With the prep and college seasons at or past their halfway points it's time to look at where players are slotting into June’s first round. Movement up and down draft boards happens every week, so I have lightened up the player write-ups to save time and allow for a better snapshot of where everyone stands heading into the second weekend of April. The Devil Rays are on the board.
1. Tampa Bay Devil Rays - David Price, LHP, B:L T:L, 6’5, 215, Vanderbilt
Price has done nothing to alter the preseason perception that he is the best pitcher in the draft. Tampa Bay, meet Mr. David Price.
2. Kansas City Royals - Rick Porcello, RHP, R-R, 6’5, 190, Seton Hall Prep, West Orange, NJ
Porcello’s size, stuff and projection are becoming more and more attractive as he piles up stellar performances for the nation’s number one prep team.
3. Chicago Cubs - Matt Wieters, C, S-R, 6’4, 205, Georgia Tech
The word in scouting circles is that the Cubs are leaning hard toward taking Wieters, a switch-hitting masher who has the bat to play first if he can’t stay behind the plate.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates - Josh Vitters, 3B, R-R, 6’3, 190, Cypress HS, California
Right now, Vitters is the top high school bat in the nation. Tired of seeing their first rounders disappear with elbow and shoulder trouble, the Pirates are thinking position player early.
5. Baltimore Orioles - Phillippe Aumont, RHP, R-R, 6’5, 210, Ecole Du Versant HS
Erik Bedard, Adam Loewen and now Phillippe Aumont? It’s true; the Orioles are considering the huge Quebec native at number five.
6. Washington Nationals - Ross Detwiler, LHP, R-L, 6’4, 180, Missouri State
Next to Price the best lefty in the draft, and moving toward the fast track to the Bigs. The Nationals need draft picks who aren’t long for the minors, so Detwiler’s a good fit.
7. Milwaukee Brewers - Michael Burgess, OF, L-L, 5’11, 195, Hillsborough HS, Tampa, FL
The Brewers might need arms a bit more than they need bats, but Burgess’ power and skill set are tempting. He may strike out a lot, but that didn’t stop them from gambling on Prince Fielder.
8. Colorado Rockies - Matt Harvey, RHP, R-R, 6’4, 195, Fitch HS, Groton, CT
Working in the low- to mid-90s consistently and getting outs on the ground. Harvey is a good bet to develop into a successful Coors Field pitcher.
9. Arizona Diamondbacks - Daniel Moskos, LHP, R-L, 6’2, 200, Clemson
Will he start in the pros? The D-Backs think so, but it’s nice to know that Moskos’ fallback role would likely be as a “shutdown reliever.”
10. San Francisco Giants - Andrew Brackman, RHP, 7’0, 250, North Carolina State
Fast start but now coming back to Earth. His stuff is nasty which will keep him in the Top 10. But how long will it take him to get his huge body under control and develop consistent mechanics?
11. Seattle Mariners - Matt Mangini, 3B, L-R, 6’4, 220, Oklahoma State
Still as good a fit as it was in January. Mangini is a good all-around 3B who will develop quickly, and the Mariners will need one when Adrian Beltre departs.
12. Florida Marlins - Justin Jackson, SS, R-R, 6’2, 175, T.C. Roberson HS, Asheville, NC
Jackson is being scouted heavily by Florida, which could be due to geographic proximity. They need a blue chip SS prospect though, so this seems like a match
13. Cleveland Indians - Tanner Robles, LHP, L-L, 6’3, 190, Cottonwood HS, Salt Lake City, UT
Which prep lefty to take, Madison Bumgarner or Tanner Robles? My money is on Robles here thanks to breaking stuff that is farther along.
14. Atlanta Braves - Blake Beavan, RHP, R-R, 6’7, 210, Irving HS, TX
His sheer size could slow his development, but right now there isn’t a prep hitter in Texas who can touch Blake Beavan.
