This has been one of the toughest mock drafts I’ve done as there is just so much uncertainty at this time within Major League Baseball. When it comes to a team’s approach as to which players they would like to target and why, there are many different reasons. With this year’s draft consisting of only 5 rounds the biggest concern to me is signability. I believe almost all of the first rounders will sign. The hardest part for me was predicting which players could move their way up into the first round due to either them being willing to sign underslot so teams can add more depth later in the draft, or how far players asking too much could fall.
This mock draft is simply who I felt would be a good fit for the team picking, based on who has first round talent and who I feel could be the best available player on teams boards. Definitely let me know your thoughts. This is my own personal mock and list of players, and isn’t necessarily Prospect1500’s overall views of the Draft.
#1 Detroit Tigers- Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Arizona State
Torkelson’s probably the best college hitter since Kris Bryant and he has a great chance to be just as dangerous a hitter in the near future. He has the best combination of power, hitting and plate discipline in this year’s draft class and seems like a quick-to-the-big-leagues type of hitter.
#2 Baltimore Orioles- Asa Lacy, LHP, Texas A&M
There are a few possibilities that Baltimore could do here in order to save some money and get another good player with their pick at 30. I think Asa is the best available here, however and he looks like he could be a future front of the rotation starter. If they pass on Lacy, it could be Martin, Veen, or Gonzales.
#3 Miami Marlins- Austin Martin, 3B/OF, Vanderbilt
Last June Martin and JJ Bleday helped Vanderbilt win the College World Series and Bleday was a #4 pick of the Marlins. There’s a good chance they might want to pair these two up once more if Martin’s still available. If not I could see them go with either Lacy or Veen.
#4 Kansas City Royals- Zac Veen, OF, Spruce Creek HS- Florida
There’s been talk of Veen going as high as 2 and I’m starting to think he might not fall out of the top 5. I think Emerson Hancock could be the pick if they want to add another solid arm to their already impressive plethora of young pitchers. Another option could be pairing up Bobby Witt Jr. and Nick Gonzales to form a super exciting middle infield.
#5 Toronto Blue Jays- Max Meyer, RHP, Minnesota
I feel like there are a few options the Blue Jays might be interested in here and the first is adding a college pitcher in either Meyer or Emerson Hancock. Meyer might be the better deal and he supposedly has a better fastball and slider. Another option could be adding one of the top left handed college hitters like Heston Kjerstad or Garrett Mitchell.
#6 Seattle Mariners- Nick Gonzales, 2B/SS, New Mexico State
I think Seattle has a chance to add one of the best players in the draft here in either Gonzales or Emerson Hancock. If the pick is Nick Gonzales he should be an excellent table setter for a young and exciting lineup featuring top prospects Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez.
#7 Pittsburgh Pirates- Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia
It’s surprising that the preseason #1 draft prospect according to Baseball America and MLB Pipeline would fall this far, especially in a shortened or lack of season, but perhaps his asking price is too high. The Pirates could also consider a left handed hitter like Kjerstad, Mitchell, or Hendrick.
#8 San Diego Padres- Reid Detmers, LHP, Louisville
I think the Padres will take whichever college pitcher is left among the top 3 and that seems to be Detmers. The Padres will be looking to contend soon and have a really exciting young pitching rotation currently with Chris Paddack, and MacKenzie Gore and Luis Patino on the horizon. There’s also been some talk of Robert Hassell being taken here as well.
#9 Colorado Rockies- Heston Kjerstad, OF, Arkansas
I think the Rockies will target one of the top college hitters available here, either Kjerstad, Garrett Mitchell, or Patrick Bailey. I think that Kjerstad has the resume to go earlier than this but it would be fun to watch his power on display at Coors Field as well.
#10 Los Angeles Angels- Patrick Bailey, C, NC State
The Angels are continuing to get closer to contending and could use some more pitching, but with both Detmers and Meyer being taken I think their best fit might be Bailey as they don’t have much depth at catcher and he could help them to contend in a few years with both his glove and his bat.
#11 Chicago White Sox- Garrett Crochet, LHP, Tennessee
As much as I would love to see the White Sox draft Ed Howard, I feel they are close to being a playoff contending team that could use more pitching depth. Here they take the high risk, high reward left handed pitcher that has a chance for 3 plus pitches with one being a fastball that tops out at 100. He was considered a potential top 10 arm in the preseason but will need to prove his durability as a pro. There is some talk of Garrett Mitchell or Mick Abel here also.
