2017 MLB Mock Draft

2017 MLB Mock Draft

Last Update: 3/27/2017
We will update this throughout the baseball season.

The Cleveland Indians (Edwin Encarnacion), Colorado Rockies (Ian Desmond) and St. Louis Cardinals (Dexter Fowler) all forfeited their first round picks by signing compensation eligible free agents this off-season.

1. Minnesota Twins - Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS (CA)

A two-way star with arguably the draft's most raw power AND most velocity on the mound, Greene has become a legend in Southern California. Hunter Greene has emerged as somewhat of a consensus top player available, although signability will be a major issue. The 6'3 phenom would be the first right handed high school pitcher to go number one overall.

Greene also is a very good SS prospect, and would likely be a first round pick even if he couldn't pitch, but his athleticism and potential to be a true ace are what separate him from the rest of the pack in this draft class and make him a potential #1 overall pick.

The Twins are in dire need of some top flight starting pitching, and despite the risks of drafting a high school pitcher, if Greene is the best prospect he's worth the risk. Greene is also reportedly extremely advanced for his age and his minor league development plan would be closer to a college pitchers; moving him aggressively. If the Twins ultimately don't view anyone as a clear cut top choice, they could also draft a lower-tier player at number 1 and sign him for less money than the #1 slot carries with it. This would allow the team to target a top talent that falls into the 30's due to signing issues. However, with Greene being a potential ace, he's too enticing to pass on at this point.

I think ultimately this pick will come down to Greene or Louisville's two-way star 1B/SP Brendan McKay, and whoever gives the Twins a better deal may be the choice.

The hard-throwing Tar Heel has been on scouts radars for a long time, thanks to one of the most electric arms in recent memory. He can blow hitters away with ease at his best, and the potential to develop into a top of the rotation starter is undeniable.

However, he's not without risk, as scouts believe his secondary pitches are barely average. His slider is improving and may become a very quality pitch, but his changeup is below-average right now and unlikely to ever be more than average in a best-case scenario.

He's been dominant so far this season, though. In 40 innings, he's struck out 60 batters and walked just 9, while sporting a 0.90 ERA. 

His fastball gives him a floor of a top level closer with a ceiling of an ace, so if he can just stay healthy and effective during the remainder of the college season he should be a lock to go inside the top 5 and certainly will be in the discussion for the #1 pick.

The Padres drafted McKay in 34th round out of high school, and would likely be ecstatic if he was available at #3 after the collegiate season he's having.

McKay has been doing his best Babe Ruth impression at the collegiate level this season. He's made 5 starts on the mound, throwing 32 innings. He has a 1.13 ERA and 55 strikeouts, with just 7 walks for the Louisville Cardinals. 

And just in case being arguably the country's best pitcher wasn't impressive enough, he's also hitting .422/.551/.672 with 19 walks and just 8 strikeouts in 21 games.

It'd be a lot of fun to see a team try to develop him as a closer/1B, allowing him to play every day but only pitch 50-60 innings a season. I doubt we'd see that, but whichever position he is asked to play at the next level, he should be a great player. 

Kendall is one of the most dangerous players in college baseball this season, and has been since he arrived at Vanderbilt. He has the potential to be an average defender in center but will likely be an elite defender in left field. He's going to strike out a lot at the next level, and his plate discipline needs some work, but his speed/power combination is MVP-like.

He's hitting .305/.396/.589 in 23 games thus far. More impressively, however, is the 14 walks to just 26 strikeouts. Last season, Kendall struck out 62 times and walked just 24, so the improvement is noteworthy.

Kendall shouldn't need a lot of time in the minor leagues.

5. Atlanta Braves - Royce Lewis, SS/OF, JSerra Catholic HS (CA)

Lewis is the most likely prospect to be a true five-tool player at the next level. He has blazing speed, great defensive instincts at both SS and CF, a very good hit tool and he continues to show more power than anyone projected.

His tools are ahead of his actual in-game skills at this point, but that's not a huge concern for someone with so many elite tools. Some scouts don't think he'll stay at shortstop long-term, but even those scouts agree he's likely to be an elite defensive center fielder.

Lewis is raw but has so many athletic gifts he'd be very difficult to pass on at this point. Nobody would be surprised if he becomes the best player in the draft years from now.

