Last update: Monday, June 4, 2012.
Charlie Campbell was a senior writer at PewterReport.com.
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Byron Buxton, OF, High School
The Astros have a tough choice to make between Byron Buxton, Mike Zunino or Mark Appel. Houston's farm system needs more help at catcher and with pitching than it does with an outfielder. However, Buxton is considered the best talent in the draft. He is a five-tool outfielder who would be a cornerstone franchise player for Houston.
Buxton is said to have the most upside and highest ceiling of any player in the draft. The Astros need a difference-maker, too.
Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
The Twins' minors need talent at catcher, but they can't pass on the top arm in the draft. Appel is the consensus top pitcher in the draft with great stuff and a powerful arm. The 6-foot-5, 190-pounder has a workhorse body and had developed his off-speed stuff. He would be a nice fit for Target Field.
Mike Zunino, C, Florida
Seattle has to be hoping that Appel goes in the first two picks, because the team needs either a catcher or an outfielder. Zunino is a good catcher who can handle the bat. He is very developed and won't need a lot of time in the minors before going up to the Mariners.
Kevin Gausman, RHP, LSU
Baltimore needs to develop its arms. Gausman can hit 99 on the gun and is developing his off-speed pitches. A power pitcher like Gausman that limits contact would be a good fit for a hitters park like Camden Yards. Gausman and Dylan Bundy could combine to give the Orioles two shutdown aces in a few years.
Richie Shaffer, 3B, Clemson
The Royals' farm system needs more help at first base and catcher. Shaffer, who could move from third to first, is a big-time power hitter. He has had a tremendous Spring to vault his stock towards the top of the first round. There are those that believe Shaffer has the quickest bat in the draft class.
Albert Almora, OF, High School
Reportedly, this pick is coming down to Carlos Correa or Albert Almora. The Cubs like both prospects, and here, they have their pick between the two. Almora is too talented to pass up. The 6-foot-2, 170-pounder has power potential and is also a superb defender. He is the best prospect who fits the Cubs.
Chicago could use another top-notch bat to start developing. General manager Theo Epstein will probably look to add some power arms for the Cubs after the first round, and Chicago's farm system needs pitching, so you can't rule out a pitcher as a dark horse in round one.
Pick change; previously Carlos Correa, SS
Kyle Zimmer, RHP, San Francisco
Zimmer has a live arm with some advanced breaking stuff. The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder has the power to be a strike-out pitcher and limit contact. The Padres could use a pitcher like him.
Deven Marrero, SS, Arizona State
Marrero has struggled at the plate this season, but still has a lot of scouts that love him. They think he will be a plus-hitter who can provide excellent defense. The Pirates need help at short and second, so they would be thrilled to land him. Marrero also fits their draft M.O.
Carlos Correa, SS, High School
The Marlins need minor league help at first base and catcher, but Correa seems to fit their tendencies with the kinds of players they draft. The 17-year old Correa (6-4, 190) has the frame to be a power-hitting third baseman as he ages. Some believe that Correa could be in the running for the first-overall pick.
Pick change; previously Albert Almora, OF
Max Fried, LHP, High School
Fried could have success at Coors. His curveball and plus-fastball are a dangerous combination. Fried (6-3, 170) could fill out his body and be a workhorse.
Pick change; previously Matt Smoral, LHP
Stephen Piscotty, 3B, Stanford
The A's take a safe pick with easier sign-ability. Piscotty has some power potential for the next level. The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder is not isn't quite as good a hitter or fielder as Shaffer. Still, Piscotty looks like a well-developed player and a safe pick.
Matt Smoral, LHP, High School
The Mets have some pitching prospects, but you can never have enough. Smoral missed the Spring with a broken foot, but he has a plus-fastball and slider. The 6-foot-8, 225-pounder has a body-type like Randy Johnson, and is worth a pick in the top 20.
Pick change; previously Max Fried, LHP
Lucas Giolito, RHP, High School
Chicago could use a young power bat, and general manager Kenny Williams has been inclined to pick college players, but the White Sox know Giolito well and there are rumblings the Sox could look for a high schooler this year. Robin Ventura has insight into Giolito from coaching against him in the high-school ranks.
Ventura is said to think highly of Giolito, who could have been the No.1 pick had he stayed healthy (elbow injury), but Ventura doesn't think the injury is a big concern. Giolito is throwing for scouts before the draft, but some wonder if he may need Tommy John surgery.
Giolito (6-6, 230) has a power arm with developed breaking pitches. He has the potential to be a No. 1 starter as a pro. If Giolito falls in the draft, he could wind up going to college and being a candidate for the No. 1 overall pick in three years.
Michael Wacha, RHP, Texas A&M
The Reds' farm system could use another arm, and you can't rule out an outfielder with this pick either. Wacha is a good value in the back half of the first round. The 6-foot-6, 200-pounder isn't quite as dynamic as the other college pitchers, but he is a safe pick with a plus-fastball and changeup. Wacha has been very strong this Spring and is entering the draft with his stock on the rise.
Corey Seager, SS/3B, High School
The Indians' farm system needs help on the infield corners, so Seager makes sense for the Tribe. He is playing short right now, but many believe he will move to third base. Seager is a left-handed hitter who has a reputation of driving the ball hard to left center. He would be a nice versatile prospect for Cleveland.
The Indians also need help in the outfield and with some arms. Texas A&M right-hander Michael Wacha can't be ruled out here.
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