2019 MLB Draft Final Mock w/ Explanations, Comps and Alternative Picks

A full offseason of work has culminated in this, Alex “Juicy” Jensen’s final 2019 MLB Mock Draft. 8k words of analysis of the projected first 43 picks of the draft. You can see the earlier versions of Juicy’s mock draft to see how the process has evolved during the offseason:

2019 MLB Mock Draft (February ’19)

2019 Early Mock Draft (November ’18)

The DraftList View

1. Baltimore Orioles

Adley Rutschman, C

Bio:
School: Oregon St
Height: 6-2
Weight: 216 lbs
Hits/Throws: S/R

The Consensus #1 in the draft. No reason for the O’s to get tricky here. Only concerns with Rutschman are a previous hip injury and cost to sign. He flashes a 60 bat, 60 plus power, elite plate discipline, calls games well, plus receiving, truly elite pop times and a great makeup. All with a proven track record against top competition. One of the clearest 1-1 picks in recent years.

MLB Comp: Buster Posey
Alt Pick: Andrew Vaughn

2. Kansas City Royals

Bobby Witt Jr, SS

Bio:
School: Heritage HS (TX)
Height: 6-1
Weight: 185 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

Witt Jr would go 1-1 in a lot of other draft classes. Armed with electric bat speed, plus power, a cannon arm, great fielding instincts, 60 run times and high-end pedigree; the only question with Witt Jr has been the bat. While Witt Jr struggled over last summer against high-end spin and velo, he has answered a lot of these questions over the spring. Some people view Witt as having 60 hit tool upside, while others see a 40. But everybody sees 60 or more power, arm, fielding, and speed. This plus Witt’s great instincts at SS make him one of the safer players in the draft despite a questionable hit tool (a very rare thing to say). Even as a 40 bat, he should be a 2-3 WAR player. But with hit tool upside, he could be a legitimate star. It’s a good year to be picking at 2.

MLB Comp: Troy Tulowitzki
Alt Pick: Andrew Vaughn

3. Chicago White Sox

CJ Abrams, SS

Bio:
School: Blessed Trinity HS (GA)
Height: 6-2
Weight: 185 lbs
Hits/Throws: L/R

After Vaughn being the consensus pick here most of the year, the buzz for Abrams at 3 started coming out with White Sox brass talking about becoming more athletic. Abrams certainly fits that bill. A plus contact hitter with elite foot speed, Abrams bulked up this offseason and has begun to flash average to plus power. Long known as a contact/speed guy, this new power wrinkle has shot him up boards. Abrams isn’t a sure thing at short but has the potential to play there and with his high-end speed and a decent arm, has CF as a fallback. Despite a more polished hit tool, Abrams is rawer than Witt Jr, but has a similar monster ceiling. It seems like it will be up to Chicago to turn him into that monster.

MLB Comp: Royce Lewis
Alt Pick: Andrew Vaughn

4. Miami Marlins

Andrew Vaughn, 1B

Bio:
School: Cal
Height: 5-11
Weight: 215 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

How bizarre is it to think of an undersized right handed 1B going #4 overall as “falling”? But that’s the narrative here. Vaughn failed to quite duplicate his absurd 2018 season in 2019, but he hit 385/539/728 with 15 home runs in just 168 AB and walked nearly twice as much as he struck out with everyone pitching around him. Armed with a compact swing that creates natural loft, 80-grade plate discipline, a track record of domination at every stop and sneaky athleticism; there is enough here to overlook a shorter 1B righty with T-rex arms. Vaughn is going to hit for average and power and draw plenty of walks. The Marlins need that profile as much or more than anyone.

MLB Comp: Righty Joey Votto
Alt Pick: JJ Bleday

5. Detroit Tigers

Riley Greene, OF

Bio:
School: Hagerty HS (FL)
Height: 6-2
Weight: 190 lbs
Hits/Throws: L/L

The Tigers need bats about as bad as anyone in baseball and luckily for them, this draft has some pretty damn good ones available at 5. This pick appears to be between Greene and JJ Bleday barring an unexpected fall and the buzz seems to be Greene. I think that would be a great pick and actually, think Greene is underrated as a player. Everybody trusts the bat and power, but people doubt the athleticism. While I do see a RF profile, Greene has shown me 60 run times, particularly in 10 splits, which are more applicable to baseball than a 60-yard dash. He has a cannon arm in right and with his first step, I think he will learn to get good jumps. With both Bleday and Greene flashing similar hit, approach and power tools, I would prefer the better athlete. To me, that’s clearly Greene and I think he has the upside to be an all star player.

MLB Comp: Lefty Mitch Haniger
Alt Pick: JJ Bleday

6. San Diego Padres

JJ Bleday, OF

Bio:
School: Vanderbilt
Height: 6-3
Weight: 205 lbs
Hits/Throws: L/L
With the seeming consensus tier of top 6 players, the Pads are sitting in a good spot to just grab whoever falls to them. In this scenario it’s Bleday. Bleday would fit nicely into their loaded system and should fit their amped up timeline well as a quick mover. Bleday will flash 60 hit and 60 power at times and has a strong arm in right field. The athleticism isn’t great, but he gets the job done at a corner spot. This combined with a solid track record in college baseball’s toughest conference, a wooden bat track record of power and his insane season make him a safe pick here. Hunter Bishop’s slightly more electric tools and similar season will likely intrigue AJ Preller and I think he will be strongly in the mix as will Nick Lodolo. But he’s a lot riskier and Preller did take a flier on Bleday in the 2016 draft. I think Bleday is the pick.

