2018 MLB Draft Picks: Live Team-by-Team Day 1 Grades and Analysis
The 2018 MLB draft has arrived, and the next wave of high school and college talent is set to join the professional ranks.
The three-day event kicks off Monday night with the first two round and 78 total selections.
All 78 of those picks are laid out team-by-team in the following article, with pick analysis and draft grades provided for each selection.
Note: Portions of the following prospect profiles originally appeared in an earlier mock draft.
First Round (No. 25 Overall): Matt McLain, 2B, Beckman (Calif.) HS
McLain has flown under the radar a bit leading up to the draft, but he has a chance to be as good as any of the high school hitters in the class. He's shown a nice mix of average and power at the plate while playing all over the diamond defensively. He has the arm to play on the left side of the infield, but the Diamondbacks drafted him as a second baseman, where his bat could make him a two-way standout. While this was higher than most had him going, it's not a reach by any means.
Balance Round A (No. 39 Overall): Jake McCarthy, OF, Virginia
After taking Pavin Smith in the first round last June, the Diamondbacks go back to the well for another polished hitter out of the University of Virginia. McCarthy has never hit for much power, but there's strength in his 6'2", 195-pound frame, and some adjustments to his swing could unlock his potential. The D-backs are well-positioned for an above-slot move late, as both of these early picks look like below-slot candidates.
Second Round (No. 63 Overall): Alek Thomas, OF, Mount Carmel (Ill.) HS
Thomas is a two-sport standout who will line up as a slot receiver for the TCU football team in the fall if he makes his way to campus. His solid hit tool, plus speed and elite athleticism have drawn comparisons to those of Andrew Benintendi and Jacoby Ellsbury. It will take significantly more than slot to sign him here, but the D-backs are well-positioned to do just that, as we mentioned before. One of the biggest steals of Day 1 if they can sign him.
First Round (No. 8 Overall): Carter Stewart, RHP, Eau Gallie (Fla.) HS
In terms of pure stuff, Stewart is on par with anyone in the class. His fastball velocity ticked up this season to the upper 90s, and there's still plenty of projection in his 6'6", 200-pound frame. A 65-grade curveball gives him a second standout offering, and his changeup will only need to be an average third pitch for him to develop into a standout starter. Prep slugger Nolan Gorman was the popular rumor heading into the draft, but I like this more. You can never have too many good arms, and Stewart has a chance to be the best prep hurler in this class.
Second Round (No. 49 Overall): Greyson Jenista, OF, Wichita State
Third baseman Alec Bohm was not the only slugger who has garnered attention from scouts at Wichita State. Jenista, a solidly built 6'4", 220-pound outfielder, hit .309/.446/.475 with nine home run and 12 stolen bases in 13 attempts this season. His raw power is just starting to show up in games, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him take a significant step forward in that department once his pro career begins. I like Jameson Hannah more if they wanted a college outfielder, but it's a solid pick nonetheless.
First Round (No. 11 Overall): Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Central Heights (Texas) HS
Rodriguez is a 6'5", 230-pound high schooler who sits in the mid-90s and touches 98 mph with a heavy fastball. He backs it with a slider-curveball-changeup mix that should play in the pros. He's had more helium than anyone in the draft over the past few weeks and ascended to the top tier of prep arms. A lack of physical projection is the biggest knock on him. But for an O's team that needs pitching in the worst way, it'll happily welcome a guy who could easily wind up being the best prep arm in this class.
Balance Round A (No. 37 Overall): Cadyn Grenier, SS, Oregon State
The best defender in the draft, Grenier has a chance to contend for Gold Glove Awards if he can hit enough to justify everyday playing time. A .328/.415/.478 line this season offers some hope he can do just that. Otherwise, he'll be a valuable utility infielder. With Manny Machado headed for the door and Ryan Mountcastle moving over to third base last season, Grenier could eventually get a chance at the long-term shortstop gig.
Boston Red Sox
First Round (No. 26 Overall): Triston Casas, 1B, American Heritage (Fla.) School
A smooth left-handed stroke and 55-grade power make Casas the top first base prospect in this class. Despite his limited defensive profile, he is a solid athlete, as he has played primarily third base as a high schooler while also touching 92 mph as a pitcher. The biggest question is whether he'll make enough contact, but he has shown a plan at the plate. He was rumored as high as No. 13 overall to the Marlins, so this is a good get for a Red Sox team that was focused on adding a bat.
Second Round (No. 64 Overall): Nick Decker, OF, Seneca (N.J.) HS
A strong 6'1", 200-pound frame and plus raw power put Decker on the prospect map. He'll need to refine a swing that can get long at times if he's going to develop into the power hitter the Red Sox are hoping for, and he's essentially a finished product physically.
