From SPORTS INFO SOLUTIONS VIDEO SCOUTS
Last week, Sports Info Solutions’ video scouts conducted a mock MLB Draft. Our video scouts regularly watch college baseball, so for each collegiate player, we offered a detailed assessment of his skills, with help from Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, Fangraphs and other resources.
1. Detroit Tigers: Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn
At 6’3″ and 220 pounds, Mize certainly looks the part of a front line starter for years to come in the majors. His arsenal presents three plus offerings, including a mid-90s fastball with good life, a splitter that dives at the plate, and a slider. The quality of his pitches is enough to intrigue scouts, but what really sets him apart is his command. In the last two college seasons, Mize boasts 249 strikeouts to only 19 walks in 186 1/3 innings pitched for Auburn.
By Alex Cole
2. San Francisco Giants: Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Mountain Ridge HS (Arizona)
Since Madison Bumgarner was drafted in 2007, the Giants have failed to develop a top of the rotation arm. They’ll have a chance to draft someone viewed as having ace potential.
By Ken Gaffney
3. Philadelphia Phillies: Alec Bohm, 3B, Wichita State
For the Phillies, the selection of Bohm makes perfect sense for a number of reasons. Bohm has plus power potential with future middle of the order consideration. His bat appears to play well with aluminum and wood given his success in the CPL and Cape Cod Summer League. His bat alone could give him a quick path up through the minors. Bohm will likely get work at both corner infield positions and could test his athleticism in left field as well. This would give the Phillies position versatility which, as they have proven this year, they covet. If the Phillies draft Bohm, he would instantly become their highest rated corner infield prospect.
Scouts note that Bohm’s potential comparison lies somewhere between Pat Burrell and Kris Bryant, both of whom were former college third baseman drafted in the top 10. However, the best-fitting comp for Bohm is probably Troy Glaus.
By Matt Noskow
4. Chicago White Sox: Nick Madrigal, 2B, Oregon State
Widely considered the top hitter in this year’s draft, Madrigal also has great speed and a plus glove. He also has great discipline at the plate, drawing 53 walks in his college career and only striking out 34 times. The biggest concern for Madrigal is his height (listed at 5’8″ 160 lbs), which explains his lack of power, but with players like Dustin Pedroia and Jose Altuve winning MVPs in the majors, a smaller player like Madrigal isn’t as big of a concern as it was a few years ago.
By Kyle Price
5. Cincinnati Reds: Brady Singer, RHP, Florida
After dominating the Cape in 2016 and a strong season in 2017 (129/32 K/BB), Singer entered the college season considered by many to be the top available talent in the draft. His stock has taken a slight hit throughout the year but has risen back up as of late. With a plus fastball and slider the question has been the changeup and the ability to repeat his delivery. Catcher Joey Bart is an option here, but with the Reds’ recent inability to develop pitching they will try to get a polished college pitcher that they only have to mechanically tweak rather than build from the ground up with a raw prep (Cincinnati took Hunter Greene in 2017).
By Josh Hofer
6. New York Mets: Shane McClanahan, LHP, University of South Florida
McClanahan, drafted once already by the Mets in 2015, boasts a fastball-changeup combination — the former of which can hit triple digits — that exhibits flashes of Chris Sale.
Even with some command issues and a delivery that MLB Pipeline describes as having “a fairly big recoil,” McClanahan projects as a high-strikeout guy who could move up the minor league ranks quickly. Given his athleticism and pure stuff, an improved slider and refined command would grant him true ace potential. His best comparison could be Robbie Ray.
By Harris Yudin
7. San Diego Padres: Jarred Kelenic, OF, Waukesha HS (Wisconsin)
The top prep bat in the 2018 class, Kelenic is said to be a prospect with a high floor and an exciting offensive profile, along with a 96 MPH arm.
By Kenny Kirkpatrick
8. Atlanta Braves: Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech
Though Bart is a taller catcher, his plus arm projects him to stay behind the dish long-term. Bart calls all of his pitchers’ games at GT which will obviously translate well to handling a staff at the next level.
Bart’s plus power will play at the next level and is what has shot him up draft boards this spring. His biggest question mark remains to be his hit tool as he can become a player with high strikeout and low average numbers. If he can continue to grow as a hitter at the next level he can become a superstar at the catcher position. If not, he will still be a solid player behind the plate with his power and defensive ability.
