Here is the final Mock draft of Round one as the Nationals are on the clock at 5:40 PM ET on the MLB Network and MLB.com:
1. Washington Nationals- Stephen Strasburg, RHP, San Diego State: As we have been saying all along, this is a no brainer. Strasburg’s manager Tony Gwynn believes he could immediately be the number one arm out of college for the Washington Nationals, and would fit nicely as the number three starter behind Chris Young and Jake Peavy in San Diego. The Nationals will pick at ten as well, where they might focus more on a position player. Straburg is the best pitching prospect in the history of the majors. He is so good that scouts not having a chance on drafting him are going to see him, so they can use him as the maximum talent in future scouting grades.
2. Seattle Mariners- Dustin Ackley, OF/1B, North Carolina- Jack Z. has always loved the talented hitters, and he finds places for them to play defensively. Ackley is the only college hitter worth taking in the top ten, purely because of his bat. This is a cant miss for the Mariners, as they continue to quickly turn their organization around.
3. San Diego Padres- Donovan Tate OF Cartersville (Ga.) HS- Tate isn’t the sold bet, but the Padres have to do something to show commitment to their fans. The Trevor Hoffman/Brian Giles era is over. Tate is the best all around prep athlete, but their is commitment problems here. Tate is planning on being a two sport star, playing Quarterback and baseball for UNC.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates- Aaron Crow, RHP, Fort Worth Cats- The rumor here is that Tony Sanchez, a catcher for Boston College might be the desired pick, but the Pirates need to continue developing pitching. Ryan Doumit might not be a long term catcher, but without the top talent hitting wise, you need to solidify the future on the mound. Crow will ask for quite a bit, but the Pirates will have a near ready major league pitcher. Something they have lacked for quite a while in their system.
5. Baltimore Orioles- Zach Wheeler, RHP, East Paulding Co. High, Georgia- Wheeler’s mechanics and free flowing delivery have scouts dropping their jaws, especially considering he is a prep arm. He gets his four seam up to 94 miles per hour. The Braves love him and hope the local prospect falls to them, but he won’t. Andy MacPhail has done a great job so far drafting, and it continues here. Grant Green, the USC shortstop could be an option here as well.
6. San Francisco Giants- Tim Wheeler, OF Sacramento State- Wheeler isn’t a top prospect, but in a wierd draft class full of a bunch of high school arms, It seems the Giants will dodge taking a big arm (Alderson and Bumgarner give them the opportunity) in the first round, so they can save money and possibly pay over the slot price for falling prospects in the later rounds. Wheeler is a homegrown talent, who hit .385 with 18 homers this season. He also led the Cape Cod League in stolen bases.
7. Atlanta Braves- Tyler Matzek, Capistrano Valley HS, Mission Viejo, Ca.- The Braves really like Zach Wheeler, but he is off the board. Alex White is an option here, but their are recent concerns over his arm. Matzek is another lefty that could become the next Tom Glavine. Though the Braves usually ween away from prep stars, Matzek throws 93 and is often compared to Cole Hamels. He is the best prep lefty in the draft.
8. Cincinnati Reds – Alex White, LHP North Carolina- Originally the Reds were targeting lefty Mike Minor out of Vanderbilt, but when White falls to them, the Reds have to make a choice. Minor might have the best overall talent, but White is closer to being major league ready. White has a good fastball, and secondary pitches, but his competitiveness is what teams are falling in love with. One thing he will have to work on is control, but he could move up the Reds system pretty quickly.
9. Detroit Tigers- Tanner Scheppers, RHP Independent Ball- Scheppers has gas. Literally, this guy can throw in the high 90’s, and despite having injury history, The Tigers like what he has done so far in the indy league. Scheppers had a great final start for the St. Paul Pioneers, throwing 5 innings. His fastball hit up to 101 and averaged between 96-97. The Tigers might not have money to pay a Matthew Purke or Jacob Turner at this point, and hope to get Scheppers at a discount.
10. Washington Nationals- Drew Storen, RHP Stanford- Storen has come to Washington as the Nationals have considered him for this tenth pick. He might be a bit of a reach here, but the rumor is the Nationals really like his arm action. Grant Green is a real option here, because the shortstop depth in the Washington system is weak. The Nats will want a cheaper player here, considering they might have to give up 50 million to Strasburg. That is why Storen makes sense here.
11. Colorado Rockies- Rex Brothers, LHP Lipscomb- Mike Leake is still on the board, who is the best collegiate pitcher stats wise behind Strasburg, but the Rockies could really use a lefty. Mike Minor will be considered and though the Rockies aren’t usually the type to draft prep stars, Matthew Purke and Msatt Hobgood could be options.
12. Kansas City Royals- Grant Green, SS USC- There is rumor that the Royals are looking at collegiate pitching, so Mike Leake is a true possibility. Green, who struggled a bit this season at USC could fall out fo the first round, but he does add another solid hitter to the Royals system. Mike Moustakas and Mike Aviles are the future infield, but it doesn’t hurt to add protection and a future shortstop that allows aviles to play second base in the future.
13. Oakland Athletics- Mike Leake, P Arizona State- Leake isn’t a new prospect by any means. The Athletics took a chance on Leake in the seventh round in 2006, and might be willing to go that way again. He has shut down the Pac-10 for the last three years. He can hit 94 on the gun, but throws slower for more movement. Chalk up another top notch pitcher for the A’s system.
14. Texas Rangers- Shelby Miller, RHP Brownwood HS (TX)- The Rangers love Shelby and Shelby loves the Rangers. Miller could go up as high as the Tigers, but many think Shelby and his agent has jumped up the contract price, just so he will fall to the Rangers at 14. The best fastball of all the prep arms will fit nice with Neftali Feliz in that system.
