WTNYJune 05, 2006
Jumping on the Mock Train
By Bryan Smith

Before the college season started, I wrote an article highlighting the top 20 2006 draft-eligible college players. It's now fun to look back at the article and see what the year provided, how many players had their fates changed in 2006. Today, I have another piece up at SI.com, this one providing stark contrast to the first.

I was hesitant to write a mock draft for the site, it's dangerous territory to compete with Jim Callis, who predicted the top 18 picks correct last season. However, with a low set of expectations, the draft provides a puzzle of possibilities, a combination of trends and talents. I had fun with the top 30, stretching at times, and I imagine that in 24 hours, we'll be able to look back and laugh just the same as my first piece.

However, while I'm in the predicting mood, here's a few more before Draft Day...

  • I have noted over and over again that I believe Notre Dame WR/RHP Jeff Samardzija will be the draft's biggest reach. I still think that will be true, and remain enamored with the possibility of him landing with the Diamondbacks, probably in slot 55. Given their first two selections, Samardzija might be outside of Arizona's price range, but their presence in the wide receiver's stomping grounds, South Bend, create an intriguing combination.

  • Dellin Betances has been quite the anomoly this spring, his stock changing often, his velocity reportedly down. However, players with his projectablity rarely find their way to Brooklyn, so the Yankees really should choose Betances at pick 41. If they can muster the courage to go with Pedro Beato in the first round, the Mets will truly be "on tilt" the rest of the day.

  • In Callis' mock of the top 15 picks, we can already see where I made a few mistakes. However, in most cases, the back-up choice I listed might be the man to go. The big exception is the note that Chris Parmalee is on the verge of a pre-draft deal, which certainly will shake things up.

  • My final prediction is that I will praise the organizations that spend picks on Mark Hamilton and Steven Wright on draft day. Others that pique my interest as post-round 1 gambles: Mike Felix (Troy), Milton Loo (Yavapai), Derrick Lutz (George Washington), Cory Rasmus (Ala. HS), Harold Mozingo (Va. Commonwealth), Josh Rodriguez (Rice).

    Leave your own predictions in the comments...

  • Comments

    Milton Loo was signed last night by the Cincinnati Reds as a draft and follow for $220,000. He will not be available.

    Some of my guys I was really interested in you listed in Mozingo, Wright and Rasmus. It will be interesting to see if Rasmus goes past round 2 and someone takes a chance on him and his "if I dont go before round 3 I am going to Auburn" and tries to call his bluff and get him to sign.

    Doug, I saw that right after I posted this. Loo is a very good signing for the Reds, and yet another reason why I think they'll probably pass on the Stubbs/Rowell combination for a pitcher.

    I was telling someone yesterday that Rasmus just seems the type that could dominate in college and become a top 10 pick in a few years. At this point, if I was his agent and his shoulder was feeling fine, I'd suggest Auburn.

    I find it interesting that you are high on GW's Lutz. As a fellow Colonial, I frequently read about his dominating performances in the baseball-mediocre A-10. With so many bigger RHP names from bigger programs out there, when do you think he will get picked?

    Mark, Lutz should go in the first five rounds, and at this point, the third wouldn't be a shock. There is a caveat though, as most teams like him as a reliever. He dominated in that spot last summer in the Cape, but this spring, showed depleted stuff and lackluster command in a starting spot.

    It seems to me that the best move with Lutz would be to convert him to relief upon drafting him, going with the Craig Hansen-type pace at first. In that spot, Lutz could be the year's Kevin Whelan.

    Hey brian, I play hs baseball in south jersey and i'm only a sophmore but i'm not here to talk about myself i know a kid who plays down here name billy rowell 6-4 215pd s.s he'll deftinitly be a top 15 pick.

    I think it would be a gamble to take Felix in the first three rounds. I'd give him 5th to 7th round status. He's a fantastic overall player, both a pitcher and a hitter. However I fear for his consistency in the field. As a person who watched Troy University play about a dozen games this year I saw far too many errors and general misplays for a collegiate player.

    Pick him to develop him because he needs it. Get those fielding problems out of the way and you'll have a very good all around player.


    I like all of your college "sleeper" calls in the last bullet point.

    I also like Lehigh C Matt McBride and TCU 2B Chad Huffman quite a bit. On the pitcher's side, Old Dominion RHP Jason Godin and Western Michigan LHP Dan O'Brien.

    And what more does Danny Ray Herrera need to do to get some love? Ha!

