Major League Baseball will begin its annual three-day amateur draft on Monday night in Secaucus, New Jersey. The draft covers 40 full rounds plus five shorter rounds for compensation picks and competitive balance-lottery picks. All told, there will be 1,217 selections made during the 2019 draft.
The draft continues with Rounds 3-10 on Tuesday, June 4, and concludes with Rounds 11-40 on Wednesday, June 5. Days 2 and 3 will be streamed live on MLB.com. There will be four minutes between picks in Round 1, and one minute between picks from the supplemental first round through the 10th round. Day 3 is a rapid fire conference call with one pick after another. Here are 10 things you need to know about the draft and its process.
Seattle Elects to Super Smash Opponents, Select SP George Kirby in 1st Round
Unlike the NBA and NHL amateur drafts, there is no lottery for the MLB draft. The draft order is set at the reverse order of the previous years standings, so the Orioles hold the No. 1 pick in 2019 after losing 115 games in 2018. This is the second time Baltimore has held the top overall pick. They selected LSU righty Ben McDonald with the No. 1 pick in 1989.
All first-round picks are protected from draft-pick compensation nowadays. Teams give up later draft picks (and international bonus money) to sign qualified free agents instead. Despite that, the Red Sox do not have a first-round pick this year. Their top pick was moved back 10 spots (33rd overall to 43rd overall) as part of the penalties for excessive luxury tax spending last year.
As a reminder, each team is given a set bonus pool for draft spending each summer. The penalties for excessive spending are harsh enough (tax on overage, forfeiting a future first rounder, etc.) that the bonus pool effectively acts as a salary cap. Here are the five largest bonus pools going into this years draft:
The D-Backs have several extra picks this year (explained below), and that equals a great big bonus pool. The bonus pools cover the top 10 rounds — each pick has an individual slot value — and every dollar over $125,000 given to a player taken after the 10th round counts against the bonus pool. Fail to sign a player, and you lose the pool money associated with that pick.
One National League scout familiar with Dipoto thinks the pick is right in line with what the organization is trying to accomplish.
This is our third and final mock draft. We previously released mock drafts on May 6 and May 20. Much like every other year, plenty has changed in the four weeks leading up to the draft. Here is the latest prior to Monday nights draft launch.
Indeed, by selecting Kirby, the Mariners have effectively absorbed the power of some of their opponents: good starting pitching.
Rutschmans college career came to an unceremonious end Saturday as Oregon State was eliminated in the regionals. He had a monster draft year (.427/.584/.772 with 69 walks and 36 strikeouts) and was even given the Barry Bonds treatment over the weekend. Cincinnati intentionally walked Rutschman with the bases loaded and a three-run lead.
Bases loaded intentional walk!?!?Yes… Adley Rutschman is THAT good. #RoadToOmaha | @BeaverBaseball pic.twitter.com/WPbDfiByTc
Rutschman is the best prospect in this years draft and maybe the best draft prospect since Bryce Harper in 2010. Hes considered a more complete prospect than Buster Posey was going into the 2008 draft because Rutschmans power potential is more obvious. A switch-hitting catcher with power and strong defensive chops is exactly the type of player teams want to build around.
For what its worth, Orioles GM Mike Elias recently told The Athletics Dan Connolly they have narrowed their list for the No. 1 pick to “about four players right now.” We hear that a lot this time of year. The club with the No. 1 pick plays it cool to create leverage during pre-draft contract negotiations, which are technically against the rules but happen all the time. The Os could go with another player (Bobby Witt Jr. or Andrew Vaughn are the obvious candidates), sign him underslot, and spend the bonus pool savings on later picks. Elias did that several times when he ran drafts for the Astros. While that may be tempting, the bet here is the Os play it straight and take Rutschman, the best player on the board.
“Its hard to understate it — its a huge opportunity,” Elias told MLB.coms Joe Trezza about having the No. 1 pick. “… So you feel a lot of pressure. There is big upside in the opportunity, but its not easy. Nobody has a crystal ball and its not easy to nail. We just do as much work as we can going into it and do the best we can.”
