Tag: MLB Draft

2019 Draft Recap – NL East

2019 Draft Recap – NL East

I will be breaking down my take on the draft for each team just as I started with Minor League Ball a season ago. Like then, this is a six article series, going East to West for the AL and NL. I will break down four picks for each team with those being:

Best Pick: Likely a Monday selection that I love as a fit and/or upside for the organization.

Reach: A selection I just don’t like, or at least as early as the player was selected.

Sleeper: Likely a Tuesday selection that the team got lower than I would have selected them, providing good value.

Deep Sleeper: This will be a pick often after the 10th round that will likely be signed (most often a college senior) and provide value in the system and potentially become a future big league player. Some will be inside the top 10 rounds depending on how the draft unfolded for that given team.

To see the other lists, use the links below (to be added as the articles post):

NL East
NL Central
NL West
AL East
AL Central
AL West

Atlanta Braves

Best Pick: Shae Langeliers – C – Baylor – Round 1 – Pick 9 – If you have ever read any of my stuff, you know I love defensive catchers. Langeliers not only might be the best defensive catcher in this draft, he has some real potential with the bat, see his 11 RBI game in the NCAA Regionals. The contact comes and goes, but the raw power is above average and would play well regardless of the position. He will enter pro ball with one of the quicker pop times and stronger arms in all the minors and, while he isn’t quick, his reactions behind the plate are fundamentally sound. Overall, he has a chance to truly be a star.

Reach: Beau Philip – SS – Oregon State – Round 2 – Pick 60 – The only way this pick works out is if he signs enough below slot to be able to sign Tyler Owens (more on him later). Philip is a good enough athlete but I am not sold he stays at short and the bat isn’t enough to play on a corner where the arm would play best. There is almost no power in the bat and he lacks the track record you typically expect from an Oregon State selection. Had they taken him in the fifth round I wouldn’t have flinched, but the second is far too early.

Sleeper: Ricky DeVito – RHP – Seton Hall – Round 8 – Pick 247 – The Big East pitcher of the year two seasons ago, DeVito struggled some this past season, otherwise he may have heard his name on day one. The delivery is, like his junior year production, inconsistent, but the fastball has plenty of life and comes in at 94 when he is on. The change is his best pitch, with varying movement that he can control and quality arm speed, it has the potential to be a plus offering. He also has a curve that is going to be at least average if not a tick above. If the Braves can iron out the delivery DeVito will come through as a great value on day two of the draft.

Deep Sleeper: Tyler Owens – RHP – Trinity Catholic HS (FL) – Round 13 – Pick 199 – The Braves did not select a single college senior until round 29, so they make for a tough “Deep Sleeper” team to recap. Owens has a commitment to Florida which is always a concern, but if the Braves can free up enough money form their earlier selections to sign Owens, this could be a great selection. Owens does not have the traditional size, just 5’10”, but there isn’t as much effort in the delivery as you typically find from a guy his height that can get into the upper-90s. His fastball sits more 93-94 and has a slider that has shown real potential. Overall, this could be a great pick if they can sign him.

Miami Marlins

Best Pick: J.J. Bleday – OF – Vanderbilt – Round 1 – Pick 4 – I had Bleday ranked fifth just behind CJ Abrams, but I have been less and less hardened on that stance in recent weeks. Bleday has a smooth swing that allows him to hit for average but also really show off his plus raw power. He is a solid fielder but the real shining tool for him on defense is his arm, which is plus. He is more athletic than he is fast but, ultimately, he will settle in as a middle of the order power bat that plays solid defense in right field, which is more than good enough to take with the number four overall pick.

Reach: Nasim Nunez – SS – Collins Hill HS (GA) – Round 2 – Pick 46 – I don’t dislike this pick, in fact I had him going only three spots later in my final mock, but it the Marlins only took four non seniors in the top ten rounds, and three spots early is the biggest “reach” to me. There are no questions about the arm, athleticism, or defense, as he may turn out to be the best defensive shortstop in this class, but the bat can be underwhelming. He is a light swinging switch hitter who is better on the short side of the platoon. That is the knock, which isn’t really much of one as he has a good swing and makes plenty of contact from both sides.

