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Draft | Mock Draft | 5/8/2019

2019 MLB Mock Draft Version 2

Vincent Cervino        
Photo: Riley Greene (Perfect Game)

Mock Draft Version 1MLB Draft Top 300 Prospects

In our second draft projection for 2019, Brian Sakowski and Vinnie Cervino alternate between picks as we start to pair talent with need teams and actual team-to-player rumblings emerging from the scouting trail.

1. Baltimore Orioles | Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State
The favorite to go 1:1 for over a year now, Rutschman has done nothing to potentially hinder his chances at being the first overall selection, and he’s actually upped the already lofty profile he possessed coming into 2019. It feels like as close to a slam dunk pick as there can be at this point in the cycle. 

2. Kansas City Royals | Bobby Witt Jr, SS, Colleyville Heritage HS (Texas)
The pick stays the same for the Royals as Dayton Moore won’t pass up the opportunity to land his potentially franchise-cornerstone shortstop. Witt was recently named one of two high school players to the Golden Spikes Award watch list to give you an idea of his numbers this spring.

3. Chicago White Sox | Andrew Vaughn, 1B, California
Rutschman, Witt, and Vaughn are viewed as the top three in their own strata by the majority of the industry, and it would be at least a minor upset if any of them were to fall at this point. Vaughn is the best pure hitter in the class with power to go with it, and could be pretty quick to the major leagues where his upside is that of an impact bat.

4. Miami Marlins | CJ Abrams, SS, Blessed Trinity HS (Ga.)
Abrams could go anywhere in these next handful of picks but we believe the Miami is the most likely landing spot. The athleticism is going to be a selling point and some teams just below Miami have Abrams near the top of their boards.

5. Detroit Tigers | Riley Greene, OF, Hagerty (Fla.) HS
The Tigers have been on Greene heavily for quite awhile now, and are known to prefer bats at this pick. Greene or Vanderbilt’s JJ Bleday are the favorites at this juncture, with the preference believed to be Greene, and in the unlikely scenario that Andrew Vaughn slips, this is likely his floor.

6. San Diego Padres | Nick Lodolo, LHP, TCU
If there’s a college pitcher who could entice the Padres it would be Nick Lodolo as he’s finally shown the consistency of his stuff this spring. This would mark the fourth straight draft where the Padres take a lefthanded pitcher in the first round joining Eric Lauer (2016), MacKenzie Gore (2017) and Ryan Weathers (2018).

7. Cincinnati Reds | JJ Bleday, OF, Vanderbilt
One of the big climbers of this draft cycle, Bleday’s ceiling is likely the Tigers at No. 5, but his floor should be no lower than potentially San Francisco at 10, if early indications are to be believed. Bleday’s monster power display this year has increased what was already a quality profile, and he checks a great deal of boxes.

8. Texas Rangers | Hunter Bishop, OF, Arizona State
It’s no surprise that the Rangers have been linked to Bishop, arguably the best athlete in the class as a former four-star football recruit. We have Bishop going here now but Abrams and Carroll would both be in play here, though we wouldn’t expect Bishop to fall out of the top 10.

9. Atlanta Braves | Matthew Allan, RHP, Seminole (Fla.) HS
The prep arms in this class could still go in seemingly any order, but the industry seems to prefer Allan as the top arm heading into the draft. The Braves are strongly linked to Hunter Bishop, though in this projection he goes at No. 8, so we think they may start the proverbial run on high school arms by going with Matt Allan here.

10. San Francisco Giants | Bryson Stott, SS, UNLV
Fahran Zaidi will have the opportunity to cement his new regime this June and we have the Giants going with the top college shortstop in Bryson Stott. He has drawn comps to current Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford and Stott’s upside is probably around that as a long-term option at the diamond’s most important position.

11. Toronto Blue Jays | Alek Manoah, RHP, West Virginia
As the season wore on and the industry yearned for a pitcher to grab the mantle of “best in class” and Manoah has done his very best to do just that. With an excellent combo of size and stuff, Manoah could be the first pitcher taken overall, though in this projection he finds a home with Toronto, who is said to favor pitching for this pick.

12. New York Mets | Corbin Carroll, OF, Lakeside HS (Wash.)
The Mets grab a polished prep lefthanded hitter with tools from a cold weather state, sound familiar? Comparisons to Jarred Kelenic aside, seemingly Carroll’s only knock is that he’s undersized, otherwise he’s got a bevy of tools with center field traits, athleticism and surprising pop.

13. Minnesota Twins | Jackson Rutledge, RHP, San Jacinto (JC)
The first of potentially two JUCO first rounders, Rutledge has taken the industry by storm this spring, regularly touching triple-digits and pitching with a consistently plus slider. He has excellent size and stuff, though there are some command projection concerns, but mid-first round is where his value lies at this point.