Mariners 2019 Draft Day One Open Thread
You can never truly call anything a lock in the MLB draft, but the Royals taking Witt is about as close to a lock as it gets. Theyve been all over him this spring and their longstanding affinity for high-end up-the-middle athletes with above-average defensive tools makes this an obvious fit. Add in his power and offensive potential, and Witt has true five-tool ability. He can be the star position player the Royals build their next contending team around.
Should the Orioles take Witt and zig when everyone expects them to zag, the Royals would happily take Adley Rutschman with this pick. If the Os really go off the board and take Andrew Vaughn with the No. 1 pick, Kansas City would have to think long and hard about Rutschman over Witt. It wouldnt surprise me if they took Witt anyway though. They like him that much. Witts father, Bobby Sr., played 16 years in the big leagues and was the No. 3 pick in 1985.
2019 MLB Draft Day 1 Thread – Minor Leagues – Articles – Homepage
The No. 3 pick is more up in the air than the White Soxs recent history of selecting college bats near the top of the draft would lead you to believe (Chicago has used a top 11 pick on a college hitter each of the last three years). On paper, Andrew Vaughn is a clear fit. Advanced hitter, quick mover through the system, etc. He is exactly the type of player the White Sox have been targeting in recent years.
Lately though, theres been some buzz about the ChiSox going after a toolsy up the middle player, with Abrams the obvious target at this point in the draft. Chicago took similar prospects with their first-round picks in 2012 (Courtney Hawkins) and 2013 (Tim Anderson), and it may be time to go back to that well after five years of college players. The bet here is Chicago passes on Vaughn for Abrams.
“We are going to line up our board and take the highest guy still left on it,” scouting director Nick Hostetler told 670 The Scores Bruce Levine recently. “We have spent so much time on this — literally from the last day of the draft last year until now … So we are going to line up the board 1-2-3. If No. 1 is still there, that is who we are taking. If its the third guy on our board, that is who we are picking.”
The White Sox passing on Andrew Vaughn would create a little uncertainty here. According to Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald, several Marlins executives, including CEO Derek Jeter and president of baseball operations Michael Hill, were on hand to watch Vaughn and Bleday last week. Theyre said to have seen Adley Rutschman at some point as well.
“I havent looked at every player across the country like our scouts have but it is an interesting and eye-opening experience,” Jeter told McPherson about his scouting trips. “… I like to get an opportunity to see the interaction of players with their teammates, how hard they play, how they play, knowledge of the game. Obviously you can see tools. You can see guys hit and run and throw. You see a lot of video.”
Dave Dombrowski, President of Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox, before a baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Red Sox Friday, March 30, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
The Marlins have been connected to Bleday, a lefty power hitter who is above-average speed away from being a five-tool player, for weeks now. Vaughn would be awfully tempting though. As good a hitter as he is, the historically poor track record of righty hitting/righty throwing first basemen is pushing Vaughn down our final mock draft. Bleday it is for Miami.
The Tigers are going to select the best player available with the No. 5 overall pick in this years MLB Draft, director of amateur scouting Scott Pleis said.
For weeks the Tigers have been strongly tied to outfielder Riley Greene, the best high school hitter in this draft, but Vaughn slipping would make them shift gears. Even with the platoon disadvantage and defensive limitations, getting the best pure hitter in the country with the No. 5 pick is too good to pass up. Detroit makes out like bandits in our mock draft.
In a sense, the Padres may have the easiest decision Monday night. The tippy top prospects in this draft can be split into two distinct tiers: Adley Rutschman, Andrew Vaughn, and Bobby Witt Jr.; then C.J. Abrams, J.J. Bleday, and Greene. The Padres will, in theory, simply use the No. 6 pick to take whichever one of those six players is still available. In our mock draft, its Greene.
The Red Sox dont have many impressive outfield prospects, so thats one position the scouting staff might target this week. The teams lackluster farm system, plus the uncertain futures of key veterans with contracts expiring soon, combine to make this draft a very important one for Boston.
“Were looking to take the best player. If it happens to be a pitcher, well take a pitcher. If it happens to be a position player, thats who well take,” Padres scouting director Mark Connor said to Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune recently. “If you try to force these picks and what you want to do based on what you have in your system, you put yourself in a position to make the wrong pick potentially or pass on something really good.”
