1. Washington Nationals – Bryce Harper (C, College of Southern Nevada)
He continues to destroy the ball at an alarming pace. In a recent playoff game he went 6-6 with four HRs. Harper is everything that he has been touted as, and will be a cornerstone of the Nationals franchise for years to come.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates – Manny Machado (SS, Brito Private School)
Word is that the Pirates are not sold on taking a prep arm this high. Machado is an excellent shortstop that’s likely to stay at the position for the duration of his career. He has all the tools to excel at the next level.
3. Baltimore Orioles – Jameson Taillon (RHP, The Woodlands HS)
Taillon and Machado could still flip-flop before the draft, but the Orioles would be more than happy if he falls into their lap. The overpowering right-handed hurler has impressed throughout his prep career, and will be an excellent piece to add to the O’s developing system.
4. Kansas City Royals – Drew Pomeranz (LHP, Ole Miss)
After his dominating performance to kick-off the SEC Tournament, Pomeranz has reestablished himself as the top college arm in this year’s class. He has had issues with his consistency, but adding a top-flight college arm to their already impressive system is too much to pass up at this point.
5. Cleveland Indians – Chris Sale (LHP, Florida Golf Coast University)
Coming off arguably the best season performance-wise of any college arm, Sale has worked his way up draft boards in a hurry. They could also potentially go for a college bat, but Sale is likely too good to pass on.
6. Arizona Diamondbacks – Bryce Brentz (OF, Middle Tennessee State)
Despite their affinity for college arms, the D-Backs will go for the major league-ready bat of Brentz instead. He has been slowly working his way up the boards, and could make it at high as No. 6 by the time it is all said and done.
7. New York Mets – Yasmani Grandal (C, University of Miami)
While it has long been known that Grandal was one of the best positional catchers in this year’s draft, his bat has done the most of the talking as of late. As a result the Mets will tab him as the backstop of the future, and Minaya will be a happy man with a cornerstone position set in place.
8. Houston Astros – Zach Cox (3B, University of Arkansas)
The most advanced college bat in the draft, Cox has been impressive throughout his tenure with the Razorbacks. The draft-eligible sophomore will work his way through the Astros system in a hurry, as they are sorely in need of some production out of the hot corner position.
9. San Diego Padres – Karsten Whitson (SP, Chipley HS)
It is unclear what direction the new regime in San Diego will go with this year’s draft. If they decide to go prep, Whitson is the best arm in the class aside from Taillon. He will take a few years to develop his frame, but could be a front-end horse for years to come.
10. Oakland A’s – Kolbrin Vitek (2B, Ball State)
This pick makes sense for all the right reasons. Vitek is a relatively unheralded player coming out of a small college with solid peripheral numbers and a great makeup. Billy Beane and Co. will draft Vitek to compliment 2009 1st round draft pick, SS Grant Green.
11. Toronto Blue Jays – Michael Choice (OF, University of Texas-Arlington)
The post-Doc era is underway in Toronto, but surprisingly their top need is not arms at the moment. Choice has impressive tools and Toronto will be lucky if he falls to them. His power bat could eventually supplant that of Vernon Wells.
12. Cincinnati Reds – Deck McGuire (RHP, Georgia Tech)
While few see McGuire falling this far, it could simply be a case of there being no landing spot for him any earlier, instead of a testament of his skills. The Reds will grab the impressive college arm, and they will likely rush him to the majors as they do with the majority of their arms.
13. Chicago White Sox – Alex Wimmers (RHP, Ohio State)
The Sox are a tough read, as their reliance on international scouting for high-end players, has been well documented. But they have shown an affinity to draft college arms in the first round, and the trend is likely to continue. Wimmers is an impressive hurler who has not been rumored to be seeking overslot money, which is always an added bonus for a team with international interests.
14. Milwaukee Brewers – Nick Castellanos (3B, Archbishop McCarthy HS)
The Brewers have an impressive track record of developing young bats, and they hope that Castellanos will be the next in line. They will have no problem being patient with the powerful bat of Castellanos as he develops in the minors, but he could be a mainstay at the hot corner and in the heart of their order once he breaks through.
15. Texas Rangers – Josh Sale (OF, Bishop Blanchet HS)
The Rangers went for the arms last year, and will grab a bat this time around. Sale has some of the most advanced mechanics of any prep player in this year’s class, but there are concerns that he’s becoming too muscular to be an everyday outfielder. The Rangers will be happy to have his bat in their system, and they will train him to be an everyday player.
16. Chicago Cubs – Stetson Allie (RHP, St. Edward HS)
Allie has a big arm, and the Cubs will be willing to give him the overslot money that he will demand because new ownership is trying to make a splash. There has been concerns about his command as of late, but his arm is simply too pure to pass on.