MLB Comp: Detroit JD Martinez
Alt Pick: Hunter Bishop

7. Cincinnati Reds

Nick Lodolo, LHSP

Bio:
School: TCU
Height: 6-6
Weight: 190 lbs
Hits/Throws: L/L

This is probably the safest pick to project in the draft after pick #2. Lodolo appears to be in his own tier after the top 6 and the top college arm on most boards. Lodolo (a former first-round pick) appears to have finally put it together this year at TCU going 6-4 with a 2.18 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 113K/19BB over 91 IP and 14 starts. He also recently outdueled WVU’s Alek Manoah in front of many scouts. Lodolo lives in the 91-94 range with sinking action and downhill plane. He mixes in an above average slider and a solid changeup that gives him 3 above average pitches and has shown advanced control this year. Lodolo currently has the upside of a #3 starter and is the surest thing to be an MLB starter in this weaker college class. That being said, if he can add weight to his lanky 6-6 185 frame or bring back and add polish to his scrapped fringy curve there could be extra upside to unlock. The Reds are thought to be in love with Lodolo, so barring an unexpected fall he should be the pick. Bryson Stott is someone the Reds were looking at heavily during the process as well.

MLB Comp: CC Sabathia
Alt Pick: Bryson Stott

8. Texas Rangers

Brett Baty, 3B

Bio:
School: Lake Travis HS (TX)
Height: 6-3
Weight: 215 lbs
Hits/Throws: L/R

The fittingly named Baty is an older Texas prep player who won 2018 TX Gatorade player of the year over guys such as Bobby Witt Jr. This year Baty may be the best HS player in the world. Baty is currently hitting 658/756/1.379 for a 2.136 OPS! He has 35 BB to just 6K and has hit 16 home runs in just 79 at bats. This is against one of the best HS divisions in prep baseball. Baty has also dominated on the mound. Baty projects similarly to my 2018 draft crush Nolan Gorman but with a more advanced hit tool but similar 70 to 80-grade raw power. Baty has a strong arm at third, but is raw at third and could be forced to move to 1B. Baty is also very old for the class (will be 20 in November) and is fairly physically mature, something that will make certain teams shy away. But at the end of the day, Baty could potentially stick at third and has middle of the order masher potential. With him being a Texas kid with a few question marks, the Rangers might be able to sign him under slot. Something they are rumored to be looking to do.

MLB Comp: Nolan Gorman
Alt Pick: Hunter Bishop

9. Atlanta Braves
*    (comp for unsigned 2018 pick)

Hunter Bishop, OF

Bio:
School: Arizona St
Height: 6-5
Weight: 210 lbs
Hits/Throws: L/R

The Braves could go plenty of directions with this pick, with Bishop, Corbin Carroll, Rutledge, Stott, Manoah, Espino and Allan all rumored to be in play. With their loaded system and proven ability to develop high upside type outfielders, Bishop makes a ton of sense here. While Bishop hasn’t performed well in my looks on him this year, the upside with him is clear. He runs like a gazelle and absolutely demolishes baseballs with the frame to develop even more power. I don’t love his arm, but he has the speed to stick in CF where his arm will play. There is swing and miss to his game and the approach needs some work. The track record is iffy and he’s done most of his damage against lesser competition in hitter’s environments, so there are red flags. But he also has clear 20/20 potential (maybe even 30/30) and is hitting 456/482/792 with 22 home runs and 11 sb in just 51 games. He could be an all star if developed correctly and I can’t think of a better system for his profile.

MLB Comp: Rawer Kyle Tucker
Alt Pick: Alek Manoah

10. San Francisco Giants

Alek Manoah, RHSP

Bio:
School: West Virginia
Height: 6-6
Weight: 260 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

Nobody’s really sure what the new Giants regime’s favored draft strategy is, so this pick will be a bit of a wild card. While you never draft for need, sometimes it does come down to best hitter available or best pitcher available. For the Giants, that’s rumored to be Stott or Manoah on this board. Stott is a nice player, but the Giants absolute lack of high ceiling arms and Manoah’s (for me) higher upside sells them on him. Manoah, a Mountaineer, is a mountain of a man at a conservative 6-6 260. He uses all of that frame to generate mid to high 90’s heat with good movement and extension. He also mixes in a devastating slider and improved but average changeup. Manoah’s perceived velocity with his extension is often in the triple digits and with his swing and miss slider, he offers a fall back as high end reliever, where he played his first two years. I saw him on the Cape last year and fell in love with his arm. As a starter this year, he was simply dominant going 8-3 with a 1.91 era, 0.90 whip, 122K/25BB over 94 IP and 14 starts. His lack of a 4th offering and average changeup limit him to a high end 3 profile with a bullpen floor, but a quality 4th pitch could unlock more upside. He should be quick to the pros if he keeps this years control.

MLB Comp: Brandon Woodruff
Alt Pick: Bryson Stott

11. Toronto Blue Jays

Corbin Carroll, OF

Bio:
School: Lakeside HS (WA)
Height: 5-10
Weight: 165 lbs
Hits/Throws: L/L

A lot of recent mocks have Carroll sliding into the mid to late first round and I just don’t buy it. Carroll plays about 10 minutes from my apartment in Seattle and i’ve been lucky enough to see many of his games as well as his insane summer at the bigger events. Carroll always performs and there are always scouts present. In particular, I’ve seen Blue Jays scouts at every single Carroll game i’ve been to this year. While Stott, Thompson and Rutledge appear to be options here; I think the Blue Jays brass are in love with Carroll and he will be the pick unless his asking price is astronomical. Carroll has a 60 bat, 50 power, 70 speed and plays solid CF. He also has been probably the best bat against high end prep arms in the class, has plus makeup and nearly won the damn HR derby.

MLB Comp: Jacoby Ellsbury
Alt Pick: Jackson Rutledge

12. New York Mets

George Kirby, RHSP

Bio:
School: Elon
Height: 6-4
Weight: 210 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

This is a pick that makes too much sense not to happen. Kirby’s range has been rising on boards as we get closer to the actual draft, with the Met’s being a team who has had scouts at his starts. Kirby has been a known commodity since HS, when he was drafted by the Mets, but opted to play at Elon. He broke out last year, cemented the breakout as a reliever on the Cape and was nothing short of amazing this year. Kirby has a 93-95 MPH heater with run that touches 98, an above average to plus curve, average slider and average change. He locates all 4 pitches exceptionally well but needs to refine his command. Kirby had an unreal 107K/6 BB rate this year over 88 IP, going 8-2 with a 2.75 era and 0.89 whip. This is on the back of a 24K/1BB ratio in 13 IP on the Cape. He relies too heavily on his FB but has the offspeed stuff to make an adjustment. He might be the safest bet to be a #3 and proved on the Cape how dominant he can be as an RP if he needs to become a FB/CV guy. As a New York native, the Mets might be able to slide a few $$ away from his signing bonus and he fits their win now timeline.

