06/07/07 5:34 AM ET
Price tops final Draft projections
Signability concerns, shifting needs affecting teams' picks
By Jonathan Mayo / MLB.com
One last stab at the first round of the 2007 Draft before the real thing happens at 2 p.m. ET today. This is about as volatile a first round as I've seen, making it extremely difficult to project.
There will undoubtedly be some last-minute maneuvering and reshuffling as teams try to figure out who goes where and who will be there for them when they pick. Here's my best, last effort at figuring out how it will shake down.
1. Tampa Bay Devil Rays: David Price, LHP, Vanderbilt University
It perhaps won't be official until his name has called, but this has been the guy, he is the guy, he will continue to be the guy. David Price, as has been thought all along, will indeed be the No. 1 pick in this draft.
Last projection: Price
2. Kansas City Royals: Josh Vitters, 3B, Cypress HS (CA)
Well, it happened. Seton Hall Prep righty Rick Porcello priced himself out of consideration here. Based on ability, Porcello belongs here. But his bonus demands, especially for a right-handed pitcher out of high school -- the biggest risk pick there is -- could very well force him to slide really far. As of late Wednesday night, the Royals were still looking both at Josh Vitters and and Mike Moustakas, with whichever player showing the Royals he wants to play in the Royals organization being the likely pick. Right now, it looks like that will be Vitters.
Last projection: Porcello
3. Chicago Cubs: Jarrod Parker, RHP, Norwell HS (IN)
Their first choice was Vitters, but with him off the board, they have to look elsewhere. They've liked Parker's arm from the get-go and he had perhaps his best performance in his last pre-draft look. There was some late talk of them going in a completely different direction with Sean Doolittle, the University of Virginia first baseman, but that seems unlikely.
Last projection: Vitters
4. Pittsburgh Pirates: Daniel Moskos, LHP, Clemson
Without Vitters available, the Pirates looked at several options with this pick. Matt Wieters got a long look, but the financials there might have gotten in the way. They could've stayed in their own backyard for another high school position player, catcher Devin Mesoraco, who worked out at PNC Park recently. Ross Detwiler also worked out for the team as they were trying to figure out who the best college arm was. While the guess was they'd take Detwiler here last time, it seems now that they've settled on Moskos, Clemson's closer-turned-starter.
Last projection: Detwiler
5. Baltimore Orioles: Ross Detwiler, LHP, Missouri State
Rumors continue that they might make a big splash and if Georgia Tech catcher Matt Wieters did fall to here, they wouldn't pass him up. If they don't want to go down that road (Wieters is a Scott Boras advisee), then they could go north of the border and take Phillipe Aumont, the big, projectable right-hander who's been very impressive all spring in a number of settings. In the end, though, I think they go back to the college arm they've liked all along, but weren't sure he'd be there for them.
Last projection: Phillippe Aumont
6. Washington Nationals: Mike Moustakas, 3B, Chatsworth HS (CA)
If Detwiler were to still be available, he'd be a distinct possibility. But with him off the board, they'll go to the high school bat they like best in Moustakas. They'd probably talk about Matt Wieters some, too, but they'd likely let him and Rick Porcello slide on by.
Last projection: Daniel Moskos
7. Milwaukee Brewers: Devin Mesoraco, C, Punxsatawney HS (PA)
The Brewers would love for one of the college arms to get to them like Moskos or Detwiler, and they'd even consider taking Nick Schmidt, but they've had Mesoraco, the fast-rising prep catcher, in their sights for a while now and will decide to pull the trigger.
Last projection: Jarrod Parker
8. Colorado Rockies: Casey Weathers, RHP, Vanderbilt
I think the Rockies wouldn't mind getting a college arm here like Detwiler or Moskos, but both are gone. There was some consideration given to Nick Schmidt and, to go in another direction, high school bats like Moustakas or Matt Dominguez. Instead, they'll go with the college power arm out of the bullpen that should get there fast. Weathers is the best college closer in the class and should make a beeline to Colorado.
Last projection: Nick Schmidt
9. Arizona Diamondbacks: Nick Schmidt, LHP, Arkansas
After signing Max Scherzer last minute to a nice-sized bonus, the Diamondbacks don't want to be cheap here, but they also likely don't want to break the bank. Enter Nick Schmidt. No one has helped themselves more lately than Schmidt, the consummate pitchability lefty who tossed a shutout in conference tournament play and was stellar again in Regional action.
Last projection: Mike Moustakas
10. San Francisco Giants: Matt Wieters, C, Georgia Tech
Wieters is becoming the most difficult player to place in this first-round projection because of signability and some performance-related issues. Still, he's got an excellent track record and is a switch-hitting catcher with pop. If he starts to slide, a number of teams will have to pause and seriously considering taking him. The Giants could very well be that team. There's been a lot of noise that they'd take Beau Mills, but some of that might just be because they've had success in drafting players from Lewis-Clark State. They have some interest in Casey Weathers, so if he were still around, Wieters could continue to slide.
