2019 MLB Draft Results: Grades and Order Listing for Each Team Before Day 2June 4, 2019
Day 1 of the 2019 MLB draft made 78 dreams come true, and now everybody will try to figure out which of the 78 prospects will translate successfully to their new Major League Baseball homes.
Much has to happen before the answers become clear, but below is an early look at grades for each of the 30 MLB teams that selected Monday night.
For an updated draft order heading into Tuesday, visit MLB.com. The draft is available to watch on MLB Network and MLB.com.
Arizona Diamondbacks: No. 16 Corbin Carroll, CF, Lakeside HS (WA); No. 26 Blake Walston, P, New Hanover HS (NC); No. 33 Brennan Malone, P, IMG Academy No. 34 Drey Jameson, P, Ball State; No. 56 Ryne Nelson, P, Oregon; No. 74 Tommy Henry, P, Michigan; No. 75 Dominic Fletcher, OF, Arkansas
Atlanta Braves: No. 9 Shea Langeliers, C, Baylor; No. 21 Braden Shewmake, SS, Texas A&M; No. 60 Philip Beau, SS, Oregon State
Baltimore Orioles: No. 1 Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State; No. 42 Gunnar Henderson, SS, John T. Morgan Academy; No. 71 Kyle Stowers, OF, Stanford
Last season, Adley Rutschman led the Oregon State Beavers to a national title as the 2018 College World Series' Most Outstanding Player. He followed that up by being named the 2019 Pac-12 Player of the Year after a conference-leading batting average (.419).
The 6'2", 216-pound junior also led the country with a .580 on-base percentage, 1.345 OPS as well as 73 walks this season.
His power is so feared that he was intentionally walked with the bases loaded earlier this week:
ESPN's Tim Kurkjian praised the Orioles' top choice as soon as the pick was announced: "He's a switch-hitter He's got power. He's got great makeup. He's a classic gym rat. People compare him to Buster Posey. The Orioles got the perfect guy to build around."
As for the comparison to Posey, a National League scouting executive told MLB.com's Jim Callis that Rutschman is "at the top for me" in terms of best catching prospects since the single draft format was implemented by MLB in 1987.
"The only college catcher who compares to him is Buster Posey, and Rutschman has more power than we thought Buster had, and I think the kid is a better catcher than Buster."
The last time Baltimore selected a catcher with the first overall pick, it was Matt Wieters in 2007. He had four All-Star seasons and two Gold Glove seasons for the Orioles. At an MLB-worst 18-41, the Orioles will welcome that potential behind the plate with open arms.
Boston Red Sox: No. 43 Cameron Cannon, SS, Arizona; No. 69 Matthew Lugo, SS, Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy
The World Series champions didn't select until the second round, but they used their two picks Monday night wisely. Cannon hit .397 this season for Arizona. While he only cranked seven home runs, he led Division I with 29 doubles (h/t MassLive.com's Chris Cotillo).
MLB.com described Cannon as "a classic grinder who gets the most out of his tools. ... Some scouts think he could hit his way to a big league starting job while others project him as a utilityman."
"He's very versatile," Boston's vice president of amateur scouting Mike Rikard said, per Cotillo. "He has played quite a bit of shortstop at the University of Arizona, but he has also played some second base as well as playing some third base last summer in the Cape. Not exactly sure what exactly is going to be the best fit for him, but we do like the fact he's been able to move around through his career."
The 21-year-old joins a system stacked with infield talent—nine of Boston's top-30 prospects are listed as infielders—which gives the organization room to take a slight risk.
Lugo, who is the nephew of retired 20-year MLB veteran Carlos Beltran, is the highest-ranked Puerto Rican prospect in the 2019 draft class. There is a chance the 6'1", 185-pound shortstop could choose to play at the University of Miami, where he's committed.
Chicago White Sox: No. 3 Andrew Vaughn, 1B, California; No. 45 Matthew Thompson, P, Cypress Ranch HS (TX)
"What [Stephen] Curry is to the Warriors, Andrew is to Cal," Vaughn's longtime hitting coach Joey Gomes, a former eighth-round draft pick and brother to Jonny Gomes, told NBC Sports' Dalton Johnson. "He literally makes everyone else around him better."
