2017 MLB Draft Review

Here are some notes on the first 30 picks in this years draft. There isn’t a first overall player you should be dying to get, but there are plenty of nice depth pieces to pay attention to down the line.  If you still have time, flip your first rounders for some real talent!

  • Minnesota Twins, Royce Lewis, SS- a speedy, sinewy player who has a knack to hit and smooth fielding ability. He has average power and Target Field won’t help that play up; while his ceiling is that of an all-star, he doesn’t appear to be a fantasy superstar. He’s a good player to build around, but likely will not be the #1 overall pick in your upcoming dynasty supplemental draft due to the lack of a category carrying tool.
  • Cincinnati Reds, Hunter Greene, RHP- Potentially the most talented player in the draft. A 17-year-old who works with a fastball that reaches 102MPH. The Reds are obviously not the ideal spot for any starter, but this could potentially be a #1 starter on your fantasy rosters in the future. The downside is that the history of young high school right handed flame throwers is checkered, just look at Tyler Kolek and Riley Pint both looking to find their footing. His secondary pitches are lacking, but that’s due to having such an effective fastball as a high schooler. He will likely be a top 3 pick in your upcoming draft. Lastly, while being a pitcher doesn’t make this important, he has plus power, and can definitely help his own cause in wins leagues.
  • San Diego Padres, MacKenzie Gore, LHP- a polished athletic left-handed arm, that could be in the MLB in 3-4 years. He has a deceptive high leg kick, and a good downward plane to his motion, along with having good leg drive toward home. His fastball and breaking pitch are both plus, and he locates everything well. The 158/5 K/BB is hard to translate into MLB stats, but it’s impressive, and certainly not going to be viewed negatively. Lastly, while the Padres are presently terrible, he fits in very well with the wave of talent they have coming to Petco in the next few years, and pitching in the NL West is beneficial.
  • Tampa Bay Rays, Brendan McKay, 1B- the best hitter and pitcher in the ACC this year was announced as a hitter, and frankly I couldn’t be happier about it. He rakes from line to line, and he has power. To add to it he has ultra advanced plate discipline, which will help him advance to the MLB quickly. This is exactly the kind of player you want to take at the top of your draft
  • Atlanta Braves, Kyle Wright, RHP- a stud arm through and through. He has a power fastball, a good hard slider, and an average change up. His motion is simple and great stuff. The main problem is that he has had inconsistent command so far, resulting in some very up and down outings. While he is built like a prototypical ace his command leaves him with the ceiling of #1 starter and the floor of a maddening power reliever.
  • Oakland Athletics, Austin Beck, OF- an absolute masher of a high school bat. He has a sturdy build, and with quickness that’s above what you’d expect from his size. His ACL injury made him one of the less scouted players in this years draft, but this is one of my favorite players in the draft. His highlight reels show him blasting homers to the opposite field with ease. He also runs well, but his speed while useful will not be his calling card. The lack of a look at him against elite competition means he does have potential to totally flop, but what I have seen has left me thoroughly impressed. In my opinion, this is the best high school bat in the upcoming fantasy draft.
  • Arizona Diamondbacks, Pavin Smith, 1B- a true master of plate discipline, Smith had 13 homers and 12 strikeouts last year. His swing is incredibly quick, resulting in a ton of contact, despite lacking prodigious over the fence power you’d want from a first baseman. His frame allows him to potentially grow into some more strength, but as a college first baseman, I would have expected him to fill out more by now. His contact ability could make him far more valuable than what I’m presently viewing him as, but the lack of a star ceiling makes him more of a nice depth piece than a star you’re dying to roster.
  • Philadelphia Phillies, Adam Haseley, OF- the biggest riser from the college ranks this year, Haseley can flat out rake. He hits to all fields with a smooth line drive stroke, has average power, and above average speed. Similar to his teammate taken above him, he has great plate discipline, and is a strong fielder. While the glove won’t help you, it will put all the pressure on his ability to rise through the minors on his bat alone, giving you a much easier time evaluating him if you are his future owner.
  • Milwaukee Brewers, Keston Hiura, 2B- I’ll get the bad news over with first. He is going to need Tommy John because of UCL damage, he was unable to play the field all season. The good news is that despite playing with one healthy arm, he is still my favorite hitter in this draft. He has plus to double plus hitting ability, with above average power, and he runs well enough to cover the outfield if they decide to move him down the defensive spectrum. But a guy who absolutely rakes, with any speed at all, up the middle, in Miller Park is a dream come true. This is a best case scenario for the potential fantasy stud.
