Now that we've unveiled our updated and expanded Top 100 Draft Prospects list, mock draft season officially has begun at MLBPipeline.com. We'll start today with a joint projection for the upper half of the first round, and we'll update predictions for the first 30 picks on a weekly basis going forward.
Interestingly, we have the same 15 players getting selected with the top 15 choices in this edition, albeit in different order. A lot can change in the next six weeks, but for now, we both believe the Twins will tab Brendan McKay and the Reds will opt for Hunter Greene with the top two choices.
The Draft runs from June 12-14, with live Day 1 broadcast coverage on MLB Network and MLB.com, and Days 2 and 3 on MLB.com.
Callis: Brendan McKay, 1B/LHP, Louisville. While Minnesota is considering as many as seven candidates, most teams at the top of the Draft believe McKay will be the pick. Whether it's as a first baseman or a left-handed starter remains to be seen. Mayo: McKay. It's still unclear whether he'll be drafted as a hitter or a pitcher, regardless of what team takes McKay, but it does seem almost certain he'll go in the top few picks.
Callis: Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, Calif.). He may not become the first high school right-hander ever taken No. 1 overall, but Greene won't get past the first three selections. Mayo: Greene. He's still very much in the mix at No. 1 and likely still very much desired by the Padres at No. 3, though it's hard to see Cincinnati passing up the opportunity to add Greene's arm and athleticism.
Callis: Royce Lewis, SS/OF, JSerra Catholic HS (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.). He has the best combination of tools and hitting ability in the Draft, so Lewis would be a nice consolation prize if Greene doesn't make it to San Diego. Mayo: Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt. Wright started on shaky footing, but has righted the ship of late and is a candidate to go No. 1 or 2 for sure.
Callis: Wright. With the best combination of ceiling and floor among college starters available, Wright might not last this long and would be an obvious choice if he does. Mayo: Lewis. Lewis has as many tools as anyone in the class, and he too could go above this spot. Tampa Bay has liked high school hitters in recent Drafts.
Callis: MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville (N.C.) HS. Some evaluators say Gore is better than Greene and Atlanta loves high school arms, so this would be a good match. Mayo: Gore. The Braves have consistently been associated with North Carolina high school outfielder Austin Beck, and that could very well happen, but they certainly haven't shied away from high-ceiling arms and Gore's stock has risen consistently all spring.
Callis: Pavin Smith, 1B, Virginia. The next few teams appear to be targeting college bats, and Smith ranks with McKay as the best pure college hitter in the crop. Mayo: J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, North Carolina. The Tar Heels' ace has been as good as any college pitcher performance-wise, and while some might be scared off by his size, Oakland is the team that drafted Sonny Gray, to whom Bukauskus is often compared.
Callis: Bukauskas. While most of the best college pitchers have gone at least a little backward this spring, Bukauskas is the lone exception and also has the loudest stuff in the group. Mayo: Adam Haseley, OF, Virginia. It's possible teammate Smith goes above him, but Haseley does have more athleticism and the potential to play up the middle in center field, not to mention his very good performance at the plate this spring.
Callis: Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt. There's talk that his swing-and-miss issues could drop him to the teens, but Kendall has the best all-around tools among college position players and a track record of performance, so this could be a steal. Mayo: Austin Beck, OF, North Davidson HS (Lexington, N.C.). Many expect Beck to be gone by here, but if he's around, Philadelphia will strongly consider his upside versus the higher floors of the college bats available.
Callis: Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida.My preseason projected No. 1 overall pick, Faedo struggled early after offseason arthroscopic surgery on both knees, but he has regained velocity recently and still has his dastardly slider. Mayo: Smith. Smith has a proven track record of hitting and an advanced approach at the plate. While he's a first baseman only, he should fit the profile very well by hitting for average and power.
Callis: Haseley. Haseley is soaring up Draft boards, especially with analytics-heavy clubs who love his .399/.491/.680 slash line with nearly twice as many walks (32) as strikeouts (17). Mayo: Kendall. Kendall has more tools than other college hitters, with an intriguing power and speed combination in center field, though the swing and miss to his game concerns some.
11. White Sox
Callis: D.L. Hall, LHP, Valdosta (Ga.) HS. Though Gore has passed him as the Draft's best high school southpaw, Hall has been as good as advertised and would give Chicago yet another high-ceiling starter. Mayo: Faedo. Minor knee issues kept Faedo out of fall ball and, as a result, he started the spring slowly, coming on little by little. His dominant sophomore season is still in every team's collective memory bank.
Callis: Nick Pratto, 1B, Huntington Beach (Calif.) HS. Similar to McKay -- but a better prospect -- at the same stage of their careers, Pratto is a two-way star who will get drafted as a position player because he has the best bat in the prep class. Mayo: Pratto. Pittsburgh went with a college bat the past two years in the first round, but before that, the Bucs took back-to-back high school hitters who performed in USA Baseball's National High School Invitational, where Pratto played earlier this spring.
Callis: Beck. After missing last year's showcase circuit while recovering from knee surgery, Beck has shown some of the best all-around tools in this Draft. He'd have a better chance to go higher if he had much history facing quality pitching, and he still might work his way into the top five. Mayo: Hall. It would be back-to-back high school lefties for Florida after taking Braxton Garrett a year ago at No. 7 overall.
Callis: Griffin Canning, RHP, UCLA. One of the few college aces who has improved this spring, Canning has a deep repertoire and pitchability reminiscent of former Bruin James Kaprielian, who went No. 16 to the Yankees two years ago. Mayo: Shane Baz, RHP, Concordia Lutheran HS (Tomball, Texas). His name has been bandied about closer to the top of the Draft, and that very well could happen, though the Royals-Baz connection has been brought up enough times to place him here for the time being.
Callis: Baz. On talent alone, Baz shouldn't last this long, but high school right-handers tend to slide a bit, and Houston showed it's not afraid of the demographic when it took Forrest Whitley at No. 17 last June. Mayo: Canning. Canning has been very consistent as UCLA's Friday-night starter and was absolutely dominant in his last start, so it's a distinct possibility that he could go before the Astros.