2018 MLB Mock Draft Update with 1 Week Remaining

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistMay 29, 2018

Casey Mize
Casey MizeAuburn Athletics

The 2018 MLB draft is now less than a week away, as the latest crop of prospects will begin to hear their names called on 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.

With draft buzz starting to heat up around the league, it's time for an updated mock draft. Our last mock was published back on May 23 and features in-depth scouting profiles for each prospect.

Let's get to it.

      

1. Detroit Tigers: Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn

In a draft loaded with prep arms, Mize is the clear standout among the college crop. For a Tigers team building from the ground up, he offers both a high floor and considerable upside. He didn't have his best stuff in his last two starts, but he remains the heavy favorite to go No. 1 overall. Joey Bart, Alec Bohm, Brady Singer and Jarred Kelenic appear to be the other options if Detroit decides to pivot away from Mize.

     

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

Joey Bart
Joey BartDanny Karnik/GT Athletics

We haven't seen a college catching prospect as hyped as Bart since Mike Zunino went No. 3 overall in 2012. He would become the immediate heir to Buster Posey in San Francisco and the top prospect in a farm system that's thin on impact talent. Like Zunino and Posey before him, Bart might not need much time in the minors before he's ready to go.

     

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

The Phillies went with a college bat in Adam Haseley at No. 8 overall last year. It looks like they'll take a similar approach in this year's draft and choose between Bohm and Nick Madrigal. Bohm is the best power-hitting prospect among this year's college bats and is a polished offensive player. While he'll likely move across the diamond to first base as a pro, he'd be a welcome addition to a system that's heavy on arms.

     

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

Madrigal is the draft's best pure hitter, and he's as safe of a pick as any to turn into a productive MLB player. A broken wrist cost him time early, but he's picked up right where he left off since returning, so the injury should have no impact on his draft stock. While Yoan Moncada is entrenched at second base for the White Sox, Madrigal has the defensive tools to handle shortstop. He could slide over and push Tim Anderson in short order.

     

5. Cincinnati Reds: Brady Singer, RHP, Florida

The Reds have had a tough time developing pitching prospects into legitimate MLB contributors since they began rebuilding a few years. It's no surprise to see them targeting arms, and Singer is the best prospect available at this point. The Florida ace was a candidate to go No. 1 overall before a slow start to his junior season, but he still offers ace-caliber upside with a relatively high floor. If Singer is already off the board, prep left-hander Matthew Liberatore could be the pick here.

     

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

Jonathan India
Jonathan IndiaAllison Curry

A whopping 13 different players have started at least one game at third base for the Mets since David Wright last took the field on May 27, 2016. With no clear long-term answer in the system and Todd Frazier signed to only a two-year deal, India makes sense as the potential answer. Unlike Bohn, there's no doubt India will remain at third base, and his bat is just as polished—albeit with less raw power.

     

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

The Padres have taken a high school left-hander two of the past three times they've selected inside the top 10, including MacKenzie Gore at No. 3 overall last year. They'd have their pick of the high school arms here, with six college players going before them. Liberatore offers far and away the best pitchability of this year's prep arms. While there's some projection left in his 6'5", 200-pound frame, he's close to a finished product and looks like as safe of a pick as you'll see from the high school ranks. Carter Stewart, Ryan Weathers, Cole Winn and Grayson Rodriguez could also be in play here.

     

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

After the early run on college prospects, look for the Braves to go the high school route here. It could come down to Gorman or Kelenic. The latter is the more complete prospect and the safer selection, but Gorman possesses the best raw power in this class, which gives him a higher offensive ceiling. Austin Riley still looks like the present and future at third base in Atlanta, but Gorman's bat will play anywhere if he develops as hoped.

     

9. Oakland Athletics: 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 A's rolled the dice on A.J. Puk's upside a few years ago, and this looks like a similar opportunity. His command needs work, as he's walked batters at a 5.3 BB/9 clip this spring, but the payoff could be huge if everything clicks. There have been more than a few Chris Sale comps placed on the South Florida left-hander. 

