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Thread: Jonathan Mayo projects the first 20 picks

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    Jonathan Mayo projects the first 20 picks

    Crystal ball: Projecting the first 20 picks
    Key injuries shake up potential order as teams examine options
    By Jonathan Mayo / MLB.com

    Ready to expand your horizons? Here is my first crack at projecting the top 20 picks in the draft.

    While the biggest difference from last week's top 10 is in the No. 1 spot -- giving the Rays a different selection -- the change with the larger ramifications for the first round comes at No. 10.

    Last week, Fresno State's Tanner Scheppers was the pick for the Astros in that slot. Since then, however, much has changed. Scheppers' original diagnosis of "shoulder tenderness" turned out to be a stress fracture, an injury that no scout contacted about it had ever heard of occurring as a result of pitching. Further details about his condition have been hard to come by, but it's safe to assume that Scheppers' chances of being a first-round pick are minimal at best.

    What that does to the rest of the first round remains to be seen. Will teams reach a little bit for the college pitchers still seen as viable options? With Scheppers on the shelf, joining preseason first-round favorite Brett Hunter of Pepperdine, and Cal's Tyson Ross pitching hurt according to some reports, it's possible that teams will not wait and take the few good advanced arms they feel are out there.

    Many of them are in this top 20, a list that is sure to evolve and change as we get closer to June 5. Next week, we'll tackle the entire first round, all 30 picks.

    1. Tampa Bay Rays: Tim Beckham, SS, Griffin HS, Griffin, Ga.
    It's the same five names in consideration as last week: Buster Posey, the FSU catcher; Vanderbilt's Pedro Alvarez; San Diego lefty Brian Matusz; Southern California high school catcher Kyle Skipworth, and Beckham, the toolsy high school shortstop in Georgia. For some reason, the growing sentiment is that it's between Posey and Beckham, but I'm told that isn't the case. In any event, I'm switching up the pick mostly to show a different scenario as well as to indicate it's still very much up in the air.
    Last week's projection: Buster Posey

    2. Pittsburgh Pirates: Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Vanderbilt
    Even with the change up top, I'm not inclined to change anything here. Yes, it would be an interesting decision to make -- whether to take Posey, whom most people believe will be a very good everyday catcher in short order, for a bunch of money less than it would likely take to ink Alvarez. But Alvarez has the chance to be a special player and could be the Pirates' third baseman in a hurry. If things fall apart in terms of signability, there's still the option of Posey in this scenario, along with the top college pitcher in the draft, Matusz.
    Last week's projection: Alvarez

    3. Kansas City Royals: Eric Hosmer, 1B, American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla.
    No change here. Again, KC would love to have Alvarez in its system, but assuming the Pirates take him just one spot above, Hosmer still seems the most likely choice. Justin Smoak, the South Carolina first baseman, and Matusz still could figure into it if things on the bonus end go awry.
    Last week's projection: Hosmer

    4. Baltimore Orioles: Brian Matusz, LHP, University of San Diego
    Don't worry, there will be some interesting changes coming in a bit. But there's been nothing to indicate the O's aren't still very much interested in the San Diego southpaw. If, in the end, they do decide to go with a bat -- and they've done that in the first round in four of the past five drafts -- it's still likely to be a college one, perhaps Smoak or University of Georgia shortstop Gordon Beckham.
    Last week's projection: Matusz

    5. San Francisco Giants: Buster Posey, C, Florida State
    I bet you were wondering where he was going to end up, right? The Giants would probably be ecstatic to get Posey, a player they've liked for a while but thought wouldn't be there for the taking. If Tim Beckham goes No. 1, this is really the first place Posey really makes sense. It seems more and more likely the Giants will go with a bat, so if Posey for whatever reason isn't an option, they could turn to Gordon Beckham or Smoak from the college ranks. A backup plan could be Skipworth should they decide to go the high school route.
    Last week's projection: Tim Beckham

    6. Florida Marlins: Kyle Skipworth, C, Patriot HS, Riverside, Calif.
    There are still plenty of signs that point to this making sense. Word is the Marlins have continued to watch Skipworth intently. There have been a few whispers that perhaps he isn't their first choice and some believe that if Matusz were available, he'd be the pick here. But he's not, and neither is Hosmer, the other name mentioned by some, so there's no reason to skip Skip at this point.
    Last week's projection: Skipworth

