There are lots of MLB mock drafts happening right now. Some variations rely on “MLB Insider” information to try to accurately predict which players will end up where. Others take a more educational approach, teaching fans about players they’ll see years down the line in a fun format. A third type is the classic “here’s what I’d do” mock draft, in which experts essentially roll out a ranking. All are entertaining, all are valuable, and all generally tell you something about a player you didn’t know beforehand.
As always, this mock draft will not be like those mock drafts. Instead, it will follow in the proud tradition of our inaugural name draft from 2015, which was born from Craig’s realization that that year’s crop of talent included players with very, very silly names. Last year’s crop lacked top-end talent but was fairly deep. Early returns suggest that 2017 is more similar to 2015 with its high-end names but lack of depth, but hey, we’re here to find out.
We’re confining ourselves to MLB Pipeline’s list of top 200 draft prospects, in the hopes that casting a wider net will prevent us from missing out on the Trey Cabbage-type talent we overlooked by limiting ourselves to 100 prospects in 2015. And, just as last year, to say there’s an element of subjectivity involved in picking these names would be incorrect: picking them is completely subjective. That being said, if you disagree with us, you’re wrong. Enjoy!
How blessed can one man be? This is the second time in three years that I’ve had the first overall pick, and I’ve been fortunate enough to land Dansby Swanson in 2015 and now Jeter Downs. I almost looked this gift horse in the mouth and passed Jeter by (I just had to go to his left), but I wised up and am taking the name that pays the ultimate RE2PECT to The Captain.
Downs was born on July 27, 1998, which means he was likely conceived sometime in October 1997, perhaps right around the time the Indians defeated the Yankees in the ALDS during Jeter’s second full season. That’d explain the melancholy note that Jeter Downs’ name ends on, though it doesn’t quite justify the decision to name your son after a man dating Mariah Carey. There are other strong contenders in this class, names that could go no. 1 in a different year. But at the end of the day, I’m just another man saying “yeah Jeets.” And so soon after Jeter Week, no less. (Oh, and the sneaky best part? You know A-Rod is pissed the kid wasn’t named after him.) – BC
Ben mentioned our failure in regards to Trey Cabbage and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let that mistake happen again. I can’t fault Ben for snagging Jeter Downs with the top pick, but denying everyone the chance to see Burger united with Cabbage in Minnesota is a letdown. Burger is, well, beefy. That’s a quality we look for over on TINO. Throw in the phrase “Burger isn’t the most graceful player” from the MLB Pipeline write-up and it was an easy decision; I’ll have the no. 2 – Jake Burger. – CG
First of all, it’s a shame this name isn’t headed to Boston. “Lohgen Wahmoth goes deep ovah the monstah” is a sentence Jerry Remy was born to say, albeit through a translator. Alas, Warmoth is headed to San Diego here (another missed Logan connection for Boston), but that doesn’t detract from the beauty of his name. Hard-working everymen and sports fans who unironically take pride in being “blue collar” are going to love Logan Warmoth. It is an exceeding masculine name, one that conjures up images of Wolverine fighting alongside Godzilla, or at the very least of a powerful poison-type Pokemon. You know, the type of Pokemon only a man’s man would use. The tops of these name drafts tend to be nominated by high-falutin monikers, but in Burger and Warmoth, we return to a simpler, less refined time. Doesn’t that sound familiar? – BC
Look, Caden isn’t a great name. It’s tres millennial. It’s the Taylor of a slightly later generation. Lemons, also not a great name. They’re a good citrus, inferior to limes, but overall okay. It evokes Don Lemon, though, who himself is the human version of a car that is a lemon, and that’s bad. But somehow, some way, Caden Lemons, together, makes for a phenomenal name. I’m giggling just reading it. A hearty congratulations to Caden’s parents, who somehow made lemonade out of Caden Lemons. – CG
5. Atlanta Braves: Griffin Canning, RHP, UCLA
You can go lots of different ways with this name. Griffin Canning could be the lead man in a Bon Iver cover band or a successful hedge fund manager. But I’ll be honest with you, friends. I think Griffin Canning is a funny name because it makes me think of preserved, sodium-packed griffin meat being sold next to the tuna or chicken at your local Stop N Shop. “Oh, you let your son eat Canned Griffin?” That One Mom In Your Kid’s Friend Group asks condescendingly. “We only let Chadwick eat organic, free-range griffin. You know, like our ancestors.” Oh, and for my true ASOIAF nerds out there, I’d like to point out that this name could pay homage to Mad King Aerys II’s decision to demote Jon Connington from his position as Hand of the King. – BC