First Round (No. 24 Overall): Nico Hoerner, SS, Stanford
This pick is right in line with the recent drafting strategy we've seen from the Cubs. Hoerner is a high-floor college player who will likely sign a below-slot deal here, thus saving the team some money to target guys who slip later in the draft.
MLB.com called him: "A slightly less fluid version of Ian Kinsler, with the potential to be an offensive-minded second baseman at the highest level." The Cubs would be thrilled with that outcome, but the grade of this pick still rests heavily on what they do with their other Day 1 selections, because this was a clear reach. We'll assume they have a plan.
Second Round (No. 62 Overall): Brennen Davis, OF, Basha (Ariz.) HS
MLB.com wrote: "There are draft prospects who are polished and show now tools, then there are ones who scouts have to dream on, projecting what tremendous raw tools might become. Davis, a one-time two-sport athlete, fits into the latter category with a high ceiling, but a long way to get there." This was a reach compared to where he was expected to go, but the Cubs clearly believe in his ability to reach his ceiling. This should be another money-saving pick that will set them up for a big move later.
Compensation Pick (No. 77 Overall): Cole Roederer, OF, Hart (Calif.) HS
Baseball America wrote: "Roederer is a small, athletic, left-handed-hitting center fielder who began showing big power this year, drawing comparisons to Andrew Benintendi." A separated shoulder brought his breakout season to an end, but the Cubs still liked him enough to reach for him here. He's expected to be a tough sign away from a strong commitment to UCLA, so here's where some of that early savings will go.
Compensation Pick (No. 78 Overall): Paul Richan, San Diego
A reliever-turned-starter who has taken off this spring, Richan will need to continue to develop either his changeup or curveball into a viable third offering to give hitters a different look along with his mid-90s fastball and hard slider. A return to the bullpen is a nice fallback option, but the Cubs must like him as a starter to select him this high.
Chicago White Sox
First Round (No. 4 Overall): Nick Madrigal, 2B, Oregon State
Madrigal is the best pure hitter in this draft, and he's shown no lingering effects from a broken wrist that sidelined him earlier this season. Despite his 5'7" frame, he has some sneaky gap power to go along with a bat that should make him a perennial .300 hitter. While Cadyn Grenier has played shortstop at Oregon State, Madrigal could get a crack at the position with Yoan Moncada entrenched at second base for the White Sox. A safe pick and a good addition to a stacked system.
Second Round (No. 46 Overall): Steele Walker, OF, Oklahoma
Walker 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 season. Defensively, he'll be limited to left field. A great value for the White Sox here, as most expected him to be taken somewhere at the end of the first round.
First Round (No. 5 Overall): Jonathan India, 3B, Florida
India might be first to the majors among the college bats. He's hitting .364/.504/.733 with 18 home runs this season, though he'll likely provide more gap power than home run pop in the majors. He also has a chance to be a standout defender at third base. But where does he hit fit in Cincinnati? For a franchise that already has a crowded infield situation long-term, Brady Singer or one of the high school arms would have made more sense.
Second Round (No. 47 Overall): Lyon Richardson, RHP, Jensen Beach (Fla.) HS
Richardson was viewed more as an outfield prospect before a breakout performance on the mound this spring. He's been up to 97 mph with his fastball while sitting consistently in the 93-94 mph range, and he's also flashed a plus slider. He's going to be a project as he's still learning the ins and outs of pitching, but he's shown enough upside for the Reds to take a chance on him—especially after they went with a safe first-round pick.
Balance Round B (No. 72 Overall): Josiah Gray, RHP, Le Moyne College (N.Y.)
Gray began his college career as an infielder at D-ll Le Moyne College, took over as the team's closer as a sophomore while still playing shortstop and then moved into the rotation as a junior. He's still a work-in-progress, but the MLB.com comparison to former first-round pick Justin Dunn is an interesting one. A couple of big swings for the fences by the Reds after the India pick to start the draft.
First Round (No. 29 Overall): Noah Naylor, C, St. Joan of Arc Catholic (Ont.) HS
While there are some questions about Naylor's defense, his bat is one of the best among this year's high school crop. The younger brother of Padres prospect Josh Naylor, he possesses an advanced approach and plus raw power. He actually has a similar profile to current Indians prospect Francisco Mejia. The Indians always looked like a safe bet to go with a bat, and they get a guy who was arguably a top-15 talent. Regardless of where he lands defensively, it's his bat that made him a first-round pick.