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At 6'5, 225 lbs Faedo has enormous size, and he's become one of the top collegiate pitchers in the country. With college experience and 3 above average pitches, Faedo should move quickly through whichever organization drafts him.

Oakland has been pro-college and pro-high school at times since Moneyball came out. The team has selected 4 straight first roundcollege players, which came after taking 4 straight high school prospects. In this case the A's have several young players nearing their major league debuts. Billy Beane and company would be wise to add another near-ready prospect to their system, and Faedo has the potential to be a very good #2 starter in the future.

He has a 2.39 ERA in just under 40 innings with 42 strikeouts. He hasn't been nearly as good as Bukauskas, but his much larger and durable frame makes him almost as good of a prospect.

7. Arizona Diamondbacks - Austin Beck, OF, North Davidson HS

Beck has climbed up draft boards since an impressive Perfect Game performance in which he showed off an elite arm (97 MPH exit velocity from the outfield) and elite speed (6.64 60-yard-dash) while being one of the best high school hitting prospects in recent memory.

Of all the 5-tool players that will draw Mike Trout comparisons, Beck is the closest to Trout. He very easily could emerge as the first outfielder taken by the time the draft rolls around.

The junior left-hander has sky rocketed up draft boards thanks to an impressive increase in his strikeouts. He's always been a very good strikeout pitcher in college, averaging more than one per inning, but he's become elite this season. Romero is averaging almost 15 K's per 9 innings. 

His college experience and pitch combination should help him move quickly through the minor leagues, giving Phillies fans another young player to base their future on. As a Twins fan, I know how that goes.

Wright is going to need to pitch better for the rest of the season to maintain his top 10 status in my opinion. A year after going 8-4 with a 3.09 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 93 innings, he's taken a step back so far this season. He's made 6 starts, posting a 4.50 ERA in 32 innings, with 34 strikeouts.

His numbers are down across the board, and scouts tend to shy away from declining college pitchers. Wright has plenty of time to impress scouts, and all it really takes is one good start when the right scouts are watching. But he's been a disappointment to this point.

10. Los Angeles Angels - Jordon Adell, OF, Ballard HS (KY)

As the draft's top athlete with a body he's still growing into, Adell has drawn comparisons to top Twins prospect Byron Buxton. Those are a bit off base, in my opinion, as Adell is nowhere near the hitter Buxton was coming out of high school despite possessing more raw power. Buxton had some concerns, mainly that he played weak competition, but he was widely regarded as the best player in his draft class.

Adell has great speed and should be a very good to great defender in center field. He has a ton of power, but he strikes out a lot for the competition he's playing against and is likely going to strike out at a high rate at the next level.

If he can put it all together, though, he's a potential 40-40 player with gold glove caliber defense at one of the game's most important positions. At worst, he should develop into a fourth outfielder/platoon player with his skill set.

If he lands with the Angels, expect to hear some Mike Trout comparisons. He's not the next Mike Trout, but the skillsets are similar enough that talking heads will love it.

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11. Chicago White Sox - Nick Pratto, 1B, Huntington Beach HS (CA)

12. Pittsburgh Pirates - D.L. Hall, LHP, Valdosta HS (GA)

13. Miami Marlins - Mark Vientos, SS/3B, American Heritage HS (FL)

14. Kansas City Royals - Mackenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville HS (NC)

18. Detroit Tigers - Heliot Ramos, OF, Puerto Rico

20. New York Mets - Calvin Mitchell, OF, Rancho Bernardo HS (CA)

23. Los Angeles Dodgers - Trevor Rogers, LHP, Carlsbad HS (NM)

24. Boston Red Sox - Hans Crouse, RHP, Dana Hills HS (CA)

25. Washington Nationals - Brady McConnell, SS, Merritt Island HS (FL)

26. Texas Rangers - Nick Allen, SS, Francis Parker HS (CA)

27. Chicago Cubs - Jacob Heatherly, LHP, Cullman HS (AL)

Next Five: RHP Wil CroweRHP Clarke SchmidtRHP Griffin CanningC MJ Melendez2B/LF Keston Hiura

Thanks for checking out our 2017 MLB Mock Draft!

Special thanks to Baseball America for their updated top 100 rankings