I’ve always wanted to do this.
1. Arizona Diamondbacks – Dansby Swanson, SS, Vanderbilt
Here’s the thing about mock drafts. They’re essentially nonsense. Sure you get some good information out of it here and there, but outside of a Callis-ian effort, the very best mocks get something like four or five out of the 30 picks right.
If it’s not Swanson, it’s Dillon Tate or Carson Fulmer, with a very slim chance they go way off the board with an arm like Tyler Jay or a bat like Garrett Whitley.
2. Houston Astros – Alex Bregman, SS, LSU
And if I don’t get the first pick right, I’ve essentially destroyed any chance of getting more than a couple right, because the teams that take a BPA strategy usually don’t let the top talent sit around for very long.
If the Diamondbacks don’t take Swanson, the Astros will, and Brendan Rodgers is just as likely here as Bregman.
3. Colorado Rockies – Tyler Jay, LHP, Illinois
So really, the reason you’re here is because you want to see who your team drafts, and I understand that, as a long-time Mariners fan I’d log on to the various websites, hit control F, type in Seattle and be on my way.
Rodgers and Tate are both possibilities here as well, but Jay is the strong front-runner.
4. Texas Rangers – Dillon Tate, RHP, UC-Santa Barbara
But do you really need a mock draft to do this? Isn’t this what social media and email are for? For people to ask questions?
Bregman, Tate, and Daz Cameron are all in play. And while I haven’t heard it specifically, passing on Rodgers will prove difficult.
5. Houston Astros – Brendan Rodgers, SS, Lake Mary HS (Fla.)
I mean, all you really have to do is log into twitter and say, “Hey @CrawfordChrisV, who are the Astros taking with the fifth pick?” And all I’d have to do is say ,“Well, it looks like they’re going to take Brendan Rodgers right now.”
If Rodgers is gone—and it’s better than 50/50 he will be—Kyle Tucker is the pick.
6. Minnesota Twins – Walker Buehler, RHP, Vanderbilt
Of course, there’s a chance that my response will be, “My new mock draft comes out in so-and-so days, I’ll let you know then.”
If Tate falls, he won’t get past the Twins, but if he’s not available and Buehler isn’t their guy, they could also go with Kolby Allard or maybe a prep bat like Daz Cameron.
7. Boston Red Sox – Andrew Benintendi, OF, Arkansas
But if I didn’t “have” to do a mock draft, or if they weren’t the industry norm I should say, maybe I/we can give you a response that doesn’t make you wait for a list of names that might go in a certain order.
If Brady Aiken’s medicals shed some positive light on his future, there’s a chance he goes here. Cameron and Carson Fulmer both make some sense with this spot, too.
8. Chicago White Sox – Carson Fulmer, RHP, Vanderbilt
I mean, I like to think that I’m a fairly affable person, so I certainly would think if I wasn’t writing a mock draft I’d be happy to give you a general idea of who your favorite club was discussing—without giving up sources of course.
The only way Fulmer isn’t the pick is if he isn’t on the board. If he does go earlier, it could be Jay, Walker Buehler, or James Kaprielian—with prep bat a somewhat realistic option as well.
9. Chicago Cubs – Kyle Tucker, OF, Plant HS (Fla.)
And yes, not everyone is on Twitter or Facebook or MySpace or whatever form of social media is cool with the 18-25s, but we’re getting close to that, right? I don’t have a ton of friends, but I have even fewer friends who don’t have some sort of social media; and I’m on pretty much all of them.
I can’t see Tucker falling out of the top nine, and if he goes to Houston or Boston, Cameron or one of the college pitchers mentioned above is the likely pick, with Bregman still the major hope.
10. Philadelphia Phillies – Ian Happ, 2B, Cincinnati
That’s not to say that I’m not happy with the amount of friends I have, though. I’ve always just felt more comfortable having a group of close friends than a bunch of acquaintances.
