The 2016 MLB Draft will be here before we know it, so that can only mean one thing: it’s MOCK DRAFT season. It’s been a few years since I published a mock draft around here, but I figured it was finally time to get back in the game. Of course, since I can’t offer much in the way of insider intel — I’m not BA-era peak Jim Callis over here — putting together a mock would be pretty much pointless. With the proper analysis attached to each pick mock drafts can be fun and interesting reads, not to mention a great way of exposing casual fans — the number of people who Google “2016 mlb mock draft” that find this site is insane, at least relative to the four people who read on their own volition otherwise — to players they might have not yet heard of. I might attempt a mock like that between now and June. Or not. Either way, this ain’t it.
So until then (or not) we’ll have some fun and take the idea of a mock draft to the logical extreme. If “mock” means to make something seem laughably unreal or impossible, let’s make our mock draft as unreal or impossible as we can. Our first edition of this 2016 MLB Mock Draft is based on the best non-summer weekend of the year: the Thursday to Sunday first two rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The first round kicked off yesterday and continues today. If my math is right, that means 64 teams started the day on Thursday and only 32 will remain by the close of basketball business on Friday. If we expand the field to include the First Four from earlier in the week, then we have 34 teams remaining and 34 teams heading home. That number — 34 — just so happens to match the number of first round picks in the 2016 MLB Draft. This was meant to be. Because I’m impatient and didn’t want to wait until seeing who was in and out after the first round (my original vision), this mock instead consists of one player (when applicable) for every university included in March Madness ranked from 68th (Holy Cross) to 35th (Cincinnati) on the complete seed list. See for yourself here…
Typically these mocks will run a bit smoother with pro team and amateur player synergy linking the two together, but this was such a weird project that I had to first determine the pool of eligible players. I found the commentary that came with that more interesting than what would have gone in a team to player pairing, so the actual mock portion of this post got tacked on at the bottom. Before we begin, one more look at this week’s rules…
1) Teams can only select players from schools seeded 35-68 in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
2) Only one player can be selected from each school.
3) Schools without baseball programs are to be replaced with the next best thing.
4) Teams are not allowed to complain about the crazy new draft rules imposed on them by some weirdo on the internet.
Got it? Good. Let’s see who these teams will be choosing from…
68. Holy Cross
Nick Lovullo’s slow start has opened the door for Jon Escobar and his combination of mid-90s heat and rapidly improving curve to seize the top spot. Escobar is a nice prospect. We’re off to a good start.
Troy Lewis and Jose DeLaTorre came into the season really close on my list and their performances so far this year are virtually identical. Lewis being a two-way player gives him that little bit of extra intrigue, so he’s the pick.
66. Fairleigh Dickinson
John Giakas is off to a blazing start, but Logan Frati is right there with him. The latter came into the year more accomplished, so we’ll go with the generic college righthander (88-91 FB, average CU, two breaking balls, good size) as a potentially useful org arm with the chance to impress when eventually shifted to the bullpen.
65. Florida Gulf Coast
This is tougher than I would have thought coming into the season. Jake Noll seemed poised to build on his strong redshirt-sophomore season and in many obvious ways he has (.405/.443/.676 in 74 AB is good, right?), but his 3 BB/14 K ratio gives me serious pause. That could be a byproduct of a tough early season schedule that has included games against Florida, Illinois, Miami, and Michigan State. It could also be because of the reality that when a hitter is as locked in as Noll appears to be, expanding the zone and attacking early and often the count winds up being the best temporary strategy at the plate. Meanwhile, Nick Rivera remains a favorite and Brady Anderson has done everything asked of him through four starts. Still, ugly BB/K ratio or not it has to be Noll.
Not only is there no Hampton roster to realistically pick from, the only two Hampton’s in my database are freshmen. So…now what? There were no Rodney’s or Hilton’s in my notes either, so the closest fit I could find was a player off the Long Island-Brooklyn roster. They play their home games in Brooklyn and not the Hamptons, but it’s as close as I could get. Bobby Maxwell is my favorite arm on talent alone, but Brian Drapeau is close enough (88-92 FB, lots of cutters) with better results. We’re splitting hairs here.
