2019 MLB Draft Picks: Live Team-by-Team Day 1 Grades and Analysis

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 2019

2019 MLB Draft Picks: Live Team-by-Team Day 1 Grades and Analysis

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    The 2019 MLB draft is upon us as the next wave of high school and college talent gets ready to join the professional ranks.

    The three-day event kicked off Monday night with the first two rounds 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 earlier mock drafts.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Corbin Carroll
    Corbin CarrollClayton Christy/Lakeside Athletics

    First Round (No. 16 Overall): Corbin Carroll, OF, Lakeside HS (Wash.)

    Carroll has a 60-grade hit tool, 70-grade speed and the defensive instincts to be a standout defensive center fielder. That package of tools makes it easy to overlook his 5'11", 161-pound frame, and while he will never be a major power threat, he packs some sneaky pop into his undersized frame. MLB.com compared him to Jacoby Ellsbury and pegged him as someone who could grow into his power in the pros.

    Grade: A

    The D-backs have been a popular landing spot for Carroll in mock drafts and this pick kicks off what will be a busy Day 1 for Arizona. He was the best high school bat on the board here and there was talk he could go as high as No. 11 to Toronto, so this was a good get for Arizona.


    First Round (No. 26 Overall): Blake Walston, LHP, New Hanover HS (N.C.)

    A rail-thin 6'4", 172-pound left-hander with an extremely projectable frame, Walston could "easily add 30-40 more pounds in the future" according to Baseball America. He already sits in the low 90s with his fastball and can spin one of the better curveballs in this year's high school class. He also starred as a quarterback for his football team, which limited his exposure on the showcase circuit. A strong commitment to North Carolina State is expected to make him a tough sign.

    Grade: A

    If the Diamondbacks can get him signed, this is an excellent pick. He's going to be a project, but he has enough current stuff and feel for pitching that his upside is not completely reliant on physical projection. That said, this pick is all about the ceiling.


    FA Comp Pick (No. 33 Overall): Brennan Malone, RHP, IMG Academy

    Malone rivals Jackson Rutledge for the best pure stuff in this year's class. His fastball was touching the upper 90s late in the spring, and his slider is already a plus pitch. He doesn't offer as much projection as some of the other prep arms, but his present stuff makes that easy to overlook. With elite athleticism and clean mechanics, he just needs to refine his secondary stuff and improve his overall command.

    Grade: A

    Arizona continues to put their hefty bonus pool to good use, grabbing one of the most electric arms from this year's high school ranks. Their three picks so far have been all about ceiling, and that's the right plan of attack when you're picking early and often. Eventually, they'll need to find some savings somewhere.


    FA Comp Pick (No. 34 Overall): Drey Jameson, RHP, Ball State

    A draft-eligible sophomore, Jameson has racked up 243 strikeouts in 163.2 innings during his two seasons at Ball State. He can reach back and hit 98 mph on his fastball while pitching deep into games, and he backs it with a hammer curveball and a sweeping slider that both flash plus. The questions revolve around his undersized 6'0", 165-pound frame and whether he can handle a starter's workload. There's a ton of late-inning upside if he does eventually move to the bullpen.

    Grade: B

    Jameson has a high floor thanks to his late-inning profile as a reliever, and this looks like an opportunity to save some money against the slot value. Nice pick to round out the four early selections.


    Second Round (No. 56 Overall): Ryne Nelson, RHP, Oregon

    A two-way player during his first two seasons at Oregon, Nelson turned his full attention to the mound this spring and continued to impress. His fastball consistently sits at 99 mph, and his hammer curveball is a lethal strikeout pitch. Spotty command and a middling changeup make him a prime candidate for the bullpen, and he could be on the fast track if he starts his pro career in such a role.

    Grade: B+

    There's a good chance the D-backs will go the college route with the rest of their Day 1 picks since they will need to save some cash somewhere along the way. Grabbing one of the best fastballs in the draft is as good a strategy as any here in the second round.


    Balance Round B (No. 74 Overall): Tommy Henry, LHP, Michigan

    Henry has gone through some ups and downs this spring, looking like one of the best college pitchers in the nation when he's on and a fringe Day 1 pick when he doesn't have his premium stuff. At his best, his fastball touches 94 mph with a high spin rate, and his changeup and slider are both plus complementary offerings. With a durable 6'3" frame and the potential for three quality pitches, there is middle-of-the-rotation upside here if he can find more consistency.

    Grade: B+

    Henry's another risk-reward college arm who should allow the D-backs to save money to put toward their early selections. There was a time when it looked like he might sneak into the back of the first round, so this is a risk worth taking.


    Balance Round B (No. 75 Overall): Dominic Fletcher, OF, Arkansas

    The younger brother of Los Angeles Angels infielder David Fletcher, Dominic has a similar profile where the whole is greater than the sum of his parts. He's a standout defender in center field, and that could be his ticket to the big leagues. His left-handed swing could use some work, but he shows enough offensive promise to at least profile as a fourth outfielder with the potential for more.

    Grade: B

    Just as I expected, they took college players with four straight picks after grabbing three high-ceiling high schoolers early. There should be enough flexibility in the bonus pool to sign all seven of their Day 1 picks.

Atlanta Braves

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    Shea Langeliers
    Shea LangeliersBaylor Athletics

    First Round (No. 9 Overall): Shea Langeliers, C, Baylor

    Langeliers is the best defensive catcher in the 2019 draft. With a 70-grade throwing arm, standout receiving skills and the intangibles teams look for in a franchise backstop, he's a first-round talent on defense alone. He's also shown a more refined approach at the plate this spring after selling out for power too often as a sophomore. He has the contact skills and double-digit home run pop to be an above-average offensive contributor.

    Grade: C

    I don't love this pick for the Braves, who already have a potential catcher of the future in William Contreras. Maybe they can save some money here and go for an above-slot target with their other first-round pick.


    First Round (No. 21 Overall): Braden Shewmake, SS, Texas A&M

    With a lanky 6'4", 190-pound frame and some present power, Shewmake offers some intriguing physical projection for a middle infielder. He struggled last summer with wood bats while playing for Team USA, but he has been extremely productive during his college career. He can play all over the infield and might wind up in a super-utility role going forward. The progression of his power tool will determine his ultimate upside.

    Grade: D

    Whenever a team has multiple first-round picks, I'm always partial to pairing a safer college selection with a high-ceiling prep selection. These are both safe picks for the Braves, and Shewmake looks like a bit of a reach, as well.


    Second Round (No. 60 Overall): Beau Philip, SS, Oregon State

    After two seasons as a JUCO standout, Philip transferred to Oregon State, where he had big shoes to fill replacing standout shortstop Cadyn Grenier in the starting lineup. All things considered, he made a smooth transition to higher-level competition. His approach at the plate needs some refining, but he has impressed with the glove and has a rocket for an arm.

