2011 MLB Mock Draft

Steve O Speak

1. Pittsburgh Pirates: 3B Anthony Rendon (College)-

I know a lot of people are jumping ship, and there are plenty of other fine options, but Rendon was the top player in this class. His injuries are fluky rather than a major concern, and teams are basically pitching around him. He’s got the best bat and glove combination in this draft, and is very reminiscent of Evan Longoria, Ryan Zimmerman, and David Wright. If he gets anywhere close to that group this is a great pick, and allows Pedro Alvarez go from being a weak defensive 3B to an above average defensively 1B.

2. Seattle Mariners: SS Francisco Lindor (H.S.)-

Lindor is the top SS prospect in this draft with what looks like an elite glove. There are some concerns with his hitting, but a number of teams feel he will hit plenty for a top 5 pick. The Mariners look to be one of those teams, and while they could pop a pitcher here, I think they go with the premium position.

3. Arizona Diamondbacks: RHP Gerrit Cole (College)-

The D-Backs luck out and land a guy they covet, in Cole. Cole was a little inconsistent down the stretch, but he has been considered an elite arm since the Yankees drafted him in the first round 3 years ago. He passed up the shot and has gotten even better. He is a top overall pick in most drafts (and could be this year as well), so Arizona gets great value.

4. Baltimore Orioles: RHP Dylan Bundy (H.S)-

The Orioles could take anyone of the top pitchers available, but I’m thinking they pop Bundy here. Bundy by some accounts is the best prep arm in the last couple years and should move quickly through the Minors. The O’s already have his older brother in their system and probably can’t resist the idea of having both brothers in their rotation in a year or two.

5. Kansas City Royals: OF Bubba Starling (H.S.)-

The Royals are rumored to be in on any of the college starters, but can they really pass up a local talent like Starling? Starling is a 5-tool CF prospect, who in some drafts would be the top player selected. He’s a bit raw since he was a two sport star, and he has a strong Nebraska commitment that Kansas City will need to buy him away from, but I still see this as the pick. The Royals are shy about spending for elite H.S. talent and for the most part it has paid off. While Starling could be a few years away (probably at least 4), he could be the final piece to their already impressive young future lineup.

6. Washington Nationals: LHP Danny Hultzen (College)-

The Nationals appear to have a 6 man wish list and will take whomever is left. Since Lindor went above them (he doesn’t appear as high on their list) Washington will get to choose between Hultzen or Bauer. While either would be a great pick, Hultzen isn’t getting past Washington. He’s a local kid, who grew up in MD and went to H.S. in D.C. and college at UVA (talk about a Nationals promotional tour). Hultzen is also a lefty, which helps balance the top right-handers in their rotation, Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann.

7. Arizona Diamondbacks: RHP Trevor Bauer (College)-

Although the D-backs might have been a little upset to see Hultzen go off the board they are quite alright with this scenario. They get to grab Bauer who was Cole’s teammate in college, and basically just as good. With Cole and Bauer at the front of their rotation going forward, things begin to look quite bright in Arizona.

8. Cleveland Indians: RHP Matt Barnes (College)-

The Indians have had a lot of success in recent years taking college arms, and it looks like that trend will continue. While overall I think they are a year or two away still, they proved thus far this season that they are an up-and-coming team. Adding a guy like Barnes who can help them out in a year or two is a smart play.

9. Chicago Cubs: RHP Archie Bradley (H.S.)-

Bradley gets overlooked somewhat because of all the elite talents in this draft but he is very good overall. He’d rank up there with most of the top H.S. pitchers taken the last couple of years and is good pick here for the Cubs. Chicago needs to hit a home run with this pick, and with top H.S. bats like Starling and Lindor gone, I say they go with the best player on the board.

10. San Diego Padres: 3B/OF Cory Spandenberg (College)-

While this pick is protected the Padres aren’t figured to go too cheap here. They likely will look at bats though as, the Padres are in serious need of some offensive options. Spandenberg might not stick at 3B, but 2B, CF or even a corner spot are all options. He has a very advanced bat and could move quickly through their system.

11. Houston Astros: LHP Jed Bradley  (College)-

The Astros need to find some quality young pitching in this draft, and while they’d maybe consider a quick moving high schooler, I think that a college pitcher is most likely. While they still have a number of top options available, I think Jed Bradley will be their choice. I think that LHP is a premium and I really believe in his ability to become a number 2.

12. Milwaukee Brewers: RHP Sonny Gray (College)-

Pitching has long been an issue for the Brewers, and while their rotation is pretty sound right now, none of their current guys are real longterm guarantees. The Brewers need to add some high upside arms to their system and Gray is one of the best arms on the board.

13. New York Mets: RHP Taylor Jungmann (College)-

New York could go any number of different directions, particularly if their new minority owner shows a willingness to spend more on amateur talent. If they don’t do anything drastic though Jungmann should be their selection here. He is a highly polished RHP, who profiles as a very good number 2. He can move quickly through their system, and has little downside.

14. Florida Marlins: SS Javier Baez (H.S.)-

The Marlins have a knack for taking local high school kids, and Baez is one of the best talents to come out of the state of Florida in years. He will probably have to move to 3B (which is quite alright with Hanley Ramirez at SS), but should be a relatively quick mover. He could be ready within 3 years and should be a highly productive offensive weapon.

