2011 Crawfish Boxes MLB Mock Draft: Picks 1-11

 

1.      Pittsburgh Pirates

Gerrit Cole, RHP, UCLA

2010 Slot Recommended Bonus: $4,000,000

Baseball America Top 200 Rank: #3

 

NOTES: Pittsburg could be looking to pick a collegiate player here, but could go sign ability over #1 pick dollars so a player like Danny Hultzen, LHP, Virginia could make sense.  I think in the end, much like 2008 they will go with the best player on the board in Cole.

UPDATE: According to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, it looks like the Pittsburgh Pirates will take Gerrit Cole with the #1 pick in the 2011 MLB draft.  

 I am hearing that the Pirates will take Gerrit Cole with the No. 1 pick in the draft. There are all different kinds of ways to dissect that before the big announcement comes Monday, but let me open by saying that I really like this call by management.

Baseball America Mock: Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice

ESPN Mock: Gerrit Cole, RHP, UCLA

Yahoo Mock: Gerrit Cole, RHP, UCLA

 

 

2.      Seattle Mariners

Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice

2010 Slot Recommended Bonus: $3,250,000

Baseball America Top 200 Rank: #1

 

NOTES: With Pittsburgh now reportedly going with Gerrit Cole as their selection, the Seattle Mariners pick now becomes a little clearer. Seattle is said to covet Anthony Rendon and looking to go for a position player rather than a pitcher. Depending on what Pittsburgh does with the #1 pick this pick could go in a couple different ways. I think that they'll go with Rendon if the Pirates go with anyone other than Rendon with the #1 spot.

Baseball America Mock: Bubba Starling, OF, Gardner-Edgerton HS

ESPN Mock: Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice

Yahoo Mock: Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice

 

3.      Arizona Diamondbacks

Danny Hultzen, LHP, Virginia

2010 Slot Recommended Bonus: $3,000,000

Baseball America Top 200 Rank: #4

 

NOTES: They've been in on him all spring, so depending on how the first two picks go this seems like a pretty safe bet. Hultzen was drafted by Arizona in the 10th round in 2008 and could be soon drafted again by the Diamondbacks.

Baseball America Mock: Danny Hultzen, LHP, Virgina

ESPN Mock: Danny Hultzen, LHP, Virgina

Yahoo Mock: Danny Hultzen, LHP, Virgina

 

4.      Baltimore Orioles

Dylan Bundy, RHP, Owasso (Okla.) HS

2010 Slot Recommended Bonus: $2,750,000

Baseball America Top 200 Rank: #2

 

NOTES: It will be interesting to see if Buck Showalter somehow gets involved in the draft and if Cole falls to the Orioles at this spot then it's likely that the Orioles go with one of the college arms here.  Buck Showalter could influence the Orioles to go with a College arm rather than a High School pick because of the accelerated time table, but with Cole off the board they're likely to go with the quite possibly the best arm in the draft in Bundy.

Baseball America Mock: Dylan Bundy, RHP, Owasso (Okla.) HS

ESPN Mock Draft: Dylan Bundy, RHP, Owasso (Okla.) HS

Yahoo Mock: Sonny Gray, RHP, Vanderbilt

 

5.      Kansas City Royals

Trevor Bauer, RHP, UCLA

2010 Slot Recommended Bonus: $2,520,000

Baseball America Top 200 Rank: #5

 

NOTES: According to multiple reports, the Kansas City Royals are looking to add a college arm, and with hometown favorite Bubba Starling the Royals could look to add Trevor Bauer to an already loaded system.

Baseball America Mock: Gerrit Cole, RHP, UCLA

ESPN Mock Draft: Matt Barnes, RHP, UCONN

Yahoo Mock: Bubba Starling, OF, Gardner-Edgerton HS

 

 

6.      Washington Nationals

Bubba Starling, OF, Gardner-Edgerton HS

2010 Slot Recommended Bonus: $2,340,000

Baseball America Top 200 Rank: #6

 

NOTES: Depending on who the Pirates go with the #1 pick, Bubba Starling could go anywhere in the top 10. With Trevor Bauer off the board, adding other elite OF to go with Bryce Harper will be too hard for the Nationals to pass up.

Baseball America Mock: Trevor Bauer, RHP, UCLA

ESPN Mock Draft: Trevor Bauer, RHP, UCLA

Yahoo Mock: Francisco Lindor, SS, Monteverde (Fla.) Academy

 

 

7.      Arizona Diamondbacks

Sonny Gray, RHP, Vanderbilt

2010 Slot Recommended Bonus: $2,178,000

Baseball America Top 200 Rank: #12

 

NOTES: After failing to sign Barrett Loux a year ago, I highly doubt that Arizona is going to gamble with this pick here and likely eliminates guys like Archie Bradley or Francisco Lindor.

