(Note: Once we get to the Mariners at No. 12, I’m going to have to scramble to do interviews and write it up, so prepare for the live thread to get much more sporadic. I’ll put up a separate thread to cover the Mariners pick).
First round, 12th pick: The Mariners take third baseman D. J. Peterson from the University of New Mexico. Here’s what I wrote earlier on Peterson:
Keith Law of ESPN links the Mariners to Peterson in his latest mock draft. He’s the No. 12 overall prospect from Baseball America, and third at third base behind San Diego’s Kris Bryant, who led the collegiate ranks in homers and will go Top 3 (maybe even first overall to the Astros) and Colin Moran of North Carolina, brother of Mariners’ pitching prospect Brian Moran. The Mariners drafted Peterson in the 33rd round in 2010 but he opted for college. He hit .408 this season with 18 homers (which is a high total in college in the era of the power-drained bats). Writes Baseball America: “While New Mexico plays at an elevation higher than Coors Field, scouts say Peterson’s power is legitimate. That’s good because defense will never be a big part of his game.” They suggest he might end up in left field or at first base.
First round, 11th pick: The Mets take first baseman Dominic Smith from Serra HS in Gardena, Calif. The M’s are on the clock, with lots of options available. They’ve been strongly linked to high school SS J. P. Crawford.
First round, 10th pick: The Blue Jays take RHP Phil Bickford from Oaks Christian HS in Westlake Village HS in California., Two picks until the Mariners, and several interesting namesare still available, including shortstop J. P. Crawford, 3B D.J. Peterson, C Reese McGuire (from Kentwood), OF Hunter Renfroe and 1B Dominic Smith.
First round, ninth pick: The Pirates, with the compensation pick for not signing Mark Appel last year, the Pirates take high school center fielder Austin Meadows, who had been linked to the Mariners. But it was unlikely he was going to last long enough for Seattle to take him. He’s the other outfielder from Loganville, GA, attending Grayson HS.
First round, eighth pick: The Royals make the first eyebrow-raising pick, taking shortstop Hunter Dozier from Stephen F. Austin. He’s ranked as the No. 39 prospect by Baseball America (and similarly in other listings), so you’ve got to think the Royals might be trying to save money here for a bigger impact pick later. Scouts are skeptical if he can stay at shortstop. But at 6-4, 220, Dozier has significant power potential.
First round, seventh pick: The Red Sox pick a high school pitcher, left-hander Trey Ball from New Castle, Indiana. All of the names I mentioned as possible for the Mariners are still on the board.
First round, sixth pick: The Marlins take third baseman Colin Moran from University of North Carolina, the brother of Mariners’ Triple-A pitcher Brian Moran and the nephew of B.J. Surhoff.
First round, fifth pick: The Indians take outfielder Clint Frazier of Loganville HS in Loganville, Georgia, one of two top high school players from Loganville (he was announced as a third baseman, but he’s an outfielder). He’s been compared to Mike Trout. The Indians, remember, had their pick protected despite signing two free agents who had received qualifying offers, Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher. That’s because all top 10 picks are protected.
First round, fourth pick: The Twins take high school RHP Kohl Stewart from St. Pius X in Houston, a QB football recruit to Texas A&M. But the Twins wouldn’t have used a pick this high if they weren’t confident they could sign him. The Twins are building a nice prospect base with outfielder Byron Buxton and corner infielder Miguel Sano, both of whom are pegged as future superstars.
First round, third pick: The Rockies go with RHP Jonathan Gray, regarded as having the highest upside of any pitcher in the draft. He’s a high-90s fireballer who’s been compared to Stephen Strasburg.
First round, second pick: Cubs take third baseman Kris Bryant from the University of San Diego. He’s the top power hitter in the draft as the Cubs pass on Oklahoma RHP Jonathan Gray. With power at a premium these days, the Cubs opted for a potential impact bat over a potential No. 1 starter. He hit 31 homers this year, a huge total nowadays with the new bats now used in college that diminish power. Bryant may eventually wind up in the outfield. Keep in mind that it was revealed this week that Gray tested positive for Adderall.
First round, first pick: Astros take Houston native Mark Appel, a right-handed pitcher from Stanford. He’s been the consensus No. 1 player for most of this season, but there was some question if the Astros would try to get cute like they did last year, when they made a pre-draft deal with SS Carlos Correa, who wasn’t widely regarded as the No. 1 overall talent. But by getting someone under slot, the Astros were able to take better talent later. Appel was picked last year by the Pirates No. 8 but didn’t sign. Obviously, that decision paid off, because now he’s the No. 1 overall pick and will make more money in that draft slot. Could be in the big leagues this season.
Here is the draft order. The first day of the Draft will consist of the first 106 picks, including the first round, Competitive Balance Round A, the second round and Competitive Balance Round B. Seattle will make two picks on the first day: #12 and #49. Lots of intrigue over whether the Astros, picking first overall, will take Stanford pitcher Mark Appel, Oklahoma right-hander Jonathan Gray, San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant or even high school RHP Kohl Stewart, from Houston. They’ve done a good job of keeping their intentions under their hat.
Mariners should be on the clock a little after 5 p.m., Seattle time. Alvin Davis is the Mariners’ draft rep in person at the MLB Network Studios in Secaucus, N.J.