Expert Jonathan Mayo chatted with fans on Friday about the upcoming June 7 Draft. Mayo covered a variety of topics, including mock drafts, selection theories and re-drafts.
MLB.com will offer live coverage and analysis of the entire Draft on Monday-Wednesday. Round 1 and Compensation Round A will be held on Monday at MLB Network's Studio 42 in Secaucus, N.J. Those 50 selections will be broadcast on MLB Network and simulcast live on MLB.com/Live. Coverage begins with the Draft preview show at 6 p.m. ET.
On Tuesday at noon, the Draft will continue with the rounds 2-30, via conference call from MLB Headquarters in New York. Rounds 31-50 will be on Wednesday, beginning at noon. Both days will be carried live on MLB.com/Live.
Jonathan Mayo: OK, kids, let's get this thing going. Got about an hour here, let's see how many questions we can plow through. Thanks for coming!
vinny8796: What position are the Padres expected to look at most in the first round?
Mayo: I'd say No. 9. Oh, you mean in the field ... my apologies. Not sure they have one position in mind, but the Padres are an interesting case. I've had second baseman Kolbrin Vitek with them and that still makes some sense, though they'll move him to center field.
murphythegoat: Where is Zack Cox of Arkansas going?
Mayo: He's a little tricky to place because, as a third baseman, he doesn't profile to have the kind of power people like to see from that position. That being said, the guy can flat-out rake. I think he could go as high as four, but more likely to go in the 7-10 range, unless signability issues cause a slide.
daved292: Any chance Pomeranz falls to the Mets and would they take him, or are they looking for a hitter?
Mayo: Is there a chance? Sure, there's a chance, though I don't think he'll get by the Diamondbacks at No. 6. If he's there, I think the Mets would take a long look at Pomeranz, for sure. Could be an arm -- Pomeranz, maybe Deck Maguire, but I'm thinking more likely a college bat for the Mets.
legna_PR: Hello Mr. Mayo. My question is, can a player be selected whose name does not appear in the 2010 Draft Tracker list?
Mayo: That's a good question. The short answer is no. The players you can currently see on the Draft Tracker are ones submitted by the Major League Scouting Bureau.
The players that teams have submitted are not there now. They'll only show up once they are drafted -- it's not public knowledge who each team submits (they don't want every other team to know some diamond in the rough they like).
If those names were added, it would nearly double the current list.
tex2044: Does Cowart really have the bat to make it as a third baseman or would he be a better pitching prospect?
Mayo: That depends on who you ask. Most like him on the mound, but all it takes is one team to like him the other way. And there are some who think he can hit and a team might at least let him try it (a la Casey Kelly) to get him to sign.
Posada_20: Where did you come up with Austin Wates for the Yankees at 32? I would think they'd go over slot for a guy like Jenkins or Zach Lee at 32 if they are available.
Mayo: I pulled his name out of a hat.
I pulled his name out of a hat. No, seriously, it was a name that came up in a conversation I had. I don't think that Wates is definitively their guy -- there's no way of knowing at this point what they'll do at 32 now. Anyone who pretends to know isn't being truthful. That being said, there was some talk about them sticking to slot with that first pick. I do know, though, that they'd have an interest in Jenkins, but I don't think he'll be there at 32. As for Lee, they like him, but I don't think they'll take him even if he's there.
BRAvesvan221: Who do you think will be the Braves' first-round pick?
Mayo: Is this a trick question? Cause, you know, they don't have a pick in the first round ... They do pick in the supplemental first round (No. 35 overall) and it's hard to know what they'll be looking at with a new group running the scouting end of things. I had heard they were in heavy at the ACC tournament last week, though you can't read too much into that. But if you want to, maybe a college bat.
rynojbruce: Who do you see the Reds drafting in the first round?
Mayo: I think they're looking college -- I had Bryce Brentz there in my last mock (final one coming Monday morning) and I know he's in their conversation. Probably some other college bats and arms, depending on who's around when they pick.
JP_Frost: What are the latest Indians rumors?
Mayo: I think the Indians would love to get Chris Sale, the lefty from Florida Gulf Coast University. If, however, he goes above them -- most likely to Kansas City at No. 4 -- then they'll look at a college hitter, I think. Michael Choice, Yasmani Grandal, Zack Cox all being discussed.
riske1321: Couple of things ... Why would the Indians take Grandal when they have Santana coming up? Is he not projected to be behind the plate long term? And looking at your last mock draft, what makes a guy like Loux leapfrog Wimmers?
