April 29, 2009

MLB Baseball Mock Draft Round One

1. Washington Nationals
The Pick: Stephen Strasburg,RHP, San Diego State.
The buzz: Strasburg has been the consensus No. 1 pick since the first mock draft for 2009 came out. His 6-4 frame is the prototype and he can crank it up to 103 mph.
2. Seattle Mariners
The Pick: Dustin Ackley, 1B/OF, North Carolina
The buzz: Ackley is one of the best pure hitters in this draft and can use all fields. Has been playing first base since having Tommy John surgery. Does not have much projectable power but good base running skills and a quick bat make him the pick here.
3. San Diego Padres
The Pick: Aaron Crow, RHP, Fort Worth Cats
The buzz: The Nationals were unable to come to terms with Crow after last years draft and he has been playing for the Ft. Worth Cats of the Independent League. With a 96 mph fastball and a power slider Crow is the No. 2 RHP in this draft and would be a nice fit in PetCo.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pick: Matthew Purke, LHP, Klein (Texas)
The buzz: The Pittsburgh farm system is starting to look surprisingly good with young position players so the Buccos can focus on this young lefty. Purke's fastball can touch 95 mph, and he has control of three strong pitches. Signability is not much of an issue which is great for the penny-pinching Pirates.
5. Baltimore Orioles
The Pick: Grant Green, SS, USC
The buzz: Green could have been a fit for Pittsburgh at No. 4 but being a Scott Boras client pushed him to the Orioles. There is a wide array of reports on his upside from being Troy Tulowitzki or Bobby Crosby. Baltimore hopes for the former.
6. San Francisco Giants
The Pick: Donovan Tate, OF/SS, Cartersville (Georgia)
The buzz: The No. 4 player in the RivalsHIGH 100, Tate may be the most gifted athlete in the Top 10. He is very raw at the plate but has the ability to play the left side of the infield and all three outfield positions. High-risk high-reward as Tate could opt to go to North Carolina and play football or baseball.
7. Atlanta Braves
The Pick: Tyler Matzek, LHP, San Juan Capistrano (CA) Capistrano Valley
The buzz: The Braves would love to have Donovan Tate fall to them here and take the Georgia kid, however if they don't have that opportunity they go with Matzek. The farm system could use a catcher but this class doesn't have a Top 10 catcher. Matzek has no signability issues.
8. Cincinnati Reds
The Pick: Kyle Gibson, RHP, Missouri
The buzz: Gibson is level-headed and competitive as well as a gifted athlete. Has command of three pitches including a fastball that settles in the 92-93 range. At 6-6 his height is great, but his frame is narrow which may cause some concerns.
9. Detroit Tigers
The Pick: Mychal Givens, SS/RHP, Tampa (FL) Plant
The buzz: This is a spot with any number of options and the Tigers go with "best available". Givens is the No. 2 player in the RivalsHigh 100 and can play either SS or pitcher depending more on how his bat develops. Moderate power and smart baserunning are also positives on his scouting report.
10. Washington Nationals - For Aaron Crow
The Pick: Shelby Miller, RHP, Brownwood (Texas)
The buzz: With their second pick in the Top 10 the Nats stay with power pitching and grab Miller. With Jordan Zimmermann hitting 95, Strasburg at 103 and Miller - who can easily hit 96 - the Nationals are loading up on young power arms.
11. Colorado Rockies
The Pick: Alex White, RHP, North Carolina
The buzz: White keeps the ball down - which is needed in hitter friendly Coor's - with a nasty slider that stays around 83-85. He can also bring the heat to 95 if he reaches back for it. Needs to work on control issues that sometimes plague him.
12. Kansas City Royals
The Pick: Luke Bailey, C, LaGrange (GA) Troup
The buzz: Last year was the class for Catchers and this still may be a stretch to grab Bailey at No. 12. He is the best high school catcher in the class and does everything above average. Bailey is commited to Auburn but said he will sign if picked in the first round.
13. Oakland Athletics
The Pick: Mike Leake, RHP, Arizona State
The buzz: Leake has been one of the best in the Pac-10 this season and has great control. There may be pitchers with more impressive physical attributes but there is something to be said for being a winner and having an "it" factor.
14. Texas Rangers
The Pick: Andrew Oliver, LHP, Oklahoma State
The buzz: The Rangers never ending search for quality starting pitchers continues. Oliver is the most pro ready college lefty in this class and Texas hopes he pans out. Being a Scott Boras client comes with some pitfalls but the Rangers should be able to get this done.
15. Cleveland Indians
The Pick: Kentrail Davis, OF, Tennessee
The buzz: Davis is a draft eligible sophomore and a Scott Boras client, which makes this a risky pick for the Tribe. Davis certainly has the tools to go this high despite an average showing this spring. He may see his name in this slot again next year if the Tribe can't get him to sign.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks
The Pick: Kendall Volz, RHP, Baylor
The buzz: Volz has a little Joakim Soria in him - the talent to be a starter but the mentality to be a dominant closer in the bigs. The Diamondbacks will probably plan to stretch him out and use his arsenal of power pitches in the rotation.