63. Austin Peay State
Austin Peay has three hitters slugging .700 or better in the early going. Ridge Smith is a really nice draft sleeper with experience at a variety of positions and a bat that has produced going on three seasons now. Dre Gleason has had a (small sample size!) breakout season. In a draft light on power bats, the 6-4, 240 pound first base prospect hitting .500/.597/.940 (11 BB/8 K) through 50 AB deserves some love. Then there’s old favorite Logan Gray, clearly lagging behind Gleason with a lowly .327/.450/.755 (11 BB/16 K) line so far. Much as I appreciate the video game numbers put up by Gleason — it should be noted that he’s not coming out of nowhere: he slugged .550 last year as a sophomore — I still have to go with the third baseman (maybe shortstop…) in Gray.
62. Weber State
With nothing from Weber State helping the cause, we turn to the Weber’s in college ball. I have nothing on Weber Pike (South Carolina), so he’s out. In fact, turns out he’s not even on the Gamecocks roster at last look. Nevermind. Reece Weber (New Mexico) did big things in a small sample last year, but hasn’t quite been able to match it this year so far. He’s still maintained control of the strike zone, so I won’t rule him out just yet. Fort Wayne’s closer Jake Weber whiffed 10.26 batters per nine last year and is at 7.64 so far this year. It’s a close call with Reece and Jake, but we’ll go with the college starting pitcher over the outfielder.
61. UNC Greensboro
Joe Zayatz has to be one of the sneakiest good players in all of college baseball. I’m not sure if that makes him a draft-worthy prospect or not, but how many two-way players can boast of hitting .300/.483/.550 (8 BB/8 K) at the plate and a 2.25 ERA with 16 K/2 BB on the mound? The only notes I had on him before this spring indicated that he’s a command over stuff pitcher…and I had nothing on his bat at all. Interesting guy. Speaking of guys, Pete Guy is off to a beautiful three true outcomes start. Over half of his PA so far have ended in a homer (6), walk (18) or strikeout (14), and that number goes up even higher if we add in the times he’s been plunked (6). All in all, it’s an interesting offensive profile for a catcher. The offensive edge goes to Joe Tietjen, the outfielder/third baseman with “sneaky pop” (per my old notes) who has struck eleven extra base hits in just sixty at bats so far this year. That power combined with a solid approach (10 BB/12 K) gives him the win.
60. Cal State Bakersfield
Dustin Frailey is a new name for me who has hit well in the early going. Behind him offensively — well, technically two spots behind him as Christian Deaton (2017) is directly behind him in qualified OBP and SLG — is Max Carter, a nice little potential utility piece capable of playing both second and third. Unless Dailey’s start is real or Chance Gusbeth manages to put it all together, solid org players are pretty much what you’re getting with this roster. Carter’s defensive flexibility gets him the nod.
59. Middle Tennessee State
Brad Jarreau has done some good things at the plate while Nate Hoffmann and Caleb Smith remain intriguing on the mound (and new name Cody Puckett looks promising so far), but when you have a hitter like Riley Delgado and a pitcher like Garrett Ring then everybody else is playing for for the bronze. Ring is off to a decent start as the long man out of the Blue Raiders pen: 0.60 ERA in 15 innings (16 strikeouts) spanning six appearances. That’ll work. On many teams a start like combined with positive scouting reports (90-94 FB, good cutter) would be enough for the top spot, but do you really expect me to go against Delgado and his 14 BB/2 K ratio (plus reliable glovework at short) so far? No way.
58. Stephen F. Austin
Garrett McMullen has mashed (.426/.500/.704), but I’ll go with the athletic, speedy, and patient at the plate Conner Fikes. Kyle Thornell and Nick Ramos could also hit their way back into the mix before too long. Fikes for now.
57. Fresno State
This actually wound up the most difficult pick so far. I didn’t anticipate the pickings being so slim for a program like Fresno State, but I guess most of the talent on their current roster won’t be ready to be drafted until 2017 and 2018. Brody Russell came into his college career with high expectations, so maybe his strong start to his senior year after three underwhelming seasons is just a sign he’s a late bloomer. Tim Borst (up to 93), Anthony Arias (deceptive lefty with velocity and a good bender), and Jimmy Lambert (23 K/1 BB in 28.0 IP of 0.64 ERA ball so far) all stand out on the mound. I’ll give it up to Lambert, the best combination of stuff (88-92 FB, 94 peak) and performance (you see that start?) so far. Arias is really, really close.
