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Saturday
May232009

MLB Mock Draft 2009 With Video

MLB Mock Draft 2009

by ALEX CARNEVALE

The draft starts on June 9. Although it is difficult to put players with teams, we gave it a shot.

1. Washington Nationals: Stephen Strasburg, RHP, San Diego State

The Nationals have no choice but to draft Strasburg, but considering the amount of money he'll require in a perfect world the Nats would be better off moving him for draft picks. Instead with empty seats they'll gamble on the major league deal Scott Boras will require. Strasburg's probably everything he's cracked up to be, and he's already there. Still, he won't put on a Nats uniform in the majors until 2010 at the very earliest.

2. Seattle Mariners: Dustin Ackley, CF, University of North Carolina

Ackley's a hard guy to put in a box, but he has a live bat. Despite already going through Tommy John surgery, Ackley could play center field and his bat projects to be sufficient at an outfield corner. He's as sure a bet as you'll find in this draft, and he's not demanding the huge money that will cause a boatload of other players to drop. The Mariners need hitters, and he's the best one in this draft.

Here is video of Dustin Ackley:

3. San Diego Padres: Tyler Matzek, Capistrano Valley High School, CA

Although drafting high school pitchers is a dangerous art, Matzek's rare combination of maturity and potential stand out among this year's class of prep arms. The Padres botched top picks left and right over the past years and there will be pressure on general manager Kevin Towers to pick someone affordable and get the guy. Matzek is perfectly capable of carrying that torch. He is the number one pitcher on my board and won't cost much more than other prep arms. Missouri righthander Kyle Gibson will also be in the mix.

Here is video of Matzek:

4. Pittsburgh Pirates: Alex White, RHP, North Carolina

White was rumored as high as the third pick in his draft. The problem lies more in the variability of pitching performance than any flaw of White's. He's a prototypical righthanded power arm with a plus fastball that touches 95 at times. White's consistently been able to cut his walk rate as he's pitched against improved competition, and he'll be a nice fit for a Pirates team that lacks mature power arms. If Tyler Matzek was available, he might be the pick, but in this draft, he goes one pick earlier.

5. Baltimore Orioles: Tanner Scheppers, RHP, St. Paul Saints

Scheppers was drafted by the Pirates last year, but due to an injury, he and GM Neal Huntington couldn't settle on a contract. Scheppers is my favorite pitching prospect in the draft, and he has performed incredibly of late. Although his injury history and demands keep him out of the draft's top four picks, there is little chance he falls past the Orioles unless they are wary of his demands. Scheppers is exactly the kind of high-impact arm the O's need to compete in the AL East.

6. San Francisco Giants: Jacob Turner, RHP, Westminster Christian Academy

Not that handedness plays any part of it, but the Giants have a shitload of awesome lefties in their farm system, and a righthander like Turner who pumps out high 90s heat is too tempting to pass on. The strength of this draft is pitching, and the Giants have had no problem taking pitchers in years past.

Here is video of Jacob Turner:

7. Atlanta Braves: Shelby Miller, RHP, Bronwood HS, TX

The Braves have to like Miller's upside as a hard-throwing over-the-top righty who can command two plus pitches even at a very young age. Miller easily touches 96 mph with his fastball, and he's still growing into his 6-4 frame. His sound delivery and acceleration to the plate have drawn comps of Jake Peavy and John Smoltz, and he's a lock to go in the first ten picks.

8. Cincinnati Reds: Kyle Gibson, RHP, Missouri

Lately the Reds have trended more towards college players, and the performance crowd loves the consistency they've seen from this Missouri righthander. Gibson's latest radar gun readings have cemented him in the Top 15, and although players with his profile can occasionally flame out, he projects to move quickly to help a Reds team that will be competitive over the next few years in the National League Central. Aaron Crow should also be high on their list, and could be the pick here.

Here is video of Kyle Gibson:

9. Detroit Tigers: Aaron Crow, RHP, Fort Worth Cats

Last year Crow's agents, the Hendricks brothers, couldn't come to any kind of an agreement with ex-Nationals general manager Jim Bowden. In Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski, the cliche is a guy who loves power arms and power bats. We forget that he took Rick Porcello a year ago — more than anything, Dombrowski is true to his board. Crow qualifies as a power arm, sporting a mid 90s fastball among an impressive array of pitches. His bonus demands shouldn't face the Tigers, and it doesn't hurt that he's already had a year of development time since he was last drafted. This is the absolute furthest Crow should fall.

10. Washington Nationals: Donavan Tate, OF, Cartersville HS, GA

Tate might be the best position player prospect in the draft, and the Nationals have to hope it won't cost them a fortune to sign both Tate and Strasburg. Because interim general manager Mike Rizzo has said that cost won't play a factor with this second pick, Tate could be a rising position player that would complement the pitching that's coming.

