There’s just under three months until the 2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft gets underway on June 12 and uncertainty remains at the top of the draft, especially with many of the top college pitchers struggling early. But, here’s how I see the first 10 picks of the MLB Draft playing out:
1. Minnesota Twins: Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, Louisville
College baseball’s top two-way player, Brendan McKay is off to a tremendous start this spring. Read my MLB Draft profile on McKay here.
2. Cincinnati Reds: Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS (Calif.)
A high school right-handed pitcher has never gone No. 1 overall, but Hunter Greene has scouts buzzing. Greene is an athletic 6-foot-3 prep pitcher that throws a mid-90s fastball, curveball and changeup. He also projects as a potential star at shortstop. While selecting and developing position players is less risky, expect a team to try him first on the mound. Greene is a UCLA commit.
3. San Diego Padres: Royce Lewis, SS/OF, JSerra Catholic HS (Calif.)
Royce Lewis is the top prep position player in the 2017 draft class. Read my MLB Draft profile on Lewis here.
4. Tampa Bay Rays: J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, North Carolina
J.B. Bukauskas was a well-regarded prep prospect in 2014, but decided to attend college instead of signing a pro contract. While he is only 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, Bukauskas throws a mid-90s fastball and a devastating curveball. Bukauskas is off to a strong start, posting a 0.69 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 26 innings (4 starts) this spring.
5. Atlanta Braves: Jordon Adell, OF, Ballard HS (Ky.)
Jordon Adell is an intriguing two-way prep player, impressing scouts on the mound and in the outfield. Read my MLB Draft profile on Adell here.
6. Oakland Athletics: Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida
A 6-foot-5, 220-pound righty, Alex Faedo is a better pitcher than Florida left-hander A.J. Puk, who went sixth overall in the 2016 draft. Last fall Faedo underwent arthroscopic surgery on both knees, and scouts will keep a close eye on that this season.
Faedo’s best pitch is his plus slider. He’s pitching well this spring, but his fastball is sitting in the high-80s to low-90s instead of the mid-90s like it did last year.
7. Arizona Diamondbacks: D.L. Hall, LHP, Valdosta HS (Ga.)
A 6-foot, 190-pound hurler, D.L. Hall is the top prep left-hander in the 2017 MLB Draft class. Hall has a three-pitch mix, featuring two above average pitches in a low-90s fastball and a hard breaking curveball.
8. Philadelphia Phillies: Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt
A 6-foot-4, 220-pound right-hander, Kyle Wright has a four-pitch mix, featuring a mid-90s fastball. Wright still has a lot of projection remaining, unlike most college arms. He has frontline starter potential, but is off to a rocky start, posting a 5.40 ERA in 20 innings (4 starts) this spring.
9. Milwaukee Brewers: Tanner Houck, RHP, Missouri
A 6-foot-5, 217-pound righty, Tanner Houck throws a mid-90s fastball, a wipeout slider and an improving changeup. In four starts this spring, Houck has a 2.92 ERA with 28 strikeouts and seven walks in 24 2/3 innings.
10. Los Angeles Angels: Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt
Jeren Kendall is a true centerfielder with blazing speed and athleticism. He has five-tool potential, but his stock is falling due to a sluggish start to begin the season. In 18 games, he’s hitting .278 with four home runs and 15 RBIs. But he continues to struggle with plate discipline, striking out 20 times compared to just 13 walks.
Find more MLB Draft coverage here.