MLB Comp: Shane Bieber
Alt Pick: Zach Thompson

13. Minnesota Twins

Zach Thompson, LHSP

Bio:
School: Kentucky
Height: 6-2
Weight: 215 lbs
Hits/Throws: L/L

The Twins appear to be in on college arms and the left side of the infield. Thompson makes a lot of sense here. The Twins are dominating the incredibly soft AL Central and have an influx of talent due up in 2 years or so. Thompson fits that mould as well. A known MLB talent since HS, Thompson has been dominant in the tough SEC for a poor team when healthy, though the previous elbow health concerns are scary. But this was a clean year and ZT was dominant. He mizes a 92-94 MPH FB with a high spin slider/curve combo and solid changeup. He racked up 130K/34BB over 90 IP in 14 starts, going 6-1 with a 2.40 era and 1.03 whip. He should get high swing and miss rates with his ability to spin an offspeed pitch and mix speeds. While he’s never had elbow surgery, he missed 2 months with elbow issues in 2018 and failed to sign an over slot bonus in 2016 due to a failed physical. Should the medical issues scare the Twins off, Bryson Stott and Josh Jung would likely be vying to go here.

MLB Comp: Righty Corbin Burnes
Alt Pick: Josh Jung

14. Philadelphia Phillies

Shea Langeliers, C

Bio:
School: Baylor
Height: 6-0
Weight: 190 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

A broken Hamate has sapped much of Langeliers power this year, but it shouldn’t drop his stock too far. A top 5-10 talent entering the year, Langeliers has actually managed to raise his average and cut his k rate despite the injury. His average has jumped from 252 in 2018 to 311 in 2019 and struck out just 24 times in 176 plate appearances. Behind the plate, Langeliers is a truly special talent double plus in receiving, framing and armed with a bazooka of an arm. Also lauded for his leadership and makeup, Langeliers is a guy you want in your locker room. While he should be a positive war player on defense alone, Langeliers ability to now hit for average, put the ball in play and his ability to hit for plus power when healthy give him major upside. If the power comes back in full force, Shea butter will be an absolute steal at 14. Either way, you can’t have too many catchers in a system. Rutledge, Stott, Jung and Gunnar henderson are all options here as well, with Philly said to love Henderson.

MLB Comp: Yadier Molina
Alt Pick: Gunnar Henderson

15. Los Angeles Angels

Daniel Espino, RHSP

Bio:
School: Georgia Premier Academy (GA)
Height: 6-2
Weight: 208 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

Espino is one of my personal favorites in this class. While I understand why some teams are concerned about the historic results of hard throwing HS righties and others don’t love the length of his arm action; I think that passing on Espino for any HS arm would be a mistake. Eppler has said in the past “velocity is the greatest indicator of success”. Espino has the best fastball in the class by all accounts, living 95-97 deep into games and touching triple digits with good movement. Espino locates the pitch better than you’d expect for a prep arm and beat Hunter Greene’s record for fastest FB in a Perfect Game event last summer. Additionally, Espino has a plus curve and one of (if not the) best sliders in the class. While Espino hasn’t needed to use his change in games, it flashes 50 in bullpen sessions. With 4 legitimate pitches, an 80 FB and two 60 offspeed pitches, Espino might be the only pitcher in this class with actual #1 upside and has drawn Jose Fernandez comps from scouts. A freak athlete with insane flexibility (i’ve seen him do the splits), Espino has an athletic delivery with a high leg kick and really does rely on a powerful lower half to work. He is also filled out physically at 6-2 208 and lacks much projection barring a growth spurt. This leads some teams to worry about bullpen risk, where he would have Edwin Diaz type potential. But Eppler loves athletes, loves velo and is rumored to be in on HS arms. He also seems not to care at all about pitcher size with Canning being 6-1 185, Jose Suarez at 5-10, Chris Rodriguez at 6-2 180, Aaron Hernandez at 6-1 170 and Jaime Barria at 6-1 210. As a Mariners fan, I hope they go another route, but this just makes too much sense.

MLB Comp: Jose Fernandez
Alt Pick: Matthew Allan

16. Arizona Diamondbacks

Bryson Stott, SS

Bio:
School: UNLV
Height: 6-3
Weight: 195 lbs
Hits/Throws: L/R

Every year someone thought to go early takes a bit of a tumble and in this scenario it’s Bryson Stott. Stott could go as high as 4 and is about as sure a bet to return MLB value as it gets in this class, but his ceiling is somewhat lackluster and could cause a bit of a drop. Stott has a plus hit tool and plus eye at the plate, plays solid SS (though 3B might be his final home) and has good running instincts with above average speed. He has power potential in his frame, but tends to get slappy with his swing and has a more contact geared approach. He has always hit for plenty of doubles and should hit for average with good OBP but he doesn’t drive the ball like you’d expect a guy his size to do. With Stott, you are getting a guy who should hit for average and OBP with 10-15 home runs/steals and play average or better defense on the left side of the infield. He won’t be an all star, but he will be a starter. A Las Vegas native, Stott will likely be attracted to playing in Arizona and might be a reasonable sign here, allowing AZ to spread out their absurd bonus pool. The safety he offers as a pick would also offset later riskier picks nicely.

