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I've updated my info at MLB-Draft.com, and am posting the info here.

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1. *Pedro Alvarez {College 3B, Vanderbilt} (21). The third-baseman, from the same college (Vanderbilt) as last year's overall #1 pick David Price, is the consensus #1 rated player after stellar Freshman and Sophomore campaigns. Alvarez is well put together at 6' 2 225 lbs., bats left, throws right and plays a decent third base. However, it's his bat that most feel have him at the head of the class.

Alvarez has comparables to Alex Gordon, with a .300+ BA and middle of the lineup production (25+ HR, 100+ RBI) very possible. He is the kind of player that if he develops as projected, could be a franchise player, whether at 3B or with a potential switch to 1B. He runs fairly well, although it's unlikely he'll be much of a stolen base threat.

Alvarez is an on-field leader, playing outstanding in stints for Team USA, and should become an easy top-5 choice this Draft, barring an unforeseen setback.

Update... March 26, 2008;

Alvarez is expected to miss another couple of weeks or so, after breaking a bone in his hand in late February.

2. Aaron Crow {College RHSP, Missouri } (21). Missouri right-hander Aaron Crow really burst onto the scene during his dominating Cape Cod season (Collegiate Wood Bat League) this past fall. At 6' 2 215, he is not overly big, but is a solid athlete and easily repeats his mechanics, which may contribute to why his command of a low to mid-nineties fastball (which has hit 98 occasionally) has been outstanding. Crow led the league with a miniscule ERA of 0.67 and has a solid reportoire of secondary pitches, with a slider and change both grading out as average to above-average.

While his Cape campaign was very impressive, his college season was merely good. The sophmore was the Tigers' Friday night starter (#1) and threw 117.2 innings in 18 starts, striking out 90.

Crow reminds me a bit of a young Mike Mussina (although Crow throws a bit harder), and if he picks up where his Cape stint left off during the coming college season, he has the chance to go #1 overall.

Updated... March 26, 2008;

Crow has been simply outstanding, and has solidified himself as the #1 pitcher in the draft. Could go 1st overall, and will not fall past pick #3 with high certainty. In 5 starts and 35 IP... 1.03 ERA, 26 Hits/7 BB's, 51 K's!

3. Tim Beckham {High School SS, (GA)} (18). Beckham, with continued progress, profiles as an All-Star caliber SS, both with the glove and at the plate. He is an athletic defender with graceful actions and a very strong arm. Unlike many High School SS's, Beckham will stay at short. He is filling out his 6' 2 build and should add more strength to an already formidable offensive skill-set. He's fast AND quick, a combination more uncommon then most realize, and he's a great and instinctive base-runner to boot. Beckham has played well in wood bat tournaments and along with Eric Hosmer is considered among the very best hitters in the HS ranks.

He has been compared to BJ Upton and that is high praise indeed. Considered by most as the premiere High School prospect, and by some as the overall #1 player available, Beckham should come off the board very, very early.

4. *Brian Matusz {College LHSP, San Diego} (21). Matusz (pronounced MAT-is) is one of those pitchers that just has ML'er written all over him. The University of San Diego junior stands 6' 4 and weighs in at 195 lbs. He employs a sweet combination of crafty lefty with a low nineties fastball and consistantly throws three quality pitches for strikes. He will pitch from 87-92 and can hit 94 when necessary, but it's his assortment of high-grade secondary stuff that has scouts excited about his future. His curve and change are both outstanding, and his athleticism and easy arm action plants him squarely in line to be a high first-round selection.

Because he doesn't necessarily profile as a true #1 ace, Matusz doesn't get the drools from the scouts as last year's #1 David Price had, but in time Matusz may prove to be about as good.

Updated... March 26, 2008;

If Crow has been established as the #1 pitcher in the draft, Matusz is filing for an appeal. In 5 starts and 1 relief appearance, Brian has put up great numbers in 35.2 IP... 2.27 ERA, 26 Hits/12BB's, 55 K's, and a .198 BAA!

