MLB Draft 2014: Contrarian Mock Draft

Alex Jackson, future first round pick of the MLB draft - Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

Do you think mock drafts are boring? Perhaps this one will be your kind of mock, because "industry consensus" is completely ignored in this one, and some reasons for a team drafting a certain player will be complete bogus.

Let's start with a quote from a recent podcast:

People love mock drafts. You can´t do too many of them.

-Jim Callis

Thanks, Jim! Now, onto the mock:

1. Houston Astros - Alex Jackson, C/OF

Alex Jackson just "feels" like a number one pick. His name is simple, easy to remember and therefore a good one to put on All-Star ballots. He's also got the whole "too good to be a catcher, so I'm gonna outfield" thing going on that Bryce Harper (simple name again) did. He also looks like a ballplayer. Helmet, bat, socks, cleats, all that stuff. Yep, I'm convinced it'll be Jackson.

2. Miami Marlins - Carlos Rodon, LHP

This is somewhat against the rules, as Rodon has been mocked here plenty of times because of the Cuban connection. And also because Rodon was the clear number one in the draft prior to this year. So before everyone goes all racist on this pick, it's simply a logical one. Even this mock draft has to have a logical pick. Making fun of Loria, letting him go with a cheap pick, that would have been too easy. And with that "thing" over in center field..come on, how can you mock the Marlins when they already make fun of themselves as an organizational philosophy?

3. Chicago White Sox - Brady Aiken, LHP

If I let Aiken drop any further than this, I might get arrested by the mock draft police. Although good luck getting the Dutch authorities to hand me over to you. I bet the authorities have never heard of a "mock draft" and will think they're being insulted. One thing leads to another, and before you know it, we have a third world war on our hands. To prevent that I'll just have the Sox take Aiken. You can thank me later for saving the planet.

4. Chicago Cubs - Grant Holmes, RHP

At 5 AM in the morning, the Cubs scouting director was half asleep looking at some video of Grant Holmes pitching at Wrigley Field. Rather than interpreting the video as coming from the Under Armour game, which was held at Wrigley, the scouting director woke up a few hours later interpreting the Holmes video as a vision of the future sent by higher powers. Thus, the Cubs had no choice but to take Holmes, as you can't argue with higher powers.

5. Minnesota Twins - Aaron Nola, RHP

Twins love strikethrowers. Aaron Nola is a strikethrower. The Twins love Aaron Nola. How is this not the biggest lock in the draft? Unless you think the Twins are very confident in Mike Pelfrey, Ricky Nolasco and Kevin Correia to lead their rotation for years to come, I don't think you can argue this pick. Nick Gordon sounds like a guy who "plays the game the right way", but that designation is reserved for gritty white folks and Derek Jeter, so his scouting report just reads "very good all-around player", and that just won't do for the Twinkies.

6. Seattle Mariners - Nick Gordon, SS

The Mariners were not expecting Gordon to be there, but with Brad Miller and Nick Franklin lighting it up at the big league level (relative to Mariners standards, of course), the Mariners have no need for a shortstop. However, you can never have enough pitching, and Gordon can also throw pretty hard, so the Mariners decide to take the risk on a logjam at shortstop by picking up Gordon.

7. Philadelphia Phillies - Tyler Kolek, RHP

There seem to be no obvious raw, toolsy outfielders to grab here for the Phillies, who love having prospects who strike out twice a day, thrice on fridays. They even love strikeouts so much they paid Ryan Howard big lumps of money to do just that, but at the major league level. Good for him! Anyway, the Phillies still need to grab someone and, ..wait..100 mph right-handed pitcher still on the board..*drool*..*faint*

Selig: "Hello? Phillies? Is this phone working?"

8. Colorado Rockies - Max Pentecost, C

The Rockies have Troy Tulowitzki, a former college shortstop who dropped because...well, J.P. Ricciardi. This time, it's Pentecost and Turner who are the college players who drop a bit despite great resumes. Troy Tulowtzki will be believed to age like a fine wine and man shortstop for the Rox well into the 23rd century, so Pentecost it is. Pentecost has great ability to but the ball in play, and he doesn't have to hit it all that hard to make it fly out of Colorado, also known as MLB's joke of a ballpark, so it seems like a great fit.

9. Toronto Blue Jays - Kyle Freeland, LHP

Kyle Freeland was mocked to the Rockies a whole lot and he's too good for the Blue Jays too pass up. Yes, I know, they let Shipley go too. But this year it's different, the Jays are finally winning, and Freeland could be in the rotation quite quickly to still catch some of Edwing and Jose's prime years. If Freeland doesn't get injured, that is, and he will of course do exactly that: get injured. I wanted to insert a joke about the Blue Jays not signing their draft picks but I wasn't funny enough to pull it off. So this entry is actually pretty serious, which might be nice for those guys who haven't enjoyed this mock at all, yet are still reading for some reason.

