Apr 262011
 

Another guest column from our resident “draftnik,” Marcus Wyche, who earlier this year gave us some Top 5′s for the Nats’ top two picks of the 2011 draft at #6 and #23. Without further ado…

By Marcus Wyche
This is just speculation: A lot can (and will) change between now and the draft. In fact, I looked back at my first article and only two of the players I had in my Top 5 for pick number 6 made the top ten of this mock article (YIKES). Nevertheless, here is my early guess at the Top 10 picks of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft.

1. Pittsburgh Pirates: Gerrit Cole, RHP, UCLA
This is the same organization that said they’d have taken Jameson Taillon number 1 if they had the first overall pick last year. While they did pick up three high-ceiling pitchers in last year’s draft, all three will take a while to develop and the Pirate rotation needs help now. Cole can be up to the big club in the next year or so and help stabilize the rotation.
Stats (this and those that follow, as of 4/25/2011): 2.78 ERA 0.88 WHIP 9.59 K/9

2. Seattle Mariners: Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice University
Dustin Ackley, Anthony Rendon and Jutsin Smoak could make for a nice infield for years to come. Rendon’s bat is great and the Mariners can use the help on offense. It won’t take long for the Mariners to make this pick.
Stats: .350 AVG 1.105 OPS .491 wOBA

3. Arizona Diamondbacks: Danny Hultzen, LHP, UVA
While it’d be a nice story if the Bethesda native gets drafted by one of the local teams, I don’t see him getting past Arizona. Hultzen’s stock has risen tremendously this year and I can’t see his stock getting any higher by staying in school so he shouldn’t be a tough sign. He’s a lefty with a lower 90s fastball, great command and really knows how to pitch.
Stats: 1.31 ERA .87 WHIP 13.63 K/9

4. Baltimore Orioles: Dylan Bundy RHP, Owasso HS
With all their young studs leaving the minors and pitching in the majors currently, there isn’t much room left in their ML rotation for another College guy who is quick to the majors. I think they take the best HS pitcher available here and draft Bundy to be a part of the next wave of talent for the Orioles. Stats were unavailable as we went to virtual press, but here’s a great scouting report from the folks at Orioles Nation.

5. Kansas City Royals: George Springer, CF, UConn
We’ve all heard about how great the Royals system currently is. They’ve gotten to be so strong not just by paying over-slot money but also by picking players with higher ceilings than most players around them. It’s a risk, but it’s worked out well for the Royals lately. Springer has one of the highest ceilings in the draft and should be able to contribute during the same timeframe as the rest of their current top prospects. B. Starling is another possibility here.
Stats: .359 AVG 1.091 OPS .473 wOBA

6. Washington Nationals: Jed Bradley, LHP, Georgia Tech
Bradley and Hultzen are the two best LHPs in this draft. Bradley has command of his pitches and isn’t afraid to pitch inside. Roy Clark likely has a ton of information on him from his connections in Georgia. Bradley would slot nicely in between Strasburg and Zimmermann. The pick just makes a lot of sense. If everything works out we could have a homegrown rotation of Strasburg, Zimmermann, Detwiler, Solis and Bradley by 2013.
Link: http://baseballbeginnings.com/2011/03/22/jed-bradley-report
Stats: 2.98 ERA 1.16 11.64 K/9

7. Arizona Diamondbacks: Jackie Bradley, CF, USC
This pick is unprotected to AZ, so the ‘Backs have to draft a relatively easy sign here. Bradley isn’t a senior but at this spot he shouldn’t be a tough sign and could one day be a good tandem in the outfield with Upton. He’s had a tough season this year which was just ended last week by injury but he’s proven over the last two years that he can perform. Arizona and Nats could make for a trivia answer by picking two Bradleys in a row in the first round.
Stats: .259 AVG .829 OPS .367 wOBA

8. Cleveland Indians: Sonny Gray, RHP, Vanderbilt
Cleveland has done a great job over the years of developing pitchers. They get another one to develop here in Gray who has great power stuff.
Stats: 2.00 ERA 1.11 WHIP 10.69 K/9

9. Chicago Cubs: Matt Barnes, RHP, UConn
Power right handed pitcher who will be able to handle the cold-weather games that come with being a pitcher on the “North Coast.”
Stats: 0.92 ERA .73 WHIP 7.69 K/9

