The 2017 MLB Draft is underway. Keep it right here as I react to each pick of the first round as they happen.
- Minnesota Twins – Royce Lewis, SS, JSerra Catholic HS (California)
I love this thing so much. A few days ago, this pick was Kyle Wright. This morning it was Brendan McKay. After I dropped my final mock, I heard this was likely to be McKay unless the Twins could cut a deal with Lewis. That apparently happened.
- Cincinnati Reds – Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS (California)
This was much more expected. Greene is the clear cut top player in this draft. The Reds are not likely to be contending anytime soon, so they have no reason to rush him. He is also a great kid off the field and does everything right. He could be their ace for years to come.
- San Diego Padres – MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville HS (North Carolina)
The Padres went with their expected pick, even with Brendan McKay still on the board. Gore could be the best pitcher in this draft when all is said and done. He shows the potential to throw four plus pitches, and has a very deceptive delivery. The Padres can be patient with him, and could be rewarded with a frontline starter.
- Tampa Bay Rays – Brendan McKay, 1B, Louisville
So McKay gets drafted as a first baseman. For most of the season, the industry was leaning toward being a pitcher. McKay is the best overall hitter in this draft, and should become better when he focuses solely on hitting. He is limited to first base, but he is very good there defensively. I am still curious as to if he will get a chance to do both early in his pro career, or if his pitching days will officially end when Louisville’s College World Series run ends.
- Atlanta Braves – Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt
I definitely did not expect Wright to be available here. He is the best college pitcher in this draft, especially with McKay becoming a full time hitter. He throws four pitches for strikes and has an ideal frame to become a workhorse starter down the line. Wright adds another high upside starter to this system who should not take long to get to the big leagues.
- Oakland Athletics – Austin Beck, OF, North Davidson HS (North Carolina)
Beck is arguably the best high school outfielder in this class and he has the potential to have all five tools. He missed the summer showcase last season after a torn ACL but came back this year and reassured his status as one of the top bats in this class. He will go out and play center field to start, but could certainly fit the right field profile if needed.
- Arizona Diamondbacks – Pavin Smith, 1B, Virginia
The Snakes are buying a bat here in Smith. He can hit for both average and power and has good plate discipline at the plate. Smith is likely to be limited to first base at the next level, but he is athletic enough to be a solid defender. This is an interesting pick for the Diamondbacks for me as they have one of the best first basemen in baseball, but you draft the bat now and worry about that later.
- Philadelphia Phillies – Adam Hasley, OF, Virginia
Back-to-back picks for the Cavaliers. Hasley was a pitcher when he arrived at Virginia, but he has really developed as an outfielder. He’s a good athlete who can hit, run and field and has a chance to play center field. The Phillies selected Mickey Moniak first overall in 2016, and Hasley is another outfielder Phillies’ fans can look forward to.
- Milwaukee Brewers – Keston Hiura, 2B, UC Irvine
This is a bat, plain and simple. Hiura led college baseball in hitting. But he may need Tommy John surgery right away – he was limited to DH in college this year – and does not really have a defensive position. The Brewers are taking the bat and they will worry about where they will play him later.
- Los Angeles Angels – Jordon Adell, OF, Ballard HS (Kentucky)
The Angels landed their top prospect with this pick. Adell has tools teams dream on, and the only question is if he is going to hit enough. His ceiling is immense and this is the kind of exciting player the Angels needed to add to their farm system.
- Chicago White Sox – Jake Burger, 3B, Missouri State
A little bit of a surprise here, but Burger can flat out hit. He has plus power and uses the entire field. He may have to move over to first base long term, but they will give him a chance to prove he can stick at the hot corner. The White Sox are drafting the bat here.
- Pittsburgh Pirates – Shane Baz, RHP, Concordia Lutheran HS (Texas)
Baz is one of my favorite players in this draft. He is only 17, and he throws five pitches already that all show plus potential. He looks like Noah Syndergaard in more ways than one. You could argue he has the highest ceiling of any pitcher in this draft. I love this kid.
- Miami Marlins – Trevor Rogers, LHP, Carlsbad HS (New Mexico)
Already 19, Rogers is one of the older high schoolers in the draft. He threw three no-hitters against New Mexico high school competition, which isn’t the best, but he has a very high ceiling if he can develop his secondary pitches and command.
- Kansas City Royals – Nick Pratto, 1B, Huntington Beach HS (California)
I should have stuck with my first mock draft, where I had Pratto going here. I will never forget watching that walk-off hit in the 2011 Little League World Series Championship Game. Pratto can hit and had a smooth left-handed swing that uses the entire field. His power will come down the line and he is a very good defender at first base. He has an eerily similar profile to Eric Hosmer to me, a left-handed high school first baseman who can hit for a high average, has developing power and could potentially win gold gloves down the line.
