MLB Draft Big Board 2014: Mike Rosenbaum's Complete Predraft Rankings

Mike Rosenbaum@GoldenSombreroMLB Prospects Lead WriterMay 13, 2014

MLB Draft Big Board 2014: Mike Rosenbaum's Complete Predraft Rankings

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    Carlos Rodon, LHP, North Carolina State
    Carlos Rodon, LHP, North Carolina StateTed Kirk/Associated Press

    With the 2014 MLB Rule 4 draft less than a month away, its time to take a look at the top prospects in this years class.

    The noticeable lack of impact hitters on board (especially from the college ranks) highlights the pitching-heavy nature of this year’s class, as teams will have an endless list of promising arms to choose from in the early rounds.

    Yet, with every organization expected to target players based on the spending limitations (draft pool) of MLBs collective bargaining agreement, its almost impossible to accurately predict just how early some players will be selected.

    However, as part of Prospect Pipelines all-out draft coverage leading up to and through the event, which is to be held June 5-7, we’ve put together a rankings of the top 150 prospects in the class to familiarize everyone with many of this year’s big names.

    Please note that this is not a mock draft or a prediction of exactly where players will be selected. You can expect every player on this list to be taken in the draft, likely within the first five rounds. Therefore, the following rankings are based upon a players potential impact as a major league player.

    As always the case with the MLB draft, any number of things can and will change between now and June 5. So, be sure to check back frequently over the coming weeks for updated rankings and further insight as to how the draft may unfold.

Nos. 150-101

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    Michael Cederoth, RHP, San Diego State (No. 104)
    Michael Cederoth, RHP, San Diego State (No. 104)Associated Press
    RankPlayerPos.SchoolCollege CommitmentPreviously Drafted
    150Daniel MengdenRHPTexas A&M Never Drafted
    149Stone GarrettOFGeorge Ranch HS (Texas)Rice 
    148KJ HarrisonCPunahou HS (Hawaii)Oregon 
    147Ben WetzlerLHPOregon State Phillies 2013 (5)
    146A.J. VanegasRHPStanford Athletics 2013 (19)
    145Sean Bouchard3BCathedral Catholic HS (Calif.)UCLA 
    144Alexis PantojasSSPuerto Rico Baseball AcademyAlabama St. 
    143Sam CoonrodRHPSouthern Illinois Never Drafted
    142Jared RuxerRHPLouisville Indians 2011 (29)
    141Justin SmithOFBartram Trail HS (Fla.)Miami 
    140Aaron BrownLHPPepperdine Indians 2013 (30)
    139Tate Blackman2BLake Brantley HS (Fla.)Ole Miss 
    138Brandon DownesOFVirginia Red Sox 2011 (43)
    137Raphael RamirezOFPace Academy HS (Fla.)North Carolina State 
    136Nick WellsLHPBattlefield HS (Va.)Charleston 
    135Ryan ButlerRHPCharlotte Yankees 2013 (16)
    134Todd IsaacsOFAmerican Heritage HS (Fla.)None 
    133Travis JonesOF/3BAtascocita HS (Texas)Texas 
    132Nick TorresOFCal Poly Never Drafted
    131Mitch HartRHPGranite Bay HS (Calif.)Southern California 
    130Kel JohnsonOFHome SchooledGeorgia Tech 
    129Jake CosartRHPSeminole JC (Fla.) Never Drafted
    128Rhys HoskinsOFSacramento State Never Drafted
    127Simeon LucasCGrant Community HS (Ill.)Illinois State 
    126Adam RavenelleRHPVanderbilt Yankees 2011 (44)
    125Jordan BrinkRHPFresno State Never Drafted
    124Lane ThomasOFBearden HS (Tenn.)Tennessee 
    123Andrew KarpRHPWest Orange HS (Fla.)Florida State 
    122Jacob LindgrenLHPMississippi State Cubs 2011 (12)
    121Robbie DickeyRHPBlinn JC (Texas)Texas State 
    120Ryan CastellaniRHPBrophy HS (Ariz.)Arizona State 
    119Casey SoltisOFGranada HS (Calif.)Oregon 
    118Andrew SummervilleLHPLakeside HS (Wash.)Stanford 
    117Michael CantuCCarrol HS (Texas)Texas 
    116Pat ConnaughtonRHPNotre Dame Padres 2011 (38)
    115Derick VelazquezRHPFresno State Orioles 2012 (15)
    114Zach ShannonRHPAnderson HS (Ohio)Ohio State 
    113Jacob NixRHPLos Alamitos HS (Calif.)UCLA 
    112Turner LarkinsRHPMartin HS (Texas)Texas A&M 
    111Devon FisherCWestern Branch HS (Nev.)Virginia 
    110Heath FillmyerRHPMercer Community College Never Drafted
    109Jordan LuplowOFFresno State Never Drafted
    108Dillon PetersLHPTexas Indians 2011 (20)
    107Chad SobotkaRHPSouth Carolina Upstate Never Drafted
    106Carson SandsLHPNorth Florida Christian Academy (Fla.)Florida State 
    105Blake BivensRHPGeorge Washington HS (Ga.)Liberty 
    104Michael CederothRHPSan Diego State Diamondbacks 2011 (41)
    103Austin BylerOFNevada Never Drafted
    102Austin DeCarrRHPSalisbury HS (Conn.)Clemson 
    101Bryan DobzanskiRHPDelsea Regional HS (N.J.)Louisville 

