June 8, 2014
Prospects Will Break Your Heart
Mock Draft 2014
Team: Houston Astros
Projected Selection: Brady Aiken
Reason: Since Jeff Luhnow jumped behind the wheel of the Astros franchise, the team has been in the business of selling hope, which they cryptically bottle in their own process, and deliver from within by growing an infrastructure of young, cost-controllable talent. But up until now, this talent was merely physically impressive on the field and not all that aesthetically pleasing in the face. Things will change on that front, as I have it from a good source that the Astros’ Laboratory of Analytical Science Conclusions has discovered this weakness and will work to correct the deficiency by drafting Brady Aiken, a high school lefty with a tan that just won’t quit and a facial bone structure of an in-demand and slightly Scandinavian Tommy Hilfiger model. Bonus that he’s a lefty that can actually pitch.
Team: Miami Marlins
Projected Selection: Tyler Kolek
Reason: Lots of pre-draft speculation that the Marlins will decide between Carlos Rodon and Alex Jackson with the number two pick, but my sources are telling me that the team is extra hot for Texas beefcake and beef connoisseur Tyler Kolek. After a recent visit to the Lone Star State, it was suggested that both ownership and the entire amateur scouting department enjoyed some Texas beef, and upon enjoying said beef and remarking on the spectacular nature of the beef, made the decision on the spot to draft the beefiest beef in the class, no matter of the risk involved or the other talent that would be available at the time. Kolek—which loosely translates to “The Superman of Beef” in some language [not sourced], is said to weigh closer to 300 lbs. than his listed 245, which would give the Marlins even more beef for the buck, a development that the beef starved organization won’t be able to pass up.
Team: Chicago White Sox
Projected Selection: Carlos Rodon
Reason: I spent the better parts of the 2010-2012 seasons openly bashing and criticizing the Chicago White Sox’s farm system, going as far to suggest their farm was the worst I had ever seen in my entire adult life and the act of producing their prospect lists made me physically and emotionally sick. Rick Hahn probably wanted me dead. Ozzie Guillen’s son Oney once called me an asshole on Twitter. But I’ve come around on the White Sox, and not just because I want to move to Chicago, work for the White Sox, go day-drinking with Rick Hahn, and possibly get to meet and go day-drinking with either Frank Thomas, Michael Jordan, or Bo Jackson. The White Sox will pick the best player in the entire draft class in Carlos Rodon and I will get to do countless radio spots blowing smoke up Rick Hahn’s south side.
Team: Chicago Cubs
Projected Selection: Kyle Schwarber
Reason: Most people incorrectly assume that the Cubs have a disproportionate amount of positional talent to pitching talent, and given the makeup of the draft class will address the pitching deficiencies by selecting a high-ceiling arm with the number four pick. The problem is that all the “so-called” positional talent in the organization have something wrong with their eyes; Bryant’s eyes are so beautiful and full of natural sparkle that he can’t close his eyelids; Baez has 20/10 vision and scored high on depth perception tests but refuses to see the ball well at night just to be difficult; Soler’s eyes are injury prone; Alcantara’s eyes are actually doll’s eyes; Vogelbach’s eyes are constantly watering because he has sadness in his heart; and based on my initial looks, Carlos Penalver was born without eyes. Schwarber might not have the sexy ceiling or defensive value or suggestive sticker price, but his eyes are fully functional, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Cubs think out-of-the-box with this pick and grab a positional prospect that can actually see.
Team: Minnesota Twins
Projected Selection: Nick Gordon
Reason: Tom Gordon
Team: Seattle Mariners
Projected Selection: Alex Jackson
Reason: This is a tough one. I stopped believing in the Mariners after they passed on Francisco Lindor in the 2011 draft in order to take Danny Hultzen, a move that some applauded at the time because of Hultzen’s “polished three-pitch mix and plus command”; of course, given my infatuation with the slick Puerto Rican shortstop and my lack of feelings for mid-rotation starters (at best) with the number two pick in an absolutely loaded draft class, I wasn’t one of those people. Alex Jackson makes perfect sense in this spot, as his bat has impact potential and he struggles to hit quality off-speed stuff, which should immediately earn him organizational credibility from the likes of every other hitter in the entire org.
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Projected Selection: Aaron Nola
Reason: The Phillies are usually in the business of drafting highly athletic boom or bust talent, a philosophy I admire even if the latter outcome can puncture the quality and depth on the farm. Despite not being a raw teenager with limited playing experience that is likely to bust, Aaron Nola looks like a good fit for the Phillies, as he once played Benjamin Franklin in a school play and never really abandoned the role, taking it to levels normally reserved for the fetish community. Call it a quirk or an idiosyncratic trait or a legit anachronistic displacement issue, Nola continues to rally against the Stamp Act and is a strict champion of his own puritanical virtues, which he recites on the mound whenever he needs to find inner strength. Some have suggested that he modeled his pitching style after the French, and that he glues pictures of his own face onto other people’s currency, but those claims remain unsubstantiated at this time. Good fit for Philly.
Team: Colorado Rockies
Projected Selection: Kyle Freeland
Reason: The Colorado Christ Warriors, a highly secretive, virtually unknown, and completely fabricated for comedic purposes subset of the Rockies scouting department, have identified Freeland as having the most room in his heart for the love of Jesus Christ. Pretty easy pick.
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Projected Selection: Jeff Hoffman
Reason: Tommy John surgery is a hoax propagated by the liberal media in an effort to turn people away from baseball and to support an invasive medical agenda that uses ligament replacement surgery as a cover to insert government tracking devices into the “damaged” part of the arm. The Blue Jays are known throughout baseball for their oppositional stance to such experimental medical procedures—Tommy John truthers, if you will—and will draft the best player available, which will be the completely healthy Jeff Hoffman, a player with a no. 2 ceiling and a lifetime of uncompromised elbow ligaments.
Team: New York Mets
Projected Selection: Michael Conforto
Reason: Nobody in baseball has actually heard of Michael Conforto, a make-believe player from some place in the Northwest part of the United States (wherever that is) that might also be make-believe. Supposedly he plays a position on the field and lifts weights in order to be strong, but he never swings because he would rather walk, which I would suggest is a lazy approach but you can’t pour water on shadows. If the past is prologue, a superstar pitcher will likely emerge in the coming years that would have been available for the Mets to take here at number ten, but once again they will opt for fantasy over franchise and select a player that nobody can prove exists.
Jason Parks is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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