There is, however, a little mystery and intrigue.
» Houston owns the top pick, and many publications and draft experts say Houston could select one of a handful of players. Yet one name keeps getting put at the top of the list: Stanford's Mark Appel. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound right-hander already throws in the mid-90s and is considered to have three good pitches.
» If Appel isn't the top choice, then Georgia prep outfielder Byron Buxton could be. (It's doubtful he will slip to the Orioles at No. 4). Analysts rate him as the best prospect in the draft, but he also will need more time to develop -- several years at the earliest. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Buxton has wowed scouts with his quick wrists.
Lucas Giolito offers high-risk, high-reward. The 6-foot-6 high school senior is still projected to go in the first round despite an elbow injury that has sidelined him since early March (no surgery). He won't pitch again before the July 13 signing deadline. Before the injury, he had a shot at becoming the first high school right-hander to go No. 1 overall. Giolito throws in the upper-90s.
Max Fried, Giolito's high school teammate at Harvard-Westlake in California, will be drafted in the top 15. The left-hander throws in the mid-90s, and scouts reportedly like his poise and intangibles. By the way, Fried's original high school discontinued its athletic program, so he transferred to play with Giolito.
- John Keim