The 2017 MLB Draft kicks off Monday night in Secaucus, New Jersey and we’ve got our final mock draft ready to go. This draft has a ton of talent at the top, and while it’s not as deep as last year, there are plenty of really good players available. The site’s first-ever mock draft went live last week and there have been some significant changes.
Hunter Greene has become the most famous player in this year’s draft class but it looks like the Twins will go in a different direction off the top.
As a reminder, the Indians, Rockies and Cardinals each forfeited their first-round picks by signing free agents last winter.
1. Minnesota Twins
Pick: Brendan McKay, 1B/LHP, Louisville
This is a late change, as the Twins are apparently enamored with Brendan McKay, who could be a top five pick as a pitcher or a hitter. McKay has the highest floor of any college pitcher and ace upside if he commits to the mound. That said, he may have the best college bat in this class. It will be interesting to see which way the Twins take him, though it seems like they like him as a pitcher. Greene, Royce Lewis and Vanderbilt righty Kyle Wright will be under consideration right up until the pick is turned in.
2. Cincinnati Reds
Pick: Hunter Greene, RHP/SS, Notre Dame High School (Sherman Oaks, CA)
The Reds have been split on Greene and McKay for a while but it appears things have slowly shifted towards the high-upside high schooler, while Wright will get consideration as well. Greene has the highest ceiling in the draft, and while he could make the majors as a hitter or a pitcher, his future is on the mound. He’s been regularly flirting with triple digits all season, and pounds the strike zone from an athletic, repeatable delivery. The Sports Illustrated cover boy appears headed to Cincinnati at No. 2.
3. San Diego Padres
Pick: MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville High School (Whiteville, NC)
The Padres want Greene badly and word is, he wants to stay in Southern California. But in this scenario he’s gone, so the Padres and general manager A.J. Preller snag the draft’s best lefty. MacKenzie Gore (who was named the Gatorade National baseball Player of the Year) is athletic, his fastball has touched 97 and sits in the 92 to 95 range, he has three plus-pitches and likely has more velocity in the tank. He’s improved tremendously over the past year and some believe his upside is on par with Greene’s. Plus, he’s got an awesome, old school big leg kick.
Local prep infielder Royce Lewis is a possibility here as is McKay, who the Padres would want as a pitcher. There’s also a chance San Diego cuts a below-slot deal with someone at this spot in order to spend more money later in the draft.
4. Tampa Bay Rays
Pick: Royce Lewis, SS/OF, JSerra Catholic High School (San Juan Capistrano, CA)
The Rays like Gore, Lewis and McKay, but in this scenario I see them grabbing the California prep star, who might have the best tools of any position player in the draft. Lewis should wind up in center field but that’s still a premium position and shouldn’t diminish his value much.
The Rays could also opt to cut a deal with someone and spend big later, if they do so, keep an eye on prep outfielder Bubba Thompson at this spot.
5. Atlanta Braves
Pick: Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt
The Braves are in on Gore, McKay and would love Greene, but they know he’s not dropping this far. They’re also in on Texas prep righty Shane Baz. If Wright lasts this long, the Braves should snag him as quickly as possible. A week ago he was the No. 1 pick and his ceiling is the highest of all the college arms. He’s been fantastic late in the season and should move quickly through the system.
6. Oakland A’s
Pick: Austin Beck, OF, North Davidson High School (Lexington, NC)
The A’s love Gore, but he’ll be gone by this point, and college righty J.B. Bukauskas is in the mix as well. But contrary to my last mock draft, I think Billy Beane rolls the dice on a high-upside prep outfielder at this spot. Austin Beck has some of the best tools in the draft, with All-Star upside if he adjusts to wood bats and makes contact consistently.
7. Arizona Diamondbacks
Pick: J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, North Carolina
Virginia center fielder Adam Haseley has to be under consideration here, but the Diamondbacks have long been linked to Bukauskas. Despite some inconsistency and a worrisome delivery, the North Carolina hurler has great natural stuff. At worst he becomes a high-leverage reliever.
8. Philadelphia Phillies
Pick: Adam Haseley, OF, Virginia
Baz or Beck could go here and the Phillies really like Bukauskas and Florida righty Alex Faedo. In this scenario I like them to go with Haseley, the most advanced college outfielder in the draft. He doesn’t have the upside of Vanderbilt’s Jeren Kendall, but he’s not far off.
9. Milwaukee Brewers
Pick: Jordon Adell, OF, Ballard High School (Louisville, KY)
The Brewers love toolsy young outfielders, which sets up perfectly here, as they could go with either Beck or Jordon Adell. In this scenario I have them taking Adell, a guy they’ve been linked to for weeks who has huge raw power, speed and a big arm in the outfield.
10. Los Angeles Angels
Pick: Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida
The Angels are big fans of Adell and Beck, and are in on a few college hitters, along with UCLA righty Griffin Canning. Here I have them going with a different college righty in Faedo. The Florida hurler was seen as a potential No. 1 overall pick after a brilliant sophomore year. His junior season has been inconsistent but his stuff is phenomenal.