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Draft  | Rankings  | 4/24/2019

2019 MLB Draft: Top 300 Prospects

Vincent Cervino     
Photo: JJ Bleday (Vanderbilt Athletics)

The rankings as shown below are a combination of Perfect Game's personal observations and opinions combined with those from the scouting community. To view Perfect Game's one-of-a-kind high school player rankings for the high school class of 2019 please visit this link.

Top 10 Prospects, 2019 MLB Draft

Rk. Player POS. School Rk. Player Pos. School
1 Adley Rutschman C Oregon State 6 Nick Lodolo LHP TCU
2 Bobby Witt Jr SS Colleyville Heritage HS 7 JJ Bleday OF Vanderbilt
3 Andrew Vaughn 1B California 8 Alek Manoah RHP West Virginia
4 Bryson Stott SS UNLV 9 Riley Greene OF Hagerty HS
5 CJ Abrams SS Blessed Trinity HS 10 Hunter Bishop OF Arizona State

The State of the Draft

We are, as of this posting 40 days away from the start of the MLB Draft, which will take place over the course of three days, June 3-5. Below you'll find 300 players ranked, representing roughly the top 10 rounds of the draft, taking everything into the equation with the exception of signability when ranking these players. For the first time since I've been covering the draft it looks like we're going have a wire-to-wire projected 1:1 pick, and it's well within reason that we'll go wire-to-wire with picks Nos. 1 and 2 in terms of year-long projection. Oregon State's Adley Rutschman has been excellent for well over a year now, as he ended 2018 as the projected first overall pick in 2019, and 40 days from the draft it's hard to imagine changing that projection barring something unforeseen. In the same vein, Texas prep shortstop Bobby Witt, Jr. has been atop the Perfect Game class of 2019 rankings for years now, and has stayed right on Rutschman's heels as the 1B to Rutschman's 1A in this draft class. 

As there is every year, players have risen and players have fallen throughout the course of the spring, and while draft boards are starting to take shape for MLB teams, we still have a ways to go. Cal's Andrew Vaughn and UNLV's Bryson Stott have gone the distance since last summer as projected high selections on the college side, as have Georgia prep shortstop CJ Abrams and Florida prep outfielder Riley Greene. If you've noticed, every player mentioned specifically so far has been a position player, which lines up with how the class lines up as well.

It would be difficult to say there's a dearth of pitching in this class, as the talent pool is deep, but, as you can see, the first pitcher on this list is TCU's Nick Lodolo at No. 6 and our first prep pitcher doesn't check in until Florida prep RHP Matt Allan at No. 12. Pitching has, really, been the toughest part of this class to figure out, because no pitcher on either the college or prep sides has really grabbed the mantle as top arm in the class and ran with it, a la Casey Mize in 2018 or even the Hunter Greene/MacKenzie Gore and Brendan McKay/Kyle Wright draft in 2017, as all four of those players went in the top 5. This year, it's actually somewhat of a possibility that we wait several picks before seeing a pitcher selected, perhaps as many as eight or nine picks, though that's all subject to change over the course of the next 40 days. 

As far as risers go, there have been plenty, as there always are, but perhaps none more so than Arizona State's Hunter Bishop. Long viewed as a player with extremely high-level tools and athleticism, Bishop has finally put it all together as a junior and performed loudly, and has flown up draft boards as a result. The concerns over whether or not his performance this year is a flash in the pan as well as his limited track record of success, both in college and in summer leagues, will give some teams pause but it would still be pretty shocking if he fell out of the top 10-12 picks or so as it sits right now.

In a similar vein, West Virginia's Alek Manoah has a claim as the top pitcher in the class on either the college or prep side, and while others have seen peaks and valleys in their performance this year, Manoah is peaking at the right time. He's currently on a hot streak not often seen by any pitcher, and has forced his way well into the top 10, maybe even higher at this point.

Similarly, San Jacinto's Jackson Rutledge came into the season as the No. 2 overall JUCO prospect (behind only '18 No. 8 overall pick Carter Stewart) and potentially an early- to mid-day two pick. He's now comfortably in first round consideration on the strength of tremendous size and physicality, a fastball that gets into the triple digits, and a pair of breaking balls that will at least flash plus.

Vanderbilt's JJ Bleday entered the season viewed as a potential day one guy, maybe higher depending on your perspective as a Vanderbilt fan or not, and he could go as high as No. 5 overall to Detroit right now given his massive performance this year and quality RF profile. 

The state of Texas, always a baseball powerhouse, is absolutely loaded again in 2019. Between college, prep and JUCO, Texas has 14 players in the top 100 right now, and depending on individual signability, there could be as many as 7-8 first rounders.

Prep pitching in general is a fascinating case study right now as, depending on who you ask, any of three arms could be the top prep pitcher on the board between Matt Allan, Brennan Malone, and Daniel Espino. All three are especially fascinating in how different they are from each other as well. Espino's performance at the Perfect Game High School Showdown featured some of the best pure stuff we've ever seen in PG events, a thought echoed by high-ranking members of the organization who have seen the greats come through our events over the past 20-plus years. Malone has come on strong this spring, as many expected him to, and may be the most projectable and athletic of the group. Allan, meanwhile, once viewed as a pretty quality day one talent in general, has rocketed up boards this spring and, at this moment, stands as the top prep pitcher on our board.

Right behind those three are Jack Leiter, JJ Goss, Quinn Priester and Kendall Williams, all first round talents who will be fascinating to follow as we get to draft day, given the proclivities of teams to try and get those types of talents to slide a bit and overpay them in the comp/early second rounds. 

We've touched on JUCO already with Jackson Rutledge, and he could be joined by Carter Stewart as a junior college first round pick, though Stewart seems more ticketed for the comp round or thereabouts as it sits right now. Following those two, Wabash Valley's Antoine Kelly, Northwest Mississippi's Dalton Fowler, Chipola's Ivan Johnson, Brookhaven's Justin Fall, Northwest Florida State's Jake Randa, Kirkwood's Levi Usher, Wallace-Dothan's Oraj Anu, Tyler's Peyton Miller, Central Arizona's Lucas Knowles and Central Florida's James Nix are several of the JUCO names who could find themselves as top 10 round picks this year, with a whole host of other players who will fit into the day three range. 

On the D-II side, a pair of prospects could be top 5-round picks, and we have them both slotted in the fourth round right now. Wayne State's Hunter Brown has been on the radar in the Midwest since the fall, but really blew up nationally early this spring as a physical righthander up to 97-98 mph with flashes of a plus slider. The other, Brenton Doyle, an outfielder from Shepherd University in West Virginia, is the lesser-known of the two on the national stage but offers substantial tools and athleticism, and should go in the top five rounds. 

On the whole, this is a fascinating draft class given the complexities and trends of the class at this juncture. We've touched on some of the highlights, and obviously we still have the big draft list to follow in the next several weeks when we reshuffle and expand the list for a final time.

Top 300 Prospects, 2019 MLB Draft
Column L = Level (C = College; H = High School; J = Junior College)

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