Sleeper: Kameron Misner – OF – Missouri – Competitive Balance A – Pick 30 – Misner didn’t put up the numbers scouts had hoped for in the SEC, but the tools are undeniable. He showed himself well as a guy who has a real shot to stick in center but has more than enough arm to play in right if needed. He can really move on the bases and in the field, but his best tool at the plate is the plus raw power and advanced approach at the plate. Overall, he is a guy that could hit .275 and go 20-20 in his best seasons.

Deep Sleeper: Nic Ready – 3B – Air Force – Round 23 – Pick 681 – I actually had a few options from the Marlins draft here, as I really liked Julian Infante in the 36th round as a guy who has had success in the most competitive college division, but I decided to highlight a guy I was really high on coming in. There was at least one team that gave consideration to Ready in the top 10 rounds and another that had real interest in him just from scouts I spoke to. The service commitment will be interesting to follow, but Ready has pop, has plenty of arm for third and sneaky range, and I actually think he has the athleticism to play second. I have plenty more on him here.

New York Mets

Best Pick: Matthew Allan – RHP – Seminole HS (FL) – Round 3 – Pick 89 – Allan was a guy everyone had as a day one guy, and most in the top half of the first round. After he was still on the board heading into Tuesday, most figured he would be heading to Florida, but the Mets grabbed him with their first pick on day 3 and selected only seniors from there to ensure they could save the money to sign him. Good body with a big fastball, plus curve, and a change that is better than most prep arms while commanding all three pitches, the Mets added an arm that can pitch in the front half of a rotation at some point.

Reach: Brett Baty – 3B – Lake Travis HS (TX) – Round 1 – Pick 12 – I didn’t dislike this pick, but when you go all college seniors (none of which can be considered a reach as they are almost assuredly going to save you money) you have to just pick from the pick you liked least. There were players I liked better here than Baty (Bryson Stott, Jackson Rutledge who both happened to go to NL East rivals) but I don’t dislike the pick.

Sleeper: Jake Mangum – OF – Mississippi State – Round 4 – Pick 118 – This is higher than a college senior is typically selected but, as just mentioned, the Mets needed to go to the college senior well early and often. Mangum is not your typical senior sign, as he is the SEC’s all-time hits leader and has a plus hit tool with elite speed. He uses that speed to make up for his utter lack of power (bottom of the scale) to stretch borderline doubles into sure fire doubles and covers a ton of ground in center. He has a well above average arm in center and could become a back of the lineup bat who stays in the big leagues for a decade.

Deep Sleeper: Antoine Duplantis – OF – LSU – Round 12 – Pick 358 – Duplantis is not dissimilar from Mangum as he is a senior sign with a track record of success in the SEC who has a good hit tool but lacks power. Unlike Mangum, Duplantis isn’t a good enough defender to hold down center, and his arm doesn’t play that well in right.

Philadelphia Phillies

Best Pick: Bryson Stott – SS – UNLV – Round 1 – Pick 9 – I was actually underwhelmed by Stott’s bat when I saw him in person after seeing many reports having his hit tool as a potential plus, but I loved the glove. He has great instincts, plus range, quick actions, and ridiculous leaping ability. At the plate, he adjusted his approach this season to show he has pop as the big knock was a lack of power, so he struck out more but drove the ball further this season. Regardless, his walks increased and he showed a real smart eye at the plate. I broke him down in much further detail earlier this season.

Reach: Jamari Baylor – SS – Benedictine School (VA) – Round 3 – Pick 91 – The Phillies didn’t have a second-round pick, but there was plenty more talent than Baylor at this selection as I didn’t talk to anyone that had him before round five.  He has plus speed and a strong arm, but the instincts and glove likely won’t be enough to keep him at short. His best attribute with the stick is his power, so third may be a good fit for him, as would right field. I am not sure he will ever hit enough for the power to be impactful, but the fact he is JuCo committed likely means the Phillies can get him for under slot.

Sleeper: Erik Miller – LHP – Stanford – Round 4 – Pick 120 – I had Miller firmly as a day one guy, but he slipped to the second round on day two. The knock on him is his ability to command his pitches and repeat his delivery, which may land him as a reliever, but the stuff could make him an impact reliever. He has as good a fastball/slider combo as any lefty in the draft and the change is good enough to sustain him as a starter if the command comes around. If not, he will be the type of guy who will be in the Andrew Miller type role (not saying he will be Miller, but saying the role could be similar) where he is truly used in high leverage spots and is available for multiple innings per outing.