    - Kent

    Kent, if you like Dan O'Brien, you should like my sleeper, Ball St's Ben Snyder. Very similar type of pitchers, with Snyder having a little better stuff and having 2 impressive performances the last couple weeks (one vs Kentucky).


    Cool. Thanks. I'll only note that, through 5/21, Snyder's K/9, K/100P, (K-BB)/BF, and (K-BB)/HR are all pretty far off from O'Brien's. But I recognize that two impressive starts since can move those numbers around quite a bit, in the Wondeful World of Small Sample Sizes. And, I truly appreciate the fact that it sounds like you've seen him pitch, and it's foolish to go only by the numbers, I will be the first to admit.

    To your point, Snyder's 5/21 AdjDERA was an entire 1.33 points lower than his ERA, which does show that he could be undervalued by loking only at more traditional measures.

    Thanks for pointing him out. It will be fun to see where he lands.

    - Kent

    Actually I haven't seen him pitch. Just noticed that he was the Great Lakes Summer League best pitching prospect, though O'Brien actually had better numbers for Columbus.

    Another player from that league, Charlie Yarborough (Eastern Kentucky), seems like a semi-sleeper. Though it looks like he projects more as a DH with only above average power as his best tool.


    Thanks again.

    I also like Troy SS Tom King, Western KY C Jordan Newton and South Alabama 3B David Freese to varying degrees, speaking solely from a stats perspective.

    FWIW, college DH-types who show power, but with only mediocre/poor plate discipline, kinda scare me.

    - Kent

    Betances gave a verbal commitment to Tim Corbin's Vanderbilt Commodores. The commitment was confirmed over the weekend. Everyone has heard he wants to be a Yankee, but if someone else takes him, he might go the route of Pedro Alvarez and choose to be SEC Freshman of the Year.

    Vandyfan, I hadn't previously heard that. Do you have any link to that story?

    The guy I'm really surprised has landed that low is Kasey Kiker. Two years from now people are going to be wondering why their team didn't draft Kiker ahead of guys like Reynolds, McCulloch, and there won't be a good answer.

    I can't believe Matt Antonelli is going so high - he looks like the "safe" but unexciting Russ Adams/Aaron Hill/Cliff Pennington pick of the year.

    I think the Royals will go with Hochevar at #1, the Rockies will grab Miller #2, the Orioles will grab Rowell. I doubt the Dodgers will bite on Stubbs, I pick Pittsburgh to go for Morrow and SF to go for Bard like other mock drafts have suggested. I think the Cubs will go for Conger, Snider, or Parmalee. I think the Cubs picking Marrero would be a deadly mistake. Listen to all this talk about "rawness" and "tools before results" and tell me that doesn't sound like Ryan Harvey. They're as bad at developing raw high school talent as organizations come. Talk about a match made in hell. Sounds like another reason for Cubs' fans to swing from basement rafters to me.

    The 15-20 picks look pretty solid and similar on most mock drafts.

    I'll be interested to see what happens with Riley Cooper, Trevor Cahill, Shane Robinson, and Torre Langley.

    The Dodgers really botched that whole Hochevar fiasco, but it actually and quite unexpectedly looks like it might shake out as a win-win for both sides. Dem Bums will be alright with three picks in the first 31. As for Hochevar, dude really lucked out that he fell into a much weaker draft the second time around--you've gotta know that large market teams starting with the Tigers at No. 6 have just got to be salivating at the thought he'll still be there when they pick.

    I actually think Hochevar will go to the Royals No. 1 overall b/c w/ no Baird or Moore at the helm whoever's making the call is going be heavily influenced by ownership. Whatever PR storm would ensue from passing on Miller would be a light drizzle compared to the tornado of uprising that would result if they selected Miller but then could not meet his asking price.

    Although it's a highly generalized prediction, I look for the Eddie Bane and the Angels to make as big a splash as the board will permit at No. 25. With their next pick not till 102, the Halos will have plenty of coin to sign their top selection and with a known risk-taker like Bane, if someone slips down the board b/c of signability issues they'll lap him up a la Jered Weaver.

    Bryan, kudos to you for tackling the daunting task of a mock draft, and on the huge stage of SI.com of all places! Two questions:
    1. The thing that jumped out at me in comparing your mock to Callis' is that you have Bard going No. 4 while Callis doesn't have him in the top 15 at all. Explanation? Do you think there's a chance that questions about his makeup and/or concerns that he'll eventually shift to the 'pen could overshadow his raw stuff?
    2. And do you have anything to say about the Canadian Kenny Orr?