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Draft  | Mock Draft  | 5/10/2018

2018 MLB Mock Draft Version 2

David Rawnsley     
Photo: Carter Stewart (Perfect Game)

Mock Draft v. 1MLB Draft Top 350 Prospects | 2018 MLB Draft Order

The draft is now less than four weeks away and teams are starting to shift from an information gathering frenzy to making sense of all that they've learned about the 2018 class. Meetings will be starting up soon around the country to further fine tune priorities and workouts will be scheduled for high school prospects whose seasons have ended.

Just as importantly, conversations will soon start ramping up with players and their advisors about signability. With only one truly dominant prospect at the moment in Auburn righthander Casey Mize, and a very deep class overall, there will be lots of room for deals and understandings at the top of the draft in order for teams to spread out their bonus pools to take advantage of that depth in later picks.

Another theme of this draft near the top seems to be college over high school. It is entirely possible that college players will make up the first six or seven selections, with the Giants at No. 2 being the lynchpin that will set everything that happens in motion, unless the Tigers shock everyone and do not pick Mize. And the Giants, both historically and in this draft, have been a very difficult organization to read.

1. Detroit Tigers | Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn
Mize has clearly separated himself from the rest of the field for the first overall pick and any other option here would be both surprising and likely carrying some sort of unanticipated back story. Lock this one in.

2. San Francisco Giants | Carter Stewart, RHP, Eau Galle HS (Fla.)
National level scouts say the Giants could go in any number of different directions; they even had all their decision makers at a recent Cole Winn start. But Stewart's name and his huge ceiling is a constant in discussions about what the Giants eventually decide.

3. Philadelphia Phillies | Alec Bohm, 3B, Wichita State
Bohm has been consistent performer all spring and has steadily edged up lists as a result. As long as the Phillies are confident that Bohm can handle third base long term, his middle-of-the-order bat would be another great addition to the Phillies fast-track rebuilding plan.

4. Chicago White Sox | Brady Singer, RHP, Florida
Singer's draft stock has taken a roller coaster ride through the spring but he's throwing his best of the season now and almost constitutes a safe pick here due to his long and clean track record. If this pick isn't Singer, don't be surprised if it is instead one of a number of college position players.

5. Cincinnati Reds | Nick Madrigal, 2B/SS, Oregon State
The Reds need surety in their first round pick as much as any organization in the game and Madrigal has perhaps the highest floor and shortest path to the big leagues of any player in this draft. An infield of Joey Votto, Nick Senzel, Madrigal and Eugenio Suarez would give them four positions they can be sure of to continue to build around.


6. New York Mets | Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech
This may represent Bart's floor, as his name is frequently mentioned as a potential Giants pick and everywhere in between down to sixth. Ignore the Mets’ current Major League catching situation, this is a best player available selection.

7. San Diego Padres | Matt Liberatore, LHP, Mountain Ridge HS (Ariz.)
The Padres were able to select the top high school lefthander in the 2017 draft in MacKenzie Gore and they could score again with the top 2018 southpaw in the highly projectable Liberatore. As the Padres already have what might be the deepest farm system in the game already, this is just more icing on the talent cake for San Diego.

8. Atlanta Braves | Ethan Hankins, RHP, Forsyth Central HS (Ga.)
Yes, the Braves taking local talent is a cliché, but cliches generally exist for a reason and the relationship between Hankins and the Braves goes much deeper than geography. And don't forget that Hankins was a 1:1 consideration a couple of months ago and that the Braves system is so talented already that they can roll the dice on Hankins' ceiling.

9. Oakland Athletics | Travis Swaggerty, OF, South Alabama
Swaggerty hasn't had the type of spring he likely envisioned but his combination of offensive skills and tools and a projection to stay in center field means it is very likely he stays in the top ten picks, perhaps even higher than at No. 9 with the A's.


10. Pittsburgh Pirates | Shane McClanahan, LHP, South Florida
McClanahan throws harder than any college starter in the country and will flash plus with two other pitches as well. If he is able to develop more consistency that he has shown the second half of the spring, he has the tools to develop into a top-of-the-rotation starter.

11. Baltimore Orioles | Jonathan India, 3B, Florida
No one had India on their short lists for a first round pick back in February but the hard hitting infielder has been a dynamic offensive force for the country's best college team. While India has played third base at Florida, it is entirely possible that he'll go out professionally at either shortstop or second base, further enhancing his offensive value.

12. Toronto Blue Jays | Trevor Larnach, OF, Oregon State
Larnach not only has convinced scouts of his first round-worthy hitting ability but he has also largely impressed most as a better athlete than anticipated who should be comfortable staying in the outfield long-term. In fact, it wouldn't be shocking for Larnach to join his Oregon State teammate Madrigal as a top 10 pick.

