The 2018 MLB Draft is finally here. Below, you are going to find the picks as they happen along with real time (ish) grades of the picks as they happen. These will be first impressions in terms of the grades and, as with all things related to prospects, subject to change. Also, we will be linking our individual write-ups to the players picked as well. The goal is to have an individual write-up for every player selected in the first round as well as the comp rounds. Join us as we discuss the draft as it unfolds and enjoy yourselves as one of the more fun times for a baseball fan unfolds over the next few days. (Grades courtesy of our own Matt Powers)
1. Detroit Tigers: Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn.
Mize was the best player in the draft and the Tigers made the right pick.
2. San Francisco Giants: Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech.
You can’t go wrong with a player like Bart considering Mize was off the board. He’s at the very least going to make a strong starting catcher, and could be among the best in the game.
3. Philadelphia Phillies: Alec Bohm, 3B, Wichita State.
Bohm is a potential middle of the order run producer, but his defense is a serious question mark and Nick Madrigal was still on the board.
4. Chicago White Sox: Nick Madrigal, 2B, Oregon State
The White Sox were smart to take an elite hitter in Nick Madrigal. His size isn’t a concern as you see a Pedroia, Altuve, and Albies star at the highest level.
5. Cincinnati Reds: Jonathan India, INF, Florida
Jonathan India is a very solid pick who has been on the radar since high school, but his power stepped up this year. He’s a potentially better version of Martin Prado.
6. New York Mets: Jarred Kelenic, OF, Waukesha (Wisconsin) West High School
The Mets went for upside, and picked the toolsy prep outfielder with very promising offensive skills.
7. San Diego Padres: Ryan Weathers, LHP, Loretto HS, Loretto Tenn.
The Padres elect to go with Weathers, a talented prep arm who has a higher floor than most prep pitchers. This should help them make a run at an overslot guy with their next pick.
8. Atlanta Braves: Carter Stewart, RHP, Eau Gallie High School, Melbourne, Florida
I ranked Stewart as fourth overall in my personal Top 100, as his upside is unmatched with two 70 grade pitches.
9. Oakland Athletics: Kyler Murray, OF, University of Oklahoma
This is where things get weird. The Padres were hoping for Murray, but the A’s take a risk on a very high upside bat. It’s a boom or bust pick all the way in the Top 10.
10. Pittsburgh Pirates: Travis Swaggerty, OF, South Alabama
The Pirates got themselves a player with a similar skill set to Brett Gardner as he can do a little bit of everything.
11. Baltimore Orioles: Grayson Rodriguez, RHP Central Heights High School, Nacogdoches, Texas
The selection of Rodriguez over Cole Winn comes as a surprise, but he should make a #3 starter capable of eating 200 innings per year.
12. Toronto Blue Jays: Jordan Groshans, 3B, Magnolia (Texas) HS
The Blue Jays took a prep shortstop in Groshans, but he will likely move to third as a pro. The bat is a real asset at either position. The Jays could give him a look at short however.
13. Miami Marlins: Connor Scott, OF, Plant (Florida) HS
The Marlins grabbed one of the highest upside bats in the entire draft. When you are trying to remake your farm system, getting a guy with a power and speed combo plus other tools is ideal.
14. Seattle Mariners: Logan Gilbert, RHP, Stetson
Logan Gilbert was a darkhorse for the top pick this winter after a big step forward in the Cape. Unfortunately his velocity backed up this spring- but it came back up. If the stuff is there he could be a huge steal here
15. Texas Rangers: Cole Winn, RHP, Orange Lutheran (California) HS
Cole Winn was seriously considered as high as second overall, but to come off the board at 15 he is an absolute steal. Great pitchability and strike throwing with potentially three plus pitches and a fourth that’s average.
16. Tampa Bay Rays: Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Mountain Ridge (Arizona) HS
Liberatore was considered by some to be the best prep arm in the draft, and to get him this far down the board is great value.
17. Los Angeles Angels: Jordyn Adams, OF, Green Hope (North Carolina) HS
Adams has immense upside and tools, but he will cost the Angels to buy him out of playing football for his father at North Carolina where he is a four star wide receiver. His dunk video on YouTube is just unbelievable.