MLB Comp: Brandon Crawford
Alt Pick: Josh Jung

17. Washington Nationals

Jackson Rutledge, RHSP

Bio:
School: San Jacinto JC (TX)
Height: 6-8
Weight: 260 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

The Nationals always seem to get a high risk steal wherever they are picking and Rutledge is just that at 17. Aside from Espino, Rutledge is the only arm I’d consider having ace potential, although I think he has further to go to get there. Rutledge throws in the mid to high 90’s deep into games and touches 99 at times. He gets good but fairly unpredictable movement on the pitch. He also offers a wipeout slider and a solid curve. The slider, in particular, is a swing and miss pitch. Rutledge is fairly raw (not surprising for a JUCO arm) and needs a lot of work with his command. His changeup is similarly very raw and will need a lot of work to become a useable pitch. It’s tough to know how he will fare against high-end competition as we haven’t really seen him face MLB type talents yet and the track record for 6-8 starters is worse than HS flame throwing righties, but there is monster upside here and the recent success of Nate Pearson could pave a path. Brennan Malone, Josh Jung, and Kameron Misner all make sense here as well.

MLB Comp: Alec Hansen
Alt Pick: Kameron Misner

18. Pittsburgh Pirates

Gunnar Henderson, SS

Bio:
School: Morgan Academy (AL)
Height: 6-3
Weight: 195 lbs
Hits/Throws: L/R

Henderson has been a major late helium guy and is young for the class. He is quick to get to his top end bat speed, making me believe he will be able to adjust well to high velo and quality spin when he faces it. He moves well despite just average speed and could stick at SS, though a move to 3B seems likely in the future. He has plenty of arm for the position however and could be a solid defender there. Currently, I see just average power potential despite the frame, as his swing is more contact oriented than power and he lacks electric bat speed. But at just 17, that could change. Overall, I find him remarkably similar to Bryson Stott but with more upside and risk given his age and the Alabama prep stigma. Should they pass on Gunnar, a prep arm like Priester or Goss make a lot of sense here.

MLB Comp: Brandon Crawford
Alt Pick: Quinn Priester

19. St. Louis Cardinals

Will Wilson, 2B/SS

Bio:
School: NC ST
Height: 5-11
Weight: 175 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

Whoever the Cardinals pick at 19 will likely look good due to the Cardinals’ devil magic, but in this scenario, I think Will Wilson makes the most sense. Some evaluators believe Wilson can stick at short, others (myself included) think he’s a 2B/LF profile. But the Cardinals likely simply don’t care about if he’s 2B or SS. Only that he plays MI and he can hit with an advanced bat. Wilson has hit for average and power all 3 years in college, has an average eye at the plate and has a pedigree as a Team USA member. He’s not flashy. He lacks speed and arm. He won’t hit 30 home runs. But he will provide 15-20 home runs and hit for decent average without absurd K rates. Cards love scrappy, quick moving hitters who just get the job done. Wilson is that player. Other options include Quinn Priester, Brennan Malone, Tyler Callihan and Kameron Misner.

MLB Comp: Scooter Gennett
Alt Pick: Quinn Priester

20. Seattle Mariners

Josh Jung, 3B

Bio:
School: Texas Tech
Height: 6-2
Weight: 215 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

I have to imagine Dipoto would have trouble containing his excitement if Jung falls to them at 20. Dipoto loves polished college bats with pedigree, track record, and Team USA experience. Jung has all 3. While Jung hasn’t quite lived up to his unreal 2018 season, he’s finished strong and hit a solid 332/471/609 with 33 XBH in 54 games and a 49BB/37K total. As evidenced by the walk total, Jung was pitched around more this year and initially struggled, but adjusted well and has finished on fire. He has a simple compact swing geared for line drive contact and people question if he will hit for power in the pros. He hit well for Team USA but didn’t have high power totals. Some people see a 60 arm and others see a 50 and he isn’t the most athletic guy ever. But he will likely be able to stick at 3B and has even played SS since April for Texas Tech. Nobody questions that he will hit for average. All in all, Jung would be a tremendous value at 20. The Mariners have been rumored to be in on prep SS, have scouted Brady McConnell and a few arms as well as Cavaco. But I can’t imagine Dipoto passing on Jung.

MLB Comp: Jeff Cirillo
Alt Pick: Nasim Nunez

21. Atlanta Braves

Quinn Priester, RHSP

Bio:
School: Cary-Grove HS (IL)
Height: 6-3
Weight: 200 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

By most accounts, the Braves are rumored to be after a prep arm with the 21st pick. Espino is gone in this scenario, but Priester, Malone, Goss, Leiter and Allan are all still here. Allan and Leiter both faltered a bit in their last starts and are asking for $4 mil plus. While the Braves could technically swing it, it’s unlikely they sign Bishop for under $4.5 mil, so spending $8.5 mil of their $11.5 mil on two guys might handicap them for the rest of their draft. Priester bucks a lot first round pick trends. He’s basically self-taught, never having high-end coaching, plays in a cold weather state had a lot of his time devoted to football (where he starred) and has had slight injury concerns. Rare first round profile for a prep righty. But he is an absurd athlete, with two plus fastballs, 97 mph velo and insane spin rates. Thats with a split time commitment and no real coaching. With Braves pitching dev Priester could become a high end two with time and won’t cost as much as Allan, Leiter and likely Malone. The Braves showed a willingness to grab a cold weather prep righty with insane spin rates curve at 8 overall last year. This year they do it at 21 and get a better athlete.

MLB Comp: Garrett Richards
Alt Pick: Brennan Malone

22. Tampa Bay Rays

Kameron Misner, OF

Bio:
School: Missouri
Height: 6-4
Weight: 220 lbs
Hits/Throws: L/L

The Rays have plenty of picks to play with between now and round 2 proper. They have shown a love of buying low on high-end tools they can develop, especially in the outfield. Misner is that. Misner was getting buzz as a top 5 pick early in the year, but really fell off in SEC play, striking out a ton and failing to get to his high-end raw power. He still flashed 60 speed, a cannon arm and plus outfield defense. Still took his walks. But just couldn’t figure out how to consistently drive the ball. All said he finished the year 286/440/481 with 10 home runs in just 200 AB and 20 SB with only 1 CS and was facing the best pitching in college ball. But questions remain about his hit tool, health and ability to get to his 65 raw power in games. If anyone unlocks Misner’s upside, it’s the Rays. They have to be enamored with what could be a true 5 plus tools star and they have the draft capital to take the risk. Misner shouldn’t cost more than slot but has plenty of potential suitors between now and the Rays next pick at 36, so I assume they pull the trigger. Many guys such as Cavaco, Allan, Goss and Brady McConnell make sense here as well.

