With less than five hours to go before MLB Commissioner Bud Selig (eMb!) steps to the podium and begins matching teams with prospects, the final versions of everyone's mock drafts are emerging. The big question for the Washington Nationals, who have the 6th, 23rd and 34th picks tonight, seems to be, "Will Gardner Edgerton (Kansas) high school outfielder Bubba Starling be available after the first five teams have made their selections?"
In ESPN.com's Keith Law's final mock draft, Mr. Law says yes, and he adds in a note, "I'm told that if [Starling] gets here, he stops here." Mr. Law, in his first mock draft a few weeks back, predicted that the Nationals would take University of Kentucky right-hander Alex Meyer out of fear that he'd be off the board before their second first round pick comes around, and in the latest mock he does have the Boston Red Sox taking the 6'9'', Greensburg, Indiana-born pitcher leaving the Nats to select another outfielder, Brian Goodwin, from Miami Dade College, though he notes that the Nats could select Meyer there if he's available and wait for Goodwin at no.34. (See Derek "Bubba" Starling below via via DiamondScapeBaseball and the Youtube.):
MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo has the Kansas City Royals taking Bubba Starling off the board with the 5th overall pick in his final Mock draft, leaving the Nationals to select another Oklahoma high schooler, right-hander Dylan Bundy, who Mr. Mayo describes as, "The top high school arm -- some say best arm, period." Another Oklahoma high schooler, right-hander Archie Bradley gets a mention as a potential pick here too, as well as any of the college arms he lists one-through-five should they fall to the sixth spot. Mr. Mayo then matches the Nats with a college outfielder, Louisiana State's Mike (Mikie) Mahtook, while noting that the Nationals, "...could also see who drops here because of signability if they so chose." (See Dylan Bundy below via kbish2009 and the Youtube):
And Baseball America? In the latest mock published this afternoon, Baseball America's Jim Callis has University of Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen (who went fourth to Baltimore on Mr. Mayo's mock and seventh overall to Arizona on Mr. Law's latest) falling to the Nats' at no.6. (11-3) with a 1.57 ERA, 17 BB (1.48 BB/9) and 148 K's (12.89) in 15 starts and 103.1 IP for the Cavaliers, Hultzen, the 2010 and 2011 ACC Pitcher of the Year is a 6'3'' lefty out of Bethesda, Maryland and St. Albans, HS in D.C. (Here's a look via ScoutingtheSally on the Youtube):
• The media notes on tonight's Draft estimate that the Washington Nationals' first 1st Round selection will take place at approximately 7:45 pm EDT. Federal Baseball.com will be reporting live from Nats Park where we'll have a chance to collect some quotes from D.C. GM Mike Rizzo and others after the first and then 23/34 selections. Check back for Updates and the Nationals/Giants gamethread after the Draft.