How the Padres have their board lined up is a mystery, so, in the event two (or more) or the top six prospects are still available when the No. 6 pick rolls around (unlikely but not impossible), Im not sure who theyd take. I know this much: San Diego is all about upside. Theyve consistently taken the best, most talented player with their first-round pick under GM A.J. Preller. They dont mess around on draft day. Greene is the best player available in our mock draft and that makes him a Padre.
Red Sox draft picks 2019: Full list of selections for defending champs originally appeared on nbcsportsboston.com
(I should note that, if the top six hitters come off the board with the top six picks as laid out in our mock draft, it would be the first time in draft history a pitcher was not selected within the top six picks. If youre looking for a top shelf arm, this isnt the draft for you.)
Scouting Reports For Every 2019 MLB Draft First Round Selection
First mock draft pick: SS C.J. Abrams, Blessed Trinity Catholic HS (Georgia) Second mock draft pick: Abrams
Should one of the top six prospects make it here, the Reds would undoubtedly pounce. Since that is not the case in our mock draft, and because Cincinnati does not have any extra picks this year — they traded their competitive-balance pick to the Yankees in the Sonny Gray deal — theyre not in position to cut an underslot deal and save bonus pool money for a later pick.
Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports the Reds had 25 players at Great American Ball Park last week for a pre-draft workout, which is standard operating procedure, especially for a team picking in the top 10. Scouting director Brad Meador predictably told Nightengale the Reds will take “the best player available, especially where were picking … (When) youre picking that high, you want to get the best one you can.”
Given the available players, the Reds figure to grab whoever they consider the top college pitcher on the board. Were going with Lodolo, whos been connected to Cincinnati for weeks and is the consensus No. 1 pitcher in the 2019 draft. West Virginias Alek Manoah, Kentuckys Zack Thompson, Elons George Kirby, and San Jacintos Jackson Rutledge are other possibilities.
MLB Draft 2019: Live updates of every LSU player or signee selected
The Rangers are always a good bet to go for loud tools. That has been their M.O. the last, oh, decade or so. Baty offers lots of upside with his bat-to-ball skills and raw power, as well as his rocket arm at the hot corner. His approach is sound and he has a chance to be an impact player on both sides of the ball. Plus, Brett Baty is a A+ baseball name.
The elephant in the room: Baty will be 19 1/2 on draft day, and older high school prospects dont have a great track record in pro ball. He carries risk. Because of his age, Baty is lower on draft boards than his tools would suggest, making him a great candidate for an underslot deal that allows Texas to spend big on their next two picks (Nos. 41 and 50).
Pittsburgh Pirates: What You Need to Know for the 2019 Draft
“Weve been kind of talking about it recently, about where weve done well and where we havent done as well,” GM Jon Daniels told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. “Where weve been taking risks that have paid off, where weve taken risks that havent. Some of it is player evaluation and just, appetite for risk, some teams are more risk-averse than others, some teams are more willing to take it on than others. Weve been willing to take on some risks.”
The 2019 MLB Draft starts today, marking the start of hundreds of journeys for young baseball players, anxiously waiting for their name to be called.
The Braves hold two first-round picks this year — this pick is compensation for failing to sign 2018 first rounder Carter Stewart, who recently signed in Japan — which gives them a nice big bonus pool ($11.5 million) and some flexibility. They can spend big now or later, or spread the money around evenly. The guess here is they will do the latter.
Click through the slideshow above to see the what past and present San Francisco Giants looked like when they were drafted.
MLB Draft 2019: Who experts say Yankees will pick with top choice
“As all clubs will say, were looking for the best player available when its our turn to pick,” GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB.coms Mark Bowman. “The landscape changes so quickly at the major-league level that it makes no sense to consider drafting for need relative to your big-league club, especially considering the fact that most of these players take several years before they can factor for you at the major-league level.”
Dating back to his time with the Blue Jays, Anthopoulos has always emphasized ceiling and long-term upside. Atlanta is said to be focusing on college players here, with righty Alek Manoah, catcher Shea Langeliers, and outfielder Hunter Bishop possibilities. Rutledge offers a unique and tantalizing blend of size (6-foot-8), youth (turned 20 in April), and power stuff (three potential swing-and-miss pitches) that seems right up Anthopoulos alley.
