May 28, 2010

Rivals.com Prospect Rankings: Top 50 High School Prospects | Top 50 College Prospects

Dallas Jackson is the Senior Analyst for RivalsHigh. Email him your question, comment or story ideas to DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.

The MLB draft is less than two weeks away. To get you ready for the three-day, June 6-8 extravaganza, we offer our updated mock draft. (Click here for our initial mock)

Bryce Harper - at the top of board since he worked to make himself eligible one year early - is still No. 1. He will be the first ever Junior College player taken first overall and his lock on the top spot is all that kept 6-7 Texas high school fireballer Jameson Taillon from being the first high school righty from being taken first overall.

Taillon is one of 12 high school players in our first round - a first round that's pretty diverse.

We have two players from Cal-State Fullerton going in the first round - that's hardly unusual. But two from Virginia Tech? And one from Ball State?

Players from schools in Florida (7), California (4) and Texas (3) make up nearly half of the 32 first-round picks - that's hardly unusual. But two from Indiana? And two from Ohio?

Just trust us on this: There's plenty of talent in plenty of places. Check out our Top 100 high school and Top 50 college prospects if you're not sure.

1. Washington Nationals
The Pick: Bryce Harper, C, Southern Nevada CC
The Buzz: Harper has done very little that would dissuade scouts or Washington management against taking him No. 1 overall. His defense is not the best among catchers but his bat projects unbelievably well.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pick: Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Ole Miss
The Buzz: The Pirates could do better for their farm system to take Manny Machado here, but his signability has come into question. That, and the Pirates have been taking more major league-ready players early and Pomeranz will be ready quickly.
3. Baltimore Orioles
The Pick: Jameson Taillon, RHP, The Woodlands (Texas) High
The Buzz: In an effort to keep building with young pitchers, Baltimore takes Taillon off the board. His upside is tremendous with three plus-pitches he can throw for strikes. At 6-foot-5, he is already a presence on the mound and can still add to his frame.
4. Kansas City Royals
The Pick: Deck McGuire, RHP, Georgia Tech
The Buzz: The Royals grab one of the safer arms in the draft in Yellow Jacket ace Deck McGuire. McGuire was solid but not overly impressive this season but his path to the majors should be a quick one. He could settle in as a solid No. 3 or No. 4 MLB pitcher.
5. Cleveland Indians
The Pick: Manny Machado, SS, Miami (Fla.) Brito
The Buzz: The Indians need a middle infield prospect and could go with either Machado or Christian Colon from Cal State Fullerton. Both have some signability issues but the Tribe really needs to do something to get a player like Machado into its system.
6. Arizona Diamondbacks
The Pick: Karsten Whitson, RHP, Chipley (Fla.) High
The Buzz: The Diamondbacks look to go with pitching at this spot. There are several options but Whitson looks to be the pick. He has an above-average fastball and a swing-and-miss slider at his disposal.
7. New York Mets
The Pick: Dylan Covey, RHP, Pasadena (Calif.) Marantha
The Buzz: Another team with young talent at positions that are rich in the draft goes the way of a high school pitcher. Covey has a power curve that checks in at 80 mph. He has good poise but not much room left on his body for projection.
8. Houston Astros
The Pick: Yasmani Grandal, C, Miami
The Buzz: Grandal is probably the best catch-and-throw catcher in the draft. His bat has been scorching of late which pushes him up into the Top 10 of the draft. Even with Jason Castro in the system the Astros could use a catcher with a bat.
9. San Diego Padres
The Pick: Zack Cox, 3B, Arkansas
The Buzz: The draft-eligible sophomore goes in the top 10 of the draft. Cox has played a little at third and, more recently, second base. The move to second is probably a long-term solution as his bat doesn't have MLB power for a third baseman. He is a very good contact hitter though and will get taken early.
