At the onset of my six-part series on scouting directors, I had a simple question: could a reliable mock draft be made without knowing any inside information? So while Kevin Goldstein has worked the phones and come up with a more reliable mock draft, I’m curious if my case study on director’s tendencies will match a few selections tomorrow.
So, with the help of Kevin’s top 50 prospects and my information on each director, I went pick-by-pick through the first round and tried to guess what each director would do. After David Price, I didn’t pay attention to any information I’ve been told, any associations between player and team, or any signability issue. What’s below is simply what I believe each director would prefer given his history, assuming the players drafted above him are not available. While the actual name doesn’t matter as much as the type of player for purposes of case study success, it will certainly be interesting if a few scouting directors revert back to what’s familiar.
1. Tampa Bay Devil Rays: David Price, lhp, Vanderbilt University
It’s an easy start for R.J. Harrison, running his second draft with the team. While Evan Longoria will remain his best player produced, Harrison now has two blue-chip names right at the top of his resume.
2. Kansas City Royals: Rick Porcello, rhp, New Jersey HS
I think Deric Ladnier is going to go with a pitcher here — he’s never been afraid in the past — and since Colt Griffin, polish has been an important factor for Ladnier. Porcello’s price tag is a problem, but he gets the pick for being the most polished pitcher in this spot.
3. Chicago Cubs: Josh Vitters, 3B, California HS
A lot of rumors flying in this spot, because for one thing, scouting director Tim Wilken is so difficult to read. He always takes the top player on his draft board, so unless the Cubs go cheap, Kevin Goldstein’s inside information of Wilken’s love for Vitters comes in handy here.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates: Mike Moustakas, UT, California HS
There’s a lot of players that make sense here, given Ed Creech’s desire for left-handed hitters and pitchers. I think they go offense this season, leaving the decision between Moustakas, Jason Heyward and Beau Mills. Heyward makes a lot of sense, but Moustakas’ athleticism seems to be a little more up Creech’s alley.
5. Baltimore Orioles: Ross Detwiler, lhp, Missouri State
You can bet that the Orioles have their eye on Moustakas, but with him gone, we’ll go with the top ten’s most projectable pitcher. Joe Jordan has an affinity for high school players, but Detwiler mixes a prep ceiling with three years of collegiate instruction.
6. Washington Nationals: Matt Wieters, C, Georgia Tech
I can’t overstate how interesting this pick will be, as nothing in the draft intrigues me more than the Dana Brown and Mike Rizzo conglomeration. I think the club may look to make a statement, and Wieters would be just that. He’s the college hitter that Rizzo has always coveted, and Ryan Zimmerman proved that Brown will draft elite college talents.
7. Milwaukee Brewers: Jason Heyward, OF, Georgia HS
Jack Zduriencik has chosen high schoolers at a 15% higher clip than collegians over the years, and in a draft high on prepsters, look for the Brewers to walk away with a teenager. The big decision in this spot will be Jarrod Parker or Heyward, but given Parker’s similarities to last year’s Jeremy Jeffress pick, look for the Zduriencik’s power affinity to shine through.
8. Colorado Rockies: Daniel Moskos, lhp, Clemson
Bill Schmidt drafts college players more often than high school players, but his first round distribution is far more equal. He’ll take the best player on the board, and in this case, probably the best pitcher on the board. That is Parker or Moskos, but if Schmidt takes Coors Field into consideration, Moskos’ groundball numbers should settle the argument.
This is a dream situation for first-year director Tom Allison, because Parker is one of the only in the top ten who has not floated outrageous bonus demands. The signing of Max Scherzer leaves the Diamondbacks a bit frugal, but if Parker drops, he’ll be the perfect prospect for Allison to disinguish himself from Mike Rizzo with.
10. San Francisco Giants: Beau Mills, 1B/3B, Lewis-Clark State
This is perfect. The Giants desperately need hitters, and Matt Nerland has a long-time connection with players from Ed Cheff’s program. If Mills drops this far, expect the Giants association with Lewis-Clark to continue.
11. Seattle Mariners: Matt Dominguez, 3B, California HS
Here lies my first real dilemna. Bob Fontaine’s past makes Daniel Moskos a perfect fit, but if the southpaw doesn’t last that long, there aren’t college pitchers nor any kind of shortstop or centerfielder to draft. His affinity for left-handers pushed me to Madison Bumgarner, but Matt Dominguez is a really athletic third baseman with some pop and intelligence, and I think Fontaine might bite.
12. Florida Marlins: Blake Beavan, rhp, Texas HS
This is Stan Meek’s dream draft, with a choice between his pick of high school pitchers as well as a catcher, Devin Mesoraco. Despite Mesoraco’s helium, I think he stays with a pitcher, and Blake Beavan’s big size and strength is why Meek went after Chris Volstad. Phillipe Aumont makes sense, too.
I don’t have a lot of reasons for associating Mesoraco with the Indians, but if the organization is forced into taking a prep player, a hitter makes more sense. If Mirabelli doesn’t have interest in Kevin Ahrens, Mesoraco is the guy who could eventually push Victor Martinez to first full-time.
14. Atlanta Braves: Michael Main, rhp, Florida HS
The debate here is simple: with Moskos and Heyward gone, Main or Georgian Josh Smoker? Main has a lot more upside than Smoker, with tons of athleticism and big velocity readings … and Clark loves him some upside.
