For me, this is the easiest 1.1 pick in a while. Last year, there was no clear top prospect, and the year before that, everyone had their own favorite shortstop in the Swanson, Bregman, Rodgers trio. Greene brings an advanced array of pitches and solid control in a still projectable body. His fastball sits mid-90s and approaches the upper range of 97/98. The curve has solid break to it as well. Everyone is talking about him being the first prep righty being taken first in a draft before. If anyone can do it, it'll be Greene.
1.2 Reds - Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt
This might be the most obvious fit from here on out. The Reds love taking two things: (1) advanced college bats and (2) conversion college RP to SP. Kendall is easily the best college position player out there right now, so he'd make sense as the heir to CF in Cincinnati. Kendall's got speed, power, and athleticism for days, but needs to shore up his strikeouts this spring.
1.3 Padres - Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt
I flip-flopped between Wright, Faedo, and Bukauskas here, but Wright won out. He has a deeper arsenal than Faedo even though Wright's pure stuff might just be a tad below his. SD's front office often takes unusual routes to the draft, so I have no idea who their target might be here. They picked Quantrill and Potts early in 2016, but also went with a bunch of HS pitchers the year before.
1.4 Rays - Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida
The Rays probably like Faedo better anyway, as he fits their mold of pitchers who could better transition to relief if all else fails. Faedo also falls in line with the timeline on other TB prospects, as he has realtively advanced control already. Dominant at times with a great FB/SL combo. Bring him aboard the pipeline that supplies Tampa Bay with starters like crazy and nobody will complain.
1.5 Braves - Jordon Adell, OF, Ballard HS
The Braves have a steady reputation of grabbing high-upside prep arms, but I can't imagine they'll go down that road every draft. They're beginning to select more tool-oriented bats to compliment their arms through international free agency in the likes of Cruz, Maitan, and Pache. Adell might have the highest upside of any player in this class, with above-average to plus grades on his power, speed, glove, and arm. His hitting ability is the only question mark right now, as he'll have to prove he can make contact against different kinds of pitches in the spring.
1.6 Athletics - D.L. Hall, LHP, Valdosta HS
Right now, Hall's looking like the best prep lefty in the draft. He's shined in numerous summer USA Baseball events, and only makes sense here at pick number six. Hall mixes a low-90s fastball with a plus curve and a still-developing changeup. The arm action is very fluid so it's not hard to see the changeup growing into a third eventual plus pitch. The A's usually lean college early, but they've dipped into HS ranks a few rounds in in the past few years to grab Chalmers and Szynski. Now, they finally committ to the demographic, and draft one of the best prep arms out there.
1.7 Diamondbacks - J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, North Carolina
The new analytical regime will love Bukauskas' numbers at UNC. His height might deter earlier teams, but he's got almost everything you want from a college pitcher. All in all, his arsenal is likely the best in college, headlined by a near double-plus fastball all from a 6'0" frame. The slider flashes plus and the changeup even has its moments.
1.8 Phillies - Royce Lewis, SS/OF, JSerra Catholic HS
Lewis runs well and gets good jumps on the ball no matter where he plays, whether that be at short or in the outfield. He'd add to the tremendous grouping of young talent that Philly is amassing. Unlike Cornelius Randolph, who was originally drafted as a SS, Lewis has a much better chance of sticking due to his athleticism. The swing is geared for contact right now but he can grow into average power. He's one of the youngest players in the class.
The Brewers are in a bit of a tough spot here, as I see a sizeable drop in talent between the former eight selections and everyone else remaining. They could go college here and side with McKay, but I feel like Crouse fits the Milwaukee mold better as of recent years. He might have the best fastball in the draft, and as a high schooler, that's saying something. He'll routinely run it up to 95-98 and might even hit 100 mph in the spring. The tall righty's secondaries are a bit behind the electric fastball, but the heat is enough to get him drafted this high.
