round. You have to go back to 2001 when they selected RHP Kris Honel out of Providence HS (IL) with the 16th overall pick as the last time they took one. Aiken has been rocketing up draft boards, and the White Sox have had scouts at his games recently. At 6’-4” and 200 pounds, the southpaw is the most polished prep pitcher in the 2014 MLB draft and has been sitting 92-94 mph with his fastball as of late. He adds two potential plus off-speed pitches, and with his easy delivery, there is still a lot of upside left. He has 20 K/2 BB over his first 8.2 innings this season. Committed to UCLA.

4. Chicago Cubs — Tyler Beede, RHP, Vanderbilt

The last two starts haven’t exactly been stellar for Beede, although he has faced some tough competition in Kentucky and Mississippi State. While the command hasn’t been that sharp lately, he still has frontline stuff with a mid-90s fastball, a plus curveball and a change-up that freezes hitters when on. Through seven starts, he has a 2.48 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 46 K/14 BB over 40 innings. Tyler Kolek would be tempting here if he was still on the board but I like the track record and overall stuff of Beede better.

5. Minnesota Twins — Tyler Kolek, RHP, Sheppard HS (TX)

Kolek has been doing exactly what he should be doing against the competition — destroying them. Over 22.1 innings, the 6’-5”, 240 pound right-hander has 48 K/1 BB and has allowed just two measly hits. He has touched 102 mph and adds a slider that shows plus potential. His change-up is still developing because, well, he doesn’t need it right now as he can just blow away his peers with the fastball. As I mentioned above, he could go first-overall, but the track record just isn’t there for me to feel confident about it.

6. Seattle Mariners — Jeff Hoffman, RHP, East Carolina

Hoffman bounced back nicely against UMBC on Friday, striking out six to one walk over seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits. It’s been an inconsistent year for him but he has continued to show top-of-the-rotation stuff with one of the easiest deliveries around and four quality pitches highlighted by a mid-90s heater. Over seven starts, he has a 3.80 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 45 K/18 BB over 45 innings. He could easily go in the top-five based on his stuff alone.

7. Philadelphia Phillies — Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco

Zimmer is playing like the best college bat in the 2014 MLB draft, and his size, athleticism and canon arm give him the edge over anyone else in college. The 6’-5” left-handed hitter is hitting .427/.476/.719 over 23 games with seven doubles, six home runs and 11 stolen bases for the Dons. The power has shown up in a big way this year, and aside from a long swing that can create some miss, there isn’t much to nitpick about him. He could stick at center field but is probably headed for right field where his arm and bat would play well.

8. Colorado Rockies — Nick Gordon, SS/RHP, Olympia HS (FL)

Maybe the best shortstop prospect in the 2014 MLB draft, Gordon added some muscle during the offseason and the results are showing up in games. Over 19 games, he is hitting .468/.632/.872 with six doubles, two triples, three home runs and 14 stolen bases. He has also drawn 16 walks to just two strikeouts, continuing to show his ability to put bat on ball. His plus arm, athleticism and instincts will allow him to stick at a premium position. He hits from the left side and the added pop in his bat gives him all the tools in the bag. Committed to Florida State.

9. Toronto Blue Jays — Trea Turner, SS, North Carolina State

Turner here would be a steal, in my opinion. Over his last fives games, he has hit four home runs, showing pop that many questioned up until a week ago. He has, however, been striking out at a higher clip, substituting his incredible ability to make contact for power. His game is better when he slaps the ball to all fields and uses his plus/plus speed to wreak havoc on the base paths, but it’s nice to see he has the power in him when he needs it. Defensively, he has all the tools to remain at shortstop and is still new to the position as he mainly played third base his freshman year. Over 23 games this season, he is hitting .315/.387/.478 with three doubles, four home runs, seven stolen bases and 12 walks to nine strikeouts.
2014 MLB mock draft
Jacob Gatewood’s raw power may be the best in the 2014 MLB draft.

10. New York Mets — Jacob Gatewood, SS, Clovis HS (CA)

Nathan Rode over at Prep Baseball Report recently noted that Gatewood has shortened his swing. It shouldn’t effect his power because he has some of the easiest raw power around and hit a near 500-ft home run a couple of weeks ago. It will, however, help with the swing-and-miss to his game. The 6’-5” right-hander has enormous potential due to his size, power, plus arm and athleticism. Will most likely end up at third base and he projects well there. Committed to USC.

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