Here is our latest mock draft, compiled using industry chatter from team personnel and player reps, our own in-person scouting, and educated guesses informed by how we believe individual teams have operated recently. For more information on the players mentioned below, head over to The BOARD, which we’ll continue to flood with player info in the coming days, as well as our first two mocks. New Jersey prep RHP Jack Leiter (Vanderbilt commit, son of Al Leiter) is the only player who definitely belongs in the top 78 picks on talent that isn’t in this projection, as he’s the most likely top talent to go to college based on his $4+ million asking price.
We’ll do two more mock before Day 1 of the draft kicks off — one on Monday morning, and a bare bones list of names shortly before the draft begins that evening.
1. Orioles – Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State
We think there’s a chance that a combination of Baltimore’s assessment of Rutschman’s medical and potential bonus pool savings might ultimately lead the Orioles to take Texas high school SS Bobby Witt or (less likely) Cal 1B Andrew Vaughn, but that those chances are pretty slim. GM Mike Elias saw Vaughn take pregame grounders at third base last week in a bid to show more versatility. We have Baltimore attached to high schoolers, like LHP Hunter Barco and SS Kyren Paris, with their second pick.
2. Royals – Bobby Witt, Jr., SS, Colleyville Heritage HS (TX)
If Witt goes one, we think the Royals take Rutschman. Should Vaughn go one, rumors of their preference are mixed.
3. White Sox – C.J. Abrams, SS, Blessed Trinity HS (GA)
Vaughn is still in the mix, but Abrams is the favorite here, and people around baseball think the White Sox are deploying a different draft strategy after years of early college picks. We think they’ll take a prep arm with their second pick. We have most of those targets going in the top 30, but prep righties tend to slide, and odds are that they could float one of these to 45: Quinn Priester or Matthew Allan (both very unlikely to float), Brennan Malone or Daniel Espino (maybe one of these), and J.J. Goss or Barco (some chance). In this scenario, we have an upside prep bat in Maurice Hampton getting to 45 and they also have some interest in Florida prep SS Yordys Valdes.
4. Marlins – J.J. Bleday, RF, Vanderbilt
Some combination of Michael Hill, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada saw Bleday, Vaughn and Arizona State CF Hunter Bishop last week. Hill has also seen UNLV SS Bryson Stott recently. Abrams is in the mix (Jeter/Denbo are rumored to be driving that bus) but we don’t think Bishop really is. We think Barco, LSU shortstop Josh Smith, and Southern Mississippi RF Matt Wallner are possibilities with their next pick and Valdes is a target for the second or third round.
5. Tigers – Andrew Vaughn, 1B, Cal
Vaughn or Florida high school OF Riley Greene.
6. Padres – Riley Greene, RF, Hagerty HS (FL)
We think they’d take Abrams if he were here (they have outs, in this regard, if Vaughn goes at one or three, and Miami likes Bleday more than Abrams), then Bleday, then whichever of Vaughn or Greene Detroit doesn’t take. It’s logical that, if they don’t like whichever of these top six bats get to them, they try to cut, but we have heard no such rumors.
7. Reds – Alek Manoah, RHP, West Virginia
The next few spots are where it sounds like teams have more heavily considered cutting underslot deals because of perceived talent drop-off after picks five or six. We think the Reds ultimately take whomever they like best among the college arms. TCU LHP Nick Lodolo has been mentioned a lot here, and the club had extra heat at a recent start of Elon RHP George Kirby. This is also the range when consensus top prep arm Quinn Priester’s name starts getting mentioned, which continues with Atlanta and then throughout the teens.
8. Rangers – Brett Baty, 3B, Lake Travis HS (TX)
We’ve heard lots of names here. Baty and even Tulane 3B Kody Hoese are mentioned as underslot candidates. Manoah and RHP Jackson Rutledge (similar, big-bodied power arms) are Texas’ modus operandi and rumored here, as is Bishop.
9. Braves – Nick Lodolo, LHP, TCU
We just think this would be good value here, but Lodolo is polarizing and could get to 13th. They’ve scouted Bishop very heavily, Rutledge is in play, Priester is a sleeper here, as is Hoese either here (under slot) or at their next pick. Langeliers has also been mentioned.
10. Giants – Hunter Bishop, LF, Arizona State
If Bishop goes ahead of them then this is probably Stott, with Manoah and Missouri OF Kameron Misner in the mix. Will Wilson has also been a target for the Giants.