    Grade: C-

    One of the biggest reaches of Day 1, Phillip checked in at No. 254 on Baseball America's pre-draft prospect rankings. The Braves now clearly have some excess cash heading into the later rounds, so they will be one to watch on Day 2.

Baltimore Orioles

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    Adley Rutschman
    Adley RutschmanChris Pietsch/Associated Press

    First Round (No. 1 Overall): Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State

    A switch-hitter with a 60-grade hit tool and 60-grade power, Rutschman is arguably the most polished batter in this year's class. The fact that he is also a strong defensive catcher with a plus throwing arm makes him a rare talent and the consensus No. 1 guy. Standout collegiate catchers Buster Posey and Mike Zunino—selected in 2008 and 2012, respectively—made their MLB debuts the year after they were drafted. Rutschman will be on a similarly fast track.

    Grade: A+

    This was a no-brainer. The Orioles now have the centerpiece for their ongoing rebuilding efforts and a potential franchise cornerstone.


    Second Round (No. 42 Overall): Gunnar Henderson, SS, John T. Morgan Academy (Ala.)

    Henderson has closed the gap to Bobby Witt Jr. and CJ Abrams atop the prep shortstop rankings with a strong showing this spring. As his 6'3", 195-pound frame continues to fill out, a move to third base could become necessary. If that winds up being the case, he fits the hot corner profile nicely with a 55-grade hit tool, intriguing raw power and a strong arm. He was also a standout on the basketball court.

    Grade: A+

    There is no way the O's expected Henderson to still be available when it came time for them to make their second pick. There were some rumblings that he could go as high as No. 18 overall to the Pirates. As long as they get him signed, this looks like one of the steals of Day 1.


    Balance Round B (No. 71 Overall): Kyle Stowers, OF, Stanford

    Stowers announced himself as one of the top college bats in the 2019 class when he posted an .895 OPS with 10 home runs as a sophomore and then hit .326/.361/.565 with six home runs in the Cape Cod League last summer. While he hasn't taken the step forward many were expecting this spring, his 55-grade power and a significant improvement in his strikeout rate (20.4 to 10.5 percent) provide plenty of reason for optimism.

    Grade: B+

    Stowers could be one of the better college bats in this class if he can shorten his swing and still tap into his plus raw power. After knocking their first two picks out of the park, the Orioles made another solid selection.

Boston Red Sox

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    Cameron Cannon
    Cameron CannonRick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Second Round (No. 43 Overall): Cameron Cannon, SS, Arizona

    Cannon fits the classic "grinder" profile, and he has steadily improved since the Diamondbacks took him out of high school in the 21st round of the 2016 draft. He doesn't have much power and is limited athletically, but he can hit line drives to all fields and makes consistent hard contact. He can play on both sides of second base, though he may ultimately land in a utility role.

    Grade: D

    I like Cannon a lot, but I hate this fit. The Red Sox system is extremely thin on high-ceiling talent, and Cannon is all floor and no ceiling.


    Second Round (No. 69 Overall): Matthew Lugo, SS, Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy (PR)

    MLB.com graded all five tools 50 or better for Lugo, including a 55-grade hit tool. He has shown some intriguing raw power to go along with an extremely advanced approach for an 18-year-old. While his defense is average at best, he's a good enough athlete to make the necessary improvements to stick at shortstop. Otherwise, he has enough offensive upside to fit at second base or third base as well. 

    Grade: A

    After going low-upside with the first pick, the Red Sox grabbed one of the more intriguing prep shortstops in the class with their second selection. He'll immediately become one of the better position-player prospects in the farm system.

Chicago Cubs

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    Chase Strumpf
    Chase StrumpfKyusung Gong/Associated Press

    First Round (No. 27 Overall): Ryan Jensen, RHP, Fresno State

    Jensen began his college career as a reliever, and that could be his future role. His changeup is a passable third offering, but he has an undersized 6'0" frame and gets by largely on an electric fastball that touches 98 mph and a plus slider. While he could potentially move quickly as a reliever, he has enough feel for pitching to at least get a shot at starting to begin his pro career.

    Grade: D

    Jensen checked in at No. 109 on Baseball America's draft prospect list, so this is the first real reach of the first round. For a team that loves polished college bats, it's a shock that Michael Busch was not the pick here. Maybe the Cubs have plans to fast-track Jensen to help a beleaguered big league bullpen?


    Second Round (No. 64 Overall): Chase Strumpf, 2B, UCLA

    With an advanced approach and excellent bat control, Strumpf has the offensive skills to warrant an early selection, despite being limited to the right side of the bag defensively. With a 55-grade hit tool and some sneaky power, he profiles as an offensive-minded second baseman who will need to hit his way to the majors.

    Grade: A

    After going off the board with their first pick, the Cubs still landed the kind of polished college bat we've seen them target frequently in recent years. Strumpf could have gone in the 40s, so this is a good value pick after the early reach.

Chicago White Sox

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    Andrew Vaughn
    Andrew VaughnCal Athletics

    First Round (No. 3 Overall): Andrew Vaughn, 1B, California

    Vaughn hit a staggering .402/.531/.819 with 23 home runs to win Golden Spikes honors as a sophomore last season. Teams have made a point of pitching around him this spring, and he is still putting up big numbers. With 60-grade power from the right side and the advanced hit tool to consistently tap into that pop, he profiles as a future middle-of-the-order run producer and should move through the system quickly.

    Grade: A

    This was the right pick for the White Sox. There might have been higher-ceiling options, but they are getting close to making that push back toward contention, and Vaughn should be able to fly through the minors and help soon.


    Second Round (No. 45 Overall): Matthew Thompson, RHP, Cypress Ranch HS (Texas)

    Thompson was the more highly regarded prospect heading into the spring, but it was teammate JJ Goss who wound up going higher in the draft. An inconsistent spring sent his stock tumbling a bit, and his fastball velocity ranged from 96 mph on a good day to the upper 80s on a bad day. With a projectable 6'2" frame and a plus curveball, his upside is obvious. That said, he might benefit as much as any of the top prep arms from honoring his commitment to Texas A&M.

    Grade: D

    I think it's going to take an above-slot bonus to get Thompson to sign here, and there were several more appealing options if the White Sox were going to go that route.

Cincinnati Reds

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    Nick Lodolo
    Nick LodoloTCU Athletics

    First Round (No. 7 Overall): Nick Lodolo, LHP, TCU

    Lodolo was the highest unsigned pick in the 2016 draft after he went No. 41 overall to the Pittsburgh Pirates, and it's clear now that he made the right decision honoring his commitment to TCU. The 6'6" southpaw throws a lively mid-90s fastball and a sweeping slider, and he has shown the makings of a solid changeup in the past. He also has clean mechanics for a pitcher his size and offers some further projection in his thin frame. While he may be more floor than ceiling at this point, he's as safe a bet as anyone in this class to have a long career as a middle-of-the-rotation starter.