MLB Comp: Brandon Marsh
Alt Pick: Keoni Cavaco

23. Colorado Rockies

Tyler Callihan, 3B

Bio:
School: Providence HS (FL)
Height: 5-11
Weight: 210 lbs
Hits/Throws: L/R

The Rockies would love to have Misner fall one more pick but will be happy to grab Tyler Callihan here. Callihan exploded this summer, showing one of the best hit tools in the summer circuit and showcasing plus raw power. He also endeared coaches and teammates with what is regarded as the best makeup of anyone on Team USA and a true leader. Defensively, nobody knows what Callihan is. He has a good arm and has played SS in HS. But played mostly 1B for Team USA. He’s also played 3B and 2B in the summer circuit and has been playing mostly behind the plate this year. Callihan is a solid athlete but has mediocre speed. Wherever he plays, the bat will play and he has a plus to plus plus hit tool with solid raw power. He is a bit old for the class as well. Regardless, the Rockies don’t mind older HS CI types and love the hit tool/power combo. The makeup is a cherry on top. They have been said to be in on some HS arms as well as Cavaco.

MLB Comp: Brandon Lowe
Alt Pick: Brennan Malone

24. Cleveland Indians

Keoni Cavaco, 3B

Bio:
School: Eastlake HS (CA)
Height: 6-0
Weight: 185 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

Probably the biggest helium name in the prep class. Cavaco was young for the class and a late maturer as well. He wasn’t invited to much of the summer showcases, hence fell under the radar. Starting in the fall and continuing into the spring, Cavaco has showcased big raw power, 60 speed, a strong arm and good glovework at 3B. The hit tool flashes but has a long way to go, which could hold back his game power. He’s also expected to lose some speed as he matures. But the ceiling is a guy who plays plus defense at 3B with 25-30 home run pop and a decent bat. Since he was untested by top prep pitching and grew into his frame more recently, there is a less defined ceiling and floor. This makes him a riskier but more exciting pick. The Indians have shown a prevalence for young for the class prep players with high ceilings. Cavaco fits that bill. If they prefer elsewhere, Braden Shewmake, Kyren Paris and Matthew Lugo all make some sense here.

MLB Comp: Jurickson Profar
Alt Pick: Kyren Paris

25. Los Angeles Dodgers

Matthew Allan, RHSP

Bio:
School: Seminole HS (FL)
Height: 6-3
Weight: 210 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

The Dodgers have proven time and time again that they aren’t afraid of prep guys, they aren’t afraid of signability and they just want top talent. With two first rounders and $8 mil in cap space, the Dodgers can afford to take a risk on an overslot guy who may not sign here. Allan has been the top prep arm on many boards this year and has SP2 potential with 3 excellent pitches. He touches 97 and pounds the low zone with his 4 seamer, has a hard curveball that he spins well and arguably the best changeup in the prep class. His command will come and go at times, but flashes plus and he holds velo fairly well for his age. With a prototype frame, it’s clear why scouts would like Allan and with a cheaper asking price he would likely be gone by now. But he’s committed to Florida and asking for $4 mil, making him a risky bet. LA loves these kind of bets and will always gamble on talent. Allan at 25 and an underslot guy they are high on at 31 just makes too much sense.

MLB Comp: Mitch Keller
Alt Pick: Brady McConnell

26. Arizona Diamondbacks
*    (comp for unsigned 2018 pick)

Brennan Malone, RHSP

Bio:
School: IMG Academy (FL)
Height: 6-5
Weight: 210 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

Priester, Espino, Malone and Allan have been mentioned in a tier all year, so it makes sense that Malone would go right after Allan. Malone plays under a spotlight at IMG and has long been considered one of the top players in the class. A plus athlete with a plus, projectable frame; Malone has a solid 4 pitch mix and will touch 96 with potential for more as he matures. His curveball has flashed exceptionally well for me and his slider and change will flash MLB average. He has a very legitimate high end SP2 upside. But as much as I like his frame and projection, he scares me. I’ve seen quite a few of his starts where he is just purely dominant for 2-3 innings and then the command just falls off and the velo drops. I have yet to see him hold his pure stuff a full 6 innings. It adds a ton of risk to a tantalizing profile. Arizona needs an influx of high ceiling arms and has the cap space and draft capital to take an overslot risk here. It could pay off in a big way if Malone adds some good weight and learns to hold his stuff. If he really projects, he could be a third SP1 ceiling arm in the class, but for now an SP2 is worth the risk.

MLB Comp: Kyle Wright
Alt Pick: JJ Goss

27. Chicago Cubs

Kody Hoese, 3B

Bio:
School: Tulane
Height: 6-4
Weight: 200 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

Reports on where Hoese will go are all over the place, from 8 to 41. But one thing I know for sure is that the Cubs have been scouting him heavily with Theo Epstein in attendance. The Cubs are the kings of taking quick moving college bats Round 1 and Hoese looks like he could be of that mold. Hoese was drafted last year by the Royals as an eligible sophomore but bet on himself and displayed summer power that carried over into a monster junior season at Tulane. Hoese is hitting 392/487/789 with 43 XBH (23 HR) in just 56 games with 38BB to just 30 Ks. All while playing solid 3B. Hoese may not be fast, but he is nimble at 3B and has an above average arm that should play. If the power is real, he could wind up looking like a steal. He’s also as ginger as they come, which is always fun. Josh Smith, Brady McConnell and JJ Goss have been linked here as well and Shewmake seems like a Joe Maddon kinda guy.