5. #Justin Smoak {College 1B, South Carolina } (21). I love Smoak... in a manly way naturally =P. Justin was a borderline 1st rounder as a High School senior, and the switch-hitting first sacker has done nothing to disappoint the South Carolina fan base since his freshman campaign in '06. Smoak is well built at 6' 3 200 lbs., with sound swing mechanics from both sides of the plate and generates both good average and good power. He has played very well in the Cape Cod League (Collegiate Wood Bat League) and projects quite well as a big leaguer. Justin has a decent eye, but can be a bit undisciplined. However, he does play a very good 1B.

The comparisons to Mark Teixeira have been and will be there, but Smoak should make his own 'mark' on the game he loves. I project Smoak as an outstanding defensive first baseman, with the following line a rough estimate of his hitting abilities> .285/.365/.510/.875 with 30'ish HR's and good run production. A very solid choice for any team looking for an advanced college bat.

Update... March 26, 2008;

After starting the season on fire, Smoak has cooled off somewhat and his stats currently sit at .346 BA/ .486 OBP/ .617 SLG/ 1.103 OPS, with 5 HR's, 22 RBI, 0/1 SB's, 16 K's, 21 BB's in 106 plate appearances.

6. *Eric Hosmer {High School 1B, (FL)} (18). For me, Hosmer may be the single best 1B prospect in the last 20 years and while some discount his value for being a 1B'man, I have him as the overall best prospect in the draft. He is big at 6' 4 200, and strong enough to launch massive shot after massive shot throughout both batting practice and in the games he plays. Already a very good defender at 1B, Eric profiles as a middle of the order beast. With perhaps the sweetest swing in the draft he won the WWBA (World Wood Bat Association) Tourney MVP back in October, adding to an impressive collection of accolades.

While High School phenom Tim Beckham gets the most rave reviews for being the next great 5-tool talent, it is Hosmer that has been the most consistent player. Coupling tremendous defensive and offensive skill-sets makes Hosmer a legit threat to go in the top 5.

Update... March 26, 2008;

Hitting .513 with 5 HR's and 13 RBI, with 15 walks and 7 K's. This is hot folks> .648 OBP/1.057SLG/ 1.705OPS!

7. Tim Melville {High School RHSP, (MO)} (18). Melville may be the best pitching prospect in the entire draft. If he continues to progress in his senior year then he will be in line for consideration among the top choices in the upcoming 2008 draft. He stands an impressive 6' 5 and has an athletic 205 lbs frame. Melville's junior campaign had/has scouts buzzing. He tossed 63 innings for his H.S. team, giving up 33 hits, 21 walks and striking out 117 while posting a 0.89 ERA.

Melville would have ranked second, slightly behind only Rick Porcello, in a quick comparison to last year's HS pitching crop.

NL teams may be particularly fond of Melville, as he is a very good hitter as well; adding to an already impressive package. Tim is comfortable on the mound, throwing typically in the low to mid-nighties, with the occasional 97 mph fastball to punctuate an at-bat. His curveball and change are very solid secondary offerings and project along with his fastball as plus pitches. Coupled with his plus repertoire is excellent command... so it's easy to see why the scouts are all abuzz.

Update... March 26, 2008;

Started off slow, but has a lot of pitching to do to show why he is so special.

8. *Kyle Skipworth {High School C, (CA) } (18). Skipworth has been a steady riser among scouts who have watched his growth in the California H.S. ranks. Skipworth was tremendous during the summer and at the wood bat AFLAC classic, until fading at the Area Code Games later in the year.

At a physically impressive 6' 3 190, Kyle features a 4-tool skill-set, with speed being his only detriment. He reminds some of Joe Mauer, with excellent athleticism, a sweet left-handed swing, good eye, and plus power. He has struggled at times with plate coverage, as the better pitchers would go away, away, away... and the pull conscious Skipworth will need to adjust.

Defensively he is above average, in calling a good game and receiving well, all while having a solid arm to boot.

Should Skipworth continue his progression and have a banner senior season, I doubt that he'll last past pick #10.

9. *Yonder Alonso {College 1B/DH, Miami} (21). Alonso, ranked as Baseball America's #5 College prospect, does one thing very well... hit. He is not overly athletic, nor plays a particularly good defensive 1B, but if a team wants a young hitter who can sting the ball, take a walk, and has a keen batting eye, then the 6' 2-215 Alonso is your man. As a sophmore at Miami, he posted in 61 games> a .376 BA, 18 HR's, 74 RBI, 64 walks, a .519 OBP and slugged .705!