Mike Abrunzo’s start (.321/.524/.536, 13 BB/8 K) deserves notice, but I knew before looking at the numbers that this would be Mike Kaelin. He’s delivered as expected (14 K/1 BB in 11.1 IP), so this was easy. I love Kaelin.
55. Green Bay
There’s no Green Bay, but we do have two players with the last name Rodgers in the database. Both are third basemen: redshirt-junior Greg is at Niagara and true junior Jordan is at Tennessee. Both are off to fine starts, but we’ll have to side with the guy with solid speed and pop doing it for the SEC program. Jordan it is. Incidentally, Aaron Rodgers has a brother named Jordan who played QB for Vanderbilt. And apparently he’ll be on next season of The Bachelorette. The more you know.
I’m not sure if I’ll get there with more time and research, but I don’t have a great feel for this year’s Iona team. Matt Byrne looked like their top guy coming into the year, so we’ll stick with him. He’s had a start to the year that looks a lot like what Jake Noll is doing for Florida Gulf Coast. Noll’s .405/.443/.676 (3 BB/14 K) stacks up with Byrne’s .417/.472/.542 (2 BB/13 K) nicely. Also like Noll, Byrne can run and defend at second base.
53. Stony Brook
I still like both Tyler Honahan and Cameron Stone despite slow starts, yet Toby Handley remains in the top spot. All he does is hit. And swipe bags. And run down balls in center. Strong fourth outfielder profile.
This is exactly why I’m glad I did this. Hawaii’s most interesting 2016 pre-season prospect for me was junior college transfer Josh Rojas. The second baseman, a FAVORITE in my notes, came into the year with a reputation as an average defender with average arm strength. That’s all well and good, but what was supposed to make him stand out was his big hit tool and professional approach at the plate. It’s only been 47 at bats, so I’m not leaping off the bandwagon just yet…but .170/.273/.255 isn’t an inspiring start. Somewhat similarly, Marcus Doi came into his college career with all kinds of hype — some of it coming from me — but hasn’t hit much at all. His pure hit tool, regarded as ranking in the top ten in this class by a few smart pals who like to throw around such broad statements, hasn’t resulted in all that many hits. There’s still time for him, but patience is understandably starting to wane. A less hyped but still really interesting senior-sign possibility is sure-handed shortstop Jacob Sheldon-Collins. The decision here comes down to a newly hyped yet disappointing middle infielder, a historically hyped yet disappointing outfielder, and an under-hyped yet productive middle infielder. There’s no wrong choice and Sheldon-Collins could keep on hitting through May to justify a change of heart, but my gut still says to go with the upside. As such, it’ll be the infielder Rojas over the outfielder Doi with Sheldon-Collins on standby.
51. UNC Wilmington
Or maybe THIS is why I’m glad I did this. Every June I kick myself for not writing more about unheralded players that I like more before the rest of the world catches on. There’s never enough time once the college season gets going and I always feel guilty about doing quick posts off the top of my head that would better suit the daily “hey, this guy is REALLY good” thoughts that have a habit of coming up about certain prospects. The premise of this post is goofy, but I’d like to think the content stands up enough to be taken seriously. That makes this the perfect platform to express again how much I like Gavin Stupienski. He’s hit during his summers, he hit as a redshirt-sophomore, he’s hitting so far this year…he can hit. There are no questions about his defense behind the plate and he’s a leader on one of the nation’s best mid-major teams. I’m not sure what more you could want. I’m all-in on Stupienski. Add him to the increasingly impressive top ten round catcher pile. Also, not for nothing, but Jared Gesell is another FAVORITE who will make a drafting team extremely happy as a high value senior-sign. I think he’s a future big leaguer.
50. South Dakota State
South Dakota State is all about the arms this year, assuming you’re cool with not stressing over high ERA’s. You are cool, right? Thought so. I’ll give the Jackrabbit pitchers a break for now — tough competition and tougher run environments will inflate early season totals — and focus more on track record, stuff, and peripherals. Naturally after an intro like that the prospect we’ll focus on happens to have the lowest ERA (5.04) of any starter on the staff. Andrew Clemen is a nice senior-sign who does a lot of the little things right while having enough stuff (88-92 FB, two usable secondaries) to hold his own in pro ball.
As I’ve mentioned (too) many times before, I’m a big Ivy League baseball fan. There’s no nice way to say this and I really don’t want to sound like a jerk, but the 2016 Yale baseball team isn’t a great representation of what I like about the Ivy League. Chasen Ford wins here by default. And why not: they are the two sweetest words in the English language, after all.