Compensation Pick (No. 35 Overall): Ethan Hankins, RHP, Forsyth Central (Ga.) HS
A 6'6" right-hander with an 80-grade fastball, Hankins was a candidate to go No. 1 overall before suffering shoulder tightness this season. He didn't show the same electric stuff upon returning, but the issue was muscular as opposed to structural. He's the biggest boom-or-bust arm in the class and could honor his commitment to Vanderbilt if his bonus demands are not met. The Indians will need to go well-above-slot here, so expect to see some reaches with the next few picks. This could be the steal of the draft if he gets back to his pre-injury form and the Indians can afford to take the risk.
Balance Round A (No. 41 Overall): Lenny Torres, RHP, Beacon (N.Y.) HS
Improved command and the further development of his changeup will be key for Torres to avoid winding up in the bullpen. However, with a mid-90s fastball and plenty of physical projection remaining, the upside is tantalizing enough to pounce. He also won't turn 18 until October and is one of the younger prospects in the class. Another high-upside pick by Cleveland.
Second Round (No. 67 Overall): Nick Sandlin, RHP, Southern Mississippi
Not surprising to see the Indians reach a bit for a college arm here, as they'll need to save some money to sign Hankins. Sandlin saved 20 games over his first two seasons on campus, before joining the rotation as a junior and going 9-0 with a 1.13 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 95 innings. His undersized 5'11" frame still leaves him looking like a reliever long-term, but he could move quickly if he returns to the pen. Perfect type of player to target given the way their draft has played out so far.
First Round (No. 22 Overall): Ryan Rolison, LHP, Ole Miss
Rolison counts a mid-90s fastball and excellent curveball among his four-pitch repertoire. He's been inconsistent this season and could leverage the fact he's a draft-eligible sophomore. Plus athleticism, smooth mechanics and improving pitchability give him a high floor and intriguing upside. Pitching is always the right move for the Rockies early in the draft, and they have to be thrilled to get one of the better college arms in the class drafting outside the top 20.
Balance Round A (No. 42 Overall): Grant Lavigne, 1B, Bedford (N.H.) HS
Lavigne had some helium leading up to the draft thanks to his intriguing raw power and improving hit tool. He's a finished product physically with a strong 6'4", 230-pound frame and a good athlete for his size, though first base still looks like his best fit defensively. He was one of the better prep bats still on the board, but this was still a reach, and pitching should always be the move early for the Rockies unless someone unexpectedly slips.
Compensation Pick (No. 76 Overall): Mitchell Kilkenny, Texas A&M
Kilkenny is the classic high-floor college starter who has a good chance to stick as a starter but will likely never be more than a back-of-the-rotation guy. There's nothing wrong with grabbing someone like that at this point in the draft, especially if you're the Rockies.
First Round (No. 1 Overall): Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn
Mize checks all the boxes of a No. 1 overall pick. His fastball touches 97, he shows a consistent slider, and he rounds out his repertoire with a lethal split-changeup. That already electric stuff plays up thanks to his plus command, as he sports a 151-to-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 109.2 innings this spring. In a system that already features a number of top-tier pitching prospects—Franklin Perez, Matt Manning, Beau Burrows and 2017 first-round pick Alex Faedo—he could quickly become the headliner. Good job not overthinking this one by Detroit.
Second Round (No. 44 Overall): Parker Meadows, OF, Grayson (Ga.) HS
The younger brother of Pirates prospect Austin Meadows was in play for a few teams at the end of the first round, so this is a good get for the Tigers with their second selection. His 6'4", 195-pound frame has plenty of room to add muscle, and he already flashes plus raw power. He also has 60-grade speed and should be able to stick in center field. The biggest question is his hit tool, as his swing can get long at times. Alek Thomas might have been the better pick if they were set on a toolsy prep outfielder.
First Round (No. 28 Overall): Seth Beer, 1B, Clemson
MLB.com called Beer the "most polarizing prospect in the class" after he looked like a candidate to go No. 1 overall in this draft on the heels of a dominant freshman season in 2016. A bottom-of-the-scale athlete with no defensive value, he will go as far as his bat carries him. That bat has crushed 56 home runs in three seasons on campus, including 22 this season to go along with a .301/.456/.642 line. He should move quickly and could take over for 33-year-old Yuli Gurriel in the not-too-distant future.
Second Round (No. 66 Overall): Jayson Schroeder, RHP, Juanita (Wash.) HS
Schroeder's future will be more about developing his current repertoire than physical projection, as he's already a well-built 6'2" and 200 pounds. His fastball is his only current plus pitch and it touches 95 mph. His curveball and changeup both have a chance to develop into useful complementary offerings, and he could wind up scraping his slider. Current pitchability makes him a bit safer selection than most prep arms still on the board.