11. Blue Jays – Jackson Rutledge, RHP, San Jacinto JC (TX)
We’re told Rutledge threw privately for Toronto recently. If Rutledge goes eight or nine, then whichever of the lefty college bats (Stott, Bishop) is left becomes the favorite. This is where Seattle-area prep CF Corbin Carroll’s name starts to get mentioned.
12. Mets – Bryson Stott, SS, UNLV
Stott, Manoah, and Bishop are in the mix if they’re here. Kentucky LHP Zack Thompson and Kirby are possible, based on Mets heat at late looks.
13. Twins – Josh Jung, 3B, Texas Tech
This is probably Stott’s floor. Nor Cal prep SS Kyren Paris and SoCal power/speed prospect Keoni Cavaco could be options later. They’re on Alabama prep C Ethan Hearn in the second round. This team cut underslot with college bats early last year, then spread $400-500k bonuses around later.
14. Phillies – George Kirby, RHP, Elon
Rutledge is the pick if he’s here, which he likely won’t be. They may underslot Hoese. Alabama SS Gunnar Henderson is a dark horse.
15. Angels – Zack Thompson, LHP, Kentucky
We think they’d scoop up a falling college starter, which, in this scenario, is Thompson. If nobody they like is on the board, then they might cut with a high-profile prep, like Paris, who otherwise wouldn’t go until late in the round. We consider the Angels one of the two or three clubs most likely to value two-way high school player Spencer Jones enough to sign him at a later pick.
16. D’Backs – Corbin Carroll, CF, Lakeside HS (WA)
If a value college player like Jung gets here, then Arizona may opt for that. They have a lot of picks, so we have them with a lot of different names, including Carroll, Puerto Rican SS Matthew Lugo, Florida high school RHP Matthew Allan, Cavaco, IMG Academy RHP Brennan Malone, SoCal SS Brooks Lee, and North Carolina curveballing LHP Blake Walston. Arizona 3B Nick Quintana and college pitching are candidates to be financial anchors amid all these prep names.
17. Nationals – Shea Langeliers, C, Baylor
Jung (likely doesn’t get here) and Allan (rumored $4 million price tag) are the names here, along with Langeliers.
18. Pirates – Quinn Priester, RHP, Cary-Grove HS (IL)
It’s possible one of the college arms, most likely Kirby but perhaps poetically Lodolo, would get here and be in the mix by default, but otherwise Priester would stop here. Henderson sounds like an option here or with their next pick.
19. Cardinals – Will Wilson, SS, North Carolina State
Matthew Lugo and Tennessee high school OF Maurice Hampton are possibilities here. This is the earliest we think UNC 1B/OF Michael Busch might go. Georgia 3B Aaron Schunk is a possibility later.
20. Mariners – Anthony Volpe, SS, Delbarton HS (NJ)
Some teams are scared of Volpe’s number, but there’s an awful lot of smoke surrounding him and the Mariners here. Cavaco and Goss are sleepers, and Carroll would be a coup if he fell this far. Slick-fielding shortstop Nasim Nunez has also been mentioned, as he’s a similar player to Volpe, but more explosive.
21. Braves – Kody Hoese, 3B, Tulane
Hoese may be an underslot option earlier than this, at eight to Texas and possibly with Atlanta’s first pick, but has lots of landing spots in the back half of the first round.
22. Rays – Keoni Cavaco, 3B, Eastlake HS (CA)
Tampa Bay has several picks (22, 36, 40, 61) and we have them on Cavaco, Campbell Univ. RHP Seth Johnson, Brooks Lee, and prep SS Christian Cairo later on. We think they’re also on the short list of teams most likely to pursue Spencer Jones.
23. Rockies – Michael Busch, 1B, North Carolina
We also have Colorado on UNC-Wilmington SS Greg Jones at this pick, UCLA 1B Michael Toglia and Georgia 3B Aaron Schunk at their second pick, and Cal C Korey Lee at their second or third pick.
24. Indians – Kyren Paris, SS, Freedom HS (CA)
We see model-driven prospects here: Paris (age) and Will Wilson (performance, age).
25. Dodgers – Daniel Espino, RHP, Premier Academy HS (GA)
We also have them with Brennan Malone here and Stanford OF Kyle Stowers at their next pick. We doubt they’d do two prep pitchers, though. We’re told Espino threw privately for the Dodgers recently. El Paso high school SS David Hernaiz may be an early day two target.