Vaughn was given the 2018 Golden Spikes Award, presented to the best amateur baseball player in the nation, in 2018 after recording 23 home runs compared to just 18 strikeouts as a sophomore. Other recipients of the award include Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg.
In fact, ESPN's Jeff Passan compared Vaughn to Bryant:
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
Andrew Vaughn is a phenomenal hitter -- the best in the draft, arguably the best college hitter since Kris Bryant. The only question is positional. He's got to hit and hit a lot to play at first. But ... he's worked out for teams at third. If he can stick there, value skyrockets.
At just 6'0", there is a slight concern surrounding how Vaughn will translate to first base. "A 6-foot tall collegiate first baseman who bats and throws right and required a top pick to acquire," wrote CBS Sports' R.J. Anderson. "History is not kind to many of those descriptions."
"To make matters even worse, Vaughn is a right-handed hitter. At any given time, there's roughly three right-handed first basemen who most teams value as long-term pieces. Otherwise, they're by and large viewed as expendable pieces—that's not the description you want when you're selecting someone third overall."
Vaughn's upside is worth betting on, especially if he can make the transition to third base where the White Sox missed out on adding Manny Machado as a free agent in February.
Chicago Cubs: No. 27 Ryan Jensen, P, Fresno State; No. 64 Chase Strumpf, 2B, UCLA
Cincinnati Reds: No. 7 Nick Lodolo, P, TCU; No. 49 Rece Hinds, SS, IMG Academy
Cleveland Indians: No. 24 Daniel Espino, P, Georgia Premier Academy; No. 63 Yordys Valdes, SS, McArthur HS (FL)
Colorado Rockies: No. 23 Michael Toglia, 1B, UCLA; No. 62 Aaron Schunk, 3B, Georgia; No. 77 Karl Kauffmann, P, Michigan
The last first baseman to be selected in Round 1 by Colorado was All-Star Todd Helton in 1995, according to 9News' Jeremy Chavez, and the Rockies will hope history repeats itself with Toglia.
Detroit Tigers: No. 5 Riley Greene, OF, Hagerty HS (FL); No. 47 Nick Quintana, 3B, Arizona
MLB.com asserted that "there is no one who doubts Greene will hit at the next level." The 18-year-old University of Florida commit led USA Baseball's 18 and Under National Team in RBIs this spring and has been scouted heavily by many in the Tigers front office throughout the spring.
"You'd have to see it to believe some of the stuff he does," Greene's high school coach of three years, Matt Cleveland, told the Detroit Free Press' Jeff Seidel. "You just scratch your head. He's a really good athlete, great outfielder, and the hit tool is not like anything I've ever seen; and I've coached a lot of good players, probably eight pro guys on my high school team."
"It's not normal what he does," Cleveland added.
Emily Waldon @EmilyCWaldon
Viewed as the best pure bat in the HS class, #Tigers Riley Greene already boasts a plus hit tool. Body is very projectable, according to scouts. Defensively, profile appears to point to a corner OF slot. Speed & arm are graded as average, but the athleticism plays to his favor.
With Miguel Cabrera entering the latter phase of his career, the Tigers' power-hitting prowess of the future relies on the development of Greene.
Houston Astros: No. 32 Korey Lee, C, California; No. 68 Grae Kessinger, SS, Ole Miss
Kansas City Royals: No. 2 Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Colleyville Heritage HS (TX); No. 44 Brady McConnell, SS, Florida; No. 70 Alec Marsh, P, Arizona State
Witt Jr. has not yet donned royal blue, but he is already drawing comparisons to another Kansas City sports savior:
While that is a very high bar to set for an 18-year-old, everything the 6'1", 180-pound potential five-tool prospect has shown on the diamond thus far makes it feel obtainable. The Athletic's Rustin Dodd reported that Royals officials see Witt Jr. as being from the "same family of players" as Adalberto Mondesi, Kansas City's current shortstop.
Mondesi, for context, leads MLB with eight triples and 21 stolen bases.
Jim Callis of MLB.com had an even more favorable comparison than Patrick Mahomes:
"There's no question that Witt is the best shortstop prospect in a 2019 Draft full of first-round candidates at the position. He also compares favorably to the best since MLB switched to a single unified Draft in 1987. We surveyed several veteran scouts, and the consensus was that only one shortstop in the last 32 years ranks ahead of Witt.
