Mock Draft: Mayo's picks for the first round
First-Year Player Draft begins tonight, to be aired live on MLB.com and MLB Network
With no one seemingly sure what the Astros are going to do with the first pick, as has been their way the past two years, it is difficult to get a sense of what teams are planning to do behind them. Below is a projection based on the latest information, running through as many scenarios as possible. Jim Callis' latest mock Draft is up as well, and his picks are recorded beneath each of mine. We will both update the picks, in list form, one last time on Thursday afternoon.
That will be just hours before the start of the Draft, which begins with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network at 6 p.m. ET. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 74 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of the second and third days will begin with a live Draft show at 12:30 p.m. ET on Friday.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 200 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. You can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
1. Houston Astros: Brady Aiken, LHP, Cathedral Catholic HS (Calif.)
The Astros always keep people guessing. Aiken, along with Carlos Rodon, Tyler Kolek and Alex Jackson are the candidates.
Callis' pick: Aiken
2. Miami Marlins: Carlos Rodon, LHP, North Carolina State
Signs are pointing to the Marlins going for the best available pitcher, giving them a choice between a college left-hander (Rodon) and a high school right-hander (Kolek).
Callis' pick: Rodon
3. Chicago White Sox: Tyler Kolek, RHP, Shepherd HS (Texas)
It's apparent the White Sox will take the best arm. In this scenario, it's Kolek. They could play it safer and go with LSU's Aaron Nola.
Callis' pick: Kolek
4. Chicago Cubs: Kyle Schwarber, C, Indiana
Ideally, the Cubs would like Rodon or Aiken to somehow get here. If they are gone, though, the Cubs could go off the board a bit with a college hitter, perhaps saving money to be more aggressive later on.
Callis' pick: Michael Conforto, OF, Oregon State
5. Minnesota Twins: Nick Gordon, SS, Olympia HS (Fla.)
Perhaps if one of the big arms got to here, they'd be interested, but if not, Gordon is the choice, even over Alex Jackson.
Callis' pick: Gordon
6. Seattle Mariners: Alex Jackson, C/OF, Rancho Bernardo HS (Calif.)
There have been many names rumored to be headed to Seattle, including college pitchers like Nola, Hartford's Sean Newcomb, even Vanderbilt's Tyler Beede. But when Jackson gets to the Mariners, his offensive upside might be too difficult to pass up.
Callis' pick: Jackson
7. Philadelphia Phillies: Aaron Nola, RHP, Louisiana State
It didn't look likely that Nola would make it all the way to the Phillies, who love the idea of getting an advanced starter who could impact their rotation sooner rather than later. If Nola is gone, they could look at the top college bats available, like Conforto or Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost.
Callis' pick: Nola
8. Colorado Rockies: Michael Conforto, OF, Oregon State
If one of the big arms at the top, or even Nola, filters down here, the Rockies would be very interested. If Nola is off the board, the college bats come into play, including whomever from the Schwarber/Conforto duo the Cubs don't take, N.C. State's Trea Turner and San Francisco's Bradley Zimmer.
Callis' pick: Kyle Schwarber, C, Indiana
9. Toronto Blue Jays: Trea Turner, SS, North Carolina State
The Blue Jays have been connected with Turner in many a mock now, and there's no reason to stray. If Turner is selected, they could move Tommy John elbow surgery recipient Jeff Hoffman up to this spot or look at high school arms like Touki Toussaint or Grant Holmes.
Callis' pick: Turner
10. New York Mets: Sean Newcomb, LHP, Hartford
If Turner gets past Toronto, he likely will come off the board here. The Mets have liked Newcomb all spring, favoring him over college arms like Texas Christian's Brandon Finnegan or Evansville's Kyle Freeland.
Callis' pick: Newcomb
11. Toronto Blue Jays: Jeff Hoffman, RHP, East Carolina
With multiple picks, the Blue Jays have the flexibility and pool money to be creative here. Hoffman is one of the big wild cards in the Draft because of his elbow surgery, but most believe he'll go in the first round to a team with more than one selection, if the financials make sense.
Callis' pick: Hoffman
12. Milwaukee Brewers: Max Pentecost, C, Kennesaw State
A number of wide-ranging names have been brought up here, from college arms like Beede or Freeland to high school arms like Kodi Medeiros or Grant Holmes.
Callis' pick: Pentecost
13. San Diego Padres: Touki Toussaint, RHP, Coral Springs Christian Academy (Fla.)
If a college hitter like Schwarber or Conforto is still available, it'd be tempting. It's also possible Toussaint goes higher, but if not, he comes off the board here.
Callis' pick: Toussaint
14. San Francisco Giants: Grant Holmes, RHP, Conway HS (S.C.)
The Giants don't shy away from young pitching, and Holmes is on a short list of the top prep right-handers on the board, along with Sean Reid-Foley.
Callis' pick: Derek Hill, OF, Elk Grove HS (Calif.)
15. Los Angeles Angels: Tyler Beede, RHP, Vanderbilt
Beede's name was once thought to be a top-10 type, and he still could figure into some of the conversations up that high. But this could be his floor, with the Angels hopeful he can find consistency and move quickly.
Callis' pick: Beede
16. Arizona Diamondbacks: Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco
Early signs had the D-backs pointing toward a college pitcher, and if Finnegan is healthy, he could land here. But the D-backs do like Zimmer, an athletic college outfielder. They also might have interest in prep arms like Medeiros or Luis Ortiz.
