We are now just days away from the 2018 first-year player draft. With nothing set in stone in the first round, it looks like things will be going down to the final hour. Teams talking to players about if they will accept the amount of money that they want, and players trying to get as much money as they can. With that being said this is how I see the first round of the draft playing out.
A few notes for those who don’t normally watch the MLB draft.
First, the MLB draft isn’t like other drafts where players will make an impact on the team right away.
Second, while the first round is always fun, and a lot of the time your superstars get drafted there, a lot of players that get drafted between the second and tenth round will likely find themselves on a big-league roster at some point in their career, so pay close attention to those guys too.
Finally, slot values are also a huge part of the draft, and will dictate who your team will pick. Don’t be surprised if your team picks a prospect you never heard of to save some money. The Astros did this with their first overall pick in 2012 and it worked out pretty well.
Casey Mize is the top option here, but he’s not a for sure number one as of right now. The Tigers are still checking out their options with Bart, Singer, and even Jared Kelinic as a money saver at number one overall. It will more than likely come down to if Mize will take slightly under the slot value here.
Assuming that Mize does go number one, the Giants should take Joey Bart at number two. There has been some talk of possibly Cole Winn, who is having arguably the best year out of all prep pitchers, going here, but Bart is the safer bet. If Bart does go number one I would think that the Giants pass up on Mize and take Winn.
Phillies director of scouting Johnny Almaraz didn’t exactly say that they were going with college pitching, but he didn’t say that they weren’t going with a college pitcher either. With that being said I believe they go with national college player of the year, Brady Singer. Singer also fits the mold of being a quicker call to the majors, and could possibly help the Phillies as early as next season. Some other options here would be Nick Madrigal, Casey Mize or Alec Bohm.
If the draft shakes out like this and I believe the White Sox will take Alec Bohm here with this pick. I could also see them taking Madrigal, Singer, and they’ve even been scouting prep outfielder Nick Schnell quite heavily the past week, but that would be quite a reach with the 4th overall pick.
If Madrigal falls this far, I can’t imagine the Reds passing him up. I could also see them going with Brady Singer, who Reds GM Dick Williams loves, if he falls, Matthew Liberatore, Jonathan India, or Carter Stewart.
For the Mets, it seems like a two-player race on who they will select with the sixth overall pick. Between Jonathan India and Travis Swaggerty. Swaggerty, in my opinion being the more major league ready player, should get drafted with this pick.
The Padres seem to be looking at high school players here, and the consensus is that the they will be take Matthew Liberatore who is arguably the best left-handed pitcher in this draft. Stewart, Winn, Hankins, Kelinic, and Gorman have all been mentioned here.
It is believed that the Braves are going to go the way of a prep player, whether it is pitching or hitting. With all prep players available here they can pick from any that they want. Don’t be surprised if they go under slot here.
With the A’s believed to be looking hard at college position players, and India falling right into their lap, it will be hard for them to pass up on him. Trevor Larnach, Travis Swaggerty, and even Alec Bohm are options here.
The Pirates will be faced with a tough decision here between prep arms Carter Stewart, and Cole Winn. While it will be hard to pass up on the year that Winn is having I believe that they will go with Carter Stewart.
With the O’s looking at pitching, and Cole Winn sitting here for them, that’s who they will be selecting, if he gets there. Carter Stewart, Ryan Weathers, and even Matthew Liberatore are back up plans if they are there.
With the Jays taking an arm and each other last four, first rounds, I don’t see that trend changing this year. The trend of high school arms being selected continues here as well with Ryan Weathers.
With the Marlins looking at prep hitters, and Jarred Kelenic falling this far, it would be hard for them to pass up on him. They have also been linked to guys like Connor Scott, and Tristen Casas.
Basically, in the backyard of SAFCO Field, the Oregon St. outfielder will fit right in. With the Mariners picking Evan White, and Kyle Lewis the past 2 first rounds, don’t expect that trend to change.
Not too much has changed here with the Rangers. They are still looking for high upside high school players in this draft, and Ethan Hankins would be a great option right here. Jordyn Adams name also might pop up here.
While I think that the Rays have a chance to get Adams with their 31st or 32nd pick I believe that he has a real chance of going here especially with the chance of him playing football.
Even though a lot of people in the industry believe the Angels will be going with a pitcher here, I don’t believe it. GM Billy Eppler doesn’t give away his secrets that easily. With that being said I believe they go with a high upside, athletic, position player here, and Brice Turang fits that mold.
The Royals have a great chance to really stock up on some good prospects here in this draft especially with three picks in the first round. Logan Gilbert fits the mold here but they could also go with a plethora of other players as well.
The Cardinals have still stayed in the dark with what they are going to do here, but with Casas following this far it’s hard for them to pass up on someone like that.
It looks like the Twins are looking at prep position players here with this pick and there are quite a few to pick from. Nick Schnell, if he falls this far, would be a nice addition. Don’t be surprised if the Twins decide to under slot here either.
The Brewers are believed to be looking at prep players, and if Connor Scott falls this far he would be right up the Brewers alley. A prep outfielder also makes a lot of sense here since they traded away a lot to get Christian Yelich.
The Rockies are believed to be looking and leaning towards a prep arm, so Cole Wilcox fits the mold here. Rodriguez, Denaburg and Rocker are also options here.
Yankees have been linked to Edwards for a while, and if he falls this far which I believe he will I wouldn’t be surprised if they pick him up. Don’t be surprised if the Bronx Bombers underslot here for somebody like Jeremiah Jackson, or Jordan Groshans.
It looks like the Cubs are leaning towards prep position players, Mike Siani would be a nice pick up here. Anthony Siegler, and Jordan Groshans are also mention here too.
The Diamondbacks, who selected Pavin Smith a college outfielder last year will again be leaning towards another college player. Steele Walker’s name has been mentioned to you quite a lot, and it makes sense.
The Red Sox have been leaning towards any type of pitcher here at this pick, and Jackson Kower would be a nice pick up. Mason Denaburg, Kumar Rocker, Grayson Rodriguez, and Shane McClanahan also makes sense.
Even though Denaburg has been dealing with some shoulder issues, he was still a top 10 pick earlier this year. The Nationals would love if he falls this far but I could see him going before this.
The Astros who seem to always be looking for analytical savvy guys again will go with a high spin rate guy here. Kumar Rocker fits very well here as long as he still on the board. Also look for a prep position player who has a high exit velocity like, Mike Siani or Tristen Casas.
The Indians, who are looking for any type of prep player here have quite a lot to pick from. While I can see them under-slotting with this pick, Parker Meadows makes a lot of sense.
The Dodgers you always seem to find a diamond in the rough will again be looking for one here. Anthony Siegler who could very well go in the top 20 to 25 makes a lot of sense here as well.
Competitive Balance Round A