14. Philadelphia Phillies | Zack Thompson, LHP, Kentucky
Once we get past Thompson the college pitching ranks get to be a little thin, so the Phillies would grab the top college arm available. Thompson has been healthy and dominant with his two-plus pitch combination this spring and will help bolster a system that is entering their championship window.

15. Los Angeles Angels | Brennan Malone, RHP, IMG Academy (Fla.)
Malone and Matthew Allan are pretty much considered to be the top two prep arms right now by the industry and the Angels feel like a good landing spot for Malone. He’s taken strides forward this spring in terms of consistency, both in regards to command and his off-speed stuff, and performed in a big way at a major event (NHSI) back in March.

16. Arizona Diamondbacks | Logan Davidson, SS, Clemson
The Diamondbacks have $16 million to play with thanks to seven picks among the first 75 in this year’s draft. They’ll grab Davidson here who is comfortably the next best college shortstop after Stott before they start to get creative with their later picks.

17. Washington Nationals | Quinn Priester, RHP, Cary-Grove Community (Ill.) HS
The Nationals have never shied away from bonus demands, and Priester, viewed in that upper echelon of prep arms, could be a target for them. Priester has had some trouble being seen this spring due to the terrible Midwest weather, but he’s been electric when he’s been able to get on the mound and could have some of the best upside in the class. 

18. Pittsburgh Pirates | Josh Jung, 3B, Texas Tech
Jung is one of the safer prospects in this class and the Pirates would be more than happy to plug him into their system. Jung is an uber-physical righthanded hitter with a consistent track record of hitting with impact and a chance to stick at third.

19. St. Louis Cardinals | George Kirby, RHP, Elon
One of those college arms who has seemingly been in the mid-first round projection for years, Kirby offers a good mix of upside, floor and value at this spot of the board. An elite strike-thrower with flashes of two pluses in his fastball and slider, he’d be a good pick for the Cardinals here.

20. Seattle Mariners | Shea Langeliers, C, Baylor
Langeliers will likely draw comparisons to former first-round pick Mike Zunino, though Langeliers has seen his stock fall a bit following an early season hand injury. He still posits a fairly safe option as a polished college backstop with the tools to hit with some sneaky power too.

21. Atlanta Braves | Kameron Misner, OF, Missouri
After going with prep arm Matt Allan early, the Braves go with a college bat here in Missouri’s Kam Misner. Misner has been dinged because his performance in the SEC has been uneven, but he has a loud profile in terms of his athleticism and tools and his upside is that of an impact major leaguer.

22. Tampa Bay Rays | Brett Baty, 3B, Lake Travis HS (Texas)
The Rays would be ecstatic to grab what might be the most polished bat in the high school ranks with their first of many picks at 22. Baty has some risk as he might be a first baseman who will be 19.5 on draft day, but the swing offers above average hit and power tool potential and he’s also been named a Golden Spikes finalist this spring.

23. Colorado Rockies | Seth Johnson, RHP, Campbell 
Johnson's story is well told, a JUCO shortstop who barely pitched and is now considered a first rounder on the mound. His athleticism and raw tools on the mound are enticing, but there is some inherent risk here, more so than the usual college arm, given his lack of track record.


24. Cleveland Indians | Gunnar Henderson, SS, John T Morgan Academy (Ala.)
Henderson has been one of the more consistent prep bats this spring and would fit perfectly for the Indians as they grab a big, athletic shortstop who will be young for the class. Henderson might have to move to third given his size but his smooth lefthanded swing and above average run and arm tools are intriguing.

25. Los Angeles Dodgers | Michael Busch, 1B/OF, North Carolina
Busch is in play higher than this, potentially as many as double-digit slots higher, as one of the top-performing college bats in a draft that is objectively somewhat light in terms of pitching. There are some questions as to Busch’s future position, but scouts are unanimous in believing he can hit and should hit for power.

26. Arizona Diamondbacks | Tre Fletcher, OF, Deering HS (Maine)
This is where the Diamondbacks could get a little creative with their picks, as there’s a bevy of potential over-slot candidates they can grab. They could grab one of the unknowns of the class as Fletcher was just declared eligible a month ago. He’s super toolsy, athletic and could be a steal when we look back at this class.

27. Chicago Cubs | Daniel Espino, RHP, Georgia Premier Academy
Perhaps the owner of the most tantalizing stuff in all of the draft, Espino will show a fastball in the high-90s, a plus slider and the makings of two other quality off-speed pitches at his best. Concerns about his mechanical profile and his command (not control) projection push him down the board a bit, but there’s no questioning how good the stuff is at peak.

28. Milwaukee Brewers | JJ Goss, RHP, Cypress Ranch HS (Texas)
Goss has two big factors going for him when looking at his prospect status: he’s super athletic and his numbers are favorable from an analytical/TrackMan perspective. Goss can run his fastball into the mid-90s with a high-spin power slider and has solidified himself somewhere near the back of the first.