  • Los Angeles Angels, Jordon Adell, OF- the most tooled up position player in the draft, Jo Adell is a plus runner and a plus power hitter. He covers the outfield well, and has a very strong arm. If he hits well, he’ll rocket up the minors, but he will more likely take some time to develop due to his present bat to ball issues. He’s a physical specimen with an ex NFL father, and a D1 sister, he’ll 100% be a project for your fantasy team, but if it all clicks, he would easily be a cornerstone piece to your team.
  • Chicago White Sox, Jake Burger, 3B- Burger crushed all season this year, and definitely pushed his stock up this season. He may have to move down to 1B, but he makes a ton of contact, and has plus pop. He was one of the best hitters this year, and if he can keep hitting like he has during his college career he could be a star, but he’s more likely to be a big bopper corner infielder.
  • Pittsburg Pirates, Shane Baz, RHP- a power arm from Texas with a very strong build already. He can reach back for 98MPH, but he also has a curveball and slider with very sharp break. A violent delivery that involves him falling off to the first base side leads to inconsistent command, but an MLB coaching staff should be able to help him clean that up, and harness his ability.
  • Miami Marlins, Trevor Rogers, LHP- admittedly I know less about Rogers than the rest of this class, but the 6’6” upper 90s ¾ slot hurler crushed New Mexican opponents this year. The owner of 3 no hitters and a perfect game this year, posted video game high school numbers. He will be the #1 Marlin prospect as soon as he signs. The lefty can locate his fastball and everything else requires some work. He can sit on your draft board a little longer than the Marlins waited to pluck him, but he’s certainly a nice looking arm.
  • Kansas City Royals, Nick Pratto, 1B- a hitter who soared up draft boards this year with a huge improvement in his power output this season. He has room to grow, and while he has some extraneous movement in his swing, it’s an effective effort to get some extra pop out of his swing. Kansas City isn’t an ideal spot for a power hitter, but Kansas City is soon to have an opening at 1B, and this is an effort to close up that hole. If he continues to grow, he could be the best high school bat in the draft, but I think it’s more likely he becomes a low end 1B for your fantasy teams down the road due to the power hampering effects of Kaufman.
  • Houston Astros, JB Bukauskas, RHP- owner of the best breaking pitch in this draft, an absolutely filthy slider. Bukauskas compliments that breaking pitch with a hard fastball in the mid 90s, along with a changeup with arm side run and fade. He only stands 6ft tall, which is a red flag, but his stuff should allow him to overcome his stature. His lack of a sturdy build makes him more of a fantasy trade chip that teams will be playing hot potato with, but I expect him to enjoy a nice peak in his career.
  • New York Yankees, Clarke Schmidt, RHP- The ace of the University of South Carolina before requiring Tommy John surgery, Schmidt has a power fastball, and a tight breaking ball. The wait on him to return is obviously what allowed him to slip down the ranks a bit, but this is a legitimate power arm. He is a very high risk, high reward pitcher, but this is the kind of gamble the Yankees can afford to take on with their financial backing.
  • Seattle Mariners, Evan White, 1B- one of the most unusual draft prospects, but clearly a talented and polished athlete. His best ability is his incredible glove at first, but he also has plus wheels, something you rarely find in a first round first baseman. He could move to the outfield, where his plus hit and average power would play up. If White puts some muscle on, he could turn into a fantasy monster as his strong contact ability would allow him to assault balls up the middle, but if he keeps up his present profile, he could be a very nice first baseman while being the rare steal contributor from a corner. If White finds himself on your team, you clearly invested in the power/speed potential, but there’s no guarantee that happens.
  • Detroit Tigers, Alex Faedo, RHP- a safe high ceiling arm is a great compliment to last years ultra-high risk/high reward pick the Tigers made last year in Matt Manning. Faedo has some strange mechanics with a drop and drive delivery along with an inverted W in his arm swing. He has mid 90s heat, an average slider, and curve which both play up due to his strong command. Faedo could move to the MLB very quickly, so if your team needs a quick boost, this may be your guy.
  • San Francisco Giants, Heliot Ramos, OF- a Puerto Rican outfielder with great raw tools. He has plus speed, and plus power, but presently has below average hitting ability. He’s the definition of a project, and he’ll need to develop to allow his other tools to be realized. The long lead time, should hurt him in dynasty drafts as there are always a few of these in the draft
