2018 FCBL Mock Draft 1.0
1. Los Angeles Dodgers – 1B Cody Bellinger
I think everyone pretty much knew when Toth and the Dodger organization made the move for No. 1 that he would go with the homer pick of Bellinger. The pick placement, however, is right in line with everything we’ve seen. The lefty slugger flirted with 40 dingers and 100 RBI in his rookie season and is likely to flirt with 3,000 OB*TB in future seasons. Bellinger slumped a bit down the stretch, but at just 22 years old there’s a lot of room for improvement still. This is a no brainer pick for LA as they’ll likely slot him at a corner OF position early.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers – 2B Ozzie Albies
This pick came down between Albies vs Devers. The selection of 3B Alex Bregman at No. 3 overall last season basically shuts down talk of Devers to LA. Albies slots in as a Day 1 starter up the middle for Toth although we’re still just over a week away from his 21st birthday. He may grade out as good rather than elite, but still projects to be a Top 10 player at the position in future positions given the batting avg, walk rate, and solid minor league history on defense.
3. Atlanta Braves – 3B Rafael Devers
The Commish made a surprise run in the playoffs last season pushing the eventual World Series Champion Indians to a Game 7 before falling. The Braves aren’t quite in as good of shape heading into 2018, and find themselves in a position where taking the best player available regardless of position bodes well for the franchise. Manny Machado currently resides at the hot corner for Atlanta, but Devers possesses the best hitting attributes of any player in the draft and .300+ avg and 20+ HR seasons are in play here. While the glove currently needs some work, Devers is an ideal move for the Commissioner at 3 overall.
4. Washington Nationals – OF Victor Robles
While we’re all kicking ourselves that we let Auman steal Aaron Judge with the 47th overall selection in last year’s draft, he finds himself in a position to do some damage in the FCBL in 2018. The Nats owner is an absolute sucker for 5-tool players, and Robles fits the bill. Power, walking ability, defensive range, speed, and batting average- Robles has been compared to a vintage Adam Jones, who was also a huge favorite of Doug’s. He may be a prospect they have to sit on, but it may be worth the wait if they can strike gold.
5. Boston Red Sox – SP Luis Castillo
This is where things become a little blurry when trying to pinpoint a prediction. The Red Sox can go a number of ways, and don’t have any sort of draft pattern. This front office has taken on total wait and see prospects while they’ve been contenders, and they’ve also been known to draft a 35+ year old pitcher who immediately wins an MVP award. The seemingly lacking depth of starting pitching around the league makes Castillo an intriguing prospect as he becomes an immediate number 2 on most staffs while also grading out well for the future.
6. Tampa Bay Rays – OF Ian Happ
Branagin and the Rays have been in search of Starting Pitching but at this pick range, Happ or Rosario make more sense than any pitchers. With Segura entrenched as their starting SS, Happ makes some sense for Tampa. He has good power with 24 HRs last season, and also has a knack for drawing walks. What strat gives him as a range rating and if he sees regular ABs will tell a lot of the story with Happ for future seasons.
7. Los Angeles Dodgers -- SS Amed Rosario
The Dodgers are in complete rebuild mode and Rosario has SS-1 potential at just 21 years of age. The rangy Rosario hit for strong averages in the minors and should see Top-10 SS cards as long as he hits above the norms. He doesn’t walk a lot and doesn’t hit for a lot of power, so he’ll need solid averages and hit totals to hold a position as a starter.
8. Washington Nationals – SP Jordan Montgomery
Not your typical flame-throwing pitcher the Nats are attracted to, but now they’re starting to realize they aren’t just going to contend for the division, but they may contend for a title. Montgomery immediately slots in as the 4th man in their rotation, while he would be a number 2 for most FCBL teams. Montgomery is a lefty, but has great off-speed stuff and he’s consistent. The only real red flag is the fastball is just average, and the HR/9 rate is just above 1.2 which could be dangerous.
9. Washington Nationals -- 1B Rhys Hoskins
Staying with the theme here, the Nats now grab yet another starter for them here in the first round with the slugging 1B/OF Hoskins. He hit 18 home runs in just 170 ABs last season and shouldn’t have any trouble hitting 30 given a full slate of ABs. The walk rate is good too which could set up for big OB*TB numbers. The downside to Hoskins is the average. If he doesn’t keep it around or above .250 in future seasons, he could end up more of a platoon type player.
10. Atlanta Braves – OF Nick Williams
Williams general hitting profile grades as above average compared to this draft class. This is one of the better current value cards while also serving as the replacement for Nick Markakis for Atlanta. While the contact rate and average may regress from the rookie season, power at the corner OF position sets up well for potential Top-10 cards in RF in future seasons. Probably the least likely player in this range to “bust.”
11. Boston Red Sox – OF Lewis Brinson
Remember earlier when I talked about the Sox taking a player they who is a top prospect that they don’t really need and sitting on them? Yeah, this is one of those. Brinson is coming off an excellent minor league season which suggests future Top-10 cards in CF. He may not be elite in any area, but there aren’t many red flags and there are almost no holes in his game. Brinson did struggle in his limited time in the majors, which is something to keep an eye on.
12. Minnesota Twins – SS Paul Dejong
Dejong is a good power hitter relative to his position and actually grades as a Top-10 SS for the upcoming season. He would be an immediate upgrade and a starter for Bennett and Minnesota at what seems to be the only real glaring hole on the roster. Dejong leaves something to be desired defensively but that’s not why you’re drafting him. He reminds me a bit of Aledmys Diaz or Trevor Story as far as the makeup.
13. Los Angeles Dodgers – OF Alex Verdugo
Toth isn’t going to pass up a chance to score yet another Dodger. Verdugo hits for average and knows how to take a walk and profiles as a number one or number two hitter in the lineup. This pick comes with minimal risk but he may be off the radar a little bit because of limited ABs last season, but the Dodgers aren’t in a hurry to have guys produce and you can be sure Bill knows who he is. Just an upside pick with a high floor for Los Angeles.
14. Washington Nationals – P Francis Martes
Anyone else tired of the Dodgers and Nationals drafting? Me too. Here is Auman’s patented laser rocket armed pitcher selection. Martes is currently throwing as a reliever until he can gain more control of his fastball, but already has a slider that hitters have trouble making contact with. He’s a dominant starter and a potential staff ace if he learns how to spot his heater, but a number 4 rotation guy as is.
15. Texas Rangers – SP Jacob Faria
Faria isn’t necessarily a sexy pick, but at this point in the draft he’s a steal. Faria can be plugged into the rotation right away and help this ball club. He’s not great at any one thing, but very solid all-around and getting increasingly better at getting hitters to ground out. His control isn’t bad, but if he can tighten it up, his strat card could jump to the next level.
16. Kansas City Royals – 3B Matt Chapman
Chapman is the best available prospect on the board at this point in the draft. Barreto was also in play here as a stash for Blue and the Royals, but I imagine KC is comfortable with Didi, Anderson, and Escobar filling out the depth chart at SS. Chapman has a solid glove at 3B and could even snag a 3B-1 rating. He needs to raise his average, but could end up hitting 25-30 homers in any given season. With the glove rating and the power potential, if he ever puts it all together at once, he could have some great cards.