2018 MLB Mock Draft: Breaking Down Top Prospects and Predictions

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2018

Casey Mize
Casey MizeAuburn Athletics

The MLB draft is now just days away, as the first round will commence on Monday, June 4.

Ahead is a look at our latest mock draft, with a closer peek at some of the top prospects in this year's class and a deeper dive into some of the latest chatter on the rumor mill.

While this year's draft class is stocked with college hitters and high school pitching, it's a college right-hander who has been the consensus No. 1 prospect in this class for some time now.

     

Mock Draft

1. Detroit Tigers: Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn

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

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

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

5. Cincinnati Reds: Brady Singer, RHP, Florida

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

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

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

9. Oakland Athletics: Shane McClanahan, LHP, South Florida

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

21. Milwaukee Brewers: Jackson Kowar, RHP, Florida

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

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

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

25. Arizona Diamondbacks: Steele Walker, OF, Oklahoma

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

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

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

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

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

       

Analysis

The last time a high school player was not selected among the first five picks was back in the 2006 draft, when the Los Angeles Dodgers grabbed the first prep player at No. 7 overall—a lefty from the Texas high school ranks by the name of Clayton Kershaw.

With six college players headlining this year's class, it looks like that could be the case again this year:

  • RHP Casey Mize (9-5, 3.07 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 140 K, 102.2 IP)
  • RHP Brady Singer (10-1, 2.25 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 92 K, 88.0 IP)
  • C Joey Bart (.359/.471/.632, 12 2B, 16 HR, 38 RBI, 55 R)
  • 2B Nick Madrigal (.395/.459/.563, 6 2B, 2 HR, 27 RBI, 28 R)
  • 3B Alec Bohm (.339/.436/.625, 14 2B, 16 HR, 55 RBI, 57 R)
  • 3B Jonathan India (.362/.502/.723, 11 2B, 17 HR, 42 RBI, 57 R)

Mize and Singer are both polished right-handers with frontline potential who could reach the majors in short order. Mize has three plus pitches and supreme command with a 308-to-37 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 254 innings at Auburn.

MLB.com wrote: "Mize can get swings and misses with three different pitches, the best of which is a mid-80s splitter that dives at the plate. He sets it up with a 92-97 mph fastball that he commands exceptionally well despite its running life. His mid-80s slider has taken a step forward this spring, consistently grading as a plus offering, and he also has developed the ability to turn it into a harder cutter when he desires."

Joey Bart
Joey BartDanny Karnik/GT Athletics

Meanwhile, Singer was a candidate to go No. 1 overall before a slow start this spring, but he still has ace-caliber upside and has rounded into form as the season has progressed.

Bart is a legitimate two-way standout and the best prospect at the catcher position since Mike Zunino went No. 3 overall in 2012. Mize is the heavy favorite to go No. 1 overall, but if the Tigers decide to go a different direction, Bart would probably be the guy.

Madrigal is the best pure hitter in the draft, and the broken wrist that sidelined him early in the season has not hampered him in the least since he returned to action. He's undersized at 5'7" but has the tools to be a perennial .300 hitter and Gold Glove-caliber defender.

Bohm has the best power among college bats but will likely wind up moving across the diamond to play first base as a pro. While India is more of a gap power threat with a good mix of hit tool and on-base skills, there's no doubt his glove will play at the hot corner.

Alec Bohm
Alec BohmWichita State Athletics

The San Diego Padres pick at No. 7, and they have a long history of targeting high school arms in the first round, so the run on college players figures to end there—unless they're enamored with South Florida left-hander Shane McClanahan, who has a triple-digit fastball and plus changeup but spotty command.

Matthew Liberatore, Carter Stewart, Grayson Rodriguez, Cole Winn and Ryan Weathers are the best of prep arms, while five-tool outfielder Jarred Kelenic and slugger Nolan Gorman are the top high school bats.

Looking for an intriguing sleeper?

Keep an eye on Oklahoma outfielder Kyler Murray.

Kyler Murray is a first-round talent on the baseball field, but he's set to be the starting quarterback for the Sooners this fall. Will someone try to lure him into starting a baseball career with an above-slot bonus?
Kyler Murray is a first-round talent on the baseball field, but he's set to be the starting quarterback for the Sooners this fall. Will someone try to lure him into starting a baseball career with an above-slot bonus?Brett Deering/Getty Images

A candidate to go in the first round of the 2015 draft out of high school, Murray withdrew his name from consideration to attend Texas A&M, where he was also one of the nation's top quarterback prospects.

Murray hadn't shown much on the diamond during his college career until this season, but he's made significant strides this spring, hitting .296/.398/.556 with 13 doubles, 10 home runs, 47 RBI and 10 stolen bases.

After transferring to Oklahoma following his freshman season, he's now the leading candidate to take over for Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield as the Sooners starting quarterback this fall. Anyone drafting him will likely have to wait until his football career comes to a close for him to focus on baseball full-time.

Still, his upside is considerable, and it might be enough for a team to roll the dice with an early pick.

     

All stats courtesy of The Baseball Cube, unless otherwise noted.  

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