  • New York Mets, David Peterson, LHP- the ace of the dominant Oregon staff stands 6’6” 240lbs, and has a ferocious sweeping slider, which guided him to a 20 strikeout game this year. He throws in the low 90s, and also has a strong fading change up. Any pitcher built like this heading to the Mets is a very nice combo. He can be a very solid arm going forward, this is a pick that could be a solid sleeper for fantasy teams.
  • Baltimore Orioles, DL Hall, LHP- a high school lefty that can touch 96 is going to catch a lot of eyes quickly, and then adding a dangerous tight spinning curve gives Hall a nice repertoire for a high school lefty. The command and change up could both use some work, but years of development are to be expected, and the Orioles have plenty of experience with high potential arms, despite a checkered history with them, to know how to bring Hall along.
  • Toronto Blue Jays, Logan Warmoth, SS- Warmoth has continued to get better and better as his college career has progressed. He has good speed, and a great glove, with an average arm. He may move to second, but his ability to line balls pole to pole, and his improved pop has turned him into an interesting fantasy prospect, granted more of a safe pick that an exciting one. Warmoth should provide plenty of teams nice value, but he’ll certainly sit on dynasty draft boards longer than pick 22.
  • Los Angeles Dodgers, Jeren Kendall, OF- A tooled up OF, I’ve already written about my massive doubts in his ability. An elite runner, with plus power, he really struggles to put the bat on the ball. He reminds me of Buddy Reed as a guy who has all the tools besides the hit tool. Someone will definitely reach high for Kendall, and if it works, it will be 100% worth that risk, but I doubt he lives up to that potential.
  • Boston Red Sox, Tanner Houck, RHP- a big bodied righty, who has a mid 90s fastball with good movement, and a sweeping slider. He has inconsistent secondary offerings, but the fastball is the real deal, and he can make it work. Big guys with funky motions have a tough time achieving consistent results, but this could turn in to a dominant reliever.
  • Washington Nationals, Seth Romero, LHP- Romero’s a guy who gets in fights with his teammates resulting in his dismissal from the Houston team, along with fluctuating weight issues. But he’s the best arm in college baseball. He has a plus fastball, slider, and change, along with average command. I saw multiple games of his in college and he consistently racked up strikeouts, while limiting walks, and hits, and he also was already showing good ground ball inducing abilities. This is a great pick for fantasy and reality, assuming his ten cent head doesn’t ruin his million dollar arm. Being a National doesn’t hurt either.
  • Texas Rangers, Bubba Thompson, OF- like many baseball/football players, he oozes athleticism, but questions about his hit tool are what follow him. He runs very well, hits for power, and has the arm to be an SEC quarterback recruit. His speed is more of the high top speed, extra base hit variety, but in the end he’ll chip in a few steals, and get you a few extra doubles with his wheels.
  • Chicago Cubs, Brendon Little, LHP-a strikeout machine who seems set to be a reliever whom the Cubs will promote quickly. A great curve and a fastball that reaches the upper 90s if he works out as a starter, he’ll be a great investment by the already talent rich/actually rich Cubs. With the state of their team, this seems like a very smart risk to take where the downside could end up benefiting their team sooner, rather than later.
  • Toronto Blue Jays, Nate Pearson, RHP- Pearson hits triple digits with his fastball, and his big body bodes well for his longevity and durability. The change up and slider are both lacking, but this may be a quick switch to the bullpen.
  • Texas Rangers, Chris Seise, SS- lightning fast runner, with good bat speed. He’s not projectable, but athletes like this are all the rave once the polished college talent is taken. This is also the type of athlete the Rangers have invested in over and over again in the past. Unfortunately they’ve also used this approach with a quantity over quality approach hoping if they throw enough at the wall, something will stick. The ceiling is 20 homers, 30 steals, the floor is a guy who’s biggest achievement was being a first rounder.
  • Chicago Cubs, Alex Lange, RHP- quite the talent to slip to the Cubs at the 30 He has plus velocity, a big healthy body, and a sharp 12-6 curve. He loses command as he tires, and his change is below average. If he can bring his secondary stuff up, he could be a very nice cheap mid rotation arm for the Cubs, if that doesn’t work, he can be a quicker moving reliever to supplement the Cubs dominance.

The Author

Jack Cecil

Jack Cecil

Jack Cecil is an extravagant baller who lives a lifestyle you can only dream of. After a childhood spent on the streets, he moved some place warm, a place where the beer flows like wine, and where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. In his leisure time, he enjoys watching a baseball game or two, its possible he watched 337 full games at work in 2016...


  1. […] offers some thoughts on every single pick of the first round of the MLB […]

  2. June 13, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Flipped a first and third rounder in my dynasty for Addison Russell

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