    Grade: B+

    The Reds have had a tough time developing arms in recent years, so they might have been better off going with Hunter Bishop. That said, Lodolo has a high floor and looks like one of the safer picks in this draft.


    Second Round (No. 49 Overall): Rece Hinds, 3B, IMG Academy (Fla.)

    With a strong 6'4", 210-pound frame and a smooth right-handed swing, Hinds has true top-of-the-scale raw power. There's a considerable amount of swing-and-miss to his game, though. In particular, he struggles to identify breaking pitches, and he has been prone to chasing out of the zone. There's a lot of room between floor and ceiling here, but that ceiling is awfully high.

    Grade: B+

    After taking one of the safest picks in this draft during the first round, the Reds grabbed one of the riskiest with their second selection. Tyler Callihan might have been the better pick here, but it's a solid move nonetheless given the Lodolo selection earlier.

Cleveland Indians

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    Daniel Espino
    Daniel EspinoGene Reynolds/Georgia Premier Academy

    First Round (No. 24 Overall): Daniel Espino, RHP, Georgia Premier Academy (Ga.)

    With limited projection remaining in his undersized frame (6’2”, 200 lbs) and inconsistent mechanics, Espino might wind up in the bullpen. However, his 70-grade fastball and a pair of plus breaking pitches give him some of the best pure stuff in the class. Houston Astros prospect J.B. Bukauskas had a similar profile coming out of North Carolina and went No. 15 overall in the 2017 draft. Espino might be the biggest boom-or-bust arm in this draft.

    Grade: C

    Maybe it's a case of falling in love with my own mock draft, but I really liked North Carolina first baseman/outfielder Michael Busch here. Espino is a high-risk, high-reward gamble, and even if he does pay off, it won't be for several years. Busch is someone who could help in the near-term while the current contention window is still open.


    Second Round (No. 63 Overall): Yordys Valdes, SS, McArthur HS (Fla.)

    Valdes is a standout defender who will have no problem sticking at shortstop. The question is whether he'll hit enough for that to matter. He lacks the requisite bat speed and strength to make consistent hard contact. The development of his offensive game will determine whether he's a glove-first starter or a glove-only backup.

    Grade: D

    Not a fan of this pick. If they were set on a prep shortstop, Matthew Lugo has a significantly higher ceiling, albeit with a more offensive-minded approach. 

Colorado Rockies

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    Michael Toglia
    Michael TogliaDon Liebig/ASUCLA

    First Round (No. 23 Overall): Michael Toglia, 1B, UCLA

    An imposing 6'5", 201-pound switch-hitter with 60-grade raw power, Toglia has some of the best pop of any college batter. He's a plus athlete for his size and should be able to handle a corner outfield spot if needed, which helps his profile. The big question mark is the considerable swing-and-miss to his game and inconsistent hitting mechanics.

    Grade: F

    Whenever the Rockies don't go with pitching early, it warrants a shake of the head. You're never going to be able to sign top-tier free-agent pitchers, so why not use your first-round pick to target a high-ceiling prep arm like Brennan Malone or JJ Goss? They're also already loaded with corner infield prospects, and this was a reach for Toglia.


    Second Round (No. 62 Overall): Aaron Schunk, 3B, Georgia

    Schunk is the starting third baseman and the closer for the Georgia Bulldogs. He has average tools across the board offensively with a line-drive approach that doesn't generate much in the way of over-the-fence power. There's plenty of strength in his 6'2", 205-pound frame; it's just a matter of tweaking his approach to make the most of his power. With a fastball that tops out at 92 mph and a good slider, the mound could always be a fallback plan.

    Grade: F

    Oh, look, another corner infielder for the Rockies. Just what that farm system needs after locking up Nolan Arenado long-term and selecting a first baseman in the first round each of the past two seasons.


    Balance Round B (No. 77 Overall): Karl Kauffmann, RHP, Michigan

    Kauffman has a developed three-pitch mix and a strong track record of success at Michigan. He generates a lot of ground balls with his heavy mid-90s fastball, and he pitches off it well with a plus changeup while also mixing in a good slider. He throws strikes, has a well-built 6'2", 200-pound frame and has a high floor thanks to his ground-ball tendencies.

    Grade: A

    Terrific pick. Kauffmann is the perfect fit for Coors Field, and he is a safe bet to contribute at the MLB level in some capacity.

Detroit Tigers

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    Riley Greene
    Riley GreeneSharon's Shots Photography

    First Round (No. 5 Overall): Riley Greene, OF, Hagerty HS (Fla.)

    Greene is arguably the best pure hitter among the high school crop with a 60-grade hit tool and the potential for plus power. Baseball America wrote: "He's hit top-level pitching so consistently that some teams have pegged him as a future 70-grade hitter, which is rare for prep bats." He won't add much defensively and could wind up limited to left field, but his middle-of-the-order upside more than makes up for those shortcomings.

    Grade: A+

    Another no-brainer pick. The Tigers system is loaded with pitching and Greene gives it a high-ceiling bat who profiles as a safer pick than most high school hitters.


    Second Round (No. 47 Overall): Nick Quintana, 3B, Arizona

    Quintana has good pop, evidenced by the 34 home runs he has hit in his three years at Arizona, and his power will be his carrying tool. He has struck out over 20 percent of the time during his college career and hit a lackluster .230/.312/.423 with a staggering 38.1 percent strikeout rate in two summers in the Cape Cod League. A step forward this spring might have put him in the first-round conversation, but his stock has instead fallen.

    Grade: C

    Going college bat after high school bat is a solid approach. Quintana carries too much risk to be taken this early, though. On-base machine Logan Wyatt from Louisville would have been my pick here.

Houston Astros

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    Korey Lee
    Korey LeeTyler Tate/Associated Press

    First Round (No. 32 Overall): Korey Lee, C, California

    There was a wide gap between Adley Rutschman, Shea Langeliers and the rest of the college catching crop. Playing alongside No. 3 overall pick Andrew Vaughn gave Lee plenty of opportunities to endear himself to scouts, and it appears he did just that. He has shown solid defensive skills in his first year as a full-time catcher after bouncing around as a sophomore, and he's shown enough of a hit tool this spring to think he'll be able to tap into his solid power potential.

    Grade: C-

    The Astros farm system is extremely thin at the catcher position, and there's a case to be made that Lee was the best available backstop here. Still, there's a good chance he would have been available at No. 68 overall, which makes this is a poor use of their first-round pick.


    Second Round (No. 68 Overall): Grae Kessinger, SS, Ole Miss

    Kessinger gave his draft stock a shot in the arm by hitting .405/.472/.556 during conference play against a loaded SEC field. As MLB.com noted, he was a .248 career hitter prior to that offensive explosion, so his limited track record has to be taken into account. He might profile best as a utility man unless he continues to trend upward offensively.

