Draft : : Mock Draft
Thursday, May 24, 2018

2018 MLB Mock Draft Version 3

Brian Sakowski        
Photo: Joey Bart (Danny Karnik/GT Athletics)

Mock Draft v. 1 | Mock Draft v. 2 | 2018 MLB Draft Order | 2018 MLB Draft Preview Content

The prevailing thought in the industry right now is that the first several picks all have a pretty good shot to be college players, and although Detroit, San Francisco and Cincinnati are all said to be considering prep players, there's a chance that the first high school player won't come off the board until San Diego at No. 7. Casey Mize is No. 1 on the PG draft board and that won't change leading up to June 4, and he still looks like the odds-on favorite to be the No. 1 overall choice. This is a draft pretty stocked with high school arms, and two of them – Mike Vasil and Mason Denaburg – both returned to the mound healthy this spring after some injury scares. Their stock is still a bit down from where it was given the uncertainty, but they are more likely now to be top 15-20 picks than they were a week ago, though both could be overpays later on to teams with multiple picks in the top 50 or so. 


1. Detroit Tigers | Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn
There are consistent rumors flying that Detroit is heavily considering both Georgia Tech catcher Joey Bart and maybe a prep option or two for an underslot deal, but for now our latest intel says that Mize will be the pick. This won't be decided until a day or two before the draft. 


2. San Francisco Giants | Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech
The Giants will have their pick of pretty much anyone on the board, and are still being tied to prep arm Carter Stewart and Florida pitcher Brady Singer, but at this moment it seems like Bart will be the pick. 


3. Philadelphia Phillies | Alec Bohm, 3B, Wichita State
The Phillies have seemingly focused in on college hitters, and after Joey Bart, Bohm and Oregon State infielder Nick Madrigal are the next most likely options. Bohm has done nothing but rake this season with big power and surprising athleticism. 


4. Chicago White Sox | Nick Madrigal, 2b/ss, Oregon State
The White Sox are known to like both Bohm and Brady Singer at No. 4, but they've been tied just as heavily to Nick Madrigal, who may be as close to a plug-and-play position player as anyone in the draft. He has a chance to be an impact hitter and defender, even if he's small and likely a second baseman. 


5. Cincinnati Reds | Brady Singer, RHP, Florida
Singer is seemingly in play anywhere from No. 2 on, and while he's not in the top 10 on our board, teams view him as one of the safest prospects in the class, with a significant track record of success in the SEC. The upside is not tremendous but he's a very good bet to be a solid Major Leaguer. 

 

6. New York Mets | Jonathan India, 3B, Florida
The Mets' selection is seemingly between two at the moment in India or Travis Swaggerty, and they've been consistently tied to college players in the last few weeks. This is also a spot where we could see prep lefty Matthew Liberatore as well.  


7. San Diego Padres | Matt Liberatore, LHP, Mountain Ridge HS (Ariz.)
We're sticking with our projection of a few weeks ago here, as the Padres break the seal on high school players, so to speak, by snagging Liberatore. He's not viewed as having the same upside as a McKenzie Gore, for example, but he's stood out at times this spring for his feel, command, and fastball/curveball combo. 


8. Atlanta Braves | Carter Stewart, RHP, Eau Gallie HS (Fla.)
The Braves have been linked to all kinds of players this spring, ranging from Georgia prep arms Ethan Hankins and Kumar Rocker to Joey Bart and Travis Swaggerty. Stewart offers perhaps the best prep upside in the class, with a record-setting curveball and newfound velocity that reaches 98 mph. 



9. Oakland Athletics | Travis Swaggerty, OF, South Alabama
We'll stick with Swaggerty to the A's at this point as well. He didn't have a necessarily special spring, but scouts still like his swing and his potential to hit along with power and the ability to play center field. We believe that Athletics would love for India to fall to them, but that won't happen in this projection. 
 

10. Pittsburgh Pirates | Cole Winn, RHP, Orange Lutheran HS (Calif.)
The Pirates are believed to be all over prep arms with this pick, and Winn may offer the best combo of polish and upside in the class. He's had a monster spring and shows the makings of three plus pitches with command. Prep bats Jarred Kelenic and Connor Scott may also be in play. 



11. Baltimore Orioles | Ryan Weathers, LHP, Loretto HS (Tenn.)
Baltimore, like Pittsburgh, has seemingly been tied predominantly to prep arms at this juncture. They've also been linked to college arms like Shane McClanahan and Ryan Rolison, but their respective command concerns hold them back. Weathers is as good a strike-thrower as any prep arm with solid upside. 


12. Toronto Blue Jays | Ryan Rolison, LHP, Mississippi 
Rolison has struggled some with command and overall strike-throwing in general this season, but scouts have seen good command in the past and he is athletic. It's very good, loud stuff from Rolison with some projection. Shane McClanahan is also a possibility here. 


