Baseball America did its first mock draft and the Indians picked Trevor Bauer, the guy who I said they would probably end up with back in February when I gave my first draft update. Thus far most mock drafts I have seen have had us end up with Bauer. Here is the complete first round mock from BA with my comments:
1. PIRATES: Gerrit Cole. - With Pedro Alvarez at 3rd base, this makes perfect sense. You can't have enough pitching and while I think Cole might get more money than he is worth, this one is solid.
2. MARINERS: Anthony Rendon - This makes great sense for the Mariners with Chone Figgins currently at 3B and their top ranked third base prospect not being in their top 10.
3. DIAMONDBACKS: Danny Hultzen.- The Dbacks have loved Hultzen since before the season but his performance has moved him up to 3rd from 7th where they had him before.
4. ORIOLES: Jed Bradley - You obviously have to look beyond the numbers on this guy because, statistically, he doesn't look that great in any category! But it is the Orioles and there is a reason they are in last place or close to it every year
5. ROYALS: Sonny Gray - This is a great pick for this team. While going for someone like Junngmann or one of the HS pitchers would help this team, Gray will be more inclined to be an impact player during KC's big run starting in 2013
6. NATIONALS: Alex Meyer - This is why the draft stinks. Meyer has just come on recently but scouts remember his potential and they overvalue well-timed out-of-character performance if they already believe the guy SHOULD be a high end prospect
7. DIAMONDBACKS: Dylan Bundy. - Interesting. This is not what I would have done if I was the Dbacks. If they fail to sign Bundy they won't get their draft pick back next year since this was a compensatory pick this year. I think they will go for a college pitcher
8. INDIANS: Trevor Bauer - Part of me says "Yeah, I was right" but, as you all know, part of me is thinking this guy is short and has had a very heavy workload this year. Still (see below) his stats are eye-popping.UPDATE: Bauer threw a complete game today with ONE HUNDRED AND FOURTY PITCHES. I mean, who throws 140 pitches in a game anymore?
9. CUBS: Bubba Starling - Very Cubs-like pick. High upside, high price tage but lots of question marks.
10. PADRES: Taylor Jungmann. - I think we should draft him instead of Bauer. Less upside but less red flags, too.
11. ASTROS: Francisco Lindor - Good pick for a starved farm system. You have to gamble if you are in the shape the Astros are.
12. BREWERS: Taylor Guerrieri.
13. METS: Brandon Nimmo.
14. MARLINS: George Springer.
15. BREWERS: Larry Greene.
16. DODGERS: Archie Bradley.
17. ANGELS: Daniel Norris.
18. ATHLETICS: Mikie Mahtook.
19. RED SOX: Matt Barnes - A perfect fit for Boston but I would rather the Indians take him.
20. ROCKIES: Levi Michael.
21. BLUE JAYS: Josh Bell.
22. CARDINALS: Javier Baez.
23. NATIONALS: C.J. Cron.
24. RAYS: Jose Fernandez.
25. PADRES: Cory Spangenberg.
26. RED SOX: Austin Hedges.
27. REDS: John Stilson.
28. BRAVES: Henry Owens.
29. GIANTS: Robert Stephenson.
30. TWINS: Tyler Anderson.
31. RAYS: Kolten Wong.
32. RAYS: Matt Purke - When you have this many high picks you take chances. The Rays, like the Sox last year with Anthony Ranaudo. could get a high quality pitcher at a cheap draft slot.
33. RANGERS: Blake Swihart.
Looking over the stats for players who might be available when the Indians draft here are my thoughts:
Trevor Bauer and Danny Hultzen will probably be gone. Bauer has K'd 154 in 100.2 innings. For a major D-I school that is just unbelievable. Batters are hitting .142 against him, which is almost as unreal. He is short but visions of Oswalt and Lincecum are dancing in people's heads.
Gerrit Cole will be gone.
Bubba Starling should be gone but might drop if his bonus demands get too high.
Right now I think the Indians should focus on Matt Barnes, who also certainly will be there when the Indians draft, Taylor Jungmann, who is 50/50 to be there and the first position player I have mentioned this year, George Springer, an outfielder from Connecticutt.
I still think it is a long shot that the Indians will draft a position player in the first round but Springer has come on recently. That being said I think it will be between Barnes and Jungmann and the one that is left at the time the Indians draft (most likely Barnes) should be plucked by the Indians.
I do not like short righties and so, if Sonny Gray is still there I pick Barnes or Jungmann over Gray because, despite his high 90s fastball, he is another short righthander.
Time to get a little more certainty and give up a little upside. Barnes and Jungmann have enough upside for anyone at that pick. You shouldn't go hog wild with gambles just because of upside when you have solid upside guys you can grab without going for the brass ring. Save that for the second and later rounds. I have a sneaking feeling that a number of top 20 guys will still be there at the time of our second round pick.
And I haven't even mentioned the HS pitchers Bundy, Bradley and Norris.
I predict the Indians will take Barnes. I think he will be there when the Indians pick and, if I was them, I would have one scout following Jungmann and another following Barnes/Springer. Maybe put your Oklahoma guy on Bundy/Bradley and scout the other guys some in case one of them drops to the second round.
However, for me, it's Barnes or Jungmann as the first round pick now that Bauer has, I think fortunately for us, pitched himself into the top 3 players in the country.