    Grade: C

    The Astros are putting a lot of stock in 30 games worth of solid offensive production. If it's the real deal, this could be a great value. If it's a small-sample-size mirage, this could be a major reach.

Kansas City Royals

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    Brady McConnell
    Brady McConnellJohn Amis/Associated Press

    First Round (No. 2 Overall): Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Colleyville Heritage HS (Texas)

    Shortstops with five-tool potential don't come along very often, so it's no surprise that Witt has been listed among the elite 2019 prospects for years. He has the size, strength and instincts to be a 20-20 hitter while also providing Gold Glove-caliber defense at shortstop. An inconsistent summer on the showcase circuit raised some questions about his hit tool, but he provides enough value elsewhere that he could bat .250 in the majors and still be a star.

    Grade: A

    The Royals did an excellent job stocking up on college pitching to fill out a thin farm system last year. Now they get a high-ceiling prep standout with five-tool potential to add some balance. Great pick.


    Second Round (No. 44 Overall): Brady McConnell, SS, Florida

    McConnell was ranked as the No. 39 prospect in the 2017 draft by Baseball America, but an inconsistent spring and a strong commitment to Florida caused him to slip to the 33rd round. He saw limited action as a freshman but has turned heads as a draft-eligible sophomore with a .332/.385/.576 line that includes 11 doubles and 15 home runs. A 57-to-17 strikeout-to-walk ratio raises some red flags, but the raw tools are hard to ignore.

    Grade: B-

    This is a risk-reward pick, and with a number of intriguing prep shortstops still on the board, it's a questionable one at best. You also have to wonder if there will be some signability concerns here given his sophomore status.


    Balance Round B (No. 70 Overall): Alec Marsh, RHP, Arizona State

    Marsh was the Friday night starter at Arizona State this spring after he posted a 1.59 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 11.1 innings in the Cape Cod League last summer. He throws all four of his pitches for strikes and showed better command this season with his walk rate down from 3.9 to 3.0 BB/9. He has a durable frame, and his competitive streak could allow him to outpitch his average stuff to become a middle-of-the-rotation starter.

    Grade: B

    The Royals add another quality college arm as they continue to build a strong base of pitching depth.

Los Angeles Angels

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    Will Wilson
    Will WilsonBen McKeown/Associated Press

    First Round (No. 15 Overall): Will Wilson, SS, NC State

    Another member of the deep collegiate shortstop crop, Wilson is hitting .335/.425/.661 with 16 home runs this spring, building off a strong sophomore season in which he posted a .964 OPS with 15 homers. He has an aggressive but controlled approach at the plate and should continue to hit for a solid average and power as a pro. A lack of quick-twitch athleticism and below-average speed could eventually necessitate a move to second base where his bat would still play just fine.

    Grade: D

    Wilson is a fine player with a chance to be an above-average offensive contributor, but this is a reach and the Angels need pitching in the worst way. Rolling the dice on Zack Thompson or targeting one of the high school arms would have made a lot more sense here. They should save some money, though, so we'll see how they proceed.


    Second Round (No. 55 Overall): Kyren Paris, SS, Freedom HS (Calif.)

    Paris does not turn 18 until November and checks in as one of the youngest players in the 2019 draft. While he doesn't offer much in the way of power potential, the rest of the toolbox is present. He should have no trouble sticking at shortstop, and his line-drive approach allows him to make good use of his plus speed.

    Grade: C+

    Still no pitching, and with so many high-ceiling prep arms still on the board. Surely, they will be able to save some money on the Wilson pick, so we'll see where that ends up going. Paris is a really nice player, but this is a strange start to the draft for the pitching-needy Angels.

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Kody Hoese
    Kody HoeseBrandon Dill/Associated Press

    First Round (No. 25 Overall): Kody Hoese, 3B, Tulane

    Hoese is a big 6'4", 200-pound third baseman with prodigious right-handed power. He exploded for a .392/.487/.789 line and slugged 23 home runs this spring to vault into the first-round conversation after hitting just five homers as a sophomore. A so-so summer of swinging wood bats in the New England Collegiate League and his overall lack of a track record are the biggest red flags.

    Grade: A

    It's worth taking a chance on Hoese's power here at No. 25. He was the best college bat still on the board, and this sets the Dodgers up nicely to grab one of the sliding prep arms at No. 31 overall. JJ Goss, anyone? 


    First Round (No. 31 Overall): Michael Busch, 1B/OF, North Carolina

    With a smooth left-handed swing and the requisite bat speed to hit for power, Busch has one of the highest floors of any college batter. His walk rate is up over 20 percent this spring, and he proved himself with wood bats last summer when he hit .322/.450/.567 with six home runs in the Cape Cod League. He fits best at first base but is a capable corner outfielder. He could be the first hitter from the 2019 class to reach the majors.

    Grade: A+

    This might not have been the Dodgers' plan going in, but this is how the board unfolded. They get two of the best college bats in the draft, and they're still free to make an above-slot play with the final pick of Day 1 at No. 78 overall. Regardless of what they do there, this is already an excellent haul.


    FA Comp Pick (No. 78 Overall): Jimmy Lewis, RHP, Lake Travis HS (Texas)

    The high school teammate of No. 12 overall pick Brett Baty, Lewis is a projectable 6'6", 200-pound right-hander who touches 95 mph with his fastball and uses his height well to create a downward plane. His secondary pitches lag behind his fastball, and he needs to add strength to maintain his velocity, but there's a lot to like here.

    Grade: A

    The Dodgers finally get their high-ceiling prep arm after having two of the best college bats in the class fall into their laps in the first round. Not a bad Day 1 for the defending NL champs.

Miami Marlins

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    JJ Bleday
    JJ BledayWade Payne/Associated Press

    First Round (No. 4 Overall): JJ Bleday, OF, Vanderbilt

    While Bleday hit .368/.494/.511 as a sophomore, he tallied just four home runs in 166 plate appearances. A strong showing in the Cape Cod League (164 PA, .874 OPS, 5 HR) boosted his draft stock heading into his junior season, but few would have predicted the 26-homer outburst he has put together this spring. A well-built 6'3" frame, 60-grade power and a strong throwing arm give him the prototypical run-producing right fielder mold.

    Grade: A

    The Marlins have a paper-thin system and going with the safer college bat over someone like Riley Greene or CJ Abrams was the right move. Bleday should slot in right behind Sixto Sanchez on the organizational prospect rankings.


    Balance Round A (No. 35 Overall): Kameron Misner, OF, Missouri

    Misner has the best collection of tools of any college hitter and the upside to develop into a legitimate five-tool standout. Unfortunately, those tools have not always translated to on-field production during his time at Missouri, and he struggled to a .222/.353/.315 line with 39 strikeouts in 30 games during conference play this spring. It's easy to dream on his potential and equally easy to be alarmed by his present performance. He's as polarizing as any prospect in this year's class.