I am of the opinion that he'll settle in at DH, and would be somewhat surprised to see a National League team take him. I can see him eventually succeeding as a middle of the order DH, ala David Ortiz, although I don't think he'll be the hitter Ortiz is (not many are). Yonder has a reputation as being less than well-conditioned, and hasn't spent a great deal of time working on his defense... so, one can draw the conclusion that he has ridden his considerable talents up to this point, but may stumble at the pro level with those issues. However, were Alonso to show marked improvement in those areas, he could certainly stick at 1B.

Update... March 26, 2008

Alonso is simply a great bat. Off to a tremendous start in his first 67 AB's, hitting .403 with 5 HR and 24 RBI, while posting a sweet OBP/SLG/OPS line of .549/.731/.1.280!

10. #Aaron Hicks {High School OF/RHSP, (CA)} (18). Hicks is an outstanding athlete and is perhaps the most exciting player to watch in the entire draft. A bit thin at 6' 1 -168, he pumps low to mid nineties fastballs and a plus plus curve from the mound, but as with most youngsters, has trouble with command and location.

Hicks is perhaps even more gifted offensively, starring as a RF'er for Wilson High School, but with the special skills necessary to be a great CF'er; speed, range and a great arm. Aaron has a quick bat and is a good hitter, but at this juncture his power is his least applicable tool. While not the power bats that Smoak, Alonso and Hosmer represent, he brings special elements to every game he plays... speed and fire. He plays hard and is a serious stolen base threat, nabbing 39 in 40 attempts just last season.

Hicks should make keeping tabs on him fun for scouts and fans alike. He should be selected in round one, but it's difficult to say which position he has the bigger upside in. I'll say CF.

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Player's 11-40

11. Tanner Scheppers, RHSP, Fresno State

12. Harold Martinez, SS/3B, High School (FL)

13. *Brett Wallace, 1B, Arizona State

14. Shooter Hunt, RHSP, Tulane

15. Gerritt Cole, RHRP, High School (CA)

16. Buster Posey, C, Florida State

17. Gordon Beckham, SS/2B, Georgia

18. Ethan Martin, RHSP/3B, High School (GA)

19. Alex Meyer, RHSP, High School (IN)

20.*Xavier Avery, OF, High School (GA)

21. Jake Thompson, RHSP, Virginia

22. *Kyle Lobstein, LHSP, High School (AZ)

23. Brett Hunter, RHRP, Pepperdine

24. *Christian Friedrich, LHSP, Eastern Kentucky

25. Isaac Galloway, OF, High School (CA)

26. Cody Satterwhite, RHSP, Mississippi

27. Ryan Perry, RHSP, Arizona

28. #Jemile Weeks, 2B, Miami

29. Scott Green, RHSP, Kentucky

30. Tyson Ross, RHSP, California

31. Sonny Gray, RHSP, High School (TN)

32. *Brett DeVall, LHSP, High School (FL)

33. *Dennis Raben, OF, Miami

34. *Brandon Crawford, SS, UCLA

35. Lance Lynn, RHSP, Mississippi

36. *Reese Havens, 2B, South Carolina

37. *Jarret Martin, LHSP, High School (CA)

38. *Ryan Flaherty, 2B/SS, Vanderbilt

39. Destin Hood, OF, High School (AL)

40. Luke Burnett, RHSP, Louisiana Tech

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Mock Version 3.26 ;)

These are my views at this juncture as to what will happen, not who I would select were I making each selection.