First mock draft pick: C Shea Langeliers, Baylor Second mock draft pick: OF Hunter Bishop, Arizona State
More Bulldogs are set to accomplish dreams over the next few days as the MLB Draft starts with a marathon of 40 rounds in three days. Monday will see the draft go through the first two rounds of selections with rounds 3-10 on Tuesday and the rest of the draft on Wednesday.
MLB draft tracker: Keep up with every pick from Day 1
For a team with so much recent on-field success, the Giants sure have had a lot of top 10 picks the last few years. San Francisco has picked in the top 10 five times in the last 13 drafts. The jury is still out on catcher Joey Bart, the No. 2 pick in last years draft, but the Giants absolutely nailed those other four top 10 picks:
Mississippi State baseball is stamped across the landscape of Major League Baseball as the Bulldogs have the third most players in The Show of any team in the Southeastern Conference and more players are on the way up in Minor League Baseball.
The Giants received roughly 90 WAR (and counting) worth of production plus one high-value trade chip from those four picks. Goodness. Of course, those picks were made by a different front office regime, and that level of draft success is hard to replicate. Rookie GM Farhan Zaidi has no drafting track record, which is unfortunate for mock draft purposes.
2019 MLB Draft: Mariners select George Kirby with 20th overall pick
“As an organization I think our relative strength is on the pitching side. Were looking to augment the overall hit tools in our organization,” said a surprisingly candid Zaidi to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle recently.
Now, that said, I doubt the Giants would pass on a pitcher if theres an arm atop their board when this pick rolls around. In this draft though, the high-end bats far outnumber the high-end arms, so a position player wouldve been a good bet even before Zaidi made those comments.
MLB draft begins tonight with Phillies picking lower than they have in 6 years
Bishop had a huge spring after making some mechanical changes last summer that unlocked his natural power. With good defense and speed, landing Bishop with the No. 10 pick would be a real nice could for a Giants team that needs to start building its next offensive core. Shortstop Bryson Stott is another possibility here.
2019 MLB draft open thread: Heres the spot to talk draft in real time
First mock draft pick: RHP Jackson Rutledge, San Jacinto JC (Texas) Second mock draft pick: SS Bryson Stott, UNLV
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Stop me if youve heard this line before: Blue Jays scouting director Steve Sanders said the team plans to take the best available player. “I think our approach going into this draft is the same as it has been every year, and that is to use the totality of our bonus pool and the picks that are available to us to add the best group of players,” Sanders told the Toronto Stars Gregor Chisholm.
There figures to be a run on college players in the middle of the first round and the Giants get it started with Hunter Bishop in our mock draft. A shortstop like Bryson Stott would be difficult for the Blue Jays to pass up, but anytime the top college righty in the draft class is sitting there for the No. 11 pick, its hard to say no. Thats true even in a draft light on high-end arms like this one. Manoah may not last this long and Toronto would be happy to get him here.
Sounds like it is college all the way for the Mets under new GM Brodie Van Wagenen, with a pitcher more likely than a hitter. Nick Lodolo, Alek Manoah, and Jackson Rutledge are the top college arms in this draft class and theyre already off the board in our mock draft. Thompson is the fourth member of the big four college starters and he has the skill set to be a top 5-10 pick as a big, physical lefty with four pitches and a good delivery. Hes held back by an injury history that includes shoulder trouble in high school and an elbow issue last spring. Elons George Kirby is another option here. I cant see Manoah lasting beyond this pick.
First mock draft pick: OF Corbin Carroll, Lakeside HS (Washington) Second mock draft pick: Thompson
Area prospects eyeing MLB Draft | Sports
I did not go into this exercise expecting Langeliers to come off the board before Bryson Stott, but here we are. Thats how the pieces fell. I thought passing on Kyle Wright to take Royce Lewis with the No. 1 pick in 2017 was an indication Derek Falvey, then just hired as the teams new chief baseball officer, favored high upside prep players. Then last year the Twins took Trevor Larnach, a college outfielder, in the first round, and now Im not sure what to think.