    Grade: A+

    After praising the "safer" pick of Bleday earlier, I love the high-risk, high-reward approach with this selection. It's not out of the question to think Misner has the better pro career between the two selections if all the pieces fall into place. He has that type of ceiling.


    Second Round (No. 46 Overall): Nasim Nunez, SS, Collins Hill HS (Ga.)

    Part of a stacked second tier of prep shortstops, Nunez is arguably the top defensive shortstop in the 2019 class. He has the quick-twitch athleticism and strong throwing arm to be a Gold Glove defender at the position. The question is whether he will produce enough offensively to be an everyday guy. His small 5'9", 155-pound frame and an approach geared toward contact limited his upside with the bat. Still, the glove alone could carry him to the big leagues.

    Grade: B-

    Francisco Lindor had a similar profile coming out of high school, albeit with a larger frame and more offensive upside. A team betting on an athletic glove-first prep shortstop figuring it out at the plate is a nothing new.

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Ethan Small
    Ethan SmallAaron Cornia/Mississippi State Athletics

    First Round (No. 28 Overall): Ethan Small, LHP, Mississippi State

    Viewed as an early Day 2 pick when the spring began, Small steadily worked his way into the first-round conversation with a successful run through the stacked SEC. He posted a 1.88 ERA and struck out a staggering 160 batters in 96 innings while walking just 27 and holding opposing hitters to a .160 average. He does a great job messing with hitters' timing and has an excellent overall feel for pitching. His stuff is average and he's more or less a finished product, but he should reach the majors as quickly as anyone in this class.

    Grade: B

    The Brewers could have gone the high-ceiling prep route here with several intriguing arms on the board, but this is a good pick for a team in position to win now and in need of starting pitching depth.


    Second Round (No. 65 Overall): Antoine Kelly, LHP, Wabash Valley College (Ill.)

    MLB.com wrote of Kelly: "He may have the biggest gap between his ceiling and floor of any player in the draft." His fastball was up to 98 mph this spring, and there is still a ton of projection left in his 6'6", 205-pound frame. What's more, he's already shown the ability to pack on muscle by gaining 20 pounds since high school. He hasn't shown much in the way of a secondary offering, but left arms like his don't grow on trees.

    Grade: A+

    I love this pick. Kelly is a project in every sense of the word, but he's one well worth the risk here at No. 65 overall, even if that was a reach relative to most rankings. He's the perfect complementary pick to the high floor of Small.

Minnesota Twins

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    Matt Wallner
    Matt WallnerJonathan Bachman/Associated Press

    First Round (No. 13 Overall): Keoni Cavaco, 3B, Eastlake HS (Calif.)

    Unranked when Baseball America released its first top 200 draft prospects list this year, Cavaco has as much helium as any prospect in this class. He has tremendous raw power, runs well and profiles as an above-average defender at third base. The biggest question is his lack of experience against high-level competition, as he was not invited to most of the showcase events last summer. Will he hit enough to consistently get to his power?

    Grade: A

    This is a great landing spot for Cavaco. The Twins have done as well as any team in baseball developing homegrown talent and might be able to unlock his full potential. This also looks like a below-slot opportunity, which makes the No. 39 pick that much more interesting. Stay tuned.


    Balance Round A (No. 39 Overall): Matt Wallner, OF, Southern Mississippi

    Wallner won Freshman of the Year honors when he hit .336/.463/.655 with 19 home runs and 63 RBI while also posting a 1.84 ERA with three saves and 9.2 K/9 in nine relief appearances. While he can touch 98 with his fastball and can spin a slider and bury a splitter, the Twins drafted him as an outfielder. His offensive production is down a bit this spring, but he has still been plenty productive.

    Grade: B+

    The Twins drafted Wallner out of high school, so they have some long-standing interest. The two-way potential here is intriguing, and even if he is used solely as an outfielder, he was among the top college bats left on the board. Solid pick.


    Second Round (No. 54 Overall): Matt Canterino, RHP, Rice

    One of the most productive college pitchers in this class, Canterino spent three seasons as the ace of the Rice staff. He has racked up 348 strikeouts in 289.1 innings during his time on campus, posting a 3.33 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP along the way. With a mid-90s fastball, one of the best sliders in the draft and a good curveball, he has three plus pitches and enough feel for pitching to develop his changeup into a useable fourth option. A quirky, effort-filled delivery raises some red flags, but he has been healthy to this point.

    Grade: B

    Jon Duplantier has helped erase some of the stigma surrounding Rice pitchers, and it's hard to ignore Canterino's track record. There's a lot of reliever risk here, though.

New York Mets

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    Brett Baty
    Brett BatyDonald Boyle’s photos

    First Round (No. 12 Overall): Brett Baty, 3B, Lake Travis HS (Texas)

    Baty might be the best all-around hitter among this year's high school crop. He has an advanced approach at the plate, a 55-grade hit tool and as much raw power as anyone in the 2019 class. In a lot of ways, he's similar to 2018 first-rounder Nolan Gorman. He also has a strong throwing arm and the requisite athleticism to be a solid defensive third baseman. The big red flag is his age—he'll be roughly 19 years and seven months old on draft day.

    Grade: B+

    A surprising pick here but not a bad one. Baty could have gone as high as No. 8 overall if the Rangers were looking to cut a below-slot deal, and maybe the Mets can still get him for cheaper than slot here. After trading away 2018 first-round pick Jarred Kelenic, this gives them another high-ceiling prep bat to dream on.


    Second Round (No. 53 Overall): Josh Wolf, RHP, St. Thomas HS (Texas)

    A pop-up prospect this spring when what was a low-90s fastball suddenly started flashing 97 mph, Wolf has plenty of room to add more strength to his 6'2", 165-pound frame. He dropped his arm slot down to three-quarters this spring and has seen more life on his pitches as a result. Developing his changeup and adding more muscle will be key, as is the case with most projectable high school arms. MLB.com also noted scouts "rave about his makeup" and intangibles.

    Grade: A

    Wolf had an outside chance to sneak into the back of the first round with some late helium leading up to the draft, and this looks like an excellent value pick.

New York Yankees

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    T.J. Sikkema
    T.J. SikkemaMizzou Athletics

    First Round (No. 30 Overall): Anthony Volpe, SS, Delbarton School (N.J.)

    The high school teammate of highly regarded right-hander Jack Leiter, Volpe turned in an impressive performance with Team USA last summer to send his stock soaring. He doesn't have loud tools, but he's a polished player both offensively and defensively. Baseball America also praised him for being a "natural, vocal leader" who has an extremely high motor.

    Grade: C

    Volpe was creeping up boards in the days leading up to the draft, so this isn't as much of a reach as it might seem relative to rankings. That said, the Yankees had a chance to target someone with loud tools here like Rece Hinds or Tyler Callihan, so we'll see if they made the right call.