    The players ranked in the 101-150 range are guys who project to come off the board anywhere from Rounds 3-5 this year. The group is mostly comprised of pitching prospects, including many high-floor/low-ceiling college arms as well as prep ones who lack exposure or face potential signability concerns.

    You may remember some of the college hurlers on this list from previous drafts, including LHP Ben Wetzler (Phillies, 2013—fifth round), RHP A.J. Vanegas (A’s, 2013—19th round), RHP Ryan Butler (Yankees, 2013—16th round), RHP Adam Ravenelle (Yankees, 2011—44th round), LHP Jacob Lindgren (Cubs, 2011—12th round) and RHP Michael Cederoth (2011, Diamondbacks—41st round).

    This collection of players also stands out for its depth behind the plate, with four prep catchers who should come off the board sometime on Day 2 of the draft (possibly earlier): KJ Harrison (No. 148), Simeon Lucas (127), Michael Cantu (117) and Devon Fisher (111).

Nos. 100-76

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    Andrew Suarez, LHP, Miami (No. 88)
    Andrew Suarez, LHP, Miami (No. 88)Phil Sears/Associated Press
    RankPlayerPos.SchoolCollege CommitmentPreviously Drafted
    100Evan SkougCLibertyville HS (Ill.)Texas Christian 
    99Brett GravesRHPMissouri Cardinals 2011 (26)
    98Wyatt StrahanRHPSouthern California Diamondbacks 2011 (27)
    97Jack Flaherty3B/RHPHarvard-Westlake HS (Calif.)North Carolina 
    96Austin GomberLHPFlorida Atlantic Never Drafted
    95Jeren KendallOFHolmen HS (Wisc.)Vanderbilt 
    94Greg AllenOFSan Diego State Never Drafted
    93Slade HeggenCLoyola Sacred Heart HS (Mont.)Oregon 
    92Trace LoehrSSPutnam HS (Ore.)Oregon State 
    91Bobby Bradley3BHarrison Central HS (Miss.)Louisiana State 
    90Eric SkoglundLHPCentral Florida Pirates 2011 (16)
    89Dylan DavisOF/RHPOregon State Never Drafted
    88Andrew SuarezLHPMiami Blue Jays 2011 (9)
    87Grant HockinRHPDamien HS (Calif.)UCLA 
    86Austin SlaterOF/1BStanford Dodgers 2011 (44)
    85J.D. DavisRHPCal-State Fullerton Rays 2011 (5)
    84James NorwoodRHPSt. Louis Never Drafted
    83Chris EllisRHPOle Miss Dodgers 2011 (50)
    82Brian Anderson2B/OFArkansas Twins 2011 (20)
    81JJ SchwarzCPalm Beach Gardens HS (Fla.)Florida 
    80Joe GattoRHPSt. Augustine HS (N.J.)North Carolina 
    79Mitch KellerRHPXavier HS (Iowa)North Carolina 
    78Jace FryLHPOregon State Athletics 2011 (9)
    77Bryce Montes De OcaRHPLawrence HS (Kan.)Missouri 
    76Cody ReedLHPArdmore HS (Ala.)Vanderbilt 

    This group features more college pitchers who were previously drafted, such as RHP Brett Graves (No. 99), LHP Eric Skoglund (90), LHP Andrew Suarez (88), RHP J.D. Davis (85), RHP Chris Ellis (83) and LHP Jace Fry (78).

    There is also a decently sized contingent of under-the-radar college arms—primarily pitchers who went undrafted and blossomed at either a two- or four-year program—highlighted by Austin Gomber (96) and James Norwood (84).