1. Tampa Bay Rays > Aaron Crow, College RHSP, Missouri

2. Pittsburgh Pirates > *Pedro Alvarez, College 3B/1B, Vanderbilt

3. Kansas City Royals > Tim Beckham, High School SS, (GA)

4. Baltimore Orioles > *Brian Matusz, LHSP, San Diego

5. San Francisco Giants > #Justin Smoak, College 1B, South Carolina

6. Florida Marlins > *Eric Hosmer, High School 1B, (FL)

7. Cincinnati Reds > Tanner Scheppers, College RHSP, Fresno State

8. Chicago White Sox > *Kyle Skipworth, High School C, (CA)

9. Washington Nationals > Tim Melville, High School RHSP, (MO)

10. Houston Astros > Shooter Hunt, College RHSP, Tulane

11. Texas Rangers > Gerrit Cole, High School RHSP, (CA)

12. Oakland Athletics > Yonder Alonso, College 1B, Miami (FL)

13. St. Louis Cardinals > Harold Martinez, High School SS/3B, (FL)

14. Minnesota Twins > Gordon Beckham, College SS, Georgia

15. Los Angeles Dodgers > Aaron Hicks, High School CF/RHSP, (CA)

16. Milwaukee Brewers > Buster Posey, College C, Florida State

17. Toronto Blue Jays > *Xavier Avery, High School OF, (GA)

18. Mets (from Braves) > *Brett Wallace, College 1B, Arizona State

19. Chicago Cubs > Alex Meyer, High School RHSP, (IN)

20. Seattle Mariners > Ethan Martin, High School RHSP, (GA)

21. Detroit Tigers > Jake Thompson, College RHSP, Virginia

22. New York Mets > Brett Hunter, College RHSP/RP, Pepperdine

23. San Diego Padres > Cody Satterwhite, College RHSP, Mississippi

24. Philadelphia Phillies > *Christian Friedrich, College LHSP, E. Kentucky

25. Colorado Rockies > Isaac Galloway, High School OF, (CA)

26. Arizona Diamondbacks > *Kyle Lobstien, High School LHSP, (AZ)

27. Twins (from Angels) > Scott Green, College RHSP, Kentucky

28. New York Yankees > Ryan Perry, College RHSP, Arizona

29. Cleveland Indians > Tyson Ross, College RHSP, California

30. Boston Red Sox > *Ryan Flaherty, College 2B/SS, Vanderbilt

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Just an FYI on Pedro Alvarez's return:

Potential top pick Pedro Alvarez has been out of action nearly all season after breaking a hamate bone in his hand. There might be a light at the end of the tunnel. He was taking cuts at half speed in the cages the weekend before last and was eyeing a possible return in time for the series against Ole Miss, April 4-6.

Source

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I'm starting to like the idea of Crow or Matusz falling to us. I know we have a lot of pitching, but as Stolte (sp?) explained, we don't have anyone as good as those two.

I still like Smoak at the 4 spot, but would be very pleased if we got one of those two.

This is assuming Beckham and Alvarez go in the top 3.

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So Greg, if given the choice, you think Joe Jordan will take Matusz over Smoak?

I think my top 3 is now Alvarez, Crow, and Beckham. I wasn't so high on Crow initially, but seeing how he's really coming on strong, he could help solidify the frontend of our rotation. I will be really happy with any of them 3, and hope any one of them fall to the 4 spot. Smoak will be nice, but I really want those other guys.

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Mock Version 3.26 ;)

These are my views at this juncture as to what will happen, not who I would select were I making each selection.