    Balance Round A (No. 38 Overall): TJ Sikkema, LHP, Missouri

    With a stout 6'0", 217-pound frame and a funky crossfire delivery, Sikkema might be the polar opposite of a projectable high school pitcher. That said, he throws all of his pitches for strikes and has a great feel for how to attack hitters. His floor is as high as any college pitcher in the class, and, at the very least, he should carve out a solid career as a lefty reliever. There's no reason to think he can't start, though, thanks to his advanced pitchability.

    Grade: B-

    This is an interesting addition to a system loaded with boom-or-bust pitching prospects who can light up the radar gun but often can't find the strike zone. It will be fun to see what the Yankees do with their final Day 1 pick after they reached a bit with their first two selections.


    Second Round (No. 67 Overall): Josh Smith, 2B, LSU

    A stress reaction in his lumbar vertebra limited Smith to just six games as a sophomore and kept him from playing on the summer circuit. However, he effectively rebuilt his draft stock this spring by hitting .343/.433/.512 with 24 extra-base hits and 20 steals. He'll shift to second base to start his pro career after manning shortstop at LSU. Smith doesn't have one standout tool, but he's solid across the board.

    Grade: B-

    A safe pick here for a team that could use some quality middle infield depth down on the farm. The Yankees must really like his bat to pass on a number of college players with a shortstop profile defensively in this same range.

Oakland Athletics

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    Logan Davidson
    Logan DavidsonBrian Hennessy

    First Round (No. 29 Overall): Logan Davidson, SS, Clemson

    Davidson has the best power of the college shortstops, slugging 42 home runs in his three seasons at Clemson. He's hitting .291/.412/.574 with 15 homers this spring, and he has also swiped 17 bases while continuing to play solid defense. It's his performance swinging wooden bats in the Cape Cod League that has given a reason for pause—he hit just .202/.304/.266 with a 25.9 percent strikeout rate in 263 plate appearances the past two summers. There's more boom-or-bust potential here than for most college hitters.

    Grade: B+

    I'm probably higher on Davidson than most. The power numbers have been there his entire collegiate career, and you don't have to worry about the glove. If the lack of production with wood bats is the biggest concern, it's worth rolling the dice on his two-way upside at a premium position.


    Second Round (No. 66 Overall): Tyler Baum, RHP, North Carolina

    A highly touted Florida high schooler, Baum removed his name from the 2016 draft to attend North Carolina. While he has put together a solid collegiate career, he never developed into the pitcher many expected him to become. He has a polished four-pitch mix that lacks a true plus pitch, and he's been hittable at times as a result. His stuff has played up when he has pitched out of the bullpen, so he has some fallback potential as a setup reliever.

    Grade: D

    Baum would probably have still been on the board for the A's with their next pick. The crop of college arms has thinned, but there's not enough ceiling here to make this pick worth the risk this early.

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Bryson Stott
    Bryson StottUNLV Creative Services

    First Round (No. 14 Overall): Bryson Stott, SS, UNLV

    In an unusually deep crop of college middle infielders, Stott is the headliner with a 60-grade hit tool and the defensive prowess to stick at shortstop. His swing is geared more toward contact than power, so he might top out at 15 home runs. But he'll hit plenty of doubles and should post strong batting average and on-base percentage numbers. Stott might not have a superstar ceiling, but he's a safe bet to develop into a big league regular.

    Grade: B+

    With only one Day 1 pick, the Phillies did well to land a player that many expected to be off the board in the top 10. You can never have too many good shortstop prospects.

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Quinn Priester
    Quinn PriesterGrandma Judy

    First Round (No. 18 Overall): Quinn Priester, RHP, Cary-Grove HS (Ill.)

    A raw prospect from the Midwest, Priester has a projectable 6'3" frame and an advanced feel for pitching that has given him as much helium as any prep pitcher this spring. He can touch 96 mph with his fastball and he backs it with a 60-grade curveball that ranks as one of the better breaking pitches in the class. Adding strength and refining his changeup will be the biggest areas of focus going forward. He could easily wind up being the best pitcher in the 2019 draft.

    Grade: A

    The Pirates took a chance on a midwestern high schooler a few years back when they selected Mitch Keller out of the Iowa prep ranks, and that turned out pretty well. This pick might have come down to Priester or shortstop Gunnar Henderson, so it will be interesting to see a few years down the line if they made the right choice. For now, the high-ceiling play looks like a good one.


    Balance Round A (No. 37 Overall): Sammy Siani, OF, William Penn Charter School (Pa.)

    The younger brother of Cincinnati Reds prospect Michael Siani, Sammy has a smooth left-handed stroke and ranks as one of the best defensive outfielders in the class. He doesn't have the same raw tools that allowed his brother to command a $2 million bonus as the 109th overall pick. Instead, he's one of the most polished high school players in the class.

    Grade: B

    This was a safer pick, which is fine. Someone like Gunnar Henderson or Maurice Hampton would offer considerably more upside, but minimizing risk here after the Priester pick makes sense.


    Second Round (No. 57 Overall): Matt Gorski, OF, Indiana

    Gorski has an athletic 6'4", 195-pound frame with plus speed and impressive raw power to match. However, there's a lot of swing-and-miss to his game, and he did not show well in the Cape Cod League last summer. The talent is there for him to develop into a five-tool center fielder. Shortening his swing and employing a less pull-happy approach will the first step.

    Grade: B+

    An interesting approach by the Pirates. They took a safe, high-floor prep outfielder in Siani and a risky high-ceiling college outfielder in Gorski. A little outside the box. I like it.


    Balance Round B (No. 72 Overall): Jared Triolo, 3B, Houston

    Similar to Josh Jung and Davis Wendzel, Triolo is a hit-over-power college third baseman and an extremely productive three-year starter. He's a career .317/.406/.447 hitter with nearly as many walks (92) as strikeouts (112), and he put up a respectable .276 average and .787 OPS in the Cape Cod League last summer. He also runs well and profiles as an above-average defender at third base.

    Grade: C

    This is a solid pick and a chance for the Pirates to go under slot to save money for Day 2. He might not develop into an impact player, but Triolo has the approach and makeup to be a big leaguer.

San Diego Padres

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    Logan Driscoll
    Logan DriscollCorey Perrine/Associated Press

    First Round (No. 6 Overall): CJ Abrams, SS, Blessed Trinity Catholic HS (Ga.)

    MLB.com likened Abrams to Dee Gordon while noting he has "considerably more pop" than the Seattle Mariners speedster. While he may eventually wind up at second base or in center field, his game-changing speed and feel for hitting give him the look of a future table-setter. He uses the entire field well and has enough bat speed and strength to develop into a 15-homer threat on top of his impressive wheels.

    Grade: A

    There were some late rumblings that Abrams might be slipping down the board, but it looks like that was just posturing. This class had a consensus top six prospects throughout the predraft process and it always looked like the Padres would sit back and take whoever was left. That's exactly how things played out. Now the fun starts.


