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While the top 3 picks seem pretty straight forward, I could be wrong. The top 20 picks or so seem to be the top 20 players, even though the order is jumbled, most of them will go early. The rest of the draft is really hard to predict. It's really rolling dice but I did what I thought made sense for each team. If I did this again as soon as this one was completed, it would be different, but that's the fun of this right now, right?
1) Houston Astros: Jonathan Gray, RHP, University of Oklahoma: There are five players I considered here but the player that Houston will take will be Gray unless they have someone who will sign for considerably less and have a target in a lower round. Gray is the highest impact arm in this draft and could help the big league team quickly.
2) Chicago Cubs: Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford University:The Cubs want impact talent and there are two college players here with impact. Appel and Bryant. Bryant may be a 1B and the Cubs have one of those for the long term after locking upAnthony Rizzo, so Appel is the obvious choice.
3) Colorado Rockies: Kris Bryant, 3B, University of San Diego: Colorado has always played as a hitter park. They have struggled to develop pitching from both the college and high school ranks. They would be much better off taking the guy who can hit the ball out of any park to any part of it.
4) Minnesota Twins: Braden Shipley, RHP, University of Nevada: The obvious choice here is Kohl Stewart. Big potential, elite arm, but when you just demoted your recently acquired opening day starter and people could start losing their jobs due to 90+ loss seasons in consecutive years, you opt for the quicker impact. Shipley is no slouch with his upper 90's velocity.
5) Cleveland Indians: Colin Moran, 3B, University of North Carolina: Moran is the most polished college bat in the draft. There are questions if he can play 3B or if he'll end up at 1B. He would be a solid defender there and the Indians like safe bets at the top of their draft and Moran is that.
6) Miami Marlins: D.J. Peterson, 3B, University of New Mexico: The Marlins want a college player here and with the crazy run on them here, it's between Peterson, Stanek and Renfroe. I would think they take Peterson as he has a long track record of success.
7) Boston Red Sox: Kohl Stewart, RHP, Texas HS: It's over. The wait for a high school pick has ended with the best pitcher in the class. They may be getting the highest ceiling arm in the draft after not having a pick this high in a long time.
8) Kansas City Royals: Hunter Renfroe, OF, Mississippi State University: After trading Wil Myers in the offseason, the Royals have an opening for a power bat in the OF. Bubba Starling needs time and they need impact in the next couple years. Renfroe could do that for them.
9) Pittsburgh Pirates: Ryne Stanek, RHP, University of Arkansas: Missing out on Appel last year, the Pirates could take an arm that could have been in the top 3 picks had he had a good spring. Nothing is wrong with him physically, he's just been erratic and typically does better when it gets warmer. He would be a great pick at #9.
10) Toronto Blue Jays: Austin Meadows, OF, Georgia HS:Meadows isn't that much different than a player they have currently in Colby Rasmus. I think Meadows has more power potential and hopefully better plate discipline but with Gose beside him the pressure won't be on to stay if CF at the big league level.
11) New York Mets: Clint Frazier, OF, Georgia HS: I would think that the Mets would be ecstatic to take Frazier at #11. He has top of the draft power and should move more quickly than most prep players.
12) Seattle Mariners: Reese McGuire, C, Washington HS: I know, Montero, Zunino, you can never have too much talent behind the dish. McGuire is a special talent and position shouldn't factor in on a decision at this point in the draft.
13) San Diego Padres: J.P. Crawford, SS, California HS: In a class that is short on middle infield talent, Crawford is probably the top of the class. There is no way that Crawford makes it much past this.
14) Pittsburgh Pirates: Nick Ciuffo, C, South Carolina HS:All the pitching prospects lining up in the Pittsburgh system need someone to catch them. Ciuffo may be the best all around catcher in this class and could develop quicker than a lot of prep catchers because of his present skills.
15) Arizona Diamondbacks: Dominic Smith, 1B, California HS: He's not as gritty as Kirk Gibson may like them, but he sure as hell is a smart player, works hard and can hit and that will play in Arizona.
16) Philadelphia Phillies: Austin Wilson, OF, Stanford: The Phillies love tools and Wilson is oozing with them. This may be where Wilson needs to go to make sure he doesn't return to the Cardinal.
17) Chicago White Sox: Aaron Judge, OF, Fresno State: The Sox have had luck drafting good athletes and college players. Judge is both and after Konerko hangs them up, Judge could be that RH bat they need to replace him.
18) Los Angeles Dodgers: Chris Anderson, RHP, Jacksonville University: The Dodgers need to compete now. They need quick help and Anderson shouldn't take long to help. He could even be useful out of the pen as soon as next spring if they would want to do that. There is a chance this is a surprising pick of someone like Jon Crawford, Colby Suggs, Harrison Cooney or Kyle Crockett who could be quick to the bigs.
19) St. Louis Cardinals: Trey Ball, LHP, Indiana HS: The best arm still on the board according to many is Ball. The fastball seems to be going the right way and Ball could be another impact arm for the Cardinals.