Baseball America Mock: Javier Baez, 3B, Arlington Country Day School (Jacksonville, Fla.)

ESPN Mock Draft: Sonny Gray, RHP, Vanderbilt

Yahoo Mock: Jed Bradley, LHP, Georgia Tech

 

 

 

8.      Cleveland Indians

Jed Bradley, LHP, Georgia Tech

2010 Slot Recommended Bonus: $2,043,000

Baseball America Top 200 Rank: #14

 

NOTES: They want Trevor Bauer, but he is unlikely to get this far in the draft. The Indians could look for a college arm that will sign close to or around slot recommendation and rise through the system very quickly.

Baseball America Mock: Jed Bradley, LHP, Georgia Tech

ESPN Mock Draft: Francisco Lindor, SS, Monteverde (Fla.) Academy

Yahoo Mock: Francisco Lindor, SS, Monteverde (Fla.) Academy

 

 

9.     Chicago Cubs

Mike Mahtook OF, LSU

2010 Slot Recommended Bonus: $1,791,000

Baseball America Top 200 Rank: #21

 

NOTES: The Cubs had been really high on George Springer and could still go with him in this spot even after his poor showing. They now appear to be leaning toward Mahtook. Archie Bradley is probably the best on the board, but due to their financial debt issues they're probably going to go for a slot pick.

 

ESPN:

If Starling isn't here, they're now leaning toward Mahtook over Baez after George Springer didn't fare well in front of their crew last weekend. They really like Gray but are locked in on bats, figuring the first eight picks will plow through the top pitchers in the draft.

Baseball America Mock: Archie Bradley, RHP, Broken Arrow (Okla.) HS

ESPN Mock Draft: Bubba Starling, OF, Gardner-Edgerton HS

Yahoo Mock: Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, North Augusta (S.C.) Spring Valley

 

 

10.      San Diego Padres

Matt Barnes, RHP, UCONN

2010 Slot Recommended Bonus: $1,863,000

Baseball America Top 200 Rank: #13



NOTES:
The Padres seem to be really high on Spangenberg and could simply pick him here in order to get their guy. The Padres pick again at #25, but in order to keep him away from the Astros at the #11 spot they will likely choose him in this spot.  However, I think that it's likely that the Padres go with another college arm and are likely to go with Matt Barnes of UCONN with Sonny Gray off the board.

 

Baseball America Mock: Matt Barnes, RHP, UCONN

ESPN Mock Draft: Matt Barnes, RHP, UCONN

Yahoo Mock: Matthew Purke, TCU

 

 

11.      Houston Astros

Archie Bradley, RHP, Broken Arrow (Okla.) HS

2010 Slot Recommended Bonus: $1,791,000

Baseball America Top 200 Rank: #9

 

NOTES: It's very rare that this caliber of an arm would still be on the board at the 11th spot in the draft, but since this draft is so deep Houston would be ecstatic to have Bradley fall to them. They've been in on Matt Barnes of UCONN, Kolten Wong of Hawaii, and Cory Spangenberg, but Archie Bradley appears to be the arm the Astros are targeting. Typically the Astros do not go over slot, but in this draft they simply need to go with the best player available in Archie Bradley. Could we really be seeing a change in draft philosophy by the Houston Astros? It's been far too long since the Astros took the approach of drafting the best player available on the board. The fastest way for them to return the farm to respectability is to simply take the best available and not simply sign the player that is most likely to sign at the recommended slot bonus.  

Baseball America Mock:  Taylor Jungmann, RHP, Texas

ESPN Mock Draft: Archie Bradley, RHP, Broken Arrow (Okla.) HS

Yahoo Mock: Archie Bradley, RHP, Broken Arrow (Okla.) HS

 

Quote from Keith Law:

It sounds like the Astros are prepared to tangle with Bradley's football scholarship to Oklahoma and potentially high price tag. Alternatives include Lindor and Jed Bradley (no relation).

 

Players that Astros could target in Round 2:

 

Matt Purke, LHP, TCU

Baseball America Top 200 Rank: #32

 

NOTES: Matt Purke will probably go in the late first round or supplemental round, but due to his shoulder concerns and being a tough sign he could fall to the Houston Astros with the 69th selection in the 2nd round. The Houston Astros could take a chance on the high ceiling Purke and convince him with an over-slot signing bonus. It's more likely that Purke doesn't sign this year, rebuilds his value in the Cape Cod League, and goes back into the draft in 2012 where he could be a top 5 pick.

