As this is a fictional league mock draft, I decided my strategy was going to be to max out on potential. Choose ceiling over floor, which is not normally my prospect draft strategy. I didn’t sell out for all-power guys, instead going for guys with high ceilings who are either great hitters already or have contact skills and elite speed. Pitching-wise, I went with guys who have front-line potential, even if there are warts. Those warts, however, have nothing to do with their makeup, it’s more about the maturation and the availability.
I like who I ended up with. Out of these five rounds I ended up with one of the best pure hitters, two five-tool prospects who are freak athletes, and two righties who will not be considered as potential relievers. They also sport top-shelf stuff and don’t need to develop a third pitch or rely too much on the all-too-common fastball/slider combo.
Mock Draft Analysis will run from July 1-5 and July 8-12, with one release per day. Here is the Draft Board for reference.
|Brennen Gorman’s Analysis||Adam Lawler’s Analysis|
|Travis Sherer’s Analysis||Jamie Sayer’s Analysis|
|Paul Ghiglieri’s Analysis||Shelly Verougstraete’s Analysis|
|Andy Patton’s Analysis||Scott Chu’s Analysis|
|Daniel Port’s Analysis||Hunter Denison’s Analysis|
Pick #7: Riley Greene, OF, Detroit Tigers
Riley Greene is probably the third-best hitter in the draft, so getting him at pick No. 7 is a steal to me. Once Adley Rutschman and Andrew Vaughn went off the board, Greene was tied for me with Bobby Witt Jr. and international sensation Jasson Dominguez at No. 3. Witt might have a higher ceiling, but Greene’s bat is the safest bet of any high school tool in the draft. With plus power potential, Greene mashed Florida prep pitching, earning a spot on the 18U National Team, where he demolished international pitching. He’s already tearing up Rookie-A to the tune of .333/.762/1.202 with a pair of dingers and five total extra-base hits in five games. I know, it’s such a small sample it means nothing, but it makes me feel better.
Pick #14: Greg Jones, SS, Tampa Bay Rays
I had to choose between Greg Jones, Keoni Cavaco, and Kody Hoese at pick 14. Having already picked one prep bat, I went with the college bat that had the higher upside. A UNC Wilmington product, Jones has the potential for plus power and plus-plus speed. On top of that, Jones was picked by the Rays, who have done more in their system with guys who have had worse tools. I’ll say it again: if Jones went to almost anybody else in the draft, I’d have probably went with Cavaco with this pick.
Pick #27: Quinn Prestier, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
When it comes to prep pitching prospects, Quinn Priester is like a breath of fresh air. Fastball/sliders are all the rage for potential starting candidates. Priester, on the other hand, does it with low-90s heat and probably the second-best high school curveball in the draft. I’ll admit, I was hoping to grab Daniel Espino with pick 27, but he was picked at 24 by Brennan Gorman so I went with a prep pitcher who I believe is just a half step worse. At 6-feet-3-inches tall and nearly 200 pounds, Prestier has got the size and athleticism to repeat his delivery and develop command quicker than most teenagers. He’s also got room to add weight and probably velocity, which could dramatically change his outlook.
Pick #34: Noah Song, RHP, Boston Red Sox
There are two things you need to know about Noah Song before you look at his career stats: (1) He’s already 22 and (2) depending on what the Navy says, he might not be able to debut for two more years. Yes, this 6-foot-4, 200-pound righty has ace stuff, but went to Navy, who essentially controls his rights for the next two years and could deploy him at any point. That is why despite flashing front-line stuff, Song was drafted in the fourth round of this year’s draft. I’m willing to wait on top-shelf talent. Song features a plus fastball (sits 95), a plus slider and a plus curveball. His changeup is a work in progress. Still, he dominated the Patriot Conference for four years:
|Noah Song (Navy)||IP||ERA||WHIP||K||K-Rate||BB||BB-Rate|
These are elite numbers against not-so-elite competition. So the question is, when Song finally debuts (which could also be in 2020), how much will they change? I believe not enough to be significant. Song is the epitome of a sleeper.
Pick #47: Maurice Hampton, OF, LSU
I went with another sleeper here who I am willing to wait for.
I’ve missed out on Witt, C.J. Abrams, Cavaco, Corbin Carroll and to a lesser extent, Kameron Misner. There is still one prospect with five-tool potential remaining: Maurice Hampton. There is a chance he doesn’t play baseball at all, as he’s a top prospect in football as well and committed to LSU. He’s turned down large signing bonuses and rumors are teams will have to go significantly over slot to lure him away from being a two-sport athlete in the SEC. That said, the tools are first-round worthy. The bat has serious issues, but there’s plus power, potentially plus-plus speed, and a star defensive centerfielder here. He’s going to make watching LSU games very fun next year.
Graphic by Michael Haas (@digitalHaas on Twitter)