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2009 First Round Mock Draft 2.0

Another week, another mock. Let’s see what we see…

1.1 Washington – RHSP Stephen Strasburg (San Diego State)
1.2 Seattle – 1B/OF Dustin Ackley (North Carolina)
1.3 San Diego – RHSP Aaron Crow (Missouri/Fort Worth Cats)
1.4 Pittsburgh – RHSP Alex White (North Carolina)
1.5 Baltimore – SS Grant Green (Southern Cal)

I still have no idea which way Seattle is leaning with the second pick. Any one of Ackley, White, Tate, Matzek, or Scheppers could be the guy. Green’s stock is falling faster than [insert fast falling stock symbol here], but I still think it’s a tad reactionary to have him falling more than a few picks from the top considering the total absence of quality bats at premium positions in this year’s draft. Heck, I was one of Green’s biggest detractors heading into this season so if anybody could support a slip in his stock it’s me. About a month ago I said this:

It’s not quite a fully developed idea, but I’ll just throw it out there here so I can have it on the record…Grant Green (Southern Cal, SS) and Jason Donald (Arizona, Phillies, SS/3B/2B). Am I crazy in thinking they have similar enough profiles to compare the two?

I like Grant Green and I like Jason Donald, but I’m not sold on either player being “worth” the fifth overall pick. However, and this is worth pointing out time and time again, the top of the draft has so few interesting bats that there is some justification for reaching for a potential plus bat at a key defensive position.

1.6 San Francisco – OF Donavan Tate (Cartersville HS – Georgia)
1.7 Atlanta – RHSP Zack Wheeler (East Paulding HS – Georgia)
1.8 Cincinnati – RHSP Kyle Gibson (Missouri)
1.9 Detroit Tigers – LHSP Tyler Matzek (Capistrano Valley HS – California)
1.10 Washington – RHSP Tanner Scheppers (Fresno State/St. Paul Saints)

How do you spell Tate’s first name? I’ve literally seen a 50/50 split (or darn close anyway) in the major publications when it comes to his spelling. Off the top of my head, I think Baseball America and Pefect Game both call him Donavan, but claims he goes by Donovan. Even the great Google comes up empty – 824,000 hits for “Donovan Tate” and 870,000 “Donavan Tate” in a race too close to call.

I debated far too long about Atlanta’s pick, but there is too much noise about Atlanta loving Wheeler to go against the grain. Brian Sabean was at a recent Cartersville start to watch Wheeler throw, so it’s entirely possible he’ll be off the board at pick six. In a way that would be convenient because we can then just flip the Giants and Braves picks with little shaking up of the draft board.

Strasburg & Scheppers…that’ll do nicely. I like the Nationals popping Scheppers here because there is absolutely no chance he won’t sign a fair deal, he has no other options besides professional baseball. The question for me is whether or not he’ll be sitting there for them to debate the pick…

1.11 Colorado – RHSP Mike Leake (Arizona State)
1.12 Kansas City – RHSP Shelby Miller (Brownwood HS – Texas)
1.13 Oakland – 3B Bobby Borchering (Bishop Verot HS – Florida)
1.14 Texas – LHSP Matt Purke (Klein HS – Texas)
1.15 Cleveland – LHSP Mike Minor (Vanderbilt)

A prep superstar sandwich with delicious high floor (and high fiber!) college pitcher bread. The Royals and Rangers would both be ecstatic (I’m guessing) if the draft actually went like this, though I now wonder if the two Texan high schoolers might be flip flopped.

1.16 Arizona – LHP/OF Brooks Raley (Texas A&M)
1.17 Arizona – C Max Stassi (Yuba City HS – California)
1.18 Florida – LHP/1B Colton Cain (Waxahachie HS – Texas)
1.19 St. Louis – LHSP Andy Oliver (Oklahoma State)
1.20 Toronto – LHSP James Paxton (Kentucky)
1.21 Houston – LHSP Rex Brothers (Lipscomb)

How’s that for a run on lefthanded pitching? That’s 7 out of 8 lefties if you’re scoring at home, with the run only being broken up by the presence of new top 2009 catcher Stassi. Cain is the real wild card in all of this, but he is only this high up because Florida is such a difficult team for me to project. Cain would be a big stretch at 18, but a high upside, athletic high school arm makes sense in the spot.