Callis' pick: Kyle Freeland, LHP, Evansville
17. Kansas City Royals: Kodi Medeiros, LHP, Waiakea HS (Hawaii)
Medeiros' name is now being mentioned as high as No. 12, and also at No. 16, but the Royals would have real interest, especially if they think he won't last until their second pick in the round. Derek Hill is a possibility.
Callis' pick: Jacob Gatewood, SS, Clovis HS (Calif.)
18. Washington Nationals: Kyle Freeland, LHP, Evansville
This seemed like it could be a possible stopping point for Hoffman or UNLV's Erick Fedde, who also had Tommy John surgery, since the Nationals have shown a willingness to think outside the box. A college pitcher sounds right, with Finnegan another possibility.
Callis' pick: Casey Gillaspie, 1B, Wichita State
19. Cincinnati Reds: Brandon Finnegan, LHP, TCU
Finnegan very well could be taken anywhere ahead of the Reds' pick. If that happens, Cincy could have interest in a high school pitcher like Reid-Foley or an athletic high school hitter like Hill.
Callis' pick: Finnegan
20. Tampa Bay Rays: Jacob Gatewood, SS, Clovis HS (Calif.)
Several high school position players have been mentioned, including Monte Harrison and Hill. Gatewood has the most raw power in this class, and the chance of him being an impact player might be too much for the Rays to pass up.
Callis' pick: Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco
21. Cleveland Indians: Derek Fisher, OF, Virginia
The Indians have some interest in Medeiros, but more so with their second pick, and it looks like he might be gone, anyway. College hitters seem to be a priority for the Tribe.
Callis' pick: Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Sandalwood HS (Fla.)
22. Los Angeles Dodgers: Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Sandalwood HS (Fla.)
The Dodgers certainly have a history of taking high school pitchers. Lefty Foster Griffin and right-hander Spencer Adams are candidates to go here. If they want to go college arm, Nick Howard would interest them, as would Hill, whose father is a scout for them.
Callis' pick: Spencer Adams, RHP, White County HS (Ga.)
23. Detroit Tigers: Derek Hill, OF, Elk Grove HS (Calif.)
Power pitchers are always a possibility with the Tigers, so Howard comes into play, as could Finnegan if he's still on the board. Word is that this is the lowest Hill will go in the round.
Callis' pick: Nick Howard, RHP, Virginia
24. Pittsburgh Pirates: Casey Gillaspie, 1B, Wichita State
There's a good chance Gillaspie will be gone, leaving the Pirates to look at other college hitters, such as Kentucky's A.J. Reed, or perhaps a high school athlete like Harrison.
Callis' pick: Grant Holmes, RHP, Conway HS (SC)
25. Oakland A's: Nick Howard, RHP, Virginia
There's plenty of buzz that Howard could be off the board by this pick, so the A's could go high school in the first round for a third straight year with a hitter like Michael Chavis or a pitcher such as Justus Sheffield.
Callis' pick: Monte Harrison, OF, Lee's Summit West HS (Mo.)
26. Boston Red Sox: Michael Kopech, RHP, Mt. Pleasant HS (Texas)
With multiple first-round picks, the Red Sox could be creative. Kopech has had some late helium, so Boston might feel the need to take him here instead of risking waiting to take him at No. 33.
Callis' pick: Erick Fedde, RHP, UNLV
27. St. Louis Cardinals: Erick Fedde, RHP, UNLV
It's going to take a team with multiple picks, just like the projection with Hoffman going to the Blue Jays, to have the ability to be creative with pool money and take someone like Fedde, a top-10 talent who had Tommy John surgery.
Callis' pick: Luis Ortiz, RHP, Sanger HS (Calif.)
28. Kansas City Royals: Monte Harrison, OF, Lee's Summit West HS (Mo.)
After getting a pitcher at No. 17, the Royals could stay somewhat local and go with an athletic bat in Harrison. If not, there are other high school pitchers, like Adams or Griffin, who could come into play.
Callis' pick: Kodi Medeiros, LHP, Waiakea HS (Hawaii)
29. Cincinnati Reds: Foster Griffin, LHP, The First Academy (Fla.)
Griffin has helium as the Draft approaches, and there are teams above this pick who might have interest. If he's gone, the Reds could look at a prep pitcher like Adams.
Callis' pick: Griffin
30. Texas Rangers: Forrest Wall, 2B, Orangewood Christian HS (Fla.)
The Rangers could be interested if a lefty like Griffin is available, but Wall's speed and bat might be too good to pass up either way. Wall's stock has been on the rise, with him even being discussed as a backup plan who could go as high as No. 10.
Callis' pick: Wall
31. Cleveland Indians: A.J. Reed, 1B, Kentucky
The Indians could get two advanced college run producers in the first round. If Medeiros somehow lasts this far, Cleveland would have interest.
Callis' pick: Alex Blandino, 3B Stanford
32. Atlanta Braves: Michael Chavis, SS, Sprayberry HS (Ga.)
It is tempting to give the Braves someone from their own backyard, and Chavis has the kind of hitting skills teams like to see.
Callis' pick: Chavis
33. Boston Red Sox: Alex Blandino, 3B, Stanford
After going high-risk, high-reward with a prep arm a few picks earlier, the Red Sox could look at the top college hitters here. With Reed and Gillaspie gone, Blandino might be the pick.
Callis' pick: A.J. Reed, 1B, Kentucky
34. St. Louis Cardinals: Luis Ortiz, RHP Sanger HS (Calif.)
Ortiz bounced back from an arm issue and seemed to answer questions about his health. The Cards have long been rumored to have an interest in Ortiz.
Callis' pick: Justus Sheffield, LHP, Tullahoma HS (Tenn.)