The draft is less than 48 hours away, and the mock drafts are coming in full force. Three main ones usually rule the roost: the mocks of MLB.com, ESPN, and Baseball America. Each represent their own perspective from their in-house expert.
MLB.com's latest was put together by Jim Callis on June 3. ESPN's Senior Writer and former MLB front office employee Keith Law put together his most recent one on June 4. Baseball America updated their projections on June 7.
Visiting all of those can be time-consuming, confusing, and frankly counter-productive. All of those insiders with different opinions based on slightly different scoops of information? Sure, they are the best in the business, but what does it really mean when, between two mocks, a prospect is slated to go anywhere from third overall to 14th overall?
That's why we've taken it upon ourselves to do the work for you. We've aggregated the more-than-40 prospects that could go in the first round according to these three mock drafts. We then assigned a relatively rudimentary rating system in which the first pick would get 34 points, the second pick would get 33 points and so on until the 34th pick got one point. Over three mocks, the best possible score then was 102.
However, instead of just spewing out a computer-like ranking, we then imprinted some intuition. For example, if all three drafts agreed a player was going specifically to one team, regardless of the points ranking, our consensus would automatically agree with them. On top of that, there were some additional judgment calls that we made which will be explained:
1. A.J. Puk (LHP) - Philadelphia Philles
Out of a possible 102 points, Puk scored 101 and only missed first overall in the Baseball America mock draft, who placed him at second overall. Even if the Phillies don't take Puk, it sure seems like he won't stay on the board very long.
2. Kyle Lewis (OF) - Cincinnati Reds
In a draft that has been largely focused on top pitchers, the consensus among the mock drafts is that a position player will go second overall. The outfielder from Mercer has shown five-tool prowess.
3. Mickey Moniak (OF) - Atlanta Braves
By aggregated points, Moniak actually places sixth in our spreadsheet. However, the following three picks made more sense laid out this way. The spread on Moniak seems vast though. With Baseball America placing him first and Law placing him twelfth, the 18-year old outfielder is a tough one to project.
4. Riley Pint (RHP) - Colorado Rockies
Pint is the beginning of a three-way tie for third-place by points. Both Law and Baseball America agreed that Pint would go fourth overall to the Rockies. Instead of toying with this, it makes sense to trust their combined insights. That, and the fact that Callis had Pint falling to seventh overall.
5. Corey Ray (OF) - Milwaukee Brewers
Our first no-brainer consensus pick; all three of Law, Callis and Baseball America currently have Ray going fifth overall to the Brewers.
6. Nick Senzel (3B) - Oakland Athletics
Like Pint, both Law and Baseball America are in lock-step on Senzel going at this spot. Callis has Senzel already off the board by this point so this could be an interesting one to follow.
7. Braxton Garrett (LHP) - Miami Marlins
Once again Law and Baseball America agree, while Callis is the outlier of the three. Callis has Garrett slipping to 11th in lieu of Pint going at this spot. According to Law and Baseball America, Pint won't be on the board long enough for that to come true, so this seems like the safe bet.
8. Jason Groome (RHP) - San Diego Padres
With 82 aggregated points, Groome placed seventh but is arguably the hardest one to place on the board. None of the mocks agree on one destination and all three actually vary quite wildly. Law appears to be the bullish one, having Groome at third overall, while Baseball America has him slipping to 14th. That's huge variance. Callis has Groome going right in the middle at sixth overall. None of the experts could agree on who would go to the Padres at this spot, so this seems as good a projection as any.
9. Dakota Hudson (RHP) - Detroit Tigers
Beyond Groome and Garrett is a drop off in points. Although we're at the ninth pick, Hudson actually places tenth with 64 points. Law seems to like Hudson at this spot, and the prospect that placed ninth is said to have some fans from the team with the tenth pick.
10. Zack Collins (C) - Chicago White Sox
Both Law and Baseball America are hearing that the White Sox have somewhat suddenly quickened on their pursuit of Collins. If Ray happens to make it this low, they'd likely go that direction instead.
11. Justin Dunn (RHP) - Seattle Mariners
Dunn doesn't go in the first round of Callis' mock at all. So, on points, Dunn ranks 16th. However, yet again, Law and Baseball America agree on a prospect's destination, and it wouldn't make sense to dismiss their combined insights. The Mariners are said to be definitely leaning toward college player and specifically toward a pitcher. Law goes a bit further to say that this pick would fit Jerry Dipoto's modus operandi.
12. Blake Rutherford (OF) - Boston Red Sox
Going as high as tenth and as low as nineteenth, Rutherford is another tricky one. None of the experts actually have Rutherford going to the Red Sox. However, according to our mixed model, Moniak (Law's pick) and Collins (Callis' pick) will already be off the board. Rutherford placed 11th by aggregated points so he slots in here. Furthermore, Rutherford could make an excellent consolation prize for a team said to be looking for an outfield bat.
13. Matt Manning (RHP) - Tampa Bay Rays
Like Rutherford, Manning places here on points alone. Unlike Rutherford, there's a lot less intuition with placing Manning at this spot. All three mocks have the Rays selecting an athletic infielder. High school pitchers like Manning can be difficult assets for teams like the Rays to sign, groom, and retain. However, their recent success with Blake Snell could make this a possibility.
14. Delvin Perez (SS) - Cleveland Indians
Another difficult one to place, Perez actually fell completely out of the first round according to Baseball America's latest update. He's still the top-rated pure shortstop though, not including Senzel who could likely end up at third base. He still places 14th by points though, so 14th pick it is.