    7. Cincinnati Reds: Aaron Crow, RHP, University of Missouri
    Still the most plausible choice here, especially with Scheppers out of the mix and college pitching a little harder to come by. Shooter Hunt could be a possibility, but even with his struggles, Crow figures to go ahead of the Tulane product. If there's a change of heart and they want a bat, Gordon Beckham makes the most sense.
    Last week's projection: Crow


    8. Chicago White Sox: Gordon Beckham, SS, University of Georgia
    There's still some mention of ASU's Brett Wallace, and Skipworth could be a possibility if he were to slip a bit, but G-Beck really makes a whole lot of sense here, both from a best player available and need in the organization standpoint. I know, you don't draft for need this high, but it's a nice bonus when it happens.
    Last week's projection: Gordon Beckham

    9. Washington Nationals: Justin Smoak, 1B, University of South Carolina
    The most interesting name being mentioned of late in this spot has been SoCal high school outfielder Zach Collier, who has, as they say, helium. I'm not ready to put him in this spot yet, but he sure is interesting to float out there. For now, though, we'll stick with the switch-hitter from South Carolina.
    Last week's projection: Smoak

    10. Houston Astros: Yonder Alonso, 1B, University of Miami
    With last week's pick, Scheppers, no longer an option, the Astros could still go pitching with Hunt or maybe Christian Friedrich out of Eastern Kentucky. But here's a hunch that they'll decide an advanced bat is the way to go and unless Smoak drops to them, Alonso is the next best option as a lefty-hitting first baseman who can hit for average and power.
    Last week's projection: Tanner Scheppers

    11. Texas Rangers: Shooter Hunt, RHP, Tulane University
    One of the more interesting rumors being thrown around was that the Rangers want to take California high school righty Gerrit Cole at this point. It's true the Rangers have liked big-armed prepsters in the past and with none in Texas who fit here, maybe they'll decide to go out of state. Perhaps I'm not brave enough, but I'm not ready to make the leap yet and project it as such, so I'm going with the college guy with good stuff who should be able to help a lot faster.

    12. Oakland A's: Christian Friedrich, LHP, Eastern Kentucky
    A lot of people want to automatically put Brett Wallace, the good-bat/bad-bodied first baseman, in this spot because of the Athletics' well-known past. While he is in the mix, Oakland doesn't always draft that way these days. Friedrich, the best college lefty behind Matusz, would be the next best college pitcher on the board and the A's might be tempted. If they want to go in a completely different direction, it's believed they're interested in a couple of high school right-handers, Ethan Martin out of Georgia and Anthony Hicks in SoCal. Hicks reportedly doesn't want to pitch (he's a toolsy outfielder as well), so that may keep him out of serious consideration. For now, here's betting that the advanced southpaw gets the nod.

    13. St. Louis Cardinals: Ryan Perry, RHP, University of Arizona
    The Cards could go in any of a number of directions. Collier's name has been mentioned quite a bit, and St. Louis has shown the willingness to go high school early. On the other end would be the advanced bat of Wallace, mostly a first baseman but a guy some might give a chance at third. There are two big-armed college pitchers throwing in relief right now who some believe can/should be starting. Both Perry and TCU's Andrew Cashner have started in the past and for this week, we'll go with the Cards feeling Perry's the better choice.

    14. Minnesota Twins: Aaron Hicks, OF/RHP, Woodrow Wilson HS, Long Beach, Calif.
    Remember how I said Hicks reportedly doesn't want to pitch and that he was a toolsy outfielder as well? Here's a team that might be willing to take a shot on those considerable tools. Hicks has shown the ability to be a game-changing center fielder, though it may take some time for the bat to come. You never want a fall-back for a pick this high, but any team giving Hicks a shot as an outfielder surely knows that they can always turn to pitching and his 96-mph fastball if things don't work out after a while.

    15. Los Angeles Dodgers: Ethan Martin, RHP, Stephens County HS, Toccoa, Ga.
    Taking a high-risk, high-reward high school arm here does seem a bit like an obvious choice and the Dodgers could go with a power college arm like Perry's if he's there. If they want a bat, they could go with Canadian high schooler Brett Lawrie or an outfielder like Collier. But they do like their high school pitchers and it could come down to Martin, who really stepped it up this year, or Illinois prepster Jake Odorizzi.

