In the second part of this three-part mock draft, we look at picks 11-20, featuring two picks made by the New York Mets, the first pick made by the defending champion Atlanta Braves, and the Phillies’ first-rounder as well.
11. NYM – Jackson Ferris, LHP, IMG Academy (FL)
The Mets are picking 11th due to their failure to sign Kumar Rocker (their 2021 1st-round pick). Here they take Jackson Ferris. Their farm system has run dry on pitching. Scherzer and deGrom are aging but might still be able to buy them more time until Ferris can reach the majors or be close. Ferris stands at 6’4” and weighs 190lbs., making his frame similar to deGrom’s. His best pitch is his fastball, which sits 92-95. His curveball has legit 12-6 action and his changeup is also developing nicely. Ferris is committed to Mississippi but the Mets have shown that money is not even a thought when it comes to signing players.
12. DET – Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola JC
Collier, 17 years old, should have been in the 2023 draft but decided to reclass and take his chances on this year’s class instead. Collier’s best skill is his contact ability. He could very well end up as a .280 hitter with 15-20 homers every year. To go along with his good contact skills, he plays a decent third base with a move to second likely in the cards when he turns pro.
13. LAA – Brandon Barriera, LHP, American Heritage (FL)
The Angels, maybe in the worst position in the sport with the two best players in the world, need all the pitching they can get for the foreseeable future. They are going to take a pitcher. It will be whoever they have as the best one available. With Lesko out until 2024, Barriera is that guy. A 6’2”/180lbs. A Vanderbilt commit, Barriera’s arsenal contains a fastball that sits low 90’s, changeup, and slider. Due to his frame, he may not end up as a starter long-term, but the mix is there to be a very good reliever. His slider is his swing and miss pitch and the change is a very good change of pace pitch. His best ability is his control as he doesn’t feature a high 90’s fastball or low 90’s secondary pitch.
14. NYM – Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech
Adding Cross to their prospect pool gives the Mets a good bat to have in the outfield when Marte and Canha begin to show their age. Cross projects as a .270 hitter with roughly 20 homers a year. One of his main concerns was his chase rate in 2020 and 2021, but he has reduced his strikeout rate and improved his walk rate enough to where that concern can be put to rest. Cross can play all three outfield spots and has played first base for VT as well. If the Mets want to make him a first baseman, he could be a great defender at that spot.
15. SDP – Robby Snelling, LHP, McQueen (NV)
Snelling’s best-scouted pitch is actually his curveball. He has an above-average fastball as well and a changeup that needs to develop more but has the potential to do so. He needs to work on his control a bit more to be considered more than a 3. The fastball ranges from 94-97 and the curveball in the high 70’s. Snelling’s time on the football field have paid off with his bulldog mentality giving him the ability and attitude to be able to take on the workload of a starting pitcher.
16. CLE – Justin Crawford, OF, Bishop Gorman (NV)
Crawford has elite speed and above-average contact skills. Couple this with the fact that Cleveland has only three outfielders in their top-30 prospects, Crawford becomes one of their better prospects immediately. He has the speed and athleticism to stay in center field his entire career and is a huge threat on the basepaths. He needs to add strength and weight to his frame, at 6’3” and only weighing 175lbs., there is room for him to do that. His glove is also a vital part of his game. Crawford may only hit .250-.260, but if he steals 30+ bases and plays as well defensively as some think he can, he could be a big piece of Cleveland’s future.
17. PHI – Chase DeLauter, OF, JMU
DeLauter may have gone higher if it weren’t for a broken foot he sustained while sliding into a base this Spring. Nevertheless, DeLauter is one of the best college outfielders in this class. Before his injury, he posted a .437/.576/.828 slash line, has above average speed, and can should hold his own defensively in a corner outfield spot for the majority of his career. Coming out of college should give him the opportunity to come through any team’s system quickly, but especially the Phillies’, whose outfield situation in the minor leagues is not great behind Johan Rojas and Ethan Wilson.
18. CIN – Dylan Beavers, OF, Cal
Beavers has been compared to Christian Yelich due to his untraditional stance and above average power. Beavers projects as a future corner outfielder with above average speed. He also has good power but below average contact skills. He is known as a very streaky hitter who can get too swing-happy at times.
19. OAK – Gabriel Hughes, RHP, Gonzaga
Oakland takes a pitcher here because they don’t have a cornerstone pitcher in their top-30 prospects. Hughes isn’t going to be an ace by any means, but gives the A’s someone they can count on in the future to eat innings. He stands at 6’4” on the mound with a fastball that routinely sits 94-97. His slider already sits 88-90, giving him the potential to have two plus pitches. He also has been developing a good changeup, which could be used as a nice third option for him if he continues to use it. Hughes has the stuff to be a number three right now and if he can add another pitch (cutter? two-seam?) has the potential to become a really good number two.
20. ATL – Cole Young, SS, North Allegheny (PA)
With six of their top seven prospects in AAA or higher, the Braves need some youth in their system. Cole Young gives them that as well as a long term solution at short if Dansby Swanson decides to leave at the end of this season. Young won’t be major league ready for a while, but he has close to plus contact skills, good speed, a good arm, and a good glove. He projects as a top-of-the-order hitter due to his contact ability, speed, and pitch recognition. The consensus is that he should be able to stay at short for most or all of his career.
Photo by Getty Images