Kansas City Royals
First Round (No. 18 Overall): Brady Singer, RHP, Florida
It was hard to envision a scenario where Singer slipped out of the top five heading into the draft, but here we are at No. 18 overall. The Florida ace has frontline upside with a sturdy 6'5" frame and an advanced three-pitch mix that includes a lively mid-90s fastball, wipeout slider and above-average changeup. That all comes from a funky arm slot that adds to his deception. A slow start to the season hurt his stock, and it's going to take a well-over-slot bonus to sign him here, but the Royals have the highest bonus pool in the draft, so expect them to get it done.
Good chance he immediately takes over as the No. 1 prospect in the Kansas City system.
Compensation Pick (No. 33 Overall): Jackson Kowar, RHP, Florida
The Florida Gators were the best team in college baseball this spring, so taking their top two starters isn't the worst strategy in the world. Kowar already touches 98 mph with his fastball, and his changeup is a plus secondary offering. He also has more physical projection remaining in his 6'5", 180-pound frame than most first-round college arms. He's still working on his pitchability, however, and needs to further develop his curveball as a viable third offering. Great start for the Royals.
Compensation Pick (No. 34 Overall): Daniel Lynch, LHP, Virginia
With Singer and Kowar both likely to cost above-slot, it makes sense to reach for someone here. Lynch is a quality left-hander who will get a chance to start in the pros. However, his polished fastball/slider pairing gives him a solid fallback path as a lefty reliever. Not the most exciting pick, but a necessary move financially after the first two selections.
Balance Round A (No. 40 Overall): Kris Bubic, LHP, Stanford
Tristan Beck was the Stanford pitcher expected to make noise this spring, but Bubic wound up outpitching him, and now he goes ahead of him in the draft. The 6'3" left-hander used a polished three-pitch mix that includes an excellent changeup to go 8-1 with a 2.73 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 79 innings as a junior, and he looks like a starter long-term. Love the Royals' strategy of stocking up on college arms early.
Second Round (No. 58 Overall): Jonathan Bowlan, RHP, Memphis
Reaching once again in an effort to save some money for those first two picks, the Royals grab yet another college starter. Bowlan has tacked on roughly 50 pounds since stepping onto campus and now stands 6'6", 262 pounds. While he struck out 104 batters in 85 innings this season, he also allowed 93 hits for a 1.31 WHIP. There's not a ton of upside here, but he could emerge as an innings-eater.
Los Angeles Angels
First Round (No. 17 Overall): Jordyn Adams, OF, Green Hope (N.C.) HS
Adams might be the best athlete among this year's high school crop. Sound familiar? The Angels took the best athlete in last year's class—Jo Adell—and he's quickly emerged as one of the game's most exciting prospects. Adams is also a 4-star wide receiver recruit who is committed to play both sports at North Carolina. There's always a good deal of risk and projection involved when it comes to rolling the dice on a two-sport player, but his upside is huge. One of the second-tier college arms might have made more sense given the state of the Angels' system, but I still like the pick.
Second Round (No. 57 Overall): Jeremiah Jackson, SS, St. Luke's Episcopal (Ala.) School
A 55-grade hit tool and an advanced approach at the plate make Jackson one of the top prep shortstops in this class, behind only Brice Turang and Xavier Edwards. He's not an explosive athlete, but his instincts and plus arm could be enough for him to stick at shortstop. Otherwise, he has a chance to be standout two-way player at second base. Given the dearth of college arms, this looks like a good pick.
Los Angeles Dodgers
First Round (No. 30 Overall): J.T. Ginn, RHP, Brandon (Miss.) HS
With a 70-grade fastball and 60-grade slider, Ginn has some of the most explosive stuff in the draft. However, an undersized frame doesn't offer much room for further physical projection, and his changeup lags behind his other two offerings. He'll get every chance to start, but his future might be in the bullpen. I like Cole Wilcox more here if they wanted a prep arm, but it wasn't a reach to go with Ginn instead.
Second Round (No. 68 Overall): Michael Grove, RHP, West Virginia
The Dodgers might need to go above-slot to sign Ginn, so they take a chance on draft-eligible sophomore Michael Grove here in the second round. The 6'3" right-hander went 3-1 with a 2.87 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 61 strikeouts in 47 innings in 2017 before undergoing Tommy John surgery in June 2017 and missing the 2018 season. He is an interesting below-slot target who offers some upside.
First Round (No. 13 Overall): Connor Scott, OF, Plant (Fla.) HS
The Marlins have been linked to high school bats throughout the process, and Scott was the third prep position player selected. A 55-grade hit tool and 70-grade speed give him a leadoff hitter profile. His 6'4", 180-pound frame offers plenty of room for additional strength and gives him one of the highest ceilings among high school hitters. He also has a cannon arm that helped him fire mid-90s fastballs on the mound. It makes sense for a rebuilding Marlins team that's thin on impact talent to go ceiling over floor.
