2018 MLB Mock Draft with 2 Weeks Remaining

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2018

Joey Bart
Joey BartDanny Karnik/GT Athletics

The 2018 MLB draft is now under two weeks away, and the latest crop of amateur talent is anxiously waiting for their names to be called starting June 4.

This year's draft is stocked with college bats and prep arms, though the top prospect in the class is a college right-hander with a wicked splitter.

As draft buzz starts to heat up around the league, here's a look at our first mock draft:

      

1. Detroit Tigers: Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn

Rumors will inevitably surface of the Tigers potentially cutting a below-slot deal with someone else, but Mize is still the overwhelming favorite to go No. 1 overall. The Auburn ace has a strong 6'3", 208-pound frame with three plus pitches, including a plus-plus splitter. He's gone 9-3 with a 2.73 ERA and 124 strikeouts in 89 innings this spring.

     

2. San Francisco Giants: Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech

Bart is the most hyped collegiate catching prospect since Mike Zunino went No. 3 overall in 2012, and he's arguably the best all-around prospect at the position since Buster Posey. Here, he would immediately become Posey's heir in San Francisco. The Yellow Jackets star is a standout two-way talent, and he should reach the majors in short order. He's hitting .368/.481/.651 with 16 home runs this spring.

     

3. Philadelphia Phillies: Alec Bohm, 3B, Wichita State

Alec Bohm
Alec BohmWichita State Athletics

Bohm is an advanced hitter who generates good power without getting pull-happy or selling out. His lack of range and arm strength will likely lead to a move across the diamond to first base, but there's no question he has the offensive profile to fit there—or anywhere else on the field.

     

4. Chicago White Sox: Nick Madrigal, 2B, Oregon State

Madrigal is the best pure hitter in the class with a 65-grade hit tool. He'll never hit a ton of home runs, but he has plenty of gap power, especially given his 5'7" frame. A broken wrist suffered during the preseason has limited him to 23 games this year, but he didn't miss a beat upon returning, hitting .458/.514/.635 with 10 extra-base hits. He could probably handle shortstop, but he profiles as a Gold Glove-caliber second baseman.

     

5. Cincinnati Reds: Brady Singer, RHP, Florida

The Florida ace was a candidate to go No. 1 overall before an inconsistent start to his junior season, much like former teammate A.J. Puk two years ago. That said, he's still gone 10-1 with a 2.25 ERA and 9.4 K/9. A funky arm slot adds deception to his upper 90s fastball and plus slider/changeup pairing. It's hard to see him slipping any further than this.

     

6. New York Mets: Jonathan India, 3B, Florida

Unlike Bohn, there's no doubt Indian will remain at third base. His huge junior season has featured even better numbers in conference play against a stacked SEC field. He doesn't have the same raw power as Bohm, but he's just as polished and a better overall athlete. The Gators star is hitting .376/.520/.759 with 16 home runs and 11 stolen bases this spring.

     

7. San Diego Padres: Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Mountain Ridge HS (Ariz.)

Matthew Liberatore
Matthew LiberatorePhoto Credit: Luke Liberatore

Liberatore offers far and away the best pitchability of this year's prep arms. The left-hander has no clear plus-plus pitch, but four present 55-grade offerings that he commands well across the board. There's some projection left in his 6'5", 200-pound frame, but he's close to a finished product and has as high a floor as any high school pitcher in recent years.

     

8. Atlanta Braves: Nolan Gorman, 3B, O'Connor HS (Ariz.)

Gorman possesses the best raw power in this class. He won the Home Run Derby at the Under Armour All-American Game and the High School All-Star Game during All-Star Weekend in Miami last summer. There's still some swing-and-miss to his game, and he was inconsistent at times this spring, but the upside is obvious. Improved defense also makes him a lock to stick at third base.

     

9. Oakland Athletics: Travis Swaggerty, OF, South Alabama

Swaggerty is an advanced hitter with a top-of-the-order profile offensively. He has a .456 on-base percentage and 17.4 percent walk rate in three seasons at South Alabama. There's also some sneaky raw power to his game and the potential for him to develop into a 20-homer threat in the majors. MLB.com compares him to Brett Gardner.

     

10. Pittsburgh Pirates: Carter Stewart, RHP, Eau Gallie HS (Fla.)

With a projectable 6'6", 200-pound frame and a dynamic fastball/curveball pairing, it's easy to dream on Stewart's frontline potential. He will need to smooth out his mechanics and refine his changeup as a viable third offering, but the pure stuff is electric. He jumped into the upper tier of prep arms with improved velocity this spring.