48. Little Rock
Cody McGill is a really intriguing live arm (up to 94) who misses bats and the strike zone in equal measure. He’s behind Little Rock’s two big bats (Ryan Scott and Dalton Thomas), both off to excellent starts in 2016. Scott has the better first fifteen games under his belt, but Thomas brings more impressive scouting notes to the table. The latter gets the nod for now, but the former is coming on fast.
With no Chattanooga to pull from, let’s change it up ever so slightly and go with Chase Adkins from Chattahoochee Valley Community College. It’s close enough, plus it gives me the chance to mention one of the better non-D1 prospects in the country. I always give those guys the shaft, so heed this warning: don’t sleep on Adkins, a righthander who transferred from Coastal Carolina armed and ready with a fastball that hits the mid-90s and a power slider. Results so far have backed up the hype: 25 K and 2 BB in 25 IP with an ERA of 1.44. Not bad. Also, I’d very like a Chattahoochee Valley Community College t-shirt for my next birthday.
46. Northern Iowa
Another school without players to talk about. What a bummer. We could go with Northern Illinois to keep the Northern I theme going or we could give a little love to another junior college program. It’s a close call, but Iowa Western Community College deserves the love. As a team, the Reivers — surely I’m not alone in having to look up what this meant, though on the bright side I’m now prepared for a potential Jeopardy! clue now — are hitting .394/.452/.620. Helping in some areas and hurting in others is Jared Gates (.402/.435/.736, 4 BB/9 K), a second baseman with one of the most interesting non-D1 hit tools in all the land. He’s one of five hitters on the roster who is hitting over .400 (45 AB minimum) so far, by the way. For a team that plays such high scoring affairs on both sides of the ball, Western Iowa has some solid pitching prospects. Jackson Douglas (16.20 ERA), Jacob Niggemeyer (3.52 ERA), Taylor Goshen (8.05 ERA), and Devon Perez (7.45 ERA) all have the talent to pitch in pro ball. Goshen, a transfer from Wichita State, is my favorite of the bunch. Much as I can appreciate the pitchers fighting the good fight, you can’t really pick an Iowa Western prospect and not go with the hitter. Jared Gates, come on down.
I’ve got nothing here. Stared at the computer for five minutes, but still nothing. Best I can do is that Tulsa is about one hundred miles from Oklahoma City, the city that landed the Sonics after they abandoned Seattle. So we’ll steal their selection here and let Seattle get a tiny bit of revenge. Since we have to wait another year for Tarik Skubal, we’re left with potential draft picks like Ted Hammond (gets the most out of his upper-80s fastball), Mike McCann (long awaited power surge in full effect), and a trio of solid infielders (Sheldon Stober, Griffin Andreychuk, Brock Carpenter). All the players have their merits, but I’ll go Andreychuk on the basis that he isn’t a senior like Hammond, has a longer track record than McCann, and plays a more challenging defensive spot (for now) than Stober.
I don’t know what people outside of my own little bubble think, but this Gonzaga team looks pretty good to me. I’m not informed enough to call them underrated, but I think they could be. There are lots of arms and bats to choose from, but I’ll single out Taylor Jones (a FAVORITE) and Brandon Bailey. Jones looks the part at a powerful 6-7, 225, but those long levers can be a double-edged sword for young hitters. Bailey does not look the part at 5-10, 170 pounds, but all he does is pitch his tail off every time out. His stuff is good (88-93 FB with three usable offspeed pitches) and he’s been consistent with missing bats, so let’s go with it.
43. Wichita State
The Shockers pitching staff has a lot of big names in the draft world — Sam Tewes is liked by many, plus it feels like Chase Williams and Willie Schwanke have been around forever — but few of their big arms are holding up their end of the deal in the early going. Zach Lewis and Reagan Biechler have pitched well, but that’s about it for the 2016 guys. Offensively, you can point to Ryan Tinkham being an interesting bat-first senior-sign possibility in a class lacking offense and Tanner Kirk is off to a quick start, but that’s about it for now. Tewes’s arm (up to 95, good CB) and size (6-5, 200) is too good to pass up even with the rocky start. Even if his recent elbow discomfort ends in something unfortunate, he’s still the most talented player on this roster and best pro bet going forward.
