FSS PLUS Staff Mock Draft 1.0

Let’s have a little fun.

The FSS PLUS Staff has commenced in a Staff Mock Draft for the first time. Joe Doyle, Oliver Boctor, and Jason A. Churchill will go snake-style and select players for the first 30 picks — the organic first round.

This is not a projection, however, this is how each of us would select, considering the playes remaining o the board, and without bearing in mind bonus pool schemes.

NOTE: The picks of the Yankees, Padres, and Mets had their picks in Round 1 dropped 10 spots each because they exceeded the second competitive balance surcharge by more than $40 million.

For the record, Churchill attempte to trade picks on numerous occasions, but neither Doyle nor Boctor would break the rules. Tsk Tsk.

Follow along by pulling up Doyle’s most recent draft board HERE.

Doyle: Travis Bazzana, 2B — Oregon State
Give me the up-the-middle hitter, the left-handed swing, sublime bat to ball skills and enough thump in the bat to warrant top pick consideration. A lot of ways for Bazzana to be a decorated pro. He’s the safest pick in the draft and carries All-Star upside.

Boctor: Charlie Condon, 3B/C OF — Georgia
Condon’s jaw-dropping sophomore season has cemented himself at the top of the Draft, and this is an easy pick for me. Condon’s got a shot to be a pretty special bat at the end of the day, with 40 HR power and plus feel for contact. His defensive home is to be determined, but this is a potential generational bat whose value won’t be impacted too much in a corner outfield spot.

Churchill: Hagen Smith, LHP – Arkansas
The Rockies must acquire impact pitching if they’re to crawl back into relevancy and Smith offers a relatively quick study projecting to miss bats with multiple power pitches. Smith gets the nod over Chase Burns simply due to a better track record of strikes, but either fits here, I just leaned to the lefty as a tie-breaker.

Doyle: Jac Caglianone, 1B – Florida
The Athletics are in need of high-ceiling prospects that not only provide a spark on the field, but also in the ticket office. Caglianone checks all those boxes and then some. He’s the type of player you can build your entire organization around (and then trade after he reaches four years of service time).

Boctor: JJ Wetherholt, INF – West Virginia
Wetherholt’s a tough one to pin down. Both he and Bazzana have eerily similar skills in terms of production and profiles, but Wetherholt has missed time this year, which has taken a hit on his draft stock. The White Sox are in a rough situation, but one where it’s feasible they can be relevant in a couple years, and Wetherholt is that true, impact, All-Star caliber player that they lack right now.

Churchill: Chase Burns, RHP – Wake Forest
I think either Wake Forest prospect fits here, but Burns is the best player remaining on the board by a wide margin for me. It’s control over command right now but the stuff is the best in the class, perhaps allowing him to hit Kauffman Stadium inside a year with ace upside.

Doyle: Braden Montgomery, OF – Texas A&M
When you’re picking near the top of the draft you can’t miss on tools. You have to take the upside and trust your player development system to maximize. Braden Montgomery has star upside with the ability to impact the game substantially on both sides of the game. Is there hit tool risk? Sure. But you chase the dream of a 5-fWAR right fielder here and don’t look back.

Boctor: Bryce Rainer, SS/RHP – Harvard-Westlake (CA)
The Angels need a fresh start. Their habit of drafting “now” pieces that they rush to the big leagues hasn’t worked out too well. They’ve left talent on the board for years, and with the current state of the club, they need to start going away from that. What they need is to go for a star, not a role player or average big leaguer. Rainer’s got every bit the tools to become a star, a shortstop with a cannon and a massive up-arrow with the bat. Rainer is the kind of chance the Angels should start taking more of from here on out.

Churchill: Nick Kurtz, 1B
Easily the best player on the board for me at this point, and it happens to address an org and 26-man need for the Pirates. Win-win. The left-handed hitting Kurtz has light tower power, fully balances contact with the big power, and draws to the likes of Justin Morneau and Jim Thome, depending on how much contact ultimately projects.