- Houston Astros – J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, North Carolina
This is an absolute steal. Bukauskas falls to 15 because of one bat start in the Super Regionals and it’s crazy that teams magnify one start so much. The Astros got a frontline starter here.
- New York Yankees – Clarke Schmidt, RHP, South Carolina
This is an interesting pick. Schmidt was shut down in April and required Tommy John surgery, so this is very much a pick for the future. Before the injury, he showed signs of a plus fastball with an above average slider and curveball. We will see how he rehabs from the surgery before placing any expectations on him.
- Seattle Mariners – Evan White, 1B, Kentucky
White is a fascinating prospect. He is a potential gold glove first baseman whose worst tool is his power, but he could try to play center field. He can hit for average, throw, run and play defense. I would leave him at first and hope to have a gold glove first baseman who may not hit for a top of power, but can be a factor at the plate and on the bases as well.
- Detroit Tigers – Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida
A good pick for the Tigers here as they land one of the top college pitchers in the class, who could have went in the top 10, at 18. He has a plus fastball and slider and should be quick to the big leagues.
- San Francisco Giants – Heliot Ramos, OF, Leadership Christian Academy (Puerto Rico)
There was buzz that Ramos could sneak into the first round, and he does so going to the Giants at 19. When scouts see him on the right day, he shows above average tools across the board. But there is still inconsistencies to his game.
- New York Mets – David Peterson, LHP, Oregon
Another pitcher for the Mets. Peterson famously struck out 20 batters in a game earlier this season. He was more of a thrower coming out of high school, but really focused on throwing more strikes in Oregon, and now has above average command. He can be a mid rotation starter.
- Baltimore Orioles – DL Hall, Valdosta HS (Georgia)
This is a great pick for the Orioles as Hall could be the best left hander in this draft when all is said and done. His fastball and curveball are plus pitches and he has drawn some comparisons to Scott Kazmir. Hall could be a mid rotation starter for a team that could use some help in the rotation.
- Toronto Blue Jays – Logan Warmoth, SS, North Carolina
Warmoth is one of the few advanced college middle infielders in this draft. He can hit for average and can run while being solid defensively up the middle. He may be better off with a move over to second base, but he should have an impact in Toronto either way.
- Los Angeles Dodgers – Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt
Kendall has the tools of a top 10 pick, but his swing and miss caused him to slide this far. When he does hit, he hits for power and he can run, throw and stay in center field. If his hit tool comes along, this is a great pick for the Dodgers.
- Boston Red Sox – Tanner Houck, RHP, Missouri
Houck has one of the best fastballs in the draft, but his secondary pitches and command are behind. Some in the industry feel he will end up as a reliever long term, but he should get a chance to prove he can stick in a rotation.
- Washington Nationals – Seth Romero, LHP, Houston
Very interesting pick here as Romero got kicked off the team at Houston after repeated violations of team rules. Stuff wise, he was a top 10 pick, so it will be interesting to see how the Nationals handle him on and off the field.
- Texas Rangers – Bubba Thompson, OF, McGill-Toolen HS, (Alabama)
Thompson is one of the best athletes in the draft. He received multiple offers from SEC schools to play quarterback. Unlike most two sport athletes, the hit tool is not in question and he can run, throw and play defense. This is a great pick.
- Chicago Cubs – Brendon Little, LHP, State JC of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota
Little has one of the best left handed fastballs in the draft, and teams look for velocity from the left side. His lack of track record leads to uncertainty to a long term role, but the potential is there.
- Toronto Blue Jays – Nate Pearson, RHP, College of Central Florida
Pearson reached 102 in a recent bullpen session that saw his name rise up draft boards. He has a high ceiling, though some feel he should just focus on his fastball and slider and go out as a reliever right away. It will be interesting to see how the Blue Jays will handle him.
- Texas Rangers – Chris Seise, SS, West Orange HS (Florida)
There are many high school shortstops that will come off the board, and Seise has as high of an upside as any of them. He can really run and throw, and his bat is coming along. He should be able to stay at short long term, and the Rangers will send him out at one.
- Chicago Cubs – Alex Lange, RHP, LSU
Lange burst onto the scene as a freshman at LSU but hasn’t been as dominant since. He shows a plus fastball and curveball while his changeup and command need improvement. Some feel he is best off as a reliever in the long run, but he should get a chance to prove he can start.