Status of 2018 First Round Picks

It is still too early to measure the success or failures of the 2018 first round draft picks. Below myworld takes a look at what they are accomplishing during the 2019 season. Four players from that draft did not sign, honoring their commitment to college or in one case going to Japan to play professional baseball. Another first round pick was the number one pick in the NFL draft and will be playing football, putting his baseball career on hold.

1. Casey Mize RHP (Tigers) - Casey signed for a record $7.5 million. Everything he throws is hard. The fastball hits the mid-90s and his splitter substitutes for a lack of a change. He also throws a slider. Three quality pitches plus the command to throw strikes. The top Tigers prospect is dominating at AA (1.27 ERA). Minor leaguers have an opposition average of .159. With no playoffs in sight until 2021 don’t expect Mize to be promoted this year.

2. Joey Bart C (Giants) - Bart inked a bonus for $7.025 million. He should be a two way catcher that provides both offense and defense. Last year he slugged 13 homeruns in Rookie ball for a .982 OPS. Joey is now the Giants top prospect. An early season injury delayed his 2019 season but in 12 games he has three homeruns and a .915 OPS.

3. Alec Bohm 3B (Phillies) - At 6′5″ he has some big time power. He signed for $5.85 million. There is some question about whether he can stay at third. He is currently in the Florida State League where he is slugging .463 in 33 games. A move to first base would drop his value but currently the top prospect for the Phillies.

4. Nick Madrigal SS (White Sox) - He played second base in college but the tools are there to play short. At 5′8″ he has a small frame but the bat is potent, hitting .303 last year. He signed for $6.411 million. The White Sox promoted him to AA even though he was not dominating at High A. The White Sox farm system is loaded placing Nick within the top five on the prospect ladder.

5. Jonathan India 3B (Reds) - Signed for $6 million. The bat has the potential to hit for power and average. The defensive tools are there to play third. Hitting for a little bit of power (.429 slugging) in the Florida State League. With Nick Senzel promoted to the Reds only Taylor Trammell and Hunter Greene are considered better prospects.

6. Jarred Kelenic OF (Mets) - The Mets signed him for a franchise record $4.5 million. They then included him in a trade to acquire Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. He has a mixture of speed and power, clubbing 13 homeruns this year and stealing 10 bases. Only Justus Sheffield is considered a better prospect in the Mariners system. The Mets could regret this trade in a couple years.

7. Ryan Weathers LHP (Padres) - Signed for $5.2 million. Not a hard thrower but has three quality pitches that he throws with excellent command. In his 8 starts at in Low A he has a 5/38 walk to whiff ratio in 33 innings. The Padres have some talented arms with four to five pitchers ahead of him in the prospect rankings.

8. Carter Stewart RHP (Braves) - Braves did not like his medicals and tried to reduce his bonus. He did not sign. Recently signed a six year $7 million contract with the Softbank Hawks in Japan.

9. Kyler Murray OF (Athletics) - The NFL made him the number one pick in their draft. Kyler said bye-bye to baseball, forfeiting much of his $4.66 million signing bonus. He did not play last year focusing on his quarterback duties for Oklahoma. The Athletics will not get a compensatory draft for losing him.

10. Travis Swaggerty OF (Pirates) - Shows the speed to play center and has some power in his bat. Despite his struggles in Low A last year (.129) the Pirates promoted him to High A where his struggles continue (.230). Falls a little short of being the top prospect for the Pirates.

11. Grayson Rodriguez RHP (Orioles) - Signed a $4.3 million bonus. At 6′5″ he has good size grazing north of 95 with us fastball. He also has good secondary pitches and excellent control. Pitched well in rookie ball (1.40 ERA) in his minor league debut. Pitching well in Low A (12/66 walk to whiff ratio in 48 innings). Low A hitters are hitting .186 against him. A trio of Orioles prospects are rated ahead of him.

12. Jordan Groshans SS (Blue Jays) - Signed for $3.4 million. Lacks the range to play short but has the hit tool with plenty of wop to play third. Could move Guerrero to first. His average speed makes the outfield a possibility. Hitting .337 in Low A with a .909 OPS. Falls around the four or five spot in the Blue Jays prospect rankings.