15. Cleveland Indians, Eric Arnett, RHP Indiana- The Indians have gotten to see local product Eric Arnett a lot of the past few seasons and are looking for an experienced pitcher. Arnett would become the first Hoosier since 1966 to go in the first round. He throws hard, averaging between 94 and 96 on his fastball, but will have to work on his changeup to remain a starter in the future.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks, Bobby Borchering, 3B Bishop Verot HS FLA- The Diamondbacks are worried that Borchering will ask for more than what is slated at sixteen, but won’t let it get in the way, considering that they will take a lower slated pitcher at 17. Borchering has the best bat of any prep star, his defense is improving, and he has the true size of a major league third baseman.
17. Arizona Diamondbacks, Kyle Gibson, RHP Mizzou- rumor has it that Gibson isn’t healthy, and that gives the Diamondbacks a chance to pay him under slot money. Gibson gives them another top Missouri arm that rivals current starter Max Scherzer.
18. Florida Marlins, Matthew Purke, LHP Klein HS (Texas)- The Marlins were focused on Chad James, but when Matthew Purke falls to them, the Marlins can’t help but jump on the situation. He has fallen below the value of fellow left-handed prep star Tyler Matzek because his delivery is a bit more violent. He has a commitment to TCU, but the right amount of money could break that commitment.
19. St. Louis Cardinals, Chad James, LHP Yukon HS (Oklahoma)- James is known as a hard worker. After throwing in the mid to high 80’s last year, James got to conditioning his body and arm, and now has hit 90-92 on the gun. James commited to Oklahoma State, but could be an easy sign. He also has a plus curveball.
20. Toronto Blue Jays, Jared Mitchell, OF LSU- The Blue Jays have a connection to get Mitchell to sign, and will use current scouting advisor and former LSU Head Coach Smoke Laval to talk Mitchell into signing. Mitchell has been named the best athlete in the collegiate baseball. He can hit, and has plus power potential to go with speed.
21. Houston Astros, JIOVANNI MIER, SS, BONITA HS, (CA)- The Astros are hoping for Grant Green to fall to them, becuase they desperately need a shortstop of the future, but Mier is the second best prospect at the position. Mier projects much like Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks who projects for some power, with speed and good hitting. Mier has the arm to stay at shortstop, and will remain their for the future.
22. Minnesota Twins, Matt Hobgood, RHP Norco H.S. (CA)- Hobgood reminds of Goose Gossage, and has become a heralded prospect after out-dueling former first rounder Gerrit Cole in 2008. Hobgood beat out last year’s first rounders Aaron Hicks, Kyle Skipworth, and Gerritt Cole as the player of the year in his area. The Twins were looking for a big time lefty, and they get one here late in the first round to add to their already completely homegrown rotation.
23. Chicago White Sox, Garrett Gould, RHP Maize HS (Kansas)- The White Sox have a history of taking Gridirion stars, and Gould was one for his high school last season. Gould, who went to the same high school as Tigers pitcher Nate Robertson, had 95 strikeouts in 57 innings this season. Gould also has a solid curve; one of the best of the prep starters in the draft.
24. Los Angeles Angels, Mike Trout, OF Milville HS (NJ)- Trout compares to Aaron Rowand, with more speed. The Angels wanted Grant Green to fall, but it didn’t happen, so they will take another athlete type hitter with their first pick of the first round.
25. Los Angeles Angels, Kyle Heckathorn RHP Kennesaw State- The Angels aimed at Gould, but will take the Kennesaw product, after having many pitching problems throughout their system. It is time to rebuild their system with arms, and they will add a tall righty who can hit 99 with his fastball.
26. Milwaukee Brewers, Everett Williams, OF McCallum HS TX- Williams might have the best bat of all the prep position players in the draft, and the Brewers are happy he falls to them. One Scout in Texas says that he saw Williams hit the ball 500 feet. He has committed to Texas, but if he is taken in the first round, he is not going to return home.
27. Seattle Mariners, Jacob Turner, RHP WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (MO)- Turner is a Scott Boras client, and could fall just like Porcello did in 2007 and Gerritt Cole did last season. The Mariners would originally be looking hitter, but to see Turner available will change management’s mind in Seattle.
28. Boston Red Sox, Tony Sanchez, C Boston College- The Red Sox will take a catcher of the future late in the first round, realizing that he might not be a potential all-start, but a good all around player in the future. There is rumor he could go four to the Pirates, but the Red Sox seem like a better fit.
29. New York Yankees, A.J. Pollack, OF Notre Dame- Pollack falls to the Yankees, and they take him knowing that the Yankees will not get compensation if they can’t sign him. Pollack might not be a first round talent, but he is pretty darn close. A smooth swing, with some power and athleticism. At the least he could be used in future trades for potential major league help.
30. Tampa Bay Rays, Wil Myers, C Wesleyn High School, NC- After choosing Tim Beckham over catcher Buster Posey, the Rays really need to stock up on potential future catchers. Myers has a solid bat at the position, but he isn’t a solidified catcher. He could end up in the outfield if the catching doesn’t develop.
31. Chicago Cubs, Tyler Skaggs, LHP Santa Monica H.S. (CA)- Six foot four and a lefty; Skaggs is just what the Cubs love. He doesn’t have hard stuff, but it moves well and he has great control. The Cubs want Turner or Pollack, but will settle with the solid prep lefty.
32. Colorado Rockies, Brett Jackson, OF California- The Rockies hoped that Tim Wheeler would be available, but will settle with Jackson here. One of the more aggressive players in the Pac-10, Jackson has a true passion in the game, which will help him land in the first round.