Tyler Stephenson, Buehler, and Jon Harris are just as likely to go here as Happ is, as is Tucker if he somehow falls.
11. Cincinnati Reds – Tyler Stephenson, C, Kennesaw Mountain HS (Ga.)
Sometimes, though, I look at the amount of friends and the people I follow and I wonder, “Am I really friends with these people? Would I know their birthdays if I didn’t get a notification? Or more importantly would they know mine?”
This is the lowest Tucker could drop, and it’d be tough for them to pass on local boy Happ if he does make it past the Phillies.
12. Miami Marlins – Daz Cameron, OF, Eagle’s Landing HS (Ga.)
But maybe that’s a selfish attitude to take. Maybe I should just appreciate what I have and spend more time with the close friends I do have. You know, go to the movies or out to dinner and really appreciate the friendship.
This is the lowest I can see Cameron falling, and if he’s off the board they likely go with either Trenton Clark or Buehler.
13. Tampa Bay Rays – Trenton Clark, OF, Richland HS (Tex.)
Speaking of movies, did everyone see Mad Max: Beyond Fury? I loved it, but I couldn’t help but remember that the guy playing Nux was the kid from About a Boy.
If Clark is gone this is likely Jon Harris, and this is the furthest Benintendi likely falls.
14. Atlanta Braves – Cornelius Randolph, SS, Griffin HS (Ga.)
It shouldn’t bother anyone, but I kept looking at the screen and thinking this action star is the same kid with the goofy haircut who needed Hugh Grant to befriend him. That’s tough to forget, no matter how many years it’s been since that movie came out.
They’ll take either of the Georgia big names (Stephenson and Cameron) if they get here.
15. Milwaukee Brewers – Nick Plummer, OF, Brother Rice HS (Mich.)
And maybe that correlates with the reason I’m not a huge fan of mock drafts; because I can’t seem to turn my brain off enough. After all, all of this is for entertainment right? We aren’t writing about things that actually matter like civil rights and elections, we’re talking about sports.
Allard could be the choice here, but if they feel the risk outweighs the reward and Plummer isn’t their guy, they could go with Buehler, Whitley, or Harris.
16. New York Yankees – Garrett Whitley, OF, Niskayuna HS (N.Y.)
But I’ve just never understood the appeal of mindless entertainment. To me, the best movies, music, writing, etc., is the stuff that makes you think. Why would you want to turn your brain off? It’s a wonderful thing—when used right
Whitley is still in play at 1-1, but that’s obviously looking less and less likely. If he’s off the board, Chris Betts, Harris, and Kaprielian are all potential fallbacks.
17. Cleveland – Jon Harris, RHP, Missouri State
Of course my favorite band is the Beastie Boys, and much of their lyrics are nonsense, so maybe that makes me a hypocrite; or maybe that’s just an exception to the rule.
They’ll take the best player left on the board, whether that be Harris, Betts, or Happ; and I think it’s safe to say that this is the lowest Happ could fall.
18. San Francisco Giants – Kyle Funkhouser, RHP, Louisville
Don’t get me wrong, I’m appreciative of the opportunity I’ve been given; getting paid to write about an event where some old guys announce a name off the card is not a bad racket by any means.
Once considered a lock to go in the top 10, this might be the earliest Funkhouser goes now. If they don’t feel comfortable with him throwing strikes, they could take a chance on Aiken or go the safe route with Kaprielian.
19. Pittsburgh Pirates – James Kaprielian, RHP, UCLA
But wouldn’t you rather see me writing about something that goes into more detail about the process of the draft? Something about how teams form boards, what stats they use to go about forming those boards, etc.?
If it’s not a college pitcher, it’s likely Randolph—assuming he gets past Atlanta and Cleveland—with Cody Ponce, Phil Bickford ,and possibly Funkhouser also in the discussion.