ESPN bookworm Keith Law scouts Donovan Tate in this video from ESPN.com:

11. Colorado Rockies: Grant Green, SS, USC

Green has aroused a mix of opinions in his time as a top prospect. His may be a case of prospect fatigue, as though he continues to perform at a high level, he hasn't impressed against top end talent and he hasn't shown the power expected from a top ten pick. Most scouts don't think he'll play shortstop either, but the Rockies can gamble that he'll keep hitting in the comfortable environs of their farm system. I really don't see him going before the 11th pick, and his fall could be even farther if teams in this range are focused on the glut of pitching available this year. Let's hope the Ian Stewart experience doesn't scare them off this intriguing talent.

Here is video of Grant Green:


12. Kansas City Royals: James Paxton, LHP, Kentucky

Hailing from British Columbia, Paxton has jumped out of relative obscurity to become a lock for the draft's first round. While the jump in Paxton's velo is real, his lack of history of performance at an elite level scares me this high in the draft. Paxton's 115:20 strikeout-to-walk ratio is excellent for a lefthander, and at the very least he should end up being an impact arm in the Royals bullpen. Paxton is represented by Scott Boras and the Royals have shown a willingness to deal with Boras in the past.

13. Oakland Athletics: Matt Purke, Klein High School, TX

A lanky lefthander who really has room to grow, Purke already possesses an above-average fastball and has the makings of a changeup that is a swing-and-miss pitch. This fireballer should be an impact arm as a starter and has the kind of upside that Oakland should be focused on in upgrading their farm system still further. The complicating factor here is how much money Purke will require.

Here is video of Purke:

14. Texas Rangers: Zach Wheeler, RHP, East Paulding, GA

Wheeler is a projectable prepster with a plus fastball who offers the kind of upside scouts look for in a first round pick. The Georgia-area has been a fertile area to find top players, and Wheeler has excelled consistently, with the only question being his command. He's the kind of arm the Rangers should feel good about developing, with potential to exceed his draft slot in a similar fashion to last year's draftee, Justin Smoak.

Here is video of Zach Wheeler:

15. Cleveland Indians: Mike Trout, Millville High School, NJ

The Indians have prized hitters with potential, drafting Lonnie Chisenhall last year and trading for Matt LaPorta. Mike Trout is a rising bat with an extremely advanced approach for his age. His rare blend of tools and performance mean the Indians will be excited to sign this New Jersey product for slot money.

16. Arizona Diamondbacks: Rich Poythress, 1B, Georgia

With a glut of first round picks, Arizona can afford to take some risks. There are some people who feel that Poythress is an extremely underrated bat this late in the draft. He's also likely to not demand the excessive money that sometimes follows even mid-round draftees. Plus it allows the Snakes to pop a hot arm with the next pick.

17. Arizona Diamondbacks: Mike Leake, RHP, Arizona State

Leake is a command righthander in the mold of a Roy Oswalt. Although he hasn't had the easiest run in college — he threw 138 pitches in an outing — he's the kind of arm that can weather that kind of a beating. Reportedly the Snakes love him and you can see why. He has one of the highest floors in the draft and competes on every pitch.

18. Florida Marlins: Mike Minor, LHP, Vanderbilt

The strength of this draft is pitching, and Minor is an advanced SEC product who should be able to help the Marlins as a #2 type in their starting rotation. Minor throws a mid-90s fastball that can be a little straight at times, but he already has secondary pitchers in a slider and a changeup that project as plus pitches as he refines his command of them. An advanced lefty with this pedigree is too tough for the Marlins to pass on with the 18th overall pick.

19. St. Louis Cardinals: Chad James, LHP, Yukon High School, OK

James is a late bloomer who grew two inches last year and is a guy who has a lot of helium going into this year's draft. He might be a slight reach with the 19th overall pick, but the Cardinals could definitely use an exciting lefty arm that has touched 97 at times and should be a decent major leaguer for many years with a smooth, effortless delivery.

Keith Law scouts James:

20. Toronto Blue Jays: Max Stassi, C, Yuba City, CA

Stassi bears comparison to a catcher drafted one year ago: Florida Marlins draft pick Kyle Skipworth. Skipworth might have been far toolsier, but Stassi actually has the skills to stay behind the plate, and for a kid who is just a senior in his school, he has a very advanced bat. Put it together and it's the kind of prospect that should cause the Blue Jays to jump out of their comfort range. Adding to the likelihood they'll select a position player there is the multitude of picks the Jays have in this draft.


21. Houston Astros: Matt Davidson, 3B, Yucaipa (Calif.) High School

There's little chance that Davidson stays at third base, but any position, he's one of the top prep bats available in this draft. His power is huge, as Dave Perkin of Baseball America reported in April.