1.22 Minnesota – OF Jared Mitchell (Louisiana State)
1.23 Chicago White Sox – RHSP Kyle Heckathorn (Kennesaw State)
1.24 Los Angeles Angels – LHSP Tyler Skaggs (Santa Monica HS – California)
1.25 Los Angeles Angels – 3B Matt Davidson (Yucaipa HS – California)

Mitchell to Minnesota would be a re-draft (they took him out of high school in 2006), so we know he fits their typical draft demographic beautifully. It’s possible that Mitchell fits the Twins model too well, seeing as they already have about a half dozen players with similar skillsets already in the system – it would almost be overkill at this point to draft another.

1.26 Milwaukee – OF Mike Trout (Millville HS – New Jersey)
1.27 Seattle – RHSP Jacob Turner (Westminster Academy – Missouri)
1.28 Boston – RHSP Sam Dyson (South Carolina)
1.29 New York Yankees – RHSP Alex Wilson (Texas A&M)
1.30 Tampa Bay – 1B Rich Poythress (Georgia)
1.31 Chicago Cubs – SS Jiovanni Mier (Bonita HS – California)
1.32 Colorado – OF Kentrail Davis (Tennessee)

Turner to the Mariners makes sense, if they are as willing to pony up the bucks as they have intimated. Projecting the top AL East teams is a killer, but it’s not much more than a coincidence that all three wound up with college players – Dyson and Wilson are high upside arms that would represent good value late in the first, but carry significant injury risk going forward. Poythress is a really hard player to squeeze in, but he’d be a really nice fit for a team in need of another big bat to balance out an already strong lineup, slotting in as either Pena’s successor at first or a DH option down the road. Davis is another player that probably shouldn’t be as high as he is in a vacuum, but in a draft like this he’ll get a substantial bonus because he has shown he can at least hit a little (we’re setting the bar low for bats this year, unfortunately).



  1. Paul says:

    Dude, Brooks Raley is not going before Brothers, Oliver and Paxton. Not only is he a soft-tossing lefty he’s a soph. which is going to make it a tough sign.

    Sam Dyson and Alex Wilson aren’t a first rounders, supp. at best.

    There’s no way Kentrail Davis is a first rounder. Incredibly disappointing season. He’s a supp. at best.

    • rfozga says:


      I’m with you on where each of those players should go, but I tried to be clever here and throw in a few surprises. Maybe it was me just out-thinking myself, I don’t know. Anyway, as much as I like Raley I agree that he won’t go before Paxton or Brothers, but I could still conceivably see a team liking him enough to take him before Oliver comes off the board. Dyson and Wilson are not likely to be actual first rounders, you’re right – again, I think that was a case of me projecting players that I like more than most into higher spots. That’s a bad habit I have with my mocks and something I’m working toward correcting. I don’t have that problem with Kentrail Davis (I’m not a fan), but you can be sure he won’t be in the first in my next mock all the same.

      Thanks for the feedback.

  2. Dan says:

    If they Nationals are going to have to fork out to sign Strasburg then I can see them going relatively cheaply with the 10th spot – I think Scheppers would probably cost too much for their tastes. If it plays out like that I can’t see the A’s taking Borchering over Purke. Also just small typo – Zach Wheeler is from Georgia.


    • rfozga says:

      Good stuff, thanks. Definitely need to fix that mistake on Wheeler. An updated mock will be posted soon, but I’m pretty sure I kept Borchering to Oakland…but I’m also pretty sure Purke was already off the board in that version. I don’t know why I think Borchering is a good fit for Oakland, it’s just one of those picks I keep coming back to.

  3. Joshua B. says:

    Just some thoughts…

    Green seems to be dropping, a lot, while guys like Crow, Scheppers, Ackley and Zach Wheeler have been solidifying themselves. I really don’t think Green is going to crack the top 5, and I see he’s ceiling (in the draft) as #9 to Detroit (right now at least).

    I believe it’s Donovan.

    I like Kyle Gibson to the Reds, that pick just seems right. Gibson is the arm that kind of gets overshadowed by the others: White, Crow, Scheppers, Wheeler, S.Miller, Matzek, Purke, and the fast moving Leake and Brothers, as well. Kind of a lot like Y. Alonso last year, who was overshadowed by: Posey, Smoak, Alvarez, Hosmer, and the fast moving Gordon Beckham. With Alonso and Gibson the Reds could stake claim to the best top two picks of the 2008 and 2009 drafts.

    I don’t like Bobby Borchering to the A’s. I think I’m higher on Borchering than most, and even I only have him in the 20-25 range. That being said, I don’t think the A’s reach for a bat two years in a row (seriously, Jermile Weeks?) especially a high school bat. When have you ever known the A’s to take high school bats?