13. Connor Scott OF (Marlins) - Signed for just over $4 million. Has the power and speed to play center. Struggled his first year with a .218 average at two levels. This year is still a struggle in the Midwest League (.216) with his power still absent (.332). Rated as one of the top five Marlins prospects, but if his bat doesn’t wake up his prospect ranking could drop.

14. Logan Gilbert RHP (Mariners) - Logan signed for just south of $3.9 million. Did not play last year because of health issues and foot problems. In 11 starts this year has a 2.01 ERA with a 12/76 walk to whiff ratio in 53.2 innings. Good assortment of pitches with a low to mid-90s fastball. As a college drafted pitcher he could rise quickly.

15. Cole Winn RHP (Rangers) - Signed for $3.15 million. The Rangers did not pitch him last year. The scouting report shows he has good control, but this year his 12/12 walk to whiff ratio raises his ERA to 8.44 in Low A. Listed as one of the top five prospects of the Rangers.

16. Matthew Liberatore LHP (Rays) - The Rays continue to hoard pitchers. At 6′5″ the height is there. Signed for a little south of $3.5 million. The fastball is in the low 90s but he has solid secondary pitches. A top five prospect with the Rays.

17. Jordyn Adams OF (Angels) - The Angels signed him for $4.1 million. Another athletic outfielder. Adams can fly. Centerfield could be his but a floppy arm makes left field a better fit with Jo Adell playing center. His bat has been quiet this year with a .232 average and a .338 slugging. Still a top five prospect with the Angels.

18. Brady Singer RHP (Royals) - Dropped in the draft with the Royals paying him an above slot $4.25 million. Voted by Baseball America as college player of the year. Dominated in High A (1.87 ERA) but struggled when promoted to AA (8.38 ERA in two starts). Top rated prospect for the Royals.

19. Nolan Gorman 3B (Cardinals) - Signed for $3.2 million bonus. Popped 17 homeruns last year in just 63 games. This year he has slugged 10 homeruns. Cardinals have a lot of depth at third but Gorman is considered the top prospect for the Cardinals.

20. Trevor Larnach OF (Twins) - A corner outfielder whose power needs to be developed. Lacks the speed to play center. Since his glove is suspect the bat needs to work. A top five prospect for the Twins.

21. Brice Turang SS (Brewers) - Signed a $3.4 million bonus. The tools are there to stick at short. Good speed and a solid bat that lacks power. Rated as one of the Brewers top five prospects.

22. Ryan Rolison LHP (Rockies) - The Rockies like to take their lefty starting pitchers in the first round. Ryan dominated last year limiting the opposition to a .149 average. His success continues this year with a promotion to High A. His curveball gets the swings and misses. A top five prospect for the Rockies.

23. Anthony Siegler C (Yankees) - The Yankees love their catchers. He signed for $2.8 million. Defense is his strength with the bat short of power. Still has not played in 2019. A top five prospect for the Yankees whose defense alone will make him a solid backup.

24. Nico Hoerner SS (Cubs) - Signed for $2.7 million. A good contact hitter who hovers around .300. Defense not spectacular. The top prospect with the Cubs.

25. Matt McLain SS (Diamondbacks) - Did not sign committing to his wish to play baseball for the UCLA Bruins

26. Triston Casas 3B (Red Sox) - Signed for $2.5 million. If he can stick at third he would be more valuable. Good power for a corner. The top prospect on a weak Red Sox farm team.

27. Mason Denaburg RHP (Nationals) - Signed for $3 million and did not pitch last year. Still has not taken the mound this year. A good fastball in the mid-90s he falls in the top five of Nationals prospects.

28. Seth Beer 1B (Astros) - A man without a defensive position but his bat should play. Last year slugged 12 homeruns. This year he has matched the 12 homeruns in fewer games. His best position may be DH so the bat will have to play for him to get an opportunity. Slips into the Top ten.

29. Bo Naylor C (Indians) - The brother of Josh who is now doing his thing with the Padres. Bo has stayed behind the plate where he could develop into an offensive player with solid defensive tools behind the plate. Signed for just south of $2.6 million. A top five prospect for the Indians.

30. J.T. Ginn RHP (Dodgers) - The Dodgers failed to convince him to void his Mississippi commitment.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.