If Ben is going to kick off potential prep school names—which, if we’re being honest, is the strength of this, and every, name draft class—I’m going to grab what I view as the top name in that vein. The Fairchilds, Todd and Mimi, have been waiting for this moment since they hired retired baseball players to stand against their son’s bedroom wall and strike poses—you expected them to buy a Fathead? How prole. Stuart’s favorite movie is John Wick 2 because it has an extended scene with a personal tailor. He’s never viewed anything below 4K quality. Oakland probably doesn’t have a prayer at signing him, but if they pull it off, they have a good shot at getting a refurbished clubhouse out of it. – CG
7. Arizona Diamondbacks: Baron Radcliff, OF, Norcross (Georgia) HS
I’ll be damned if I let Craig scoop up the rest of the prep school talent. Baron Radcliff thinks Dansby Swanson is poor. He cried during the scene in The Dark Knight Rises when Bane loots the ritzy hotel. He counts being chauffeured past a Bernie Sanders lawn sign among his most traumatic experiences. He dines on the finest avocado toast several times a week without a care in the world. He even has box seats at Yankee Stadium, for chrissake. I guess what I’m saying is the Diamondbacks better let Baron Radcliff on their roster ASAP, because if they don’t he’s likely to become the first player-owner in the modern era. – BC
Picture it: a dashing man, a leader; one leg up on the bow of the ship, leaning forward as his ship cuts a swath through the open seas. His crew finds him admirable, women and men both swoon in his presence, children weep when he finishes his stories. His actions inspired Looking Glass to write “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl).” Fragrance commercials find him confusing but erotic. He’s a future America’s Cup captain who spends his spare time playing baseball, and he belongs in a city with a port. He is Connor Seabold. – CG
Want your kid to grow up tough? Name him after the way a muppet speaks. – BC
A rarity for the Angels, at least since the Trout pick: tremendous draft value. This might seem to be an unassuming name on its face, but consider that finding a comparable name is nearly impossible. You might find a Taylor Suit, but otherwise pickings are slim. Conductor Opus. Nope. Brewer Beer? Only if Seth’s parents got weird. Cobbler Boot. [buzzer from family feud]. You begin to understand just how special Mason House really is. Add in that he’s from Whitehouse, Texas, and it’s the steal of the draft. – CG
I’ll be honest—Craig popping Mason House was a big blow to my board, and I agree with his sentiments that it was the steal of the draft so far. But I gotta tell you, a dude named Heliot is a hell of a consolation prize. Say what you will about predestination as a general concept, but a man named Heliot Ramos is headed for greatness and glory. Heliot Ramos could be an Iron Chef, or the main character in a Netflix superhero series, or the next actor to play James Bond. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll turn into a five-tool outfielder in five or six years when the White Sox could be competitive again. The possibilities are nearly limitless, but they all portend success. – BC
I once saw Kristi Yamaguchi execute a clean Tristen Lutz during her singles performance in the 1992 Olympics, en route to winning gold. Always been a bigger fan of the Salchow, if we’re keeping it ðŸ’¯ though. – CG
13. Miami Marlins: Tanner Burns, RHP, Decatur (Alabama) HS
Should of used a higher SPF. Idiot. – BC
True story: Quinn Brodey’s one name was the actual inspiration for Disney’s the Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Quinn Brodey is a real life negative of Brady Quinn. Quinn Brodey is a tertiary character in the fourth installment of the Kingsman franchise. Quinn Brodey is who Morgan Cooper ends up with. Quinn Brodey is … y’know what? I’m not beating a Stanford University baseball player on the spectrum of “Things Someone Named Quinn Brodey Definitely Is.” – CG
15. Houston Astros: D.L. Hall, LHP, Valdosta (Georgia) HS
The bad news: he’ll always be on the D.L. The good news? That’ll make him a great Dodger later in his career. – BC
Sure, you’ve got your Mason House, but you’re going to want some Taylor Walls up in there. Soundproof, energy efficient, and load-bearing, you’ll never regret an investment in Taylor Walls. Taylor Walls can also be built to any height, which is good for those organizations with short porches in right field. – CG
17. Seattle Mariners: Kyle Hurt, RHP, Torrey Pines (California) HS
The definition of dramatic irony is “irony that is inherent in speeches or a situation of a drama and is understood by the audience buy not grasped by the characters in the play.” English teachers around the world default to Shakespeare when trying to teach this concept, but if a literal Kyle Hurt is drafted by the Mariners they might have a new, shining example. The Mets and Angels have stolen plenty of pitcher injury headlines this season, but Seattle’s starters have been so gutted and frayed it’s a wonder they weren’t at the Red Wedding. Plus, this would make it two years in a row for the M’s taking a Hurt, Kyle in the first round … – BC
Alright, so you’ve got your House, and of course, you’ve spent for your Walls, so now you need to decide a color palette. Do you see where this is going? Because a house has walls, and walls get painted. And this guy’s name is a color. A specific color. No, you’re killing the joke. – CG
“It’s like raiiiiiiiiiin, on your wedding day, it’s like a player named Poppppppp, getting drafted by the Giants.” – BC
OFP: A villain in an action movie about a tough, street-wise cop who saves the day with guile and wit.
