06/09/09 10:00 AM ET
Crystal ball: The final projection
With just hours to go, here's how we see the Draft shaking out
By Jonathan Mayo / MLB.com
That time is now, with the final edition of MLB.com's mock Draft of all 32 picks in the first round. There appears to be plenty of late movement, with some teams going a little off the board, perhaps to save money for picks later on or perhaps because there was a guy they really liked who they knew wouldn't be there the next time they picked.
Whatever the reason, it's changed an already topsy-turvy board up top, but here's the best effort in predicting who will go where. As always, last edition's projection is listed if there was a change in the pick.
1. Washington Nationals: Stephen Strasburg, RHP, San Diego State
Was, is and will continue to be the top guy.
2. Seattle Mariners: Dustin Ackley, 1B/OF, North Carolina
Unless something blows up on the signability front, this is the guy.
3. San Diego Padres: Donavan Tate, OF, Cartersville (Ga.) H.S.
It's still split in the Padres' Draft room, and it will be very interesting how this one turns out. It could be the toolsy Tate, or it could be the "safer" pick in Mike Minor. Could be a game-time decision.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates: Tony Sanchez, C, Boston College
Bound to be the first "Huh?" pick of the Draft, Sanchez seemed more like an end-of-first-round supplemental type. But he plays a premium position, and he plays it well, with some pop in his bat to boot. Is it a reach? Could be. But in a muddled Draft class, this could be the time to do this and save money for some later-round selections. Aaron Crow, Zach Wheeler and Grant Green are still being considered.
Last projection: Crow
5. Baltimore Orioles: Zack Wheeler, RHP, East Paulding H.S., Dallas, Ga.
Wheeler still seems like the way to go, with a host of other arms -- such as Mike White, Matt Hobgood or Minor -- being mentioned here or there.
6. San Francisco Giants: Tyler Matzek, LHP, Capistrano Valley H.S., Mission Viejo, Calif.
There was some word that Matzek might drop a few spots, but there wasn't enough to change the pick.
7. Atlanta Braves: Mike Minor, LHP, Vanderbilt University
The Braves are still hoping for one of the top high school arms to drop -- namely, Wheeler -- but in a scenario in which he's gone, they'd choose the arm they like the best. It might surprise some, but Minor might be their best guy still on the board at that point. If somehow Minor and White are both gone, don't be shocked if they take a chance at signing Matt Purke.
Last projection: White
8. Cincinnati Reds: Alex White, RHP, University of North Carolina
There are some who'd love to talk about high school right-hander Jacob Turner, but here's thinking they'll go a little safer with a top college arm still on the board. In this case, that's White, or they could decide to go with excellent performer Mike Leake out of Arizona State.
Last projection: Minor
9. Detroit Tigers: Aaron Crow, RHP, Fort Worth Cats
It looked as though Purke might find a home here, but it's looking as if his bonus demands will make him slide some. But with Crow getting down to this spot, the Tigers won't let him go any farther.
Last projection: Purke
10. Washington Nationals: Drew Storen, RHP, Stanford
The rumors of a Chad Jenkins deal won't go away, and it's still possible the Nats are negotiating one. If that doesn't work, it does seem as though Storen is very much in the mix.
11. Colorado Rockies: Mike Leake, LHP, Arizona State
Many arms have been mentioned in this spot, as it seems like the Rockies will go after pitching. They'd prefer the college variety, it seems, and would likely consider Minor or White should they get this far. Rex Brothers remains a possibility, but Leake seems like a good bet here.
Last projection: Leake
12. Kansas City Royals: Wil Myers, C, Wesleyan Christian Academy, High Point, N.C.
The Royals would be interested if the college arms listed above -- White, Minor, Leake -- got to them at 12, but in this scenario, they'd look elsewhere. College bats such as Green and Sanchez still will be discussed, but the Royals really like what they've seen from Myers, a strong high school bat who's shown some ability to stay behind the plate.
13. Oakland A's: Grant Green, SS, USC
Tanner Scheppers is still very much in the mix here, but the feeling is that uncertainty with his shoulder will have the Athletics looking elsewhere. A high school arm such as Hobgood could figure in here, as could any college arm who drops from above.
14. Texas Rangers: Shelby Miller, RHP, Brownwood (Texas) H.S.
The Rangers have been on the high schooler all along, and there's no reason to switch at this point.
