MLB Draft 1st Round Recap

Draft day is always fun regardless of the sport, or even if it is just fantasy and not a pro sport. It is one of the best days of the year.

Baseball isn’t like any other sport. The top picks aren’t even going to make an impact for at least a year, some times four years.

I always need to say this ahead of the writeup for the draft. I have not scouted any of these guys first hand. I have seen a handful of videos on most of these guys, as well as read write-ups and scouting reports from various outlets.

I have tried to pull that research into my opinion and give that to the readers for what they should do in their upcoming drafts.

1. Casey Mize RHP – Tigers

Mize was pretty much the consensus best player available in the draft. He throws in the mid to high 90s and already has a plus slider and splitter.

He has 140 strikeouts in 102 2/3 innings and just 10 walks this season. As a college arm Mize could rise to the majors relatively quickly and be a big time impact.

For those in midseason rookie drafts, there is a little signability concern here so just keep that in mind.

2. Joey Bart C – Giants

He has big time power which is exciting, and he is a catcher which could make it more exciting.

I have said it over and over though, it is just too hard to get excited about a catching prospect.

It looks like Bart has the ability to stay at catcher and that potential power could be nice, but there is some swing and miss risk here. For me being a catcher is enough risk, I don’t also need strikeout concerns.

3. Alec Bohm 3B – Phillies

A career .317/.393/.548 hitter in college, Bohm projects to be someone who can hit for both average and power.

He had just a 10.5% strikeout rate, and actually walked more often, 14.7%.

With the power he has already shown, and his ability to make contact, Bohm could have a nice major league career even if it isn’t at third.

4. Nick Madrigal 2B – White Sox

He has gotten a lot of Altuve and Pedroia comparisons because of his size and potential future position.

Considered the top hit tool by some, he hit .395/.459/.563 this year with two homers. Overall the power isn’t going to be super exciting but maybe he can turn into a 10-15 homer player that hits .300.

5. Jonathan India 3B – Reds

He has played all over the infield so there are a lot of avenues to playing time. He hit .362/.502/.723 in the SEC in a breakout season. His 17 homers were a surprise after hitting just 10 combined in his first two college seasons.

It will be interesting to see if his junior season is a sign of things to come or a blip.

6. Jarred Kelenic OF – Mets

An all-around player Kelenic has the ability to be a five-category fantasy performer. He can hit really well already and could grow into an above average power hitter.

I am at the point where I trust the good hitters to find power, rather than trust the power hitters to learn how to hit.

He would be one of my top picks in a rookie draft. The all-around upside is really exciting.

7. Ryan Weathers LHP – Padres

He is one of the guys that I think gets the his dad was a big-leaguer bump.

He doesn’t have a great pitch. His fastball is a mid 90s pitch and his curveball is above average.

I’m interested, but I will let someone else take him higher than I want to.

8. Carter Stewart RHP – Braves

One of the top high school arms in the draft, Stewart can ramp it up to the upper 90s to go with a curveball that might be the best in the draft. Check out some video of it if you get the chance, it is filthy.

High school arms are risky, so while there is some fun upside here there is also plenty of risk.

9. Kyler Murray OF – Athletics

A two sport star, Murray backed up Baker Mayfield at Oklahoma.

This spring he hit .296/.398/.556 with 10 steals. Murray has great speed and could be a big steals contributor. He can hit enough to use that speed and the power has potential for 20.

He reportedly will play football this fall and then go to baseball. So there is added risk for injury and risk that maybe something happens and he turns to football. I love the pick and love the potential.

10. Travis Swaggerty OF – Pirates

He feels like a slightly better real life guy than fantasy, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be exciting for fantasy.

He had a career 17.6% walk rate in college and when he only strikes out 16% of the time things get more interesting.

His speed is probably his best overall tool, but he can hit too. The power isn’t anything to write home about, which is where the real life and fantasy world split.

11. Grayson Rodriguez RHP – Orioles

Rodriguez has the size to be a big time pitcher at 6’5” 230. He tops out at 98.

If you are going to bet on a high school arm it doesn’t hurt to bet on a guy of his size.

12. Jordan Groshans SS – Blue Jays

He can hit for contact and he has raw power, but he doesn’t turn it into game power. He is 6’4” so I would assume he can add some weight and power as he gets older.

There is a good chance he moves from short to either second or third.

13. Connor Scott OF – Marlins

Scott is one of the fastest guys in the draft. He can hit enough but has some concerns. There is average power potential. If he can get on base enough Scott could be a 30 plus steal player.

