The MLB Draft is just a few days away, and that means mock drafts are beginning to get more serious. While the task of constructing a mock draft is as challenging as ever, there has been no shortage of rumors to work with when it comes to putting the first 31 picks together. With that said, here is Scout.com's latest look at who may be going where in this year's first round.
Mark Appel | RHP | Stanford
ANALYSIS: Houston has given no indication that it has narrowed its list, but all signs still point to Appel. He's from the area, he's polished, and he still has the most industry buzz to be the top pick.
Byron Buxton | OF | Appling County H.S. (Ga.)
There's a new contender in town for this pick and that's Carlos Correa
. Of course, Minnesota has shown interest all along, but he's been gaining steam of late. Buxton still appears to be the man in this spot, but it's less certain now.
Mike Zunino | C | Florida
ANALYSIS: Like last year, the Mariners may make a pick that blows up most mock drafts out there. They could just as easily take Correa or Buxton in this spot. This one is far from decided.
Kyle Zimmer | RHP | San Francisco
ANALYSIS: Word is that Baltimore prefers Zimmer in this spot as long as he's healthy. Pitcher Kevin Gausman or one of the two high school position players, if they slip, are possibilities here as well.
Kevin Gausman | RHP | LSU
ANALYSIS: The industry consensus is that they will take the best college arm available here and in this scenario that's Gausman. Zunino slipping here would present them with an intriguing option, however.
Albert Almora | OF | Mater Academy (Fla.)
ANALYSIS: I have my doubts as to whether Chicago would indeed take Almora over Carlos Correa, and it could very well be that the Almora rumor is so strong because perhaps Chicago expects Correa will be gone.
Carlos Correa | SS | Puerto Rico Baseball Academy
Deven Marrero | SS | Arizona State
ANALYSIS: This is the rumor that just refuses to be proven wrong. Unless Zunino presents himself at this pick, this is probably where Pittsburgh does indeed go.
Max Fried | LHP | Harvard-Westlake H.S. (Calif.)
ANALYSIS: They've been linked almost exclusively with prep names. I think they'd prefer the prep arm, Fried, over Courtney Hawkins or David Dahl.
Courtney Hawkins | OF | Carroll H.S. (Tex.)
ANALYSIS: The word in scouting circles is that Colorado prefers Hawkins to Dahl and the collegiate arms still on the board. This has been a strong rumor all spring.
Richie Shaffer | 3B | Clemson
Richie Shaffer could end up like Mikie Mahtook
last year if he doesn't go in this spot. Oakland has a number of options here, including Lance McCullers
David Dahl | OF | Oak Mountain H.S. (Ala.)
ANALYSIS: Dahl to the Mets has probably been the strongest rumor of the last few days. The Mets love the total package and seem to prefer him over most of the prep bats.
Michael Wacha | RHP | Texas A&M
ANALYSIS: All signs point to this pick being a college arm, and Wacha is the best one still on the board. Marcus Stroman, Andrew Heaney and Chris Stratton all fit here as well.
Andrew Heaney | LHP | Oklahoma State
ANALYSIS: There's an outside chance that this could be a spot for Marrero if he does slide. Heaney or Chris Stratton fit well into what the Reds are looking for though.
Chris Stratton | RHP | Mississippi State
There's an off-the-wall rumor out there that Miami catcher Peter O'Brien
has a taker in the top 20 picks, and that that team may be Cleveland. I'll believe it when it when I see it, but it's something to keep in mind. Otherwise I think Stratton or Heaney fit neatly here.
Lance McCullers | RHP | Jesuit H.S. (Fla.)
Where McCullers fits has been hard to nail down, but again Washington seems like a logical fit. They are also in on Marcus Stroman
and David Dahl.
Joey Gallo | 3B | Bishop Gorman H.S. (Nev.)
ANALYSIS: Gallo going in the top 20 picks is gaining steam and Toronto, as well as Oakland, is on him quite heavily. Names like Gavin Cecchini, Courtney Hawkins, and Addison Russell fit also.
Matt Smoral | LHP | Solon H.S. (Ohio.)
ANALYSIS: Most in the industry seem to be in agreement that Los Angeles will go with a prep arm. Ty Hensley has been a hot name here, but in the last couple days Smoral's has emerged as well.
Lucas Giolito | RHP | Harvard-Westlake H.S. (Calif.)
ANALYSIS: This could be the bombshell of the round. Recent rumors have one of the multiple-pick first-round clubs making a run at Giolito. The Cardinals may be the most enthusiastic about it.
Stephen Piscotty | 3B | Stanford
ANALYSIS: There's a lot of buzz that Piscotty is going to be their guy in this spot. Word is they are zoning in on college bats, and there are not a whole lot of options aside from Piscotty or Tyler Naquin here.
Tanner Rahier | SS | Palm Desert H.S. (Calif.)
Rahier and Smoral are the recurring names in the Braves' rumors. I wouldn't rule out powerful lefty bats like Joey Gallo or Stryker Trahan
Gavin Cecchini | SS | Barbe H.S. (La.)
ANALYSIS: Two teams have shown intense interest in Cecchini in the first round, and they are Toronto and St. Louis. One of those clubs may even take him with their first pick. It's unlikely he gets past this point.
Stryker Trahan | C | Acadiana H.S. (La.)
ANALYSIS: Some teams see Trahan in the first round and some don't. The Cardinals are one of the clubs that absolutely value him that high. And, the connection between the two just persists.
Addison Russell | SS | Pace H.S. (Fla.)
ANALYSIS: There are a lot of teams chomping at the bit to get Russell in the 20-30 range, and Boston is one of them. This could very well be his floor.
Ty Hensley | RHP | Santa Fe H.S. (Okla.)
ANALYSIS: The Rays haven't been linked to any one type of player in particular thus far. I just don't see them letting a high octane arm like Hensley slip beyond them.
Lewis Brinson | OF | Coral Springs H.S. (Ariz.)
ANALYSIS: Arizona apparently has a short list of players they covet and expect to be available. Brinson is near the top of that list.
Pierce Johnson | RHP | Missouri State
ANALYSIS: There are a couple prep names floating around for this spot, mainly position players. Brinson may be an option if he's still on the board. They've also been linked heavily to college arms and Johnson may be the best one remaining.
Lucas Sims | RHP | Brookwood H.S. (Ga.)
ANALYSIS: This isn't an easy one to project, as the Brewers seem to have a tremendous number of ways to go here. They've consistently scouted Sims, however, and he looks like a good fit.
Shane Watson | RHP | Lakewood H.S. (Calif.)
ANALYSIS: Texas continues to be linked with hard-throwing prep arms. Watson has been the one linked to them the most persistently in the last week.
Jose Orlando Berrios | RHP | Papa Juan XXIII (P.R.)
ANALYSIS: As I said a week ago, it seems probable that most of the prep bats the Yankees like will be gone. Lewis Brinson is a favorite in this spot if he gets that far. Otherwise, I think the Yankees go with the hard-throwing Berrios or another prep arm.
Marcus Stroman | RHP | Duke
ANALYSIS: At this position in the round it is wait-and-see mode for Boston. No one in the early part of the round seems to have Stroman as their top option. If he gets this far, he will fall no further.