Draft Rankings: Overall Top 116

N.C. State lefty Carlos Rodon

Carlos Rodon's uneven spring has contributed to a muddled top of the draft; Kiley ranks his top 116.

2014 MLB Draft Rankings: The Scout 291, More College Prospects & More HS Prospects

2014 Mock Drafts: 1.0 & 2.0

2014 MLB Draft Reports & Videos: 1-3 (Free), 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, 13-15, 16-18 (Free), 19-21, 22-24, 25-27 & 28-30

2015/2016 MLB Draft Rankings (May 2014): 2015 College, 2016 College & 2015-16 High School


Gory Details

I haven't been posting introductions before my regional draft prospect lists (linked above), but there are a few things to point out about my rankings. First, they're my rankings: how I would pick the players and not my best approximation of industry consensus. In most cases, those are basically the same, but there are some spots where I differ with the popular opinion. Fans drastically underrate how much difference there is on draft boards from team-to-team, so no matter how wacky or spot on you think one of my rankings is, I can guarantee there's at least a few teams with me and against me on each one.

I also don't factor in signability, even though there are some players on this list that are considered unsignable where I and the industry have them rated. I take industry consensus and signability into consideration, along with other things that aren't factors for this list, for mock drafts; I should release my first one in a few weeks. I'm waiting a bit to do a mock draft as this is about the time when players and advisors start communicating signability to scouts and clubs get final looks on players while beginning final meetings and making strategies for how to use their bonus pool.

The position I list is their projected pro fit and in the case where I list two (like C/1B for Kyle Schwarber) that's when I think they'll play both positions in the big leagues. Where I denote both a pitcher and hitter position, that means it isn't clear which position is their best long-term fit.

MLB Draft Day One Picks

1. Astros

2. Marlins

3. White Sox

4. Cubs

5. Twins

6. Mariners

7. Phillies

8. Rockies

9. Blue Jays

10. Mets

11. Blue Jays

12. Brewers

13. Padres

14. Giants

15. Angels

16. Diamondbacks

17. Royals

18. Nationals

19. Reds

20. Rays

21. Indians

22. Dodgers

23. Tigers

24. Pirates

25. A's

26. Red Sox

27. Cardinals

28. Royals

29. Reds

30. Rangers

31. Indians

32. Braves

33. Red Sox

34. Cardinals

35. Rockies

36. Marlins

37. Astros

38. Indians

39. Marlins

40. Royals

41. Brewers

I'll be in Gainesville this weekend to see Vanderbilt righty Tyler Beede among others and still have a few more games and tournaments to hit before draft day; follow me on Twitter for up to the second thoughts. I'll release an edited and expanded version of this list in a few weeks, including more of the over 200 additional prospects that I've already ranked at the above links. I also list nearly 400 more names to watch for in the top 10 rounds in those lists, if you want to go even deeper. For those curious, I've personally scouted 104 of the 116 players on this list, including 71 of the top 72.

This Year's Talent

Also linked above is my pre-season top 53, which I did in a tiers system. I opted not to do that this time since the information on players is clearer, but it also wouldn't help define the talent of the players much better than a straight list. I'd have a top tier of three (Aiken, Hoffman, Rodon), then a tier of one (Kolek), then would have players 5 through 24 all pretty similar in value, with it hard to see where to split that third tier of 20 players. I would take last year's top two picks (Mark Appel and Kris Bryant) as amateurs over anyone in this year's draft, but after that the two crops are similar in overall talent.

The effect we should expect from this distribution of talent is that the top 4 players go in the top 4 picks, then a bunch of below-slot deals get cut. There are already rumors that my #5 player, Nick Gordon, will cut a below slot deal with the Twins at pick #5 with his father, former big league reliever Tom Gordon, acting as Nick's advisor. Every player/advisor in this range knows they could slip to the bottom if they lose a few coin flips in split war rooms, so they are incentivized to market themselves as signable because if they slip 5-10 picks, even an over-slot deal at a lower pick would likely be for less money.

