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Draft  | Mock Draft  | 4/20/2018

2018 MLB Mock Draft Version 1

David Rawnsley      Patrick Ebert      Jheremy Brown      Vincent Cervino      Greg Gerard     
Photo: Jarred Kelenic (Perfect Game)

MLB Draft Top 350 Prospects | 2018 MLB Draft Order

On Monday the 2018 MLB Draft will be six weeks away as we take our first stab at projecting the picks. Instead of assigning individual teams to our writing scouts, we have decided to simply take turns in the draft order, doing so with a pair of our friends from 2080 Baseball, Nick Faleris and Burke Granger. Each contributor has made five or six total picks going through Competitive Balance Round A, or the top 43 overall selections. The picks were made between a combination of our own personal thoughts combined with some historical drafting preferences for the individual teams.

We are still a little ahead of trying to figure out signability, something the individual teams begin to figure out over the final month of the process. As we get closer to the draft the mock drafts to come with start to pair players to teams based more on how we project the draft to actually shaking out.

1. Detroit Tigers | Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn
Mize’s profile offers lots of plusses and his performance this spring is nothing short of amazing. He lives in the 92-95 mph range, touching better, and his splitter is one of the best off-speed pitches in college. Mize misses bats at an alarming rate while rarely issuing a free pass, boding well to his starting profile. (JB)

2. San Francisco Giants | Jarred Kelenic, OF, Waukesha West HS (Wis.)
The Giants do not shy away from prep talent and Kelenic is a potential five-tool performer who has a chance to stick up the middle defensively. A plus runner with plus arm strength (upper-90s from the outfield), Kelenic also has a chance to hit for average and power, producing regular hard contact at the plate (100-plus mph exit velocity this spring). (NF)

3. Philadelphia Phillies | Nick Madrigal, 2B/SS, Oregon State
The best position player in the class is Oregon State infielder Nick Madrigal. The size is somewhat of a negative but he makes up for it with elite baseball instincts and feel to go along with several other impressive tools, such as his hit and run tools.

4. Chicago White Sox | Shane McClanahan, LHP, South Florida
After not allowing an earned run in his first five starts of the season, McClanahan has surrendered 18 over his past four games to go with 16 walks during that span. Despite recent struggles, the lefthander’s appealing profile includes a fastball that scrapes triple digits and a plus changeup that has helped him strikeout 15.02 per nine. 

5. Cincinnati Reds | Ethan Hankins, RHP, Forsyth Central HS (Ga.)
The Reds do a good job drafting and developing high school arms, and after taking Hunter Greene a year ago they could get the top prep arm the draft has to offer for a second year in a row in the form of Ethan Hankins. Hankins has the size, stuff and projection to be a future staff ace.

6. New York Mets | Matt Liberatore, LHP, Mountain Ridge HS (Ariz.)
The Mets have picked a lefthanded arm each of the past two years, and they will return to the prep ranks with Arizona lefty Matt Liberatore. The ceiling is very high with lots to project upon his 6-foot-5, 200-pound frame. Liberatore has shown three plus pitches and it wouldn't be surprising to look back at Liberatore as the top player from this year's class. (VC)

7. San Diego Padres | Carter Stewart, RHP, Eau Gaille HS (Fla.)
The Padres picked prep lefthander MacKenzie Gore third overall last June and in picking Stewart they have perhaps the highest ceiling high school pitcher in this draft as well. The 6-foot-6 Stewart has the best curveball in this or many drafts and has seen his fastball jump 4-5 mph this spring.

8. Atlanta Braves | Nolan Gorman, 3B, Sandra Day O'Connor HS (Ariz.)
Despite having an outstanding crop of young players that includes a balance of both pitchers and hitters, the hot corner has been a question mark in Atlanta since the retirement of 2018 Hall of Fame inductee Chipper Jones. Gorman could very well answer those questions in the coming years.

