With days to go, Round 1 Draft projections
Injuries, signability, performances altering landscape of order
On the one hand, it seems like it's so close to Draft Day. After all, Monday is but a few days away. On the other hand, there's still so much to be determined that in some ways it still seems too early to figure out who's going where in the first round.
Live coverage of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft begins with a one-hour preview show on Monday at 6 p.m. ET on MLB.com and MLB Network, followed by the first round and supplemental compensation round. MLB.com will provide exclusive coverage of Days 2 and 3, Tuesday and Wednesday, featuring a live pick-by-pick stream, expert commentary and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player. You can also keep up to date at Draft Central and by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
Injuries, news of signability issues and some last-minute performances are altering the landscape a bit in this second crack at a first-round prognostication. There will be one more right before the Draft. Be sure to keep an eye on the Draft Top 50, complete with scouting reports and video as well.
1. Pittsburgh Pirates: Gerrit Cole, RHP, UCLA
There is still no decision, as the Pirates are making sure they are doing due diligence. They're not tipping their hand, but it would make sense if they are looking largely at the college guys in Cole, Anthony Rendon and Danny Hultzen.
2. Seattle Mariners: Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice
Teams evidently have medical reports on Rendon and his uncertain shoulder at this point. If questions are answered, Seattle has always been a potential home for him.
3. Arizona Diamondbacks: Danny Hultzen, LHP, Virginia
Same candidates apply. Hultzen has pitched his way to the top of the Draft and wouldn't take much time to be big league ready.
4. Baltimore Orioles: Dylan Bundy, RHP, Oswasso HS, Okla.
The top high school pitcher has done nothing to lose that title. There's been talk about a very high price tag, but most believe he wants to play.
5. Kansas City Royals: Bubba Starling, OF, Gardner-Edgerton HS, Kan.
The Royals are also looking at college arms like Trevor Bauer or Cole if he dropped here. Starling and Francisco Lindor are the hitters being considered, with the two-sport toolsy outfielder in their own back yard making almost too much sense.
6. Washington Nationals: Trevor Bauer, RHP, UCLA
The slightly unorthodox Bauer is being mentioned all over the top of the first round, and it's hard to argue based on his performance and stuff.
7. Arizona Diamondbacks: Francisco Lindor, SS, Montverde Academy, Fla.
Lindor's a premium talent at a premium position. His season ended a while back, so he's performed in some private workouts. That often can clinch the deal.
8. Cleveland Indians: Jed Bradley, LHP, Georgia Tech
The Indians have taken college pitchers in the first round the past two years. They'd love to get Bauer, but with him gone, Bradley, the southpaw, could be the third in a row.
9. Chicago Cubs: Archie Bradley, RHP, Broken Arrow HS, Okla.
After a slow start, Bradley has come on strong to be right there with fellow Oklahoman Bundy. Another big price tag is being mentioned, but a rotation with Bradley in it sounds good.
10. San Diego Padres: Taylor Jungmann, RHP, Texas
It's certainly no guarantee the Padres will go the college route with this unprotected pick, but there are some awfully good arms to choose from coming from this group.
11. Houston Astros: Matt Barnes, RHP, Connecticut
Most of the buzz at this point is about pitchers, and Barnes would be a top-10 pick, if not top five, in another class that wasn't as deep in pitching.
12. Milwaukee Brewers: Alex Meyer, RHP, Kentucky
After two years of struggling, things really started to work for the big right-hander this year. Good timing, as it's moved him to the top half of the first round.
13. New York Mets: Sonny Gray, RHP, Vanderbilt
There are many eyes on the Mets, with new general manager Sandy Alderson and their financial situation, to see what they will do. College pitching could very well be the way they go.
14. Florida Marlins: Mike Mahtook, OF, Louisiana State
In a thin year for college hitters, Mahtook is one who has stood out for putting up very good numbers, despite the new NCAA bats.
15. Milwaukee Brewers: Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, Spring Valley HS, S.C.
Guerrieri hasn't been talked about as much lately, but that doesn't mean he's still not very much in the middle-of-the-first-round conversations.
16. Los Angeles Dodgers: Javier Baez, SS, Arlington Country Day HS, Fla.
Baez will likely have to move to third base, but he's got enough tools to profile very well at the hot corner.
17. Los Angeles Angels: Dillon Howard, RHP, Searcy HS, Ark.
The Angels have never shied away from projectable right-handers in the past.
18. Oakland A's: George Springer, OF, Connecticut
It's always a bit disconcerting when there's consensus among prognosticators about a pick this deep in the first round, but it still makes a good deal of sense.
19. Boston Red Sox: Blake Swihart, C, Cleveland HS, N.M.
Swihart's one of the better high school hitters in the class, but word is he will come with a big price tag. So, naturally, many think this spot makes sense for him to land.
20. Colorado Rockies: CJ Cron, 1B, Utah
There's been a lot of talk about a college hitter here -- Kolten Wong and Levi Michael might be fits -- but while you don't draft for need, there will be a bit of an opening soon at this position in Colorado, and Cron flat-out raked this year.
21. Toronto Blue Jays: Levi Michael, SS, North Carolina
College middle infielders are in short supply, and even if the Blue Jays think Michael will eventually be moved to second base, they might consider taking him here.
22. St. Louis Cardinals: Kolten Wong, 2B, Hawaii
An advanced college hitter who can run, it won't take Wong too long to be big league ready.
23. Washington Nationals: Daniel Norris, LHP, Science Hill HS, Tenn.
This would give the Nationals one college and one high school pitcher in the first round. Norris is the top prep lefty in the class.
24. Tampa Bay Rays: Robert Stephenson, RHP, Alhambra HS, Calif.
Perhaps a small step behind the elite high school right-handers, Stephenson isn't too far behind, with arm strength to spare.
25. San Diego Padres: Cory Spangenberg, 3B, Indian River State (Fla.)
Spangenberg's name has been mentioned a bit higher, but the Padres would love it if he were still around at this point.
26. Boston Red Sox: Andrew Susac, C, Oregon State
A broken hamate bone shelved the Draft-eligible sophomore for a spell, but he's a catcher with some pop, something that's always a hot commodity.
27. Cincinnati Reds: Tyler Anderson, LHP, Oregon
Anderson fits the mold of the quintessential college lefty, complete with outstanding pitch-ability and a quick path to the big leagues.
28. Atlanta Braves: Jose Fernandez, RHP, Alonso HS, Fla.
A live arm with a good feel for pitching might have Fernandez gone before this point, but the Braves do like developing young pitching.
29. San Francisco Giants: Brian Goodwin, OF, Miami Dade College
The Giants took Gary Brown a year ago, and so far, so good. Nabbing a toolsy outfielder to join him might make sense.
30. Minnesota Twins: Andrew Chafin, LHP, Kent State
Chafin bounced back from a stretch of minor injuries that forced him to miss a couple of starts. But he came back and pitched well in conference tournament play to move him back up a bit.
31. Tampa Bay Rays: Henry Owens, LHP, Edison HS, Calif.
Owens' star has faded a bit, and he could slide out of the first round, but the SoCal lefty still has some pretty good stuff.
32. Tampa Bay Rays: Chris Reed, LHP, Stanford
Reed's name has been creeping up boards, especially with some very strong performances down the stretch. He could be a quick-to-the-bigs reliever, but some see the ability and stuff to start.
33. Texas Rangers: Brandon Nimmo, OF, Cheyenne East HS, Wyo.
The Wyoming kid without a high school team has some serious tools and lit it up in front of a lot of scouts recently, which could mean he'll be gone before this pick.