MLB Comp: Matt Carpenter
Alt Pick: JJ Goss

28. Milwaukee Brewers

Brady McConnell, SS

Bio:
School: Florida
Height: 6-3
Weight: 195 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

If you read my stuff or follow me on twitter, you’ll know I’m a big Brady McConnell fan, so it’s been fun watching his stock skyrocket. Many people had McConnell as a late to fringe round 1 name during the 2017 draft. But he fell a bit due to an uneven summer of 2016 and reportedly turned down $2 mil from Cincinnati to play for the Gators. An injury sapped his freshman year, but as a draft-eligible sophomore, he has been right with JJ Bleday for the most impressive bat in the SEC. McConnell showcased his 65 raw power by finishing with 11 HR in conference play (Bleday had 13) and slg% (615) against the best pitching in college baseball. McConnell flashes a 60 arm and 60-70 speed depending on who you ask. Scouts vary widely on how they view the hit tool and defense. I’ve seen both graded between 40 and 60. MLB pipeline says McConnell may need to move to CF due to defense, but Perfect Game rates him as a top 5 college defender in the whole draft. Some scouts give McConnell a 50-60 hit tool and he did manage to hit for a .341 average this year. Others like Kiley McDaniel give it a 40. Almost everyone agrees on 3 things. 1) BMC flashes top of the draft tools. 2) he will be fairly expensive to sign as he would likely be a favorite to be a top 10 pick next year. 3) some people loooooove BMC and view him as having 5 60 tools. McConnell is definitely susceptible to getting out of sync, opening up the shoulder and getting beat outside. He flashes highlight reel, gold glove plays, but will make mental errors at times. And he doesn’t use his 70 speed on the basepaths yet. But he has the best player in the draft upside. And the Brewers have a history of loving high ceiling guys Round 1.

MLB Comp: Trevor Story
Alt Pick: Seth Johnson

29. Oakland Athletics

Logan Davidson, SS

Bio:
School: Clemson
Height: 6-3
Weight: 195 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

The A’s would probably jump all over McConnell should he be here, but in this scenario, he is gone. Davidson has a remarkably similar profile, albeit with better plate discipline and less eye-popping traits. Davidson has hit just under 300 all 3 years at Clemson, walking at around a 14% clip and striking out around 20% of the time each year with double-digit HR/SB totals all 3 years (15 HR/17SB this year). To put it simply, he has been a hot pile of trash on the Cape with wood bats both times he was there slashing 202/304/266 for a .570 OPS over 75 games with a 26% k rate. This adds major concern as he was expected to dominate. The hit tool is a real question mark despite solid walk rates. Davidson has a plus run times and may be able to stick at short with 3B and OF as fallbacks should he outgrow it. As you’d guess from his frame, he has plus raw power but the complete lack of power with a wood bat is a concern. The A’s love athletes with ceiling and Davidson certainly is that even with some red flags. If the A’s can develop him properly, he has 20/20 upside.

MLB Comp: Marcus Semien
Alt Pick: Greg Jones

30. New York Yankees

Michael Toglia, 1B

Bio:
School: UCLA
Height: 6-5
Weight: 200 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

The Yankees could go plenty of ways here. The word has been they are on the two Delbarton kids and college guys who they can develop. While Volpe and Leiter would be enticing, they come with hefty price tags. Toglia fills a need in quick moving bats and also fits the profile of an athlete with high ceiling who needs development. Toglia has flaws in his approach and ability to make contact, but has tremendous raw power and is a gold glove caliber first baseman who has finished the year on fire. The Yankees love development challenges like this and Toglia has too many potential landing spots between here and 38 for them to risk waiting.

MLB Comp: Hunter Dozier
Alt Pick: Jack Leiter

31. Los Angeles Dodgers
*    (comp for unsigned 2018 pick)

Chase Strumpf, 2B/SS

Bio:
School: UCLA
Height: 6-1
Weight: 195 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

After going well over slot to land Matthew Allan with their first pick, the Dodgers will want to go under slot at 31. Chase Strumpf is an LA native at UCLA who has upside, but coming off a down year by his standards should sign for under slot here to stay in town. Strumpf has an excellent hit tool and a very advanced approach at the plate. Everywhere else is just about average. While he played SS over Royce Lewis in HS, he is likely destined for 2B in the pros with a mediocre arm and average glove/range. But the hit tool will carry the profile and is the most important tool to have. Strumpf has shown power upside in the past and could have a Nico Hoerner style of jump in the minors. But for now, he looks like a hit tool first 2B with a solid chance to be an average pro. Not bad for an under-slot guy. Josh Smith and Cameron Cannon offer similar profiles.

MLB Comp: Jeff McNeil
Alt Pick: Josh Smith

32. Houston Astros

Blake Walston, LHSP

Bio:
School: New Hanover HS (NC)
Height: 6-4
Weight: 175 lbs
Hits/Throws: L/L

Walston has been a major helium guy in this draft. A hyper projectable 6-4 lefty, Walston has been up to 93 this spring while sitting 88-92. He also flashes a 60+ curveball with insane spin to pair with a seldom-used slider/change combo that are seldom used but flash average. A star HS QB, Walston has tantalizing upside with his high spin rates, burgeoning velocity, hyper projectable frame, recent success in front of big name front office guys and high-end athleticism. But he’s also inconsistent and lacks a long track record. The Astros love spin and projection and with most of their target bats off the board I can’t imagine them passing on a chance to sign him away from NC St.

MLB Comp: Lefty Ian Anderson
Alt Pick: Jack Kochanowitz

33. Arizona Diamondbacks
*    (comp for player signed away)

Michael Busch, 1B/OF

Bio:
School: UNC
Height: 6-0
Weight: 210 lbs
Hits/Throws: L/R

It’s likely BPA and rotating HS and College with the D-Backs back to back picks here. Busch is likely that player here. A polished bat with a long track record of hitting with both metal and wood bats, Busch is a better athlete than you’d think. He could play left field or 2B (and has) in a pinch. His arm likely limits him to these positions though. He has exceptional plate discipline, walking more than he Ks in back to back college years and summers. He has also shown wood bat power and decent average abilities. He should hit for average and OBP while adding 20 or so home runs.