9. Oakland Athletics | Alec Bohm, 3B, Wichita State
Bohm simply doesn’t look like others in this draft class at 6-foot-5, 220-pounds, and it’s his strength that has helped him rise up boards this spring. He’s not only showing his easy plus raw power in games but he’s also hitting for plenty of average, in part to his refined approach at the plate and limited swing and miss.

10. Pittsburgh Pirates | Travis Swaggerty, OF, South Alabama
One of the top performers on last summer’s Collegiate National Team (.328/.449/.406), Swaggerty has continued to swing it this spring, reaching base in just under half of his plate appearances (.487 OBP) while driving the ball with authority (.285 ISO). He has a chance to stick in center long term and projects as a top-of-the-order stick. (NF)

11. Baltimore Orioles | Brady Singer, RHP, Florida
Though Singer comes with some reliever risk, he’s likely to be a very fast-moving arm through a minor league system with a plus fastball highlighted by plus sink. He also mixes in a slider and changeup, throws strikes and could profile as a high-leverage reliever quickly. 

12. Toronto Blue Jays | Ryan Rolison, LHP, Mississippi
The Blue Jays haven’t used a first round pick on a high school player since 2013 (Phil Bickford, 10th overall), and he didn’t sign. A polished college lefty, Rolison has used a low-90s fastball and plus breaking ball to strike out 63 over 46 2/3 innings, and he offers the most value at this spot. 

13. Miami Marlins | Mason Denaburg, RHP, Merritt Island HS (Fla.)
Historically the Marlins have shown a preference for big-bodied power pitchers, and Denaburg definitely fits that mold. An athletic player who was once ranked as the top catcher in the class, Denaburg’s mid- to upper-90s heat and 6-foot-4 stature gives him exciting upside on the mound.

14. Seattle Mariners | Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech
Joey Bart fits in nicely with the Mariners recent philosophy of drafting high-end college talent who can move quickly without sacrificing ceiling. Bart will draw comps to 2012 first-rounder Mike Zunino, but Bart has more advanced barrel skills with just as impressive raw power. With his cannon arm and overall defensive chops, Bart has a chance to move quickly through the system. 

15. Texas Rangers | Mike Vasil, RHP, Boston College HS (Mass.)
Despite the atrocious weather in the Northeast, Vasil has been able to further impress scouts this spring with a bit more juice on his already low- to mid-90s fastball. Even more impressive than Vasil's velocity and his easy delivery is the outstanding command he has in spotting his fastball to all quadrants of the zone. 

16. Tampa Bay Rays | Nander De Sedas, SS, Montverde Academy (Fla.)
A legitimate switch-hitting shortstop, Nander De Sedas would add depth to the already talent-filled farm system the Rays have. He has put together a very good spring season with a strong showing at the PG High School Showdown. Known for their tremendous player development, the Rays could bolster that reputation with the selection of De Sedas. 

17. Los Angeles Angels | Jackson Kowar, RHP, Florida
Unlike most college arms, the 6-foot-6, 185-pound Kowar still offers physical projection. He sits in the 93-95 mph range comfortably throughout a start and ramps it up higher when needed with big plane and heavy life. Kowar’s changeup is one of the best in the draft and his slider gives him an electric, three-pitch mix. 

18. Kansas City Royals | Jonathan India, 3B, Florida
The Royals have four picks in the top 40, giving ample opportunity to make a run at high priced high schoolers who slide and making this a good spot to lock in a college producer. India has been one of the best in the business this year, slashing .436/.561/.863 through 36 games to go with soft hands and above average speed and arm strength. (NF)

19. St. Louis Cardinals | Kumar Rocker, RHP, North Oconee HS (Ga.)
Though he may be gone before this pick, Kumar Rocker is one of the faces of the class with extreme physicality, a potential plus-plus fastball and a plus breaking ball along with excellent strike-throwing ability. He offers the upside of a potential mid-rotation starter with a changeup that has shown well when he throws it. 

20. Minnesota Twins | Cole Winn, RHP, Orange Lutheran HS (Calif.)
Recent strong showings at high visibility events such as the National High School Invitational and the Boras Classic have elevated Winn’s draft stock into late first round consideration. The Mississippi State commit has been working consistently in the 92-95 range, with a plus curveball, average slider and a developing changeup. 