10. Oakland Athletics
The Pick: Bryce Brentz, OF, Middle Tennessee
The Buzz: Brentz's short, compact swing is something that will lead to his big league success. He isn't overly big and has decent speed, but that will not be a major part of his game as he develops. He had a minor ankle injury slow some of his production, but that is a non-factor going forward.
11. Toronto Blue Jays
The Pick: Chris Sale, LHP, Florida Gulf Coast
The Buzz: The Blue Jays could also take high schooler A.J. Cole at this spot but go for the more proven talent. His performance in the Gulf Coast League carried into his junior season and helped boost his draft stock.
12. Cincinnati Reds
The Pick: Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, LSU
The Buzz: One of the bigger players in the draft, Ranaudo checks in at a massive 6-foot-7, 230-plus pounds. With command of three pitches, he is a very solid prospect to get in the middle of the first round.
13. Chicago White Sox
The Pick: Christian Colon, SS, Cal St. Fullerton
The Buzz: Colon may not look the part of a MLB shortstop, but he certainly has the tools to stay at the position. His baseball IQ is very high which allows him to play above his skill set. He has some signability issues that may have caused him to slide a few spots.
14. Milwaukee Brewers
The Pick: Josh Sale, 3b/OF, Seattle (Wash.) Bishop Blanchet
The Buzz: Sale is one of more intriguing players in the draft, his bat is probably the best among all high school players but his defense is limited to either 1B or a shift to the corner outfield. The Brew Crew may have a tough time keeping him from going to Gonzaga to develop.
15. Texas Rangers
The Pick: Brandon Workman, RHP, Texas
The Buzz: The Rangers were not able to sign the 2009 No. 1 high school player, Matthew Purke. They stay in-state and grab Longhorn pitcher Brandon Workman. Workman was a third-round pick out of high school and has only improved his stock with his time in Texas and at the Cape Cod League. He projects as a solid No. 3 or potential No. 2 pitcher in the big leagues.
16. Chicago Cubs
The Pick: Andrew Cole, RHP, Winter Springs (Fla.) Oviedo
The Buzz: The Cubs will most likely go pitching here and Cole, by most accounts, is the best pitcher left on the board. Cole's fastball sits nicely around 92 mph with good control. He throws a slurve (slider-curve) from a different slot than his breaking ball and fastball and that will need tweaked.
17. Tampa Bay Rays
The Pick: Nick Castellanos, SS/3B, Davie (Fla.) Archbishop McCarthy
The Buzz: The Rays have been doing very well in the draft of late and Castellanos could become a steal. Despite having a lot of young talent in their system, the Rays can wait to grab another pitcher at their No. 31 pick. Castellanos can play either 3B or SS in the bigs. He may also have the ability and arm strength to be a very good corner outfielder.
18. LA Angels of Anaheim
The Pick: Alex Wimmers, RHP, Ohio State
The Buzz: Wimmers is a safe player to select for the Angels. He has one of the best changeups in the draft, grading out as high as 70 on the 20-80 scale. He is a strike-thrower who pitches to contact. His raw stuff doesn't wow you but he has enough command to keep his team in the game. A late-season hamstring injury is not re-occuring nor cause for much concern.
19. Houston Astros
The Pick: Justin O'Connor, SS/C/RHP, Muncie (Ind.) Cowan
The Buzz: O'Connor is one of the hottest prospects entering the draft. Depending on who you ask, he could play any one of three positions. The Astros system is pretty low on talent so getting a versatile player could fill in a few spots. We like him best at shortstop.
20. Boston Red Sox
The Pick: Kaleb Cowart, INF/RHP, Adel (Ga.) Cook County
The Buzz: Some scouts have said Cowart is the best shortstop prospect in the draft, although he may end up as a pitcher. The Red Sox do not have a problem letting talented players figure it out and Cowart could be the next Casey Kelly. And that's a good problem for the Nation to have.
21. Minnesota Twins
The Pick: Asher Wojciechowski, RHP, The Citadel
