Commentary

Hultzen at No. 1 in first mock

Virginia ace steals top spot from Cole, Rendon

Updated: May 18, 2011, 11:00 AM ET
By Keith Law | ESPN Insider

This is the first complete first-round projection I'll do for the 2011 draft's first round, and the plan is to do three more leading up to June 6, the first day of the draft. As you can see, this is already quite different than the modified mock draft I did last week, which goes to show just how volatile the top of the draft is this year. And a lot more can change between now and the first Monday in June. Stay tuned.


I'm having a hard time seeing Hultzen as the best player on the board, but under Neal Huntington the Pirates have long considered value relative to cost in their drafts, sometimes preferring to spend less in the first round when they see opportunities to spend their savings on other appealing prospects in later rounds. They're still considering Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon, and I know they've done their due diligence on Dylan Bundy (but are very unlikely to take him).

I know Jack Zduriencik went to see both Francisco Lindor and Bubba Starling last week, but everyone I talk to says Seattle is taking Rendon if they're happy with the medicals -- and a very good source told me earlier this week that there is nothing structurally wrong with Rendon's shoulder.

This one seems wide open, although they'd take Hultzen if he's here. Other candidates include Starling and Dylan Bundy.

Dylan Bundy, RHP, Owasso (Okla.) HS

I've also heard they're interested in Bauer and Jed Bradley. And Archie Bradley could be a dark horse here.

Everyone -- and I mean everyone -- tells me Kansas City wants a college pitcher, although it would consider Bundy because he's polished enough to zip through the minors in two years. It likes local product Starling but (correctly) sees him as someone who'll take more time to reach the majors than the elite college arms will.


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