Deep Sleeper: Spencer Van Scoyoc – LHP – University of Central Oklahoma – Round 19 – Pick 570 – First drafted in 2016 by the Blue Jays (also in the 19th round as it turns out), Van Scoyoc went to ASU where he struggled to find the strike zone (something Sun Devils fans might be all too familiar with after watching them this season). He transferred to DII Central Oklahoma ahead of this season and showed more of the same command concerns. What makes him a deep sleeper though is the fact he sits low-to-mid 90s with an easy delivery that could see more velo in time and a breaking ball can get hitters out from both sides of the plate. If the Phillies can iron out his command just enough to not be a liability he can turn into a legitimate bullpen piece.

Washington Nationals

Best Pick: Jackson Rutledge – RHP – San Jacinto College North – RHP – Round 1 – Pick 17 – Coming into the year, Rutledge was the second ranked JucCo prospect but a good year combined with Carter Stewart departing to Japan made him easily the top JuCo option. He sits into the high 90s and flirts with triple digits with the big fastball and has a slider that is a true plus offering. He adds to that a 12-6 curve and a change that is slowly coming along. The arm action and delivery may be limiting for him and there is a chance he doesn’t stick as a starter, but the stuff could make for a true ace reliever if he has to move to the pen.

Reach: Jackson Cluff – SS – BYU – Round 6 – Pick 183 – This is one of the first picks I really didn’t know anything about when his name was announced. I was not the only one, as he was not on the MLB Pipeline top 200 nor was he on Baseball America’s top 500. Here is what I have gathered in talking to scouts and some other research. Some pop in bat although the bat head is not great. Body suggests a future move off SS to third or a corner outfield. He is also still has two years of eligibility so a return to BYU isn’t out of the question. Not what I would be looking for in round 6 when guys like Pedro Pages, Michael Limoncelli, Ethan Hearn, and Matthew Barefoot were still on the board.

Sleeper: Matt Cronin – LHP – Arkansas – Round 4 – Pick 123 – A guy some thought could go on day one, the Nationals got arguably the best true reliever in the class in round four. His rising fastball gets on hitters even heavier than the mid-90s velocity would suggest, and he breaks off a big time 12-6 curve out of the same high slot as his fastball. The command has been inconsistent but not to the point it should raise any massive concern. The stuff and success in an elite college conference could see him moving quickly, potentially finding himself in AA this summer.

Deep Sleeper: Kevin Strohschein – 1B – Tennessee Tech – Round 21 – Pick 633 – I was not the only one to fall in love with Strohschein’s game a season ago when he led Tennessee Tech to the Super Regionals, but he wound up needing Tommy John but still managed to improve in all three of his slash lines from a season ago. Once thought to be a solid outfield prospect, being announced as a first baseman tells me the Nationals aren’t sold his arm has bounced back enough, but there is real pop in the bat and this is a guy that could truly make a big league roster and potentially even develop into a starting option in time.

2019 MLB Mock Draft

2019 MLB Mock Draft

This is my official mock draft, but this isn’t a list nor is it a prediction, but rather if I were in the given team’s front office, it is who I would pick. The MLB Draft is not one where you draft for need, although I like Andrew Vaughn as the number two player in this draft, he doesn’t go to the Royals as they just selected Nick Pratto, a first baseman, a couple years ago. There is some buzz the Orioles may go for somebody easier to get under slot but, this is the only time and place I will mention this as I hate breaking news, it isn’t my thing and there is too much that goes with it, it is my understanding Adley Rutschman will need shoulder surgery, likely immediately after signing, so he should be an easy sign. For me Rutschman, healthy or not, is in a tier all his own, followed by Bobby Witt Jr., Vaughn, and C.J. Abrams in a second tier. J.J. Bleday starts a third tier for me that ends after Nick Lodolo, my only pitcher in tier three, with Bryson Stott heading a massive fourth tier that extends somewhere into the second round for me as I don’t think there is a ton of difference between Stott at 11 and Brooks Lee at 38 or Nasim Nunez at 49. I think this draft is incredibly top heavy but lacks in its depth of star talent. I do think day two will be very interesting as there will likely be a lot more high school talent available than in typical years as the college class near the top is stronger than the HS class.

