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Mock Draft 3.0: Kyle Wright goes #1

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Josh and Jim both pick Kyle Wright’s teammate for the White Sox at #11.

Vanderbilt University

There has been some buzz about what direction the Minnesota Twins will do with the first pick of 2017 MLB Draft.

Both Jim and I have been mocking Hunter Greene to the San Diego Padres at third pick even though he is the best prospect in this draft. The thinking for Minnesota skipping Greene is they may need help sooner in their starting rotation than later. While Greene does posses a 102-mph fastball, his secondary pitches need fine tuning and he’s only 17 years old. The earliest any team can expect Greene to be in the majors would be 2021.

A rumor drum beat that is banging louder and louder is Vanderbilt starting pitcher Kyle Wright going first overall. In 14 starts, Wright has thrown 89.2 innings striking out 104 batters while just walking 27. Has a three pitch mix with a fastball that ranges from 94-98 mph, a slider and a curve. In the games I’ve watched, I don’t think I’ve seen Wright throw a changeup.

Some believe that Wright’s ceiling is a pitcher that can help lead a staff, whether as an ace or a #2. His floor is a back of the rotation starter. Meaning, if he falls in between his ceiling and floor projections, he’s a major league starter and the Twins sorely need help in that department. Plus, you can project his arrival sooner than Greene and as a college prospect the Twins have a bit of leverage negotiating the bonus. They could save some bonus money selecting Wright, and go over slot on picks 35 and 37.

As for the other picks in the draft, here is our email conversation on topics we’ve been pondering about.

Josh: Jim - I've been watching a lot of college baseball as of late and I am apprehensive about the talent at the top of this year's class. In particular, Virginia’s Adam Haseley. He's been popular with White Sox fans and in Mock Drafts, but while he has a swing that makes good contact, I just don't see a lot of future power and he lollipops every throw from CF making me question his arm strength. To me, that's not a Top 20 pick, but I have a feeling he could go in the Top 10. What am I missing?

Jim: I think you are over reacting about his throwing ability. He also pitches as you know. He's a high floor not a high ceiling player. He is going in the top 20, but top 10? I think that's a reach. College hitting is just so weak this year. He does not look like a future star player. Just a player. Your average rankings has him at 13. That's about right.

Question: Brendan McKay has lost velocity. If the Reds don't take him at #2 , how far does he fall and would he be then drafted to hit?

Josh: I'm not too worried about the velocity drop for McKay. If the Reds don't take him #2 (and this is assuming Minnesota doesn't take him #1), I think the two likeliest destinations would be #4 to Tampa where he would still be a pitcher, and if they don't take him, I see him dropping to #7 to Arizona, still as a pitcher. Which would be quite the fall for McKay who I still think has a 50/50 shot of being selected number one overall.

Jonathon Mayo of MLB.com has Nick Pratto mocked #5 to the Atlanta Braves because he's heard from multiple sources that John Coppolella (Braves GM) wants to go under slot with the bonus and save money to offer bigger bonuses later in the draft. They did this last year with pick #3 when they selected Ian Anderson. Do you think that if the Braves did select Pratto #5 that would be a mistake?

Jim: I think it would be a mistake. At #5 they could choose from 3-5 players that are clearly better than Pratto. I do think they take a high school player though.

Behind Greene and MacKenzie Gore there are a hand full of talented high school pitchers. DL Hall, Sam Carlson, Shane Baz, and Hans Crouse. Do any of these move into the top ten?

Josh: If the Braves don't take Pratto at #5, I think they take DL Hall. However, in my Mock, I do have the Braves taking Pratto just to see what the impact is on the pecking order. With that selection, I don't have any of those pitchers in my Top 10, but I have Hall going #12 to Pittsburgh and Carlson going #13 to Miami.

I could see Jeren Kendall going #6 to Oakland (I Mocked Austin Beck at #6) only because from what I understand the Athletics need outfield help, and it would be a mixture of best player available and need. However, I'm really worried about his ability to make contact as he was 0-5 with 2 K's in the SEC Tournament. Is Kendall still a Top 10 player in your book?

Jim: Yes, Kendall is still a top 10 (or 11) player. Best college bat. I think some of his game is based on the surface he plays on. He has the talent to change up some of what people don't like in his swing. He could be a star.

Josh: We really need to see a shrink because that's three times in a row we have the same pick for the Sox.

Jim: That's pretty funny.

Jim Osborn’s Picks

Team Player Position
Team Player Position
Minnesota Twins Kyle Wright RHP
Cincinatti Reds Brendan McKay LHP
San Diego Padres Hunter Greene RHP
Tampa Bay Rays J.B. Bukauskas RHP
Atlanta Braves Royce Lewis SS
Oakland Athletics Alex Faedo RHP
Arizona Diamondbacks MacKenzie Gore LHP
Philadelphia Phillies Pavin Smith 1B
Milwaukee Brewers Jordon Adell OF
Los Angeles Angels David Peterson LHP
Chicago White Sox Jeren Kendall OF
Pittsburgh Pirates Nick Pratto 1B
Miami Marlins DL Hall LHP
Kansas City Royals Adam Haseley OF
Houston Astros Sam Carlson RHP

Josh Nelson’s Picks

Team Player Position
Team Player Position
Minnesota Twins Kyle Wright RHP
Cincinatti Reds Brendan McKay LHP
San Diego Padres Hunter Greene RHP
Tampa Bay Rays MacKenzie Gore LHP
Atlanta Braves Nick Pratto 1B
Oakland Athletics Austin Beck OF
Arizona Diamondbacks Royce Lewis SS
Philadelphia Phillies J.B. Bukauskas RHP
Milwaukee Brewers Alex Faedo RHP
Los Angeles Angels Pavin Smith 1B
Chicago White Sox Jeren Kendall OF
Pittsburgh Pirates DL Hall LHP
Miami Marlins Sam Carlson RHP
Kansas City Royals Adam Haseley OF
Houston Astros Keston Hiura 2B

The South Side Sox MLB Draft Show will be streaming on June 12th starting at 6 pm CT at mixlr.com/southsidesox and on southsidesox.com.