"'Alex Rodriguez is the best shortstop prospect I've seen, but Bobby Witt Jr. certainly belongs right up there,' a longtime scout now with a NL club said. 'He can match up with guys toolswise and what he also has is a high baseball IQ. People lose sight of it because the tools are so strong, but he's a really good player to go with it.'"
Witt Jr. hit .489 with 15 home runs compared to just 11 strikeouts this season for Colleyville Heritage High School.
Los Angeles Angels: No. 15 Will Wilson, SS, North Carolina State; No. 55 Kyren Paris, SS, Freedom HS (CA)
Los Angeles Dodgers: No. 25 Kody Hoese, 3B, Tulane; No. 31 Michael Busch, 2B, North Carolina; No. 78 Jimmy Lewis, P, Lake Travis HS (TX)
Miami Marlins: No. 4 J.J. Bleday, OF, Vanderbilt; No. 35 Kameron Misner, CF, Missouri; No. 46 Nasim Nunez, SS, Collins Hill HS (GA)
Milwaukee Brewers: No. 28 Ethan Small, P, Mississippi State; No. 65 Antoine Kelly, P, Wabash Valley College
Robert Murray @ByRobertMurray
Ethan Small was the SEC strikeout leader in 2019. He has above-average command, generates frequent swings-and-misses. Throws 86-92 mph. Has already had Tommy John surgery. Brewers view him as possible future rotation piece. “He is a pitcher,” scouting director Tod Johnson said.
Minnesota Twins: No. 13 Keoni Cavaco, 3B, Eastlake HS (CA); No. 39 Matt Wallner, RF, Southern Mississippi; No. 54 Matt Canterino, P, Rice
New York Yankees: No. 30 Anthony Volpe, SS, Delbarton School; No. 38 T.J. Sikkema, P, Missouri; No. 67 Josh Smith, 2B, LSU
New York Mets: No. 12 Brett Baty, 3B, Lake Travis HS (TX); No. 53 Josh Wolf, P, St. Thomas HS (TX)
Oakland Athletics: No. 29 Logan Davidson, SS, Clemson; No. 66 Tyler Baum, P, North Carolina
Philadelphia Phillies: No. 14 Bryson Stott, SS, UNLV
Pittsburgh Pirates: No. 18 Quinn Priester, P, Cary-Grove HS (IL); No. 37 Sammy Siani, CF, William Penn Charter School; No. 57 Matt Gorski, CF, Indiana; No. 72 Jared Triolo, 3B, Houston
San Diego Padres: No. 6 C.J. Abrams, SS, Blessed Trinity Catholic HS (GA); No. 48 Joshua Mears, RF, Federal Way HS (WA); No. 73 Logan Driscoll, C, George Mason
San Francisco Giants: No. 10 Hunter Bishop, OF, Arizona State; No. 51 Logan Wyatt, 1B, Louisville
Seattle Mariners: No. 20 George Kirby, P, Elon; No. 59 Brandon Williamson, P, TCU; No. 76 Isaiah Campbell, P, Arkansas
Aaron Fitt @aaronfitt
I think #Mariners hit the jackpot with @ElonBaseball's George Kirby at pick 20. I know I’m an outlier here, but he’s my favorite arm in this draft: easy 93-97 with impeccable control (107-6 K-BB, for a power pitcher). Offspeed is coming. My Kirby profile: https://t.co/wVuXis68RB
St. Louis Cardinals: No. 19 Zack Thompson, P, Kentucky; No. 58 Trejyn Fletcher, CF, Deering HS (ME)
Tampa Bay Rays: No. 22 Greg Jones, SS, UNC Wilmington; No. 36 JJ Goss, P, Cypress Ranch HS (TX); No. 40 Seth Johnson, P, Campbell University; No. 61 John Doxakis, P, Texas A&M
Texas Rangers: No. 8 Josh Jung, 3B, Texas Tech; No. 41 Davis Wendzel, 3B, Baylor; No. 50 Ryan Garcia, P, UCLA
Toronto Blue Jays: No. 11 Alek Manoah, P, West Virginia; No. 52 Kendall Williams, P, IMG Academy
Washington Nationals: No. 17 Jackson Rutledge, P, San Jacinto College North
*Draft information courtesy of MLB.com unless otherwise specified