    Second Round (No. 48 Overall): Joshua Mears, OF, Federal Way HS (Wa.)

    Mears popped onto the MLB draft radar with a strong showing last summer. With a strong 6'3", 235-pound frame and natural loft in his swing, he offers some serious power potential. The rest of his game is extremely raw, though, and his hit tool will need to come a long way for him to get to all that power.

    Grade: B

    With the best farm system in baseball, the Padres can afford to make high-risk, high-reward picks like this.


    Balance Round B (No. 73 Overall): Logan Driscoll, C, George Mason

    Driscoll hit .336/.426/.513 with 17 home runs in three seasons as the starting backstop at George Mason, and he tallied more walks (31) than strikeouts (30) this spring. He has a strong arm behind the plate and decent receiving skills, which coupled with his 50-grade hit tool gives him a high floor as a quality backup with the chance to be an everyday guy if things click.

    Grade: C+

    The biggest reach of Day 1 relative to ranking, Driscoll was the No. 371 prospect on Baseball America's predraft list. He's more than capable of outperforming that ranking, though, and with one of the higher ceilings in a thin catching crop, he was worth a reach for a team willing to take risks.

San Francisco Giants

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    Hunter Bishop
    Hunter BishopRick Scuteri/Associated Press

    First Round (No. 10 overall): Hunter Bishop, OF, Arizona State

    Bishop was an intriguing prospect out of high school but ultimately slipped to the 24th round due to concerns about his hit tool. After a strong freshman season at Arizona State, he struggled to a .250/.352/.407 line with just five home runs and a 30.3 percent strikeout rate as a sophomore. He has simplified his hitting mechanics this spring and is reaping the rewards with a robust .342/.479/.748 line and 22 home runs. He has also trimmed his strikeout rate to under 25 percent, though there will likely always be some swing-and-miss to his game. Despite a big 6'5", 210-pound frame, he has a chance to stick in center field as a pro.

    Grade: A

    The Giants have to be happy that Bishop slipped to them. UNLV shortstop Bryson Stott might have been the safer pick, but there's no question Bishop has a higher ceiling, and they're in a position to swing for the fences in the early stages of a rebuild.


    Second Round (No. 51 Overall): Logan Wyatt, 1B, Louisville

    Wyatt took over first base duties at Louisville in 2018 after Golden Spikes winner Brendan McKay departed. His ultra-patient approach at the plate has led to a 21.9 percent walk rate and a .478 on-base percentage during his college career. With so much emphasis put on working counts and making contact, he has yet to show the ability to consistently tap into the raw power packed into his 6'4", 230-pound frame. With a first base-only defensive profile, he'll need to show he can hit for power.

    Grade: A

    The offensively challenged Giants ended up with two of the better college bats in this year's class. While Bishop has quite a bit of room between his floor and ceiling, Wyatt should move as quickly as any bat in the class thanks to his stellar on-base skills. The only question is where exactly he fits with Buster Posey still likely to move out of the crouch and over to first base at some point.

Seattle Mariners

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    George Kirby
    George KirbyPeter Fortunato

    First Round (No. 20 Overall): George Kirby, RHP, Elon

    This spring, albeit against lesser competition at Elon, Kirby posted a 2.75 ERA with an absurd 107-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 88.1 innings. A 1.38 ERA with 24 strikeouts in 13 innings in the Cape Cod League last summer helps ease concerns about his ability to handle better hitters. He has a durable 6'3", 205-pound frame, four average-or-better pitches and terrific command. That should allow him to move as quickly as anyone in the class toward a ceiling as a middle-of-the-rotation starter.

    Grade: A

    Great pick. Kirby was the last of the top-tier college arms on the board, and this is further than any of them were expected to fall. He might not have a frontline ceiling, but he has an extremely high floor and should pair nicely with 2018 first-round pick Logan Gilbert.


    Second Round (No. 59 Overall): Brandon Williamson, LHP, TCU

    A JUCO transfer who slipped to the 36th round last June as a result of his high asking price, Williamson teased middle-of-the-rotation upside this spring but struggled with consistency. When everything is working, his fastball can touch 96 mph with good late life, and he also features a plus slider. When it's not, his pitches get flat, and he works in the low 90s with his fastball. There's projection left in his 6'5", 210-pound frame, and he's capable of overpowering hitters when things are clicking.

    Grade: B

    In a thin class for college lefties and given Williamson's considerable upside, this is a good risk-reward pick after taking one of the safest arms in the class at No. 20 overall.


    Balance Round B (No. 76 Overall): Isaiah Campbell, RHP, Arkansas

    Campbell sits in the mid-90s with his fastball and can reach back for 98 mph when he needs it. He backs it with a slider and a splitter that replaced his changeup this spring, and he has made significant strides with his offspeed stuff as a junior. With smooth mechanics and a strong 6'4", 225-pound frame, he has a middle-of-the-rotation profile with a chance for a bit more.

    Grade: A+

    Campbell could easily outpitch his draft position, and I had him as the 10th-best college pitcher on my board. The Mariners took a similar approach to the what the Royals did with their first three Day 1 picks last season, grabbing three quality college arms to help bolster a farm system on the rise.

St. Louis Cardinals

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    Zack Thompson
    Zack ThompsonUniversity of Kentucky Athletics

    First Round (No. 19 Overall): Zack Thompson, LHP, Kentucky

    If not for some medical red flags, Thompson might be the consensus top college pitcher in this year's draft class. The 6'3", 225-pound left-hander failed a post-draft physical in 2016 and missed time as a sophomore with an elbow issue. However, none of that required surgery, and he has looked dominant at times this spring. The southpaw has posted a 2.40 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with an impressive 130 strikeouts in 90 innings, thanks to a well-balanced four-pitch mix.

    Grade: C

    The injury red flags are hard to overlook. If they were set on a college arm, Elon's George Kirby looked like a better pick here, especially given their track record of developing high-floor college arms. The risk could pay off with Thompson, but was it a risk worth taking?


    Second Round (No. 58 Overall): Trejyn Fletcher, OF, Deering HS (Maine)

    Fletcher is now the highest-drafted high schooler in the history of the state of Maine, surpassing 1977 eighth-round pick Kurt Hall, according to MLB.com. The 6'1", 190-pound center fielder is one of the best all-around athletes in the draft with the potential to be a 20-20 player if everything clicks. He's still rough around the edges, but the tools should play at the next level. He also touched 93 mph with his fastball off the mound.

    Grade: B+

    It's a risky Day 1 for the Redbirds, but one that could pay off big if both players stay healthy and reach their full potential. Fletcher could easily wind up looking like a first-round talent a few years down the road.