     

10. Pittsburgh Pirates: Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Central Heights HS (Texas)

Rodriguez has more helium than any player in this year's draft, and he's been heavily linked to the Pirates in recent weeks. There's a lot to like, as the big 6'5", 230-pound right-hander can touch 98 mph with a heavy fastball that features excellent late life. The Pirates develop pitching as well as any organization, and he could be their next homegrown standout. Kelenic and Stewart could also be options here, but expect the Pirates to go the high school route.

     

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

According to Baseball America, "Baltimore has drafted out of the high school ranks more than any team in the last five years in the top five rounds." The Orioles almost have to go after an arm with their first selection given the overwhelming lack of pitching talent throughout the organization. Winn has had an excellent spring and offers a healthy balance of floor and upside.

     

12. Toronto Blue Jays: Jarred Kelenic, OF, Waukesha West HS (Wis.)

The Blue Jays are in a position at No. 12 to wait and see who falls, and this should be the floor for Kelenic. The Wisconsin prep is a candidate to go No. 1 overall if the Tigers try to swing a below-slot deal, and it's easy to see why with his five-tool potential. Throw in the Blue Jays' lengthy history of plucking toolsy outfielders from the high school ranks at the top of their drafts, and this makes a lot of sense.

     

13. Miami Marlins: Triston Casas, 1B, American Heritage School (Fla.)

As a Miami-area kid who's committed to the University of Miami, the Marlins are no doubt well-acquainted with Casas. A first-base-only defensive profile limits his overall value, but he's one the top prep bats in this class. He's perhaps the only high school hitter who can rival Gorman in terms of raw power, and while he has some swing-and-miss to his game, he also shows a solid all-around approach. He could develop into a franchise cornerstone for the rebuilding club.

     

14. Seattle Mariners: Travis Swaggerty, OF, South Alabama

Travis Swaggerty
Travis SwaggertyUSAJaguars.com

Swaggerty is a candidate to go as high as No. 4 overall and could be the steal of the draft if he's still on the board at No. 14. The Mariners have taken college hitters with four of their last five first-round picksEvan White (2017), Kyle Lewis (2016), D.J. Peterson (2013) and Mike Zunino (2012). Swaggerty is far and away the best college bat on the board here, as his advanced plate discipline and sneaky power give him a top-of-the-order profile.

     

15. Texas Rangers: Carter Stewart, RHP, Eau Gallie HS (Fla.)

The Rangers have never been afraid to go with a high-upside high schooler in the first round. With a projectable 6'6", 200-pound frame and a dynamic fastball/curveball pairing, it's easy to dream about Stewart's frontline potential. His pure stuff is electric, even if he still needs to smooth out his mechanics and refine his changeup. He shot into the upper tier of prep arms with improved velocity this spring.

     

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

The Rays have three picks inside the top 32, so they can swing for the fences with a risk/reward play at No. 16 overall. Adams is a two-sport standout who is also a 4-star wide receiver committed to play both sports at North Carolina. Like many athletes who split their time in high school, he could take off once he turns his full attention to the diamond. He'll be a project, but his upside is significant. The risk makes sense for a retooling Rays franchise.

     

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

The Angels will likely select a pitcher here, with Ryan Weathers, Logan Gilbert and Jackson Kowar among the other options as some of the second-tier pitching dominos start to fall. Rolison is still improving his pitchability, but he possesses a mid-90s fastball and one of the best curveballs in this year's draft among a developing four-pitch mix. He would immediately become the top pitching prospect in the Angels system. 

     

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

With a thin farm system and a rebuild in the works, the Royals have to go with the best available prospect here. Scott has obvious five-tool potential, and he's still growing into his 6'4", 180-pound frame, which makes for some intriguing power potential. For now, his solid hit tool and 70-grade speed give him more of a top-of-the-order profile for now. Just like 2017 first-round pick Nick Pratto, Scott is a two-way standout who has touched 93 mph with his fastball and shown a solid curveball, although he too will focus solely on hitting.