MLB Comp: Daniel Murphy
Alt Pick: Matthew Lugo

34. Arizona Diamondbacks
*    (comp for player signed away)

JJ Goss, RHSP

Bio:
School: Cypress Ranch HS (TX)
Height: 6-3
Weight: 185 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

If they go college bat at 33, a prep arm makes sense at 34. Goss could be a steal here. Goss has one of the best sliders in the draft and has touched 96 at times this year. He is a known commodity playing on the summer circuit at all stops and for a well-known team in one of the better prep divisions there are. Goss has a playable changeup and has shown a decent curve in pen sessions. He also still has some projection remaining on his frame. The con is that he has a whacky delivery with longer arm action and some violence. But his track record, spring dominance and good health history are cause for the belief he can remain a starter longterm with SP3 upside. A Texas native, the lure of staying somewhat local may help keep Goss away from Texas A&M.

MLB Comp: Dylan Bundy
Alt Pick: Noah Song

35. Miami Marlins

Matthew Lugo, SS

Bio:
School: Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy (PR)
Height: 6-1
Weight: 185 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

I think Matthew Lugo has one of the prettiest swings in the draft and wouldn’t be mad if my Mariners took him at 20. Lugo, the nephew of Carlos Beltran, has excellent bat speed and is simply above average at everything. He has the ability to hit for decent power, above average speed, a great line drive oriented swing, should stick at short and has an above average arm. There’s nothing to truly make you say wow, but there are 5 tools to like and no real weak points to his game. Staying close to home in Miami (and where he’s committed for college) might take a few $$ off the bonus and leave Miami some spending money without sacrificing talent.

MLB Comp: Gavin Lux
Alt Pick: Nasim Nunez

36. Tampa Bay Rays

Drey Jameson, RHSP

Bio:
School: Ball St
Height: 6-0
Weight: 165 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

The Tampa Bay Rays and pitchers with absurd raw stuff and trouble controlling it, name a more iconic duo. Jameson is a small statured small school arm who has a fastball that touches 98 with movement, nasty curve/slider combo and very raw command with a meh changeup. Jameson has a lightning quick arm and is a decent overall athlete. With his frame, arm speed and lack of command/changeup scouts see major RP risk with Drey J. But I don’t think the Rays will care if he’s a multi-inning RP who touches 100 with two plus breakers. They will find the right way to develop and utilize him.

MLB Comp: Bryan Abreu
Alt Pick: Nasim Nunez

37. Pittsburgh Pirates

Josh Wolf, RHSP

Bio:
School: St. Thomas HS (TX)
Height: 6-2
Weight: 165 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

Texas always seems to have a late pop-up arm and this year it’s Josh Wolf. Wolf saw a FB velo jump to the mid 90s and touches 97 with running movement. He will drop in a 12-6 curve with great shape and has a changeup that flashes average. Long and lean with room to fill out and add strength, Wolf offers solid remaining projection and a chance to dream on what he may become. He is also lauded for his makeup and a guy coaches will love. The Pirates have a history of loving this kind of player.

MLB Comp: Blayne Enlow
Alt Pick: Anthony Volpe

38. New York Yankees

Anthony Volpe, SS

Bio:
School: Delbarton (NJ)
Height: 5-11
Weight: 180 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

Volpe is rumored to be asking for $3 mil and will be tough to sign away from a Vanderbilt commitment. That being said, he will have to be intrigued by staying local and the Yankees have money to spend after going under slot at 30. Volpe is a “gamer” type who has a long track record of success against solid prep players and rose his draft stock by adding speed and dominating at NHSI. Volpe rivaled Tyler Callihan for best makeup on Team USA and plays solid defense up the middle. He could go as high as #20 or wind up in college.

MLB Comp: Less Toolsy Derek Jeter
Alt Pick: Greg Jones

39. Minnesota Twins

Maurice Hampton, OF

Bio:
School: Memphis University HS (TN)
Height: 6-0
Weight: 195 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

Signing Hampton here would be a bit of a coup for the Twins. Hampton is a freak athlete who could go as high as #15 and was an HS All American in both football and baseball, one of 4 (along with Jerrion Ealy) all time. Hampton is understandably raw at the plate but shows the pieces to have an average hit tool with decent power. His calling cards are 70-grade speed to go with great OF jumps and a cannon arm. He will cost money to sign out of a double sport commitment to LSU (where DB and baseball players tend to get drafted highly) but he could be worth it. He flashes some of the good and bad of Byron Buxton, so putting him on the Twins just feels right.

MLB Comp: Daz Cameron
Alt Pick: Rece Hinds

40. Tampa Bay Rays

Noah Song, RHSP

Bio:
School: Navy
Height: 6-4
Weight: 200 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

On talent alone, Song would very much be in the discussion for the top college arm in the draft. Song has a great 4 pitch mix that includes a mid 90’s fastball, plus slider, 55 curve, and a mediocre changeup. His control/command has improved and he’s done nothing but dominate hitters with his advanced sequencing. Over the last two years, his combined stats are 17-6 with a 1.65 ERA, sub 1 whip and 282K/72BB (31 in 2019) over 183 IP. The issue is, Song has a Navy commitment and (already a senior) will need two years before he can play for the team that drafts him. Tampa Bay might be the only team that would consider this a damn plus. He will be cost controlled until he’s likely 32 and will move quickly once he’s allowed to pitch. With a prototype frame, 4 pitch mix and advanced feel for how to use it; Song looks like a ¾ type starter and is great value here (especially in this pitching class). Perfect fit and he will be under slot.