     

11. Baltimore Orioles: Cole Winn, RHP, Orange Lutheran HS (Calif.)

Winn transferred from a high school in Colorado to Orange Lutheran in Southern California and has boosted his stock by showing well against higher-level competition. Smooth mechanics should lead to plus command of his three-pitch mix. His changeup still needs work like most prep arms, but he shows a feel for it. There's also still room to add some strength to his 6'2", 195-pound frame.

     

12. Toronto Blue Jays: Shane McClanahan, LHP, South Florida

Shane McClanahan
Shane McClanahanUSF Athletics

McClanahan has the best fastball in the draft. He regularly touches triple digits and backs it with a plus changeup and average slider. The left-hander lost his freshman season to Tommy John surgery but returned to strike out 215 hitters in 142 innings over the past two seasons. His command needs work, as he's walked batters at a 5.3 BB/9 clip this spring, but there's huge upside here if everything clicks.

     

13. Miami Marlins: Logan Gilbert, RHP, Stetson

A strong sophomore season (10-0, 2.02 ERA, 10.8 K/9) and an All-Star showing in the Cape Cod League (31.1 IP, 1.72 ERA, 8.9 K/9) have carried over to a stellar junior campaign for Gilbert. He works in the low 90s but can reach back for more velocity when needed, and his three-pitch secondary arsenal keeps hitters off-balance. The right-hander has struck out 134 batters in 93 innings this spring while holding opponents to a .166 batting average.

     

14. Seattle Mariners: Trevor Larnach, OF, Oregon State

A strong Cape Cod League performance (118 PA, .308/.390/.442, 11 XBH) boosted Larnach's draft stock considerably heading into his junior season. He built off that with a huge step forward in the power department, slugging 17 home runs this spring after hitting just three last year. He's limited athletically but should fit well at a corner outfield spot.

     

15. Texas Rangers: Jarred Kelenic, OF, Waukesha West HS (Wis.)

Kelenic is the best pure hitter among this year's high school crop. He consistently barrels balls and shows an advanced overall approach from the left side of the plate. Defensively, he has the quickness and instincts to stay in center field, but he also possesses a strong enough arm to fit in right field if he does need to move. There's clear five-tool potential.

     

16. Tampa Bay Rays: Jordyn Adams, OF, Green Hope HS (N.C.)

Jordyn Adams
Jordyn AdamsPhoto Credit: Kara Adams

Adams has lots of helium leading up to the draft. He could be a tough sign, as he's also a 4-star wide receiver recruit and committed to play both sports at North Carolina. He's the type of prospect who could take off once he turns his full attention to baseball, and his plus-plus speed will serve him well on the diamond. There's no doubt he's a project, but the payoff could be huge.

     

17. Los Angeles Angels: Ryan Rolison, LHP, Ole Miss

Rolison is a draft-eligible sophomore with an athletic 6'2", 195-pound frame and smooth mechanics. He can touch the mid-90s with his fastball and back it with one of the best curveballs in this year's draft. The lefty also throws a slider and changeup that both have a chance to be average offerings. Rolison is still improving his overall pitchability, but all the requisite tools are there for him to be a successful starter.

     

18. Kansas City Royals: Connor Scott, OF, Plant HS (Fla.)

While he's still growing into his 6'4", 180-pound frame, Scott already has obvious five-tool potential. He already possesses a strong hit tool and 70-grade speed, giving him more of a top-of-the-order profile for now. He also generated some interest on the mound, where he can touch 93 mph with his fastball and has shown the makings of a plus curveball. He'll focus on hitting as a pro, but that arm strength will still serve him well in the outfield.

     

19. St. Louis Cardinals: Jackson Kowar, RHP, Florida

Jackson Kowar
Jackson KowarNati Harnik/Associated Press/Associated Press

Kowar has improved across the board after pitching behind Alex Faedo and Brady Singer as a sophomore. With a projectable 6'5", 180-pound frame and smooth mechanics, he easily touches 97 with his fastball. He's also shown a plus changeup and an inconsistent curveball that has some potential. He's more of a project than most first-round college arms, but the upside is significant.

     

20. Minnesota Twins: Ryan Weathers, LHP, Loretto HS (Tenn.)

The son of 19-year MLB veteran David Weathers, Ryan is a plus athlete who gets the most out of his stuff. There's no clear standout offering among his three-pitch repertoire, but he has solid command of each. With limited remaining projection in a strong 6'2", 210-pound frame, he's essentially a finished product, but that also makes him one of the safer picks among this year's high school crop.