I’m an offensive guy by nature — in more ways than one, probably — so my eye went directly towards two Michigan hitters of note: two-way star Carmen Benedetti and underrated junior catcher Harrison Wenson. I like all of the guys I’m about to write about, but we’ll get the drama out of the way early because I love Benedetti. I’ve compared him to Brian Johnson in the past; like Johnson back in the day, I’ll take the minority view and state my preference for the sweet swinging Benedetti as a hitter rather than a pitcher. Wenson is less famous than Benedetti, but could challenge him on certain draft boards this summer. The scouting notes on him are largely favorable (power, arm strength, athleticism, size) and his production in 2016 is unimpeachable (.404/.466/.660, 8 BB/10 K). My only pause with hyping him up as one of his class’s most underrated catching prospects — and remember, it’s a loaded year for college catchers at the top — is the frequent mentions about his steadily improving glove in my notes. It’s a bit counter-intuitive to knock a guy for improving, but when it comes to up-the-middle defenders, I’ve found that “improved defense” often says more about how rough the glove was at the start than how good it is in the present. Consider it almost a backhanded compliment, if you will. I don’t know enough about Wenson yet to speculate further, so I’ll stick with being pretty damn intrigued — cautiously optimistic, we’ll say — about him for now. I began the paragraph talking about my love of offense, so naturally we have to shoehorn in all of Michigan’s amazing pitching accomplishments here at the end. Opponents are currently hitting .184/.298/.239 off of Wolverines pitching. It’s not quite the Florida staff, but Michigan arms have whiffed almost 10.5 batters per nine in the early going. And finally, did you know Michigan has eight pitchers on their staff yet to allow an earned run? Super sophomore Oliver Jaskie leads the way with 16.2 scoreless innings while the other seven (Benedetti is one of them, by the way) combine for 20 shutout innings of their own. Brett Adcock (big fan of his) and Evan Hill have the goods to keep starting in pro ball while Mac Lozer and Keith Lehmann are fun sinker/slider relievers to watch.
Reynolds, Toffey, Delay, and Smith. Sheffield, Kilichowski, Bowden, and Stone. Coleman, Ellison, and Murfee. First eight look like draft locks and the last three are building legit cases. Add in the underclassmen and Vanderbilt is one of a few college teams that I’d trade straight up for the Angels entire minor league system. Choosing between the top bat Reynolds and the best pitcher Sheffield is something I’d really rather not do, but we’ll go ceiling over floor. Sheffield’s stuff (and start) make him too good to ignore. It’s early yet, but he’s answered just about every question I had of him coming into this season.
40. Virginia Commonwealth
Logan Farrar does a lot of things well, so he’s the choice here even though he’s yet to hit for extra bases 61 at bats into his draft year. I considered Jimmy Kerrigan and his hot start, but I’ve got other ideas in mind for him…
Full disclosure: I’m running out of steam. Is Albany close enough? Feels close enough. Here’s a thing about Albany’s best prospect, Stephen Woods, that I wrote about last week: “Woods has a big-time arm (95-96 peak) with an intriguing curve and an unusually firm yet effective changeup. All of that was enough to make him a sixth round pick out of high school. His biggest issue has always been control: he walked 9.9 batters per nine his freshman year, 7.0 batters per nine last year, and sits at 6.1 in the early going this season. Any team drafting Woods with a single-digit round pick will have to weigh his raw stuff against his wild ways.”
I should skip this pick in protest of Temple shortsightedly dropping the program. Instead, let’s highlight some of the players who were forced out and found happy homes elsewhere. I have notes on four ex-Owls, so we’ll see which one is deserving of a first round pick in this insane mock. I’m sure Tim McCarthy (St. Joe’s) is a fine young man, but he’s out from the start. The three-way race between Nick Lustrino (Old Dominion), Jimmy Kerrigan (VCU), and Krall (Clemson) is intense. I’m a big fan of the scrappy infielder with the patient approach (that would be Lustrino), but I think he ultimately lacks the requisite pop (or even the threat of pop) to make any pro noise. Kerrigan (remember him?) is VCU’s leading qualified hitter (.351/.464/.456, 6 BB/4 K) and an interesting senior-sign possibility. Meanwhile all Krall has done is soak up innings in relief — he averages over three innings per appearance — to the tune of a 1.04 ERA and a 21 K/3 BB ratio. Doing that at a big-time program with just enough stuff (85-88 FB, mid-70s CU, CB), funk in his delivery, and impressive size (6-6, 200) gives him the narrow win.
