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MLB Draft Picks 2018: List of Day 1 Selections, Grades and Updated Order

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2018

Casey Mize
Casey MizeAuburn Athletics

The first day of the 2018 MLB draft is in the books, as the first 78 selections were made on Monday night.

As expected, Auburn right-hander Casey Mize was the No. 1 overall pick, with the Detroit Tigers adding him to a farm system on the rise.

As usual, there were more than a few surprises along the way on Day 1. MLB mock drafts are always a crapshoot, as teams routinely reach for guys early in an effort to save money against their respective bonus pool cap.

The updated MLB draft order heading into Day 2 can be found at MLB.com, as things get underway again on Tuesday with rounds 3-10, starting at 1 p.m. ET.

In the meantime, we offer a look at each team's Day 1 haul, with a cumulative grade and a brief breakdown of the reasoning behind that grade.

      

Day 1 Grades and Results

Arizona Diamondbacks: Matt McLain, 2B (25); Jake McCarthy, OF (39); Alek Thomas, OF (63)

Grade: B+

The D-backs will walk away with one of the biggest steals of Day 1 if they can find a way to sign Thomas. McCarthy also could have been a first-round pick as one of the more polished college bats available, while McLain might have been the most overlooked prep bat in the class. 

         

Atlanta Braves: Carter Stewart, RHP (8); Greyson Jenista, OF (49)

Carter Stewart
Carter StewartEau Gallie Athletics

Grade: A

Stewart gives a Braves system that is already overflowing with top-tier pitching prospects another high-ceiling arm. He has legitimate ace potential and could quickly join Kyle Wright atop the organizational heap. Jenista was also a nice get after the initial run on college bats.

     

Baltimore Orioles: Grayson Rodriguez, RHP (11); Cadyn Grenier, SS (37)

Grade: A-

Rodriguez has a chance to be one of the most dynamic arms in this class, and it's no secret how badly the O's need pitching help. Grenier will need to prove he can hit enough to justify this high selection, but his glove gives him an extremely high floor, and the worst-case scenario is he develops into a Deven Marrero-type utility player.

        

Boston Red Sox: Triston Casas, 1B (26); Nick Decker, OF (64)

Grade: B

Casas was in the mix to go as high as No. 13 overall, so the Red Sox happily scooped him up at the end of the first round. Decker doesn't offer a ton of upside, though, and he'll need to prove he can hit enough to tap into his present raw power with no remaining physical projection.

         

Chicago Cubs: Nico Hoerner, SS (24); Brennen Davis, OF (62); Cole Roederer, OF (77); Paul Richan, RHP (78)

Grade: C

By reaching for Hoerner and Davis with their first two picks, the Cubs set themselves up well to target some above-slot talent in the later rounds. Roederer looks like the first of the bunch with a strong commitment to UCLA, but overall this was an underwhelming Day 1 haul with four selections. We'll have to see what Day 2 holds. Keep an eye on Cole Wilcox as a potential target.

         

Chicago White Sox: Nick Madrigal, SS (4); Steele Walker, OF (46)

Steele Walker
Steele WalkerTy Russell/Oklahoma Athletics

Grade: A+

The White Sox walked away with two of the top college bats in the class. Madrigal might be the best pure hitter in the class, and it looks like he'll get a chance to try his hand at shortstop after playing second base in college. Walker has shown emerging power as a junior and an advanced approach, and most expected him to be popped at the back of the first round. An excellent start for the South Siders.

     

Cincinnati Reds: Jonathan India, 3B (5); Lyon Richardson, RHP (47); Josiah Gray, RHP (72)

Grade: C

Why not Brady Singer or one of the top-tier prep arms instead of India at No. 5 overall? The Reds already have a crowded infield and are still searching for answers in the rotation. Swinging for the fences with a pair of boom-or-bust arms to follow makes sense given how safe the Round 1 pick was, but I just don't get the India selection.

         

Cleveland Indians: Noah Naylor, C (29); Ethan Hankins, RHP (35), Lenny Torres, RHP (41); Nick Sandlin, RHP (67)

Grade: A-

The Indians walked away with one of the best prep bats in the class (Naylor) and a pitcher who was a candidate to go No. 1 overall before a shoulder issue slowed him this spring (Hankins). It's probably going to take an above-slot deal to sign Hankins, and they did well to grab a pair of intriguing arms in Torres and Sandlin who could also help save some money.

         

Colorado Rockies: Ryan Rolison, LHP (22); Grant Lavigne, 1B (42); Mitchell Kilkenny, RHP (76)

Grade: B+

Despite making the playoffs last season and picking outside the top 20, the Rockies still managed to walk away with one of the top college arms in the class. Don't love the Lavigne pick with better prep options on the board and Kilkenny is not the sexiest choice as the classic high-floor/low-ceiling starter, but the Rolison selection is enough to boost their grade.