21. Milwaukee Brewers | Will Banfield, C, Brookwood HS (Ga.)
Banfield has a pretty rare profile, with enough quickness to play a middle infield position, a rocket for an arm behind the plate and arguably the best overall defensive profile of any player available for this year’s draft. He also has a knack for making consistent, hard contact making him one of the best overall prep catchers in recent years. 

22. Colorado Rockies | Trevor Larnach, OF, Oregon State
One of the biggest risers this draft season has been Oregon State outfielder Trevor Larnach, and the Rockies grab him at No. 22 with big offensive hopes for the lefthanded slugger. He's been hitting for a ton of power this year thanks to his bat speed and lofted swing, and Larnach could continue to hit his way higher as he likely will stick on a corner at the next level.

23. New York Yankees | Logan Gilbert, RHP, Stetson
While Gilbert has gone a solid 6-1, 2.89 with 87 strikeouts in 62 innings this spring, his raw stuff was even better last summer in the Cape Cod League. Few organizations scout the Cape as heavily as the Yankees do and they will remember that Gilbert was a projected top 10 pick after his performance there. 

24. Chicago Cubs | Greyson Jenista, OF/1B, Wichita State
The Cubs have drafted several pitchers in recent years and they could use some offense to accompany those arms down on the farm. Jenista is a good get out of Wichita State with high-level barrel ability that has him hitting .310 for the Shockers this season with an above average run tool. 

25. Arizona Diamondbacks | Brice Turang, Santiago HS (Calif.)
Turang, an LSU commit, has long been on the national scene and he has maintained that status thanks to his defensive skills and smooth lefthanded stroke. He offers an all-fields approach and intriguing power while showing refined actions, plus glove skills and an advanced run tool, all of which help project him to stick up the middle at the next level. 

26. Boston Red Sox | Connor Scott, OF, Plant HS (Fla.)
Scott is an excellent athlete with plus speed and a chance to hit for plus power at maturity. The Florida commit has a loose swing with good lift and has ridden a loud spring to first round consideration. Boston can afford to take their time refining his defense and approach with an eye towards growing an impact power/speed center fielder. (NF)

27. Washington Nationals | Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Central Heights HS (Texas)
Rodriguez has been one of the pop-ups of the spring as the extra-large framed righthander has reached the upper-90s with his fastball, shown advanced feel for spinning two separate breaking balls and has done a good job throwing strikes. He’s definitely had a significant amount of helium this spring. 

28. Houston Astros | Ryan Weathers, LHP, Loretto HS (Tenn.)
The Astros have selected a diverse mix of college and high school players in the first round over their last several drafts. The son of Major League veteran David Weathers, the younger Weathers represents the best player available here. Though the Vanderbilt commit is more polish than power, he’s been up to 95 this spring while showing feel for secondaries. 

29. Cleveland Indians | Anthony Seigler, C, Cartersville HS (Ga.)
The Indians like loading up on high ceiling prep products early in the draft as Seigler offers one of the most unique and versatile profiles ever seen. He throws with both hands, switch hits and can play any position on the field, although his talents fit best behind the plate long term. 

30. Los Angeles Dodgers | Xavier Edwards, SS, North Broward Prep (Fla.)
Edwards is a plus defender with superb hands, is a 70 runner and has high hit tool potential from both sides. Some question his true positional home, but the athleticism, prowess and feel for hitting are too good to pass up for an organization that values versatility like the Dodgers do. 

31. Tampa Bay Rays | Jordyn Adams, OF, Green Hope HS (N.C.)
The Rays will swing for the fences with the hugely athletic two-sport star in Adams, who was barely on scout's maps a month ago. A four-star wide receiver prospect in football, Adams has some of the best speed in the draft class and pretty solid baseball skills for someone with less baseball experience than most of his peers.

