MLB Draft Bites: Week Thirteen – 2017 Mock Draft Edition!

Feature Photo:  Hunter Greene, RHP/SS, Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, CA)

With the 2017 MLB Draft less than a month away, the 2017 Draft Class is starting to take shape, as prep and collegiate teams alike gear up for their post-season runs.

Our amateur evaluators at 2080 Baseball have been out at fields across the country this Spring, and we joined together this week to participate in a collaborative mock draft.  Our evaluators were instructed to make selections based on a combination of their personal pref list and who each evaluator believed would be a fit for the team holding the pick.

2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft
First-Round Mock Draft Selections

1. Hunter Greene, RHP/SS, Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, CA) | 2080 Video

Greene has spent most of the Spring on the short list of likely candidates to go first overall, and it would be no surprise to see the massively-talented, two-way standout become the first-ever prep right-handed pitcher to get popped at the very top of the draft. He has electric stuff and plus athleticism on the mound, in addition to profiling as a potential five-tool talent on the positional side. –Corey Turner

2. Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt Univ. | 2080 Video

After a relatively slow start to the season, the hard-throwing right-hander has settled in nicely over the course of conference play, posting a 3.05 ERA and 3.5 K/BB ratio in 82.1 innings of work. With Hunter Greene off the board, Wright is arguably the best arm available and he’s thrown as well as anyone in the country over the past month. Also considered: Louisville’s Brendan McKay–Spencer Hansen

3. MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville HS (Whiteville, NC) | 2080 Video

A Perfect Game All-American last August, Gore has built upon his strong performance on the summer circuit with a standout spring, cementing his spot as one of the top arms in the class. The uber-athletic lefty boasts a low- to mid-90s heater backed by a trio of secondaries – a curveball, slider and a changeup – that all project as at least above-average offerings. His combo of stuff, projection, and polish, together with the ease of his delivery and arm action make him a top-of-the-draft candidate. –Nick J. Faleris

4. Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, Univ. of Louisville | 2080 Video

While I don’t anticipate him sliding this far, the Rays would love to land a talent like McKay with this pick. With less than a month until the draft, it’s still not clear which position McKay will play as a professional. Whether he’s taken as a left-handed pitcher with mid-rotation upside, or as a sweet-swinging first baseman, McKay is perceived as one of the safer picks in this draft. –Burke Granger

5. Royce Lewis, OF, JSerra HS (San Juan Capistrano, CA) | 2080 Video

Atlanta takes the best available prep talent in Lewis, adding to a system already flush with talent at the lower levels. A potential five-tool athlete who shows off his double-plus speed and range all over the field, Lewis takes extra bases and drives it to the gaps with regularity.  He could be developed by Atlanta at both shortstop and center field, and he has one of the highest ceilings of any player in the 2017 MLB Draft Class. –Ryan Ozella

6. Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt Univ. | 2080 Video

Kendall has the speed (70 grade) and athleticism that can get a player drafted 1:1, but there are questions about how much he’ll hit against advanced pitching. Despite those questions, Kendall is a sure-fire center fielder at the big league level and has the ability to anchor a defense, which isn’t an asset easy to come by. After focusing on pitching (A.J. Puk, Daulton Jefferies, and Logan Shore) with their first three selections in the 2016 MLB Draft, Kendall is a nice balance and perfect fit for the A’s. –Will Garofalo

7. Jordon Adell, OF/RHP, Ballard HS (Louisville, KY) | 2080 Video

On pure athletic ability, Adell has a case for being the top talent in the entire draft class. While an up-and-down Spring has softened some evaluators and furthered questions as to whether or not the hit tool will ultimately get to where it needs to be for the power to play, Arizona sees a potential offensive force with plus raw power and the physical tools to both stick in the middle of the field defensively and impact the game on the bases. –Corey Turner

8. J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, Univ. of North Carolina | 2080 Video

The Phillies could select a college arm in the first round for the first time since RHP Aaron Nola in 2014, and by doing do they’ll get one of the most dynamic arms in the class. Despite some concerns about the effort in Bukauskus’s delivery, the profile allows for projection both as a potential front-end starter or as a relief ace with two double-plus offerings. He’ll get every chance to start and should move quickly through the system. –Spencer Hansen

9. Austin Beck, OF, North Davidson HS (Lexington, NC) | Video (via Perfect Game)

After missing the summer showcase circuit while recovering from a torn ACL, Beck has rocketed up draft boards this Spring, showing some of the loudest tools in the high school class. There’s some risk in this pick in that Beck’s absence from action last summer has prevented decision makers from observing his offensive skillset with a wood bat against top arms. If the bat plays up to its potential, the Brew Crew could have a steal landing this sort of five-tool talent nine-picks deep into Day One. –Nick J. Faleris