I'll post something later about the decision that Houston has at #1, but it's fair to say the industry would have Rodon 2nd and Hoffman 3rd or 4th right now. Hoffman is expected to return not this weekend but next from elbow soreness and he could still make or lose millions based on how crisp he looks in those final few starts. Other examples where I differ from the industry consensus include Missouri righty Brett Graves, who I have at 71 but is expected to go in the 30-50 pick range and Arkansas second baseman Brian Anderson, who I have at 37 but the industry probably has him 10-20 spots lower.

Signability Questions

Of the signability question marks, Atlanta-area prep righty Dylan Cease has a strong commitment to Vanderbilt and an elbow injury clouding his future. Two Tampa-area prep righties (Stanford commit Keith Weisenberg and Florida State commit Cobi Johnson) have always been considered tough signs and both have had uneven springs, making it less likely a club will meet their price.

On the college end, San Diego State righty Michael Cederoth went from potential first rounder to huge question mark when the Aztecs fireballer was moved to the bullpen early this spring and his command issues got even worse. He's a Boras client with big bonus expectations and more than a few scouts think he'll float a big price tag that will cause him to slip out of the top few rounds and then return to school for his senior year.

UPDATE: A few hours after I published this list, ESPN's Keith Law broke a story that I was able to later confirm:

This isn't shocking because Jacob Bukauskas reclassified to the 2014 class last fall in an effort to get to UNC faster, not to turn pro. As referenced above, I won't move Bukauskas in the rankings as a result of this since it doesn't affect his talent, but also because some (not many) players have sent this letter and still signed. Scouts thought going from a maybe $500,000 bonus to a maybe $2 million bonus when his velo spiked from 89-91 to 93-97 in February would change Bukauskas' tune about school:

ANOTHER UPDATE: While I was adding the Bukauskas news to this article, it broke that ECU righty Jeff Hoffman is getting Tommy John surgery (and was broken by multiple writers at the same time, at the same time as I also received the news). I've now updated the rankings to reflect this. Early reaction from scouts matches my own: Hoffman is still arguably the top talent in the draft, so this surgery just makes him more of a high school-type talent in the timetable and risk, so putting him at or near the top of the 5 to 24 tier is the right move. Where he gets picked and for how big of a bonus is a matter I'll tackle in my next article, about the strategy of the clubs with the top few picks.