17. Arizona Diamondbacks - from Los Angeles Dodgers
The Pick: Zach Wheeler, RHP, Dallas (GA) East Paulding
The buzz: Wheeler has great projectability for big league success. Has a range of pitches and does a great job keeping the ball down in the zone. This pick could be used on a position player but Arizona has three more first round picks coming.
18. Florida Marlins
The Pick: Mike Minor, LHP, Vanderbilt
The buzz: Minor is a player that could develop into a baseball junky's "crafty left hander." Without overpowering stuff Minor uses his control and pitch selection to get batters out. The ceiling is low for Minor, but should not need much time to get a call to the show as a No. 5 or long relief pitcher.
19. St. Louis Cardinals
The Pick: Jacob Turner, RHP, Saint Charles (MO) Westminster Christian Academy
The buzz: Turner may have serious signability issues as he could project as a Top 5 if he develops at North Carolina, but the Cardinals take the risk to keep him as a nice home-state story.
20. Toronto Blue Jays
The Pick: Rich Poythress, 1B, Georgia
The buzz: Poythress has been mashing SEC pitchers and has seen his stock climb this season. With his defense and baserunning being very limited the Blue Jays could be drafting the next Matt Stairs.
21. Houston Astros
The Pick: Jason Stoffell, RHP, Arizona
The buzz: The No. 1 closer in the draft goes at a reasonable pick 21. Stoffel can hit 96 on the gun and has a hard, over-hand power curve ball that he has decent command of. Conditioning has come into question as he has been more hittable this spring.
22. Minnesota Twins
The Pick: Matt Davidson, 3B, Yucaipa (California)
The buzz: It is a good fit for Davidson to be picked by an AL team as his defense is subject to a move to 1B or DH. Has good power and can develop into a legit 25-30 HR player.
23. Chicago White Sox
The Pick: Brett Jackson, OF, California
The buzz: Jackson had a rough time in the Cape Cod League (hitting .238) and saw his stock fall a little. A solid defensive outfielder with good speed he is still a first round option.
24. Los Angeles Angels - From New York Mets
The Pick: Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Los Angeles (CA) Santa Monica
The buzz: Tha Angels have the luxury of having five first round picks this season and for the first one they look out their back window and take the No. 50 player in the RivalsHigh 100, Tyler Skaggs. A big lefty from Santa Monica could still end up at Cal St. Fulerton, but worth the risk in drafting here.
25. Los Angeles Angels - From New York Yankees
The Pick: Max Stassi, C, Yuba City (California)
The buzz: Meet the next Mike Scioscia. A solid but stocky built catcher with a great baseball mind and natural leadership skills. A very good year for NorCal catchers and Stassi fits the Angel mold.
26. Milwaukee Brewers
The Pick: Tanner Scheppers, RHP, St. Paul Saints
The buzz: Scheppers was drafted but unsigned by the Pirates last season and has been playing for the St. Paul Saints. Scheppers has a plus fastball and slider, both with high mph behind them.
27. Seattle Mariners - From Philadelphia Phillies
The Pick: Chad Thompson, RHP, Lake Forest (CA) El Toro
The buzz: Seattle does not take long to turn in this pick. The 6-foot-8 Thompson has been near unhittable this spring and certainly projects to be a MLB starter.
28. New York Yankess - For Gerrit Cole
The Pick: Jake Marisnick, OF, Riverside (CA) Riverside Poly
The buzz: There has been a lot of rumors, speculation, and names tied to the Yankees first round pick but the Bronx Bombers reach out to a highly ranked high schooler. Jake Marisnick, the No. 7 ranked player in the RivalsHigh 100, has struggled this season but the Yankees feel fine with the pick.
29. Boston Red Sox
The Pick: A.J. Pollock, OF, Notre Dame
The buzz: Pollock has seen his stock soar this season despite some obvious limitations. In the mold of a Coco Crisp, Pollock has the potential to be an everyday player with 15 homers, 20 steals, and a .285 average.
30. Tampa Bay Rays
The Pick: Alex Wilson, RHP, Texas A&M
The buzz: This is a risk that a system as deep as the Rays can make. Wilson is already coming off of Tommy Johns surgery but has a heavy fastball and a plus slider that projects well.
31. Chicago Cubs
The Pick: Bobby Borchering, 3B, Alva (FL) Bishop Verot
The buzz: Borchering could certainly have his named called earlier than 31, but the Cubs will gladly take him here. The 6-4 switch hitter is likely to move to 1B as he develops as his bat is vastly superior to his defense at this stage. He isn't a clogger on the bases, but won't be stealing many either.
32. Colorado Rockies - From LA Angels
The Pick: Everett Williams, OF, Austin (TX) McCallum
The buzz: Similar to the Yankees, a lot of rumor and names floating with this pick. Williams gets the nod for his gap-to-gap line drive ability and plus (but not blazing) speed. Think: Ryan Freel.
