Kiley McDaniel at ESPN released his second mock draft over the weekend. He had the Pittsburgh Pirates selecting prep shortstop Jordan Lawlar in his first mock draft attempt. That was five weeks ago. He still has the Pirates going the prep shortstop route, but this time he has them going with Marcelo Mayer.
McDaniel notes the same thing that many others have said recently. There is no consensus top pick here, no one who has separated themselves from the pack, so it could come down to the signing price for the player. Basically if you have 4-5 players who all have the same overall draft value, you sign the cheapest one and then spend the saved money elsewhere in the draft. With the bonus pool system in place, that seems to make the most sense.
So in essence, McDaniel is saying that Mayer would be the most affordable right now, but that could change if he continues to be named as the top pick by people all of the time. There wouldn’t be room for much savings because there’s not a huge (percentage-wise) drop in value between the slot value of the top three picks. If Mayer is convinced that he will be picked in the top three spots, then he won’t settle for less than top three money.
The mock draft is behind a paywall, so I won’t give away too much (there’s a lot to read). McDaniel has Henry Davis from Louisville going second, prep shortstop Brady House going third and Vanderbilt pitcher Jack Leiter fourth. Lawlar is all the way down at the sixth spot, which as we just went over, might convince him to take a lower bonus to go first. You would still be getting the top draft prospect according to the evaluators at Baseball America and the people they talk with throughout the year.