- Keith Law, ESPN Insider
This isn't a projection, but a ranking. I'll update it at least once more between now and the draft, and a final time the day of the draft, Thursday, June 5. When we get within a week of the draft, I'll also project the first round based on what I'm hearing from within the industry about what specific teams will do.
At this point, the first-round talent pool is shallow and includes fewer than 30 players who would be first-rounders in an average year. It's heavy on college corner infielders, with three college first basemen and three college third basemen (none of whom is a lock to stay at the hot corner) in the top 23. It's light on polished high school players and very light on high school arms; Tim Melville has jumped back into the top 20 on the basis of three strong outings in the past two-plus weeks, and Kyle Skipworth has begun to drop due to concerns about his defense and ultimate position.
Several college closers are moving up boards, reflecting their own performances but also the frustration of scouting directors in the last third of the first round as they look at the thin crop of players likely to fall to them. The question they're asking themselves is this: Instead of taking a raw high school player or low-upside college player who doesn't excite them, why not take a power reliever who could be in the big leagues this year or next?
High school shortstop Tim Beckham is No. 1 on an updated list of the top 60 prospects in the 2008 MLB draft.