There’re six months until the 2017 MLB First-Year Draft gets underway, but here’s how I see the first 10 picks playing out in June’s MLB Draft.
1. Minnesota Twins: Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS (Calif.)
A high school right-handed pitcher has never gone No. 1 overall, but 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.
2. Cincinnati Reds: Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt
Kendall is a true centerfielder with blazing speed and athleticism. He has five-tool potential written all over him. Some believe he is better than 2016 draft No. 5 overall pick Corey Ray and has a similar ceiling as Jackie Bradley Jr.
3. San Diego Padres: Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida
A 6-foot-5, 220-pound righty, Faedo is a better pitcher than Florida left-hander A.J. Puk, who went sixth overall in the 2016 draft. Faedo’s best pitch is his plus slider. He also throws his fastball consistently in the mid-90s and has outstanding control. This fall he underwent arthroscopic surgery on both knees, and scouts will keep a close eye on that this season.
4. Tampa Bay Rays: Tanner Houck, RHP, Missouri
After being selected in the 12th round of the 2014 draft by Toronto, Houck has developed into one of the top pitchers in the country during his time at Missouri. A 6-foot-5, 217-pound righty, Houck throws a mid-90s fastball, a wipeout slider and an improving changeup.
5. Atlanta Braves: Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt
A 6-foot-4, 220-pound right-hander, Wright has a four-pitch mix, featuring a mid-90s fastball. If he can improve his command, he could have a shot at being the No. 1 overall pick due to his frontline starter potential.
6. Oakland Athletics: J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, North Carolina
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.
7. Arizona Diamondbacks: Royce Lewis, SS/OF, JSerra Catholic HS (Calif.)
Lewis has the speed and athleticism to make an impact on both sides of the ball. He makes hard contact at the plate and has improving power. If he can continue to produce at a high level this spring, he could move up into the top five picks.
8. Philadelphia Phillies: J.J. Schwarz, C, Florida
Coming out of high school Schwarz was a highly regarded draft prospect, but decided to attend college and develop for three more years before turning pro. After an impressive freshman year, Schwarz was inconsistent in 2016. If he’s consistent with his bat and proves he can remain behind the plate long-term this spring, he’ll be a top 10 pick.
9. Milwaukee Brewers: Brendan McKay, LHP, Louisville
McKay is the top two-way player in the country, but his future is on the mound. A 6-foot-2, 212-pound left-handed pitcher, McKay throws a low-90s fastball, a hard breaking curveball and a solid changeup. McKay is still developing as a pitcher and has high potential.
10. Los Angeles Angels: D.L. Hall Hall, LHP, Valdosta HS (Ga.)
A 6-foot-0, 190-pound hurler, 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.
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