    In terms of high school talent, prospects such as 3B Jack Flaherty (97), RHP Joe Gatto (80) and RHP Mitch Keller (79) rank outside the top 75 due to signability concerns, as all three players are committed to attend North Carolina next fall. The same can be said for OF Jeren Kendall (95) and LHP Cody Reed (76), who are both committed to Vanderbilt—a program known for losing few recruits to the draft each year.

    This group also features its share of notable high school catchers in Evan Skoug (100), Slade Heggen (93) and JJ Schwarz (81), as well as a pair of projectable infielders in SS Trace Loehr (92) and 3B Bobby Bradley (91).

Nos. 75-51

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    Daniel Gossett, RHP, Clemson (No. 51)
    Daniel Gossett, RHP, Clemson (No. 51)Mary Ann Chastain/Associated Press
    RankPlayerPos.SchoolCollege CommitmentPreviously Drafted
    75Cole TuckerSSMountain Pointe HS (Ariz.)Arizona 
    74Jake GodfreyRHPProvidence Catholic HS (Ill.)Louisiana State 
    73Luke WeaverRHPFlorida State Blue Jays 2011 (19)
    72David PetersonLHPRegis Jesuit HS (Colo.)Oregon 
    71Gareth MorganOFBlyth Academy (Toronto)North Carolina State 
    70Grayson GreinerCSouth Carolina Never Drafted
    69Cobi JohnsonRHPMitchell HS (Fla.)Florida State 
    68Keith WeisenbergRHPOsceola HS (Fla.)Stanford 
    67Keaton McKinneyRHP/1BAnkeny Centennial HS (Iowa)Arkansas 
    66Milton RamosSSAmerican Heritage HS (Fla.)Florida Atlantic 
    65Trey SupakRHPLa Grange HS (Texas)Houston 
    64Justin SteeleLHPGeorge County HS (Miss.)Southern Mississippi 
    63Garrett FulenchekRHPHowe HS (Texas)Dallas Baptist 
    62Nick HowardRHPVirginia Never Drafted
    61Jake StinnettRHPMaryland Pirates 2013 (29)
    60Zech LemondRHPRice Pirates 2011 (50)
    59Matthew RaileyOFNorth Florida Christian Academy (Fla.)Florida State 
    58Josh Morgan3BOrange Lutheran HS (Calif.)UCLA 
    57Aramis GarciaCFlorida International Cardinals 2011 (20)
    56Sam Travis1BIndiana Reds 2011 (40)
    55Spencer TurnbullRHPAlabama Never Drafted
    54Ti’quan ForbesSSColumbia HS (Miss.) Ole Miss
    53Mike PapiOFVirginia Angels 2011 (30)
    52Mac MarshallLHPParkview HS (Ga.)Louisiana State 
    51Daniel GossettRHPClemson Red Sox 2011 (16)

    Sixteen of the 25 draft prospects ranked from 51-75 are pitchers—eight college, eight prep—and all are candidates to come off the board in the second or third rounds. Many of the high school arms have been late risers this spring, as they’ve boosted their draft stock over the last month-plus and steadily ascended the rankings.

    Teams will have a variety of college right-handers to pick from in Luke Weaver (No. 73), Nick Howard (62), Jake Stinnett (61), Zech Lemond (60), Spencer Turnbull (55) and Daniel Gossett (51), but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the better high school arms (some are borderline Day 1 guys) get popped first.

    This group also features a nice collection of high-upside prep hitters, led by SS Cole Tucker (75), OF Gareth Morgan (71), SS Milton Ramos (66), OF Matt Railey (59), 3B Josh Morgan (58) and SS Ti’quan Forbes (54).

    Lastly, some of the more productive college hitters enter the mix as we move closer to the top 50, highlighted by known commodities such as C Grayson Greiner (70), C Aramis Garcia (57), 1B Sam Travis (56) and OF Mike Papi (53).

