The 2018 MLB Draft is taking place from June 4-6.
In the meantime, we’re going to look at all 30 franchises and see who they should draft this year for their respective organizations, starting with teams in the American League East.
According to MiLB.com’s farm system rankings before the season started, the Orioles were ranked No. 24 on the list. A big reason for that is because of their pitching, which is ranked 28th in baseball and has a ton of issues right now. With two picks in the top 40 (No. 11 and No. 37), the O’s should concentrate on getting more starters and build a quality rotation for the future. In our first compositie mock draft, the Orioles look like they will take South Florida lefty Shane McClanahan at No. 11, but high school prospects like Ryan Weathers, Matthew Liberatore and Cole Winn have also been mentioned in that spot. Regardless who they choose at No. 11, they have to also hit well on No. 37 because they don’t have a second-round pick this year after they forfeited it when they signed Alex Cobb.
The Red Sox are always a contender at the major-league level, but their farm system doesn’t look like one that can help it keep contending for years to come. Two of the Sox’s top prospects, third baseman Michael Chavis and starter Jason Groome, are out for a significant amount of time this year after Chavis was suspended 80 games for PEDs and Groome had to undergo Tommy John surgery. The Sox have the No. 26 pick overall, and it seems Clemson outfielder Seth Beer is the choice here, according to our composite mock draft. However, it would be wise for them to draft either a future replacement for Dustin Pedroia, a promising starter, or a top-notch first baseman.
The Yankees are showcasing their young talent at the big-league level and they still have a ton of it in the minors. Even after promoting Gleyber Torres to the majors, they have four players among MLBPipeline.com’s Top 100 prospects and have a ton of pitchers among their Top 30 prospects (23 to be exact), giving them great depth in that area and one of the top-five best farm systems in baseball. Though teams always want more pitching, the Yankees should look into getting a quality bat (either at first base or outfield). So far, prep names like first baseman Triston Casas and outfielder Jordyn Adams have been projected to be picked by the Yankees with the No. 23 overall selection. But, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Yankees go with another pitcher who they can groom.
The Rays are in the midst of a rebuild at the major-league level, but they luckily have some great pieces in the minors already that have made them one of the top organizations in the game. They have five prospects in MLBPipeline.com’s Top 100, including three in the top 25 in starter Brent Honeywell (No. 18), middle infielder Willy Adames (No. 22) and two-way player Brendan McKay (No. 24), and have the best position players of any farm system. The Rays will get even more talent this year, as they have three picks in the top 32 (No. 16, No. 31 and No. 32) and five in the first 71 selections. This gives the Rays a chance to draft a quality starter, infielder and outfielder with their first three selections. Prep players Jordyn Adams, Brice Turang (shortstop), Jordan Groshans (third baseman), Connor Scott (outfielder), Cole Wilcox (pitcher), and Nick Schnell (outfielder) are players who the Rays could use their first three picks on.
Competing in the AL East is never easy, but the Blue Jays do have the second-best position players of any farm system, trailing only the above-mentioned Rays. That’s because they have two players ranked 11th or higher in MLBPipeline.com’s Top 100 in third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (No. 2) and shortstop/second baseman Bo Bichette (No. 11). However, what has separated them from the Yankees and Red Sox is pitching, which their rank as an organization is 25th. The Blue Jays have drafted a college pitcher in the first round in each of the last four drafts, and they probably should draft another one since they are sitting at No. 12 in the order. College pitchers Ryan Rolison and Logan Gilbert have been names mentioned as possible 12th picks, but college outfielder Travis Swaggerty could be a possibility here.