14. Logan Gilbert RHP – Mariners

A low 90s fastball this year in college Gilbert did hit the upper 90s in the Cape Cod league last year. Even without the velocity he struck out 143 in 100 innings this year.

He has four pitches, with his curveball possibly being his best. None of his pitches are great, but if he can get back to his Cape Cod level this could be a great pick.

15. Cole Winn RHP – Rangers

He doesn’t have a big time fastball but he commands it well. I am not overly excited about him, and like Weathers will let someone else have him.

16. Matthew Liberatore LHP – Rays

A lefty high school arm that can reach the mid to upper 90s, he typically sits low 90s. He has a four-pitch mix already, but no real standout.

17. Jordyn Adams OF – Angels

Adams is an athlete. Another two-sport star, Adams has big time speed.

He doesn’t have a ton of power and the hit tool isn’t amazing, but he has the potential to be that crazy athlete playing baseball.

He has the risk that he doesn’t sign as he has the chance to play football in college. There isn’t enough power and hit tool for me to get excited about the speed.

18. Brady Singer RHP – Royals

Former comp pick that didn’t sign, Singer is a mid 90s thrower but no consistent plus secondary pitch. If he can make his slider into a consistent plus pitch he could be a really interesting arm.
He was at one point in the conversation for the top pick, but took a huge slide.

19. Nolan Gorman 1B – Cardinals

Big time power from a high school bat, he might have the best overall power in the draft and it comes from the left side.

He probably doesn’t stay at third, but if he hits he could bring some big time power to the majors. We could look back at this being a steal in a few years.

20. Trevor Larnach OF – Twins

It’s weird how on thing can be both good and bad. Larnach isn’t much of a fielder. How can that be good? Well if he can’t field and he is still a top-20 pick, there has to be something there.

He has opposite field power so he doesn’t need to work on hitting the other way as much as some others coming into the draft.

I’m definitely interested in getting Larnach in upcoming drafts. The number 20 pick in the draft might help him slip to the second round.

21. Brice Turang SS – Brewers

There are varying thoughts on his power. I think the power is more slightly below average to average.

Coming into the draft he was a top pick and after an underwhelming year he fell down boards.

The situation is similar to Blake Rutherford where the years prior to his senior year were great, but when crazy expectations aren’t met it is considered a failure.

22. Ryan Rolison LHP – Rockies

His curveball is one of the best in the draft, and might be the best from the left side.

It sucks that he got drafted in Colorado. Hopefully the curveball is able to play there, but I won’t be waiting to find out.

23. Anthony Seigler C – Yankees

I just don’t jump on the catcher bandwagon, even more so a high school catcher. Easy pass for me. The bat is interesting as he is a switch hitter, but I won’t be investing.

24. Nico Hoerner SS – Cubs

Not the kind of guy I would invest in. More of a real life guy than fantasy. Power might top out at 15 homers, but could steal 20-25.

25. Matt McLain SS – Diamondbacks

I don’t know if he stays at short. He has above average power and an above average hit tool. Not a ton of upside.

26. Triston Casas 1B – Red Sox

Casas can hit the ball hard. The issue is he might not make a lot of contact. He is probably a first base only prospect and doesn’t do much with the glove even there.

I’m not getting too excited about a first base only, high school, power hitter with contact concerns. I am letting someone else take him.

I had the earlier post written before he got drafted. I thought he might go a little higher. With him going here that might help him go where he is supposed to go in rookie fantasy drafts. Maybe I will end up with him.

27. Mason Denaburg RHP – Nationals

He can touch the upper 90s but had health concerns earlier this year. He might have fallen a little because of that, but still stuck in the first round. He has a plus curveball.

28. Seth Beer OF/1B – Astros

He had an unreal freshman year where he hit .369/.535/.700. The next two years he dropped off hitting just .298 in 2017 and .316 in 2018. He struck out a little more but not an overly concerning amount.

I think the concerns over his hit tool are a little exaggerated. I think Beer could end up being a fantasy steal.

29. Noah Naylor C – Indians

The ability to hit seems legit. His defense isn’t good enough to stick behind the plate long-term. So don’t target him with catcher eligibility on your mind.

30. J.T. Ginn RHP – Dodgers

He might have the best fastball slider combination in the draft. He sits in the mid to high 90s and has a great slider to play off of it.

He was a reliever in high school and might end up there long-term, but I can’t imagine he goes 30th overall and doesn’t get a chance to start.

Andy Germani

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I am a lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan and a graduate from Penn State. Baseball was my first love and I still play to this day in an adult baseball league. I always love helping people with their questions on Twitter so feel free to follow me and ask questions.