15. Milwaukee Brewers: SS Levi Michael (College)-

This pick is unprotected so I’d look for Milwaukee play it a little safe here. Michael isn’t reach though, just a guy who is likely to sign for slot. He profiles as a solid offensive SS, with good defensive ability. He doesn’t have an elite tool, but is good across the board. He should also move quickly and would give the Brewers a nice middle infield with Weeks.

16. Los Angeles Dodgers: LHP Tyler Anderson (College)-

Given their financial situation the Dodgers have to stick to slot with this pick. Anderson is a bit of a reach as he is more a early 20’s prospect, but he is still a good player overall. He projects as a good number 3, and being a lefty he makes more sense here than say a similar righty.

17. Los Angeles Angels: RHP Taylor Guerrieri (H.S.)-

The Angels will likely look to take a top prep pitcher with this pick. They will be quite happy with Guerrieri who in most years is a top 10 talent. Despite being a H.S. guy he still looks to move pretty quickly and could be up in just over 3 years.

18. Oakland Athletics: OF George Springer (College)-

The A’s are interested in a lot of guys here, but Springer seems to be their top choice. He gives them a high upside CF prospect, who’s glove will play even if the bat doesn’t develop like they hope.

19. Boston Red Sox: OF Mikie Mahtook (College)-

Boston could go in a number of directions here, but Mahtook is a high upside CF, who could easily be a top 15 player. He gives good value here and should contribute and be ready for the show in the next couple years.

20. Colorado Rockies: 2B Kolten Wong (College)-

The Rockies seemed focused on college players here, and Wong is probably their top choice. He looks to move quickly and be a very good hitter, giving the Rockies an impressive middle infield.

21. Toronto Blue Jays: RHP Dillon Howard (H.S.)-

Toronto could go a number of directions here, but with H.S. pitching of value at this pick I see that the direction they go. They have 4 supplemental picks so they could add a couple intriguing college players in that area.

22. St. Louis Cardinals: RHP Jose Fernandez (H.S.)-

St. Louis is a wildcard team, they have shown an ability to go with both H.S. and college players.

23. Washington Nationals: RHP Alex Meyer (College)-

This is a steal for the Nationals if Meyer lands here as he has the potential to go 10 picks higher. Washington would love to add another top college arm with this pick, and this would give them an incredibly strong rotation going forward.

24. Tampa Bay Rays: RHP Robert Stephenson (H.S.)-

This is the first of the Rays 3 first round picks (they also have 7 supplemental and 2 2nd rounders) and I think they will take the best player on their board. Stephenson is a high upside pitcher who could end up developing into a number 2 down the road.

25. San Diego Padres: LHP Josh Osich (College)-

There is a lot of assumption that the Padres will spend money this year, but that hasn’t fully been their M.O. in the past. I could see them going over slot in the next few rounds, but they will probably look for easy signs early. Osich has good upside and projects well as at least a 3.

26. Boston Red Sox: RHP Tyler Beede (High School)-

Beede is a local product that the Red Sox have their eye on, and would be a nice sign for them. He sounds like he has a big bonus demand, but does want to sign. He’s got a ton of upside and gives Boston a potential future frontline pitcher.

27. Cincinnati Reds: OF Brian Goodwin (College)-

It’s hard to predict exactly what the Reds will do, but Goodwin is a good value pick here. They could go the H.S. route, but probably won’t go over slot to do so. Goodwin has a lot of upside and could develop into a frontline CF. That might not be a big need for the Reds, but having two stud young CF’s is hardly the worst thing in the world.

28. Atlanta Braves: RHP Joe Ross (High School)-

The Braves typically go with sign-ability in the first round and I think this is no exception. Ross has a lot of promise, but apparently doesn’t have the huge price tag.

29. San Francisco Giants: LHP Henry Owens (H.S.)-

While pitching is the Giants strength I think they continue to stockpile young arms, as their isn’t a great hitting option here. Owens is a high upside lefty who could move pretty quickly for San Francisco.

30. Minnesota Twins: LHP Andrew Chafin (College)-

Minnesota typically takes college players and specifically pitchers with their top pick. Chafin could be a slight reach here, but he is a good pitcher and should sign quickly.

31. Tampa Bay Rays: LHP Daniel Norris (H.S.)-

With the Rays having so many they can pick whatever they want. While they can’t blow their budget on every pick, I see them grabbing a couple high priced options. Norris probably should go 10 picks sooner, but his price tag could scare some teams away. Tampa though should take a shot on him as he can really develop into a stud pitching prospect.

32. Tampa Bay Rays: C Andrew Susac (College)-

Susac helps balance the Rays draft after they have taken two high upside pitchers. Susac gives them a college positional guy, who should also sign quickly. This is good value for Tampa and rounds out a great first round for them.

33. Texas Rangers: OF Brandon Nimmo (H.S.)-

Nimmo gives the Rangers a high upside athlete, who has some star potential. He’s a bit raw overall, but it is a very good pick here for them. He’s expected to sign, but will likely be for well over slot.

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