#12 Cincinnati Reds- Robert Hassell, OF, Independence HS- Tennessee
Austin Hendrick and Robert Hassell might not last until this pick. I think whichever one is left will be the pick. I feel the Reds are interested in one of the top high school hitters. There is also some talk of Cade Cavalli being the pick.
#13 San Francisco Giants- Mick Abel, RHP, Jesuit HS- Oregon
The top prep pitcher in the 2020 class, Abel is from the Pacific Northwest. I could see him go around here if not earlier, but they also might consider a left handed bat like Mitchell, Hendrick, or Soderstrom with this pick.
#14 Texas Rangers- Cade Cavalli, RHP, Oklahoma
There is some talk of Cavalli going earlier than this but I feel this is a good spot and a good fit for him. They also might consider prep righthander Jared Kelley or college outfielder Garrett Mitchell here, and there is some talk of them considering a college infielder here as a way to save some money
#15 Philadelphia Phillies- Austin Hendrick, OF, West Allegheny HS- Pennsylvania
There are a few different directions the Phillies could go here, like Garrett Mitchell or Tyler Soderstrom, but I think they go with Hendrick as his talent could see him go earlier than this.
#16 Chicago Cubs- Tyler Soderstrom, C, Turlock HS- California
There are many teams that are interested in Soderstrom so there’s a chance he might not drop to 16. I feel if he’s here, there’s too much upside in his left handed bat to pass on.
#17 Boston Red Sox- Garrett Mitchell, OF, UCLA
There’s obviously a chance Mitchell doesn’t last until this pick, but then again anything’s possible this year and this really helps to demonstrate the depth of this draft class. Mitchell is one of the toolsiest players in this year’s class and has a good track record for hitting at a high level, but I believe he is still surprisingly available here.
#18 Arizona Diamondbacks- Ed Howard, SS, Mount Carmel HS- Illinois
The Diamondbacks drafted Alek Thomas out of the same high school 2 years ago and got really good value as he went on to win the Midwest League MVP in 2019. I think Howard’s talent is too good to pass up on here and he might be at the top of the Diamondbacks board here.
#19 New York Mets- Jared Kelley, RHP, Refugio HS- Texas
The last Texan from Refugio to pitch for the Mets was the great Nolan Ryan but that could change with this pick on draft night. Kelley was considered the top high school pitcher and a potential top 10 pick at one point which speaks to the value and upside the Mets would be getting with this pick. He would also fit in well with 2019 picks Matthew Allan and Josh Wolf.
#20 Milwaukee Brewers- Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Harvard Westlake HS- California
There’s talk of Pete Crow-Armstrong going even earlier than this and I feel that could happen. But if he’s still available here I think his name would have to be near the top of their draft board. He was considered the top amateur talent at this time last year and seems too good to fall past this point unless the Brewers decide to take a college pitcher.
#21 St. Louis Cardinals- Cole Wilcox, RHP, Georgia
The Cardinals have done a good job of drafting and developing pitchers via the draft and I feel that Wilcox is perhaps the top talent on their board.
#22 Washington Nationals- Dillon Dingler, C, Ohio State
The Nationals are somewhat thin on position player prospects and perhaps could use the top position player available here. Dingler has continued to move up draft boards as we’ve drawn closer to the draft.
#23 Cleveland Indians- Nick Bitsko, RHP, Central Bucks East HS- Pennsylvania
The Cleveland Indians love high school players and do a great job of scouting the underclass. This seems like a pick that the Indians would love as Bitsko was the top pitcher from the 2021 prep class before he was reclassified to 2020.
#24 Tampa Bay Rays- Chris McMahon, RHP, Miami
Tampa Bay has done an excellent job of continuing to improve their minor league system every year. It is already one of the best systems in baseball and they add to their already impressive pitching depth by adding one of the top college pitchers in McMahon, the top arm from Florida.
#25 Atlanta Braves- Bobby Miller, RHP, Louisville
I feel that this is around the spot that we could see Miller go as it seems he’s continued to create more buzz as we get closer to draft time. He’s in a similar tier as most of the other later first round college pitchers. He’s got plenty of upside having shown the ability to pitch big in big games while continuing to improve each year.
#26 Oakland Athletics- Slade Cecconi, RHP, Miami
Oakland has a somewhat recent history of taking players from the ACC as both their top hitter and pitcher drafted last year came from that conference. Cecconi is perhaps the top college pitcher on their draft board at this spot and would fit right in line with their collection of ACC players they drafted a year ago. He seems like a player that could blossom into a star down the road if his secondary offerings continue to improve.