15. Forrest Whitley (RHP) - Minnesota Twins
Only Law has Whitley going here, though, by our mixed model, Baseball America's projection of Hudson can't happen. Whitley placed 17th by points and went fourteenth overall to the Indians in Callis' mock.
16. Alex Kirilloff (OF) - Los Angeles Angels
Unanimous decision: Kirilloff is picked by all three major mocks to go specifically here. The Angels have rarely been attached to anyone else and, when they are, they're usually a prospect projected to go earlier than their pick spot.
17. T.J. Zeuch (RHP) - Houston Astros
Only Law has Zeuch going at this spot and it's the highest of the three. Scoring 45 points by our model, he's in a three-way tie for 18th.
18. Ian Anderson (RHP) - New York Yankees
Only Law has Anderson going to the Yankees. Baseball America left Anderson out of the first round while Callis had him going 15th overall to the Twins. The Yankees seem to be favoring a pitcher and Anderson's high-ceiling could be difficult to pass up at this spot. By aggregated points, he places 24th.
19. Will Craig (3B) - New York Mets
Both Law and Callis agree that Craig will be selected by the Mets at this spot. Baseball America has Rutherford going here instead. It seems unlikely that Rutherford stays on the board long enough for that to happen now though.
This is where it starts to get really tricky. Many of the next few prospects only appear on one or two of the mocks. Weighting one high placement over appearing in all three mocks seems somewhat intuitive. However, placing a prospect with a team that isn't being scouted that much by them seems nonsensical.
20. Robert Tyler (RHP) - Los Angeles Dodgers
Only Baseball America has Tyler going here, and this is the highest projection offered from any mock. Tyler could be the best option if Hudson and Zeuch don't get to the Dodgers at 20th.
21. Cody Sedlock (RHP) - Toronto Blue Jays
None of the mocks have the Blue Jays actually selecting Sedlock. In fact, all three are wildly inconsistent with who they think will go 21st. However, Sedlock goes before the 21st pick in two of the mocks. If the Blue Jays are presented with the opportunity, Sedlock could go here and it wouldn't deviate from their apparent plan as all three mocks have the team selecting a pitcher.
22. Zack Burdi (RHP) - Pittsburgh Pirates
Burdi's name gets mentioned in two mocks: Law has him going right here, and Baseball America has him going ninth to the Tigers. On points he places higher than Anderson and Sedlock, but it makes more sense to agree with one mock than to improperly weigh two very different scenarios: one in the top 10, and one outside the first round entirely.
23. Joshua Lowe (3B) - St. Louis Cardinals
Lowe has been tied to the Rays at 13th overall by Callis, but Law has him going right here. Similarly, Baseball America has him going just one pick later, but the Padres seem to have their scouting eye on someone else.
24. Cal Quantrill (RHP) - San Diego Padres
All three mocks have Quantrill going to the Padres. Law and Callis have him going specifically here, while Baseball America seems to think the Padres will use their eighth overall selection to presumably play it a bit safer. According to Law, there's a rumor that a deal has already been worked out between Quantrill and the Padres at this spot.
25. Taylor Trammell (OF) - San Diego Padres
While the variance on Trammell is substantial, the middle-projection from Callis has Trammell going right here. With 38 aggregated points, Trammell places 23rd.
26. Gavin Lux (SS) - Chicago White Sox
Both Law and Callis have Lux going here while Baseball America has him going 13th overall to the Rays. Shortstops seem to be a bit of a premium this draft season though, so he could go earlier.
27. Eric Lauer (LHP) - Baltimore Orioles
Law has the middle-projection of the three mocks on Lauer and has him going right here to the Orioles. Alternatively, Callis has him going 29th and Baseball America has him at 26th. The variance isn't that wild so Lauer should go somewhere around here if the mocks are accurate. Lauer also placed exactly 27th by aggregated points.
28. Drew Mendoza (3B) - Washington Nationals
Two mocks--Law and Callis--have Mendoza going as one of Nationals' compensation picks (either 28th or 29th). Baseball America left him out of the first round.
29. Bryan Reynolds (OF) - Washington Nationals
Reynolds places 28th by aggregated points but no mock has him going precisely at this spot. While Mendoza seems like a lock to go to the Nationals, their 29th overall selection is still in the air.
30. Jordan Sheffield (RHP) - Texas Rangers
No mock has the Rangers linked with Sheffield. However, Callis has Sheffield going 18th overall to the Yankees and Law has him going 32nd to the Dodgers. Generating any consensus from the three mocks with regards to the Rangers seems to be one of the trickiest endeavors of this exercise. That being said, I might be inclined to agree with Callis' projection of Buddy Reed at this spot.
31. Anthony Kay (LHP) - New York Mets
Both Law and Baseball America agree one last time and put Kay right here. Callis left Kay out of his mock.
32. Will Benson (OF) - Los Angeles Dodgers
None of the mocks seem to agree on what the Dodgers will do with this pick, though both Law's pick (Sheffield) and Callis' pick (Sedlock) could be off the board. Benson totalled 18 aggregated points in this exercise though, and ranks just behind Sheffield at 30th. Baseball America seems to think C.J. Chatham could go here.
33. Matt Thaiss (C) - St. Louis Cardinals
At 33rd in Law's and 34th in Callis', Thaiss has been tied to the Cardinals in two mocks. With one of their picks at the end of the first round, it makes sense to favor what Law and Callis are hearing.
34. Nolan Jones (3B) - St. Louis Cardinals
Apart from being the prospect with the most aggregated points remaining on the board, Jones was also picked to go 33rd to the Cardinals by Baseball America. The Cardinals were also mentioned with Jon Duplantier and Dane Dunning, as well as Tyler who we have going 20th to the Dodgers.