32. Tampa Bay Rays | Sean Hjelle, RHP, Kentucky
The Rays have made plenty of moves recently to acquire prospects and the draft will continue that as they have three of the top 32 picks, and the addition of high ceiling righthander Sean Hjelle would add to that crop. Listed at 6-foot-11, 225-pounds, Hjelle creates outstanding plane on a fastball that can reach 95 mph.

33. Kansas City Royals | Jeremy Eierman, SS, Missouri State
Eierman offers a rare combination of quick-twitch and strength from a premium position and has turned a corner offensively after a slower start to the season. He hasn’t quite shown the same power as he did a year ago, but he has swiped 17 bags, and as draft history has shown, true collegiate shortstops always rise come June.

34. Kansas City Royals | Alek Thomas, OF, Mount Carmel HS (Ill.)
Thomas looks the part of a future leadoff hitter capable of 35-plus double per year along with quality on-base production and contact rates. He’s a double-plus runner with a good chance to sticking in center thanks to advanced reads and efficient routes. The Royals should have ample draft budget to buy him out of his two-way (baseball/football) commitment to TCU. (NF)

35. Cleveland Indians | Triston Casas, 1B/3B, American Heritage HS (Fla.)
Casas has seemingly been on the scene forever, and was once a 2019 graduate. He has re-classified and is now looking like one of the premier power bats of the class. He has a very good approach, good hittability, and some scouts believe that he may be able to play third base. 

36. Pittsburgh Pirates | Steele Walker, OF, Oklahoma
After a standout performance for the Collegiate National Team over the summer, Walker has carried that momentum back to Norman with a strong spring. A lefthanded hitter, Walker is slashing .338/.444/.571 with eight home runs and nearly as many walks (22) as strikeouts (24). A fringy arm may limit him to left field, but the bat profiles well at a corner.  

37. Baltimore Orioles | Nick Decker, OF, Seneca HS (N.J.)
Decker is an exciting power hitter, and the New Jersey native and Maryland recruit won’t have far to travel playing for the Orioles. A lefthanded slugger and thrower, he makes hitting the ball hard and far an art form, and also has a strong arm giving him a natural corner outfield profile.

38. San Diego Padres | Cole Wilcox, RHP, Heritage HS (Ga.)
Prep righthanders who touch the upper-90s – and aren't hard to project triple digits on – don't usually last this long and the Padres would be thrilled to have Wilcox drop into their laps. The righthander has electric arm speed with run on his fastball that has been around 92-96 mph all spring while making strides with his slider as well. 

39. Arizona Diamondbacks | Griffin Roberts, RHP, Wake Forest
Roberts’ conversion from reliever to starter has been a huge success this spring, including 90 strikeouts in his first 64 innings. His mid-80s slider is one of the best breaking balls in the 2018 draft and should make the Wake Forest righthander successful in any role. 

40. Kansas City Royals | Tristan Pompey, OF, Kentucky
Pompey is having a monster year for the Wildcats this season, leading the team in batting average and doubles. He has a frame that scouts love and the potential to be a five-tool player. With four Day 1 picks, the Royals have the opportunity to load up on big-time talent. (GG)

41. Cleveland Indians | Lenny Torres, Jr., RHP, Beacon HS (N.Y.)
Early reports have been sparkling for Torres, as he regularly works into the mid-90s and touches higher with the same swing-and-miss slider and a developing a changeup. The St. John’s commit offers plenty of physical projection and overall athleticism, and he’s one of the younger players in the class as he won’t turn 18 until October.

42. Colorado Rockies | Jordan Groshans, 3B, Magnolia HS (Texas)
Between last summer’s showcase circuit and this spring’s high school season Groshans has demonstrated an ability to barrel top-tier pitching while also flashing potential for an above average glove at third base. There’s good bat speed and present strength in the profile, with a chance to unlock at least above average in-game power production at maturity.

43. St. Louis Cardinals | Kris Bubic, LHP, Stanford
It will be especially interesting to see which Stanford arm goes first between Bubic and Tristan Beck, and Bubic has really climbed boards this spring with a fastball that has reached 94 mph to go along with good secondaries and advanced pitchability. He’s viewed as potentially one of the safer arms in the class.