17. Tampa Rays – Dylan Covey (RHP, Marantha HS)
While the Rays have a seemingly endless supply of arms, one can truly never have enough. The Rays will jump on Covey if he falls to them because he’s an underrated gun. The polish that Covey shows on his pitches for a player his age is impressive, and the Rays will be happy to add him to their system and let him develop at his own pace.
18. Anaheim Angels – Kaleb Cowart (RHP/3B Cook County HS)
With three first round picks, the Angels will be able to take a few risks. Cowart has been impressive as a two-way player, but he has shown a preference towards playing at third. So if the Angels can demonstrate that they will allow him to develop there, then he could sign on with the Halos.
19. Houston Astros – Austin Wilson (OF Harvard-Westlake HS)
After going for the safe college bat at No. 8 with Cox, the Astros will attempt to convince Wilson to pass on his commitment to Stanford, and instead sign with the club. He has been rumored to be chasing overslot cash, but if the Astros are serious about rebuilding their team, then they will pay up.
20. Boston Red Sox - Matt Harvey (RHP University of North Carolina)
A match made in heaven. The big, hard throwing righty was primarily a starter in college but has the stuff to be a dominant reliever in the pros. Harvey’s seasoned arm will allow him to work up the Bo Sox system in short order and make teams higher in the draft wish that they had paid up for the Tar Heel.
21. Minnesota Twins – Asher Wojchichowski (RHP, The Citadel)
Another riser on draft boards around the league, the big righty has a chance to make a near immediate impact for the Twins. He’s a seasoned arm and Minnesota lacks front of the rotation depth.
22. Texas Rangers – Jesse Hahn (RHP, Virginia Tech)
After going for the prep bat earlier in the round, the Rangers, go the opposite way and grab a college arm with their second pick. There are questions about Hahn’s health, so he will be watched closely in coming weeks, but the Rangers would like to add to their pitching arsenal in the biggest way.
23. Florida Marlins – Brandon Workman (RHP, Texas)
The Marlins love hard throwing righties, and that is what they are getting in Workman. He has been very consistent this spring, and it will translate into a first round selection for the former Longhorn.
24. San Francisco Giants – Yordy Cabrera (SS, Lakeland HS)
The lanky shortstop could be forced to move to the hot corner if he continues to grow, but the Giants love his bat and are in love with his upside. With a few seasons in the minors, Cabrera could become a force for the Giants.
25. St. Louis Cardinals - Christian Colon (SS, Cal State Fullerton)
While Colon doesn’t have the ceiling of the infielders in this year’s class, he has a developed game that is already polished. The Cardinals are a fundamentally sound team and will like the consistency that Colon can bring to the plate day in and day out.
26. Colorado Rockies – James Paxton (RHP, Grand Prarie AirHogs)
After being forced to play independent ball this year following some issues with his NCAA eligibility, Paxton could be a steal for the Rockies at this point. Last year he was seen to be nearly major league-ready while pitching at Kentucky, and he could be closing games in Colorado before long.
27. Philadelphia Phillies – Gary Brown (OF, Cal State Fullerton)
The Phillies have a history with drafting athletic players, and Brown fits the bill perfectly. He brings exceptional athleticism and speed, and the Phillies will be lucky if he makes his way this far down the board.
28. Los Angeles Dodgers – Brett Eibner (RHP/3B, Arkansas)
The biggest thing holding Eibner back at this point is his lack of a true position. But the Dodgers have the organizational depth at this point that they can allow Eibner to develop without rushing him. Thus, allowing him to maximize his potential.
29. Los Angeles Angels – Barrett Loux (RHP, Texas A&M)
After going the high-end prep route earlier, the Angels will go for the player that many scouts have been buzzing about as of late. Loux will help the Angels staff that is currently full of veterans who will be on their way out in the next few years.
30. Los Angeles Angels – Aaron Sanchez (RHP, Barstow HS)
Sanchez has been high on the Angels board all year, and they will likely make him their third pick of the draft. There is a possibility that they will take Justin O’Conner here as well, but if Sanchez falls, they are unlikely to pass on him.
31. Tampa Bay Rays – Delino DeShields Jr. (2B/CF, Woodward Academy)
After failing to sign first round pick LaVon Washington last year, the Rays will again attempt to deal with their middle infield issues. Double-D Jr. has the tools and the genes to have a long career in the majors.
32. New York Yankees – Anthony Ranaudo (RHP, LSU)
After being seen as a Top 5 pick all spring, Ranaudo has been nothing short of a disaster lately. With his representation in the form of Scott Boras, Ranaudo could fall all the way to the Yankees. They will have no problem signing to an inflated deal, and they could end up getting the biggest steal of the draft.