Pick Team Player Position School
First Round
1
Baltimore Orioles
Adley Rutschman C Oregon State
2 Kansas City Royals Bobby Witt Jr. SS Colleyville Heritage HS (TX)
3 Chicago White Sox Andrew Vaughn 1B California
4 Miami Marlins C.J. Abrams SS Blessed Trinity HS (GA)
5
Detroit Tigers
J.J. Bleday OF Vanderbilt
6 San Diego Padres Riley Greene OF Hagerty HS (FL)
7 Cincinnati Reds Corbin Carroll OF Lakeside HS (WA)
8 Texas Rangers Hunter Bishop OF Arizona State
9 Atlanta Braves Shea Langeliers C Baylor
10 San Francisco Giants Nick Lodolo LHP TCU
11 Toronto Blue Jays Bryson Stott SS UNLV
12 New York Mets Alek Manoah RHP West Virginia
13 Minnesota Twins Jackson Rutledge RHP San Jacinto JC (TX)
14 Philadelphia Phillies Josh Jung 3B Texas Tech
15 Los Angeles Angels Zack Thompson LHP Kentucky
16 Arizona Diamondbacks Brett Baty 3B Lake Travis HS (TX)
17 Washington Nationals Matthew Allan RHP Seminole HS (FL)
18 Pittsburgh Pirates Brennan Malone RHP IMG Academy (FL)
19 St. Louis Cardinals George Kirby RHP Elon
20 Seattle Mariners Will Wilson SS NC State
21 Atlanta Braves Michael Busch 1B/OF North Carolina
22 Tampa Bay Rays Quinn Priester RHP Cary-Grove HS (IL)
23 Colorado Rockies Logan Davidson SS Clemson
24 Cleveland Indians Kody Hoese 3B Tulane
25 Los Angeles Dodgers Kameron Misner OF Missouri
26 Arizona Diamondbacks JJ Goss RHP Cypress Ranch (TX)
27 Chicago Cubs Anthony Volpe SS Delbarton HS (NJ)
28 Milwaukee Brewers Keoni Cavaco 3B Eastlake HS (CA)
29 Oakland Athletics Jack Leiter RHP Delbarton HS (NJ)
30 New York Yankees Tyler Callihan 3B Providence HS (FL)
31 Los Angeles Dodgers Gunnar Henderson SS Morgan Academy (AL)
32 Houston Astros Daniel Espino RHP Georgia Premier Academy (GA)
Compensation Picks
33
Arizona Diamondbacks
Seth Johnson RHP Campbell
34 Arizona Diamondbacks Braden Shewmake SS Texas A&M
Competitive Balance Round A
35
Miami Marlins
Maurice Hampton OF Memphis University HS (TN)
36 Tampa Bay Rays Matthew Lugo SS Betran Academy HS (PR)
37 Pittsburgh Pirates Hunter Barco LHP Bolles HS (FL)
38 New York Yankees Brooks Lee SS San Luis Obispo HS (CA)
39 Minnesota Twins Josh Wolf RHP St. Thomas HS (TX)
40 Tampa Bay Rays Brady McConnell SS Florida
41 Texas Rangers Isaiah Campbell RHP Arkansas
Second Round
42
Baltimore Orioles
Matt Canterino RHP Rice
43 Boston Red Sox Greg Jones SS UNC Wilmington
44 Kansas City Royals Rece Hinds 3B IMG Academy (FL)
45 Chicago White Sox Davis Wendzel 3B Baylor
46 Miami Marlins Michael Toglia 1B UCLA
47 Detroit Tigers Kyren Paris SS Freedom HS (CA)
48 San Diego Padres Drew Jameson RHP Ball State
49 Cincinnati Reds Nasim Nunez SS Collins Hill HS (GA)
50 Texas Rangers Blake Walston LHP New Hanover HS (NC)
51 San Francisco Giants Josh Smith SS LSU
52 Toronto Blue Jays John Doxakis LHP Texas A&M
53 New York Mets Sammy Siani OF William Penn Charter HS (PA)
54 Minnesota Twins Kendall Williams RHP IMG Academy (FL)
55 Los Angeles Angels Ethan Small LHP Mississippi State
56 Arizona Diamondbacks Chase Strumpf 2B UCLA
57 Pittsburgh Pirates Bryce Osmond RHP Jenks HS (OK)
58 St. Louis Cardinals Tommy Henry LHP Michigan
59 Seattle Mariners Drew Mendoza 3B Florida State
60 Atlanta Braves Matt Wallner OF Southern Miss
61 Tampa Bay Rays Spencer Jones 1B/LHP La Costa Canyon HS (CA)
62 Colorado Rockies Matthew Thompson RHP Cypress Ranch (TX)
63 Cleveland Indians Jimmy Lewis RHP Lake Travis HS (TX)
64 Chicago Cubs Josh Stowers OF Stanford
65 Milwaukee Brewers Jerrion Ealy OF Jackson Preparatory (MS)
66 Oakland Athletics Erik Miller LHP Stanford
67 New York Yankees Will Holland SS Auburn
68 Houston Astros Ethan Hearn C Mobile Christian (AL)
69 Boston Red Sox Graeme Stinson LHP Duke
Competitive Balance Round B
70
Kansas City Royals
Jack Kochanowicz RHP Harriton HS (PA)
71 Baltimore Orioles Aaron Schunk 3B Georgia
72 Pittsburgh Pirates TJ Sikkema LHP Missouri
73 San Diego Padres Matt Cronin LHP Arkansas
74 Arizona Diamondbacks Cameron Cannon 3B Arizona
75 Arizona Diamondbacks Dominic Fletcher OF Arkansas
76 Seattle Mariners Riley Cornelio RHP Pine Creek HS (CO)
77 Colorado Rockies Will Robertson OF Creighton
Compensation Picks
78 Los Angeles Dodgers Tyler Fitzgerald SS Louisville

