The usual mock drafts at Baseball America have been run by Jim Callis, but they switched up the process for their latest mock draft released today. They had four of their draft experts take turns making the picks. Nathan Rode picked first, followed by Callis, Conor Glassey and John Manuel. As they note, this is a little different than a mock draft, as this one is based on who they would personally take in that spot.
Despite the new process, there doesn’t seem to be many surprises with the picks, with most players going where we have heard them recently. With the ninth overall pick, Rode took Austin Meadows. In doing so, he passed over Reese McGuire, who has been linked to the Pittsburgh Pirates numerous times. I think that is a case of him going with the best player available, banking on the upside of Meadows and the likelihood that he develops the power that was missing from his game this season.
Rode also notes that he would have taken Trey Ball over McGuire had he been available. In most mock drafts, Ball usually falls in the 10-14 range, but he was taken eighth in this mock draft.
With the 14th pick, John Manuel had the pick for the Pirates and he took Ryne Stanek. He mentions that he considered Stanek with the tenth overall pick, but went with McGuire instead. If HS shortstop JP Crawford was available at #14, he may have taken him over Stanek, but he went one pick earlier.
The two names we normally hear in this second spot, went 11th and 12th in this mock draft. They had DJ Peterson going 11th, followed immediately by Hunter Renfroe, then Crawford.
Going with best available at this spot, Stanek seems like a strong choice, though he also could have considered power-hitting first baseman Dominic Smith out of Serra HS in California. Smith has been in the 12-20 range all year, so he is a solid bat, with tons of power, who performed up to his standards this year, never moving more than a few spots up or down at any time. I mentioned last night that Stanek could be a strong choice at #14 if available and another recent mock draft also had the Pirates taking him there.
The draft is just three days away, with the first two rounds on Thursday night, followed by rounds 3-10 on Friday and 11-40 on Saturday.