Here is video of Matt Davidson:


photo thanks to the good folks at Baseball Beginnings

22. Minnesota Twins: Kyle Heckathorn, RHP, Kennesaw State

Heckathorn is an imposing 6'6" righthander with good downward action on his fastball. He also features a plus changeup. Although he reminds some scouts of Jeff Niemann, another highly regarded college arm, Heckathorn's fastball might be more impressive than Niemann's. This is probably the absolute farthest he can fall.

23. Chicago White Sox: Brett Jackson, CF, California

Kenny Williams has shown a disturbing preference for college bats in his time with the Sox, one that reminds the draftnik of Isiah Thomas or Pat Riley. Jackson has had trouble making contact in a down Pac-10 this year, but he's still a nice outfield prospect in a draft that doesn't exactly have them in droves.

24. Los Angeles Angels: Rex Brothers, RHP, Lipscomb

As a lefty with weird arm action and plus velocity, Brothers is by nature a risk, but the Angels have a plethora of picks this year, and need to add arms to their depleted farm system. This is great value for Brothers.

25. Los Angeles Angels: Sam Dyson, RHP, South Carolina

Dyson struck out thirteen in his last start for the Gamecocks, and although his mid-90s fastball can be a little straight at times, he's at the very Kyle Farnsworth, and the Farns has gotten paid a lot of money over the year. Dyson's lack of secondary pitch might mean he's destined for the bullpen, but you can't sneeze at getting a legitimate hard-thrower this late.

26. Milwaukee Brewers: Bobby Borchering, 3B, Bishop Verut HS, FL

Mr. Borchering has bopped 13 homers in 107 plate appearances, the kind of raw power at a young age that can't be ignored. He could go even higher than this pick, but he makes sense for the Brewers, who like high school bats and still need a third baseman.

27. Seattle Mariners: Wil Myers, C, Wesleyan Christian Academy

The idea that Myers might stick at catcher is what makes him a first-round talent, but that possibility underrates his bat, which is in the top echelon of this weak position player draft. The Mariners can badly use his athleticism and projected power at a multitude of positions on the diamond, but they have an especially compelling hole at catcher, and Myers will be the hope of the future. A recent injury to Max Stassi could make Myers the first catcher selected.

28. Boston Red Sox: Geno Escalante, C, Rodriguez HS, CA

Escalante's powerful stroke has drawn comparisons to Ivan Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield before those sluggers took performancing-enhancing drugs to stay on top of their sport. Escalante is an intriguing prep bat with lots of upside, but there are differing opinions, like most backstops of that age, about whether he can stay behind the plate. His arm is ready, and he should be able to man the position given time to develop. He's an appealing risk for a Red Sox system that has few impact position players outside of Lars Anderson and Ryan Westmoreland.

29. New York Yankees: Brian Goodwin, OF, Rocky Mount, NC

Goodwin is a lefthanded hitting outfielder with plus tools who's been playing against questionable high school competition. Scouts aren't sure if he'll ever develop power, but his speed and baseball instincts make him a good value and high school outfielders have a decent track record in the draft.

30. Tampa Bay Rays: Jiovanni Mier, SS, Bonita High School, CA

In a thin crop of up-the-middle prospects, Mier is the top-rated shortstop in this year's class. His bat is the great unknown — it's likely that he has the raw skills to become a decent hitter, but he probably isn't going to be an all-star shortstop in any facet of the game except for his glove. For a Rays team loaded on the pitching side, Mier's a good risk, and although with last year's number 1 pick Tim Beckham, would give the Rays depth at two of their least productive positions. The Rays could also go outfielder.

Here is video of Jiovanni Mier:

31. Chicago Cubs: Andrew Oliver, LHP, Oklahoma State

Oliver is a power lefty demanding a lot of money. In other words, he's destined to be a Cub. You can check out MLB.com video of Oliver here.

32. Colorado Rockies: Matt Hobgood, RHP, Norco, CA

The Rockies tend to like righthanders with a traditional frame, though their history of success with them has been mixed. Hobgood might be more Greg Reynolds than Brett Myers, but he'll be a nice fit with the 32nd pick, and he won't cost much over slot. For teams like the Rockies, slot ain't dead yet.

33. Seattle Mariners: Marc Krauss, OF, Ohio

Krauss has kept a low profile, but Seattle had to trade J.J. Putz for an outfielder, and I have never been convinced Wladimir Baletien has much to offer outside of a fourth outfielder role. Krauss won't break the bank, and he should add to the Mariners depth of position player prospects. He's a draft prospect with rare helium, and should be considered a decent value this late for a team that believes in the bat.

34. Colorado Rockies: Jake Marisnick, OF, Riverside Poly HS, CA

Marisnick is a talented contact hitter from the right side, and although he doesn't possess superior athleticism, he's a nice outfield prospect with a high floor.