    16. Milwaukee Brewers: Anthony Hewitt, SS, Salisbury School, Salisbury, Conn.
    Guessing what Jack Zduriencik and his scouting department will do in the first round is easier said than done. Remember, this is the organization that brought you Matt LaPorta as an outfielder last year. They might be interested in the power arms Perry and Cashner have to offer. They could go the college catcher route with Jason Castro out of Stanford. But Hewitt's got as much helium as anyone as a toolsy high schooler and the Brewers, with multiple picks, could reach a bit for him here.

    17. Toronto Blue Jays: Brett Wallace, 1B/3B, Arizona State
    This feels almost as cliche as putting him with the A's, especially considering the Jays' recent draft history. There's a real chance Wallace isn't around by now, in which case perhaps Toronto looks close to home to take the Canadian Lawrie. But with Wallace's advanced bat -- perhaps one of the best all-around hitters in the class -- still here, it'll be too much to pass up.

    18. New York Mets: Ike Davis, OF, Arizona State
    With a pair of picks in the top 30 (they've also got No. 22), word is the Mets are looking for some college hitters who can move quickly. Davis, the son of former big league reliever Ron, may have missed some time recently with an oblique issue, but he was having a terrific season to put him in this position. Castro could get a look if they decide to go with college catching and there's likely to be some interest in any of a number of those college power arms should they be here, from Perry and Cashner to Georgia's Josh Fields, JC product Craig Kimbrel and Mississippi State's Aaron Weatherford. Right now, though, the bat seems more likely.

    19. Chicago Cubs: Brett Lawrie, C/3B, Brookswood SS, Langley, B.C.
    Along with Collier and Hewitt, Lawrie is another high school hitter who has been moving up the charts rather quickly. Scouts love his bat and he's showing more and more people that he's got the tools to stay behind the plate while being athletic enough to even play center field if a team wanted to go that route. The Cubs, by the way, could also be interested in Collier here or perhaps even shortstop Casey Kelly from Sarasota, Fla.

    20. Seattle Mariners: Andrew Cashner, RHP, Texas Christian
    Many signs point to the Mariners wanting a college pitcher here. Perry and Cashner both make some sense, especially if the M's are one of the teams that believe they can be starters. Even as a reliever, a guy like Cashner, who had a huge jump in velocity up to the upper 90s, could help out pretty quickly. Seattle could also be interested in a power bat and that could be Cal first baseman David Cooper. Along with first basemen, college relief is a strength in this class, so we'll go that route this time around.

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/...2008&fext=.jsp

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    Re: Jonathan Mayo projects the first 20 picks

    Can't see us passing on Beckham, or even Smoak, IMO, for Crow.
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    Re: Jonathan Mayo projects the first 20 picks

    If we get Crow I will first jump for joy then cringe when I rewatch his video's then jump for joy again when I think of his potential but again cringe on the fear of injury

    And as far as Gordon goes, he fits into the Buckley draft formula so I would like that, but I am just not as high on him as everyone else for some reason, and I can't even pinpoint the reason, its just a gut feeling.

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    Re: Jonathan Mayo projects the first 20 picks

    Quote Originally Posted by 11larkin11 View Post
    Can't see us passing on Beckham, or even Smoak, IMO, for Crow.

    I agree, if G. Beckham or Smoak or both are on the board when the Reds pick, Crow shouldn't even factor in the decision. IMO, I'd go Smoak...the kid can flat out rake. Boras be damned.

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    Re: Jonathan Mayo projects the first 20 picks

    Quote Originally Posted by Az. Reds Fan View Post
    I agree, if G. Beckham or Smoak or both are on the board when the Reds pick, Crow shouldn't even factor in the decision. IMO, I'd go Smoak...the kid can flat out rake. Boras be damned.
    Same here if the top three left at 7 are Crow, Smoak, and Gordon, you go Smoak.

    Crow is a blown shoulder and/or elbow waiting to happen
    Gordon is alright but we have got plenty of guys like him in the system like him already in the system, Valaika for example.