By Derek Tarconish
9. Oakland Athletics: Logan Gilbert, RHP, Stetson
While Gilbert might lack the electric upside of McClanahan and others, he presents less risk, providing a polished repertoire and track record of performance. Oakland would do well to go all-in on Gilbert’s rare combination of premium physicality and repeatable delivery. His extension and tempo project plus command, while he’s shown three to four pitches that can be impact Major League offerings.
His fastball has downhill plane, benefiting from his release height and extension, playing a touch above its velocity. If the fastball ticks back up to the mid-90s range that it sat in last summer, Gilbert’s ceiling is as high as anyone’s. If it hovers in the low 90s as it has this spring, he still has the ability to profile as a workhorse No. 2 or No. 3 starter. Comp: Josh Beckett
By Brett Bittiger
10. Pittsburgh Pirates: Carter Stewart, RHP, Eau Gallie HS (Florida)
Stewart is widely considered the best high school pitcher in the 2018 draft, with a 98 MPH fastball. Drafting Stewart will give Pirates fans a future rotation to dream about that includes RHP Mitch Keller, RHP Shane Baz, and RHP Carter Stewart.
By Jimmy Burns
11. Baltimore Orioles: Jonathan India, 3B, Florida
A potential replacement for Manny Machado, India can be a fast mover through the minor league ranks to help the struggling major league squad. India broke out this year, with an OPS over 1.200. He has good plate discipline and athleticism with solid power and the ability to play second base or even shortstop in a pinch, though he looks to stick at 3B. His best comp may be Justin Turner.
By Jonathan Simmons
12. Toronto Blue Jays: Travis Swaggerty, OF, South Alabama
The Blue Jays have been talking about getting younger and more athletic, and Swaggerty would be the type of player that could help them achieve that goal. Swaggerty has above average speed and a decent arm for center field, along with good strike zone knowledge and improving power from the left side. His best comp could be Brett Gardner.
By Ted Baarda
13. Miami Marlins: Kumar Rocker, RHP, North Oconee HS (Georgia)
Following the Marlins’ trend from the last two years by going with a high school arm, Rocker throws a fastball that touches 98. If he doesn’t sign, he’s headed to Vanderbilt.
By Josh Fellerman
14. Seattle Mariners: Ryan Rolison, LHP, Ole Miss
Rollison’s fastball sits in the low 90s but can get up to 95 at times. He has probably the best curveball in the draft but has struggled to develop a useful third pitch. He has a changeup that doesn’t have much movement and he has barely used it this year but if it develops into something he uses more frequently, he could have three plus pitches. He excelled in the Cape Cod League by mixing up his pitches to keep hitters off balance, but in this year in SEC play he has struggled to find his command at times. If he polishes up his command and develops that changeup, he could become a #2 starter.
By Kerby Callison
15. Texas Rangers: Will Banfield, C, Brookwood HS (Georgia)
Committed to Vanderbilt but could sign if taken in the first round. He’s viewed as strong offensively with a lot of potential.
By Adam Rielly
16. Tampa Bay Rays: Connor Scott, OF, Plant HS (Florida)
For the Rays Connor Scott is an easy pick. 6’4″ 180 lbs athletic outfielder from Plant HS which is located in Tampa. Scott can both play the field and pitch, but is projected as an outfielder.
By Cole Seltzer
17. Anaheim Angels: Nolan Gorman, 3B, Sandra Day O’Connor HS (Arizona)
Gorman is said to have great power, with consistency at the field and approach at the plate being keys to his future success.
By Mitch Glessner
18. Kansas City Royals: Cole Winn, RHP, Orange Lutheran HS (California)
Cole Winn is a prep righty who committed to Mississippi State. He’s said to have three really good pitches already.
By Dominic Asta
19. St. Louis Cardinals: Brice Turang, SS, Santiago HS (California)
The Cardinals would be the perfect organization for Turang thanks to their strong reputation developing players, as he has all the tools but just needs to maximize each one.
By Justin Stine
20. Minnesota Twins: Ryan Weathers, LHP, Loretto HS (Tennessee)
The Twins have used seven of their last nine first round picks on high schoolers and it continues here. Weathers is the son of former major league reliever David Weathers. He throws a bit harder than his dad – 97 MPH.