35. Arizona Diamondbacks: Steven Matz, LHP, Ward Melville High School, NY

Matz is a cold-weather arm, and it's a little harder to get noticed when you're a player in the Northeast. With that said this lefty has a lot of helium and with lefthanded pitching so hard to find, he can easily be called a good value in this draft.

36. Los Angeles Dodgers: Jared Mitchell, OF, LSU

Mitchell is a wide receiver project who according to Baseball America is the top college athlete in the draft. Mitchell stands just 5'11", and although he is a superior athlete, you have to think at that size he's looking harder at baseball as a career. The Dodgers won't care about how much money he wants; they'll jump on the opportunity to bring a position prospect with his ceiling into the fold.

Here is video of Mitchell playing left field:


37. Toronto Blue Jays: Chad Jenkins, RHP, Kennesaw State

Jenkins is a righthander who can dial it up to 91 with a slider and a changeup both of which can develop into plus pitches. There had been rumors that Jenkins could go as high as mid-first, but I don't buy it. Jenkins is a nice arm, but he doesn't compare favorably to a guy like Luke Hochevar and Scott Baker, both of who have been seriously homer-prone at times. I'm not a believer, but he certainly has the stuff to go this early.

Here is video of Chad Jenkins:

38. Chicago White Sox: Tony Sanchez, C, Boston College

The White Sox season is looking to be in tatters, and their system has needs at the major league level for pretty much every position on the diamond. Sanchez would be outstanding value with a pick this low, a catcher offering a relatively high floor whose bat shows promise.

39. Milwaukee Brewers: Ben Tootle, RHP, Jacksonville State University

The 21 year old Tootle throws too hard to last much past this pick, and has the potential to go far higher. It only takes one team to fall in love with the kind of heat Tootle offers and ignore the risk he carries. He would be good value for a Brewers team that is getting better at finding impact arms in the draft.

40. Los Angeles Angels: Garrett Gould, RHP, Maize High School, KS

Gould has dominated at the high school level, addressing concerns his command was too raw and his velocity not impressive enough. He's a risky proposition, but someone will gamble on a fastball that touches 94 at times and hope he's more Ethan Martin than not.

41. Arizona Diamondbacks: James Jones, RHP, Long Island

Jones is a 6'3" LHP with a nice frame and star potential. He's been tearing it up at the plate here in Long Island, although some scouts think he's just hurting his upside on the mound by playing the field. Jones will need some grooming, but he would look pretty good in Chase Field with the promising stable of athletes they have there.

42. Los Angeles Angels: Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Santa Monica HS, CA

The Angels have seen plenty of Skaggs because he's in their backyard, and they have to like Skaggs as a lefty Phil Hughes type who's going to be a lot more of a project than Hughes ever was.

43. Cincinnati Reds: Christopher Owings, SS, Gilbert High School, SC

Though Owings is committed to USC, the Reds could badly use his up-the-middle talents. Owings features a compact gap-to-gap swing. In a perfect world he's Brian Roberts, and infielders with that profile no longer scare teams as much as they did, or they should.

44. Texas Rangers: Tim Wheeler, OF, Sacramento State

Wheeler is an advanced hitter with speed who bats from the left side. He could ultimately become a Johnny Damon-type in the majors, as Damon was a 35th overall pick. Although Keith Law has reported that the Rangers are targeting Reymond Fuentes with this pick, Wheeler is the more polished prospect and a good fit for Arlington.

Keith Law scouts Tim Wheeler:


45. Arizona Diamondbacks: Randal Grichuk, OF, Lamar HS, TX

Grichuk is one of the biggest sleepers in the draft, and with so many picks in the first fifty, Arizona should be swinging for the fences trying to create a dynasty of homegrown talent to rival the competition in their division. Though he's short and wiry strong rather than being huge and imposing, Grichuk can just plain rake.

Here is video of Grichuk:


46. Minnesota Twins: Ryan Wheeler, 1B, Loyola Maramount

John Klima had a nice write-up of Wheeler the other day, so I'll leave it to him. An intriguing bat.

47. Milwaukee Brewers: Kendall Volz, RHP, Baylor

Although Volz possesses a violent delivery, it's not one that's complicated by moving parts. He should thrive in high leverage bullpen situations, though he'll probably begin his career as a starter. In either role, he could move quickly. His injury problems late in the season have dropped him this far.

48. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: A.J. Pollock, CF, Notre Dame

Pollock is a speed demon with a sweet stroke who features plus tools at the plate and in the field. In a not-very-deep crop of college hitters, I wouldn't see him lasting much past this pick, and he could go 5-8 picks higher if a team is in love with the overall package and pedigree.

49. Pittsburgh Pirates: Austin Maddox, C, Eagle View Academy

In a fairly deep group of high school catchers Maddox should be a solid selection in the sandwich round.

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