Saturday, May 31, 2014

Scouting the Draft: Dr B's First and Only Mock Draft for 2014

The top of the 2014 draft is in flux as I write this.  There is no consensus #1 or even top 3 or 5 at this point.  Teams with big first round slot money are looking to make deals and spread the wealth around.  In this type of environment, mock drafts tend to be a futile exercise.  I have tried to look at a combination of talent, organizational needs and organizational histories and fit the puzzle pieces together.  I do not have any inside information on any organization.  I have done some reading of draft oriented websites to try to learn as much as I can.  As with my to 50 prospect lists, the main purpose of the exercise is to learn more about individual prospects and get an idea of who and what might be available when the Giants pick as well as who might be taken before they pick as well as after rather than any serious effort to accurately predict the exact order of picks.  But of course, that is the fun part!  I will limit this to the top 27 picks which is the number of picks in the regular phase of the first round as 3 teams lost picks by signing free agents with QO's.

1.  Houston Astros- Nick Gordon, SS, HS:  The Astros need talent.  They have organizational needs at any and all positions, so are in position to take the BPA.  They are thrilled with the way their 2012 draft turned out when they struck a deal with Carlos Correa and then took some higher priced talent that dropped into the supplemental and second rounds.  They are not happy with paying full price for Mark Appel last year.  They want to draft a hitter and are looking to strike a deal.  The rumors that have them in on Nick Gordon just make too much sense and fit with the available information.

2.  Miami Marlins- Carlos Rodon, LHP, NC State:  The Marlins need more hitters in the organization, but have had success with pitching in recent drafts with local hard thrower Jose Fernandez and polished  college LHP Andrew Heaney.  The best comp for Fernandez in the draft is Touki Toussaint and the best for Heaney is Kyle Freeland.  When Rodon falls out of the #1, he will be too tempting to pass up and is not totally out of line with their recent successes.

3.  Chicago White Sox- Brady Aiken, LHP, HS:  The ChiSox need pitching and need it yesterday.  They are hoping Rodon falls to them but he probably won't.  Freeland is a local talent who would be a nice fit, but they will take the higher upside of Aiken.  Of course, they have a history of going way off the board for fast twitch athletes, so don't be shocked if they pull the trigger on Jacob Gatewood here.

4.  Chicago Cubs- Tyler Beede, RHP, Vanderbilt:  The Cubs have an immediate need to bolster their organizational pitching talent and have a front office connection to Beede whose stock dropped due to command issues in the middle of the college season.  Beede answered those concerns resoundingly with 8 shutout innings with 14 K's in the first game of the college playoffs last night.

5.  Minnesota Twins- Kyle Freeland, LHP, Evansville:  The Astros blow up the Twins plans to draft Gordon.  They need more pitching in the organization and Freeland fits the profile of the type of pitcher the Twins prefer.  Aaron Nola is a possibility too.

6.  Seattle Mariners- Alex Jackson, C/OF, HS:  The Mariners are obsessed with hitting and don't seem to care about athleticism, though they should in their ballpark.  Jackson is available and fits their tendencies.  Derek Hill or Monte Harrison would be better picks.

7.  Philadelphia Phillies- Monte Harrison, OF, HS:  The Phils love athleticism and are not afraid to reach for it.  They feel their slot money is enough to pry Harrison away from his college football commitment.

8.  Colorado Rockies- Tyler Kolek, RHP, HS:  The Rockies have finally become convinced that velocity is the key to pitching better in Coors Field.  Kolek is a TJ surgery waiting to happen and his stock has dropped because of it, but the Rockies are willing to take the risk here.  Touki Toussaint or Grant Holmes would fit what they are looking for too and might have less risk.

9.  Toronto Blue Jays- Derek Hill, OF, HS:  Alex A loves speed and Hill gives him that along with 4 other excellent tools.  They'll take Hill here and a pitcher at #11.

10.  New York Mets- Michael Conforto, OF, Oregon St:  The Mets need hitting and more hitting.  Conforto might be the best hitter in the draft. Sandy Alderson will worry about where he plays later.  Alderson might prefer Brad Zimmer's athleticism, but I think he will go with the Conforto's bat.  Kyle Schwarber would be a fit too.