#27 Minnesota Twins- Bryce Jarvis, RHP, Duke
The Twins are one of the tougher teams to mock but I think the top available player here might be Jarvis. He might not last until this pick as he’s shown the ability to dominate at times with his improved velocity and command.
#28 New York Yankees- Tanner Burns, RHP, Auburn
Burns has shown the ability to pitch at a high level, reminiscent of Casey Mize at times, but similarly has struggled with durability issues. Still, his talent and upside is perhaps too good to pass on at this point.
#29 Los Angeles Dodgers- Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP, South Carolina
I feel that although there might be a few players the Dodgers could consider ahead of Mlodzinski, the old saying is you can never have enough pitching. Mlodzinski at one point was considered a top 10 talent but saw his draft stock take a tumble after struggling to dominate with his pitches like he did in the Cape Cod League last summer. He’s too talented to perhaps last this long.
Supplemental 1st Round
#30 Baltimore Orioles- Aaron Sabato, 1B, North Carolina
The Orioles miss getting Torkelson with their 1st pick but take one of the top college power hitters in Sabato with their 2nd pick in the 1st round. Sabato had a good chance to be an even earlier pick had they played a full season. There’s a chance he could go well before this pick.
#31 Pittsburgh Pirates- Austin Wells, C, Arizona
The Pittsburgh Pirates have been linked with college hitters and although I have them taking a pitcher with their first pick, I could see them being interested in one of the top college left handed hitters available here and that would be Wells. Wells is an advanced college hitter with plenty of power that might not even last this long.
#32 Kansas City Royals- Blaze Jordan, 1B, Desoto Central HS- Mississippi
As much as this might be a reach, it was too hard for me to not get excited about a potential lineup that could consist of Witt Jr., Veen, and Jordan.
#33 Arizona Diamondbacks- Drew Romo, C, The Woodlands HS- Texas
I believe Romo has the talent to go somewhere around here and he’s my top player available at this spot. The Diamondbacks have tons of talented position players so a pitcher could make some sense here as well. Romo also happens to hail from the same high school as former Diamondbacks great Paul Goldschmidt.
#34 San Diego Padres- Jordan Walker, 3B, Decatur HS- Georgia
I could see Walker going somewhere around this spot. I also think the Padres go best available here and he’d be a good addition to an exciting young lineup that could feature CJ Abrams and Hudson Head.
#35 Colorado Rockies- Kevin Parada, C, Loyola HS- California
The Colorado Rockies could use some depth at catcher and although Parada might not stick behind the plate, they will give him a chance to do so. Even if he has to move off the position as he matures, he could be a star thanks to his ability to make consistently hard contact. He was rising up boards this spring before the season ended.
#36 Cleveland Indians- Carson Montgomery, RHP, Windermere HS- Florida
Like I said earlier, Cleveland loves high school players and Montgomery is the top prep player on my board at this spot and he’s a legit first round caliber talent with tons of upside. It would be exciting to see what a rotation featuring Ethan Hankins, Daniel Espino, and Montgomery might look like down the road.
#37 Tampa Bay Rays- J.T. Ginn, RHP, Mississippi State
I think Ginn’s talent is too good to pass up on here even though he might not be the top name on the board due to having Tommy John. When healthy he’s a legit first rounder and one that could have easily fit into the first half of this year’s draft class had he been healthy.
James Weisser has been following prospects since 2003, when the Florida Marlins won the world series with players like Josh Beckett, Miguel Cabrera, and Dontrelle Willis. He has seen MVP's, Cy Young Winners, and All-Stars before they ever played in the majors, and is an avid college baseball fan who enjoys watching the SEC and ACC in the spring when often times the cold, wet weather of the Midwest allows him to follow some of the top players in both conferences. He also enjoys following/covering the Midwest League which is often players first full-season level. He also watches some of the top amateur talent that comes through Chicago and the Midwest like the Under Armour All-America game at Wrigley Field which features some of the top incoming seniors for the following year as well as the 17U Team USA which features some of the top juniors in the country. He currently resides in McHenry, Illinois which is located within an hour from the Beloit Snappers and Kane County Cougars which allows him to see 4 or more organizations Low A teams in a week at times. A White Sox fan growing up one of his favorite moments was watching them win the World Series in 2005. A few of his all-time favorite players to watch are Frank Thomas, Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter, Ryan Howard, Clayton Kershaw, Barry Bonds, Mike Trout, and Ken Griffey Jr.