             

Detroit Tigers: Casey Mize, RHP (1); Parker Meadows, OF (44)

Grade: A

The Tigers didn't overthink it at No. 1 overall as they took the consensus top player in the draft and a guy who could quickly develop into an organizational cornerstone in Mize. Meadows was in the conversation to go toward in the end of the first round, and he has one of the highest ceilings among prep bats, so that was an equally impressive get at the start of the second round. Well played by the Tigers.

          

Houston Astros: Seth Beer, 1B (28); Jayson Schroeder, RHP (66)

Grade: B-

Beer has one standout tool with plus power, and he'll go as far as his bat carries him. Schroeder is a finished product physically who will need to further develop a slightly above-average repertoire to justify his draft position. For a stacked Astros team that can afford to take some risks, these were pretty safe picks.

        

Kansas City Royals: Brady Singer, RHP (18); Jackson Kowar, RHP (33); Daniel Lynch, LHP (34); Kris Bubic, LHP (40); Jonathan Bowlan, RHP (58)

Brady Singer
Brady SingerMatt Ryerson/Associated Press

Grade: A

Singer and Kowar both slide 10-plus spots relative to where they were expected to go, and the Royals did well to fill out the Day 1 haul with quality college arms. Bubic has a chance to develop into a middle-of-the-rotation starter himself, while Lynch has a high floor given his fallback potential as a lefty reliever, and Bowlan looks like a back-of-the-rotation innings eater. There should also still be some money to make an above-slot play for the team with the highest bonus pool.

    

Los Angeles Angels: Jordyn Adams, OF (17); Jeremiah Jackson, SS (57)

Grade: B+

The Angels once again grabbed the best athlete in the draft in Adams after taking the toolshed that is Jo Adell last June. They followed that up by grabbing Jackson, who has a high floor for a prep shortstop thanks to his advanced approach and plus hit tool. The system is in serious need of pitching, but given the way the draft played out, both of these picks made sense.

     

Los Angeles Dodgers: J.T. Ginn, RHP (30); Michael Grove, RHP (68)

Grade: B-

Ginn has electric stuff, but his undersized frame and lack of a third pitch raise some questions. Grove was a major reach after he missed the entire 2018 season following Tommy John surgery last June, but he showed enough prior to the injury to think it could be a worthwhile gamble.

         

Miami Marlins: Connor Scott, OF (13); Osiris Johnson, SS (53); Will Banfield, C (69)

Grade: A

Scott might have the highest ceiling of any of the prep bats in this class, and he'll immediately become one of the top prospects in the Marlins system. Johnson was a reach as a clear boom-or-bust prospect, but grabbing him in the second round should help facilitate an above-slot deal for Banfield.

         

Milwaukee Brewers: Brice Turang, SS (21); Joe Gray, OF (60); Micah Bello, OF (73)

Grade: A-

Turang might be one of the biggest steals of the draft if he can tap into the potential that once made him the top prep hitter in this class and a candidate to go No. 1 overall. Gray is a high-ceiling outfielder with a cannon arm and plus raw power, while Bello is essentially the opposite as a high-floor prep with a leadoff hitter profile. All in all, a good mix of talent for the Brew Crew.

        

Minnesota Twins: Trevor Larnach, OF (20); Ryan Jeffers, C (59)

Grade: B

Larnach was one of the safest picks on the board as a polished college hitter who has seen a major uptick in his power production this spring. Jeffers was an off-the-board pick, but he's been ultra-productive during his time at UNC-Wilmington. In a thin class for catchers, he was worth taking a chance on.

        

New York Mets: Jarred Kelenic, OF (6); Simeon Woods-Richardson, RHP (48)

Grade: B

The Mets taking Jonathan India at No. 6 overall seemed like a foregone conclusion, but when he went one pick earlier, they did well to pivot to perhaps the most complete hitter in the class in Kelenic. He has a chance to be a true five-tool star if he develops as hoped. They made a huge reach for Woods-Richardson, though, as his stock has been trending down all spring.

        

New York Yankees: Anthony Seigler, C (23); Josh Breaux, C (61)

Grade: B-

The Yankees took two of the bigger curiosities in the class. Seigler made national headlines as a standout switch-pitcher, and Breaux topped 100 on the mound as the top JUCO prospect in the class. That said, both players' futures are behind the plate. Seigler has the athleticism to be a standout two-way threat, while Breaux is more raw power and cannon arm with below-average skills beyond that.