Churchill: Cam Smith, 3B – Florida State
Smith has bat speed to spare, producing home-run power to all fields, and extended discipline and plate coverage have unlocked his full potential this season. I’m a tad surprised Pittsburgh didn’t take him at 10, but industry sources tell me the Pirates changed their mind while I was making an omelet. Their loss.

Boctor: Carson Benge, OF – Oklahoma State
Benge possesses a very well-rounded profile with significant offensive, defensive, and athletic tools that a pro organization can only dream of in one player. Benge has a superb feel to hit, not expanding the zone much at all, with above-average, maybe plus power, with above-average speed and a 70 grade arm. He’s got every bit the prototypical right fielder toolkit, and one of the easier guys to pick in this Draft.

Doyle: Trey Yesavage, RHP – East Carolina
You can never have enough pitching and Yesavage warrants a pick in this range thanks to his overwhelming fastball and a full menu of secondaries that could get big league hitters out right now. He could move quick through Boston’s system and would obviously offer them some of the best upside their farm has seen on the mound in a very long time.

Churchill: Cam Caminiti, LHP – Saguaro (Ariz.)
It’s not an ultra-projectable profile, but Caminiti is already consistently and comfortably into the 93-96 mph range with deception and two big-league secondaries. I’ve seen some Patrick Corbin and Scott Kazmir comps, but he throws too many strikes for the latter and doesn’t need to add velocity to carry frontline upside into pro ball.

Boctor: Seaver King, UTIL – Wake Forest
If I’m the Cubs, I’m taking the tools here. King has everything you look for in an impact player, a strong feel for contact, tons of bat speed, power, and elite athleticism. Couple that with defensive versatility, and you’ve got a lot to mold here. King’s aggressive, but that’s something that can be remedied in pro ball.

Doyle: James Tibbs III, OF – Florida State
In the event Tibbs III is still on the board at pick no. 15, the Seattle Mariners happily scoop up one of the most polished college bats in the class. An organization looking to kickstart a new offensive era in the Pacific Northwest, Tibbs III could be one of the quicker movers in the draft and could possibly see Seattle as soon as late-2025, though a summer debut in 2026 is probably more fitting. Either way, he could play left field at T-Mobile park through the year 2030.

Churchill: Tyson Lewis, SS – Millard West (NE)
Lewis lends the best combination of floor and ceiling among those left on the board, possessing future power and a shot to stay up the middle. If I could draw an emoji that represents his setup and swing, it’d be a beautifully-constructed chef’s kiss. Wyatt Sanford, PJ Morlando, Slade Caldwell, and Kellon Lindsey were considered here, too.

Boctor: Konnor Griffin, CF/SS – Jackson Prep (MI)
The first thing you need to know about Griffin is that he’s got definitive superstar tools and ceiling. A plus athlete with a pro frame, a 70 arm up to 97 on the mound, plus speed, and plus power, I’m buying the shot at a potential franchise-level player here.

Doyle: Wyatt Sanford, SS – Independence (TX)
I most always find it paramount to target up the middle prospects in the first round of any draft and Sanford checks that box and brings bat speed to the table with it. He’s going to be a four-to-five year development project, but he’s got a chance to become a special impact bat playing an above average brand of defense at shortstop or third base. I’m in. And so is Tampa here.

Doyle: Slade Caldwell, OF – Jonesboro (AR)
The case can be made Caldwell is the best pure hitter in the prep ranks in 2024. His size can be something scouts and evaluators get hung up on, but there’s little doubt he’s going to be a big leaguer. The Mets are plenty comfortable taking prep bats that bang (see: Jett Williams) and Caldwell may be even more polished on the offensive end than the former. Circle the name as the first prep to debut in the big leagues.

Boctor: Theo Gillen, SS/2B/CF – Westlake (TX)
Gillen, finally healthy, has exploded this spring, and projects somewhere in the middle of the first round. There’s a reality where he goes higher than this, and higher than most expect. It’s an incredibly balanced profile with a combination of above-average feel to hit, plus speed, and potential above-average power. Gillen’s arm strength likely limits him to second base or the outfield long-term.