13. Miami Marlins | Jarred Kelenic, OF, Waukesha West HS (Wis.)
We're going to stick with Kelenic for this pick as well, as the prep outfielder is seemingly in play up and down the board. He's a bit of a wild card at this point, but with the Marlins tied to prep bats, Kelenic is the best on the board. 



14. Seattle Mariners | Trevor Larnach, OF, Oregon State
The Mariners have been consistently said to want college bats and are likewise known to be heavily interested in Larnach. He's the top college bat left on the board at this point, and while he may be a first baseman long-term, he has huge power and good feel to hit. 


15. Texas Rangers | Ethan Hankins, RHP, Forsyth Central HS (Ga.)
The Curious Case of Ethan Hankins continues, as the uber-talented righthander has proven to be healthy by seeing his velocity come all the way back, but the breaking ball isn't near what it was last summer. Regardless, he's a very high upside pick, which the Rangers are known to love. 



16. Tampa Bay Rays | Connor Scott, OF, Plant HS (Fla.)
Scott is seemingly in play as early as No. 13, where the Marlins are known to love him, and the Rangers could very easily take him at 15 as well. The Rays have been very heavy on Scott all spring, even taking proximity into account, and would likely be thrilled if he fell to 16. 


17. Los Angeles Angels | Jordyn Adams, OF, Green Hope HS (N.C.)
The Angels are known to covet Adams, and while this is a bit early for him given industry consensus, it fits what the Angels are trying to do with upside and athleticism, and them being tied to him also helps make sense of this pick. He's an ultra-athletic outfielder with significant rawness and equally high upside.

 

18. Kansas City Royals | Nolan Gorman, 3B, Sandra Day O'Connor HS (Ariz.)
The Royals are known to covet power, and are tied to several powerful prospects in this class, including Triston Casas and Trevor Larnach. Gorman offers as much power upside as anyone in the class, and has shown an advanced feel for hitting along with solid defensive ability at third base. 



19. St. Louis Cardinals | Logan Gilbert, RHP, Stetson
Gilbert came into 2018 with some potential 1:1 aspirations, but an uneven spring from a stuff perspective has pushed him down the board a bit. At his best, Gilbert works with a plus fastball and curveball along with throwing good strikes and having a strong body. 

 

20. Minnesota Twins | Brice Turang, SS, Santiago HS (Calif.)
The Twins have been tied to Florida righthander Jackson Kowar but that may be too risky of a proposition at this point. Turang is a very athletic, polished shortstop prospect with a feel to hit and developing power, and could be a steal this low on the board. 



21. Milwaukee Brewers | Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Central Heights HS (Texas)
Rodriguez may be in play even 10 or so spots higher than this pick, and it makes sense from value perspective as well a fit. He's been into the upper-90s this spring at times and has shown very good feel for his off-speed stuff, but there is the rawness to the profile. 



22. Colorado Rockies | Shane McClanahan, LHP, South Florida
McClanahan was viewed as a potential 1:1 candidate coming into the season thanks to the premium velocity he has from the left side, but uneven performance in terms of command has pushed him down the board. He's a good fit for the Rockies here at 22. 


23. New York Yankees | Kumar Rocker, RHP, North Oconee HS (Ga.)
Kumar has been on the national radar potentially longer than anyone else, and the extremely physical, power-armed righthander could be a good fit here. He's as physical as anyone in the class and can touch triple digits with his fastball to go along with a plus breaking ball. 



24. Chicago Cubs | Mason Denaburg, RHP, Merritt Island HS (Fla.)
Denaburg had a bit of a health scare this spring but returned just this week and look dominant in doing so, if not a bit rusty. He still has excellent athleticism with mid-90s heat and a hammer curveball and could be the steal of the draft if the Cubs get him here at 24. 



25. Arizona Diamondbacks | Jeremy Eierman, SS, Missouri State
The Diamondbacks are said to be interested in college bats at this pick and Eierman is the best one available. He's a strong, athletic infielder who may end up moving to third base, but he has the raw power and performance history that Arizona is said to covet. 

 

26. Boston Red Sox | Steele Walker, OF, Oklahoma
Walker is one of the better pure hitters in the class and the Red Sox are known to covet college bats plus they've been very heavy on Walker specifically in recent weeks. He may not play center field in pro ball but he's believed to really be able to hit, and there's some power there as well. 



27. Washington Nationals | Jackson Kowar, RHP, Florida
Kowar has been a bit erratic in his career with the Gators, looking like a top-end talent in one look and then struggling to throw consistent strikes in the next. At his best he works in the mid-90s with a plus changeup and solid average curveball, but there is a fair amount of risk, and the Nationals love upside. 



28. Houston Astros | Triston Casas, 1b, American Heritage HS (Fla.)
Casas has some of the best power in the high school class from the left side and has been a consistent performer on the circuit, both at the major summer events as well as for Team USA. He has a very good chance to hit and hit for power, and the Astros are known to like him. 