 

Trio from Legend HS, Parker CO (Kian Manmano, Justin Boyd, & Hank Bard)

Trio from Legend HS, Parker CO (Kian Manmano, Justin Boyd, & Hank Bard)

Player: Kian Manmano Scout Date :4/25/19 & 5/18/19
Organization:  Legend HS (Parker, CO) Position(s): CF
Height: 6’1” Weight: 170 lbs. Bats: Right Throws: Right
Hit: Slightly wide base into long leg kick creating very wide base at fire. Quiets leg kick with 2 strikes. Bat path can get long but bat speed is good. Makes plenty of contact despite long bat at times.
Power:  Good weight transfer with hips and hands in sync allowing ball to jump. No doubt HR in second AB. Will hit 5-10 HR in college with upside for more.
Run: No infield singles to get time to first, but based on range OF and ability to go first to third, comfortable putting an easy 50 on speed.
Arm: Good enough. 40-45. Accurate but no cannon. More than enough to play well in center though.
Glove: Easy centerfielder, covers a ton of ground and can make special catches. Ran down easy double if not triple in right-center to make catch over the shoulder to save runs early in game, very few HS players catch up to that ball, much less catch it. First step is always back before instincts and read takes over. Raw skills have potential plus defender, first step reads just need improving.
Other: Colorado Mesa commit.
Summary: Mesa getting another impressive player that should be in D1. Can see him carving out role as freshman and becoming star for team. Projectability in body, could see him turning into a draft guy by junior year at Mesa.
Player: Justin Boyd Scout Date: 4/25/19 & 5/18/19
Organization:  Legend HS (Parker, CO) Position(s): SS
Height: 6’1” Weight: 195 lbs. Bats: Right Throws: Right
Hit: Upright stance with controlled stride. Quick bat with some uppercut to swing. Direct bat path. Picks up ball early and shows advanced eye at plate. Came away unimpressed on 4/25, but the bat played to the hype on 5/18. Real potential here.
Power: HR in third AB. Ball on a rope cut through windy day. Too much light contact to translate into real power currently, but has genuine upside of 50 pop.
Run: Not enough to judge
Arm: Accurate, although he drops arm unnecessarily. Arm strength is limited, 40 bordering on 45 but accuracy and quick transitions make it play as an easy 45.
Glove: Soft hands, special glove control, although does get caught up with it and can get too slick for own good at times. Good first step and advanced instincts should allow him to stick at short. Needs to be more aggressive, once in each game I saw he stayed back on ball too long leading to an infield single on should-be routine groundouts. Too content standing ground rather than coming in to get ball.
Other: Oregon State commit.
Summary: 12 months ago I was on record expressing the almost certainty Jayce Easley would be headed to Oregon State as I was not high on him heading into draft. Instead he was drafted 5th round and signed with Rangers. I am higher on Boyd current and future, although I will come out again and state he will end up in Corvalis. That said, I would not be surprised or blame a team for grabbing him in rounds 3-6 if they feel they can get him under slot as he has real potential to be a quality bat in pro levels, although the body does lack projectability.
Player: Hank Bard Scout Date: 4/25/19 & 5/18/19
Organization: Legend HS (Parker, CO) Position(s): Catcher
Height: 6’2” Weight: 190 lbs. Bats: Left Throws: Right
Hit: Tall, slightly open stance. Some bat wrap and hitch in load. Bat was extremely long on 4/25, still long on 5/18 but not as much. Long leg kick also slows bat speed. Shows ability to stay alive and foul off would be strikeout pitches but will go out of zone too often.