    You just don't pass over a Switch hitting 1b with 40 HR power .290+ BA potential and a good strike zone disciple
    Plus it allows Votto to move off 1b into LF, getting rid of Dunn and improving the defense and overall lineup, with a 2-7 in the near future of
    Kepp,Bruce, BP, Smoak, Votto, Frazier

    That lineup would score lots of runs, regardless who the 1 and 8 hitters are.

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    Re: Jonathan Mayo projects the first 20 picks

    Quote Originally Posted by 11larkin11 View Post
    Can't see us passing on Beckham, or even Smoak, IMO, for Crow.
    I don't know about that, Crow is the higher ranked prospect pretty much by everybody. The only concern are his mechanics, but that does not guarentee he will get injured. Every prospect guru has stated that Crow will be a great value pick for the Reds at 7th,

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    Re: Jonathan Mayo projects the first 20 picks

    Quote Originally Posted by New Fever View Post
    I don't know about that, Crow is the higher ranked prospect pretty much by everybody. The only concern are his mechanics, but that does not guarentee he will get injured. Every prospect guru has stated that Crow will be a great value pick for the Reds at 7th,
    Great value pick? I don't know about that. They figure he is the right guy at that spot, but that doesn't make it a great value.

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    Re: Jonathan Mayo projects the first 20 picks

    So how does the Crow "injury waiting to happen" talk compare to Lincecum two years ago? Smoak seems to be my favorite pick but I haven't seen much of these guys.

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    Re: Jonathan Mayo projects the first 20 picks

    Quote Originally Posted by HBP View Post
    So how does the Crow "injury waiting to happen" talk compare to Lincecum two years ago? Smoak seems to be my favorite pick but I haven't seen much of these guys.
    Lincecum had funny mechanics and a small frame (5'11 and 150 pounds out of college). Crow has bad mechanics. Different issues completely.

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    Re: Jonathan Mayo projects the first 20 picks

    Callis stated in his chat today that he will be a very nice value pick, Goldstein said something similar in one of his articles or chats. I know these guys don't know everything but I would assume they have a pretty good understanding of the draft. I wouldn't be upset with any of the three but from the looks of it they rank; Crow, Beckham, and then Smoak. Also the Reds have a first baseman for the future.

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    Re: Jonathan Mayo projects the first 20 picks

    A lot has to do with what the 6 in front of us do, too. If someone makes a surprise pick not in this group, there may be another player that drops to us. The fact that there isn't that huge a seperation between the top 12 or so there may be a surprise in the first six.

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    Re: Jonathan Mayo projects the first 20 picks

    Reds related questions from Jim Callis' chat today:

    Lance (Livingston, TN): You said in your mock draft that the Reds have been looking at Casey Kelly for the 7th pick. Isn't this too big of a reach?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: I said that was a rumor that wouldn't go away, as opposed to the Reds bearing down on him. Kelly is very talented, but I think he belongs more in the 15-25 range than in the Top 10.


    Ben (Centerville, OH): In BA's mock draft you have the Reds taking Aaron Crow. How soon could he get to the bigs, and does he project as an ace or more of a #3?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: Crow would be a very nice value for the Reds at No. 7. I'd call him a No. 2, he's more of a frontline guy than just a No. 3, and I don't toss "frontline guy" around casually. He could get to the bigs within a year or two of the draft.


    Karl (Chicago): Any word on when Jay Bruce will get called up?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: Not soon enough.

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/onlin...08/266131.html

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    Re: Jonathan Mayo projects the first 20 picks

    I still don't know how you can pass up a pitcher with a name like "Shooter" -- especially when he's a Tulane alum.
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    Re: Jonathan Mayo projects the first 20 picks

    The more I read on Crow the more I like him.

    MILB.com describes him as having three plus pitches - a fastball that reaches 96 and he can maintain that velocity deep into games, his slider hits 87, and he's got a solid changeup. Here's what the report says about his mechanics:

    He's got a slight flaw in his delivery, where his wrist flops or wraps in back. He usually comes out of it, but it makes it a little harder for him to pitch to the extension side.

    http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/m...ex.jsp?mc=crow

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    Re: Jonathan Mayo projects the first 20 picks

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    I still don't know how you can pass up a pitcher with a name like "Shooter" -- especially when he's a Tulane alum.
    I'm reading Baseball America's scouting reports on the top 100 players in the draft and they mention in Shooter Hunt's report that he could go as high as No. 7 to the Reds.


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