        

Oakland Athletics: Kyler Murray, OF (9); Jameson Hannah, OF (50); Jeremy Eierman, SS (70)

Grade: A

After taking the biggest risk of Day 1 by grabbing Murray at No. 9 overall, the A's scooped a pair of standout college performers who slipped much further than expected. It sounds like they're going to let Murray play quarterback this fall, thus delaying the start of his pro career and putting his health at risk. It's a bold move by a small-market club, but it's one that could pay off in the form of a true superstar talent.

         

Philadelphia Phillies: Alec Bohm, 3B (3)

Grade: C-

Where is Bohm going to play? There's no question he was one of the top college bats in the class, but all indications leading up to the draft were that he would eventually need to move across the diamond to first base. With Carlos Santana playing there currently and Rhys Hoskins best suited there in the long term, grabbing a pitcher here made a lot more sense.

         

Pittsburgh Pirates: Travis Swaggerty, OF (10); Gunnar Hoglund, RHP (36); Braxton Ashcraft, RHP (51)

Grade: A-

Interesting draft so far for the Pirates. After making a safe pick at No. 10 overall with Swaggerty, they drafted two boom-or-bust pitching prospects who have previously split their time playing other sports. The payoff could be huge, and it's a solid strategy to go safe early and then swing for the fences.

    

San Diego Padres: Ryan Weathers, LHP (7); Xavier Edwards, SS (38); Grant Little, OF (74)

Grade: B+

The Padres made Weathers the first prep pitcher taken at No. 7 overall, and his mix of present stuff and on-field performance makes him a safe bet to live up to that draft position. Edwards will come with a first-round price tag, and they reached for an underrated college bat in Little who enjoyed a stellar season at Texas A&M. So far, so good.

       

San Francisco Giants: Joey Bart, C (2); Sean Hjelle, RHP (45)

Grade: A

The Giants found their catcher of the future in Bart at No. 2 overall, and he should immediately take over as the top prospect in the system. At the same time, the towering 6'11" Hjelle could emerge as the top pitching prospect in the system in short order as well. Excellent start for the Giants.

         

Seattle Mariners: Logan Gilbert, RHP (14); Josh Stowers, CF (54)

Logan Gilbert
Logan GilbertSteve Simoneau

Grade: A

After being mostly linked to college bats leading up to the draft, the Mariners pivoted and went with one of the best college arms in the class in Gilbert. He'll be the top pitching prospect in the system the second he signs. As for Stowers, he was well off the Day 1 radar, but he looks like a potential diamond in the rough after hitting .336/.477/.559 with 27 extra-base hits this season and stealing 60 bases in three seasons at Louisville.

              

St. Louis Cardinals: Nolan Gorman, 3B (19); Griffin Roberts, RHP (43); Luken Baker, 1B (75)

Grade: A-

The Gorman pick goes against organizational philosophy a bit, as the Cardinals generally go after safer college players at the start of the draft. However, no one expected him to still be on the board at No. 19, so it was a reasonable exception. On the other hand, Roberts fits the usual approach to a T, and Baker could be excellent value at No. 75 overall if his plus power continues to play.

                

Tampa Bay Rays: Matthew Liberatore, LHP (16); Shane McClanahan, LHP (31); Nick Schnell (32); Tyler Frank, SS (56); Tanner Dodson, RHP (71)

Grade: A+

Liberatore might be the biggest steal of Day 1 at No. 16 overall, and McClanahan has tremendous upside with a triple-digit fastball and a plus changeup, albeit with spotty command. Schnell had as much helium as any prep bat, Frank was one of the few standouts in a thin crop of college shortstop and Dodson is an intriguing two-way player who will likely focus on pitching as a pro. A vast array of picks for the Rays and a phenomenal start to their draft.

        

Texas Rangers: Cole Winn, RHP (15); Owen White, RHP (55)

Grade: A+

A case can be made for Winn being the best high school pitcher in this class, and White is a personal favorite with a three-pitch mix and significant projection that could see him outperform a number of high school pitchers selected before him. The Rangers badly needed a high-ceiling arm and they found two.

             

Toronto Blue Jays: Jordan Groshans (12); Griffin Conine, OF (52)

Grade: B-

Groshans went higher than expected and ahead of several other prep hitters, including Triston Casas and Nolan Gorman. That could be a decision that comes back to haunt the Blue Jays. However, I do like rolling the dice on Conine regaining the form he showed during a stellar turn in the Cape Cod League last year.

               

Washington Nationals: Mason Denaburg (27); Tim Cate, LHP (65)

Grade: A-

Of course the Nationals took the guy with the injury question mark. In all seriousness, Denaburg has the stuff to be part of the upper echelon of arms in this class, and a clean bill of health could make him an absolute steal here. Cate has a high floor and maybe the best curveballs in the class.

               

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

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