On June 5th, many high school seniors will have to make the biggest decisions of their life: to sign with a major league club or gain an education at a baseball powerhouse. The further outside of the first round that these players get drafted, the harder the decision and negotiations become. Major league clubs are convinced they are picking the player right for their team, however, no club really knows how their draftee will pan out.
I believe that early first round teams should take a chance on high school players, as they will continue to develop through the lower minor league levels. After two or three years in the minors, they will be the same age of those coming out of college. You can develop the high school player and limit his pitches during the offseason or maximize his swing without the harm of the college coaches putting their record first over the health of their star pitchers.
Here is my mock draft for the 2014 MLB Draft:
- 1. Astros – Brady Aiken – LHP – Cathedral Catholic HS (Calif.)
- 2. Marlins – Tyler Kolek – RHP – Shepherd HS (Texas)
- 3. White Sox – Carlos Rodon – LHP – North Carolina State
- 4. Cubs – Alex Jackson – C/OF – Rancho Bernardo HS (Calif.)
- 5. Twins – Aaron Nola – RHP – LSU
- 6. Mariners – Nick Gordon – SS – Olympia HS (Fla.)
- 7. Phillies – Tyler Beede – RHP – Vanderbilt
- 8. Rockies – Trea Turner – SS – North Carolina State
- 9. Blue Jays – Kyle Freeland – LHP – Evansville
- 10. Mets – Jeff Hoffman – RHP – East Carolina
- 11. Blue Jays – Bradley Zimmer – OF – San Francisco
- 12. Brewers – Brandon Finnegan – LHP – TCU
- 13. Padres – Sean Newcomb – LHP – Hartford
- 14. Giants – Touki Toussaint – RHP – Coral Springs Christian HS (Fla.)
- 15. Angels – Sean Reid-Foley – RHP – Sandalwood HS (Fla.)
- 16. Diamondbacks – Jacob Gatewood – SS – Clovis HS (Calif.)
- 17. Royals – Kyle Schwarber – C/OF – Indiana
- 18. Nationals – Max Pentecost – C – Kennesaw State
- 19. Reds – Michael Chavis – SS – Sprayberry HS (Ga.)
- 20. Rays – Grant Holmes – RHP – Conway HS (S.C.)
- 21. Indians – Luke Weaver – RHP – Florida State
- 22. Dodgers – Casey Gillaspie – 1B – Wichita State
- 23. Tigers – Michael Conforto – OF – Oregon State
- 24. Pirates – Luis Ortiz – RHP – Sanger HS (Calif.)
- 25. Athletics – Monte Harrison – OF – Lee’s Summit West HS (Mo.)
- 26. Red Sox – Michael Gettys – OF – Gainesville HS (Ga.)
- 27. Cardinals – Spencer Adams – RHP – White County HS (Ga.)
This draft has a great balance of high school and college pitching prospects with very few polished everyday players. I have projected only three positional players selected inside of the top 10 picks. I believe this is a top heavy pitching draft class, but I don’t expect to see any pitcher advance to the majors as quickly as Michael Wacha or Sonny Gray.
Here are my predictions on the pitcher and position player who will make it to the major leagues first from this draft class.
Bradley Zimmer – OF – San Francisco
I believe Bradley Zimmer has great potential with his bat and is a prototypical RF at the major league level. He has an above average arm and he will continue to advance through the minor leagues as well as his bat performs.
Carlos Rodon – LHP – North Carolina State
I see Rodon as a pitcher with similar style as Chris Sale. His slider is probably the best second pitch out of any pitcher in this draft class and can often hit mid-90s. His command needs improvement and it will restrict him from arriving to the majors earlier.