Last projection: Nick Schmidt
11. Seattle Mariners: Sean Doolittle, 1B, University of Virginia
It's been generally believed, almost from the get-go, that the Mariners would be looking for an arm at No. 11. But what if none of the ones they liked were there, like Casey Weathers? There were a ton of late rumors about Doolittle shooting up into the top half of the first round, as high as No. 3. With the pitching options not what they wanted, they could go in a completely different direction.
Last projection: Casey Weathers
12. Florida Marlins: Phillippe Aumont, RHP, Ecole Du Versant Gatineau, Quebec
The Marlins are truly a "best player available" kind of team, so they could go in any of a number of directions. It seemed like Julio Borbon might be a possibility, and he still might. But it also seemed unlikely that Aumont would be here at No. 12. They do like the young projectable arms and Aumont has as much upside as anyone in the draft.
Last projection: Julio Borbon
13. Cleveland Indians: Blake Beavan, RHP, Irving HS (TX)
Staying the same with this projection as the Indians have been on the Texas prep standout for some time. Think Adam Miller, redux.
Last projection: Beavan
14. Atlanta Braves: Michael Main, RHP, Deland HS (Fla.)
Atlanta likes to draft local kids, so there's been a lot of talk about Jason Heyward, the outfielder, and Josh Smoker, the left-handed pitcher. This time, though, I think they stray away from the Georgia neighborhood to get Main, a terrific athlete and the kind of power arm the Braves covet.
Last projection: Jason Heyward
15. Cincinnati Reds: Matt Dominguez, 3B, Chatsworth HS
For a long time, it looked like the Reds were locked into Kevin Ahrens, but that appears not to be the case. They'd be thrilled if Devin Mesoraco were around, but he won't be, so they'll go with Dominguez, a pretty good high school player in his own right, with a strong bat and even stronger glove at the hot corner.
Last projection: Kevin Ahrens
16. Toronto Blue Jays: Beau Mills, 3B, Lewis-Clark State
Outside of Matt Wieters, Mills is one of the tougher players to place. His name is being mentioned all over the first round as he put up absolutely ridiculous numbers in helping Lewis-Clark State to the NAIA Championship. There is some concern about his defensive ability, which might limit him to an AL team. There's a good chance he goes before here, but the Blue Jays are a good candidate to take him with one of their two picks.
Last projection: Dominguez
17. Texas Rangers: Julio Borbon, OF, University of Tennessee
Borbon was thought to be a top half of the first rounder before his ankle injury. Some say he never truly got back to form, but a team taking him will believe he can get back to that leadoff type who wreaks havoc on the bases and shows some extra-base pop to boot. Borbon could be that player again and might not be that hard to sign because of the injury.
Last projection: Matt Harvey
18. St. Louis Cardinals: Kevin Ahrens, 3B, Memorial HS (TX)
Long considered to be going to the Reds at No. 15, it now seems like Ahrens will be available here. The Cardinals seem not to be a college-only team right now and might want to show that by taking the high school bat in this spot. He plays shortstop in high school and isn't bad there, but the consensus is that he should move to third where he should profile better both offensively and defensively.
Last projection: Jake Arrieta
19. Philadelphia Phillies: Jason Heyward, Henry County HS (GA)
Sometimes the Phillies are unfairly put with toolsy outfielders because they like that kind of player. In this case, this wouldn't be unfair. Most thought Heyward wouldn't be around at this point, going to a team like the Marlins or Braves up ahead. If he doesn't, the Phillies wouldn't hesitate to take him.
Last projection: Devin Mesoraco
20. Los Angeles Dodgers: Josh Smoker, LHP, Calhoun HS (GA)
Lots of rumors coming from this pick, with hints of pre-draft deals involving a high school left-hander. Would it be the one from North Carolina in Madison Bumgarner or the one from Georgia in Josh Smoker? The latest word was that Bumgarner may have priced himself out of this spot. That leaves Smoker, though the Dodgers could go in another direction if a bat like Matt Dominguez was still around. And if you really want to talk wild card, how about Kyle Russell from the University of Texas?
Last projection: Madison Bumgarner
21. Toronto Blue Jays: Peter Kozma, SS, Owasso HS (OK)
The thinking all along was that te Jays would take one college player and one high schooler with their two first rounders. It was just a matter of which two. It's still possible they could move earlier with the high school pick to get a Matt Dominguez-type first, but if it plays out like this, Kozma is the kind of high schooler the Jays would take a long look at. While he's not toolsy in terms of the wow factor, he does just about everything pretty well and unlike many high school middle infielders, should be able to stay at short long-term. He handles the bat well and has some pop at the plate to boot. His best tool might be his makeup, which might put him over the top into the first round.
