A day before the start of the 2017 MLB Draft, here are the current rumblings.
- The Twins look likely to select Vanderbilt righty Kyle Wright or Louisville two-way player Brendan McKay with the first overall pick, John Manuel of Baseball America writes in his last mock (which came out Friday). Late last week, Jim Callis of MLB.com suggested the Twins were leaning toward McKay, although it seems the first pick is still the subject of some uncertainty. Both sources have the Reds taking California high school righty Hunter Greene at No. 2 and the Padres going with North Carolina high school lefty MacKenzie Gore at No. 3, although those picks could seemingly change based on what the Twins end up doing. (ESPN’s Keith Law, by the way, has a long profile of Greene, calling him “the best prospect in the draft class and one of the most gifted teenage players I’ve ever seen,” even as he notes that kind of praise can lead to burdensome expectations.)
- Interestingly, Jonathan Mayo’s latest update in the MLB.com link above cites speculation that the Rays at No. 4 and the Braves at No. 5 could make predraft deals with players to save money against the value of their picks and then go after highly regarded talents in later rounds. (The Rays have a pool of about $12.5MM, with the Braves at just under $10MM.) One possibility should the Rays go that route is Alabama high school outfielder Bubba Thompson, who MLB.com currently rates as the No. 26 prospect in the draft. Atlanta could do something similar, but they could also take Wright or California high school SS/OF Royce Lewis if those players are still available when they make their first selection.
- It’s possible you remember Darren Baker, Dusty’s son, as the small batboy being yanked away from home plate by J.T. Snow in the 2002 World Series. Now, though, Darren is an outfield prospect with a commitment to Cal. Dusty says, though, that Darren will honor that commitment unless he’s drafted “real, real high,” according to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post (on Twitter).