Realistic: An old man who helps remind a jerkwad lawyer who has to coach a hockey team for community service who he really is. – CG
Mr. Waters’ parents really wanted to let you know that he’s bathed. – BC
22. Toronto Blue Jays: Jackson Rutledge, RHP, Rockwood Summit (Missouri) HS
Jackson Rutledge is a former day-trader who retired at 34 years old to spend more time at his vacation house in Vermont. He’s the kinda guy who has the time to decant his wine. He really lets those tannins mellow (NOTE: Tannins Mellow is not the name of a person in this exercise). Jackson Rutledge owns multiple cravats. He abbreviates everything, including the word “abbreviate” (abbreve), and he’s always arriving from an “afternoon on the links.” – CG
23. Los Angeles Dodgers: Joe Lancelotti, RHP, William Penn (Penn) Charter School
Remember the scene in Family Guy when Peter is asked to make up a fake name, looks around the room and sees a pea, a crying girl, and a griffin? I have to imagine that’s what happened to this draft pick.
NURSE: Congrats, it’s a boy! What will you name him?
MOM: Uh, [panics, sees coffee] Joe … [panics, sees a copy of The Once And Future King] … Lancelot … [panics, sees mirror] … I. Joe Lancelotti.
NURSE: Um. Um, okay. – BC
Yet another BP alumnus earns a job with a major-league organization. Inspiring. – CG
The lack of depth in this class is starting to shine through here, which is how Leach makes the cut despite the only real strength of his name coming from its alliterative properties. But it’s easy to imagine Landon Leach as a villain, someone who tries to kill Superman or works to undermine Batman or blows a lead late in a playoff game. He’ll make a perfect National. – BC
That’s the whole joke. – CG
SWEET JAYSON ROSE, ALAYYYYALAYYYY – BC
28. Toronto Blue Jays: Cade Cavalli, RHP, Bixby (Oklahoma) HS
This is a bit of a Landon Leach situation. Nothing truly special here beyond some alliteration and good cadence (no pun intended). Cade is probably a cast member on some future version of the Bachelorette, where he’ll arrive in a helicopter or a matte black R8, immediately alienate the rest of the guys in the house, and be sent home by the third episode after a drunken tirade where he repeatedly screams his net worth at other housemates as spittle flies from his mouth. – CG
29. Texas Rangers: Morgan Cooper, RHP, Texas
Morgan Cooper was your first college love, a sassy, sophisticated woman like no one you’d ever met from your podunk home town. You loved Morgan’s smile, her confidence, and the way she made you feel smarter. Morgan was an overachiever, but hey man, it was college, and you just wanted to chillax. She’d try to drag you to class, make you go to the gym, try new things. You loved her, but you weren’t gonna let some bookish girl take you away from your bros. Well, Morgan got tired. She wanted a man, and you were just a boy, and you cleaned up your act too late. Years later, in a weak moment after a few too many PBRs, you look Morgan up on Facebook. You wish you hadn’t: turns out she’s got three kids with Baron Radcliff, drives a Mercedes, and is a Managing Partner at Cooper, Fairchild, and Seabold. Morgan’s the one that got away, and all you feel is sad. – BC
More like Holton Co-. Y’know what? This seems like a good place to stop. – CG