2018 MLB Draft Results: Easy-to-View Grades for Each Franchise

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 6, 2018

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, right, poses for photos with Alec Bohm, a third baseman from Wichita State University in Omaha, Neb., reacts after being selected No. 3 by the Philadelphia Phillies during the first round of the Major League Baseball draft Monday, June 4, 2018, in Secaucus, N.J. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Every team in baseball improved its farm system after two days of the 2018 MLB draft, but some did a much better job than others.

While they say it takes at least three years to judge a draft in basketball or football, it probably takes at least six or seven years to know what you have in a baseball draft. With that said, you can still do a better job of acquiring talent and hope for the best.

Every organization is playing the lottery, but a few of them came away with a lot more chances to win.

Here is a look at grades following Day 2 of the MLB draft.

Full draft results available at MLB.com.


MLB Draft Grades

Arizona Diamondbacks: A- (Best Pick: No. 63 Alek Thomas)

Atlanta Braves: A (Best Pick: No. 112 Tristan Beck)

Baltimore Orioles: B (Best Pick: No. 87 Blaine Knight)

Boston Red Sox: B+ (Best Pick: No. 26 Tristan Casas)

Chicago Cubs: C- (Best Pick: No. 158 Andy Weber)

Chicago White Sox: A+ (Best Pick: No. 4 Nick Madrigal)

Cincinnati Reds: A- (Best Pick: No. 5 Jonathan India)

Cleveland Indians: A (Best Pick: No. 41 Lenny Torres)

Colorado Rockies: B (Best Pick: No. 76 Mitchell Kilkenny)

Detroit Tigers: A- (Best Pick: No. 1 Casey Mize)

Houston Astros: B- (Best Pick: No. 132 Alex McKenna)

Kansas City Royals: A (Best Pick: No. 18 Brady Singer)

Los Angeles Angels: A (Best Pick: No. 93 Aaron Hernandez)

Los Angeles Dodgers: C+ (Best Pick: No. 164 Devin Mann)

Miami Marlins: B (Best Pick: No. 89 Tristan Pompey)

Milwaukee Brewers: B- (Best Pick: No. 60 Joe Gray)

Minnesota Twins: B+ (Best Pick: No. 154 Cole Sands)

New York Mets: C- (Best Pick: No. 6 Jarred Kelenic)

New York Yankees: C (Best Pick: No. 61 Josh Breaux)

Oakland Athletics: A- (Best Pick: No. 9 Kyler Murray)

Philadelphia Phillies: B (Best Pick: No. 107 Colton Eastman)

Pittsburgh Pirates: B+ (Best Pick: No. 10 Travis Swaggerty)

San Diego Padres: B- (Best Pick: No. 38 Xavier Edwards)

San Francisco Giants: A (Best Pick: No. 45 Sean Hjelle)

Seattle Mariners: B (Best Pick: No. 118 Michael Plassmeyer)

St. Louis Cardinals: A- (Best Pick: No. 19 Nolan Gorman)

Tampa Bay Rays: A+ (Best Pick: No. 16 Matthew Liberatore)

Texas Rangers: A (Best Pick: No. 91 Jonathan Ornelas)

Toronto Blue Jays: B (Best Pick: No. 52 Griffin Conine)

Washington Nationals: B- (Best Pick: No. 65 Tim Cate)


Best Drafts

Tampa Bay Rays

MINNEAPOLIS, MN- AUGUST 27: Matthew Liberatore #21 of the USA Baseball 18U National Team pitches against Iowa Western CC on August 27, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)
Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

Having five Day 1 picks goes a long way, but it's also important to know how to use them. The Tampa Bay Rays took advantage of the opportunity and added some elite talent throughout the draft.

Matthew Liberatore was the steal in the class at No. 16 with the talent to go in the top five:

While other teams likely had to save money, the Rays have plenty to spare with a large draft bonus pool.

Meanwhile, the rest of the draft also went well, with Shane McClanahan also considered one of the top left-handed pitchers in the class.

Nick Schnell and Tyler Frank were considered a bit riskier as prospects, but they each have plenty of upside and would be considered strong selections if they weren't overshadowed by the team's first two picks.

Considering how much the Rays rely upon homegrown players, they came away with a near perfect class as long as they are able to sign everyone.


Chicago White Sox

In past years, Nick Madrigal would have dropped much further than No. 4 overall due to his size at 5'7", 165 pounds. Teams are fortunately now able to trust smaller players, allowing the White Sox to grab arguably the best hitter in the class.

Madrigal is hitting .406 with Oregon State this season and has the talent to keep his batting average high at the next level.

Although he might not be Jose Altuve, he might have the highest floor in the class.

Chicago kept it going from there, getting more top college prospects in Oklahoma outfielder Steele Walker and Mississippi State pitcher Konnor Pilkington. 

With an ensuing balance of quality pitchers and position players, the White Sox added a lot of talent to their farm system.


Worst Drafts

New York Mets

MINNEAPOLIS, MN- AUGUST 27: Jarred Kelenic #10 of the USA Baseball 18U National Team bats against Iowa Western CC on August 27, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)
Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

The Mets organization was desperate for talent, entering the year with the No. 29 system in baseball, according to Bleacher Report's Joel Reuter.

Although you never want to draft for need in baseball, adding safer players who can provide quick help would have been valuable. New York decided to go in a different direction.

After missing out on the top college prospects that were taken with the first five picks, the Mets were forced to go with Jarred Kelenic. While he was tons of upside as a five-tool outfielder, it will be years before he will even get to the upper levels of the minors.

The draft got much worse from there, though, taking a huge question mark in the second round with Simeon Woods-Richardson. The Mets continued by selecting pitchers likely destined for middle relief and hitters with low upside.

This was not the way to turn around an organization.


Chicago Cubs

Stanford shortstop Nico Hoerner has a lot of skill, although J.J. Cooper of Baseball America acknowledged the pick was a reach:

The Cubs went the high school route with the next two picks in outfielders Brennen Davis and Cole Roederer, but there is significant risk in these selections as raw, skinny players who need a lot of work to live up to expectations.

While Chicago smartly filled up the Day 2 selections with position players, few of the players jump out as ones to watch at the next level. Andy Weber is among the most interesting picks after hitting .344 this season at Virginia.

This is an organization that has certainly proved itself in scouting and development, giving plenty of reason to trust the process. Still, the draft appears to be a flop at this point.


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