18. Kansas City Royals: Brady Singer, RHP, Florida
Getting a player with the stuff and SEC track record of Singer at the 18th pick is amazing value. The Royals were smart to end his freefall- unless there is something in his medicals that scared teams away(issues with physical after being drafted in 2015).
19. St. Louis Cardinals: Nolan Gorman, 3B, Sandra Day O’Connor (Arizona) HS
Gorman was seen as a likely Top 12 pick earlier in the day, but his drop gives the Cardinals an elite young power bat. He had questions about his hit tool and future defensive home, but if the Cards are comfortable with those so am I.
20. Minnesota Twins: Trevor Larnach, OF, Oregon State
The team who took Brent Rooker last year does it again. Like Rooker, Larnach made changes to his swing to unlock more power and boosted his stock in a big way. Larnach should offer better on base skills as well as plus power.
21. Milwaukee Brewers: Brice Turang, SS, Santiago (California) HS
Turang’s stock is down since last summer, but there is still a lot to like and he was too promising to pass up this far down the board.
22. Colorado Rockies: Ryan Rolison, LHP, Ole Miss
Taking a SEC arm with power stuff and a great track record for success is something very strong towards the back part of the first round.
23. New York Yankees: Anthony Seigler, C, Cartersville (Georgia) HS
The Yankees were expected to take one of the high end power bats here, but they grabbed the switch pitching, switch hitting catcher in Seigler. I’d have graded this higher but prep catchers in the first round have a very scary track record.
24. Chicago Cubs: Nico Hoerner, SS, Stanford
Hoerner is not a guy I saw coming off the board this early. There is some question about his ability to stick at short as well as questions on his power. He could potentially be a guy who brings more versatility to the Cubs.
25. Arizona Diamondbacks: Matt McLain, SS, Beckman (California) HS
McLain is another versatility guy with some positional questions, but I think he’s got enough potential with the bat that he can still be an asset with the bat if he moves to second base. MLB.com compared him to Alex Bregman with more speed at the same stage to give you an idea of the bat.
26. Boston Red Sox: Triston Casas, 1B/3B, American Heritage (Florida) HS
Boston was expected to take a big bat, and they did just that with the best power hitter in the prep class. Casas’ hit tool is a question, as is his defensive home- but if you believe in the hit tool to go with the plus plus power, you are buying into what you believe to be a special bat.
27. Washington Nationals: Mason Denaburg
Had he not experienced an injury later in the spring, Denaburg would not be available this far down the board. Denaburg fits in very well with the Nats recent picks of high end pitchers with injury or off-field questions.
28. Houston Astros: Seth Beer, 1B/OF/DH, Clemson
The Astros grade on Beer ticks up because the defensive concerns aren’t quite as important in the American League. He still has concerns about his foot speed and poor wood bat track record- but you just can’t ignore his three years of elite production for a high level ACC school.
29. Cleveland Indians: Noah Naylor, C/3B, St. Joan of Arc (Canada) HS
The Tribe wanted a high upside prep bat and found one here. Noah is much more athletic than brother Josh, and he’s got a shot at catching.
30. Los Angeles Dodgers: J.T. Ginn, RHP, Brandon (Mississippi) HS
The Dodgers grabbed a premium power arm late in the first round. This late in the first round, his fastball and slider combo are enough to make him a valuable pick even if he ends up in the bullpen.
31. Tampa Bay Rays: Shane McClanahan, LHP, South Florida
While he has questions about his ability to remain healthy and start longterm, his stuff is just special and he is too good to pass this late.
32. Tampa Bay Rays: Nick Schnell, OF, Roncalli (Indiana) HS
The Rays took a productive and toolsy prep bat with significant offensive potential. Schnell had major helium this spring and caps off a great first round by the Rays as they add a premium bat to the pair of high end lefties.