10. San Diego Padres: Trevor Bauer RHP, UCLA
Statistically, he’s probably the best pitcher in the draft, but GMs will be worried about his pitch counts. However, it’s highly unlikely those worries drop him out of the top 10, as San Diego will be ecstatic to get him here.
Stats: 1.42 ERA .80 WHIP 13.83 K/9

Our system can still use some more quality pitchers. Bradley, Barnes, Gray and Bauer are guys we should pay close attention to when looking at future Nationals. All of them are quality pitchers who’d instantly be a Top 3 prospect in our system next year. If Springer is available, it’d be interesting but I think the pitcher is a safer pick here in comparison to Springer. I am a Jackie Bradley supporter still but #6 is too early to choose him with the players that will still be on the board. The fans screaming for more bats in our system? Don’t worry: We have two more picks in the first round and I think at least one of them will be used on a bat.
All stats taken from http://www.collegesplits.com/data.html

  24 Responses to “MLB Mock Draft 2011: An Early Look At The Top 10 Picks”

  1. Marcus – I agree that if Bradley falls to them, he becomes the Nats pick (barring injury). He also fits Rizzo’s body image of a pitcher. Here is a question though: if he goes to the Royals, do you think Rizzo goes out of character and takes Gray? I would like to see it, but have my doubts Rizzo would go for it. Starling would be my next choice.

    • I see us going pitcher with the first pick so Gray, Barnes, or Bauer would be my guesses if Bradley is not available. I doubt we risk our top pick on a guy like Starling who is going to take awhile to develop since he is so raw. One of the later two picks are more likely to be spent on a high upside HS.

  2. Jackey Bradley Jr. apparently has torn a wrist tendon. I believe it was reported before this posting? He likely falls precipitously to a later (Sandwich? 2nd? 3rd?) round.

    • Yeah I know but still Bradley most likely won’t fall out of the first round due to his track record(MVP of College World Series) and he can stick in CF. BA said as much in their latest ASK BA: http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/ask-ba/2011/2611625.html . AZ is going to have to draft someone there that will sign at or below slot since that pick is not protected. With his injury he may no longer be the best option there but he’s definitely a player that would be an easy sign and was projected to go top 15 if not top 10 before the season.

  3. Taylor Jungmann of Texas has to be on the radar with the sixth pick. He led the NCAA in WHIP through last week prior to pitching a one-hitter this weekend. Tall and lean, he’d be a Marlins kind of pitcher. I can’t figure how several guys with much more pedestrian numbers are consistently rated ahead of him (Gray, Bradley). Barnes, Bauer, Hultzen and Cole are the only big names that are close to Jungmann with regards to WHIP. It appears most draft prognosticators (particularly BA), rank pitching prospects almost exclusively on K/9 and completely ignore WHIP.

    Two years ago, the NCAA WHIP leader was Mike Leake. Second, by an eyelash was Stephen Strasburg.

    • Definitely on the radar but I like Bradley, Barnes, Gray and Bauer more than him and at least one of them will be available when we pick. Gray has two plus pitches and a solid change up so he has a better projection than Jungmann. Bradley is a lefty who’s sitting at 93mph with his fastball and has good command guys like that don’t come along every year. I haven’t watched him and don’t know a ton about mechanics but people have also complained about Jungmann’s delivery this is noted in this scouting report: http://www.baseballrumormill.com/players/taylor-jungmann/

  4. Trevor Bauer is easily the best talent in this draft. His numbers are a lot betters than Cole’s and he looks better. The only thing Cole has on him is “body”. Then again Greg Reynolds, Luke Hocheaver, Brad Lincoln, Andrew Miller and Brad Lincoln all had better bodies than Tim Lincecum. Bauer reminds me a lot of him.

    • Him and Lincecum have been getting compared a lot since they both have unorthodox deliveries and similar frames. Here’s an article from last year comparing the two: http://www.5tooltalk.com/2011-notes-6-20-10.html

      I’ve read a couple places that Lincecum had better stuff coming out of College. I note in the article that I think Bauer is the best pitcher in the draft statistically but his pitch counts and small frame are going to scare some teams off.