Churchill: Caleb Bonemer, SS – Okemos (MI)
Bonemer may be the Colt Emerson of 2024, offering even more obvious power and a chance to be among the top few pure hitters from the prep ranks. Even if he matures out of shortstop, the bat projects at third, and he’s plenty athletic enough to try at second base. Ankeny right-hander Joey Oakie also received strong consideration here.

Doyle: Kellon Lindsey, SS – Hardee
You can’t teach speed. Lindsey has more of it than anyone. Will he be a project? Sure. But find me another organization as equipped as Baltimore to extract the most value out of bats drafted early. Lindsey has a chance to become the shortstop or centerfielder of the future in Baltimore, even if that future isn’t until 2028 and beyond.

Boctor: Brody Brecht, RHP – Iowa
We’ve seen this blueprint a couple times already with the likes of Bobby Miller and Walker Buehler, so why not one more time? Brecht is the kind of toolsy athlete with three plus pitches that has true ace upside if the command can be reigned in, and who better than the Dodgers to address such major command concerns? The appeal of a potential ace at 23, in this draft, is far too tempting for me to pass up, even if the probability isn’t all there right now.

Churchill: Kash Mayfield, LHP – Elk City HS (OK)
Mayfield is essentially the prototype for left-handed prep pitchers and there’s some Max Fried in his game from a size and athleticism standpoint, so the Braves are as familiar with the type as any club in baseball. I considered Ryan Sloan, William Schmodt and Carter Johnson here, too, but the runner-up was Tennessee infielder Christian Moore.

Doyle: Braylon Doughty, RHP – Chaparral
Perhaps the most underrated prep arm in the class, Doughty hails from Murrieta, California and wouldn’t require much of a relocation to suit up for the Padres – an organization with one of the best track records in the sport in terms of developing preps into big leaguers. Doughty may not have prototype size, but he hides his fastball brilliantly and can spin the hell out of a breaking ball.

Boctor: Malcolm Moore, C — Stanford
The Yankees already have Austin Wells at the big league level, but you can never have too much catching. Moore is a strong combination of moldable offensive skills and defensive traits that an organization can work with. Even if Moore doesn’t play catcher, his bat is the selling point, and the lefty power plays at Yankee Stadium.

Churchill: Ryan Sloan, RHP – York
Moore would have been in play for me, as was Sam Houston’s Walker Janek, but a 225-pound right-hander firmly in the mid-90s was too enticing to pass up, despite the average fastball value with his current setup. The secondaries have moved enough to buy them long-term, and I don’t buy any of the college arms being better bets to avoid back-end or bullpen roles. I considered Joe Oakie nad Ryan Johnson here, too.

Churchill: Carter Johnson, SS – Oxford
At 28, it’s impossible to pass on the hit-tool led middle-infield athlete in Johnson. The Astros have a lot of organizational needs, starting with pitching, but considering the current core none of the college arms moved the needle enough for me, though I did consider Ryan Johnson, who is probably going to Arizona at 29.

Boctor: Joey Oakie, RHP – Ankeny (IO)
The first of three picks the Diamondbacks have in quick succession, there were a number of ways I could’ve gone here, but cashing in on a high school arm early felt like the best decision here. Oakie is a big favorite of mine, an athletic righty with a low launch and hopping fastball, and hellacious sweeper up to 87 with 3000+ RPMs. I also considered prep righties William Schmidt, Chris Levonas, and Dax Whitney here.

Doyle: Walker Janek, C – Sam Houston
Janek is a gifted catcher in terms of pure athleticism. His frame still has room to grow and he’s flashed arm strength that can be next to impossible to coach. There’s some roughness around the edges but there’s a full-time Role 5 backstop in the DNA here is Texas believes they can extract all of that talent out.

Jason A. Churchill
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