In my penultimate MLB Draft Big Board, there have been a few changes and new additions, but the top spot remains the same.
Previous Big Boards
My Big Board, v 3.0
1. RHP Daniel Espino, Georgia Premier Academy (Ga.)
2. RHP Brennan Malone, IMG Academy HS (Fla.)
3. OF Maurice Hampton, Memphis University HS (Tenn.)
4. SS Gunnar Henderson, Morgan Academy HS (Ala.)
5. 3B Keoni Cavaco, Eastlake HS (Calif.)
6. RHP Quinn Priester, Cary-Grove HS (Ill.)
7. 3B Kody Hoese, Tulane
8. SS Brooks Lee, San Luis Obispo HS (Calif.)
9. RHP George Kirby, Elon
10. RHP JJ Goss, Cypress Ranch HS (Texas)
11. OF Kameron Misner, Missouri
12. SS Matthew Lugo, Carlos Beltran Academy
13. RHP Seth Johnson, Campbell
14. RHP Noah Song, Navy
15. LHP Blake Walston, New Hanover HS (N.C.)
Espino still holds the top spot and likely will, barring anything unforeseen. His upside is massive and he would be a good gamble for the Dodgers.
Malone is up to No. 2 after doing more research and watching video. There’s a pretty good chance he doesn’t make it to 25, but if he does, he’d be a fine pick for LA.
Hampton is still my favorite position player the Dodgers might be able to land in this draft. He’s a little raw, but the tools and athleticism are sky-high.
Henderson is making a late push and has a Gavin Lux vibe to him. He’s a bit bigger than Lux, but he should have the bat to play on the left side of the infield. If he can stick at shortstop, he could be a star.
Cavaco is purely a third baseman, but his bat is better than either Hampton or Henderson. But like Malone, there’s a chance he doesn’t make it to pick 25.
Priester hasn’t really been connected to the Dodgers, but the fact that they’re connected to other prep pitchers leads me to think he could be of some interest to them.
Hoese has had a big spring and positioned himself for a big pay day. The Dodgers are always interested in college bats.
Lee might be the best bet of any prospect on this list to stick at shortstop. There are concerns about him hitting enough going forward to be a regular, but the Dodgers have done a good job developing hitters in recent years.
Kirby would be a lot higher on this board if I thought there were any chance he’d make it to No. 25. He could go as early as 11 or 12 from things I’ve read. But he’s my favorite college arm in a class that’s lacking them.
Goss hasn’t directly been connected to the Dodgers, but like Priester, he offers a fair amount of upside as a prep pitcher. Also, he has spin numbers the Dodgers tend to favor.
Misner was mocked to the Dodgers by Keith Law yesterday. That’s the first direct connection. Couple that with the FanGraphs’ guys mocking Stanford outfielder Kyle Sowers to LA at 31 in their mock today and it seems like more than just a passing interest. The Top 10-talent is falling because of an inconsistent offensive season. He could be a steal for the Dodgers at either 25 or 31.
Lugo is an intriguing talent who isn’t getting a lot of love in the first round. If the Dodgers made him their high-upside pick at either 25 or 31, I wouldn’t be upset about it.
Johnson is a new name here. He’s only been pitching full-time for a year after being a light-hitting shortstop early in his collegiate career. He has a big fastball and slider, so there’s some reliever risk as well as the fact he hasn’t faced premium competition. But if the Dodgers went with a prep guy at 25 and Johnson at 31, that wouldn’t be surprising.
Song, as I wrote about in the previous big board, has military service commitment he might need to fulfill before turning pro. Still, he seems like the kind of pitcher the Dodgers gravitate toward.
Walston is the first lefty — a prep one, no less — to make my board. He was mocked to LA by Baseball America in its most recent mock and is the type of pitcher Logan White used to covet in the first round. He could be a bit of a tough sign, though.
There will be one more Big Board on the day of the draft (including a mock draft round-up). There will also be a few more profiles written between now and 4 p.m. on June 3. Mr. Henderson is next in the queue.