1.10 Angels - Brendan McKay, LHP, Louisville
Prep arms haven't worked well for the Angels in the past so they'll stick with college here by choosing McKay, a two-way 1B/LHP. It would make zero sense to draft two college 1B in consecutive drafts with premium picks though, so McKay's being selected as a pitcher. He has solid stuff, lacking a single weak point. The changeup might need some slight work before the draft, but when all is said and done, McKay could move quickly as a backend starter.
1.11 White Sox - Pavin Smith, 1B, Virginia
Chicago has made it known that they place a lot of weight on proximity to the majors, and it isn't unrealistic to think Smith could be playing first for them by 2018. He'd form a very powerful duo with 2016 first rounder Zack Collins. Smith is limited to 1B, but he fields the position well and should hit enough to stick. The power is still developing (plus raw), as he currently struggles to get to it in games.
1.12 Pirates - Tanner Houck, RHP, Missouri
Houck already feels like a Pirate already because of his black and gold uniform at Missouri. The powerful and tall righty can bring the heat and even has surprisingly good of control of where it's going. His secondary pitches are lacking, though, which will cause him to slide to twelfth overall. If he can step up his slider or change to above average, I could see him quickly rising to the same level as the Wright, Faedo, Bukauskas trio.
1.13 Marlins - Nick Allen, SS, Francis Parker HS
The Marlins have continually leaned towards selecting premium athletes in early rounds. In following that tradition, they'll welcome one of the best defenders in the draft to Miami. Allen plays shortstop like few others, with some great plays at the PG Classic in San Diego. He has great speed and is even supposedly adopting switch hitting. The 5'9" frame worries some evaluators, but he's doing everything possible to assuage their concerns.
In deciding this pick, I struggled between Enlow and LHP Trevor Rogers, but Enlow brings more current polish. His fastball and curveball combo rank among the best in this class and could improve further with added weight. His changeup needs time but Enlow checks almost every other box a team could want from a prep product thanks to his deep repertoire and projectable body.
1.15 Astros - Tristan Beck, RHP, Stanford
The Astros do love their changeups, and they're getting a great one from Beck. He still has a lot of room to fill out his 6'4" frame, but he's just a draft eligible sophomore so there's time. In addition to the change, Houston would be acquiring a pitcher who can paint the corners of the strike zone with a usable fastball and curve. Hopefully this selection is high enough to warrant signing on Beck's part.
1.16 Yankees - Corbin Martin, RHP, Texas A&M
Martin is similar to LSU RHP Alex Lange, and Lange has a longer track record of putting it all together in a starting role. On the other hand, Martin featured a great array of pitches over the summer, showcasing his feel for a mid-90s fastball and quality curve. If he can bring everything together this spring, he'll warrant a pick this high. The Yankees are particularly difficult to predict given their past selections of Rutherford, Kaprielian, and Lindgren, so Martin is a bit of a wildcard here.
1.17 Mariners - J.J. Schwarz, C, Florida
The Mariners have traditionally not had very much success selecting catchers in the draft. Schwarz has loads of raw power and has a knack for making contact. And with Zack Collins gone from Miami, he can safely claim sole control of the best bat in Florida's collegiate waters. The defense has a ways to go, given his lack of playing time at the catcher position, but his bat makes the pick worth it. If the Mariners ditch catching, Schwarz could zoom to the majors as a DH.
1.18 Tigers - Michael Gigliotti, OF, Lipscomb
Detroit has gone with HS picks in each of the past three drafts, but they mix it up here by grabbing an athletic center fielder from Tennessee. Hill, Burrows, and Manning are a ways away, but Gigliotti could move up the ladder quickly thanks to relatively secure defensive skills and his ability to draw contact. He'll likely leapfrog Derek Hill on the organizational depth chart in CF.
1.19 Giants - Alex Scherff, RHP, Colleyville Heritage HS
Scherff has little projection remaining but already brings the heat at 6'2", 210 lbs. His fastball is one of the best in the prep class, and his changeup ranks among the more advanced as well. His breaking ball needs refinement though, as does his delivery. Overall, a classic arm strength righty for the Giants to add to the collection.
