1) Houston Astros – Brady Aiken – LHP – Cathedral Catholic High School (CA) – Aiken has as much helium leading into the draft as anyone. He is a tall lefty with a very smooth and easy delivery. There have been mixed reports on his velocity, but he is widely considered to have a future fastball that should sit in the mid-90s. He also has a sharp curveball and plus change, all of which he has excellent control of. He has the projection of a front line starter, and could be a quick moving high school arm.
2) Miami Marlins – Carlos Rodon – LHP – NC State – Rodon was a sure fire number one overall pick leading into the season, but his underwhelming season and huge workload has raised some questions. His performance against Cuba as a member of Team USA was as impressive a performance by any amateur in some time. NC State went from a national championship contender to missing the NCAA tournament all together, and Rodon’s rough start to the season is part of the reason. If he lives up to his 2013 performance, he could be a steal at the number two pick, but if his struggles this year are more of a sign of things to come, he could easily be a first round bust.
3) Chicago White Sox – Tyler Kolek – RHP – Shepherd HS (TX) – There was a time this year that Kolek was thought to be the favorite for the number one pick, and he still could be, but a right handed high school arm at the top of the draft is unheard of. Kolek was raised on a cattle farm in Texas, and looks the part, standing 6’5” and weighs around 250 lbs. He can touch triple digits and sit in the high-90s to go along with a plus slider and potential plus curve. He also has a change he is working on but it is not yet polished enough to know if it will ever be a viable pitch. He is a true power pitcher in every sense.
4) Chicago Cubs – Alex Jackson – C/OF – Rancho Bernardo HS (CA) – The Cubs might have the as many talented bats in the minor leagues as any system in baseball, and they really hope one of the top three arms fall to them, but I don’t see it happening. Jackson is clearly the top bat in the draft, so they will have to take him here and go pitching heavy the rest of the draft. Jackson is a true power bat that could evolve into 30+ homer power in the big leagues some day. He has a very strong arm and quick release behind the plate, but Jackson’s size may become an issue in time causing him to move to a corner outfield spot.
5) Minnesota Twins – Nick Gordon – SS – Olympia HS (FL) – Godon is the son of Tom “Flash” Gordon and younger brother of Los Angeles Dodgers current second baseman Dee Gordon. Nick does not have the incredible speed of Dee, and while he can touch 94 on the gun, is not a future pitcher like his dad. Nick is an incredible defender up the middle that can stick at short to go with a very strong arm. He has the potential to hit in the low double digits power-wise and could be a .300 hitter. While he does not have the speed of his brother, he does have above average speed that will lead to a decent number of steals. A potential future left side of the infield with Gordon joining Miguel Sano is enough to make any Twins fan excited.
6) Seattle Mariners – Kyle Freeland – LHP – Evansville – There is a clear line in talent after the top five picks, and this is where the draft will get really interesting. Freeland does not have a smooth delivery, nor is it completely consistent. It can get herky-jerky at times, but he has enough stuff to dominate. His fastball sits about 91-93 with a big slider and a solid change. He posted an impressive K/BB ratio (48/4) in the Cape Cod League last summer, showing control of all his pitches. He could be a solid mid-rotation arm, but if that doesn’t work out, he could have a future as a closer.
7) Philadelphia Phillies – Grant Holmes – RHP – Conway HS (SC) – Holmes has a fastball that can hit the high 90s, even reports of triple digits, but his best pitch is probably his big curve. He also shows decent control of a change-up. Due to his low 3/4 arm slot, all his pitches have decent movement. He doesn’t necessarily have the upside of some of the other arms in this draft, but he is quite polished for a high school pitcher.
8) Colorado Rockies – Bradley Zimmer – OF – University of San Francisco – The younger brother of Kansas City Royals prospect Kyle Zimmer, Bradley is an outfielder with a big arm and the defensive chops to stick in center. He has shown good speed, solid defense, a good hit tool, and the family arm that makes his brother a top pitching prospect. Power might be his weakest tool, and there is some question if he will be able to add much strength moving forward, but even without power developing, he could be a top of the order bat that moves through the minors quickly.
9) Toronto Blue Jay – Aaron Nola – RHP – LSU – The Blue Jays took Nola in the 22nd round in 2011 and they could take him again this year. He is not the kind of guy that will light up a radar gun or rack up the strikeouts, but he is a safe pick with a track record of performance. He has a low-to-mid 90s fastball to go with a slider and change, all of which he can throw with solid control. He is probably a number three or four starter, but he could be that very quickly. With the Blue Jays failing to sign their first round pick last year, a polished college arm would be a smart choice here.
10) New York Mets – Trea Turner – SS – NC State – The other member of the disappointing NC State squad, Turner didn’t have the year expected to land him as a top five draft pick, put his speed is arguably the best tool in the draft. His bat can get long through the zone, which I feel has a lot to do with the starting location of the bat head at the start of his swing, but he should be able to be an average hitter. There is little power in the bat, but he hits the ball in the air far too often given his speed. He has the defensive chops to stick up the middle, and the arm strength to survive at third if needed. The Mets have one of the worst collection of shortstop talent in all of baseball, and drafting Turner would instantly remedy that.