Last projection: Beau Mills
22. San Francisco Giants: Aaron Poreda, LHP, University of San Francisco
Here's the second college guy and one from the team's own backyard. Poreda isn't the typical college lefty and doesn't fit the "pitchability" mold. That being said, he can dial it up to 95 mph and commands the fastball pretty well. His secondary stuff definitely lags behind and he gave some scouts the sense that he wasn't used to being a dominant pitcher. But those are all things that can be taught and the Giants would be very happy to be his mentor.
Last projection: Poreda
23. San Diego Padres: James Simmons, RHP, UC Riverside
In all likelihood, the Padres will end up going college arm here. In a perfect world, someone like Nick Schmidt would fall to them, but that's not a scenario that's probable at this point. Simmons has perhaps the best fastball command in the draft and that alone should get him to the big leagues fairly quickly. If the team that takes him can help him develop his secondary stuff, he could evolve into a pretty steady big league starter. The previous projection, Nick Noonan, would be a consideration in the sandwich round for the Padres.
Last projection: Nick Noonan
24. Texas Rangers: Matt Harvey, RHP, Fitch HS (CT)
The Rangers would liked to have gotten Blake Beavan at No. 17 so they could take the local power pitcher. But he won't be there, so instead they'll wait until this pick to get their high school arm. Harvey, once thought of as possibly the top high school arm in the country, has dropped some, but not based solely on talent. He could drop this far because of perceived signability concerns (Boras is his advisor), but the Rangers haven't shied away from Boras guys in the past.
Last projection: Michael Main
25. Chicago White Sox: Chris Withrow, RHP, Midland Christian HS (Texas)
The Sox might have the pick of a few high school arms after taking two college pitchers the last couple of years. If Main were still around, he would be a possibility, as would Josh Smoker on the left side. At the same time, both could be gone. Even with them around, they might want to take Withrow, the projectable right-hander out of Texas. His dad played pro ball -- in the White Sox organization, no less -- and clearly has taught his son well. The only thing that might throw this one out the window is if Withrow goes ahead of the Sox, with teams like the Phillies and Dodgers reportedly interested.
Last projection: Withrow
26. Oakland A's: Todd Frazier, 3B, Rutgers University
There are at least a dozen names the A's are likely considering for this spot, and it could depend on who filters down from above. If a Beau Mills somehow managed to drop, the A's would have obvious interest. It does seem that of the names they are considering, they are more interested in a bat than an arm, possibly from the college level. If Sean Doolittle didn't go as highly as being rumored, he'd be a possibility. With both of those guys off the board, they'll go with Frazier, who plays shortstop in college but will have to move to third or perhaps a corner outfield spot as a pro.
Last projection: Sean Doolittle
27. Detroit Tigers: Tim Alderson, RHP, Horizon HS, Scottsdale
Several teams have been on the Arizona prep right-hander and he could conceivably go anywhere in the latter third of the first round into the sandwich round. While some scouts were concerned with Alderson's unorthodox delivery, he's got as good command as anyone in the high school ranks. he walks almost no one and he's got some pretty good stuff to go along with it. If the Tigers are heavy on high school arms, and a Main or Smoker are still here, that could push Alderson down some, but they've been on him all year. If they decide they want to go bat, they could go with someone like high school infielder Nick Noonan.
Last projection: Tim Alderson
28. Minnesota Twins: Madison Bumgarner, LHP, South Caldwell HS (NC)
The Twins would love it if Peter Kozma were still around, but it seems unlikely that he will. They like Nick Noonan, but probably not for this spot. So they'll look and see the big, projectable -- yet raw -- left arm of Bumgarner and snag him here.
Last projection: Peter Kozma
29. San Francisco Giants: Nick Noonan, SS, Parker HS (Calif.)
The Giants would love it if lefty Josh Smoker lasted until this pick, but that doesn't seem likely in this scenario. After getting the risky college guy up top and the projectable college arm in the middle, they'll go for the high school middle infielder here. Noonan may have to move to second, but his bat should be good enough to make him a good Major Leaguer in due time.
Last projection: Smoker
30. New York Yankees: Rick Porcello, RHP, Seton Hall Prep
Why not? In some ways, it almost seems too obvious to happen. The Yankees are in a position where they can wait and see who might fall in their lap. A guy like Andrew Brackman, with a possible elbow injury, would be a gutsy call here and would likely be less expensive because of the health concern. Matt LaPorta also gets some consideration because he could get to New York at first base in a hurry. But while other teams will have some serious conversations about Porcello because of his talent, most will pass because of the bonus demands. The Yankees don't have to, either because they can afford it, or they can more easily take the blow of not getting him signed.
Last projection: Wendell Fairley
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.