     

21. Milwaukee Brewers: Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Central Heights HS (Texas)

Rodriguez might have more helium than any player in this year's class. He's been linked to the Pirates at No. 10, so he might not last this long, and it's easy to see why. He can touch 98 with a heavy fastball that features excellent late life, and while his off-speed stuff lags behind, he's shown a feel for three different pitches and should be able to make the necessary strides. There's not much projection left in his 6'5", 230-pound frame, but the stuff is already there.

     

22. Colorado Rockies: Anthony Seigler, C, Cartersville HS (Ga.)

This has been a popular prediction with the Rockies scouting him hard this spring. Seigler is actually a capable switch-pitcher who can throw in the upper 80s with both arms. His future is behind the plate, though, where his plus athleticism and smooth actions make him an above-average defender. In fact, he's a good enough athlete that he might also be able to handle second base. Offensively, the switch-hitter employs a solid line-drive approach with gap power.

     

23. New York Yankees: Kumar Rocker, RHP, North Oconee HS (Ga.)

Kumar Rocker
Kumar RockerNorth Oconee Athletics

Rocker still has as much upside as any of the prep arms in this class, despite his stock slipping a bit this spring. His 6'5", 250-pound frame is imposing to say the least, and he can already touch 98 with his fastball. The trouble this spring has been that it can get straight at times. His mechanics also need some refining, and his changeup lags behind his fastball and nasty wipeout slider. Still, if the pieces fall into place, he could be the steal of the draft this far down the board.

     

24. Chicago Cubs: Ethan Hankins, RHP, Forsyth Central HS (Ga.)

Hankins was a candidate to go No. 1 overall after a dominant showing on the showcase circuit last summer. However, he missed a month this spring with shoulder tightness and didn't show the same stuff upon returning to the mound, making him perhaps the biggest wild card in this year's draft. He possesses a legitimate 80-grade fastball when healthy and also shows smooth mechanics and a good overall feel for pitching. It will likely take an above-slot deal to sign him away from his commitment to Vanderbilt if he falls this low.

     

25. Arizona Diamondbacks: Brice Turang, SS, Santiago HS (Calif.)

A so-so showing on the summer showcase circuit and potential oversaturation caused Turang's stock to slip this spring. He's still the best shortstop in the class, though, and one of the top prep players in the country. While he has no clear standout tool, he does everything well on both sides of the ball. If nothing else, his hit tool, speed and defense should all play at the highest level.

     

26. Boston Red Sox: Noah Naylor, C, St. Joan of Arc HS (Ont.)

Noah is the younger brother of Padres prospect Josh Naylor and the top Canadian prospect in this year's draft. He has a higher offensive ceiling than Seigler thanks to an advanced approach at the plate and plus raw power. And while he's not as refined defensively, he should have no problem sticking behind the plate. If he falls this far, Boston—with a glaring lack of catching talent in the system—should scoop him up immediately.

     

27. Washington Nationals: Mason Denaburg, RHP, Merritt Island HS (Fla.)

Denaburg is one of the bigger question marks in the draft. Aside from his work on the mound, he's also a legitimate prospect as a catcher and could also get a chance to kick/punt for the football team if he honors his commitment to the University of Florida. That said, his future appears to be on the mound, where his mid-90s fastball and nasty curveball offer the most upside. A biceps issue has sidelined him this spring, but the Nationals have never shied away from an injury risk.

     

28. Houston Astros: Steele Walker, OF, Oklahoma

Steele Walker
Steele WalkerTy Russell/Oklahoma Athletics

Walker is still on the board here after a run on high school talent. The Sooners standout is a grinder who gets the most out of his limited athleticism, showing an advanced hit tool and a solid all-around approach at the plate. He also has some emerging power, hitting .355/.446/.616 with 14 doubles, 13 home runs and 53 RBI in 53 games this spring. Defensively, he'll be limited to left field.

     

29. Cleveland Indians: Nick Schnell, OF, Roncalli HS (Ind.)

Schnell is a pop-up prospect who has put himself in the first-round conversation with a strong showing this spring. He has the full toolbox at his disposal with a real chance to be a five-tool contributor. There's plenty of room to add strength to his 6'2", 180-pound frame, giving him intriguing power potential. He should also be able to stick in center field defensively, which further adds to his upside.

     

30. Los Angeles Dodgers: Jordan Groshans, 3B, Magnolia HS (Tex.)

Scouts have flocked to Magnolia High School to see Groshans and right-hander Adam Kloffensteinwho could also be off the board on Day 1. Groshans should be the first one gone, as he generates good loft at the plate with his 6'4" frame and should develop plenty of power as he fills out. He might get a chance to play up the middle but fits best at third base.

     

All college stats courtesy of The Baseball Cube and current through Monday's games. Referenced tool grades come courtesy of MLB.com's Prospect Watch.

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