11.  Toronto Blue Jays- Aaron Nola, RHP, LSU:  Nola is probably the closest to the majors of any pitcher in the draft except possibly Rodon.  Nice bookend pick to go with Hill at #9.  They could also fall in love with Touki Toussaint's upside and French name.

12.  Milwaukee Brewers- Kyle Schwarber, C/1B, Indiana:  The Brewers love to draft corner bats.  They seem to have figured out how to build a pitching staff out of undervalued free agents, so Schwarber is a perfect fit.  Best college power bat in the draft, by far!

13.  San Diego Padres- Touki Toussaint, RHP, HS:  The Padres have run into some bad luck with pitching injuries.  They like Keyvious Sampson who is already in their organization and Toussaint fits a similar profile.  They'll take Nola if the Jays take Touki at #11.

14.  San Francisco Giants- Bradley Zimmer, OF, USF:  The conventional wisdom is the Giants will take a HS pitcher here, but I think they are looking at hitters and think pitching is deep enough to last into rounds 2 and 3.  Max Pentecost and Michael Chavis fit the profile of several recent high draft picks, but don't forget the Giants have had success with tall, athletic college hitters Brandon Belt and Mac Williamson.  They have also scouted Derek Hill, but I think Hill will be gone.  Zimmer could be too which could throw the Giants draft plans akilter.  If both Zim and Hill are gone, they could go with Pentecost or Chavis or go HS pitcher such as Grant Holmes or Sean Reid-Foley.

15.  Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim- Michael Chavis, SS/3B, HS:  The Angels love their HS bats and are ecstatic when Chavis gets past the Giants.  They should take a college pitcher such as Brandon Finnegan or Luke Weaver, but won't.

16.  Arizona Diamondbacks- Trea Turner, SS, NC State:  Turner falls due to ordinary junior season numbers and a perception that his speed has slipped.  Has a scrappiness that Kirk Gibson would love, but will the D'Backs philosophy change dramatically with Tony La Russa calling the shots now?

17.  Kansas City Royals- Brandon Finnegan, LHP, TCU:  The Royals like to draft college pitchers and Finnegan is the best available that has not undergone TJ yet.

18.  Washington Nationals- Jacob Gatewood, SS/3B, HS:  The Nationals love to swing for the fences and Gatewood has enormous upside.  Worth the risk in the second half of the first round.

19.  Cincinnati Reds- Luke Weaver, RHP, Florida:  The Reds love to take polished college RHP's and Weaver is the perfect fit.

20.  Tampa Bay Rays- Max Pentecost, C, Kennesaw St:  The Rays need to shake up their drafting philosophy.  Pentecost is the perfect player to do just that and make it work.

21.  Cleveland Indians- Grant Holmes, RHP, HS:  Cleveland has their choice of several HS arms. Holmes doesn't have much upside but is already a beast and should be the fastest mover.

22.  Los Angeles Dodgers- Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, HS:  Again, there are several HS arms available and the Dodgers love their HS arms.  They recently hired a hitting scout to assist Logan White, so that could change.

23.  Detroit Tigers- Jeff Hoffman, RHP, East Carolina:  Hoffman was a consensus top 5 pick before undergoing TJ surgery.  The Tigers can afford to be patient and take the risk here.

24.  Pittsburgh Pirates- Marcus Wilson, OF, HS:  The Pirates have 5 tool OF's coming out their ears, but can't resist grabbing another.  Again, one of several HS arms could be the choice here.

25.  Oakland Athletics- Ti'Quan Forbes, SS, HS:  Holy 5-tools!  Are 5-tool HS kids the new undervalued commodity?  Billy Beane certainly seems to think so!  The A's are all over Forbes and making no secret of it, or is it a smoke screen?  

26.  Boston Red Sox- Braxton Davidson, 1B, HS:  Red Sox are another organization that is not afraid to draft corner power bats.  They could also use more pitching in the organization and would have their choice of several solid HS arms.

