We’ve got a long way to go until the 2012 MLB amateur draft. Draft day is more than three months away, and an entire season of high school and college baseball in that span could shake up any projections pretty dramatically.
But that didn’t deter Seedlings to Stars’ Robbie Knopf from taking on the ambitious project of a very early 2012 mock draft, based on what he sees as the most stable factors that will determine teams’ choices this June:
"This mock MLB Draft is based on several factors: first off, the obvious considerations of player quality and team need, and then also matters such as team draft strategy and team philosophy. (…) An additional detail is how much players will sign for considering this is the first year where teams will incur penalties for paying total bonuses from all their picks over 5% of the suggested slot bonuses from MLB…"
Of course, the most burning question on everyone’s minds is: Who will the Indians take with the 15th overall pick?
Knopf’s answer: Jake Barrett.
Barrett is a 6’3″, 200-pound right-handed pitcher from Arizona State University. Knopf praises Barrett’s “mid-90′s” fastball, “greatly improved” slider, and a splitter “that acts as a changeup…and has some nice sink”:
"Barrett needs work on his command, but he has the arsenal to be a number two starter and possibly an ace. He could move quickly through the minors if he can get his slider to be consistently plus and get his command right. Barrett enticing combination of polish and upside makes him a perfect fit for an Indians team stuck between the present and the future."
Knopf projects Barrett as the sixth pitcher to come off the board and the fifth college arm to be taken. He also sees Barrett as a strong fit for the Tribe given the dearth of high-ceiling pitching in Cleveland’s farm system, which is hard to deny.