The MLB Amateur Draft normally doesn’t receive much attention. It does not have the star power of the NBA or NFL draft. There’s really no build up and fans do not have a “Mel Kiper Jr.” of baseball mock draft. The reason? There are tons and tons and tons of prep and public high school teams as well as community college, junior college, and varsity-level collegiate teams. Any MLB Mock draft you read is probably 80% bogus. It’s almost impossible for Major League Teams to scout every player. So today, I’ll highlight the cream of the crop in this year’s class and attempt to take a stab at which direction I think the Mets and Yankees will go with their first selections.

Sports Illustrated

The 2010 Major League Baseball Amateur draft will be held from June 7th-June 9th. There are three ‘can’t miss’ prospects in this year’s class. Southern Nevada’s 17-year-old phenom catcher, Bryce Harper, Ole Miss left-handed pitcher, Drew Pomeranz, and Texas high school prep right-handed pitcher, Jameson Taillon.

The first five selections of the draft belong to the Washington Nationals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, and Cleveland Indians. The Mets have the 7th Overall selection while the Yankees own the 32nd pick. Alike the other sports leagues, draft picks are assigned by record. The Nationals, Pirates, and Orioles have the luxury of selecting one of three top prospects in this class who are all deemed to be, major league ready in the very near future.

Washington Nationals Select:
#1 Bryce Harper, C, Southern Nevada

The 17-year-old, 6’3, 205 lb catcher left high school two years early in order to attend the College of Southern Nevada this year to become draft-eligible. Harper has lightning-quick bat speed and has excelled against top junior college competition at Southern Nevada. In 51 games this season, Harper is hitting .417 with 21 home runs in only 168 at-bats (8 AB/HR)! Harper has an on-base percentage of .507 and leads the team with 16 stolen bases. Southern Nevada is regarded by many as the top junior college in the country(42-10 record). Southern Nevada plays with wood bats, so there is no concern with Harper’s transition from aluminum bats.

Due to his size, some scouts worry about Harper’s longevity at the catching position. Scouts were also worried about Joe Mauer eight years also. Even if Harper is forced to change positions, he has a world of power(see below) and the ability to adapt to a new position(corner infield or outfield). I’m excited about a potential Stephen Strasburg-Bryce Harper battery in Washington for the next five years….

Watch the video below if you like it when a 16 year-old can hit a 503 foot home run.


Pittsburgh Pirates Select:
#2 Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Ole Miss

Red Cup Rebellion

There will debate over who the Pirates should select at #2 between Pomeranz and Texas Prep star, Jameson Tallion. Expect the Pirates to select the more ‘major league ready’ player in the 6’5″ Pomeranz. Pomeranz is currently 6-0 with a 1.85 ERA for the Rebels. He has struck out 104 hitters in only 68 innings. Pomeranz throws in the mid-high 90s and features two great off-speed pitches. The Pirates are arguably the worst team in baseball this year and will need an impact arm ready-to-go in the draft.

Baltimore Orioles Select:
#3 Jameson Tallion, RHP, The Woodlands High School

This high schooler may have the highest ceiling of any pitcher in the draft. Tallion features a 99 MPH fastball with a great slider and curveball. I compare Tallison to a raw version of Josh Johnson. He is considered by many to be the top high school player in this class. Tallison has struck out 96 hitters in only 47 innings. He had a 19 strike out, no-hit performance earlier this spring. He signed a letter of intent to play for Rice, but he will likely forgo college. Tallison has top-of-the rotation type of hype. He would be a great addition for a lackluster Oriole franchise.

Yahoo! Inc.

In the past, the New York Yankees have spent their first round draft picks on high-velocity arms. Seven of their last ten first-round picks have been pitchers. To name a few, the Yankees have selected Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Andrew Brackman, and Ian Kennedy. The Yankees selected Texas high school outfielder, Slade Heathcott last year. Heathcott is expected to the season in Staten Island, the Yankees short-A minor league affiliate.

The Yankees have the 32nd overall pick. I won’t try to speculate an exact pick, but if the trends hold true, expect a high-velocity starter to don pinstripes in the near future.

Ike Davis; AZ Hardball

Unlike the Yankees, the New York Mets have used their last ten first round draft picks on an eclectic group of players. five pitchers, a first(Ike Davis) and third baseman(David Wright), outfielder and shortstop. The Mets did not have a 2009 first round draft pick due to signing Type A free agent closer, Francisco Rodriguez. Teams must forfeit their first round draft picks if they sign another team’s Type A free agent. The Mets have had some success in recent memory(Davis, Wright, Pelfrey, Kazmir), so their scouting department has done a nice job. The Mets have the 7th overall pick and will have a plethora of young talent to choose from. RHP Dylan Covey of Pasadena, Calif. features a 95 MPH fastball and A+ power slider. The Mets may also opt for LHP Chris Sale of the Florida Gulf Coast league. A power arm would make a lot of sense for system that needs more power arms.

Which of the big three are you excited to see play in the big leagues one day? What do the Yankees need? Mets?