Second Round (No. 53 Overall): Osiris Johnson, SS, Encinal (Calif.) HS
MLB.com wrote: "Johnson is the kind of toolsy player that can be polarizing, with some buzz about him going as high as the end of the second round along with some teams viewing him more as a fifth- or sixth-round pick." His hit tool remains a work in progress and his defense is still inconsistent, but he's as "toolsy" as they come. This is as boom-or-bust as it gets.
Balance Round B (No. 69 Overall): Will Banfield, C, Brookwood (Ga.) HS
Banfield has a chance to develop into the best defensive catcher in this class. His 70-grade throwing arm is his best tool, and he has the receiving skills and footwork to be a standout defender. He also has plus raw power, but his hit tool is a fairly significant question mark and will determine whether he's a career backup or an everyday guy. It's going to take an above-slot deal here, but they appear to have saved some money with the Johnson pick. Excellent value if he signs.
First Round (No. 21 Overall): Brice Turang, SS, Santiago (Calif.) HS
Turang was viewed as the top high school player and a candidate to go No. 1 overall at this time last year, but a so-so showing on the showcase circuit over the summer and perhaps a bit of oversaturation has caused his stock to slide. While he has no standout tool, his bat-to-ball skills, plus speed and solid defense give him a great chance to develop into an everyday shortstop.
This was a clear "best available" move by the Brewers, who already have Orlando Arcia locked in at shortstop for the foreseeable future. You can never have too much middle infield talent, though, and Turang looks like a prime candidate to outperform his draft position.
Second Round (No. 60 Overall): Joe Gray, OF, Hattiesburg (Miss.) HS
Plus raw power and a 70-grade arm in the outfield are the standout tools for Gray. The biggest question is his hit tool, and whether he'll ever make enough consistent contact to get to that aforementioned power. With the speed and instincts to stick in center field, his ceiling makes him an excellent pick at No. 60 overall.
Balance Round B (No. 73 Overall): Micah Bello, OF, Hilo (Hawaii) HS
A 50-grade hit tool and 60-grade speed give Bello a leadoff hitter profile. He'll never hit for much power, but he has a chance to also be an above-average defender in the outfield. Intriguing prospect at the end of Day 1.
First Round (No. 20 Overall): Trevor Larnach, OF, Oregon State
Larnach has followed a strong showing in the Cape Cod League last summer with an offensive explosion to thrust himself into the first-round conversation. He's raised his home run total from three last season to 17 this season and done it without sacrificing his elite plate discipline (16.8 BB%) and solid contract rate (19.8 K%). The Twins went high floor here, and with a number of high-ceiling, boom-or-bust type prospects occupying the lower levels of the system, that makes perfect sense.
Second Round (No. 59 Overall): Ryan Jeffers, C, UNC Wilmington
The second off-the-board pick of the second round, Jeffers was not among MLB.com's top 200 prospects. He hit .325/.448/.628 during his three seasons on campus and slugged 22 doubles and 16 home runs this season with more walks (51) than strikeouts (44). There are questions about his glove and the legitimacy of his power production, but in a thin class for catchers, I suppose it's worth a shot at a thin position throughout the organization.
New York Mets
First Round (No. 6 Overall): Jarred Kelenic, OF, Waukesha West (Wis.) HS
Kelenic's five-tool potential gives him as much upside as any high school hitter in the class. He's more hit tool than power at this point, but he has some power with room to add strength. His strong throwing arm probably fits best in right field. Jonathan India to the Mets was a popular prediction heading into the draft, but with him going one pick earlier, I like this as a high-upside play to bolster a depleted Mets system.
Second Round (No. 48 Overall): Simeon Woods-Richardson, Kempner (Texas) HS
A breakout performer on the showcase circuit last summer, Woods-Richardson failed to build off that performance this spring and was the No. 160 prospect in the class, according to MLB.com. Inconsistency and fading stuff late in games are a concern, but his plus athleticism undoubtedly boosts his upside. Regardless of how high they were on him, this was a huge reach.
New York Yankees
First Round (No. 23 Overall): Anthony Seigler, C, Cartersville (Ga.) HS
Seigler has garnered some national attention as a switch-pitcher, but his future is behind the plate. Plus athleticism and smooth actions leave little doubt he'll remain in the crouch long-term, but his offensive development will determine his ceiling. He's a good enough athlete to play some second base and corner outfield if he winds up better suited for a super-utility role. The Yankees seemingly had their sights set on a bat, and they got perhaps the most intriguing player in the draft. His unique story will play well in that market.