Pos
Age
School Commit
1. Brady Aiken
LHP
17.8
Cathedral Catholic HS (CA) UCLA
2. Carlos Rodon
LHP
21.5
North Carolina State ---
3. Tyler Kolek
RHP
18.5
Shepherd HS (TX) TCU
4. Nick Gordon
SS
18.6
Olympia HS (FL) Florida St.
5. Jeff Hoffman
RHP
21.4
East Carolina ---
6. Grant Holmes
RHP
18.2
Conway HS (SC) Florida
7. Aaron Nola
RHP
21.0
LSU ---
8. Max Pentecost
C
21.2
Kennesaw State ---
9. Brad Zimmer
RF
21.5
San Francisco ---
10. Alex Jackson
RF
18.4
Rancho Bernardo HS (CA) Oregon
11. Trea Turner
SS
20.9
North Carolina State ---
12. Kyle Freeland
LHP
21.0
Evansville ---
13. Tyler Beede
RHP
21.0
Vanderbilt ---
14. Sean Newcomb
LHP
21.0
Hartford ---
15. Brandon Finnegan
LHP
21.1
TCU ---
16. Forrest Wall
2B
18.5
Orangewood Chr. HS (FL) North Carolina
17. Erick Fedde
RHP
21.3
UNLV ---
18. Alex Blandino
2B
21.6
Stanford ---
19. Michael Chavis
3B
18.8
Sprayberry HS (GA) Clemson
20. Touki Toussaint
RHP
18.0
Coral Springs Chr. HS (FL) Vanderbilt
21. Derek Hill
CF
18.4
Elk Grove HS (CA) Oregon
22. Sean Reid-Foley
RHP
18.8
Sandalwood HS (FL) Florida St.
23. Derek Fisher
LF
20.8
Virginia ---
24. Kyle Schwarber
C/1B
21.3
Indiana ---
25. Matt Chapman
3B
20.9
Cal St. Fullerton ---
26. Jacob Gatewood
3B
18.7
Clovis HS (CA) USC
27. Michael Conforto
LF
21.3
Oregon State ---
28. Jacob Bukauskas
RHP
17.7
Stone Bridge HS (VA) North Carolina
29. Casey Gillaspie
1B
21.1
Wichita State ---
30. Jakson Reetz
C
18.4
Norris HS (NE) Nebraska
31. Foster Griffin
LHP
19.0
First Academy HS (FL) Ole Miss
32. Scott Blewett
RHP
18.2
Charles Baker HS (NY) St. John's
33. Chase Vallot
C
17.8
St. Thomas More HS (LA) Mississippi St.
34. Ti'quan Forbes
3B
17.8
Columbia HS (MS) Ole Miss
35. Alex Verdugo
OF/P
18.1
Sahuaro HS (AZ) Arizona St.
36. Kodi Medeiros
LHP
18.0
Waiakea HS (HI) Pepperdine
37. Brian Anderson
CF
21.0
Arkansas ---
38. Marcus Wilson
CF
17.8
Serra HS (CA) Arizona St.
39. Mac Marshall
LHP
18.4
Parkview HS (GA) LSU
40. Spencer Adams
RHP
18.1
White County HS (GA) Georgia
41. Luis Ortiz
RHP
18.7
Sanger HS (CA) Fresno St.
42. Monte Harrison
CF
18.8
Lee's Summit West HS (MO) Nebraska (FB)
43. Aramis Garcia
C
21.4
FIU ---
44. Mike Papi
LF
21.7
Virginia ---
45. Josh Morgan
SS
18.5
Orange Lutheran HS (CA) UCLA
46. Michael Kopech
RHP
18.1
Mount Pleasant HS (TX) Arizona
47. Matt Railey
CF
19.2
North Florida Chr. HS (FL) Florida St.
48. Braxton Davidson
1B
18.0
T.C. Roberson HS (NC) North Carolina
49. Keaton McKinney
RHP
18.4
Ankeny Centennial HS (IA) Arkansas
50. Justus Sheffield
LHP
18.1
Tullahoma HS (TN) Vanderbilt
51. Michael Gettys
CF
18.6
Gainesville HS (GA) Georgia
52. Cameron Varga
RHP
19.8
Cincinnati Hills Chr. HS (OH) North Carolina
53. Daniel Gossett
RHP
21.6
Clemson ---
54. Chris Oliver
RHP
20.9
Arkansas ---
55. A.J. Reed
1B
21.7
Kentucky ---
56. Milton Ramos
SS
18.6
American Heritage HS (FL) FAU
57. Zech Lemond
RHP
21.1
Rice ---
58. Spencer Turnbull
RHP
21.7
Alabama ---
59. Nick Burdi
RHP
21.4
Louisville ---
60. J.J. Schwarz
C
18.2