The Buzz: Wojciechowski has a solid fastball, clocking in at 94 mph, but it lacks consistent movement and can come out of his hands very flat. He has an improved slider that can bail him out and is not afraid to go right after any hitter. He could move quickly through the minors and join the bullpen as a reliable setup-type pitcher.
22. Texas Rangers
The Pick: Michael Choice, OF, Texas-Arlington
The Buzz: This may be a bit of a reach, but the struggling franchise could use a hometown hero-type story right now. Some mock drafts have had Choice as high as No. 5, so the talent is certainly there. His work ethic is sky high as well.
23. Florida Marlins
The Pick: LeVon Washington, 2b/OF, Chipola JC
The Buzz: Washington was a first-round pick of the Rays last year out of high school but chose to go the JuCo route to improve his draft stock. While he has stayed as a top-level prospect, his value did not soar through the roof. There is little doubt that he signs this season.
24. San Francisco Giants
The Pick: Austin Wilson, OF, Los Angeles (Cali.) Harvard-Westlake
The Buzz: Wilson's raw power is something that all teams like and his work ethic is off the charts. A player who wants to get better and has the skill set to make vast improvements makes for a solid first round pick. The Giants need some more young, powerful talent in the system. This is a natural fit. Signability is looking like it may be an issue as the draft nears.
25. St. Louis Cardinals
The Pick: Kolbrin Vitek, 2B, Ball State
The Buzz: Vitek is one of the fastest-rising college prospects. His ability to do pretty much everything is something that teams like. The Cardinals have been using patchwork middle infielders for the past few seasons and may have to wait a few more while Vitek develops, but it could be a short wait with his bat.
26. Colorado Rockies
The Pick: Kevin Gausman, RHP, Centennial (Colo.) Grandview
The Buzz: Some have said Gausman is the best Colorado pitching prospect since Roy Halladay. The 6-foot-4 righty can add some more size and strength and can develop into a No. 3 pitcher in the long term.
27. Philadelphia Phillies
The Pick: Stetson Allie, INF/RHP, Olmsted Falls (Ohio) St. Edward
The Buzz: Allie can do many things on the baseball field and is one of the best prospects in the draft. He will most likely be selected as a pitcher with the ability to hit 98 mph on the radar gun. With pure power, he has many of his pitches clocked higher than most. He can keep batters on their heels with his 91 mph slider and 86 mph change-up.
28. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Pick: Gary Brown, OF, Cal St. Fullerton
The Buzz: Brown is a speedy top of the order outfielder who can pace a lineup. He is reminding many of Reggie Willits with his plus speed and sneaky power. His defense has steadily improved, but his arm is more like Johnny Damon's than Ichiro's.
29. LA Angels of Anaheim
The Pick: Austin Wates, OF, Virginia Tech
The Buzz: Word is that the Angels would have wanted to get Brown. Instead, they will take the next best thing in Wates. He is a natural center fielder with a lot of athletic ability. His patient approach at the plate fits in nicely with what the Angels expect from their top of the order hitters.
30. LA Angels of Anaheim
The Pick: Brett Eibner, Util/RHP, Arkansas
The Buzz: Eibner is a two-way prospect who will most likely be taken as a pitcher. He can hit 95 mph with his fastball with good late sink on it. His slider is MLB ready and has good movement.
31. Tampa Bay Rays
The Pick: Matt Harvey, RHP, North Carolina
The Buzz: The Rays circle back and grab a pitcher at the end of the round. Harvey was a major prospect coming out of high school but saw his stock dip in his first two years at UNC. A hard thrower, he will need to have some coaching on command to become a top of the rotation pitcher.
32. New York Yankees
The Pick: Jesse Hahn, RHP, Virginia Tech
The Buzz: This is a spot tough to project as there are plenty of players with signability issues that could fall. The Yankees never have to deal with that problem though, so they may get a guy with higher upside here. Hahn is a solid righty with three pitches he can control.

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