Mayo: Funny you should ask ... Well, there's the old adage that you can never have enough catching. I'm not sure Grandal is the front-runner right now, but it's never a bad thing to have depth at that position. As for the White Sox, Loux and Wimmers (Loux is pitching right now in his regional, by the way), I think that the college arms after the first couple have not separated themselves at all. So if one team likes one guy (e.g. perhaps the White Sox and Loux), then they'll take him. There also could be a deal in place that would make one guy go a bit earlier than others.
raysfan16: Who do you see the Rays taking at 17? Do you think they will go pitching or hitting, college or high school?
Mayo: Yes? I kid -- but the point I'm trying to make is that the Rays are liable to go in any direction with that pick. I've been hearing all sorts of things and they haven't shown an aversion to any type of player in previous drafts. That RJ Harrison is a tough one to pin down.
honkbal1: Hi Jonathan, every mock draft I've seen has Ranaudo going to the Red Sox, why is that? Not that I love his upside.
Mayo: Some of it is the tendency to put "tough signs" with the Red Sox. Some of it is because people saw Theo Epstein at the SEC Tournament when Ranaudo was as good as he's been all year. And some of it is because there's interest.
bluejays17: Who are the Toronto Blue Jays thinking about taking in the draft with there first couple of many picks?
Mayo: One of the most intriguing questions of this Draft season -- what with the Jays do with all those picks, all those new scouts and supposedly more money to spend. I think they're going to make a splash, go after some high-ceiling players. That might not necessarily happen in the first round, but at some point with all those early picks.
deacond: I hear that Stetson Allie is very high on the Cubs list. Would you agree?
Mayo: I could see that, sure. The Cubs are a team that's not easy to nail down. That being said, the last couple of years, they haven't gone high school in the first round. Don't think that means a college guy is a slam dunk, but it does make you wonder about Allie.
astrosws20: Who are the Astros most likely to take at No. 8?
Mayo: It's going to be a college arm or high school position player. So, maybe a Deck Maguire from the arm department. Josh Sale from the high school bat department has been talked about a lot.
blzr409: I have heard the Pirates had a four-hour-plus meeting with Jameson Taillon this week. Are they moving off of Machado and towards Taillon?
Mayo: Yes, they met with Taillon. But it doesn't mean that they're not taking Machado. I think they're doing due diligence with the two guys they're most seriously considering. They could be leaning toward Machado, but you want to make sure you know enough about Plan 1A, so to speak. My guess is they had, or will have, a similar meeting with Machado (if Mr. Boras allows that).
mayonays: Can you remember the last time a high school bat was talked about with such certainty (Harper)?
Mayo: Had to take at least one question from someone with that screen name, right? Sure I can: Justin Upton. That was in 2005. There were a bunch of high school hitters highly thought of in that class, but obviously he stood out.
ktopp: Who will the A's choose in the first round?
Mayo: There's all this buzz about them taking a high schooler and while they no longer can be pigeon-holed as college-only throughout a Draft, take a look at their history in the first round. I still say it'll be a college guy. If Zack Cox is there, that makes sense.
lere2001: With the Toronto Blue Jays having the 11th overall pick what do you think the chances are of them choosing Josh Sale?
Mayo: I think there's a chance, for sure. Some of it might depend on what happens with picks 1-10 and there's the chance Sale could go ahead of them. But they do like Sale quite a bit.
JakeSuds: Hey Jon, defense has become more of a commodity around the league the last few years, are we going to see any of that trend play onto teams draft boards at all? Or is it just projectable offense and big arms?
Mayo: Defense always enters into the equation some. Otherwise some of the big bats without a true position -- Jedd Gyorko, even Zack Cox some -- would go even higher. That being said, I don't think it's on the same par as hitting skills might be. I will say, though, that a guy who can hit AND stick at short will be rated higher.
soupdujour: Is there a chance that Kaleb Cowart slips to the Braves at No. 35 due to signability concerns? He'd be ideal for the "Chipper replacement" and he's got the athleticism (and from Georgia, another plus).
I think there's a chance, sure. Some buzz about signability, along with the fact he wants to hit while most like him as a pitcher -- could cause a slide. I didn't have him in my first-round mock on Wednesday because of that.
That being said, the Braves are big on the whole over-slot thing. Not sure how that would work with them not having a first-round pick -- would they be willing to spend first-round money at 35? I'm not sure. But I wouldn't count on it.
esmith26: Rob Rassmussen had a great year at the Cape and a pretty good solid year at UCLA. Where do you think he goes in the draft? Any shot at the first round?
Mayo: No, not a first rounder. From what I'm told, his stuff just doesn't play up like that. I think maybe second round makes more sense.
eighthwonder: I would appreciate your insights on the best power-hitting prospects near the top of this draft.
