The 2018 MLB draft will be held on June 4th in Secaucus, New Jersey. This year with competitive balance picks and compensatory picks, the three day event will see 1,223 players drafted across 40 rounds. Here is part 2 of how I think the first round will shake out.
#16. Tampa Bay Rays: Jordyn Adams, OF, Green Hope HS (NC)
A speed first OF Adams fits the profile that Tampa looks for in its outfield as a speedy, hit for average, high teens homer type in the Carl Crawford/ Melvin Upton Jr/ Kevin Kiermaier mold. Adams arm strength could use some work, but his fielding still projects as average to above.
#17. Los Angeles Angels: Ryan Weathers, LHP, Loretto HS (TN)
For a high-schooler Weathers is more polished than most. He hits 95 with his fastball and has a deep curve that sits 78-80. He has above average pitchability and ability to control the ball around the strike zone. His superb 2 pitch mix gives him a bunch of strike out ability as well and projects to be a top of the rotation starter.
#18. Kansas City Royals: Jordan Groshans, 3B, Magnolia HS (TX)
Groshans standout tool his his quick hands which he uses to generate plenty of power to all fields. That coupled with his large 6’4” frame, give him projection for in the neighborhood of 25 home runs consistently.
#19. St. Louis Cardinals: Logan Gilbert, RHP, Stetson
Gilbert possesses an outstanding fastball that touched 97 mph at times. An All-Star in the Cape League Gilbert plays his secondary stuff off his fastball well to generate swings and misses mostly with his change-up. His breaking pitches could use some work but they still project out to be average major league offerings.
#20. Minnesota Twins: Jackson Kowar, RHP, Florida
Kower uses his tall 6’5” frame and effortless delivery to routinely pump his fastball in at 98 MPH. Kowar plays off his fastball well with his change-up to keep hitters off balance and both pitches grade out a plus offerings. As both pitches progress and his breaking pitches develop, Kowar should start to rack up more strikeouts.
#21. Milwaukee Brewers: Trevor Larnach, OF, Oregon State
When watching Larnach, the first thing that jumps out is his approach at the plate. A keen batter’s eye allows him to be selected at the plate and he draws plenty of walks from is. HE also uses his contact driven swing to hit for a decent average and drive the balls to all fields. His profile fits best at one of the corner OF spots.
#22. Colorado Rockies: Cole Wilcox, RHP, Heritage HS (GA)
Wilcox possesses two plus pitches in his fastball and change-up. His fastball sits in the mid 90s with a bunch of movement and his change-up moves well and is deceptive. His third pitch is a slider that he struggles to control at times but should come along nicely.
#23. New York Yankees: Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Central Heights HS (TX)
Rodriguez’ arsenal is loaded full of pitches with life. His best pitch is his fastball which has topped out at 98 MPH. His change-up, slider and curve all project to be average to above average. If he reels in his control a bit he can become a solid option at the major league level.
#24. Chicago Cubs: Connor Scott, OF, Plant HS (FL)
Scott has the projection of a five tool player. His speed and defense is already polished enough to notch plus to plus plus grades and his hitting isn’t too far behind. He maintains a contact focused swing, but as he fills out his 6’4” frame he has the potential to contribute in homers as well.
#25. Arizona Diamondbacks: Brice Turang, SS, Santiago HS (CA)
Turnag’s best tool is probably his speed, though he’s mostly average at everything else. His speed should allow hm to stick at short and his hit tool is decent enough that he should hit for average and enough homers to make a splash.
#26. Boston Red Sox: Triston Casas, 1B, American Heritage HS (FL)
Casas should develop into the prototypical power hitting 1B at the major league level. He has tremendous raw power that shows in games and a focused enough approach at the plate that the average shouldn’t hurt. His also athletic enough to play above average defense.
#27. Washington Nationals: Mason Denaburg, RHP, Merritt Island HS (FL)
The 6’3” hurler is another young player in this draft with a fastball that touches 97-98 already. He pairs it well with a power breaking ball that his sharp bite to it and has shown the ability to control all his offerings well. His big question mark is durability as he missed a portion of this season with a biceps issue.
#28. Houston Astros: Noah Naylor, C, Joan Of Arc Catholic SS (Ontario)
Noah Naylor put his plus-plus raw power on display winning the High School Home Run Derby beating Nolan Gorman. His raw power also plays as game power and his hit tool is refined enough that he projects as a solid contributor in average as well. Naylor’s defensive skills are solid too and he good enough that he should remain behind the plate.
#29. Cleveland Indians: Alex Thomas, OF, Mount Carmel HS (IL)
Thomas’ carrying tool is easily his defense. A plus runner and fielder he should definitely be able to stay up the middle in center. He probably won’t grow into average power but his hit tool is projectable enough for a decent average, and with his elite defense any extra round trippers will be icing on the cake.
#30. Los Angeles Dodgers: Steele Walker, OF, Oklahoma
Besides having probably the best name in the first round, Walker also possess an extremely effective hit tool. He has a very advance approach and quick hands to pair it with that give him the ability to hit for a well above average batting average. He probably won’t stick in center but his profile is still exciting at a corner OF spot.
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