With the first round of the MLB Draft kicking off tonight, here is the SideHustle Sports Official Mock Draft
1. Tigers: Spencer Torkelson, Arizona State, 1B
Torkelson is probably the most polished hitter in the draft class. He has an incredible approach at the plate as in this shortened season he walked twice as much as he struck out. In addition, he has incredible power, and nobody will be surprised if he hits 30-40 home runs a year in the MLB. He is probably the best college hitter since Kris Bryant and will become the first-ever college 1B to go 1-1. Although it remains to be seen if he sticks at first or goers to a corner outfield spot, a position that he definitely has the athleticism to play.
2. Orioles: Austin Martin, Vanderbilt, OF
If Martin was a true shortstop then I think he goes first overall in this draft. However, because of concerns of his fielding abilities at short and third, he is seen as more of an outfielder by many in the industry. He is certainly skilled and athletic enough to play all three outfield positions and should do so successfully. The big draw for Martin though is his bat. He is an incredible hitter as shown by hitting over 400 in the SEC last year. He should be a cornerstone at the top of someone’s lineup for years to come and could very well end up leading the MLB in doubles one day.
3. Marlins: Asa Lacy, Texas A&M, LHP
Lacy is probably my favorite prospect in the draft. He has absolutely electric stuff from the left side. His fastball can get up to 99 and has a wipeout slider with an above-average changeup to go with it. There are some concerns about his command, but I don’t think that it will be a major issue. I expect Lacy to be spearheading a rotation in just a few years with how incredible his stuff is.
4. Royals: Zac Veen, Spruce Creek HS, OF
Veen is the top high school player in the class and for good reason. His swing from the left side looks a lot like Cody Bellinger and he has the power as well. The Royals could also go with what is probably a safer play in Nick Gonzales from New Mexico St. I don’t know how they can pass on the potential of Veen and they have been willing to take high schoolers early, with them taking Bobby Witt Jr. number two last year.
5. Blue Jays: Emerson Hancock, Georgia, RHP
Hancock was slated to be the first overall pick coming into this year but a couple of poor performances and concerns over his trackman numbers have had him fall a little bit. While his fastball can touch triple digits it has little movement and gets hit a decent amount. However, he has one of the best changeups in the draft and a slider that an become a weapon for him. There is a chance that the Blue Jays take Max Meyer here, but Hancock seems to fit their style better as he has a similar build to two of their top pitching prospects Nate Pearson and Alek Manoah.
6. Mariners: Nick Gonzales, New Mexico State, 2B
One of the best pure hitters in the class Nick Gonzales could end up being a steal here for the Mariners. All this guy does is hit; it doesn’t matter where he is. While facing lesser competition and being in the Coors Field of college he had video game-like numbers at New Mexico. There were some concerns over the talent he was facing but he proved how good he was this past summer going to the Cape and leading the league in batting average. Having the chance to watch him in person multiple times and getting to see his approach up close was a true pleasure. He could end up being the best hitter in this class and the Mariners could end up with a franchise player.
7. Pirates: Max Meyer, Minnesota, RHP
Meyer doesn’t have the traditional build of a starter, but he has shown that he is able to carry his velocity deep into games which have eased a lot of the concerns over his frame. He as electric stuff running his fastball into the upper 90s and a very good slider to pair with it. He also has a lot of experience as a closer if he isn’t able to stick as a starter in the minors and big leagues. I think this pick is also very attractive to the Pirates because they can most likely get a good under slot deal for him taking him this high.
8. Padres: Robert Hassel, Independence HS, OF
The Padres have been tied to Hassel for a while now and there is even some speculation that they prefer him over Veen. If he is available at this pick, I would be very surprised if he was not taken by the Padres. He has a very athletic build and is someone who would gain more power by filling out his frame more. The Padres see him as a future center fielder and if he is able to stick there it would be a great get for them.
9. Rockies: Tyler Soderstom, Turlock HS, C
According to multiple insiders such as Kiley McDaniel, there is a lot of buzz that the Rockies will take Soderstrom for an under-slot deal at number 9. He is an elite hitter and they love his bat from the left side. While there is a lot of doubt that he will stick behind the plate they see that as a secondary issue and he is certainly athletic enough to play the outfield.
10. Angels: Reid Detmers, Louisville, LHP
Detmers is perhaps one of the safer picks in the entire draft. His fastball won’t blow anyone away at mainly 90-93 but he has elite pitchability and can get outs. However, the real draw from him is his Kershaw-esque curveball that has been embarrassing hitters in the ACC for a couple of years now. For pitchers, Detmers has the highest floor of anyone in the draft but the limited potential to become a true ace.