Nos. 50-26

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    Derek Fisher, OF, Virginia (No. 31)
    Derek Fisher, OF, Virginia (No. 31)ANDREW SHURTLEFF/Associated Press
    RankPlayerPos.SchoolCollege CommitmentPreviously Drafted
    50Chris OliverRHPArkansas Orioles 2011 (27)
    49Alex VerdugoLHP/OFSahuaro HS (Ariz.)Arizona State 
    48Forrest Wall2BOrangewood Christian HS (Fla.)North Carolina 
    47Chase VallotCSt. Thomas More (La.)Mississippi State 
    46Justus SheffieldLHPTullahoma HS (Tenn.)Vanderbilt 
    45Dylan CeaseRHPMilton HS (Ga.)Vanderbilt 
    44Taylor Sparks3BUC-Irvine Indians 2011 (24)
    43Matt ImhofLHPCal Poly Never Drafted
    42Nick BurdiRHPLouisville Twins 2011 (24)
    41Jakson ReetzC/OFHickman HS (Neb.)Nebraska 
    40Foster GriffinLHPFirst Academy HS (Fla.)Ole Miss 
    39Cameron VargaRHPCincinnati Hills Christian Academy (Ohio)North Carolina 
    38Braxton DavidsonOF/1BT.C. Roberson HS (N.C.)North Carolina 
    37Michael KopechRHPMount Pleasant HS (Texas)Arizona 
    36Erick FeddeRHPUNLV Padres 2011 (24)
    35Spencer AdamsRHPWhite County HS (Ga.)Georgia 
    34Alex Blandino3B/2BStanford Athletics 2011 (38)
    33Marcus WilsonOFJunipero Serra HS (Calif.)Arizona State 
    32Matt Chapman3BCal-State Fullerton Never Drafted
    31Derek FisherOFVirginia Rangers 2011 (6)
    30Jacob BukauskasRHPStone Bridge HS (Va.)North Carolina 
    29Kodi MedeirosLHPWaiakea HS (Hawaii)Pepperdine 
    28Casey Gillaspie1BWichita State Never Drafted
    27Luis OrtizRHPSanger HS (Calif.)Fresno State 
    26A.J. Reed1BKentucky Mets 2011 (25)

    All prospects ranked in the top 50 are candidates to be selected in the first round; the order in which they come off the board will be based on an organization’s needs and preferences. 3B Taylor Sparks (No. 44), INF Alex Blandino (34), 3B Matt Chapman (32), OF Derek Fisher (31), 1B Casey Gillaspie (28) and 1B A.J. Reed (26) all have the potential to be drafted earlier than expected considering the lack of impact hitters in this year’s draft class.

    Reed possesses the best power among his peers (and leads all Division I hitters in home runs this season), while Blandino, Fisher and Gillaspie have advanced hit tools and on-base skills.

    There also could be a run on high-ceiling prep prospects toward the back end of the first round (and beyond) should college hitters come off the board early. If that’s ultimately the case, expect teams to target players such as 2B Forrest Wall (48), C Chase Vallot (47), C/OF Jakson Reetz (41), 1B/OF Braxton Davidson (38) and OF Marcus Wilson (33).

    Organizations looking to land a prep arm will have plenty of options, whether it be LHP Foster Griffin (40), RHP Michael Kopech (37), RHP Spencer Adams (35), LHP Kodi Medeiros (29) or RHP Luis Ortiz (27).

    It’s also worth noting there are numerous “wild card” prospects ranked in this group, guys who could affect the draft results if a team takes an early flier on them. The obvious example is RHP Erick Fedde (36), who was projected to be a first-round pick (possibly in the top 15 picks) before news broke last week that he needed season-ending Tommy John surgery.

    Both LHP Justus Sheffield (46) and RHP Dylan Cease (45) could be solid upside players, but both pitchers are perceived to have strong commitments to Vanderbilt. A team could also take a gamble on RHP Nick Burdi (42) depending on whether or not it believes he can be successfully converted into a full-time starter.

Nos. 25-21

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    RankPlayerPos.SchoolCollege CommitmentPreviously Drafted
    25Scott BlewettRHPBaker HS (N.Y.)St. Johns 
    24Michael GettysOFGainesville HS (Fla.)Georgia 
    23Derek HillOFElk Grove HS (Calif.)Oregon 
    22Monte HarrisonOFLee Summit HS (Mo.)Nebraska 
    21Sean Reid-FoleyRHPSandalwood HS (Fla.)Florida State 

    Once the big-name prospects come off the board in the first round, teams—especially those with additional picks in the supplemental and competitive balance rounds—are likely to target high-ceiling prep talent. So it’s not a coincidence that the five prospects ranked 21-25 are all high school players without major signability concerns.

    OF Michael Gettys (No. 24) is the biggest “wild card” (besides injured pitchers such as Jeff Hoffman and Erick Fedde) in this year’s class, as he boasts three plus tools (power/defense/arm) but has a giant question mark tied to his bat. OF Derek Hill (23) possesses the best (80-grade) speed in the class, while OF Monte Harrison (22) is arguably the best overall athlete.

    As for pitching, RHP Scott Blewett (25) is a powerful and durable arm from the Northeast whose stock has been on the rise this spring, and his commitment to St. John’s probably means he’s signable. RHP Sean Reid-Foley (21) has continued to move up the board thanks to a dominant spring season, though there are some concerns about his overall upside.

