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MLB Draft 2017:’s draft experts reveal their latest mock drafts

Who do Taylor Blake Ward and Jeff Ellis have the Angels taking with the tenth overall pick?

College World Series - Virginia v Vanderbilt - Game Three
University of Virginia teammates Pavin Smith (left) and Adam Haseley (right) are both expected to be picked in the first round.
Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Today is May 15th, which means the annual MLB draft is less than a month away! Out of every day, draft day is the singular most important one there is, and for good reason. It’s where the future of the organization is built: it’s of crucial importance that Matt Swanson (the Angels’ new scouting director, poached from the St. Louis Cardinals) and Billy Eppler put together a solid draft to lay the foundation of the next great Angels teams.

With that said, let’s jump into the mock drafts.

First up is Taylor Blake Ward of It’s his second mock draft of the season.

Here’s who he has the Angels selecting at number 10.

Shane Baz, RHP, Concordia Lutheran HS (TX)

Athletes are the prime focus of the Angels draft. Baz is athletic and has one of the most complete arsenals in the prep ranks. They're at a point in the draft where any player who falls could be their target, or they could be similar to any of the teams in the 5-to-15 range who go after a college bat.

Eppler and his team are all in on athletes, as evidenced by their second through sixth round selections last June. As Ward notes here, there will inevitably be a player that slips to them at #10, in which case, the Angels should select the best player available. The rest of Ward’s mock, up until the Angels pick:

1. MIN — Hunter Greene, RHP

2. CIN — Brendan McKay, LHP/1B

3. SD — Royce Lewis, SS/OF

4. TB — Kyle Wright, RHP

5. ATL — Mackenzie Gore, LHP

6. OAK — Pavin Smith, 1B

7. AZ — J.B. Bukauskas, RHP

8. PHI — Alex Faedo, RHP

9. MIL — Jordon Adell, OF

10. LAA — Shane Baz, RHP’s Jeff Ellis has the Angels selecting someone else:

Adam Haseley, OF, Virginia

Haseley over [Jeren] Kendall would have seemed crazy at the start of the year. It still might seem a bit crazy now. Haseley, though, has outperformed Kendall in almost every way this year, while also being a starting pitcher for Virginia. Kendall is more likely to stick in center field and has a higher ceiling, but Haseley is also viewed as a player with high growth potential, once he focuses entirely on hitting. The stronger approach and eye at the plate give Haseley a higher floor and a ceiling that approaches Kendall’s. Angels have scouted Virginia heavily the last two years and feel comfortable with the program. There is a lot of [Jordon] Adell and [Shane] Baz talk here. A year ago, the Angels were linked to a few prep players, then took the safest college player possible in Matt Thaiss. I won’t get fooled again. Sadly, there was no catcher for me to mock here.

Sadly, there was no catcher for me to mock here. These are truly the most beautiful words I have ever heard in my life.

Though I can’t fault the Angels for picking a relatively safe player like Thaiss, I would like to see them take the best available player, so he can be developed into an above-average regular or the quickest way to turn around the big league club, trading a strong prospect (see Sean Newcomb) for a cost-controllable, well-above average big leaguer. In any case, here is how Ellis’s mock draft plays out.

1. MIN — Hunter Greene, RHP

2. CIN — Brendan McKay, LHP/1B

3. SD — Royce Lewis, SS/OF

4. TB — Austin Beck, OF

5. ATL — Kyle Wright, RHP

6. OAK — J.B. Bukauskas, RHP

7. AZ — Mackenzie Gore, LHP

8. PHI — Pavin Smith, 1B

9. MIL — Alex Faedo, RHP

10. LAA — Adam Haseley, OF