1.20 Mets - Trevor Rogers, LHP, Carlsbad HS
The fall ends here for the young southpaw. The Mets are usually all over the board when it comes to picks, choosing a college bat, prep bat, then college arm in the three most recent years. Rogers finishes the cycle here as New York's first HS arm in the first round since 2011 Michael Fulmer. Rogers' fastball gets up to 95 mph, and he pairs it with a good slider. His change is nascent, but the 6'6" frame from the left side makes everything worth waiting on.
1.21 Orioles - Cole Brannen, OF, The Westfield School
The Orioles loaded up on arms last year, so they have some room in the system to take Brannen, an athletic outfielder from Georgia. He can fly around the bases and makes all the plays in center. For a lighter middle-of-the-field player, Brannen projects to have decent power. His speed will carry him to the bigs, but he'll has other tools to fall back on if he struggles to hit.
1.22 Blue Jays - Peter Solomon, RHP, Notre Dame
Solomon follows the Jays history of drafting relatively safer mid-rotation arms early on. He has a deep arsenal made up of four at least average pitches. Couple that with solid command of everything and a tall 6'4" frame, and you end up with Solomon. I debated between him and Lange here, but the Jays' trends make it clear they prefer to choose players more likely to stick as starters.
1.23 Dodgers - Mark Vientos, SS, American Heritage HS
After taking Gavin Lux in the first round in 2016, the Dodgers can now pair Vientos with him as they move up the ladder. Vientos' lack of speed make it hard for him to stick at short, but he shows all the necessary movements. Instead, it's likely to see him move over to 3B or 2B, where his power might play better. He's a high upside pick with room to rise up boards before the draft.
1.24 Red Sox - Alex Lange, RHP, Louisiana State
Lange has the powerful fastball and deadly curve to make hitters' knees weak, but he struggled with command in 2016. The change is fine for now, but many have concerns about his ability to start games, hence his fall to pick 24. If he can prove that his curve has it's usual shape, and he can locate it well, he could be in for a top ten selection.
Washington took injured Jacob Luzardo, a prep lefty, in the third round of 2016. With both him and Heatherly healthy this year, fans should look forward to seeing the southpaw duo. Luzardo was rumored to be a first round pick before he needed TJ surgery. Heatherly features an above average fastball that he throws from a 3/4 arm slot. He mixes in a solid breaking ball and changeup, and stands out for his control at such a young age.
1.26 Rangers - Quentin Holmes, OF, Monsignor McClancy Memorial HS
Holmes might be the fastest player in the draft, with at least 80-grade speed from the right side. He fields the ball well in center field and has a feel to hit. The cold weather product might need more time to acclimate to tougher pitching, but if it all connects, Holmes could be a dynamic player in every facet of the game.
1.27 Cubs - Joe Dunand, SS, North Carolina State
Dunand showed improved power, contact and fielding ability in the Cape League in 2016. His approach leaves something to be desired, but it's clear he's one of the best bats in the class. His strength leads to plus raw power off the bat. Even more intriguing, he has the arm strength and skills to play either SS or 3B. Because the Cubs largely avoided bats in 2016, they'll take one of the better ones in the class here at pick 27.
1.28 Rangers - Colton Hock, RHP, Stanford
1.29 Cubs - Mitchell Stone, LHP, Deer Creek HS
1.30 Blue Jays - Garrett Mitchell, OF, Orange Lutheran HS
1.31 Rays - Kevin Smith, SS, Maryland
1.32 Reds - Alejandro Toral, 1B/OF, Archbishop McCarthy HS
1.33 Athletics - Jake Burger, 3B, Missouri State
1.34 Brewers - Clarke Schmidt, RHP, South Carolina
1.35 Twins - Ricardo De La Torre, SS, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy
1.36 Marlins - Brendon Little, LHP, State JC of Florida