Power: Ball jumps when staying on top of ball but gets under more often than not. Didn’t see any ball truly driven in two games, best contact was hard line drive to 2B, but that ball was smoked. Based on swing, type of contact, and body, I project more of a gap doubles power guy than over the wall, especially with an approach that is more middle-away than pull, which limits the power he does currently have.
Run: N/A, didn’t see enough
Arm: Warm up pop times only, 2.20 timed, but wasn’t close to full speed. Arm seems to get stuck behind head creating some hesitation, but arm strength and accuracy are both there. Plenty to play at college level and beyond.
Glove: Some jab cost pitcher strikes early in game but adjusted and limited the jab later on. Strong hands keep ball where caught. Turns glove over on backhand too early that could be costly with advanced pitchers. Agile behind plate with smooth lateral movement while keeping shoulders square. Can block ball well but has glove skills to pick ball in dirt while still in position to block ball.
Other: Kentucky commit.
Summary: Would like to see more of the bat, although he battled strong every time and showed a knack for staying alive with 2 strikes. Bat length needs to be shortened to have success in SEC and if he has any chance to be successful in pro ranks. Final clip in video was him shooting a ball over the LF head for walk-off win in playoff game. Like the glove behind the plate, can stick as C for long time, adjustments with bat will determine upside, as floor is a solid defensive catcher.
Nic Ready -1B/3B – Air Force

Nic Ready -1B/3B – Air Force

Player: Nic Ready Scout Date: 4/5/19
Organization: Air Force Position(s): 1B (Also plays 3B)
Height: 6’3” Weight: 210 lbs. Bats: Right Throws: Right
Hit: Mild leg kick, can get out on front foot at times, but usually stays back and balanced. Bat speed just below average, but gat remains in zone well allowing him to make plenty of contact. Pull hitter, mild shift played against him. 35 current, 40 likely, 45 possible.
Power: Won Collegiate Home Run Derby in 2018. Top 10 in country in HR, RBI, and slugging in 2018. Could become Air Force’s all-time leader in HR and RBIs this season. Loft in swing, can really drive ball. Strong forearms allow him to turn on ball well. 50 future.
Run: No clock, but more athletic than fast. Feels like a 45.
Arm: Enough to play at third, but not going to wow anyone. Quick transfer and accurate. 45 grade.
Glove: Plus range at first. Played first entire weekend but plays third too. Coach had considered trying him at short. Showed range on chopper threatening infield single towards second baseman, cut in front to make play and throw runner out at second. Athletic with soft hands, would experiment with him at second base at next level.
Other: Leader in the dugout, had scout tell me he was clearly off on day (see poor check swing) but still flashed well.
Summary: Polarizing prospect that most teams aren’t on, but at least one is high on him. There is enough power to play first, but the athleticism makes him an interesting case. Has played first and third all throughout college, but footwork has me wanting to see him at second where he could be a sneaky good find. Service academies have made it more viable to draft and bring in players, so would not be a wasted pick eaten up by service commitments. I expect him to be taken somewhere in rounds 8-10 and signed for cheap but will climb an organization. Probable future value of 40 with upside of utility 45.