The 2014 first-year player draft is exactly a month away. This is a draft that is becoming more popular ever year with the national attention it receives on MLB Network, and it really is a great thing. Young players and strong farm systems are more valuable now than ever before, and the draft is the premier way organizations can keep talent coming through the pipeline. Without further ado, here is a look at my first mock draft, which includes the first round as well as the compensation round and competitive balance round A. Also check out MLB Prospect Watch, which gives excellent insight to all of the drafts top prospects as well as the top prospects from around the minors.
1. Houston Astros – Carlos Rodon – LHP, NC State – I still feel that the Astros view Rodon as the draft’s top talent. He really has not done anything to lower his draft stock. He will look nice with Mark Appel atop that Astros rotation.
2. Miami Marlins – Tyler Kolek – RHP, Shepherd (Texas) HS – I just cannot see the Marlins passing up the upside that Kolek brings. Him and Jose Fernandez atop that Marlins rotation is going to be very scary for opposing hitters.
3. Chicago White Sox – Brady Aiken – LHP, Cathedral Catholic (California) HS – It’s the White Sox lucky day, as arguablly the top player in the draft falls to them at number three. Him and Chris Sale will form a dominant one-two southpaw punch on the south side.
4. Chicago Cubs – Jeff Hoffman – RHP, East Carolina – The Cubs get their long soughted future ace into their system by adding Hoffman at number four. One scout who recently saw Hoffman was convinced that he was Justin Verlander’s brother, for what it’s worth.
5. Minnesota Twins – Aaron Nola – RHP, LSU – In a close call with Alex Jackson, the Twins decide to take Nola and add a potentially quick to the majors arm into their farm system.
6. Seattle Mariners – Alex Jackson – C/OF, Rancho Bernardo (California) HS – The Mariners add a potential impact bat in Jackson, though he is likely to play right field at the next level.
7. Philadelphia Phillies – Nick Gordon – SS, Olympia (Florida) HS – Even though they drafted JP Crawford a year ago, the Phillies add the top shortstop prospect in the class as well as some athleticism into their system. Gordon is also the son of Tom and the brother of Dee.
8. Colorado Rockies – Tyler Beede – RHP, Vanderbilt – A rotation of Jonathan Gray, Eddie Butler and Tyler Beede will look pretty nice in the mile high city.
9. Toronto Blue Jays – Trea Turner – SS, NC State – With two of the next three picks (11th pick for failing to sign Phil Bickford a year ago,) the Blue Jays can add a bat and an arm into their system. Turner is a burner, a solid defender and will contribute a solid average on offense, where his speed will also play up on the bases.
10. New York Mets – Bradley Zimmer – OF, San Francisco – No, it is not going to happen Royals fans. Zimmer will not be joining his brother, Kyle, in the Royals’ system. That is a credit to Bradley though, as he has had an excellent season and forced his way into top ten conversation. The Mets have a ton of arms in their system, so they will add an impact bat in the younger Zimmer, who should profile just fine in right field.
11. Toronto Blue Jays – Kyle Freeland – LHP, Evansville
12. Milwaukee Brewers – Sean Newcomb – LHP, Hartford
13. San Diego Padres – Grant Holmes – RHP, Conway (South Carolina) HS
14. San Francisco Giants – Touki Toussaint – RHP, Coral Springs Christian (Florida) HS
15. Los Angeles Angels – Sean Reid-Foley – RHP, Sandalwood (Florida) HS
16. Arizona Diamondbacks – Erick Fedde – RHP, UNLV
17. Kansas City Royals – Kyle Schwarber – C/OF, Indiana
18. Washington Nationals – Jacob Gatewood – SS, Clovis (California) HS
19. Cincinnati Reds – Michael Conforto – OF, Oregon State
20. Tampa Bay Rays – Brandon Finnegan – LHP, TCU
21. Cleveland Indians – Max Pentecost – C, Kennesaw State
22. Los Angeles Dodgers – Michael Chavis – SS, Sprayberry (Georgia) HS
23. Detroit Tigers – Monte Harrison – OF, Lee’s Summit West (Missouri) HS
24. Pittsburgh Pirates – Luke Weaver – RHP, FSU
25. Oakland Athletics – Casey Gillaspe – 1B, Wichita State
26. Boston Red Sox – Derek Fisher – OF, Virginia
27. St. Louis Cardinals – Kodi Medeiros – LHP, Waiakea (Hawaii) HS
Compensation Round A
28. Kansas City Royals – Spencer Adams – RHP, White County (Gerogia) HS
29. Cincinnati Reds – Jake Bukauskas – RHP, Stone Bridge (Vriginia) HS
30. Texas Rangers – Michael Gettys – OF, Gainesville (Georgia) HS
31. Cleveland Indians – Nick Burdi – RHP, Louisville
32. Atlanta Braves – Michael Kopech – RHP, Mt. Pleasant (Texas) HS
33. Boston Red Sox – Foster Griffin – LHP, First Academy ( Florida) HS
34. St. Louis Cardinals – Luis Ortiz – RHP, Sanger (California) HS
Competitive Balance Round A
35. Colorado Rockies – Braxton Davidson – OF, T.C. Roberson (North Carolina) HS
36. Miami Marlins – Justus Sheffield – LHP, Tullahoma (Tennessee) HS
37. Houston Astros – Chris Oliver – RHP, Arkansas
38. Cleveland Indians – Garrett Fulenchek – RHP, Howe (Texas) HS
39. Miami Marlins – Matt Imhof – LHP, Cal Poly
40. Kansas City Royals – Marcus Wilson – OF, Junipero Serra (California) HS
41. Milwaukee Brewers – Taylor Sparks – 3B, UC Irvine