Max Clark – Photo via Perfect Game
This might be my only time to get in a draft post for the next months the lottery in a month. With The off-season now beginning, today might be the best time to take a look at where draft rankings are at until at least January 1 when MLB Pipeline usually puts out their top draft pick list.
Until then, let’s take a look at who some publications have at the top of their lists along with some mock drafts, which is a bit odd since the order has not been set and won’t be for another four weeks. This is just a reminder that we are still a long ways away and a lot will happen between now and July.
In this article from earlier this fall, Perfect Game had the Cubs at six and taking shortstop Braden Taylor from TCU. For the Cubs, their top three spots in the lottery according to their odds are 12, 13, and 6. But Taylor is a pretty good sized kid who bats left-handed and will be a guy to watch in the spring. The guy I really liked for the top of the draft is right behind Taylor at 7 and that is Max Clark, a toolsy prep outfielder.
Meanwhile, over at Prospects Live, they have what might be the best collection of draft content as they already published a Top 200 list that combines both high school and college players. At the 6 spot, they had high school player Walker Jenkins which would be a very good get as some think he is the best high school player in this class. But it’s down at 12 that things start to get tricky. Prospects Live has pitcher Paul Skenes from LSU at 12. That’s a little high for him but we will see how he does.
Baseball America combined their high school and college lists extra early this year. They had Wake Forest power arm Rhett Lowder at 6, which was much higher than most other boards. At 12 was big RHP Noble Meyer out of high school in Portland. He already sits at 96-98 and the soon to be draftee is the highest ranked prep pitcher.
For FanGraphs, they had an interesting list in their top 31. They had my favorite player in the draft in Tanner Witt from Texas at 6 and then they had power hitting first baseman Cayden Grice at number 12. The problem with Witt is that he’s coming off Tommy John surgery and how he produces this spring is going to determine whether he gets picked in the first at five, six, or seven or rounds two or three. He might be the most interesting follow for me.
Yahoo.com’s recent article clearly shows that the strength of this year‘s draft is going to be college players. They listed their top 20 college prospects and it is most of the top 10 except for Clark and Jenkins. And that seems to be par for the course. Some lists might sneak in three high school guys, but most lists contain an overwhelming majority of college players. The interesting thing about that list it contains a mixture of bats and arms. One side is not trending bigger than the other at this moment.
I doubt the Cubs will draft at the fourth spot but Baseball Prospect Journal had them taking Chase Dollander, the overwhelming top pitcher in the draft, at number 4. Meanwhile over at MLB Pipeline, the Cubs were slated to take Enrique Bradfield from a mock draft by Jonathan Mayo shortly after the last draft. Over at mymlbdraft.com, they have the Cubs taking Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford at number 7. The Cubs can’t pick seventh, but we get the drift that Langford is one guy who might be an option if the Cubs get into the top 6.
And that’s really all every prospect is at this point – options.
Until the lottery is complete and all the balls have been placed and selected, then, and only then, will we find out next year‘s draft order. It’ll be fun to kind of poke around and check out some of these guys until then. And until MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Draft Prospects comes out in early January, it is going to be slow going on the draft front. Our own Greg Zumach‘s top draft prospect list will probably be published at some point this early this winter. So keep an eye out for that.
Otherwise, I think we’re done talking about the draft until the lottery.