Minnesota has been connected to college players pretty much all spring, with only a few exceptions. The Twins also hold the No. 39 pick, and, given whos currently on the board in our mock draft, going college now and high school later makes sense. Langeliers had a whale of a game this past Saturday, going 5 for 6 with a double, three home runs, and an NCAA tournament record 11 RBI …
On the Yankees and the prospects of an international draft
ICYMI: Shea Langeliers had a day for the ages!#RoadToOmaha | @BaylorBaseball pic.twitter.com/9xVn7VohIx
… and he came into the spring as a potential top 10 pick. Then he broke the hamate bone in his left hand and missed time, causing his draft stock to slip. Langeliers has put up big numbers since returning and hes a standout defender, so getting him with the No. 13 pick (and potentially for an underslot bonus) is a heck of a deal for the Twins here.
First mock draft pick: LHP Zack Thompson, Kentucky Second mock draft pick: RHP Jackson Rutledge, San Jacinto JC (Texas)
The Phillies have had one first rounder (Aaron Nola in 2014) become an impact big leaguer since taking Cole Hamels with the No. 17 pick in 2002. Alec Bohm, last years No. 3 pick, has started very well in pro ball and surely Philadelphia hopes that is an indication their first-round luck is starting to turn. I have a hard time believing Stott, the top college middle infielder in the draft and a lefty hitting shortstop who projects to be an asset on both sides of the ball, will last this long on draft day, but hes still available in our mock draft, and the Phillies would jump on him in this scenario. Theyve been all over the place with the draft rumblings these last few weeks. College, high school, hitter, pitcher, theyre on it all.
First mock draft pick: RHP Matthew Allan, Seminole HS (Florida) Second mock draft pick: SS Gunnar Henderson, Morgan Academy (Alabama)
Since GM Billy Eppler took over four years ago, the Angels have generally favored upside over probability in the draft, and its working pretty well for them. Their farm system is much improved. Cavaco is the rare underscouted Southern California prospect — he was not invited to top showcase events the last few years — and hes exploded onto the scene this spring. Hes climbed draft boards and is now considered a lock to go in the top 20 picks somewhere. The Angels are in on him and theres zero chance hell be on the board when their second-round pick, No. 55, comes around, so its now or never. The Halos have been connected to top high school prospects all spring. Hard-throwing righty Matthew Allan is an alternative here should Cavaco be off the board.
First mock draft pick: RHP Alek Manoah, West Virginia Second mock draft pick: RHP Matthew Allan, Seminole HS (Florida)
The Diamondbacks have a ton of extra picks this year and thus baseballs largest bonus pool. Here are all seven — seven! — picks Arizona holds Monday:
“I think having the number of picks we have helps us artificially infuse a volume of talent into the organization that we wouldnt be able to do in just a normal, traditional draft,” GM Mike Hazen told MLB.coms Steve Gilbert recently. “I think this helps with continuing to build our organization quite a bit.”
Because they have so many extra picks, the D-Backs have cast a very wide net this spring, and its basically impossible to pin down who theyre targeting with each specific pick. The smart money is on Arizona diversifying a bit (some college, some high school, etc.) with a few big money, shoot for the moon picks mixed in.
The guess here — and I stress this is a big guess in a post full of big guesses — is the D-Backs will use this pick on a college player they dont expect to be on the board with their next pick. Jung fits. Hes a solid all-around player who had a chance to climb into the top 10 picks this year, but was merely very good rather than excellent.
If the D-Backs do go college player here, the smart money is on it being an underslot deal that allows them to spend big on other players later. It could be Arizona will set a bonus number for this pick, shop it around, and select whoever agrees it it. Technically against the rules! But it happens. Like, all the time.
First mock draft pick: RHP Quinn Priester, Cary-Grove HS (Illinois) Second mock draft pick: Priester
MLB Draft 2019: Yankees picks index live results
The Nationals typically select the biggest name, highest upside player on the board, even when there are injuries (Lucas Giolito in 2012, Erick Fedde in 2014) or off-the-field concerns (Seth Romero in 2017) involved. Allan does not have any injury or makeup issues. Hes just the best high school pitcher in the draft class and expects to be paid accordingly, which is reportedly north of $4 million. That is a bit above this picks slot value ($3.6 million), but not so much so that its unworkable. The Nationals rarely pick near the top of the draft and, in this mock draft, they land a player with top 10 tools who is maybe scaring some teams away with his price tag. Allan is right in Washingtons wheelhouse.
