June 1, 2012
Future Shock Blog
I'll be working all weekend on a detailed mock draft for Monday morning, but here's a snapshot of where I am in the top ten to whet your appetite.
1. Houston Astros: Byron Buxton, OF, Appling County HS (GA)
The Astros mix has gone from Buxton/Appel to Buxton/Appel/Correa in recent days, but Correa's surge is probably not enough to go this high. New GM Jeff Luhnow has a long leash in Houston, so he can afford the upside risk.
It seems like a Buxton/Appel binary decision, but some clubs prefer Zimmer over Appel among the big college arms, and Minnesota might be one of them.
3. Seattle Mariners: Carlos Correa, SS, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy
Appel dropping here would be tempting, but the system is loaded with pitching, and after passing on last year's late surging 17-year-old shortstop in Francisco Lindor, they might not want to do it again.
They'd love to see Buxton somehow fall to them, and the industry believes their more realistic favorite is Gausman.
5. Kansas City Royals: Kyle Zimmer, RHP, San Francisco
If any of the big three college pitchers are left, the Royals will take one.
The Cubs are all over the board with interest in the college arm trio, as well as the top high school players as well. They've rarely been attached to Zunino, but an above-average every day catcher who can move quickly through the system and give the team an on-the-field leader would be tough to pass by.
Almora's combination of plus-plus defense, gap to average power and good speed could make him a perfect fit in that ball park, and he's among the last of the crazy upside guys on the board, unless they go with the pitching version of upside in Max Fried.
The whole industry thinks this is who the Pirates are targeting to solve their long-standing shortstop woes. Almora would be tempting here if he falls.
9. Miami Marlins: Courtney Hawkins, OF, Carroll HS (TX)
The general consensus is high school player, and upside, and Hawkins athleticsm and raw power fit the bill.
10. Colorado Rockies: Max Fried, LHP, Harvard-Westlake HS (CA)
The Rockies have worked out several high school position players, and are especially attached to outfielders like Hawkins, Almora and David Dahl, but I have to get Fried off the board, and it's not like the Rockies don't need pitching as well.