13. Miami Marlins | Jarred Kelenic, OF, Waukesha West HS (Wis.)
Kelenic will likely enter the draft as a wildcard, as there is already speculation that he could land at a number of places above this on a pre-draft deal. Even here at 13th overall, the Wisconsin outfielder would be the first high school position player chosen.

14. Seattle Mariners | Jackson Kowar, RHP, Florida
Kowar has quietly gone 23-3 thus far in his career at Florida and should go comfortably in the middle of the first round without ever holding the coveted Friday night slot in college. A grade better breaking ball to go with his plus fastball/changeup combination would have likely slotted him above his touted teammate Singer.

15. Texas Rangers | Connor Scott, OF, Plant HS (Fla.)
Scott missed the August section of the summer circuit after an appendectomy so his resume wasn't as filled out as many of his high school peers entering this spring. That has quickly and definitely changed as his lefthanded bat, athleticism and projectability has impressed everyone.

16. Tampa Bay Rays | Jordyn Adams, OF, Green Hope HS (N.C.)
Tampa Bay has five picks in the first 71, so everything has to be taken in that context. Adams is a home run pick who may not go this high due to his potential football future, but whose talent definitely warrants the slot. The Rays probably are hoping that Scott gets to 16, but that might not happen.

17. Los Angeles Angels | Nolan Gorman, 3B, Sandra Day O'Connor HS (Ariz.)
The Angels have done a very good job of drafting high school talent the last two years and getting Gorman and his power potential at this pick would continue that trend. The questions about Gorman's athleticism and future position can be answered in the Angels’ system.


18. Kansas City Royals | Greyson Jenista, OF/1B, Wichita State
Similar to their small market peers in Tampa, the Royals have plenty of extra picks (5 of the top 58) and plenty of opportunity to spread their bonus pool around. This is a bit high for Jenista, a Kansas native, but the money saved will bring huge benefits down the line for an organization that has serious depth issues in their minor league system.

19. St. Louis Cardinals | Cole Winn, RHP, Orange Lutheran HS (Calif.)
Given all the heat that Winn, who seems to keep getting better with every start, has at present this might be a very conservative place to slot him. While high school righthanders tend to slide a bit as the draft draws nearer, Winn might be the exception.


20. Minnesota Twins | Ryan Rolison, LHP, Mississippi
Rollson will be a wild card both as a draft-eligible sophomore and due to his disappointing spring that scouts attribute to changes in his mechanics. If the Twins or any other organization feels confident they can get Rolison back on track, they could have a premium lefthander who would have been a candidate for a top slot back in February.

21. Milwaukee Brewers | Logan Gilbert, RHP, Stetson
Gilbert is in much the same position as Rollison, as an exceptionally strong summer in the Cape Cod League has been followed up by a so-so spring as far as stuff goes. However, Gilbert's 8-1, 2.61 record with 121 strikeouts in 86 innings can hardly be called anything but a standout season in terms of performance.

22. Colorado Rockies | Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Central Heights HS (Texas)
Like Cole Winn, Rodriguez has been so steadily good all spring after not being evaluated as a Day 1 pick prior to the spring that he could go much higher than this. He would seem to be a perfect fit for the Rockies should he last this far, though, with multiple pitches he can throw for strikes and a big and durable athletic build.

23. New York Yankees | Cole Wilcox, RHP, Heritage HS (Ga.)
The Yankees are an organization that values velocity more than most and Wilcox's velocity, along with his consistent sinking action on his fastball, has continued to ramp up all spring, including topping out at 98 mph while out-pitching fellow Georgia first round candidate Kumar Rocker last week in a heavily scouted matchup.

24. Chicago Cubs | Ryan Weathers, LHP, Loretto HS (Tenn.)
Weathers is so polished that he might as well be considered a college pitcher for his development path once he's in professional baseball. His velocity hasn't been special much of the spring but in the future he won't be distracted by leading his high school to a state basketball championship before a late start to the baseball season.

25. Arizona Diamondbacks | Steele Walker, OF, Oklahoma
Walker has a flawless track record of hitting both in the spring in the Big 12 and for the USA Collegiate National Team during the summer and that should put him solidly in the first round. If scouts felt that he could play center field like a Travis Swaggerty his draft stock would be even higher.


26. Boston Red Sox | Brice Turang, SS, Santiago HS (Calif.)
Turang's draft stock seems to have shifted enough that there is speculation that he could end up at Louisiana State for three years instead of signing. From a strictly baseball standpoint, imagining Turang's swing coupled with Fenway Park is fun to think about, especially considering the number of doubles off the Green Monster the lefthanded hitter could accumulate.