27.  St. Louis Cardinals- Michael Kopech, RHP, HS:  I think Kopech just might be the best pitcher in the draft.  Leave it to the Cardinals to have him fall into their laps and jump on him this late.

18 comments:

  1. hey doc

    any predictions for the college ws?

    uci looks like it has a very strong team this year

    bacci

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    1. I haven't really been following college ball that closely this year. Usually the teams with the deepest pitching go deepest in the tournament.

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    2. Thanks for posting your mock draft. Do you have a favorite player or players that you want the Giants to take with their 1st pick?

      LG



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    3. Not really. I am not that excited about Zimmer and I just have this feeling he's at the top of their board. I would prefer Derek Hill, but that's more because I share an irrational love of 5-tool prospects with Shankbone. Pentecost and Chavis seem like better hitters than Zimmer from everything I've read and I would be happy with any number of HS pitchers. I guess Touki Toussaint would top my wish list and I love Michael Kopech who I think is getting ranked way too low.

      Probably the one player I would be most ecstatic to see the Giants draft is Touki Toussaint. He looks just like Bob Gibson when he is delivering a pitch.

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    4. I will add that Zimmer does have a tremendous ceiling and would not be a terrible choice by any means. Think Brandon Belt with more speed.

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    5. I would like Touki too, but the mocks by name guys seem to think Toronto is all over him, so I have little hope given they have two picks.

      Right now I am hoping for Grant Holmes, I do not see why the Giants would target a hitter here, they have gone for pitchers with their high picks, Grilli, Lincecum, Bumgarner, Wheeler, even Stratton if you want to go as high as 20.

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    6. I agree that Touki will most likely not be around at #14, but the question was about my favorite player or players in the draft. If I'm the GM of the Marlins, I would seriously consider Touki at #2 overall. That's how much I like him!

      My theory, and I could be wrong, is that the draft is so deep in pitching the Giants want to use #14 to grab a top hitter while getting pitching that is almost indistinguishable from what they could get in the first round in rounds 2 and 3. Kyle Crick would be the comparative situation except this draft is even deeper in pitching.

      Other than his striking resemblance to Matt Cain, what do you see in Grant Holmes that is so much more special than what's available later in the draft? I wouldn't be disappointed with Grant Holmes. I think he's a fine prospect, but I don't see him as being any kind of obvious choice I'm going to throw myself down the stairs over if they don't take him. Personally, if they were to go HS pitcher at #14, and Touki is off the board, I would take Michael Kopech and it would be an easy choice, but a lot of Mocks have Kopech available as late as the supplemental first round or even second round.

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    7. In the Sickels mock Touki was snagged large (mariners at 6) and I loved that move.

      Holmes has two plus pitches that are right here, right now, a bulldog frame and the ability to move quick. If the Giants do snag him I think that would be their reasons. If they don't think he's the guy, they might go hitters because there are still a ton of HS pitchers that will kick around at 52.

      I don't share your regard for Kopech, but I would be very happy with him if he did slip.

      The 3 hitters that stand out to me still are Pentecost, Chavis and this Hill character. In the mock Max was gone, Chavis and Hill were there but a combo of liking him enough, good support in the pre-draft discussion and the feeling that the Giants as an organization could really benefit from having a headlining stud pitcher won the tie-break.

      I'm not a big fan of Zimmer. I do think college stats should count for something and I just don't see a big power profile. He's hitting WAC pitching and he's got 7 HRs each of the past 2 years. But yes, he is extremely athletic. I just don't like his swing that much. Him, Beede and the lefty you didn't put in the mock are the 3 guys I'd be mildly meh about. Beede had a great game on friday, that might have helped his draft stock a lot.

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    8. I have spent some time looking at video on Grant Holmes and here's what I see: From the shoulders up, he's the spittin' image of Matt Cain including the blonde afro hair! Yes, he has a stocky build like Cain but is a bit shorter and more compact in his stockiness. His delivery is decidedly different than Cain's. He has a very upright delivery with very little leg drive. He has an abrupt acceleration and even more abrupt deceleration with a very tight, fast arm circle. He generates great velocity, but almost all of it comes from his arm action.

