MLB mock draft 2014: The first round 2.0

TCU's Brandon Finnegan - Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

With two weeks to go, teams' strategies and preferences are coming into focus.

Last time around, we had the Astros mixing things up at No. 1 by taking prep California lefty Brady Aiken, but the many whispers around the game are collecting to form a consensus that North Carolina State's Carlos Rodon is going to be an Astro. After the first pick however, things are still hazy with Evansville's Kyle Freeland and high school shortstop Nick Gordon pushing their way into consideration as top-five picks.

Tyler Kolek, a right handed prep arm from Texas, could go as high as No. 2 overall, but predictably the rest of his game has yet to catch up with his escape velocity fastball. Cubs president Theo Epstein went to see Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost in person this week. He's climbing draft boards rapidly, topping out at sixth on Kiley McDaniel's board. Grant Holmes is another name that keeps popping up due to triple-digit velocity and glowing reports from MLB.com's Jim Callis and ESPN's Keith Law.

A few highly touted prospects that could slip due to injury are East Carolina's Jeff Hoffman and UNLV's Erick Fedde. Both pitchers underwent Tommy John surgery this year, so they could slip into the middle of the first round. Teams with multiple picks in the top 50 -- like Kansas City and Cleveland, for example -- could take the risk of drafting inured, but promising prospects and choose to play it safe later in the draft. After all, it seems like every pitcher has to undergo the procedure, and given the improved success rate of the operation, drafting post-Tommy John arms could virtually equate to taking a prep arm in regard to a given player's development arc.

Rumors will certainly continue to circulate, and evaluators will continue to fall in love with different prospects. So, the draft could end up taking a very different form than the one below, but right now,

1. Houston Astros: Carlos Rodon, LHP, NC State

2. Miami Marlins: Brady Aiken, LHP, California HS

3. Chicago White Sox: Alex Jackson, C/3B/OF, California HS

4. Chicago Cubs: Max Pentecost, C, Kennesaw State

5. Minnesota Twins: Nick Gordon, SS, Florida HS

6. Seattle Mariners: Tyler Kolek, RHP, Texas HS

7. Philadelphia Phillies: Grant Holmes, RHP, South Carolina HS

8. Colorado Rockies: Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco

9. Toronto Blue Jays: Aaron Nola, RHP, LSU

10. New York Mets: Michael Conforto, OF, Oregon State

11. Toronto Blue Jays: Touki Toussaint, RHP, Florida HS

12. Milwaukee Brewers: Kyle Freeland, RHP, Evansville

13. San Diego Padres: Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt

14. San Francisco Giants: Trea Turner, SS, NC State

15. Los Angeles Angels: Kyle Schwarber, C/1B, Indiana

16. Arizona Diamondbacks: Sean Newcomb, LHP, Hartford

17. Kansas City Royals: Jeff Hoffman, RHP, ECU

18. Washington Nationals: Casey Gillaspie, 1B, Wichita State

19. Cincinnati Reds: Brandon Finnegan, LHP, TCU

20. Tampa Bay Rays: Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Florida HS

21. Cleveland Indians: Erick Fedde, RHP, UNLV

22. Los Angeles Dodgers: Derek Hill, OF, California HS

23. Detroit Tigers: Braxton Davidson, 1B/OF, North Carolina HS

24. Pittsburgh Pirates: Monte Harrison, OF, Missouri HS

25. Oakland Athletics: Michael Chavis, 3B/2B, Georgia HS

26. Boston Red Sox: Jacob Gatewood, SS, California HS

27. St. Louis Cardinals: Nick Burdi, RHP, Louisville

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