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Greg Jones
    Greg JonesUNCWSports.com

    First Round (No. 22 Overall): Greg Jones, SS, UNC Wilmington

    With true 80-grade speed and a strong finish to the season, Jones has seen his stock steadily rise in the days leading up to the draft. He's more than just a burner, though, with a solid hit tool and a terrific eye at the plate. He hit .341/.491/.543 this spring with more walks (55) than strikeouts (44) while swiping 42 bases in 52 attempts. There is some question whether he'll stick at shortstop, but his elite speed would also play well in center field.

    Grade: B+

    I like this pick for the Rays, though their impressive track record developing pitching made flame-thrower Brennan Malone an intriguing option here. Regardless, they got a toolsy player capable of making a major impact offensively.


    Balance Round A (No. 36 Overall): JJ Goss, RHP, Cypress Ranch HS (Texas)

    Goss has a ton of projection remaining in his lanky 6'3", 185-pound frame, and he can already touch 96 mph with his fastball. He backs that with a 60-grade slider that is one of the best breaking pitches in this class of high school arms and also shows a good feel for his changeup. He also shows a good feel for attacking hitters and throws a lot of strikes. Patience will be the name of the game as his physical development continues.

    Grade: A+

    There wasn't a better landing spot for the ultra-projectable Goss. The Rays know how to get the most out of high-ceiling pitching prospects, and his upside is as high as any arm in the draft.


    Balance Round A (No. 40 Overall): Seth Johnson, RHP, Campbell

    A light-hitting JUCO shortstop in 2017 and 2018, Johnson made the move to the mound upon transferring to Campbell, and his raw stuff has sent him skyrocketing up draft boards this spring. He already shows two plus pitches among his four-pitch repertoire and has remarkably clean mechanics given his lack of experience on the mound. The 6'1" right-hander has racked up 81 strikeouts in 66.1 innings this spring, and he may be just scratching the surface.

    Grade: A

    Another fun pick by the Rays. What better place for an extremely raw and extremely talented college arm?


    Second Round (No. 61 Overall): John Doxakis, LHP, Texas A&M

    After serving as a swingman during his freshman season, Doxakis has anchored the Aggies rotation the past two seasons. He doesn't have overpowering stuff, and there's considerable effort in his delivery, which could ultimately land him in the bullpen. His stuff played up when he pitched in relief as a freshman, but he's well-equipped to start and should get the chance to kick off his pro career in that role.

    Grade: B

    This year's crop of left-handed pitching was as thin as it's been in a long time. The Rays managed to get one of the better college southpaws, and while he comes with some reliever risk, this looks like solid value for a guy who could have gone 15-20 picks earlier.

Texas Rangers

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    Josh Jung
    Josh JungTexas Tech Athletics

    First Round (No. 8 Overall): Josh Jung, 3B, Texas Tech

    Jung has been ultra-productive as a three-year starter at Texas Tech, hitting .392/.491/.639 with 12 home runs and 80 RBI as a sophomore. He has not quite matched that level of production this spring, and there is some question whether his contact-over-power approach can be refined enough to make full use of his 55-grade raw power. Still, his track record of success and advanced approach make him one of the safer picks among college hitters.

    Grade: B

    This is a bit higher than Jung was expected to go and there were rumblings of the Rangers looking to cut a below-slot deal here. Even if this is a slot pick, a case can be made that Jung was the best college hitter left on the board. For now, the pick gets a "B" grade, but that could change based on how the rest of the team's Day 1 haul plays out.


    Balance Round A (No. 41 Overall): Davis Wendzel, 3B, Baylor

    A legitimate prospect as a draft-eligible sophomore last year, Wendzel slipped to the 37th round when it became clear he intended to return for his junior season. The full-bearded third baseman is sporting a .479 on-base percentage this spring, and he's tallied 98 walks against 99 strikeouts during his college career. He'll always be more hit than power offensively, but his advanced approach and stellar glovework at the hot corner give him the look of a future big leaguer.

    Grade: C

    Wendzel is essentially the poor man's Josh Jung in this year's draft class. Maybe the Rangers just really miss Adrian Beltre so they're all-in on finding a new third baseman. Odd pick.


    Second Round (No. 50 Overall): Ryan Garcia, RHP, UCLA

    Garcia was the Friday night starter for UCLA this spring after a stellar showing in the Cape Cod League (28.0 IP, 1.28 ERA, 33 K) last summer. He's a bit undersized at 6'0", 180 pounds and doesn't have a true plus pitch among his four offerings. However, with a great feel for pitching, clean mechanics and a strong track record, he still profiles as a future MLB starter.

    Grade: B+

    Garcia is not the usual high-octane arm the Rangers tend to target early in the draft, but he'll be a welcome addition to the farm system.

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Alek Manoah
    Alek ManoahDale Sparks/WVU Athletics Communications

    First Round (No. 11 Overall): Alek Manoah, RHP, West Virginia

    After serving as a swingman during his first two seasons on campus, Manoah moved into the role of staff ace this spring after a standout performance (33.1 IP, 2.70 ERA, 48 K) in the Cape Cod League last summer. The 6'6", 260-pound right-hander can touch 97 mph with his fastball and he backs it with a good slider and a changeup that has flashed plus. He also offers more projection than most college arms due to his relatively short track record.

    Grade: A+

    The Blue Jays system is starved for high-ceiling arms behind Nate Pearson and Eric Pardinho. There's a very real chance they just got the best pitcher in the 2019 draft at No. 11 overall. This was the best-case scenario for them.


    Second Round (No. 52 Overall): Kendall Williams, RHP, IMG Academy (Fla.)

    Williams has an extremely projectable 6'6", 190-pound frame, and he uses his height well to create a downward plane. He throws a lot of strikes and commands his pitches well, showing a fastball that touches 94 mph, the makings of two solid breaking pitches and a passable changeup. He'll be a tough sign away from a commitment to Vanderbilt.

    Grade: A

    Getting him signed will obviously be key, but Williams is the perfect pick to pair with Manoah. Heck, maybe the 260-pound Manoah can share some recipes with the 190-pound Williams while they progress through the minors together.

Washington Nationals

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    Jackson Rutledge
    Jackson RutledgeSan Jacinto College

    First Round (No. 17 Overall): Jackson Rutledge, RHP, San Jacinto JC (Texas)

    The success of Nate Pearson in the Toronto Blue Jays system could help pave the way for more hard-throwing JUCO pitchers to hear their names called early in the draft. The best of the bunch this year is Rutledge, who has an imposing 6'8", 240-pound frame and some of the best stuff in the class with a 70-grade fastball that touches 99 mph and a wipeout slider. It will take improved mechanics and the development of a reliable changeup to unlock his full potential, but his ceiling is as high as any pitcher’s in the draft.

    Grade: A+

    The Nationals have consistently shown a willingness to take a chance on a pitcher when his upside outweighs the question marks that could turn other teams away. Rutledge is rough around the edges, but the payoff here could be huge. If someone like Jung had fallen, he would have made sense, but this is a great pick given what's left on the board.