1. Tampa Bay Rays > Aaron Crow, College RHSP, Missouri

2. Pittsburgh Pirates > *Pedro Alvarez, College 3B/1B, Vanderbilt

3. Kansas City Royals > Tim Beckham, High School SS, (GA)

4. Baltimore Orioles > *Brian Matusz, LHSP, San Diego

5. San Francisco Giants > #Justin Smoak, College 1B, South Carolina

6. Florida Marlins > *Eric Hosmer, High School 1B, (FL)

7. Cincinnati Reds > Tanner Scheppers, College RHSP, Fresno State

8. Chicago White Sox > *Kyle Skipworth, High School C, (CA)

9. Washington Nationals > Tim Melville, High School RHSP, (MO)

10. Houston Astros > Shooter Hunt, College RHSP, Tulane

11. Texas Rangers > Gerrit Cole, High School RHSP, (CA)

12. Oakland Athletics > Yonder Alonso, College 1B, Miami (FL)

13. St. Louis Cardinals > Harold Martinez, High School SS/3B, (FL)

14. Minnesota Twins > Gordon Beckham, College SS, Georgia

15. Los Angeles Dodgers > Aaron Hicks, High School CF/RHSP, (CA)

16. Milwaukee Brewers > Buster Posey, College C, Florida State

17. Toronto Blue Jays > *Xavier Avery, High School OF, (GA)

18. Mets (from Braves) > *Brett Wallace, College 1B, Arizona State

19. Chicago Cubs > Alex Meyer, High School RHSP, (IN)

20. Seattle Mariners > Ethan Martin, High School RHSP, (GA)

21. Detroit Tigers > Jake Thompson, College RHSP, Virginia

22. New York Mets > Brett Hunter, College RHSP/RP, Pepperdine

23. San Diego Padres > Cody Satterwhite, College RHSP, Mississippi

24. Philadelphia Phillies > *Christian Friedrich, College LHSP, E. Kentucky

25. Colorado Rockies > Isaac Galloway, High School OF, (CA)

26. Arizona Diamondbacks > *Kyle Lobstien, High School LHSP, (AZ)

27. Twins (from Angels) > Scott Green, College RHSP, Kentucky

28. New York Yankees > Ryan Perry, College RHSP, Arizona

29. Cleveland Indians > Tyson Ross, College RHSP, California

30. Boston Red Sox > *Ryan Flaherty, College 2B/SS, Vanderbilt

Greg,

Thoughts on Scott Gorgen? I think a case be made for him as the most impressive college pitcher thus far:

4-1, 37.1 IP, 14 H, 12 BB, 43 SO, .110 BAA, 0.70 WHIP for #3 UC Irvine

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Hey Greg, good stuff. Thanks!

You know I'm hoping for Tim Beckham, but if he's gone I'd take Hosmer or Smoak. We really need impact bats badly. That said, as it is today I think your projection of Matusz is very likely with McPhail's preference for pitching. A stud LH is something we need in the system. Butler and Britton are the only two SLHP's in the organization.

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This is from Bryan Smith's BP chat today:

Stan (Oak Park): Who do you see Baltimore taking at pick #4? Is it possible Alvarez slips to that pick?

Bryan Smith: I think it's very possible we see Alvarez drop to there. If Alvarez gets back, takes a couple weeks to re-find his stroke and still wants $5 million (which I would) then I think he might very well fall to Baltimore. It's where I would project him right now, to be honest.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/chat/chat.php?chatId=443

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So Greg, if given the choice, you think Joe Jordan will take Matusz over Smoak?

I think my top 3 is now Alvarez, Crow, and Beckham. I wasn't so high on Crow initially, but seeing how he's really coming on strong, he could help solidify the frontend of our rotation. I will be really happy with any of them 3, and hope any one of them fall to the 4 spot. Smoak will be nice, but I really want those other guys.

In a word... Yes.

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Greg,

Thoughts on Scott Gorgen? I think a case be made for him as the most impressive college pitcher thus far:

4-1, 37.1 IP, 14 H, 12 BB, 43 SO, .110 BAA, 0.70 WHIP for #3 UC Irvine

Gorgen came into the season as B.A'.s 58th best college prospect, and has had a very impressive to start the season. Were Gorgen 3 inches taller he'd rank higher, but he doesn't have much projection in his 5' 10" 190 lbs frame. He is an outstanding college hurler, and may find a role in the majors, but most likely won't be taken before the third round because teams have a general preference for taller pitchers. There are certainly "short of stature" success stories, but the numbers of former HS and College youngsters who were 5' 10" and shorter who failed to make it in the bigs far outweigh those successes.

With that being said, I expect to see him go somewhere around rounds 3-5.

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Greg, I see from your mock draft that Jemile Weeks isn't in going in the 1st round and that you rank him #28. Has he underperformed this season and do you think he could be available to us in the 2nd round?

Weeks has been great, but I just have trouble matching him up with a team in the late first round. He very well may be available for us in round two, but I expect him to go before we select there.

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This is from Bryan Smith's BP chat today:

Stan (Oak Park): Who do you see Baltimore taking at pick #4? Is it possible Alvarez slips to that pick?

Bryan Smith: I think it's very possible we see Alvarez drop to there. If Alvarez gets back, takes a couple weeks to re-find his stroke and still wants $5 million (which I would) then I think he might very well fall to Baltimore. It's where I would project him right now, to be honest.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/chat/chat.php?chatId=443

I'd be shocked to see Alvarez available at #4.

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