With the MLB draft less now less than two weeks away, a look at some of the latest news and rumors…
- ESPN’s Keith Law has published his latest mock draft (Insider subscription required and strongly recommended) and, like many others, now has the Twins leaning toward Vanderbilt right-hander Kyle Wright with the top pick. Looking a bit further down the board, Law has Louisville lefty/first baseman Brendan McKay slip a bit out of the top three to the Rays at No. 4, and looking further down the board a ways, he has the White Sox taking Vanderbilt outfielder Jeren Kendall, with whom Sox GM Rick Hahn met last week, according to Law. There’s interesting intel on the general types of players (e.g. college bats, high school arms, etc.) that many teams seem to be eyeing sprinkled throughout, making it well worth a look for anyone with an interest in the draft.
- There’s been plenty of debate over whether McKay, a two-way star at Louisville, is best developed as a pitcher or a first baseman. There are compelling arguments for either side, and McKay seems to be a consensus top five pick at this time. Fangraphs’ Eric Longenhagen scouted McKay’s last game and provides some fairly extensive info on McKay’s repertoire as well as his swing, in addition to sharing a nearly 30-minute video of McKay on the mound. Longenhagen notes that he ultimately prefers McKay as a pitcher, though he calls the decision close enough that it’d be wise to allow McKay to hit and pitch early in his pro career. Longenhagen also wrote about McKay and the draft’s other two-way stars recently when unveiling Fangraphs’ sortable draft board — an invaluable free tool for draft followers which even includes some Trackman data that offers max fastball/curveball RPMs for pitchers.
- Baseball America’s Hudson Belinsky writes that potential first-rounder Nate Pearson, a junior college righty out of Florida, helped his stock by reaching 101 mph in his most recent bullpen session. Some scouts even had Pearson as high as 102 mph, Belinsky writes.
- MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo put together an “All-Draft Prospect Team” by creating a roster of the draft’s top talent at each position (three, in the case of outfielders, plus one right-hander and one left-hander). Mayo’s piece offers a paragraph or two of scouting info on each of the listed players.