The MLB Draft begins at 6 pm central and is televised on MLB Network and probably on mlb.com as well. Baseball America’s final mock draft has the Cubs taking Bubba Starling. A few weeks ago I thought that absurd, but based on every scouting report I’ve read the Cubs would be lucky to get him.
If you don’t have a TV, you can follow the Draft Tracker which can be found here.
I’ll update this thread after each pick with brief scouting reports and links if possible until the Cubs pick. For those who are unaware, they pick 9th and if the recent past is any indication, will draft your next door neighbor. No, not the one who watches baseball. The other one.
The contest thread will be closed tomorrow morning so if you want an Obstructed View shirt, enter the contest now. You know you want one.
Draft picks below (Baseball America ranking in parantheses)
1. Pittsburgh Pirates – Geritt Cole (ranked 3rd)
This spring, he has consistently shown the best pure stuff of any pitcher in this draft, and he has pounded the strike zone, though he struggled to command the inner half during a rough three-outing stretch in April, leading to a fairly pedestrian 5-7, 3.27 mark for the season. At his best, Cole throws three pitches that rate 70 or better on the 20-80 scouting scale. His four-seam fastball sits in the 94-97 range and tops out at 99, and he shows a 92-93 two-seamer that scouts would like to see him use more. His power slider ranges from 86-90 mph with good depth, and he has developed his 85-87 changeup into a third plus to plus-plus pitch this year, though it had more tumbling action earlier than the year than it did down the stretch
2. Seattle Mariners – Danny Hultzen (4)
Considered a first-round prospect coming into 2011, Hultzen has pitched himself into consideration for the No. 1 pick, going 9-3, 1.49 with 131 strikeouts and 15 walks in 90 innings as UVa spent much of the season at No. 1. Hultzen has a strong frame at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds and offers two plus pitches and above-average command. After working mostly at 88-91 mph his first two college seasons, Hultzen now sits around 93 and touches 96. His changeup is his best secondary pitch, and he commands it well and gets good fade thanks to a low three-quarters arm slot. His slider also shows flashes of being an above-average pitch.
3. Arizona Diamondbacks – Trevor Bauer (5)
Like Lincecum, he generates premium velocity using extreme torque, and while some scouts worry about the head movement and recoil in his delivery, others say his arm action is loose and his mechanics add deception. Bauer has the deepest repertoire of any pitcher in the draft. On his worst days, he still holds 91-93 mph fastball velocity deep into games, and he often tops out at 95-96. He has exceptional feel for a sharp, downer curveball that rates as plus to plus-plus. His changeup is above-average, and he mixes in an occasional split-finger and flashes a slider. He also throws what he calls a “reverse slider,” which runs in on lefthanded hitters at 85-87 mph
4. Baltimore Orioles – Dylan Bundy (2)
Bundy has operated at 94-97 mph for much of the spring, reaching triple digits on multiple occasions. If hitters try to sit on his fastball, he can make them look foolish with an upper-70s curveball, a high-80s cutter or a mid-80s changeup. The curveball and cutter are plus pitches, and the changeup is already an average offering. Bundy’s feel for pitching is as impressive as his stuff. He has exceptional body control, allowing him to repeat his balanced, effortless delivery and locate his pitches with ease.
5. Kansas City Royals -Bubba Starling (6)
Starling missed nearly a month with a quad injury this spring, but that didn’t dent scouts’ enthusiasm, and he homered twice in his first game back. His strength, bat speed and the leverage in his righthanded swing give him above-average power. His swing got long at times on the showcase circuit, but Starling did a nice job of shortening it and making consistent hard contact later in the summer. His speed is as impressive as his power, making him a basestealing threat and giving him plenty of range in center field. He has the power and arm strength to profile as a star in right field as well.
6. Washington Nationals – Anthony Rendon (1)
Rendon entered the season as the draft’s top-rated prospect and still sits atop our rankings, but his season hasn’t gone as planned. After hitting a combined .391/.497/.750 with 46 homers as BA’s Freshman of the Year in 2009 and College Player of the Year in 2010, Rendon hit .323/.526/.516 with five homers in the regular season this spring. He strained his throwing shoulder in the second week of the season and has played little in the field. Rendon hadn’t given teams any medical information as of mid-May, leaving them in the dark about the severity of the injury. Though it has affected his swing and bat speed, he’s still the best all-around hitter in the draft.
7. Arizona Diamondbacks -Archie Bradley (9)
After showing a 92-95 mph fastball that touched 98 last summer, he wasn’t at his best at the start of the season but was back in peak form by the time the state playoffs began in May. He touched 101 mph on the scoreboard radar gun while striking out 14 and pitching a two-hit shutout in the Oklahoma 6-A state championship game against Owasso, then the nation’s No. 1-ranked team. Bradley’s hammer curveball can be just as devastating as his fastball, and he has some feel for a changeup.
8. Cleveland Indians – Francisco Lindor (7)
Lindor has tremendous work ethic to go with above-average tools, and he plays the game with ease and passion. He’s a switch-hitter with a line-drive stroke from both sides of the plate, and he has excellent hands that work both at the plate and in the field. He has the tools to play shortstop well at the highest level, with smooth actions, fluidity, instincts and good fundamentals. He’s a plus runner but not a burner.
9. Chicago Cubs – Javier Baez (18)
new post coming up soon