15. Cincinnati Reds - Jason Heyward, OF, L-L, 6’4, 220, Henry County HS, McDonough, GA
If he lasts this long, visions of Heyward peppering the right field bleachers at Great American Ballpark will persuade the Reds to pop him with their top choice.
16. Toronto Blue Jays - Matt Dominguez, 3B, R-R, 6’2, 180, Chatsworth HS, California
Josh Vitters is getting most of the attention, but Dominguez isn’t all that far behind him. Hot corner power that the Jays haven’t developed since, well, probably Ed Sprague.
17. Texas Rangers - Julio Borbon, OF, L-L, 6’1, 190, Tennessee
Back from an injury, Borbon isn’t in top form yet, but all teams will care about is the month of May. If he’s raking and running when Memorial Day arrives, he is a first rounder for someone.
18. St. Louis Cardinals - Michael Main, RHP, R-R, 6’2, 185, DeLand HS, FL
Not as polished as Harvey, but he has the edge in velocity and a lot of projection in his frame.
19. Philadelphia Phillies - Madison Bumgarner, LHP, R-L, 6’5, 220, South Caldwell HS, NC
Bumgarner has impressed scouts this year and many think he’ll at least be Robles’ equal, but for now he is a tick behind.
20. Los Angeles Dodgers - Jack McGeary, LHP, L-L, 6’3, 200, Roxbury Latin HS, MA
The Dodgers are all over McGeary and this may be the first pre-draft deal completed this year.
21. Toronto Blue Jays - J.P. Arencibia, C, R-R, 6’0, 210, Tennessee
With their second first rounder the Jays turn to a backstop with a great bat. He might not stay behind the plate, but so far scouts seem to think he has a good chance to do so.
22. San Francisco Giants - Mitch Canham, C, R-R, 6‚ ¨!"2, 215, Oregon State
Promising bat and the athleticism to be an above-average catcher. Not he just needs a few years at the position to adjust to its nuances. The Giants know he already looks good in orange and black.
23. San Diego Padres - Joe Savery, LHP, L-L, 6’3, 215, Rice
Weird year for Savery with ace pitcher duties, middle-of-the-order hitting duties and recovery from shoulder surgery. It is almost like he got lost among all the storylines at Rice, but he’s still a great pitching prospect.
24. Texas Rangers - Neil Ramirez, RHP, R-R, 6’3, 190, Kempsville HS, VA
With an outfielder already in the fold, the Rangers turn to a projectible high school arm. Ramirez is polished and dealing so far this year.
25. Chicago White Sox - Matt LaPorta, 1B, R-R, 6’2, 215, Florida
No shortstop is worthy of a pick here, so the White Sox turn to the best power prospect in the draft.
26. Oakland Athletics - Nick Schmidt, LHP, L-L, 6’5, 220, Arkansas
The A’s are still thinking advanced lefty starter and Schmidt is the best one on the board at this point. There are more out there, though, so if they don’t take one in the first, they will by the end of the second.
27. Detroit Tigers - Yasmani Grandal, C, S-R, 6’2, 205, Miami Springs HS, Hialeah, FL
Grandal is really moving up draft boards with his defensive skills and bat that is developing more quickly than most scouts believed it would.
28. Minnesota Twins - Mike Moustakas, 3B/C, L-L, 6’2, 170, Chatsworth HS, CA
If scouts think he can catch in the pros, Moustakas could jump into the Top 15. For now he is a 3B or corner OF with a legitimate first round bat.
29. San Francisco Giants - Beau Mills, 3B, L-R, 6’3, 200, Lewis-Clark State
Mills is just raking at Lewis-Clark. A college righty, athletic catcher and mashing corner infielder would be a nice first round haul for SF.
30. New York Yankees - Casey Weathers, RHP, R-R, 6’0, 195, Vanderbilt
Weathers has jumped into the first round discussion with 91-95 MPH heat, a hard slider and excellent closer’s makeup. It is also satisfying to have Vandy pitchers bookending the first round.
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