11. White Sox: Heston Kjerstad, Arkansas, OF
The past couple of years have shown that the White Sox love college bats taking a guy like Madrigal and Vaughn. I think that they continue the trend and get another good one in the form of Kjerstad. He is a very good bat and has above-average power, although there are some concerns over his strikeout numbers which are a little higher than many teams want to see. If the White Sox do want to buck the trend of the last few years, I could see them taking Mick Abel, a high school arm who is rumored to go in this area.
12. Reds: Austin Hendrick, West Alleghany HS, OF
Hendrick is definitely a little bit of a wild card in terms of where he will end up going in the draft. If he is not selected here by the Reds, there is a chance that he will fall a little bit and potentially not get the money he is looking for. However, it seems that the Reds are high on high schools’ bats and could also potentially take Pete Crow-Armstrong here. Also, if one of the top college arms falls to them here, they could go in that direction as well, but I think that they will be enamored with the possibilities that Hendrick provides and won’t let him get past them.
13. Giants: Cade Cavalli, Oklahoma, RHP
Cavalli has a bit of similar profile to Lacy, with a fastball that runs into the upper 90s and good secondary pitches but there is certainly a concern with him over strike-throwing ability. He showed improvement in that department this year but there is still a lot of skepticism. In addition, if Soderstom is still on the board here expect the Giants to take him or someone else who they could potentially get an under slot deal done with.
14. Rangers: Aaron Sabato, North Carolina, 1B
Sabato seems to be rising as of late in a lot of mock drafts and seemingly could hit his ceiling to the Rangers here. He is an elite college bat with incredible power and teams love his exit velocities. There have also been rumors of them trying to get an under slot deal here so they could splurge a little on a higher schooler in the second round and Sabato fits that profile for them. Don’t be surprised if they take Patrick Bailey or someone like Cavalli if she is still on the board.
15. Phillies: Patrick Bailey, North Carolina State, C
The Phillies definitely seem to be leaning towards a college player in this spot and Bailey is certainly a good one to get. He is an above-average catcher defensively and can certainly handle himself at the plate as well. Other names that could potentially be in play here include Cavalli if he falls and Garret Crochet.
16. Cubs: Garret Crochet, Tennessee, LHP
Crochet is seen as potentially having some of the best stuff in the draft with a fastball that touches the triple digits from the left side. However, there are concerns about his health and longevity. Many people, including myself, see him as more of a reliever than a starter in the future because of his injury history and lack of effectiveness as a starter in college. However, he could also be the first of this class to make it to the MLB because of his profile as a reliever. Also, don’t be surprised if he goes as high as 11 to the White Sox who could see him as the second coming of Chris Sale.
17. Red Sox: Mick Abel, Jesuit HS, RHP
If the season wasn’t shortened than Abel could see himself going in the top 10 of the draft, and still potentially could. However, if he is available for the Red Sox, I would be surprised to see them pass on him. He has a very good fastball which he can get up to the upper 90s to go along with an above-average slider and a good changeup. If the Red Sox don’t take Abel here, they would most likely go with an outfielder, either Pete Crow-Armstrong or Garret Mitchell, but it seems that they are high on prep arms.
18. Diamondbacks: Pete Crow-Armstrong, Harvard-Westlake HS, OF
Armstrong is in play for most teams so there is a chance that he doesn’t make it to the Diamondbacks. If that is the case then they will most likely end up with a college bat in the form of Justin Foscue, Austin Wells, or Sabato if he falls to them. However, if Armstrong is available here it would be a bit of a surprise to see the Diamondbacks pass on him.
19. Mets: Ed Howard, Mount Carmel HS, SS
This pick is certainly up in the air as there are a lot of factors that the Mets can’t control. If one of the top prep outfielders is available here they will most likely end up taking one of them, but in. this mock they are all gone so they end up with what is probably the best pure SS in the class. The Mets could also take a HS arm such as Nick Bitsko or Jared Kelley here as well.
20. Brewers: Garrett Mitchell, UCLA, OF
Mitchell is a very polarizing prospect because almost everyone has him ranked in their top 10 or so prospects but he has been falling a lot in recent mocks. He looks good in a lot of projections, but there are a lot of worries with him. He is a type-1 diabetic which is a concern for some teams, and it seems he might not have the best makeup. However, if things end up working for him the Brewers could end up with the steal of the draft with Mitchell at 20. The Brewers could also go with Dillon Dingler, the catcher from Ohio St with this pick as well.