15. Cleveland Indians: Eric Arnett, RHP, Indiana University
It could come down to Arnett vs. Scheppers, and maybe a wild card college lefty, such as James Paxton or Andrew Oliver, figuring into the conversation. The Indians like Arnett, and there might be enough questions with Scheppers to let him go by.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks: Rex Brothers, LHP, Lipscomb University
Still have to think Leake's the guy here if he's available, but the D-Backs are definitely looking for lefties in the Draft if they can find them.
17. Arizona Diamondbacks: Bobby Borchering, 3B, Bishop Verot H.S., Fort Myers, Fla.
Borchering's a switch-hitter with pop, and though he may eventually have to move to first, he'll at least get the opportunity to stay at third. He's considered to be one of the best high school bats in the class.
18. Florida Marlins: Chad James, LHP, Yukon (Okla.) H.S.
James gets high marks for his pure stuff, though to some his command is a cause for concern. Florida could also consider local product Borchering or college guy Jenkins.
19. St. Louis Cardinals: Chad Jenkins, RHP, Kennesaw State
This could be a spot for Green to land if he slides past Oakland, and Jacob Turner, the local kid from Missouri, might be of interest. But we'll go with the college arm for now.
20. Toronto Blue Jays: Tim Wheeler, OF, Sacramento State
There remains the possibility that the Jays will be a little adventurous and take a high school bat, but the college bat route seems like a more plausible route. Wheeler, Pollock, Sanchez could all be considered if available.
21. Houston Astros: Jared Mitchell, OF, LSU
Mitchell, the best athlete, at least among the college bat drop, still seems like he could fit well in this system.
22. Minnesota Twins: Matt Hobgood, RHP, Norco (Calif.) H.S.
Hobgood might be gone earlier, in which case the Twins could consider another high school arm, like Garrett Gould, or a high school bat, like Michael Trout or Everett Williams. They're still discussing the "what if" scenario if Gibson drops this far, which he may very well do.
23. Chicago White Sox: Everett Williams, OF, McCallum H.S., Austin Texas
The thinking has been that the White Sox want a toolsy bat in this spot, and that still could be Trout or Williams. Williams was off the board in an earlier edition; now he's not.
24. Los Angeles Angels: Matt Purke, LHP, Klein (Texas) H.S.
Just how far the talented lefty falls is hard to pinpoint, but the Angels haven't been afraid to go the "tough sign" route before. With the insurance of multiple picks this year, it might be the right time to take a chance
Last projection: Trout
25. Los Angeles Angels: Jiovanni Mier, SS, Bonita (Calif.) H.S.
As mentioned above, the Angels love Southern California talent. Mier is probably the best pure shortstop, and the chance to get a local kid at a premium position might be too good to pass up.
26. Milwaukee Brewers: Michael Trout, OF, Millville (N.J.) H.S.
If the Brewers go bat, they'd love for Borchering to fall. But with him off the board and the toolsy outfielder from the Northeast here, this could be the pick. Garrett Gould might be the choice if they want to go arm.
Last projection: Gould
27. Seattle Mariners: Tanner Scheppers, RHP, St. Paul Saints
It was too much for them to consider him at No. 2, though perhaps he belonged in that conversation based on pure stuff. But the shoulder concerns could drop him this far, and after taking the bat at No. 2, the Mariners could opt for an arm here.
28. Boston Red Sox: Jacob Turner, Westminster Christian Academy, St. Louis, Mo.
Here's the tendency to go with the "tough sign," again. Anyone who slides here might be of interest, as the Sox take the best player on the board, usually regardless of signability.
29. New York Yankees: Brett Jackson, OF, Cal-Berkeley
It'd be tempting to have the Yankees take a shot on Kyle Gibson, sort of like they did with Andrew Brackman a couple of years back. But we'll stick with the toolsy college outfielder.
30. Tampa Bay Rays: Reymond Fuentes, OF, Fernando Callejo H.S., Manati, Puerto Rico
This still could be Tommy Joseph, could even be a guy like ASU outfielder Jason Kipnis or Mier if he's around, but here's saying the Rays will go with the speedy outfielder from Puerto Rico.
Last projection: Joseph
31. Chicago Cubs: A.J. Pollock, OF, Notre Dame
Could Gibson land here? It's possible. The Cubs are awfully hard to predict, but they've liked the bats with top picks lately. Here's thinking they'll go that route again.
32. Colorado Rockies: Slade Heathcott, OF, Texarkana (Texas) H.S.
He was our pick here the first go-round and could very well land in this spot. Might be a nice mix, with an advanced pitcher up above and a toolsy outfielder down below.
Last projection: Gibson
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.