Mayo: Well, there's the obvious one in Harper, who's got as much power as any Draft prospect most can remember. After that, Josh Sale, the prep OF in the Pacific Northwest is the high school bat with the most pop. Michael Choice, out of University of Texas-Arlington, probably has the most power from the college crop. All three could be gone before the top 10 is over.
tex2044: How hamstrung are the Rangers financially? They keep saying that they are authorized their budget and they can go over slot if they need to do so.
Mayo: Yeah, I've heard that, too, but I still think they'll be rather careful. I don't know that there's a guy, other than maybe Cowart, who'd they'd want to go way over-slot for when they pick. And keep in mind that the first pick, at No. 15, does not come with compensation, so they have to sign that guy.
EndOfTheTunnel: Who do you think is the most underestimated/overlooked player in the class?
Mayo: I'm not sure why, but I'm a big Christan Yelich fan. High school bat in California. Not a ton of power, but very good left-handed swing. Plays first now, athletic and speedy enough to play the outfield, though his arm is below-average. Think John Olerud-ish in terms of the hitting.
baerj9: Do you think the Nationals pass on Harper due to some attitude/personality problems?
Mayo: Nope. I'll have one more story on Harper going up today and it does touch on some of those issues. I'm not saying they should be ignored by any means, but I think he's going to grow up some over time. And it's not enough to not take him based on the talent.
sikofloses: Do you see the Pirates leaning more toward Machado or Taillon. Personally I'm hoping for the SS, but then again this is the Pirates and Boras after the issues with Alvarez.
Mayo: I think they're leaning Machado, but a lot can happen between now and Monday. They won't shy away from taking a Boras guy if they feel he's the best guy, even after that. Besides, Taillon (Hendricks Bros. advise him) won't be a super-easy sign either.
Moosee11: If Ranaudo makes another step forward and has a stellar performance this weekend, do you see him jumping into the top 10?
Mayo: Don't see the top 10 because of signability, though it's not completely out of the question. I think the signability plus the question marks stemming from his season will limit how much he'd move up.
brettoly: Your thoughts on Whitson and Tago and at what point do they go?
Mayo: Ahh, the high school arms. So hard to predict. There are a couple things at play here. The first is that high school pitchers, even good ones, can be a little inconsistent. And that's happened with Whitson and Tago (and pretty much most of the first-round potential prep pitchers). Secondly, typically, when it comes to decision time, many teams who are seriously considering high school pitching in the first round end up passing and going a less risky route. Whitson finished strong by pitching very well at the Florida high school All-Star Game in Sebring, albeit without Manny Machado and Nick Castellanos there. I think he'll go in the middle to the late end of the first round. Tago's been a little bit more up and down, but the arm strength is undeniable. With the Angels having three picks in the first, I could see Tago being the guy for them at 29 or 30.
Mayo: OK, folks, time for just a couple more. I encourage you to send me questions via Twitter if you'd like at @JonathanMayoB3.
nick5176: Could the Mets have a chance to draft Manny Machado?
Mayo: Nope. None.
fan_momin: Which player is most likely going to drop from the top 10 selection, compared to your mock draft?
Mayo: There's been some talk about Deck McGuire slipping, though it won't be far. But I could see him being more of an early-teens pick than a top 10 guy.
buckeye15: Why is Christian Colon dropping so much in recent mocks?
Mayo: I think he'll do just fine. I think the Boras factor makes him a little harder to place. He's not super-toolsy, so while people think he'll be a very good big leaguer, the type to play above his raw tools, it's hard to balance that out with any perceived signability issues.
esmith26: Can you rank the college LHP available?
Mayo: Up top: Chris Sale, Drew Pomeranz. Then there's a dropoff. You've got former college lefty James Paxton, now in indy ball. There's Sammy Solis, Rob Rasmussen, and lefty reliever Kevin Chapman. Ok, time for one more question ... who'll be the lucky one?
jim_joyce: Do you think if James Paxton were to drop to the second round, the Jays would go for him again because I think the Jays could really use a big Lefty.
Mayo: I picked this one not just because it's about a re-draft, but it's an interesting issue. In order for the Jays to be able to re-draft him, Paxton would have had to sign a waiver/release saying it was OK for them to draft him again. I don't know if that's happened. Even if it has, it's hard to know if the Jays would want to go down that road again. It would depend on how bad the negotiations went last year. If I had to guess, I'd say they wouldn't take him. I also think he'll probably go in the supplemental first round.
Mayo: Thanks everyone for coming today. Send questions I didn't get to over on Twitter (@JonathanMayoB3). And tune in on MLB.com and MLB Network on Monday for all the Draft coverage. Thanks!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.