Second Round (No. 61 Overall): Josh Breaux, C, McLennan (Texas) CC
The first JUCO player goes off the board here as the Yankees grab another catcher. Breaux generates excellent bat speed and shows raw power as a result. However, he's a below-average athlete and his receiving skills are still a work in progress. His rocket arm is a strength, though, and he has touched triple digits on the mound with a max-effort delivery. Another interesting prospect for the Yankees with a wide range of skills.
First Round (No. 9 Overall): Kyler Murray, OF, Oklahoma
It remains to be seen what it will take to sign Murray away from an opportunity to be the starting quarterback at Oklahoma this fall, but the A's must be ready to offer up some serious dough. He had shown next to nothing on the baseball diamond before this season, but he's broken out with a .296/.398/.556 line with 10 home runs and 10 steals in 14 attempts. He likely would have gone in the first round in 2015 had he not removed his name from consideration. No question he's a first-round talent in terms of tools and upside. But this is a huge risk for a small-market club that's in the process of rebuilding.
Second Round (No. 50 Overall): Jameson Hannah, OF, Dallas Baptist
Hannah has elite speed, an advanced hit tool, sneaky pop and the defensive instincts to stay in center field going forward. He's hit .341/.424/.518 with an 11.2 percent walk rate and 29 steals in 36 attempts in three seasons at Dallas Baptist. A mediocre showing in the Cape Cod League last summer did raise some questions about how he'll fare against better competition. I had him at the back of the first round throughout the mock draft process, so this is a terrific value pick on the heels of the riskiest move of the first round.
Balance Round B (No. 70 Overall): Jeremy Eierman, SS, Missouri State
After posting a 1.106 OPS with 23 home runs as a sophomore, Eierman crashed back to earth a bit this season with an .895 OPS and 10 long balls. That said, he offers intriguing power potential at shortstop, where he should get a chance to stick. If not, his rocket arm would play well at the hot corner. Eierman is maybe the biggest surprise among players who slipped out of the first two rounds. Another steal after they got Hannah 20 or so picks lower than expected with the previous selection.
First Round (No. 3 Overall): Alec Bohm, 3B, Wichita State
Bohm has some of the best power among the college crop and a solid all-around approach. He hit .339/.436/.625 with 16 home runs this season while showing a more refined approach. The biggest knock on him is he'll likely need to move across the diamond to first base before he reaches the majors—which could be sooner than later thanks to his offensive polish.
That said, the Phillies already have Carlos Santana signed to a long-term deal with Rhys Hoskins waiting patiently to move back to first as a miscast outfielder. Unless they believe he can stick at third base—which doesn't jell with the consensus—Florida right-hander Brady Singer looked like a better pick here.
First Round (No. 10 Overall): Travis Swaggerty, OF, South Alabama
Swaggerty's stock was seemingly slipping as he hit .296 this season. However, he still wound up going in the top 10, as the Pirates shifted gears after being linked to a number of high school arms. Despite the middling batting average, he still walked at a 19.5 percent clip and slugged 13 home runs. His mix of speed, on-base ability and sneaky power have drawn comparisons to Brett Gardner. There's a high enough floor here that it was worth taking a chance on his upside.
Balance Round A (No. 36 Overall): Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, Dayspring Christian (Fla.) Academy
Hoglund stands out for his athleticism, as he's also a well-regarded basketball player and solid hitter. His repertoire is still a work in progress, but he shows a mid-90s fastball, potential plus curveball and a developing changeup. There's some serious upside once he turns his full attention to pitching. This is a project pick and a good complementary move to taking a relatively safe college outfielder in the first round.
Second Round (No. 51 Overall): Braxton Ashcraft, RHP, Robinson (Texas) HS
Ashcraft caught 104 passes for 2,090 yards and 37 touchdowns during his junior season and then gave up football to focus on baseball during his senior season. Right in line with the previous pick as a plus athlete who is still honing his craft on the mound. Improved velocity this spring only added to his intriguing long-term potential, and he looks like a solid over-slot target here in the second round.
San Diego Padres
First Round (No. 7 Overall): Ryan Weathers, LHP, Loretto (Tenn.) HS
Weathers won Gatorade Player of the Year honors after going 11-0 with a 0.09 ERA, 148 strikeouts and just one earned run allowed in 76 innings. His 6'2", 210-pound frame doesn't offer much projection, however, and he lacks a plus-plus pitch. Still, his high floor and stellar results placed him in the upper tier of the high school crop. It was obvious from the jump that the Padres were going to go with a prep arm, and it's tough to argue with those results. The rich get richer, as he'll join a San Diego system that is loaded with quality arms.