20) Detroit Tigers: Robert Kaminsky, LHP, New Jersey HS: The Tigers like prep arms and Kaminsky is a very good one. He could even be considered a steal here by some.
21) Tampa Bay Rays: Ian Clarkin, LHP, California HS: The Rays are a great pitching developmental system. Clarkin could be a very good piece to add to that machine that has produced the likes of Matt Moore, a similar athletic lefty with a great breaking ball.
22) Baltimore Orioles: Bobby Wahl, RHP, University of Mississippi: The Orioles had good luck last year with an SEC RHP so maybe they roll the dice on another one. Wahl isn't as good but he should be a solid mid to the back of the rotation arm. When they cost $5-10 million a year on the open market, Wahl will be a steal.
23) Texas Rangers: Tim Anderson, SS, East Central Mississippi Junior College: Anderson has come out of nowhere to be in the 1st round conversation. Well, not nowhere but was off the map enough no one signed him last summer when he was a free agent. He will add to the wealth of up the middle talent in Texas.
24) Oakland Athletics: Matt Krook, LHP, California HS:There is a lot of depth in the prep lefties this year, even college lefties for that matter but Krook has a very high ceiling and has a local connection with Oakland. He seems like a very good fit here.
25) San Francisco Giants: Michael Lorenzen, OF/RHP, Cal State Fullerton: I don't know if Lorenzen will be a pitcher or an outfielder but ether way, the Giants could use him. He is a great athelte and has a big arm.
26) New York Yankees: Jon Denney, C, Oklahoma HS: It is a mandate of MLB that the Yankees have a top catching prospect. With this acquisition, the Yankees could trade Sanchez for a chip or just have another good bat in their system. He may follow Tyler Austin by going from C to OF after reaching pro ball but either way, he has the stick to make it work.
27) Cincinnati Reds: Marco Gonzalez, LHP, Gonzaga: The Reds like prep arms more than college arms but a polished arm to have ready is always a good thing. Always. Gonzalez isn't a high ceiling guy but would slot in the middle to back of a rotation well.
28) St. Louis Cardinals (for Kyle Lohse): Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State University: The Cardinals are winners for a reason. Taking chances on top players is a good reason. Considering Manaea was a potential 1-1 and they could get him at 28 would help continue the Cardinals good fortunes. The question is what is going on with him.
29) Tampa Bay Rays (for B.J. Upton): Phillip Ervin, OF, Samford University: With Clarkin already in the fold already, a bat would add balance. Jagielo could be the guy but I like Ervin here instead. He seems more like a Rays type player than Jagielo.
30) Texas Rangers (for Josh Hamilton): Jake Brentz, LHP, Missouri HS: Brentz has come on strong in the last year. He has a fresh arm and a lot of athleticism. He can sit in the low to mid 90's and could have more in him with his clean delivery and obvious inconsistency. He could really pay dividends for the Rangers.
31) Atlanta Braves (for Michael Bourn): Hunter Green, LHP, Kentucky HS: The best prep arm still on the board is Green, who many say has a plus breaking ball. He is a good athlete and could be a great pick here. I know I sound like I'm repeating myself but there are a lot of athletic prep lefties this year.
32) New York Yankees (for Nick Swisher): Billy McKinney, OF, Texas HS: McKinney could be the best prep bat in this draft and he could go a dozen spots higher than this. He'd be a great pick here.
33) New York Yankees (for Rafael Soriano): Eric Jagielo, 3B, Notre Dame: Jagielo is high on many lists, including the Yankees'. He may go before this and it wouldn't shock me to see him go in the mid teens. I just thought there were better options for most teams.
34) Kansas City Royals: Ryan Eades, RHP, LSU: Getting Renfroe earlier gives them a good college bat. I think they would take a college arm here to balance it out and get quicker impact than the prep players on the board.
35) Miami Marlins: Jonathon Crawford, RHP, University of Florida: The Marlins are in win now mode, promoting all their top prospects, oh wait...I don't know what the hell they are doing but another quick to the majors player would probably fit their plan.
36) Arizona Diamondbacks: Dustin Peterson, SS, Arizona HS: Staying local and getting a prep player with great hand eye coordination the Diamondbacks could get impact corner infield bats that could help carry their lineup in 3-5 years.
37) Baltimore Orioles: Hunter Harvey, RHP, North Carolina HS: After taking an arm earlier, I'd like a bat here but there are no clear one's available and Harvey is a very good consolation prize. Stockpiling arms in Baltimore is a good plan. Good pitching will always help you compete.
38) Cincinnati Reds: Ryan Boldt, OF, Minnesota HS: Even with the meniscus surgery, Boldt is still a high level athelte with very good all around tools. He would fit beside Billy Hamilton in LF in Cincinatti giving them an amazing defensive OF and an explosive offense.
39) Detroit Tigers: Andy McGuire, SS, Virginia HS: While scouts and some teams have cooled on him, an athlete with a shot at sticking at SS or an elite defender at a corner shouldn't get into the 2nd round in this weak up the middle draft. His bat will play at either spot.