15. Cincinnati Reds: Josh Smoker, lhp, Georgia HS
It’s going to be time for Chris Buckley to buck his own trend of drafting college position players, because I don’t think Matt LaPorta fits in the National League and it’s too early to draft Corey Brown. However, if polish is what Buckley is after, Josh Smoker already has four pitches and good fastball control. If he stays with a hitter, Kevin Ahrens is the likely choice.
16. Toronto Blue Jays: Kevin Ahrens, 3B, Texas HS
I actually think Jon Lalonde will be in the exact same camp as Chris Buckley, and between Ahrens and Smoker, he will choose the player that Buckley does not. Canadian Phillipe Aumont would be a nice PR pick, here, but I don’t see it happening.
17. Texas Rangers: Madison Bumgarner, lhp, North Carolina HS
The Rangers don’t shy away from drafting high school pitchers, so with their first of many choices, I see the Rangers going with upside. Sticking strictly to tendencies, the left-hander gets the edge here, so Bumgarner gets the pick rather than Phillipe Aumont or Scott Boras (friend of Tom Hicks) client Matt Harvey.
18. St. Louis Cardinals: Casey Weathers, rhp, Vanderbilt
I’ve made the association between Weathers and the Cardinals for a long time, because it makes sense on multiple levels. Luhnow is a college-first guy, and more importantly, the Cardinals have huge bullpen needs that Weathers can address quickly and effectively. Unless they look to make a big monetary splash, Weathers is the pick.
19. Philadelphia Phillies: Phillipe Aumont, rhp, Canada HS
Marti Wolevar likes taking high school players in the first round, and in this instance, both Aumont and Matt Harvey are top ten talents that have fallen. Since the Phillies are anti-Boras since J.D. Drew, Aumont gets the nod.
20. Los Angeles Dodgers: Matt Harvey, Connecticut HS
This is Logan White, so a surprise isn’t out of order, with Jack McGeary or Kyle Blair as possibilities. But the Dodgers were happy when Clayton Kershaw fell to them last year, and with another top high school pitcher falling this season, this is the right organization to pick him up.
21. Toronto Blue Jays: Nick Schmidt, lhp, Arkansas
I actually think this pick is dependent upon the Blue Jays first selection. If they can get Josh Smoker first, this pick will likely be slugger Matt LaPorta. If Smoker is drafted by the Braves or Reds and the Jays end up with Ahrens, Lalonde’s affinity for big-game southpaws leaves them with Schmidt.
22. San Franciso Giants: Julio Borbon, CF, Tennessee
Pick two for Matt Nerland, and if he’s there, Nick Schmidt makes sense. I think the Giants want to make an offensive splash, however, and after going with a slugger (Mills) at 10, Julio Borbon’s speed would give them a future centerfielder and leadoff man.
23. San Diego Padres: Joe Savery, LHP, Rice
It will be a college player - that much I think I know. Also, with a system bereft of pitching, Borbon is the only hitter that would fit. That leaves a decision between Savery and Californians James Simmons and Aaron Poreda. After going safe last year, I like the risk of taking the left-handed Savery.
24. Texas Rangers: Corey Brown, of, Oklahoma State
Ron Hopkins already got his high school pitcher with Madison Bumgarner, so I think here they move onto a hitter. The decision comes between a couple of Big 12 power hitters — Oklahoma State’s Corey Brown and Texas’ Kyle Russell. Given the latter’s similarities to Drew Stubbs and the Rangers interest in Stubbs a year ago, I’m predicting Brown.
25. Chicago White Sox: Kyle Russell, of, Texas
This is the first logical home for Andrew Brackman, as he would certainly give the White Sox the high-ceiling talent they are searching for. Instead, I think they go with Russell, who has a little college pedigree but youth and raw power to please ownership.
26. Oakland Athletics: James Simmons, rhp, UC Riverside
The A’s are probably hoping Kyle Russell falls, given their long-standing association with Augie Garrido. If not, I think they stay in the college ranks and go with a pitcher, probably James Simmons or Brett Cecil. Simmons’ California pedigree and better second half makes the pick easy.
27. Detroit Tigers: Mitch Canham, c, Oklahoma State
Corey Brown would be a perfect pick for David Chadd if he falls, and if Chadd can get another big bonus, Jack McGeary is another player that might interest the Tigers. Todd Frazier’s brother is in the system and makes sense, but I think Mitch Canham’s presence behind the plate will seal the deal for Chadd.
28. Minnesota Twins: Aaron Poreda, lhp, San Francisco
An exciting pick, because there are a lot of possibilities here, and Mike Radcliff likes to throw in surprises. He likes prep shortstops, and if so, could go with his choice of Justin Jackson, Nick Noonan and Pete Kozma. However, Radcliffe’s desire for upside and college pitching leaves Aaron Poreda as a real good fit.
29. San Francisco Giants: Nick Noonan, SS/2B, California HS
Pick three for the Giants, and the question becomes whether Nerland will be able to stomach three offensive players in the first round. If the answer is no, I expect Kyle Blair to be the selection. But if it’s yes, one of the shortstops will be the answer, and Californian Nick Noonan was given the edge by Goldstein.
30. New York Yankees: Matt LaPorta, 1B, Florida
It’s hard to not associate the Yankees with an expensive player like Andrew Brackman, but after going heavy on pitchers last year, a college hitter looks in the cards for the Yankees. Todd Frazier and Brad Suttle both had big seasons with the bat, but both fell short of Matt LaPorta, who would become the Yankees future first baseman.