Palm Beach Gardens HS (FL) Florida
61. Dylan Cease
RHP
18.2
Milton HS (GA) Vanderbilt
62. Austin Gomber
LHP
20.5
FAU ---
63. Matt Imhof
LHP
20.5
Cal Poly ---
64. Evan Skoug
C
18.6
Libertyville HS (IL) TCU
65. Turner Larkins
RHP
18.6
Martin HS (TX) Texas A&M
66. Grayson Greiner
C
21.7
South Carolina ---
67. Jordan Luplow
OF
21.7
Fresno State ---
68. Jack Flaherty
RHP
18.6
Harvard Westlake HS (CA) North Carolina
69. Gareth Morgan
RF
18.2
Blyth Academy HS (CAN) N.C. State
70. Luke Weaver
RHP
20.8
Florida State ---
71. Brett Graves
RHP
21.4
Missouri ---
72. Joey Gatto
RHP
19.0
St. Augustine HS (NJ) North Carolina
73. Bryan Dobzanski
RHP
18.8
Delsea Regional HS (NJ) Louisville
74. Robbie Dickey
RHP
20.1
Blinn JC (TX) Texas St.
75. Blake Bivens
RHP
18.8
George Washington HS (VA) Liberty
76. Nick Howard
RHP
21.7
Virginia ---
77. Slade Heggen
C
18.5
Loyola Sacred Heart HS (MT) Oregon
78. Greg Allen
CF
21.2
San Diego State ---
79. Austin Byler
1B
21.4
Nevada ---
80. Devon Fisher
C
18.1
Western Branch HS (VA) Virginia
81. Ryan Castellani
RHP
18.2
Brophy HS (AZ) Arizona St.
82. Jake Godfrey
RHP
18.4
Providence Catholic HS (IL) LSU
83. Jeren Kendall
CF
18.3
Holmen HS (WI) Vanderbilt
84. Austin DeCarr
RHP
19.2
Salisbury HS (CT) Clemson
85. Andrew Suarez
LHP
21.7
Miami ---
86. Cody Reed
LHP
18.0
Ardmore HS (AL) Vanderbilt
87. Eric Skoglund
LHP
21.6
UCF ---
88. Grant Hockin
RHP
18.3
Damien HS (CA) UCLA
89. Tate Blackman
2B
19.7
Lake Brantley HS (FL) Ole Miss
90. Andrew Karp
RHP
18.7
West Orange HS (FL) Florida St.
91. Carson Sands
LHP
19.2
North Florida Chr. HS (FL) Florida St.
92. Rhys Hoskins
RF
21.1
Sacramento State ---
93. Pat Connaughton
RHP
21.3
Notre Dame ---
94. Aaron Brown
LHP
21.6
Pepperdine ---
95. Todd Isaacs
CF
18.0
American Heritage HS (FL) None
96. Nick Wells
LHP
18.3
Battlefield HS (VA) Charleston
97. Austin Davis
LHP
21.3
Cal St. Bakersfield ---
98. Zach Shannon
RF/P
18.0
Anderson HS (OH) Ohio St.
99. Chris Ellis
RHP
21.7
Ole Miss ---
100. Garrett Fulenchek
RHP
18.0
Howe HS (TX) Dallas Baptist
101. Keith Weisenberg
RHP
18.5
Osceola HS (FL) Stanford
102. Jake Stinnett
RHP
22.1
Maryland ---
103. Michael Cederoth
RHP
21.5
San Diego State ---
104. Bryce Montes De Oca
RHP
18.1
Lawrence HS (KS) Missouri
105. Simeon Lucas
C
18.3
Grant Community HS (IL) Illinois St.
106. Cobi Johnson
RHP
18.6
Mitchell HS (FL) Florida St.
107. Dylan Davis
RF
21.8
Oregon State ---
108. Taylor Sparks
RF
21.6
UC Irvine ---
109. Justin Smith
RF
18.3
Bartram Trail HS (FL) Miami
110. Jacob Lindgren
LHP
21.2
Mississippi State ---
111. Derick Velazquez
RHP
20.5
Fresno State ---
112. James Norwood
RHP
20.5
St. Louis ---
113. J.D. Davis
1B/P
21.1
Cal St. Fullerton ---
114. Jake Cosart
RHP
20.3
Seminole JC (FL) None
115. Jordan Brink
RHP
21.2
Fresno State ---
116. Ryan Butler
RHP
22.3
Charlotte ---


Follow Kiley McDaniel on Twitter for more baseball news on the draft, the minor leagues, the big leagues and July 2nd.

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