MLB Draft 2019 Live Stream: Watch First And Second Rounds Online
First mock draft pick: OF Kameron Misner, Missouri Second mock draft pick: C Shea Langeliers, Baylor
The Pirates sure do love live-armed high school pitchers who flash an out-pitch breaking ball, and my guess is theyd love Matthew Allan to get with this pick. Hes not available in our mock draft though. Priester is a candidate to come off the board earlier than this, especially to a team with a large bonus pool and extra picks, so Pittsburgh will have to keep their fingers crossed. If Priester is gone by time this pick rolls around, the Pirates could pivot to a college bat like UNCs Michael Busch, Tulanes Kody Hoese, or Clemsons Logan Davidson.
Similar to Marco Gonzales in 2013, Kirby and the Cardinals just feel like a perfect fit. He is an extreme strike-thrower — Kirby took a 107/6 K/BB into the weekend — with the makings of a quality four-pitch mix. St. Louis is an outstanding pitcher development organization and Kirby could fly through the minors with their help. Theres a chance — a pretty good chance, actually — Kirby will come off the board long before the Cardinals pick. In that case, St. Louis could pivot to a college bat like NC States Will Wilson or Tulanes Kody Hoese.
The dream scenario for the Mariners would be Keoni Cavaco or George Kirby here, though theyre off the board in this mock draft, and theyre unlikely to still be on the board when this pick rolls around Monday night. Volpe is climbing draft boards late — he has received extra scouting exposure this spring thanks to teammate Jack Leiter, a top (but possibly unsignable) draft prospect — because hes a top of the line makeup guy whose whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Hes a good hitter, a good defender, and a good runner, and it all plays up.
The Braves have two first-round picks this year and teams usually diversify in these situations. One college player, one high school, one pitcher, one hitter, that sort of thing. We have Atlanta taking a hard-throwing right-hander (Jackson Rutledge) with the No. 9 pick in this mock draft. To balance things out a bit, well give them Hoese with this pick. Hes a power hitting third baseman whos had a breakout spring, and is a candidate to cut an underslot deal earlier in the first round. An infielder like NC States Will Wilson or UNC Wilmingtons Greg Jones are possible alternatives here.
2019 MLB Draft: What South Carolina fans should know
The Rays have two extra picks this year — they added the As competitive balance round A pick (No. 40) to their own competitive-balance pick (No. 36) in the Jurickson Profar three-team trade — and thus a good-sized bonus pool ($10.3 million). They can play it straight and take the best player with each pick, or go underslot early and pay big later.
MLB Draft 2019: Cincinnati Reds make first picks tonight
“We strive to look at history to help us value every perspective and use past drafts, and the outcomes of those players to help us predict how to value each of our different perspectives within a draft,” scouting director Rob Metzler told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times over the weekend. “But it will always be a work in progress trying to improve that, trying to get better at forecasting the future. So its really, really challenging.”
This is about the point where we could see a run on shortstops and Henderson keeps climbing draft boards because he keeps looking better and better. Theres quite a bit of upside here, and Henderson wont chew up so much bonus pool space that it will limit what the Rays can do with those two extra picks.
Keith Law MLB Mock Draft has Texas going pitcher
First mock draft pick: 3B Brett Baty, Lake Travis HS (Texas) Second mock draft pick: 3B Keoni Cavaco, Eastlake HS (California)
Busch has been connected to pretty much every team in the 15-25 range and could even go higher than that to a team with extra picks looking to cut an underslot deal. The Rockies reportedly scouted the ACC tournament heavily last month and Busch is arguably the conferences best draft prospect. so theres been plenty of speculation connecting the two. If not Busch, NC States Will Wilson could be a fit for Colorado with this pick.
Should Busch still be on the board, the Indians would likely grab him. Since that is not the case in our mock draft, we have Cleveland going with Wilson, a do-it-all college infielder who seems to be Plan B for lots of teams in the back-half of the first round. Texas A&Ms Braden Shewmake and Clemsons Logan Davidson are possible alternatives, though its not out of the question that the Indians go for a high school kid with a big arm here. Daniel Espino (Georgia) and J.J. Goss (Texas) could be in that mix.
The Dodgers pick here and also No. 31 (compensation for failing to sign 2018 first rounder J.T. Ginn), though it seems unlikely theyll play bonus pool games. Expect two straight shot, best player on the board picks. Espino has added about 10 mph to his fastball the last three years and now routinely touches 98-99 mph. Add in the makings of two above-average breaking balls and you have exactly the type of player an analytics savvy organization can turn into an elite prospect. The raw tools make Espino look a little like Walker Buehler at the same age.