  5. Here’s a link to a mock posted by a commenter at mlbbonusbaby it includes the whole first round and has us taking L. Micheal with the 23rd pick. I’d prefer us to take T. Harrison(1B/3B/OF) or A. Meyer(RHP w/ a great arm struggles w/ command at times) in this scenario.

    http://www.mlbbonusbaby.com/2011/4/22/2117961/my-preliminary-2011-mock-draft

  6. That would be something if Hultzen were around at #6. I’d take Wong over Michael at #23 but would take a pitcher if Stilson or Chapin were still around and hope that Wong was still there for our next pick. We’ve got a good, young shortstop but will need a second baseman once we move our good young shortstop to shortstop.

    Not sure Rizzo takes a guy with control problems like Meyer. You KNOW he won’t take a HS player with his two first round picks.

    • Yeah Hultzen would be great the Bethesda native and UVA product definitely has the local ties. I’m a Wong fan too and agree with our minor league contingent(Lombarozzi, Kelso, Martinson, Hague, Kobernus) there’s no real need to pick a MI this early.

      Meyer has a high upside and has been doing better with his control this year. Think he’d be worth the risk at 23 see if he can do better with pro coaching. Here’s a good article on him: http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/college/season-preview/2011/2611237.html . Whether Rizzo takes a HS guy at 23 or in the sandwich round could interchange depending what College guy the FO wants. If a college guy they’ve targeted is likely to fall to the sandwich round and the HS guys they want won’t be around he could easily go HS at 23.

      • The rationale behind picking *college* MI, and in particular shortstops is because they are usually:

        a.) The best fielders on their respective college team. Also the best athlete, team captain
        and one of the best if not the best hitters.
        b.) Because they are such good athletes they are easier to convert to other positions.

        I guess high school players are different. Not many are like Harper who mostly played catcher but was way ahead of everyone he played with and against. The way he is going in Hagerstown right now it looks as if he won’t be there on Father’s Day.

  7. Barnes has put up fabulous numbers too. Somehow, Bradley comes across as another Ross Detwiler. Looks good on paper but short on results.

    • Fan of Barnes too since he already knows how to pitch in cold weather because of his time at UCON. Two of Bradley’s last three starts weren’t the greatest but he righted himself in his last outing but those two starts may have hurt his numbers a bit. Bradleys a better prospect than Detwiller couldn’t see Det going top 10 in this draft coming out of College.

      • Props to Marcus for pitching in on both the article and the discussion — the draft is not my forte so I’m glad to have the help from someone with more passion for it!

        • Agreed: The draft prospects list can be highly volatile; Kudos to Marcus for taking a shot at it this early. With any luck, by this time next month we’ll have a better idea about everything, and maybe Marcus can give us another look then.

        • Add me to the list of thank you’s. I don’t know squat about these players before the draft, but it’s nice to see someone who’s both passionate and knowledgable about the subject.

  8. FWIW, from Law’s chat

    John (Richmond, VA)
    Is there any buzz about who the Nats are taking in the draft. Thanks.

    Klaw
    (1:16 PM)
    College pitcher. Would love Hultzen, but he’s not getting there. I’m thinking Bauer, Barnes, and Meyer are all in their mix (although they might be hoping Meyer gets to them at 23). Won’t do Gray – Rizzo doesn’t like sub-6′ RHP – or Jungmann.

    • Thanks for the info…interesting that he mentions Meyer as a possibility at 6 he must be moving up draft boards.

  9. I am really hoping they go out of character and take Gray (Meyer would be a disappointment at 6 for me). I think that he is going to be a very effective pro. Bradley may also fall, given recent performance. Barring those two, I guess I root for Bauer (but also not the biggest guy around).

  10. Also, I would be happy with Bundy or the prep Bradley.

  11. I just hope they continue the strategy of the Best Players Available in the 1st round. If the supplmental choice is a ‘signability’ pick, I’m ok with that, as long as they don’t go too low – It’s a one-time gift & I’m sure they want to lock up a promising player there.

    The who & why will hopefully prove out over the next six or so weeks – It’s just one more thing to look forward to.

    • This is certainly one area where Rizzo and his high end brain power staff excel. I don’t think we have anything to worry about.

      Its the major league product, the veritable philosophy, the “concept” seems very questionable. But, at the minor league level its a different story.

      Noting here that when Riggleman was interviewed about Bernadina he said he wanted to bring him back when there was a spot for him to play every day. He doesn’t look like an everyday player to me? Laynce Nix, a professional journeymen looks better than did Bernadina? So, one has to wonder what on earth Riggleman is thinking … on many matters
      not just that.

      To me there is a huge disconnect between the philosophy and conceptual models currently employed in the minor league system as compared to the major league product.

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