By Evan Butler
21. Milwaukee Brewers: Jackson Kowar, RHP, Florida
Kowar possesses one of the better changeups in the draft to go along with a mid-90s fastball that can touch 98. Kowar was terrific as Florida’s number two behind Brady Singer, posting a 3.21 ERA in 92.2 innings. If he can develop his breaking ball into a better offering, he can move quickly through the minors.
By Nick Rabasco
22. Colorado Rockies: Cole Wilcox, RHP, Heritage HS (Georgia)
Wilcox throws in the mid 90s and reportedly has a well-developed changeup.
By Andrew Zenner
23. New York Yankees: Ethan Hankins, Forsyth Central HS (Georgia)
Hankins was an early front runner for the No.1 pick going into the year, but with a tough spring he has fallen a little bit. The Yankees, not being one to shy away from high profile players, will have to lure the high schooler (who peaks at 99 mph) away from his commitment to Vanderbilt.
By Marc Roche
24. Chicago Cubs: Blaine Knight, RHP, Arkansas
Coming back for his junior season has brought Knight on the cusp of being a possible first round selection. Armed with a mid-90s fastball and a breaking ball with one of the highest spin rates in the draft, Knight fits the recent draft tendencies of the Cubs. Plucking pitching from the college ranks has been the Cubs M.O. and that should continue this draft year.
By Nathan Phares
25. Arizona Diamondbacks: Jake McCarthy, OF, Virginia
In the 2017 MLB Draft, Mike Hazen spent 8 of his first 11 picks on college bats, with an emphasis on hitters who can draw walks and get on base at a high clip. McCarthy doesn’t totally fit the mold of those picks, but with a strong hit tool and plus speed McCarthy can certainly handle the rigors of a traditional top of the order presence. What will determine his ceiling as a prospect will be defense in center field. A polished college bat with a track record of wood bat performance (.387/.441/.613 in his nine CCBL games in 2017) is certainly a valuable commodity in the late 1st round.
By Will Hoefer
26. Boston Red Sox: Steele Walker, OF, Oklahoma
The Red Sox are happy to take another first round college outfielder here in Steele Walker. The young lefty with plenty of raw power will look to use the Green Monster to his advantage in the future with his ability to hit line drives to all fields. Walker’s strong pitch recognition will also him to potentially develop his power as he matures. While he has been able to play all over the outfield for the Sooners, his arm strength likely slots him in left field where his plus baseball instincts will allow him to handle the Monster with ease.
By Dan Kelly
27. Washington Nationals: JT Ginn, RHP, Brandon HS (Mississippi)
Washington’s farm system is skewed towards position-player prospects, so in the 2018 draft they’ll look to insert a little more balance by selecting a prep arm with the tools to excel as a starter or reliever.
By Dylan Thomas
28. Houston Astros: Tim Cate, LHP, Connecticut
Cate has the best curveball in college and potentially the entire draft. It’s no secret the Astros are an analytics-forward organization and have really taken advantage of pitchers with high spin rates. Cate already has an above average spin rate on his curveball and with the development of a fourth pitch, Cate could fill in nicely at the back end of the rotation. Cate sits at 91-93 with his fastball but has had velocity issues the longer he pitched into games. This has made his 3.26 ERA look less than impressive but he is still generating over 11 K per 9 in his three years at UConn. This might be a little high for Cate to go in the draft but the Astros could really use a top lefty with the potential departure of Keuchel this winter.
By Zak Sokoloski
29. Cleveland Indians: Jordyn Adams, OF, Green Hope HS (North Carolina)
Following the 2016 draft model, Cleveland is selecting an elite two-sport athlete with five-tool potential and buying them out of their college commitment.
By Kevin Black
30. Los Angeles Dodgers: Jeremy Eierman, SS, Missouri State
Eierman burst on the scene as a sophomore by belting 23 homers and slugging .675. As a junior his numbers regressed back closer to his freshman year. Eierman’s rare power as a shortstop is what makes him a top draft prospect, and an improving glove gives scouts faith he can stay at short at the next level.
He has shown consistent power and slugging at Missouri State with increasing abilities on the base paths and in the field. The improving glove and speed paired with an elite power bat for an infielder make Eierman a desirable early round prospect. MLB Comparison: With similar skill sets, size, and flaws Eierman fits the new mold of the “power shortstop” much like Paul DeJong of the St. Louis Cardinals.
By Nicholas Solitario