Nick Yarnall has done just about as much as any one human can to take the top prospect over the banged up TJ Zeuch by hitting .419/.528/.791 (9 BB/5 K) so far. That just goes to show how highly Zeuch is thought of. Hope he gets back on the mound soon.
I’m a big fan of many of the Huskies senior-sign bats like Bobby Melley and Jack Sundberg, but Anthony Kay is Anthony Kay. Next!
The most honest answer here would be Pass. Mitch Patishall has a good arm but little size and an iffy track record. Andrew Zellner has some of the things you’d like to see in a future org depth reliever, but there are hundreds others like him in the college game, almost all with more impressive résumés. I guess we’ll go with redshirt-sophomore Connor McVey by default. He can defend up the middle, he runs well, and he’s shown some feel at the plate.
So those are the players. Now lets get mocking!
1 – Philadelphia Phillies – Vanderbilt RHP Jordan Sheffield
2 – Cincinnati Reds – Austin Peay State 3B Logan Gray
3 – Atlanta Braves – Michigan 1B Carmen Benedetti
4 – Colorado Rockies – Connecticut LHP Anthony Kay
5 – Milwaukee Brewers – Pittsburgh RHP TJ Zeuch
6 – Oakland Athletics – UNC Wilmington C Gavin Stupienski
7 – Miami Marlins – Wichita State RHP Sam Tewes
8 – San Diego Padres – Florida Gulf 2B Jake Noll
9 – Detroit Tigers – Middle Tennessee State SS Riley Delgado
10 – Chicago White Sox – Buffalo RHP Mike Kaelin
11 – Seattle Mariners – Stony Brook OF Toby Handley
12 – Boston Red Sox – Albany RHP Stephen Woods
13 – Tampa Bay Rays – Chattahoochee Valley CC RHP Chase Adkins
14 – Cleveland Indians – Iowa Western CC 2B Jared Gates
15 – Minnesota Twins – VCU 2B Logan Farrar
16 – Los Angeles Angels – Holy Cross RHP Jon Escobar
17 – Houston Astros – Southern SS Troy Lewis
18 – New York Yankees – Gonzaga RHP Brandon Bailey
19 – New York Mets – Clemson LHP Pat Krall
20 – Los Angeles Dodgers – Tennessee 3B Jordan Rodgers
21 – Toronto Blue Jays – Iona 2B Matt Bryne
22 – Pittsburgh Pirates – UNC Greensboro OF Joe Tietjen
23 – St. Louis Cardinals – Hawaii 2B Josh Rojas
24 – San Diego Padres – Little Rock OF Dalton Thomas
25 – San Diego Padres – South Dakota State RHP Andrew Clemen
26 – Chicago White Sox – Fairleigh Dickinson RHP Logan Frati
27 – Baltimore Orioles – Stephen F. Austin OF Conner Fikes
28 – Washington Nationals – Fresno State RHP Jimmy Lambert
29 – Washington Nationals – Cal State Bakersfield 2B Max Carter
30 – Texas Rangers – Seattle SS Griffin Andreychuk
31 – New York Mets – Cincinnati 2B Connor McVey
32 – Los Angeles Dodgers – Fort Wayne RHP Jake Weber
33 – St. Louis Cardinals – Yale RHP Chasen Ford
34 – St. Louis Cardinals – Long Island-Brooklyn RHP Brian Drapeau
You know what, I don’t think the Phillies would come away all that mad with a talent like Sheffield available at 1-1. If Dillon Tate can get praised as a solid pick at 1-4 last draft, then why not Sheffield in an even more wide open at the top class in 2016? Beyond that, I think these new draft rules would have some teams pretty upset. Everybody says the Braves are hot after a college bat at 1-3, but I don’t think Benedetti is who they have in mind. I’d also imagine San Diego wouldn’t love coming out of having three picks in the top twenty-five with the trio of Noll, Thomas, and Clemen. Two picks stand out to me as being particularly fun: Stupienski to Oakland and Rojas to St. Louis. I like the Stupienski pick because he really does feel like the kind of ballplayer who would be appreciated by a front office like Oakland’s. Rojas to St. Louis is cool because, well, the last time the Cardinals drafted a first round second baseman from Hawaii it worked out pretty well for them.