This is the second of what should be four Big Boards leading up to the MLB Draft (June 8). There have been some pretty significant changes since the last version.
My Big Board, v 2.0
1. LHP Kolby Allard, San Clemente HS (Calif.)
2. C Chris Betts, Wilson HS (Calif.)
3. RHP James Kaprielian, UCLA
4. RHP Michael Matuella, Duke
5. OF Garrett Whitley, Niskayuna HS (N.Y.)
6. OF/2B Ian Happ, Cincinnati
7. 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes, Concordia Lutheran HS (Texas)
8. RHP Ashe Russell, Cathedral HS (Ind.)
9. RHP Austin Smith, Park Vista HS (Fla.)
10. SS/3B Cornelius Randolph, Griffin HS (Ga.)
11. RHP Dakota Chalmers, North Forsyth HS (Ga.)
12. LHP Brady Aiken, IMG Post-Grad (Fla.)
13. LHP Justin Hooper, De La Salle HS (Calif.)
14. RHP Drew Finley, Rancho Bernardo HS (Calif.)
15. RHP Donny Everett, Clarksville HS (Tenn.)
The Top 2 on my board remain unchanged. I’m growing increasingly skeptical that Kolby Allard is going to fall to No. 24. Some team is bound to take a chance on his potential in the teens or early 20s. If teams are convinced Chris Betts can stick behind the plate, he should go pretty high, too.
James Kaprielian jumps one spot and could find himself atop my board before draft day. As with Allard, though, I’m not sure he makes it to the 24th spot.
Of all the injured pitchers (excluding Allard), Michael Matuella is the one I like best. I like him a lot more than Aiken, who you see has taken quite a tumble.
Garrett Whitley makes his first official appearance, as it seems that talk of him going 1-1 might have been just chatter. He’s an athletic, toolsy outfielder with a good chance to stick in center field.
Ke’Bryan Hayes (65-grade name) jumps up a bit amid rumors the Dodgers might have a pre-draft deal done (handshake situation) with him. If he is the pick at No. 24, it’s probably for an under-slot deal that would allow the Dodgers to select a signability guy (like Matuella, if available) at No. 35.
Ashe Russell has some of the best stuff in the draft on the prep side, but he’s definitely a project. Definitely would be a Logan White-esque pick.
A word (or 135) on Aiken: I’m actually getting a little sick of seeing Aiken lazily mocked to the Dodgers. “Oh, they have all the money,” or “He played on a traveling team with a Dodgers’ scout son,” or “He’s from Southern California” aren’t good enough reasons for the Dodgers to take a risk on his surgically repaired elbow that some say may not be so simply repaired. There is a ton of risk involved, and while he was the first overall pick last year, it would be quite the risk to take. If his medicals weren’t such a question mark, I’d feel differently. Of course, if the Dodgers’ medical staff (LOL) clears him, then all bets are off.
Donny Everett makes his debut on the board. He boasts a big fastball and fringy off-speed stuff (ala Austin Smith). He’s filled out at 6’2, 220 pounds, so there isn’t much projectability remaining. He’s an interesting prospect and could climb before June 8.
The draft is two weeks away. The Dodgers own five of the first 101 picks. They will get good prospects out of this, despite it being a thin draft. It will be very interesting to see how it all shakes out. There are some potential gets in the mid-rounds based on signability.