Arizona has this pick plus two of the next eight picks. They already have a solid college bat in Jung in their pocket from earlier in the mock draft, and this feels like an appropriate spot to go big. Carroll has the hit tool and center field chops to go in the top 8-12 picks somewhere, but hes an older high school kid (19 in August), and they have a way of sliding down the draft. The D-Backs can pay him (maybe even overpay him a bit if he really leverages his UCLA commitment) and bet on the potential two-way impact.
The Cubs have one of the smallest bonus pools in this years draft at $5.8 million. Such is life when you win 95 games and dont have any extra picks. Im sure the Cubbies would love a top high school arm like Brennan Malone or J.J. Goss, but it would take some serious draft pool manipulation, and may not be possible without going super cheap in Rounds 2-10. Given their drafted history under Theo Epstein, a college bat is likely here, and Davidson is the best available as a sure-handed shortstop with power potential.
Generally speaking, the Brewers are a straightforward “best available player” team on draft day. Even when they have extra picks — Milwaukee traded their competitive-balance pick (No. 41) to the Rangers for Alex Claudio — they dont get cute and manipulate their bonus pool. Malone, a four-pitch righty who made strides with the whole “pitching, not throwing” thing this spring, is the best player on the board in our mock draft, so the Brewers get him. Theyll make the money work with later picks accordingly.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Projecting the Teams First Four Picks
First mock draft pick: 3B Tyler Callihan, Providence HS (Florida) Second mock draft pick: RHP Seth Johnson, Campbell
Given who is still on the board and their reported preferences, a college bat is the likely pick here. The As would jump at Kody Hoese, Michael Busch, or Will Wilson with this pick. All three are off the board in our mock draft though, so well give Oakland the fast-rising — and fast-running — Jones. The drafts fastest runner tore the cover off the ball in front of many scouts and executives the last two weeks, pushing him into first-round consideration. Even if he winds up in center field to get more value from his legs, Jones has a chance to be a dynamic leadoff man.
It will almost certainly be a bat for the Yankees with this pick. If not Callihan, an older high schooler with Yankee Stadium friendly left-handed power, then it could be Missouris Kameron Misner or Florida high schooler Rece Hinds. Gunnar Henderson, Kody Hoese, and Corbin Carroll would all be of interest here should they make it this far. Given the board and given the buzz, a bat looks likely here …
… unless the Yankees take a shot at New Jersey high schooler Jack Leiter. The Yankees acquired the Reds competitive-balance pick (No. 38) in the Sonny Gray trade and have a larger than expected $7.5 million bonus pool. Leiter is the son of longtime big leaguer Al Leiter, and also one of the best high school pitchers in the country. He is strongly committed to Vanderbilt, however, and unconfirmed rumors says he is only willing to sign with New York. If the Yankees do take Leiter, you can be sure theyll have a firm grasp on his signability or even have a (technically illegal) pre-draft agreement in place. Theyre not going to wing it with roughly $2.4 million in slot money on the line.
I think the dream scenario for the Dodgers would be Brennan Malone here, giving them two very high upside pitching prospects with their two first-round picks. Since we have Malone coming off the board earlier, Misner is the next best fit. Los Angeles is not shy about drafting players with glaring flaws (Jeren Kendalls swing-and-miss issues, most notably) and Misner has excellent tools but a weird lack of production as a junior, particularly in conference play. This late in the first round, every player has a flaw, and few offer the sort of athleticism and tool package Misner brings to the table.
MLB Mock Drafts 2019: Who will the Rockies select?
First mock draft pick: 3B Keoni Cavaco, Eastlake HS (California) Second mock draft pick: OF Maurice Hampton, Memphis University HS (Tennessee)
A few college bats could fit here, particularly Logan Davidson. More likely, the Astros have their eye on one of the prep arms slated to come off the board late in the round first, like Daniel Espino. Goss looks like an Astros pitching prospect given his quick arm, high-spin breaking balls, and powerful delivery. Houston doesnt have any extra picks and they have the third smallest bonus pool ($5.4 million), yet Goss would give them quite a bit of upside at the end of the first round.