     

19. St. Louis Cardinals: Logan Gilbert, RHP, Stetson

Logan Gilbert
Logan GilbertSteve Simoneau

The Cardinals picked No. 19 overall in 2012 and 2013, and they went with a polished college arm both times, grabbing Michael Wacha and Marco Gonzales. Expect a similar approach this time around as they sift through the second tier of available pitchers. Gilbert, Kowar and Rolison could all be on the board here. Gilbert, the ace of an upstart Stetson squad, has the advanced three-pitch arsenal to develop quickly in a system that has done an excellent job of churning out pitching talent in recent years.

     

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

This should be the floor for Weathers, and the Twins would be thrilled to see him slip this far. 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 shows good command of each. He's also essentially a finished product physically, and he looks like one of the safer picks among this year's high school crop.

     

21. Milwaukee Brewers: Jackson Kowar, RHP, Florida

The last time the Brewers took a pitcher with their top selection, they reached for Kodi Medeiros at No. 12 overall in 2014 and signed him to a below-slot deal. This time around, expect them to go with the best arm available. In this mock, that's Kowar. The 6'5", 180-pound right-hander has more remaining projection than most college arms, and he could easily outperform this draft position if he develops as hoped.

     

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

This has been a popular prediction since the Rockies are scouting him hard this spring. Seigler has the most interesting set of skills in this year's draft, as B/R's Danny Knobler detailed in a recent profile. While his work as a switch-pitcher has made him a curiosity, his two-way skills as a switch-hitting catcher have made him a favorite in Colorado.

     

23. New York Yankees: Brice Turang, SS, Santiago HS (Calif.)

With a system that's overflowing with high-upside pitching, it makes sense for the Yankees to go after a bat here. Turang was once a candidate to go No. 1 overall in this draft before a so-so showing on the showcase circuit last summer. Part of his stock slipping could be a result of oversaturation, and he's still the unquestioned top shortstop in this class. This could be one of the steals of the draft.

     

24. Chicago Cubs: Trevor Larnach, OF, Oregon State

The Cubs won't be able to pass on one of the top college bats in the class if he's still on the board here. A strong Cape Cod League performance (118 PA, .308/.390/.442, 11 XBH) put Larnach in the first-round conversation, and he's taken a huge step forward with his power production. He's slugged 17 home runs this season after hitting only three as a sophomore, and he's always shown strong on-base skills with a .417 OBP during his time at Oregon State. He fits the organizational philosophy.

     

25. Arizona Diamondbacks: Steele Walker, OF, Oklahoma

Steele Walker
Steele WalkerTy Russell/Oklahoma Athletics

The D-backs took one of the most polished college bats in the class last year when they grabbed Pavin Smith at No. 7 overall. Selecting Walker here would represent a similar approach. 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 .352/.441/.606 with 14 doubles, 13 home runs and 53 RBI in 54 games this spring. If one of the second-tier college arms slips this far, they'll jump at the chance.

     

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

The Red Sox did not have a single catching prospect among the organization's top-30 list when the season began, according to MLB.com, before Roldani Baldwin moved into the No. 30 spot. Naylor—the younger brother of Padres prospect Josh Naylor—is one of the best pure hitters in the class. He also has a higher offensive ceiling than Seigler, albeit with less defensive polish. This has to be his floor.

     

27. Washington Nationals: Ethan Hankins, RHP, Forsyth Central HS (Ga.)

The Nationals have never shied away from taking a chance on a high-upside injury risk, and it's paid off in the past with the likes of Lucas Giolito, Erick Fedde and Jesus Luzardo. Hankins was a candidate to go No. 1 overall before dealing with a muscle issue in his throwing shoulder this spring. He has a legitimate 80-grade fastball, smooth mechanics and a projectable 6'6" frame. He just needs to get back to his pre-injury form.