29. Cleveland Indians | Alek Thomas, OF, Mt. Carmel HS (Ill.)
The Indians are not ones to shy away from athleticism and feel to hit, and Thomas – along with the fact that he's just turned 18 years old – has both of those desirable traits. He's a high-level football player too with a commitment to play two sports at TCU, but if he's drafted high enough he may sign. 



30. Los Angeles Dodgers | Jameson Hannah, CF, Dallas Baptist
Hannah has been a real riser this spring as a college center fielder with good athleticism who has shown a very good feel to hit. The Dodgers are known to like the speedy outfielder and he could be considered one the lower risk prospects in the class given his contact skills and approach. 



31. Tampa Bay Rays | Greyson Jenista, 1b/of, Wichita State
32. Tampa Bay Rays | Anthony Seigler, C, Cartersville HS (Ga.)
The Rays have the ability to get really creative with all of their picks this high, and we have them going with big upside in Scott and Seigler as two of those picks. Jenista doesn't get the pub that his teammate Bohm does but offers significant power from the left side along with intriguing athleticism. 



33. Kansas City Royals | Cole Wilcox, RHP, Heritage HS (Ga.)
34. Kansas City Royals | Kris Bubic, LHP, Stanford. 
The Royals, like the Rays before them, have a chance to get really creative in this draft. They've been on Wilcox perhaps heavier than anyone this spring, and he may be in play for them at their first pick. With two upside prep picks, we like Bubic as a pretty safe college arm to pair with the upside prep players. 



35. Cleveland Indians | Adam Kloffenstein, RHP, Magnolia HS (Texas)
Kloffenstein is, like Alek Thomas before him, one of the youngest players in the class, but with his command and present stuff, it's a rare combination of youth and upside to go along with a fair bit of polish. All of that makes a ton of sense for Cleveland here, who has three of the first 41 picks. 


 
36. Pittsburgh Pirates | Mike Vasil, RHP, Boston College HS (Mass.)
Vasil was viewed as a potential top 15 pick this year with an outstanding delivery and arm action paired with mid-90s heat, command, and feel, but a bit of an injury scare has pushed him down boards. If he's available and healthy this would be an absolute steal of a pick for Pittsburgh. 


 
37. Baltimore Orioles | Noah Naylor, C, St. Joan of Arc Catholic HS (Ont.)
Naylor is in play much higher than this, as he's viewed as one of the better pure prep bats available.

Scouts are split on if he can catch long term, but he has solid athleticism and a plus arm, so even the more pessimistic scouts feel that he'd be a good fit a third base if he can't catch. 


38. San Diego Padres | Jordan Groshans, ss/3b, Magnolia HS (Texas)
One would be hard-pressed to find a prep bat who performed more consistently than Groshans did last summer, and while some scouts believe he may end up in left field long term, he has serious righthanded bat speed and power, giving him very high offensive upside, making this a good fit with San Diego. 



39. Arizona Diamondbacks | Will Banfield, C, Brookwood HS (Ga.)
After going for the relative safety of the college bat in Jeremy Eierman with their first selection, it would have to be tempting for Arizona to go for the upside of Banfield here. He's widely viewed as the best prep catcher in the class and has good raw power, but there are some hit tool questions. 



40. Kansas City Royals | Jeremiah Jackson, SS, St. Lukes HS (Ala.)
Kansas City, as they should, is looking for upside in this draft as they begin what promises to be a lengthy rebuild. Jackson offers intriguing upside as an impact athlete who plays a premium position, and whose bat has shown the makings of potentially being an impact tool. 



41. Cleveland Indians | Xavier Edwards, SS, North Broward Prep HS (Fla.)
It's probably pretty unlikely that the Indias would take three consecutive high school players, but the fit is too good here for us to pass up in this projection. Edwards could play second base in pro ball but he's an impact athlete and runner with premium contact skills and more pop than you'd think. 



42. Colorado Rockies | Nick Schnell, OF, Roncalli HS (Ind.)
Schnell, along with Alek Thomas and Mike Siani amongst others, seems to be in that range of valuation where they end up going a bit later than they should, but still get paid like a top-20 pick. Schnell's loaded with tools and has been outstanding this spring, so we may see him go as high as the top 20-25 picks. 


 
43. St. Louis Cardinals | Nico Hoerner, SS, Stanford. 
After going with a college pitcher at their first selection, St. Louis could very well be in the market for a high school player here, but Hoerner seems to fit in this range as well as a steady college performer with solid tools across the board and the ability to potentially stay at shortstop long term.


According to the PG Draft Top 500, if the draft happens to fall this way these would be the five remaining best available players:
 
Lineras Torres Jr., RHP, Beacon HS (N.Y.) 
Sean Hjelle, RHP, Kentucky 
Osiris Johnson, SS, Encinal HS (Calif.)
Nander De Sedas, SS, Montverde Academy (Fla.)
JT Ginn, RHP, Brandon HS (Miss.)



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