Supplemental 1st Round Picks
33. Seattle Mariners - for Raul Ibanez
The Pick: James Paxton, LHP, Kentucky
The buzz: Paxton is a grinder who has worked his way into a first round selection. Starting his career as a spot reliever at UK he really grown since his CGSO against Ole Miss in 2008.
34. Colorado Rockies - for Brian Fuentes
The Pick: Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Long Beach (CA) Millikan
The buzz: Good bat control and pedigree gets Singleton picked here. The Rockies could use a pitcher, but youth position players are the way to go this draft. His father, Rocky Singleton, played in the NFL for the Seahawks.
35. Arizona Diamondbacks - for Orlando Hudson
The Pick: Jared Mitchell, OF, LSU
The buzz: Picked in the 10th round out of high school Mitchell has worked his way to a first round pick. The two-sport player can play all three outfield positions.
36. Los Angeles Dodgers - for Derek Lowe
The Pick: Beau Wright, LHP, Los Alamitos (California)
The buzz: The lefty from Los Alamitos has continued to develop as he grew. Now at 6-foot-2 the Dodgers would love to see him stay home and develop.
37. Toronto Blue Jays - for A.J. Burnett
The Pick: Matthew Moynihan, OF, San Diego (CA) Cathedral Catholic
The buzz: Moynihan has good speed (6.68 60-yard) and a solid plate approach. Very athletic player who could certainly develop to an every day player.
38. Chicago White Sox - for Orlando Cabrera
The Pick: Jacob Cowan, RHP, San Jacinto College
The buzz: A great find for the White Sox as a transfer from Virginia to San Jacinto entered the season as the No. 2 prospect by Baseball America.
39. Milwaukee Brewers - for C.C. Sabathia
The Pick: Austin Maddox, C, Jacksonville (FL) Eagle's View Academy
The buzz: Maddox is a raw power hitter that punishes mistake pitches for home runs. He also has a cannon for an arm, but cement shoes that will clog the bases.
40. Los Angeles Angels - for Mark Texeira
The Pick: Ryan Jackson, SS, Miami
The buzz: Jackson has had his stock soar over the past 18 months. Jackson is a good defensive player and could be a Bobby Crosby type with a better batting average.
41. Arizona Diamondbacks - for Juan Cruz
The Pick: Jonathan Walsh, C, Coppell (Texas)
The buzz: Walsh has the body of an inside linebacker and looks like he could play the position. His high school team is loaded so he is playing out of his projected position, a move to 1B or DH is not out of the question.
42. Los Angeles Angels - for Francisco Rodriguez
The Pick: Brad Boxberger, RHP, USC
The buzz: A recent addition to first round pick chatter, Boxberger was slotted as a relief prospect to start the season. His control goes in and out so there is work to be done, but with four effective pitches he can evolve and be a solid contributor.
43. Cincinnati Reds - for Jeremy Affeldt
The Pick: Tommy Mendonca, 3B, Fresno State
The buzz: Mendonca keeps his average and power number up with the help of a hitter friendly home park - which would also be the case if he made it to the bigs with the Reds. He strikes out a little too much but that is par for the course with Cincinnati players.
44. Texas Rangers - for Milton Bradley
The Pick: Chris Jenkins, RHP, Westfield (New Jersey)
The buzz: Jenkins is the definition of raw talent. His only plus pitch right now is a 95+ mph fastball. Curve and change are below average and he could use some seasoning. If the Rangers can sign him it would be a project and he may be better off heading to Stanford for a few years.
45. Arizona Diamondbacks - for Brandon Lyon
The Pick: Randall Grichuck, OF, Rosenberg (TX) Lamar Consolidated
The buzz: You may remember the name from the 2003 Little League World Series when Grichuck and the Richmond Little League went... maybe not. But the little kid from Texas is all grown up and ready to get drafted. Grichuck has solid power and good pitch recognition.
46. Minnesota Twins - for Dennys Reyes
The Pick: Jake Barrett, RHP, Phoenix (AZ) Desert Ridge
The buzz: Barrett has command of an unusual three pitch combo, fastball, splitter, power curve and can hit 94-95 on the gun.
47. Milwaukee Brewers - for Brian Shouse
The Pick: Josh Kipnis, OF, Arizona State
The buzz: Kipnis tends to play above what his skill set indicates he should do. Being physically average at most things but statistically sound makes him a solid pick. A Reed Johnson (sans facial hair) comparison would be fair for Kipnis.
48. Los Angeles Angels - for Jon Garland
The Pick: Brian Goodwin, OF, Rocky Mount (NC) Rocky Mount
The buzz: Goodwin is a slap hitter with good speed and a good arm. Has a little Kenny Lofton in him with good instincts but not as much top speed.
49. Pittsburgh Pirates - failure to sign Tanner Scheppers
The Pick: Tim Wheeler, OF, Sacramento State
The buzz: Wheeler has good defensive range and a solid approach at the plate. The Pirates have a few players similar to his skill set, but have had trouble developing center fielders recently.
With the MLB Draft fast approaching RivalsHigh.com has broken down the first two rounds of players selected. Check out the first round selection to see which players are slotted to go where, and if your local athlete made the cut.


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