We are now just about five hours away from the kick off of this year’s MLB Draft, one that is sure to be something of a bizarre experience given that it is only five rounds, bonus situations are totally out of whack and teams barely, if at all, got to see the prospects in the spring. It is as unpredictable as any draft probably ever, which is saying something since the MLB Draft is always an inherently unpredictable event. With that said, let’s look at some predictions! We’ll look at the final mock drafts that came down the wire today from Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, ESPN and Keith Law.
Note that FanGraphs also said they’ll have one at some point today as well, so when that goes up I’ll add that to this list. FanGraphs has since added their mock and the post has been reflected to show that.
Kiley McDaniel (ESPN), Jim Callis (MLB Pipeline), Jonathan Mayo (MLB Pipeline), Eric Longenhagen (FanGraphs)
Mick Abel, RHP, Jesuit HS (OR)
We’ve heard from some, specifically Law, that the Red Sox are probably out on someone like Abel as they seem to be avoiding the prep high school pitching class. Clearly, that is not a consensus opinion, though, and Abel is the most popular name connected to the Red Sox right now. I still have a feeling based entirely on gut and not inside information that he will be gone by pick 17, but he is the player I am most hoping for so I hope these three are right. Both Callis and Mayo also connected Boston to shortstop Ed Howard while the former also threw Pete Crow-Armstrong’s name in the mix while the latter mentioned Jared Kelley. McDaniel also mentioned Tanner Witt and Aaron Sabato.
Update (4:30 PM ET): You can also add Longenhagen over at FanGraphs to this group that sees Abel falling to the Red Sox and Boston not letting him slip any further. Note that Longengagen also mentions the possibility of the Red Sox reaching for an underslot high schooler to have more money to spend in Day Two, and specifically mentions high school shortstop Carter Stewart as well as Witt, who is also mentioned by McDaniel above.
Carlos Collazo (Baseball America)
Garrett Mitchell, OF, UCLA
If Abel is my number one hope, Mitchell comes in as a close number two. There are some believe that Mitchell is a top ten talent in this draft and it is rare for that type of talent coming from college to fall. However, that is not consensus as the uber athletic outfielder is still quite raw at the plate. He also has Type 1 Diabetes, which scouts are mixed on how that will affect him moving forward. Collazo mentions Crow-Armstrong and Abel in the mix here as well, and generally notes that the Red Sox appear to be focused on maximizing upside.
Keith Law (The Athletic)
Patrick Bailey, C, North Carolina State University
Law is often on his own with a lot of his prospect work, be it draft-related or just prospect lists for minor leaguers. This can sometimes be read as a criticism, but it really isn’t. Given how wrong the consensus often is on this stuff, it makes sense for there to be plenty of variation. I only mention it because Bailey is not someone we’ve heard much about in connection with the Red Sox. The other mocks, for what it’s worth, have him off the board at this point. It would be a good get for the Red Sox as Bailey is a very good defensive catcher with legitimate power, though there are some hit tool questions. Law also mentions that Boston is high on Crow-Armstrong — that appears to be a consensus observation at this point — but has the outfielder going all the way up at tenth overall in this mock.