26. D’Backs – Matthew Allan, RHP, Seminole HS (FL)
27. Cubs – J.J. Goss, RHP, Cypress Ranch HS (TX)
Hoese probably doesn’t get here but they seem to like him. Theo Epstein and a national crosschecker went to see him at the conference tournament.
28. Brewers – Brennan Malone, RHP, IMG Academy HS (FL)
We think they’ll kick the tires on some pitching like Malone, Goss, or Barco.
29. A’s – Greg Jones, SS, UNC Wilmington
Jones fits the A’s recent upside approach and a couple upside college bats make sense here (Misner, Davidson).
30. Yankees – Kameron Misner, RF, Missouri
We have New York on toolsy guys who need tweaks, like Misner and high school 3B Rece Hinds. Fresno State RHP Ryan Jensen and Ball State RHP Drey Jameson may be an option later.
31. Dodgers – Kyle Stowers, RF, Stanford
32. Astros – Logan Davidson, SS, Clemson
They were rumored to be Hoese’s floor earlier this spring, but it’s unlikely he gets here now. We’ve heard they are considering Espino at this pick as well. Performing college bats or pitchers with high spin rates and 12:30ish spin axes are Astros central casting in drafts.
33. D’Backs – Matthew Lugo, SS, Beltran Academy HS (PR)
34. D’Backs – Blake Walston, LHP, New Hanover HS (NC)
35. Marlins – Nasim Nunez, SS, Collins Hill HS (GA)
36. Rays – Brooks Lee, SS, San Luis Obispo HS (CA)
37. Pirates – Gunnar Henderson, SS, Morgan Academy HS (AL)
38. Yankees – Drey Jameson, RHP, Ball State
39. Twins – Braden Shewmake, SS, Texas A&M
40. Rays – Seth Johnson, RHP, Campbell
41. Rangers – Tyler Callihan, 3B, Providence HS (FL)
42. Orioles – Hunter Barco, LHP, Bolles HS (FL)
43. Red Sox – Cameron Cannon, 3B, Arizona
This could be one of the two Arizona bats, Cannon or Quintana, along with Greg Jones if he gets this far. Arkansas’ Matt Cronin is among the college power arms they like.
44. Royals – Ethan Small, LHP, Mississippi State
45. White Sox – Maurice Hampton, CF, Memphis University HS (TN)
46. Marlins – Josh Smith, SS, LSU
47. Tigers – Matt Wallner, RF, Southern Mississippi
48. Padres – Tommy Henry, LHP, Michigan
49. Reds – Sammy Siani, CF, William Penn Charter HS (PA)
50. Rangers – Dominic Fletcher, CF, Arkansas
51. Giants – Drew Mendoza, 3B, Florida State
52. Blue Jays – Ryan Jensen, RHP, Fresno State
53. Mets – Brady McConnell, SS, Florida
54. Twins – Ethan Hearn, C, Mobile Christian HS (AL)
55. Angels – Hunter Brown, RHP, Wayne State
56. D’Backs – Nick Quintana, 2B, Arizona
57. Pirates – Jimmy Lewis, RHP, Lake Travis HS (TX)
58. Cardinals – Aaron Schunk, 3B, Georgia
59. Mariners – John Doxakis, LHP, Texas A&M
60. Braves – Ryne Nelson, RHP, Oregon
61. Rays – Chase Strumpf, 2B, UCLA
62. Rockies – Michael Toglia, 1B, UCLA
63. Indians – Yordys Valdes, SS, McArthur HS (FL)
64. Cubs – T.J. Sikkema, LHP, Missouri
65. Brewers – Jamari Baylor, SS, Benedictine HS (VA)
66. A’s – Kyle McCann, C, Georgia Tech
67. Yankees – Rece Hinds, RF, IMG Academy HS (FL)
68. Astros – Isaiah Campbell, RHP, Arkansas
69. Red Sox – Matt Cronin, LHP, Arkansas
70. Royals – Hudson Head, CF, Churchill HS (TX)
71. Orioles – Ryan Pepiot, RHP, Butler
72. Pirates – Graeme Stinson, LHP, Duke
73. Padres – Jordan Brewer, CF, Michigan
74. D’Backs – Davis Wendzel, 3B, Baylor
75. D’Backs – Dasan Brown, CF, Abbey Park HS (CAN)
76. Mariners – Tyler Baum, RHP, North Carolina
77. Rockies – Bryce Osmond, RHP, Jenks HS (OK)
78. Dodgers – Spencer Jones, 1B/LHP, La Costa Canyon HS (CA)