Balance Round A (No. 38 Overall): Xavier Edwards, SS, North Broward (Fla.) Preparatory School
With 70-grade speed and a promising hit tool, Edwards looks like a future leadoff hitter. Smooth defensive actions, plus footwork and an above-average arm should allow him to stay at shortstop, and that only adds to his value. He's had as much helium as any high school hitter leading up to the draft. He was a first-round talent and might require an above-slot deal to be signed, but they could wind up saving some money with Weathers, so it works out. Great value here.
Balance Round B (No. 74 Overall): Grant Little, LF, Texas Tech
Little is a draft-eligible sophomore who hit .380/.480/.670 with 22 doubles, 12 home runs and 70 RBI for the Aggies this season. He could be a tough sign, despite not ranking among MLB.com's top 100 prospects. With a rapidly thinning crop of college bats, expect to see plenty more reaches like this at the start of Day 2.
San Francisco Giants
First Round (No. 2 Overall): Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech
Bart is the best collegiate catching prospect since Buster Posey and has a chance to be a similar franchise cornerstone at the position. With a healthy mix of average, power and defensive ability, he looks like a future All-Star and should move quickly through the minors. He'll become the immediate heir to Posey in San Francisco and the top overall prospect in a thin system. The Giants were in a great position at No. 2 overall to take whoever was left of the two clear upper-echelon prospects in this draft.
Second Round (No. 45 Overall): Sean Hjelle, RHP, Kentucky
Hjelle is a towering 6'11" right-hander who clocks in at 215 pounds and has plenty of room to continue filling out. While he works in the low 90s, he's flashed elite velocity at times, and he backs his fastball with an excellent knucklecurve among three off-speed pitches. He was the best college arm on the board and could quickly emerge as the top pitching prospect in the Giants system.
First Round (No. 14 Overall): Logan Gilbert, RHP, Stetson
One of the safest college arms in the class, Gilbert has a polished four-pitch mix, smooth mechanics and good command. His fastball has ticked up this season and now touches 97 mph, and he has punched out 157 batters in 107 innings. His 6'5", 195-pound frame offers projection as well. Most mocks had the Mariners targeting a college bat, but I like this a lot better. Gilbert became the top pitching prospect in a thin system.
Second Round (No. 54 Overall): Josh Stowers, CF, Louisville
This is the first off-the-board pick of Day 1, as Stowers was not ranked among MLB.com's top 100 prospects. That said, he hit .336/.477/.559 with 27 extra-base hits this season and has stolen 60 bases during his three seasons at Louisville, so it's not hard to see what the Mariners liked.
St. Louis Cardinals
First Round (No. 19 Overall): Nolan Gorman, 3B, O'Connor (Ariz.) HS
Gorman has the best raw power in the class, and it vaulted him to the top tier among high school bats. There is some swing-and-miss to his game but not enough that he won't be able to tap into his over-the-fence pop. Improved defense has also boosted his stock, as he should be able to stick at third base. This pick is a bit out of character for the Cardinals, who generally scour the college ranks early in the draft in a concerted effort to minimize risk, but the upside here must have been too good to pass up.
They'll likely have to go above-slot to get a deal done.
Balance Round A (No. 43 Overall): Griffin Roberts, RHP, Wake Forest
Roberts has arguably the best breaking pitch in the draft—a 70-grade slider with an elite spin rate. He moved into the rotation this season after pitching primarily out of the bullpen his first two seasons, and he lowered his walk rate from 5.4 per nine innings to 3.5. He'll get every chance to start, with a solid fallback option being using him as a high-leverage reliever. This is more what we're used to seeing from the Cardinals. He was the top college arm still on the board at this point.
Compensation Pick (No. 75 Overall): Luken Baker, 1B, TCU
A legitimate Day 1 prospect as a pitcher in the 2015 draft, Baker fell to the 37th round with an iron-clad commitment to TCU. Injuries have derailed him on the mound, but his hulking 6'4", 265-pound frame and plus power have still made him an early pick as a first baseman. So the Cardinals walk away with two of the top power bats in the class and a polished college arm. Not too shabby.
Tampa Bay Rays
First Round (No. 16 Overall): Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Mountain Ridge (Ariz.) HS
There is not a safer pick among this year's high school crop than Liberatore. The 6'5" left-hander has four 55-grade pitches that he commands well, and his feel for pitching belies his age. He might not have the highest ceiling among the prep arms, but he looks like a safe bet to quickly develop into at least a middle-of-the-rotation starter. I had Liberatore going at No. 5 overall in my final mock draft, and he was a popular name for the Padres at No. 7, so this could be the steal of the first round. Few organizations develop pitching talent better than the Rays, so they'll get the most out of a guy who is already close to a finished product.