    Purke falling to Texas would frustrate me as an Astros fan, but it seems likely he could, and, if not him, Shelby Miller.

    Mike Minor 15th? I’m not sure he’s even a first rounder anymore, especially since he offers little upside.

    I’m going to agree with Paul, there’s no way Raley is drafted ahead of Brothers, Oliver, AND Paxton. He could be drafted before one or two of them but not all three. Brothers is signable and a better prospect than Raley.

    I’m totally on board with Heckathorn in the second half of the first round. Like you said earlier in the year (paraphrasing of course), it only takes one team to like his upside enough to ignore the risk and draft him fifteen slots higher than expected. I’m thinking Yankees, though. Or, get this, how about Luke Bailey to the Yankees? They would be able to sign him whatever it takes and then get a top 20 prospect out of it.

    Obviously at the end of the first round things get murky. That’s why I will disagree with Paul when he says, Sam Dyson, Alex Wilson and Kentrail Davis won’t be first rounders, and are supp. at best. Well, if they’re being considered for the supplemental round, why not the first round? What’s the difference between ten or fifteen picks at that stage of the draft.

    Also, keep in mind the Yankees must sign their pick. Because it is compensation for not signing Gerrit Cole, they will not receive compensation if that pick walks. They could go in a number of directions there, and their farm isn’t nearly as healthy as it was a couple years ago when they had Joba, Hughes, and Austin Jackson. Joba has graduated, (as has) Hughes who hasn’t shown as much promise as many expected, and Austin Jackson may not become a star, like many had him tagged. They cannot afford to miss with their top picks this year.

    Anyways, I don’t mean any of my discrepancies as criticisms. It’s the draft, nobody is going to agree 100%. You didn’t write a blurb after every pick explaining the pick like you did for your first version, and some of your picks made me curious about your thought process, especially Borchering. If he goes to the A’s it will be one of the biggest surprises, because they scarcely take high school bats, especially in the first round.

    • Sissy Baker says:


      • rfozga says:

        Thank you, Sissy – that’s been driving me nuts for weeks and it’s great to get definitive word one way or another.

        Joshua, awesome stuff as always. Sorry it’s taken me forever to respond, but I always appreciate your insight and analysis – the comments on Raley, Heckathorn, and the Yankees were all especially helpful and informative. Hopefully you’ll be up to the task in a few days when I put up an updated version of the mock. I think you’ll like a lot of what you see…with the exception of my stubborn refusal to move away from Borchering to the A’s.

  4. Don Biereman says:

    One that should be considered in second round is Mike Mendenhall,
    Doane College, Ne.

  5. Exevapavy says:

    Neat info hope to come back:D

  6. Josh says:

    I agree with the Nats taking Scheppers because I think he would be smart enough to realize that you don’t become an Indy League Hall of Famer. I could also see Shelby Miller going at #10. As a Giants fan I hope Green falls to them at #6, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see them going with Matzek or Tate. If Tate and Green are gone at that point I think they’ll draft a HS pitcher to go more high risk high reward than with a college pitcher. Turner might not even be that big of a stretch.

    • rfozga says:

      I debated long and hard between Turner and Matzek for the Giants pick in the soon-to-be published updated mock, but the bottom line is I agree with your assessment that they are very likely to pitch a HS pitcher at this point.

      The rumors of Miller to Washington are very interesting. I can’t say I really get the logic behind it (Miller may be a relatively signable HS player, but he still has the leverage of a college scholarship to use if need be), but it’s a hot enough rumor that there could be something to it. Consider me intrigued…

      Thanks for commenting, Josh.

  7. Travis Hughs says:

    Astros are taking Zack Von Rosenberg if he is available with the 21st pick.

    • rfozga says:


      I’d be happy to treat you to the internet equivalent of a round of drinks if this prediction really does come true. I’m still not sure how you know what you claim to know, but I love the conviction you bring to the table. Thanks for reading/commenting…

  8. danny vax says:

    playball academy montaous walton could be projected to go in the middle to late rounds, one of the most quickest and talented infielders
    in the draft

  9. Gerald says:

    Montaous Walton is a great talent that was definitely one of the quickest guys in this year’s draft class along with levon Washington. i believe Walton signed a free agent deal with an organization, but i cant remember with who. anyway whoever he signed with, he is gonna be dominant for sure.

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