     

28. Houston Astros: Nick Schnell, OF, Roncalli HS (Ind.)

Schnell played his way into the first-round conversation this spring. He's one of a number of high school bats the Astros will consider here, along with Jordan Groshans, Alek Thomas, Mike Siani and Xavier Edwards. The 6'2", 180-pound Schnell offers plenty of physical projection, and he has legitimate five-tool upside if he grows into his power potential. He also looks the part of a center fielder long term.

     

29. Cleveland Indians: Alek Thomas, OF, Mount Carmel HS (Ill.)

Alek Thomas
Alek ThomasMount Carmel Athletics

The Indians have a long history of grabbing toolsy outfielders early in the draft, and Thomas fits the bill. The two-sport standout who will also play slot receiver if he honors his commitment to TCU has seen his stock trend steadily upward since last fall when he led Team USA with a .361 average at the 18U World Cup. Excellent bat control and plus speed give him a leadoff hitter profile, and he has the defensive chops to stick in center field. MLB.com compares him to Jacoby Ellsbury and Andrew Benintendi at the same point in their respective careers.

     

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

If things play out as projected, there's a good chance the Dodgers will continue the run of high school bats here at the end of the first round. They'll be in on the same collection of talent mentioned for the Astros, and Groshans is the best available in this scenario. There's good power potential in his 6'4" frame, and he could eventually develop into the long-term replacement for Justin Turner both at third base and in the middle of the batting order.

     

31. Tampa Bay Rays: Kumar Rocker, RHP, North Oconee HS (Ga.)

With a big 6'5", 250-pound frame and a big fastball that can tough 98 mph, Rocker looks the part of a future ace. His fastball tends to get straight at times and his mechanics need some refining, but the raw stuff is there and the Rays have an excellent track record of developing arms. It might take an above-slot bonus, but he could be the steal of the draft here.

     

32. Tampa Bay Rays: Seth Beer, 1B, Clemson

Beer was a candidate to go No. 1 overall in this draft after a phenomenal freshman season at Clemson. Now, he's perhaps the most polarizing prospect in the entire class. He's a below-average athlete who will generate all of his value with his bat, but his left-handed power is impossible to ignore. He's hitting .316/.471/.656 with 20 home runs and more walks (52) than strikeouts (31) this spring. Beer represents a safer play for the Rays after a pair of high-risk, high-reward selections from the high school ranks.

     

33. Kansas City Royals: Mason Denaburg, RHP, Merritt Island HS (Fla.)

Mason Denaburg
Mason DenaburgMerritt Island High School Athletics

Look for the Royals to take a chance on someone who slips with one of the two picks they received for losing Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer in free agency. Denaburg and Rocker are two potential candidates. Denaburg is one of the bigger question marks in this draft, as a biceps issue sidelined him for a good portion of the spring. But with a mid-90s fastball and a nasty curveball, his upside is considerable. It might take an above-slot bonus to sign him away from his commitment to Florida if he slips this far.

     

34. Kansas City Royals: Cole Wilcox, RHP, Heritage HS (Ga.)

The Pirates took an aggressive approach with their three early picks last year, grabbing Shane Baz, Cal Mitchell and Connor Uselton from the high school ranks and finding a way to sign all three of them. The Royals would be wise to take a similar approach with a farm system that's in desperate need of a talent infusion. Wilcox is right at the top of the second tier of high school arms with three plus offerings and a projectable 6'5" frame. He'll be draft-eligible as a sophomore if he honors his commitment to Georgia, which could make him a tough sign, but it's worth the risk this late.

     

35. Cleveland Indians: Jameson Hannah, OF, Dallas Baptist

A handful of college bats figure to be under consideration by the Indians here, including Griffin Conine, Jake McCarthy and Jeremy Eierman, but we'll go with Hannah. A 5'9" sparkplug who is poised to be the highest-drafted player in Dallas Baptist history, he has some playable pop to go along with his plus speed. He's hit .340/.421/.516 with 28 stolen bases in 30 attempts in his three college seasons.

     

All college stats courtesy of The Baseball Cube and current through Sunday's games. Referenced tool grades come courtesy of MLB.com's Prospect Watch. Portions of the above prospect profiles originally appeared in my first mock draft last week. 

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