10. Adam Haseley, OF, Univ. of Virginia | 2080 Video

While Haseley stars as a two-way collegiate talent, manning center field for the Wahoos and serving as their Friday starter on the mound, there is little doubt that his professional future is in the outfield. Haseley displays an advanced approach at the plate, as evidenced by his .387/.478/.670 slash line and 33:19 strikeout rate through 50 games. Kendall would also make sense here if he slides, as would Haseley’s teammate Pavin Smith. –Burke Granger

11. Pavin Smith, 1B, Univ. of Virginia | 2080 Video

After retooling their farm system with big trades in the offseason, Smith would give the White Sox an advanced college bat to assist in the rebuilding process, complete with the potential to move quickly through their system. A patient hitter, Smith has shown off his advanced approach with only eight strikeouts against 31 walks in 193 at-bats this season and should hit for enough power to profile well at first base. –Ryan Ozella

12. Shane Baz, RHP, Concordia Lutheran HS (Tomball, TX) | 2080 Video

If Ray Searage could dream up a prep right-hander, he would look a lot like Shane Baz. Along with plus athleticism, Baz boasts a very quick arm and a five-pitch mix that generates plenty of whiffs. A separator for Baz is his ability to generate plus velocity (92-to-96 mph, T98) with a clean delivery, which should aid his development. Baz has all the ingredients to become a future workhouse, and hecould rise quickly through the system given his plus make up. –Will Garofalo

13. D.L. Hall, LHP, Valdosta HS (Valdosta, GA) | 2080 Video

After drafting a prep lefty from the South with their top pick in 2016 (LHP Braxton Garrett), the Marlins do the same in 2017, in the process securing one of the best high school pitchers in the class. Showing athleticism and high-end stuff, including a sharp 12-to-6 curveball and a low-90s fastball that can reach 96 mph, Hall joins Garrett as foundational pieces for future Marlins’ rotations. –Ryan Ozella

14. Alex Faedo, RHP, Univ. of Florida | 2080 Video

With limited high-end pitching currently occupying the Royals’ system, Faedo fits here as a potential impact starter. The three-year Florida starter drops to Kansas City following minor off-season arthroscopic surgery on his knees and a slight down-tick in velocity this Spring from his previous low-to mid-90s heat, presenting as a solid buy-low candidate with a chance for a plus fastball/slider combo. –Spencer Hansen

15. Nick Pratto, 1B/LHP, Huntington Beach HS (Huntington Beach, CA) | 2080 Video

Pratto has starred this Spring as a two-way standout on one of the top prep teams in the country, carving up opposing hitters from the left side and displaying a knack for squaring-up balls and producing hard contact to all fields. Evan White, Keston Hiura and Sam Carlson were all considerations here, but with the Astros well situated at the upper levels, and they can afford to spend some developmental time on one of the top prep bats in the class. –Nick J. Faleris

16. Griffin Canning, RHP, Univ. of California – Los Angeles | 2080 Video

While Canning doesn’t have the ceiling of some of the other arms on this list, there is relative safety in his polish and high floor as a mid-to-back-end of the rotation starter. Canning controls a deep arsenal of average or better pitches, including a fastball that sits 92-to-94 mph, a deceptive changeup, and a slider capable of generating swings and misses. –Burke Granger

17. David Peterson, LHP, Univ. of Oregon | Video (via Perfect Game)

Seattle stays “local”, grabbing from the Northwest top flight Oregon lefty Peterson. With one of the weaker systems in the game, the Mariners hope to get the southpaw’s power stuff moving through the system quickly, and he has the stuff to do just that. Peterson has struck out 122 batters in 86 innings this season, with six games of 10 or more punch outs, utilizing his workhorse build and power fastball/slider combination to carve up opponents. –Ryan Ozella

18. Trevor Rogers, LHP, Carlsbad HS (Carlsbad, NM) | 2080 Video | 2080 Video

Rogers has an effortless delivery and plus fastball command, two skills that don’t often align with a 6-foot-6 frame. There’s been some fluctuation in his velocity over the last year, which may have some teams concerned, and that could account for his availability at this point of the mock. Rogers is still very raw, and how his secondary pitches develop will determine his future role at the next level. –Will Garofalo

19. Sam Carlson, RHP, Burnsville HS (Burnsville, MN) | 2080 Video

Carlson has seen a steady progression in his stuff over the past 12 months, including close to a five-mph uptick in his sitting fastball velocity (now 91-95 mph) and significant improvement in the consistency of both his slider and changeup, with the latter drawing plus grades already and the former projecting as above average. The broad-framed righty has already begun to add strength in his trunk and core, and projects as a durable workhorse with lots of heft to his stuff. –Nick J. Faleris

20. Jake Burger, 3B, Missouri State Univ. | Video (via Perfect Game)

Over the past year, Burger has developed into one of the best collegiate power bats in the country. Burger has a strong throwing arm and good hands to man the hot corner, in addition to the offensive profile to stick there. With Mets third baseman and captain David Wright injury prone and aging quickly, Burger fits nicely for the Mets. –Spencer Hansen

