MLB Draft 2019: Ranking the Biggest Steals of Day 2

Jacob Shafer@@jacobshaferFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2019

MLB Draft 2019: Ranking the Biggest Steals of Day 2

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    Right-hander Matthew Allan
    Right-hander Matthew AllanSeminole High School

    The first two rounds of the 2019 MLB draft unfolded Monday. If you thought the action was over, you were sorely mistaken.

    Impact players remained on the board for Tuesday, when the third through 10th rounds played out. As ever, we won't know which players will blossom and which will wilt for at least a couple of years.

    That stipulated, here's a ranking of the eight biggest potential steals from Day 2 based on hype, ability, college or prep stats and a dollop of subjectivity.

No. 8: 3B Drew Mendoza, Washington Nationals

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    Drew Mendoza flashed serious pop from the left side in 2019, as he clubbed 14 home runs and posted a 1.073 OPS in 55 games for Florida State.

    The Washington Nationals took the 21-year-old in the third round with the 94th overall pick.

    Mendoza needs to refine his defensive game and take some of the swing-and-miss out of his approach, but his power is as impressive as it is undeniable. 

No. 7: RHP Jack Kochanowicz, Los Angeles Angels

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    A 6"6', 210-pound prep hurler with a mid-90s fastball and a tantalizing changeup, Jack Kochanowicz oozes upside.

    Yes, he's raw. His delivery and control need work. But the kid can flat-out throw.

    He's ostensibly committed to Virginia. If the Los Angeles Angels are willing to open their wallet, however, they should be able to sign Kochanowicz after taking him 92nd overall in the third round.

    From there, they could develop him as a dominant reliever or, possibly, a mid-rotation starter.

No. 6: LHP Matt Cronin, Washington Nationals

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    With a fastball that sits in the low-90s and a genuine hammer curveball, Arkansas left-hander Matt Cronin has the makeup to become a big league pitcher sooner than later.

    The 21-year-old went No. 123 overall in the fourth round to the Nationals and is likely destined for a bullpen role.

    That's not a bad thing, considering the 2.25 ERA, 35 strikeouts and 14 walks he posted over 24 innings for the Razorbacks in 2019.

    He's on the fast track to the big leagues with genuine shutdown late-inning potential.

No. 5: C Kyle McCann, Oakland Athletics

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    Catchers typically go high in the draft, so the Oakland Athletics were undoubtedly counting their blessings when Kyle McCann fell to them at No. 134 in the fourth round.

    The Georgia Tech backstop needs to work on his defense, but he hit 22 home runs with a 1.161 OPS in 52 games from the left side during the 2019 season.

    In typical Moneyball fashion, the A's might have scored a future star at a bargain slot.

No. 4: SS Will Holland, Minnesota Twins

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    Will Holland hit .341 in the Cape Cod League last summer. He also posted an .822 OPS in three seasons at Auburn and has the type of raw power in the middle infield over which teams drool.

    He'll need to hone his defense to stick at shortstop and could stand to improve his plate discipline, as well. That said, he was a high-upside steal for the Minnesota Twins as the 149th overall pick in the fifth round.

    Call it hype, but Auburn head coach Butch Thompson called Holland "a first-round shortstop," per Sam Blum of

No. 3: LHP Erik Miller, Philadelphia Phillies

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    Despite control concerns, Erik Miller boasts a mid-90s fastball, a plus slider and an emerging changeup that position his ceiling at ace height.

    The 6'5", 240-pound right-hander struck out 80 in 67.2 innings for Stanford in 2019. At age 21, he could rise quickly through the Philadelphia Phillies system after landing in their lap during the fourth round at No. 120 overall.

    Miller seemed like a candidate to be taken early Tuesday. The fact he fell to Philadelphia was something of a coup.

No. 2: 3B Tyler Callihan, Cincinnati Reds

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    A lefty-swinging high schooler with sky-high offensive upside, Tyler Callihan was a sleeper pick to go in the first round Monday.

    Instead, he slipped to the Cincinnati Reds at No. 85 overall in the third round one day later.

    The 19-year-old is committed to South Carolina, which means it might take extra dough for the Reds to sign him. But his advanced hit tool makes him a fast-track candidate and a possible bargain given his lower-than-expected draft slot.

No. 1: RHP Matthew Allan, New York Mets

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    Arguably the top high school pitcher in this season's draft class, Matthew Allan boasts an advanced fastball, a curveball and a changeup befitting a frontline MLB starter.

    The 18-year-old is reportedly seeking as much as $4 million out of the gate. That's a steep ask for a prep arm.

    Still, after they snagged him at No. 89 in the third round, the New York Mets ought to consider paying up.

    Like all draftees, especially in the later rounds, Allan is a gamble. But his stuff makes him a gamble worth taking.


    All statistics courtesy of The Baseball Cube unless otherwise noted.


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