20. Oakland Athetics – Kevin Newman, SS, Arizona
That’s always been the stuff I’ve been more interested in reading, and in turn the stuff I’ve always enjoyed writing about. I think it’s much more informative, and hopefully still entertaining in the process.
This if the furthest I can see Newman dropping (he should go at least ten picks higher than this), and if he does go where his value suggests, Oakland could go with Randolph, Bickford, or Richie Martin.
21. Kansas City Royals – Kolby Allard, LHP, San Clemente HS (Calif.)
At least I think it’s entertaining, anyway. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I don’t understand the human psyche or what Joe Q. Public wants to read.
If Allard and Randolph are off the board and the draft plays out in this fashion, they likely go with Bickford.
22. Detroit Tigers – Phil Bickford, RHP, Southern Nevada CC
And maybe I’m just bitter because I’ve never done very well at these things. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten more than a handful of picks right, and there have been years at my old website where I didn’t get more than two or three picks right (it happens to everyone)—for all the reasons I talked about with the Swanson pick.
If Funkhouser is still on the board, he’s the likely pick. And this is also a sneaky landing spot for either Aiken or Mike Matuella.
23. St. Louis Cardinals – Brady Aiken, LHP, IMG Academy (Fla.)
Another major factor in why so many in the industry struggle at times with these mock drafts is misinformation. Yes, it’s an excuse, but it’s a pretty valid one when you consider just how much nonsense—to put it nicely—we get fed.
If the Cardinals aren’t comfortable with Aiken’s medicals they could go with a prep arm like Drew Finley, or possibly a college bat like Newman or D.J. Stewart.
24. Los Angeles Dodgers – Mike Matuella, RHP, Duke
I’ve had sources I trusted implicitly—and still trust—who have told me lies to my face—or more likely phone or email—about whether or not they’ve had interest in a player. Usually they dance around the subject, but they do lie. Oh, they do lie.
If Aiken doesn’t go the pick before, I think this is where his “fall” stops. If they’re both off the board, they likely go with a college pitcher like Ponce or a prep bat like Plummer.
25. Baltimore Orioles – Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Concordia Lutheran HS
In almost any other line of work you’d never talk to that person again, but not this one. It’s frustrating, but it’s what you have to do. Take the bitter with the better, as they used to say.
If Hayes goes to Pittsburgh or Kansas City, they could turn to Betts, Ponce, or Scott Kingery.
Kirby will have to have a clean bill of health to go in the first round, and if he doesn’t, the Halos could turn to Ponce, Betts, Kingery, or Plummer.
27. Colorado Rockies – Jacob Nix, RHP, IMG Academy (Fla.)
28. Atlanta Braves – Mike Nikorak, RHP, Stroudsburg HS (Penn.)
29. Toronto Blue Jays – Justin Maese, RHP, Ysleta HS (Tex.)
30. New York Yankees – Chris Betts, C, Wilson HS (Calif.)
31. San Francisco Giants – Donnie Dewees, OF, North Florida
32. Pittsburgh Pirates – Joe McCarthy, OF/1B, Virginia
33. Kansas City Royals – Donny Everett, RHP, Clarksville HS (Tenn.)
34. Detroit Tigers – Richie Martin, SS, Florida
35. Los Angeles Dodgers – Eric Jenkins, OF, West Columbus HS (NC)
36. Baltimore Orioles – Scott Kingery, 2B, Arizona
37. Houston Astros – Beau Burrows, RHP, Weatherford HS (Tex.)
38. Colorado Rockies – Kyle Cody, RHP, Kentucky
39. St. Louis Cardinals – Blake Trahan, SS, Louisiana Lafayette
40. Milwaukee Brewers – Tristan Beck, RHP, Corona HS (Calif.)
41. Atlanta Braves – Jalen Miller, SS, Riverwood HS (Ga.)
42. Cleveland – Alonzo Jones, 2B, Columbus HS (Ga.)
Thank you for reading
This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.Subscribe now