      If you are wanting a highly developed HS arm, I'd personally go with Sean Reid-Foley who has longer arms and a more fluid delivery with better follow through.

      Kopech is taller, has a lot more projectability in his frame and has present velocity.

      As you know, I tend to be suspicious of tall hitters and Zimmer is tall. Beyond that, I think the Giants really like what they have in 2 other tall hitters, Brandon Belt and Mac Williamson. Zimmer is a faster running version. Just a hunch, but I'm guessing Zim is #1 on the Giants draft board.

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    9. We find out very soon! I'm thinking the Derek Hill rumors are real.

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    10. I actually would love to see them take a 5 tool African-American athlete. Hill has a very similar build to Gustavo Cabrera who I was absolutely in love with. I really like Hill's combination of both tools and skills as you might expect from the son of a scout. I'm just not at all sure Hill makes it to #14.

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    11. Hill is very enticing. Kiley McDaniel's latest mock has Sean Newcomb to the Giants. I still don't love that guy, but he's getting consideration in the top 10 all of a sudden. Double check on his numbers this year (the walks were a little high in the early-going)... 93.1 IP 1.25, 38 BB, 106 K.

      Kiley also mentioned Zimmer, Holmes, Hill, Reid-Foley and Chavis as possibilities, saying that they'd like a shot at Brandon Finnegan. If that's the case, I do think they'll have the opportunity to take Finnegan, who was back to ace form in the regional game Friday night.

      After all this, what are the odds the Giants still take someone not mentioned by any of the experts??

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  2. Clint in RedlandsJune 1, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    I'll list my top players that I would want drafted that I expect to be available at 14 .

    1. 3B - Michael Chavis. He is a solid framed Georgia hitter with an excellent bat and power projection. Every video I have seen has him smacking the ball really hard. He seems to just be a baseball player that I imagine the Braves or Cardinals would love to select and turn into a stud 3B.
    2. C - Max Pentecost I like both his high avg in college (above .400) and the power projection he showed on the Cape. He should be athletic enough to move off catcher if need be and can even run a little bit.
    3. HS Pitcher. I would be okay with and trust any HS pitcher that the Giants selected, but do like Toussaint.
    4. LHP - Kyle Freeland. I like the 10:1 K:BB ratio quite a bit and think he is the top college arm that will still be around at 14 because I don't think Nola will be there.

    Here are 3 players that I would prefer not to have selected
    1. Beede (way too many BBs and Crick has spooked me)
    2. Zimmer (would want more power from a 1st round OF),
    3. Conforto (EME 2.0 singles hitter, defensive LF only, don't feel his power will play at AT&T)

    Happy drafting

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    1. I would be happy with any of the 7 you have listed, but Conforto does not fit the profile of the type of player the Giants have historically taken in the first round, so I don't think it will be him. Besides, I think the Mets grab the bat at #10, but they could be looking at Zimmer too.

      I think Zimmer has way more power potential than you give him credit for and I think Beede will be a good one.

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    2. Clint in RedlandsJune 1, 2014 at 5:08 PM

      I hope Beede is better than I think and if the Giants draft him then I will be on board 100%. However, predraft I am not a Beede believer.

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    3. My guess is you don't have to worry about Beede because he will be gone by #14.

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    4. Beede struck out 14 over 8 IP in the regional opener, but he really didn't look impressive in the conference tourney start I watched. He mixed his pitches well, but I never saw anything faster than 94 on the gun. I'd pass on him as well.

      Pentecost would be a great pick. If I absolutely had to pick a hitter, Max would probably edge out Derek Hill for me. Pitcher, I'd say Touki or Holmes. I'm just not that excited about any of the college guys anymore, for one reason or another.

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    5. My cousin was at that game. After we took him, I asked my cousin for a scouting report on Beede, and he said that Beede has 2 MLB pitches already, and his change, while inconsistent right now, is on the verge. In the game last Friday, he said Beede hit 96 in the 7th...

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