 

Baseball America Scouting Report:

 Purke opened the year ranked right behind Anthony Rendon and Gerrit Cole as a potential No. 1 overall pick, but where he'll go in the draft is now wide open. When he's healthy, Purke pitches off a lively 91-94 mph fastball that reaches 96 and backs it up with an above-average slider. His changeup has the potential to become a solid third pitch, and he has average command. He exhibited his competitiveness by gutting through nine starts and going 5-1, 1.44. With concerns about his health and sign ability-he possesses added leverage as a draft-eligible sophomore-it's unclear where Purke might go. He may have to re-establish his value in summer ball, as Anthony Ranaudo did a year ago after a disappointing spring at Louisiana State. He rebounded in the Cape Cod League and got a $2.55 million bonus from the Red Sox as the 39th pick.

 

Bryan Brickhouse, RHP, Woodlands (Texas) HS

Baseball America Top 200 Rank: #74

 

NOTES: Bryan Brickhouse could definitely be there when the Houston Astros pick in the 2nd round and could even fall past the 2nd round due to his commitment to the North Carolina. Would the Astros pick Brickhouse in the 2nd round with so much talent still left on the board? Probably not, but the Astros could target Brickhouse in the 3rd or 4th round of the draft.  

 

Baseball America Scouting Report:

 Brickhouse is the latest strong-armed pitcher to come out of The Woodlands, which also spawned first-rounder's Kyle Drabek (2006) and Jameson Taillon (2010). He won't go quite as high in the draft, and the Tar Heel State native may not be signable away from a North Carolina scholarship if he doesn't. Brick­house will show good stuff at times, but he doesn't always maintain it past a few innings or throw strikes with it. He has two plus pitches in a 90-93 mph fastball that peaks at 95 and a spike curveball with 11-5 break. The curve sometimes morphs into a slider, and he has the beginnings of a changeup. Six-foot-2 and 190 pounds, he's not particularly big or athletic. He has effort in his delivery and doesn't always stay on top of his pitches. If he can develop consistency, Brickhouse might be a No. 3 starter. He also profiles well as a late-inning reliever who could focus on attacking hitters with his fastball and breaking ball.

 

Jason Esposito, 3B, Vanderbilt

Baseball America Top 200 Rank: #77

 

NOTES: Jason Esposito is that athletic utility player that the Houston Astros love to target in the draft. In our podcast, he was compared to a Jonathan Meyer which isn't that far off and could be in for a shock with his signing bonus this time around after he turned down a $1.5 million off from the Royals in 2008.  

Baseball America Scouting Report:

 The Royals drafted Esposito in the seventh round out of high school in 2008, but he turned down a reported $1.5 million offer to attend Vanderbilt. He may not get that much this time around, but he'll be close. He got hot offensively this spring at the right time, hitting .376 in SEC play. Esposito is a college version of Marlins prospect Matt Dominguez in that his glove is ahead of his bat. He played some shortstop this spring but is an above-average defender at third with good hands and plus arm strength. Offensively, he has backed up a bit. An average runner with good instincts, he has been less proficient on the bases this year (11 SB, 10 CS) after going 51-for-60 his first two seasons, and stolen bases won't be a significant part of his game as a pro. He has struggled against velocity at times and lost his rhythm, which tends to happen with players with a big leg kick. Some scouts wonder if he's a natural hitter and believe he'll wind up as a utility player, with his glove as his calling card.

 

Travis Harrison, 3B, Tustin (Calif.) HS

Baseball America Top 200 Rank: #78

 

NOTES: Harrison has a above average power potential and has the chance to stay at the hot corner in the minors. The Astros overall have a lack of prospects at 3B and have had players such as Koby Clemens, Jose Carlos Thompson, and Jimmy Paredes see time this year at the hot corner. Harrison could go in the late first round or supplemental round, but could slide to the Astros in the 2nd round.

 

Baseball America Scouting Report:

Harrison has a physical 6-foot-2, 215-pound frame and above-average right-handed power potential. Some scouts think he could be an above-average hitter, too, if he does a better job protecting the outer half and adjusting to breaking balls. He can make loud contact, but he centers balls on the barrel inconsistently, and other scouts see him as just an average hitter. It's unclear where he'll play on the diamond. His arm has improved to the point that some scouts now consider it average, but his actions at third base are stiff and his range and footwork are fringy. He'll get a chance to stay at the hot corner, however, before falling back to first. He's a below-average runner with solid instincts on the base paths. Harrison plays hard and loves to compete and scouts expect a club to buy him out of his commitment to Southern California.

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