10. New York Mets - Bradley Zimmer, OF

The Mets really need ballplayers. Guys who go out there every day and fill a spot in the lineup, no matter how many losing seasons have come before. Zimmer is exactly who they need to fill out their lineup card, as his surname starts with a Z, and that's a rare commodity come draft day.

11. Toronto Blue Jays - Michael Chavis, 3B

The Blue Jays are unpredictable, so they've got to take players that nobody has linked them to. And while Freeland might be a surprise, he's usually rated so highly that he's not mocked to the Jays simply because he was perceived to go higher. Luckily for the Jays, they've also not been linked with Chavis, and Chavis could be really good. There's even talk of him being moved to catcher, which is nice because the Blue Jays are looking to find "the next JP Arencibia" in this draft class, but have not found a lot of options. (if I wasn't bound by my contrarian rules, I'd go Hoffman here for the Jays)

12. Milwaukee Brewers - Trea Turner, SS

It's hard to find a player in the draft who's been caught using forbidden substances (obvious "joke") or just rubs people the wrong way (Gomez reference) so the Brewers have to settle for Turner, who should be speedy enough to field balls while pushing the elderly Aramis Ramirez in his wheelchair around the field at the same time. Whether he'll hit enough homers to pimp them like Gomez is a big question mark, though perhaps Braun could provide aid in that aspect of the game.

13. San Diego Padres - Sean Newcomb, LHP

The Padres are depressed. After the Jedd Gyorko contract backfired, and Cory Luebke needed second Tommy John, they've given up trying. They'll just go on the industry consensus being that Sean Newcomb is possibly the best college arm behind Rodon. Then they'll just hope that he doesn't implode somewhere in the next few years, while fully anticipating said scenario. Sad, sad Padres.

14. San Francisco Giants - Touki Toussaint, RHP

Every pitcher who gets to pitch in AT&T Park seems to turn into a star, even Ryan Vogelsong. They can make the raw high school pitcher work, and Toussaint could become a heck of a pitcher in San Francisco. I wonder, if the Blue Jays were in the NL West (which would be geographically insane, so with Selig retiring I don't see a chance), would we hate the Giants as much as we hate the Red Sox right now? That hasn't got anything to do with the draft pick, but what do I know about the Giants? They've blocked the A's moving, and that's rubbed me the wrong way. The A's really need a new stadium, it's in the general interest of AL baseball fans. I hope the Giants pick Toussaint and then he proceeds to walk every single batter in his career. That'll teach them.

15. Los Angeles Angels - Jeff Hoffman, RHP

The Angels are great at handing out bad contracts. Heck, they even traded for Vernon Wells! How on earth did they luck into drafting Mike Trout? With that kind of luck, I see them drafting Jeff Hoffman and getting a healthy ace pitcher after a few years, then they sign him to a ridiculous contract just before he blows his elbow out for the second time and never pitches well in his career again. Because that's how baseball works. (I'd probably go Chavis here if I had allowed myself to mock Hoffman to the Jays)

16. Arizona Diamondbacks - Michael Conforto, OF

The Diamondbacks have employed Jason Kubel in left field. They're running Mark Trumbo out there. For all we know, Michael Conforto might be a premium defender in comparison, because the D-backs have truly set the bar pretty low. I don't dislike the D-backs, so they're pretty much unlike most other teams. But man, that Justin Upton trade was all kinds of horrible. Sometimes teams get unlucky (like the Padres), and sometimes teams just shoot themselves in the foot.

17. Kansas City Royals - ... someone

Wait, why am I still doing this? It's not like the people who started reading it have actually stuck with me until this point, right? I'm sorry, lonely Royals fan, I'm not mocking for your team. And I'm sorry Jim Callis, I won't break your record of 18 straight correct predictions. I'm done. I wasn't funny in the first place, but now I can't even think of things to say that resemble funny in the slightest.

As bad as my reasons for the picks have been, this could actually be somewhat like how the draft ends up playing out. The experts pick up rumors, but in the end teams don't actually tell them who they like the most, because why would they? And that's the fun thing about the draft, and perhaps this draft in particular, you're never sure what's going to happen next. I feel like I have a lot of picks that could go higher, like Hoffman, Toussaint, Newcomb, Conforto, Turner and I didn't even get to Beede, who I could see going top 10 also. This draft class lacks superstars at the top but it's got a whole bunch of depth.

Point for discussion: who are the teams in the top 10 most likely to catch us off guard, like I have the Cubs doing in this mock? And who do you think will be picked much higher than we thought?

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