A year ago, everybody knew Bryce Harper was going to be the first overall pick in the draft. The year before that, Stephen Strasburg was the clearcut favorite to be the top selection. This time, there's no obvious candidate to go first overall. Here's the latest on the draft, with five weeks to go until the big day:
- ESPN.com's Keith Law hears that D’Backs GM Kevin Towers is seeing Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Dylan Bundy, Trevor Bauer, Bubba Starling and Danny Hultzen in anticipation of the draft (Twitter link). Arizona selects third and seventh overall this year, so it's not surprising that Towers is scouting the top available players.
- Rays scouting director R.J. Harrison told Joe Lemire of SI.com that he hadn't had any extra picks to work with before last year. A bevy of ranked free agents left the Rays for other teams last offseason, which means that Tampa Bay has 11 of the first 75 selections this June. "We're not going to get up all wound up and create something out of this, other than to stick with our process and evaluate our players properly," Harrison said.
- Cole, high school shortstop Francisco Lindor, Hultzen and Rendon top the list Jon Heyman of SI.com creates with the help of a number of scouting directors.
- Heyman hears that UCLA right-hander Trevor Bauer is "shooting up the board" and could become a top-five pick, along with his rotation mate, Cole.
- Check out my interview with Rendon from last week for his thoughts on the upcoming draft. Here's our series of Draft Prospect Q&As.