29. Oakland Athletics | Will Wilson, SS, North Carolina State
Wilson is viewed as one of the top hitters in the class, though concerns about how likely he is to stick at shortstop in pro ball as well as how much power he’ll ultimately have do push him down the board a touch. He could potentially go much higher than this to the right team, and while perhaps not sexy, his profile is that of a quality major leaguer.

30. New York Yankees | Kody Hoese, 3B, Tulane
The Yankees aren’t afraid to grab players they value and they’ll get the player who may have the best numbers in college this year. Hoese will likely be an above-average defender at third and teams are confident in the bat and the power that comes with it. In other words, Hoese sneaking into the first wouldn’t be a surprise at this point.

31. Los Angeles Dodgers | Jack Leiter, RHP, Delbarton (N.J.) HS
Leiter could be in play higher than this, but with the Dodgers taking a college player with their first pick in this projection, it stands to reason that they could save some money and swing for the fences here with Leiter. One of the top prep arms in the class, Leiter has excellent pitchability along with a fasball into the mid-90s and a plus curveball.

32. Houston Astros | Carter Stewart, RHP, Eastern Florida State College
The Astros' strategy of recent drafts would point them towards taking TrackMan darling Carter Stewart here as the last pick of the first round. Stewart has been first-round good this spring, touching the upper-90s to go along with his uber-spin curveball that helped steer him towards the eighth overall pick last year.

33. Arizona Diamondbacks | Kendall Williams, RHP, IMG Academy (Fla.)
With a ton of picks, the Diamondbacks can be creative, and they’ll almost assuredly be just that in this draft. We have them going college SS, prep OF, prep arm, prep IF in their first four picks, with the word being that they strongly prefer upside bats when possible. They can get a first round talent in Williams here, who has come on very strong this spring and has shown flashes of four distinct plus pitches at times.

34. Arizona Diamondbacks | Keoni Cavaco, 3B, Eastlake HS (Calif.)
With their final pick of the 1/1C rounds, the Diamondbacks would grab the premier prep riser of the draft in San Diego-area third baseman Keoni Cavaco. He started making some noise earlier this spring with plus bat speed an potential plus power and he is also young for the grade.

35. Miami Marlins | Drey Jameson, RHP, Ball State
If Jameson were 6-foot-2, he’d be talked about in the top 10-15 picks, that’s just how good the stuff is. With elite arm speed, a fastball into the upper-90s and flashes of a plus-plus slider, Jameson has a chance to start even with his smaller stature due to his athleticism. There are obvious reliever risks here, but the Marlins could do far worse after taking a prep talent early on.

36. Tampa Bay Rays | Josh Smith, SS, Louisiana State
Smith would be a very Rays-like pick as they’ll turn to the LSU shortstop with their second selection of the 1/1C round. He has rebounded tremendously from an injury that kept him out all of 2018 and will offer positional versatility to go along with quality bat control and hitterish tendencies.

37. Pittsburgh Pirates | Brooks Lee, SS, San Luis Obispo (Calif.) HS
We have the Pirates going with a college bat (Josh Jung) with their first pick, so we’ve paired up prep shortstop Brooks Lee for their pick here. Lee came on strong last summer at the Area Code Games and continued that into the fall and spring, and while he’s not an unbelievable athlete, he’s a heady player who can swing it from both sides and plays a quality shortstop.

38. New York Yankees | Josh Wolf, RHP, St. Thomas (Tex.) HS
Wolf has been one of the bigger risers in this year's draft class as the lean and athletic prep righty has come out this spring touching the upper-90s with his fastball. Wolf could be an overslot candidate in the comp round for the Yankees as his combination of projection, athleticism, arm speed, and stuff could too much too pass up in the comp round. 

39. Minnesota Twins | Sammy Siani, OF, William Penn Charter (Pa.) HS
Siani is viewed as a fringe first round talent who has one of the best prep hit tools in the class, and scouts are confident he’ll continue maturing into more and more power, even if he eventually plays a corner outfield spot. He would pair well with Jackson Rutledge, who we projected to the Twins at 13, and Twins fans would certainly be excited to see their club take another high upside prep bat from Pennsylvania (see Alex Kiriloff).

40. Tampa Bay Rays | Anthony Volpe, SS, Delbarton HS (N.J.)
The teammate of fellow draft prospect Jack Leiter, Volpe would also fit the Rays philosophy and could also be an over-slot candidate. Volpe has excellent defensive actions and instincts to go along with an excellent pure hit tool, an while he’s undersized, he’s a very polished prep prospect.

41. Texas Rangers | Tommy Henry, LHP, Michigan
The Rangers went big with their first pick getting a high-end college talent in Hunter Bishop. They can go for the relative safety of Tommy Henry here, a lanky lefty who has been up-and-down this year, but at his best looks like a potential mid-rotation starter. Henry is seemingly in play mostly in the second round range right now, but this could be a steal if he ends up more like the Henry of March than the Henry of April.

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