Compensation Pick (No. 31 Overall): Shane McClanahan, LHP, South Florida
Armed with a fastball that touches 100 mph and a terrific changeup, McClanahan has pure stuff that stacks up to anyone's in the draft. A 5.7 BB/9 rate this season, however, has made it clear he has significant work to do on his command. There's clear risk, but he could be lightning in a bottle. Another pick for the Rays who could exceed his draft position and a good contrast to the relatively safe Liberatore.
Compensation Pick (No. 32 Overall): Nick Schnell, OF, Roncalli (Ind.) HS
Schnell has been steadily climbing draft boards since his strong showing on the showcase circuit last summer. His projectable frame offers intriguing five-tool potential, and his mix of athleticism and instincts gives him the necessary tools to stick in center field. Yet another excellent upside selection in what is already shaping up to be a stellar draft for the Rays.
Second Round (No. 56 Overall): Tyler Frank, SS, Florida Atlantic
One of the better collegiate shortstops in a thin crop, Frank hit .315/.459/.586 with 13 home runs and had more walks (51) than strikeouts (33) in his third season as a starter. MLB.com's comparison to Mark Ellis is on point, and that would be a welcome outcome for a second-round selection. Another solid pickup for the Rays.
Balance Round B (No. 71 Overall): Tanner Dodson, RHP, California
Dodson was one of the best two-way players in the country this season, hitting .320/.384/.386 with 12 stolen bases while also saving 11 games and posting a 2.47 ERA and 7.9 K/9 as a reliever. His future appears to be on the mound, but given the Rays' willingness to let Brendan McKay play both ways, who knows?
First Round (No. 15 Overall): Cole Winn, RHP, Orange Lutheran (Calif.) HS
A move from Colorado to California for his senior season allowed Winn to prove himself against tougher competition, and he's been squarely among the top prep arms in the class since the start of the season. His 6'2", 195-pound frame and smooth delivery give him significant upside both in terms of stuff and command. The Rangers were no doubt pleasantly surprised Winn was still on the board, as few projections had him making it past the Pirates (No. 10) or Orioles (11). Hans Crouse and Cole Ragans have upside, but a strong case can be made for Winn as the top pitching prospect in the Texas system.
Second Round (No. 55 Overall): Owen White, RHP, Jesse Carson (N.C.) HS
White has a chance to have four plus pitches once he's fully developed. The 6'3", 175-pound right-hander already sits in the mid-90s with his fastball, shows a plus slider and gets good spin rates from his curveball, along with a changeup that's more advanced than that of most prep pitchers. Adding strength and durability will be the name of the game once he begins his pro career, but the stuff is there for him to provide first-round value. Love this pick.
Toronto Blue Jays
First Round (No. 12 Overall): Jordan Groshans, 3B, Magnolia (Texas) HS
With a wiry 6'4", 190-pound frame, Groshans offers the best physical projection among the high school bats. He'll move from shortstop to third base as a pro, and his strong arm and solid athleticism for his size should play well. The Blue Jays must not believe in the hit tool of Nolan Gorman or the upside of Connor Scott—they were almost universally ranked ahead of Groshans among prep bats.
Second Round (No. 52 Overall): Griffin Conine, OF, Duke
Conine was viewed as one of the top college bats in the class heading into his junior season after he followed up a strong junior season with a .329/.406/.537 line and nine home runs in 42 games in the Cape Cod League. However, he didn't take off as expected this season and raised some red flags when his strikeout rate spiked from 16.8 to 25.5 percent. Still, between the baseball bloodlines and the strong Cape showing, this looks like a good roll of the dice at No. 52 overall.
First Round (No. 27 Overall): Mason Denaburg, RHP, Merritt Island (Fla.) HS
Denaburg is a wild card, and that makes him an obvious fit for the Nationals—an organization that has taken a chance on players with injury concerns time and again in recent years. He missed much of the season with a biceps injury. However, with a mid-90s fastball and hammer curveball, he has a chance to be as good as any high school arm in the class. A two-sport athlete in high school, he could take a significant step forward once he focuses his attention on baseball.
Second Round (No. 65 Overall): Tim Cate, LHP, Connecticut
Cate has one of the best breaking pitches in the draft—a 12-to-6 hammer curve that helped him strike out 270 batters in 209.2 innings during his three seasons at UConn. He's a bit undersized and more floor than ceiling, but he's a solid pickup in the second round with the college pitching ranks picked clean.