Nos. 20-16

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    Kyle Schwarber, C/1B, Indiana (No. 19)
    Kyle Schwarber, C/1B, Indiana (No. 19)USA TODAY Sports
    RankPlayerPos.SchoolCollege CommitmentPreviously Drafted
    20Touki ToussaintRHPCoral Springs Christian Academy HS (Fla.)Vanderbilt 
    19Kyle SchwarberC/1BIndiana Never Drafted
    18Jeff HoffmanRHPEast Carolina Never Drafted
    17Jacob GatewoodSS/3BClovis HS (Calif.)Southern California 
    16Michael Chavis3BSprayberry HS (Ga.)Clemson 

    RHP Touki Toussaint (No. 20) has one of the highest ceilings among prep hurlers, with excellent athleticism and two present plus pitches, but a team will have to overlook his glaring command issues to gamble on him early in the first round.

    SS Jacob Gatewood (17) and 3B Michael Chavis (16) have been viewed as two of the better left-side-of-the-infield prospects for most of the last year, and both players are likely to draw attention in the mid-first round thanks to their respective raw power. Similarly, C/1B Kyle Schwarber (19), one of the more productive hitters in college baseball over the last two seasons, is likely to come off the board somewhere in this range.

    And then there’s RHP Jeff Hoffman (18), the East Carolina right-hander who was a candidate to go No. 1 overall before last week’s announcement that he needs Tommy John surgery. In spite of the injury, Hoffman still is likely to be drafted at some point in the first round.

Nos. 15-11

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    Trea Turner, SS, North Carolina State (No. 13)
    Trea Turner, SS, North Carolina State (No. 13)USA TODAY Sports
    RankPlayerPos.SchoolCollege CommitmentPreviously Drafted
    15Michael ConfortoOFOregon State Never Drafted
    14Max PentecostCKennesaw State Rangers 2011 (7)
    13Trea TurnerSSNorth Carolina State Pirates 2011 (20)
    12Brandon FinneganLHPTexas Christian Rangers 2011 (45)
    11Sean NewcombLHPHartford Never Drafted

    Teams drafting outside the top 10 should have a host of college prospects to choose from, while the order in which they come off the board will be a result of the perceived best player available (BPA) and organizational need.

    C Max Pentecost (No. 14) and SS Trea Turner (13) are well-rounded players who project to remain at their current position for the duration of their respective careers, and OF Michael Conforto (15) continues to separate himself from his peers with excellent plate discipline.

    Meanwhile, two of the nation’s top left-handed pitchers, Brandon Finnegan (12) and Sean Newcomb (11), are expected to receive interest somewhere around the middle of the first round.

Nos. 10-6

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    Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco (No. 6)
    Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco (No. 6)Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press
    RankPlayerPos.SchoolCollege CommitmentPreviously Drafted
    10Tyler BeedeRHPVanderbilt Blue Jays 2011 (1)
    9Kyle FreelandLHPEvansville Phillies 2011 (35)
    8Aaron NolaRHPLouisville Blue Jays 2011 (22)
    7Grant HomesRHPConway HS (S.C.)Florida 
    6Bradley ZimmerOFSan Francisco Cubs 2011 (23)

    LHP Kyle Freeland (No. 9) is arguably the top left-handed pitcher in this year’s class not named Carlos Rodon or Brady Aiken, and his stock is at an all-time high following his dominant season for Evansville. RHP Aaron Nola (8) has the potential to reach the major leagues in a hurry courtesy of a polished arsenal and the best command in the class.

    RHP Grant Holmes’ (7) pure stuff would normally be worthy of consideration as the No. 1 pick, but his lack of physical projection (he’s 6’1” at best) and fringy changeup could ultimately lead to him falling to the back end of the top 10 or even deeper into the first round. The same can be said for RHP Tyler Beede (10), who features an advanced four-pitch mix but struggles to repeat his mechanics from start to start.

    Lastly, OF Bradley Zimmer (6) is arguably the top college hitter in this year’s class, and his potential for five better-than-average tools at maturity makes him an even more attractive potential top-10 pick.

Nos. 5-1

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    Carlos Rodon, LHP, North Carolina State (No. 2)
    Carlos Rodon, LHP, North Carolina State (No. 2)Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press
    RankPlayerPos.SchoolCollege CommitmentPreviously Drafted
    5Alex JacksonC/OFRancho Bernardo HS (Calif.)Oregon 
    4Nick GordonSSOlympia HS (Fla.)Florida State