Sunday, June 6, 2010
2010 MLB Mock Draft
The NFL Draft is the most watched professional draft in the United States. Why? Because everyone is interested in seeing where their favorite college players are going or who their favorite teams will select with their picks. The same can be said about the NBA draft because college basketball has such a high profile that most people know the players and what they can contribute to their squads.
Another reason these two drafts are so popular are because of the mock drafts that are made months before the night of the draft. Everybody loves to speculate and analyze who will go where and at what pick they will be taken. You must admit you read several mock drafts weekly, if not daily before the NFL draft.
So in going with the mock draft theme, I have built a short version mock draft the day before the Major League baseball draft. This draft is not nearly as popular as the other drafts for a few reasons:
1) The players selected may not make an impact with their professional teams for several years---and sometimes never at all.
2) The players come from high school or college, neither is very high profile on the baseball level
3) The draft, until 2007, was held as a league-wide press conference, and never could get hyped because of that
Those are just some of the reasons the draft has not built as much hype, but around here in DC the past two seasons, the draft has been the main baseball event (until Stephen Strasburg debuts for the Nationals on Tuesday night)
Here is my mock draft of the top five selections for 2010
1) Washington Nationals: Bryce Harper, C, College of Southern Nevada
This is the most obvious pick since, well, 2009 when the Nats selected Strasburg. Harper has been hyped as the number one pick in 2010 or 2011 since he was a freshman in high school. He has unbelievable power and a cannon for an arm (registered at 96 mph in one showcase). I can only describe his swing as max-effort with beautiful fluidity. It’s kind of like Tiger Woods’ swing but with a baseball bat. Harper will take a few years to develop, but when he comes to DC he should put on a power display.
2) Pittsburgh Pirates: Jameson Tallion, P, Woodlands, Texas (HS)
The Pirates could go three ways here with Tallion, shortstop Manny Machado (HS) or college southpaw pitcher Drew Pomeranz. It could go down to the wire, but I believe the Pirates will take Tallion because of his huge upside and superb mental make up. Scouts love Tallion’s upper-90’s heater and plus breaking pitch, although he will certainly take two or three years to develop. This selection will serve as the domino effect in the draft.
3) Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado, SS, Miami Brito (HS)
The Orioles will most likely take Machado if the Pirates take Tallion or Tallion if the Pirates take Machado. Machado is a scouts dream. He’s 6’3” with a lanky 180- pound frame and beautiful athleticism. Being from Miami and carrying a power bat, Machado has received comparisons to a young Alex Rodriguez. That comparison can be hard for anybody to live up to. Machado projects to stay at shortstop in the big leagues because of his above-average arm and slick fielding ability. His bat will be able to translate at the next level, too. If he is there, this is a no-brainer selection for Baltimore.
4) Kansas City Royals: Chris Sale, P, Florida Gulf Coast University
Sale has been linked to the Royals because of his ability throw a hard sinker with a plus breaking pitch. According to MLB Draft Reports, his fastball sits in the 90-92 range an occasionally hits 94. Some wonder if Sale will be most effective in the bullpen, but I think he will stay as a starter because of his ability to get the groundball. The Royals are in desperate need of finding quality starting pitching, especially from the left side, and Sale would be a good start for them.
5) Cleveland Indians: Drew Pomeranz, P, Ole Miss
Pomeranz is a big, strong left-handed pitcher who dominated the SEC in 2010. The Indians are in need of starting pitching and this stud from Mississippi should give them an anchor for years to come. Scouts love his poise and demeanor on the mound, and Pomeranz should make it to the show within two years. If he’s available at five, Pomeranz is the easy selection.
So there you have it. A short, five player mock draft for major league baseball. The number one selection is fairly obvious, but it will get interesting 2-5. What do you think? Do you think the draft will play out differently on Monday?