MLB Comp: Kyle Wright
Alt Pick: Nasim Nunez

41. Texas Rangers

Greg Jones, SS/OF

Bio:
School: UNCW
Height: 6-2
Weight: 175 lbs
Hits/Throws: S/R

Jones, a draft-eligible sophomore is the rare small school guy with major pedigree. He high profile as a prep bat and was well watched as a freshman on Cape Cod last year with a chance to be a first round name. Many people were disappointed with his college season, but I don’t get why. He slashed 343/491/551 while walking at an 18.8% rate and cutting his K rate from 24.7% to 14.6%. He also raised his XBH total from 11 to 26, even if he only hit 5 HR. He showcased his speed for 40 steals in just 53 games. While hit tool questions remain, his approach is much much better. I watched Jones on the Cape and thought he was much better in CF than SS, where his speed and range are of greater use. Jones is a true 80 runner with great instincts and amazing pure athleticism. He also has some sneaky raw power, though he doesn’t yet get to it at games. The Rangers love this kind of athlete and I think this is Jones’s floor. He will likely cost some extra cheddar as a sophomore, but the Rangers went under slot at 8 and can swing it.

MLB Comp: Byron Buxton
Alt Pick: Jimmy Lewis

42. Baltimore Orioles

Jack Kochanowicz, RHSP

Bio:
School: Harriton HS (PA)
Height: 6-6
Weight: 210 lbs
Hits/Throws: L/R

A tall projectable prep righty who touches 95, repeats his delivery well and has high-end spin rates…where have we seen this before? Mike Elias was part of the Astros brain trust that drafted and developed Forrest Whitley and Kochanowicz has plenty of similarities to Whitley. His ceiling is incredibly high if developed correctly. While he requires a lot of projection, development and signing bonus to get there, Elias and the Orioles have the money and people to make it happen. I’m hoping they keep him away from the UVA coaching staffs “methods”.

MLB Comp: HS Forrest Whitley
Alt Pick: Kendall Williams

43. Boston Red Sox
*    (luxury tax penalty)

Trejyn Fletcher, OF

Bio:
School: Deering HS (ME)
Height: 6-1
Weight: 190 lbs
Hits/Throws: R/R

A late addition to the 2019 draft class, Fletcher was geared up to be a top 10 preseason mock pick for the 2020 class before he managed to declare as an HS JR due to age. While Fletcher is fairly raw, he performed well against velo in his limited chances. The hit tool is very raw still and he will require patience and development time, but he offers plus tools in power, arm, and speed. He has 20/20 CF upside but a very low floor and will likely take 5 years of dev time. A New England kid from Maine, Boston might be able to lure Fletcher away from Vanderbilt at slot. It’s a risk, but a risk Boston and their bottom of the barrel minors system need to take.

MLB Comp: BJ (Melvin) Upton Jr
Alt Pick: Ethan Small

PickTeamPlayer NamePositionSchool
1
Baltimore
Orioles
Adley RutschmanCOregon St
2
Kansas City
Royals
Bobby Witt JrSSHeritage HS (TX)
3
Chicago
White Sox
CJ AbramsSSBlessed Trinity HS (GA)
4
Miami
Marlins
Andrew Vaughn1BCal
5
Detroit
Tigers
Riley GreeneOFHagerty HS (FL)
6
San Diego
Padres
JJ BledayOFVanderbilt
7
Cincinnati
Reds
Nick LodoloLHSPTCU
8
Texas
Rangers
Brett Baty3BLake Travis HS (TX)
9
Atlanta
Braves
Hunter BishopOFArizona St
10
San Francisco
Giants
Alek ManoahRHSPWest Virginia
11
Toronto Blue
Jays
Corbin CarrollOFLakeside HS (WA)
12
New York
Mets
George KirbyRHSPElon
13
Minnesota
Twins
Zach ThompsonLHSPKentucky
14
Philadelphia
Phillies
Shea LangeliersCBaylor
15
Los Angeles
Angels
Daniel EspinoRHSPGeorgia Premier Academy (GA)
16
Arizona
DBacks
Bryson StottSSUNLV
17
Washington
Nationals
Jackson RutledgeRHSPSan Jacinto JC (TX)
18
Pittsburgh
Pirates
Gunnar HendersonSSMorgan Academy (AL)
19
St. Louis
Cardinals
Will Wilson2B/SSNC ST
20
Seattle
Mariners
Josh Jung3BTexas Tech
21
Atlanta
Braves
Quinn PriesterRHSPCary-Grove HS (IL)
22
Tampa Bay
Rays
Kameron MisnerOFMissouri
23
Colorado
Rockies
Tyler Callihan3BProvidence HS (FL)
24
Cleveland
Indians
Keoni Cavaco3BEastlake HS (CA)
25
Los Angeles
Dodgers
Matthew AllanRHSPSeminole HS (FL)
26
Arizona
DBacks
Brennan MaloneRHSPIMG Academy (FL)
27
Chicago
Cubs
Kody Hoese3BTulane
28
Milwaukee
Brewers
Brady McConnellSSFlorida
29
Oakland
Athletics
Logan DavidsonSSClemson
30
New York
Yankees
Michael Toglia1BUCLA
31
Los Angeles
Dodgers
Chase Strumpf2B/SSUCLA
32
Houston
Astros
Blake WalstonLHSPNew Hanover HS (NC)
33
Arizona
DBacks
Michael Busch1B/OFUNC
34
Arizona
DBacks
JJ GossRHSPCypress Ranch HS (TX)
35
Miami
Marlins
Matthew LugoSSCarlos Beltran Baseball Academy (PR)
36
Tampa Bay
Rays
Drey JamesonRHSPBall St
37
Pittsburgh
Pirates
Josh WolfRHSPSt. Thomas HS (TX)
38
New York
Yankees
Anthony VolpeSSDelbarton (NJ)
39
Minnesota
Twins
Maurice HamptonOFMemphis University HS (TN)
40
Tampa Bay
Rays
Noah SongRHSPNavy
41
Texas
Rangers
Greg JonesSS/OFUNCW
42
Baltimore
Orioles
Jack KochanowiczRHSPHarriton HS (PA)
43
Boston
Red Sox
Trejyn FletcherOFDeering HS (ME)

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