21. Evan White, 1B/OF, Univ. of Kentucky | 2080 Video

White has emerged this Spring as one of the top collegiate bats in the country, showing an advanced approach, good feel for the barrel and the chance to hit for a bit of pop. The Kentucky first baseman fits perfectly for Baltimore, bringing to the system much needed offensive upside and could slot at either first base or left field long term. –Nick J. Faleris

22. Logan Warmoth, SS, Univ. of North Carolina | Video (via Perfect Game)

A steady contributor throughout his collegiate career, Warmoth’s greatest strength is his lack of weaknesses, possessing average-or-better tools across the board. There is significant value in draftees who can stick at shortstop, and Warmoth’s range, instincts, and arm give him a decent chance to do just that, where he should be a moderate offensive threat. On the season, Warmoth is slashing .330/.408/.537 with seven home runs and 17 stolen bases. –Burke Granger

23. Hans Crouse, RHP, Dana Hills HS (Dana Point, CA) | 2080 Video

The Dodgers stay in their own backyard to grab the hard-throwing righty from Dana Hills. Crouse flashes frontline stuff, including a mid- to upper-90s fastball and a hard-spinning breaking ball, out of a quirky and deceptive delivery. With the Dodgers possessing one of the deeper development systems in baseball, they can give Crouse a long developmental leash as he continues to refine his execution and command. –Ryan Ozella

24. Nick Allen, SS, Francis Parker HS (San Diego, CA) | 2080 Video

If you watched the Perfect Game All-American Classic last year you probably remember a diminutive shortstop making ridiculous plays across the infield. That player was Allen. Allen is praised for his spectacular baseball IQ and instincts, both of which allow him to excel in the field and on the bases despite being, at 5-foot-8, one of the shortest draft targets in the class. Teams might be hesitant because of the size, but I like Boston betting on the skills here. –Will Garofalo

25. Alex Lange, RHP, Louisiana State Univ. | 2080 Video

The Nationals jump to grab the Louisiana State starter knowing that they can push the righty quickly through their system. With a power curve backed up by a fastball that sits in the 92-to-96 mph velo band, Lange will be given the chance to start and continue developing his control and his changeup. If the control continues to be a struggle, the Nationals can move Lange into a relief role where he could fit as a late-inning contributor. –Ryan Ozella

26. Tanner Houck, RHP, Univ. of Missouri | 2080 Video

Like Faedo (and Kyle Wright before he turned things around last month), Houck has struggled through an up-and-down Spring after entering the season as a potential top-five selection. Overall, he’s performed well, posting a 2.89 ERA and 91 punchouts with a 4.33 K/BB ratio in 90.1 innings to-date. The stuff has been down from what he showed as an underclassman, and as a member of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, but at his best he can show two plus offerings out of a wirey-strong frame. –Spencer Hansen

27. Keston Hiura, 2B/OF, Univ. of California – Irvine | 2080 Video

All Hiura does is hit and had he not been limited to DH duty this Spring I’ve little doubt he’d be off the board by now. The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team alum is slashing .402/.546/.669 through 49 games, walking 46 times versus just 33 strikeouts in 227 plate appearances with 41% of his hits going for extra bases. The Cubs have a stronger systemic need for pitching, but a player with Hiura’s offensive upside is too much to pass on here. —Nick J. Faleris

28. Brendon Little, LHP, State (Jr.) College of Florida, Manatee | 2080 Video

With the Jays taking a safe collegiate positional talent earlier they can gamble on upside with pick. After pitching just four innings for the University of North Carolina last year, Little transferred to the State College of Florida, where he’s shown improved control. Pairing a mid-90s fastball with a hammer curveball, Little has posted a dominant 14.03 SO/9 rate this season. Fellow Florida JuCo arm Nate Pearson would also make sense with this pick. –Burke Granger

29. Bubba Thompson, OF, McGill-Toolan HS (Mobile, AL) | Video (via Perfect Game)

Having gone the collegiate starter route with Houck at pick number 26, the Rangers go to the prep level with this selection, taking an outfielder that has upped his stock significantly this Spring. Thompson is a rangy center fielder with above-average speed and developing instincts who has, over the past few months, shown increased bat speed and ability to do damage at the plate. He’s a clean fit in center field, and the improved offensive profile has him as an intriguing upside pick at the end of the first round. –Ryan Ozella

30. Heliot Ramos, OF, Alfonso Casta Martinez HS (Maunabo, PR) | 2080 Video

Ramos possesses arguably the most sought after combination in all of baseball: power and speed. The skills don’t stop there, however, as Ramos could grade out as average in the other three tools, as well. There are mixed reviews as to whether he will be able to make enough contact to tap into the power constantly, due to some swing path issues and a relatively raw approach, but the upside potential is big and the Cubs can afford to spend some developmental time with him. — Will Garofalo