21. Cardinals: Nick Loftin, Baylor, SS
This pick is probably the ceiling for where Loftin could go, but it is rumored that the Cardinals like him a lot. He is a SS and will definitely be able to stick there for his career and also has the ability to play all around the diamond. The Cardinals could also go with a college arm which is much more their track record and take someone such as Wilcox or if one of the top guys falls to them, they will most likely go with a college arm here. There is also a chance that Dingler goes here as well.
22. Nationals: Cole Wilcox, Georgia, RHP
Wilcox is one of the more interesting prospects in this year’s class because while he has an elite fastball and above-average secondary pitches, he hasn’t truly put everything together yet. In addition, he is a draft-eligible sophomore so a team will most likely have to over slot to get a deal done. Personally, I am not super high on Wilcox, but if a team is able to help him harness his stuff, he has the potential to be a true ace. The Nationals could also go with J.T. Ginn here who recently had Tommy John, but the Nats have not shied away from risky picks in the past.
23. Indians: Clayton Beeter, Texas Tech, RHP
Beeter is one of the biggest risers in this class and its thanks a lot to his numbers on trackman. He has the highest spin rate on his curveball in the entire class and many scouts have given it an 80 grade (on a 20-80 scale). There is a chance he goes to the Brewers at 20 but I think that he is a perfect fit for the Indians and any pitcher that gets the chance to go into their development system is very lucky. The Indians could also take Dingler, or Slade Cecconi a college arm from Miami.
24. Rays: Justin Foscue, Mississippi State, 2B
Foscue is in play for a lot of teams that want a college bat from the 15-30 range. He could end up going to the Diamondbacks at 18 but the Rays is a great fit for him. He is able to provide more offense than what is generally expected at second base and consistently makes hard contact. The Rays could also make a play for one of many college pitchers expected to go in this range including; Bryce Jarvis, Jared Shuster, and Bobby Miller.
25. Braves: Jared Shuster, Wake Forest, LHP
Shuster capped off an incredible summer in the Cape with a very strong showing in the shortened college season. If the season had gone its full-length many scouts have said he would’ve winded up as a top 15 pick, so the Braves could be getting a steal here. His fastball is 93-96 and has shown much better command of late but his best pitch is his changeup which is arguable the best in the draft class. If he can develop his curveball more, he could turn out to be a true front of the rotation guy and a great value for the Braves. Atlanta, just like the Rays are most likely going to go with a college arm which could also turn out to be Jarvis, Miller, or Slade Cecconi.
26. Athletics: Dillon Dingler, Ohio State, C
Dingler is in play for a lot of teams in the 20s so there is a chance he won’t make it to the A’s here but if he does it’d be surprising if they let him get past. He has been one of the biggest risers in the draft this year showing that he should be able to stick behind the plate along with a lot of raw power from the right side. If the A’s choose to go another route, they could go with a high school arms such as Bitsko or Tanner Witt or continue the college pitcher trend with one of the few previously mentioned guys.
27. Twins: Bryce Jarvis, Duke, RHP
Jarvis had an incredible spring and is largely one of the reasons he is now a first-rounder. Throwing a no-hitter in one game and seemingly dominating every other game he pitches with a good fastball and a wipeout slider that seems unhittable at times. There is a lot of speculation that he could go as high as 15 on an under-slot deal so if he falls to the Twins they could end up with a steal. Along with Jarvis college arms such as Cecconi, Miller, and tanner Burns are in play here as well.
28. Yankees: Bobby Miller, Louisville, RHP
All Louisville seems to do is produce incredible pitchers and Bobby Miller fits that mold. His fastball can get into the upper 90s paired with a good slider. There is some concern over his swing and miss ability and he could potentially profile as more of a reliever than a starter. Similar to the last few picks the Yankees are most likely looking at a few different college arms and they could surprise some people and go with Bitsko.
29. Dodgers: Carmen Mlodzinksi, South Carolina, RHP
Wrapping up the first round is the Dodgers with Carmen Mlodzinski from South Carolina. He came into the year as a sure-fire first-rounder but a couple of poor performance and not having great trackman numbers has caused him to fall potentially out of the first round completely. It would not be very surprising if he didn’t go on day one. The Dodgers like many other teams in this range could go many ways with a college arm, or they could take a high school bat such as Carson Tucker. There has also been a lot of talk about Ed Howard if he is still available for them.