27. Washington Nationals | Kumar Rocker, RHP, North Oconee HS (Ga.)
The unusual depth in this group of high school righthanders and the rise of pitchers like Cole Winn and Grayson Rodriguez could slide Rocker a bit further than one would think, but that will be the Nationals' gain under this scenario.

28. Houston Astros | Griffin Roberts, RHP, Wake Forest
The Astros emphasize using one's breaking ball more than any organization in baseball and have obviously been very successful with that. Roberts’ slider is one of the best breaking balls in the draft and he throws it often and for strikes. Seems like a perfect fit.

29. Cleveland Indians | Noah Naylor, C/3B, St. Joan of Arc Catholic SS (Ontario)
Naylor's lefthanded bat and very high-level of athleticism have plenty of scouts speculating about whether the top Canadian prospect in the class might be better off starting his career at third base to maximize those two talent areas.

30. Los Angeles Dodgers | Will Banfield, C, Brookwood HS (Ga.)
The team that picks Banfield will be the one that thinks he can evolve into an average big league hitter after surviving the gauntlet that is being a minor league catcher starting at the lowest level. His defense should guarantee a solid chance of at least becoming a big league back up by itself.

31. Tampa Bay Rays | Jordan Groshans, 3B, Magnolia HS (Texas)
32. Tampa Bay Rays | Anthony Seigler, C, Cartersville HS (Ga.)
Groshans and Seigler are both polished and accomplished high school talents with lots of offensive promise. Coupling them with 16th overall pick Jordyn Adams would give the Rays organization a huge infusion of athleticism and offensive ceiling. They can go find some pitching prospects in a deep pitching class with some of their additional picks.

33. Kansas City Royals | Mason Denaburg, RHP, Merritt Island HS (Fla.)
34. Kansas City Royals | Mike Vasil, RHP, Boston College HS (Mass.)
Both Denaberg and Vasil would be potential top 15 picks if they were both healthy but both have been dinged up the second half of the season and where they land will be largely the result of each team's medical evaluations. On sheer talent, in conjunction with their 18th overall pick, adding two extremely high upside pitchers here would be a fascinating result for an organization starting a major rebuild.

35. Cleveland Indians | Adam Kloffenstein, RHP, Magnolia HS (Texas)
Kloffenstein has had a very steady spring, appropriate for a sinker/slider hurler who fills up the strike zone with multiple pitches. Cleveland pays attention to a prospect's age as much as any organization in baseball, a point worth remembering when considering the 17-year old Texan.

36. Pittsburgh Pirates | Jeremy Eierman, SS, Missouri State
Eierman hasn't hit as well as was hoped for this spring but he retains his high-level athleticism and the chance to stay at shortstop and most definitely in the middle of the field. With so few college players with plus tools on the market, that gives him strong value at this pick.

37. Baltimore Orioles | JT Ginn, RHP, Brandon HS (Miss.)
Ginn's raw stuff is equal to any high school pitcher in the class and his athleticism enables him to use it effectively despite a high energy, multi-part delivery. The Orioles have shown no hesitance in the recent past about picking high school arms.

38. San Diego Padres | Sean Hjelle, RHP, Kentucky
Extra tall pitchers are always a bit of an enigma and they don't come any taller than the 6-foot-11 Hjelle. What takes some of the risk out here is that Hjelle has a very polished approach to pitching and one of the simplest, low effort deliveries in college baseball.

39. Arizona Diamondbacks | Xavier Edwards, SS, North Broward Prep (Fla.)
Edwards has convinced scouts that his size will not stand in the way of tools, which include plus defensive ability, plus/plus speed and a very high average switch-hitting approach at the plate.

40. Kansas City Royals | Jeremiah Jackson, SS, St. Lukes HS (Ala.)
Like the Royals picks at Nos. 33 and 34, Jackson represents a long term, high ceiling pick. He's a premium middle-of-the-field athlete whose bat may end up being an impact tool as a middle infielder.

41. Cleveland Indians | Nander De Sedas, SS, Montverde Academy (Fla.)
It's worth factoring in that De Sedas, a switch-hitting PG All-American shortstop, is close to Francisco Lindor and works out with him in the offseason, and they share the same agent.

42. Colorado Rockies | Kris Bubic, LHP, Stanford
Bubic's profile, with a well-commanded low-90s fastball and an outstanding changeup as his two primary pitches, is very similar to that of Tyler Anderson, a helpful combination to be successful in the Rockies’ environment.

43. St. Louis Cardinals | Nick Schnell, OF, Roncalli HS (Ind.)
Schnell has been rising quickly ever since the high school season in Indiana started and one senses that he will keep rising right up to June 4 as more scouts see his hitting ability and overall athleticism.