33. Kansas City Royals: Jackson Kowar, RHP, Florida
What are the odds that Florida roommates and top starters Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar both drop and then end up on the same team? He’s not an ace, but he’s a productive college pitcher with upside to be a middle of the rotation starter if he can make strides with the breaking ball.
34. Kansas City Royals: Daniel Lynch, LHP, Virginia
I don’t see Lynch as a high end arm. He’s more of a back end guy who excelled on the Cape, but was more average in ACC play.
35. Cleveland Indians: Ethan Hankins, RHP, Forsyth Central (Georgia) HS
Hankins was a strong candidate for the top pick before an injury early in the spring. He wasn’t quite the same guy he was last summer, but is a super projectable starter who if he can regain his pre-injury form is a steal here.
36.Pittsburgh Pirates: Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, Fivay (Florida) HS
The Pirates get a solid prep arm in the competitive balance portion of the first round, but there are higher upside arms available.
37.Baltimore Orioles: Cadyn Grenier, SS, Oregon State
I like Grenier a lot for what he is, but I just don’t think this is a great spot to take a chance on a light hitting glove first shortstop.
38.San Diego Padres: Xavier Edwards, SS, North Broward Prep (Florida) HS
Edwards has an interesting profile and if I wasn’t worried about the lack of power/strength then he would be even higher in terms of grade.
39.Arizona Diamondbacks: Jake McCarthy, OF, Virginia
Arizona got a top college performer who can run and defend at a premium position. I think there could be more in the bat as well.
40.Kansas City Royals: Kris Bubic, LHP, Stanford
Bubic is a very safe, solid pick. He’s a likely #4 starter, but shouldn’t have a hard time reaching that potential.
41.Cleveland: Lenny Torres, RHP, Beacon (New York) HS
Cleveland found a high upside arm as Torres has potentially very loud stuff. When you have extra picks, this is how to use them.
42.Colorado Rockies: Grant Lavigne, 1B, Bedford (New Hampshire) HS
The Rockies grab a slugger, putting a power bat in a great home for power.
43.St. Louis Cardinals: Griffin Roberts, RHP, Wake Forest
The Cardinals take a college arm with loud stuff. He could possibly start, but would at worst be a real weapon out of the bullpen who moves fast to the big leagues.
44 Detroit Tigers - Parker Meadows, OF - Grayson HS
Taking a toolsy outfielder with a power/speed combo and big league bloodlines is always a good choice - even if the swing needs work.
45 San Francisco Giants - Sean Hjelle, RHP - Kentucky
The Giants take a very solid SEC performer with above average stuff. Despite his size (6’11”) he isn’t the next Big Unit, but there is a middle of the rotation arm in there.
46 Chicago White Sox - Steele Walker, OF - Oklahoma
Walker is a very strong college bat who will be limited to left field, but he has a chance to be an asset with the bat.
47 Cincinnati Reds - Lyon Richardson, RHP - Jensen Beach HS
I do like Richardson, but think this was a bit early to grab him. He’s had a lot of helium this spring as his stuff and athleticism allow you to project more to come.
48 New York Mets - Simeon Woods-Richardson, RHP - Kempner HS
I say a lot of the same things here for Lyon Richardson: I like him but think it’s an overdraft. They’re different players and I have a hard time taking a guy without a plus pitch this high.
49 Atlanta Braves - Greyson Jenista, 1B/OF - Wichita State
The Braves got an excellent hitter who is one tweak to his swing away from being a guy capable of hitting for both average and power. You can’t forget what he did on the Cape last summer.
50 Oakland Athletics - Jameson Hannah, CF - Dallas Baptist HS
Hannah has a very promising bat and is yet another bat out of Dallas Baptist.
51 Pittsburgh Pirates - Braxton Ashcraft, RHP - Robinson HS
This is the type of pitcher that I was referring to with the Richardson’s above, as Ashcraft offers much more combination of upside and present stuff.
52 Toronto Blue Jays - Griffin Conine, OF - Duke
Leave it to the Jays to take yet another son of an All Star from the 1990s. The power is significant, but so is the swing and miss.
53 Miami Marlins - Osiris Johnson, SS - Encinal HS
I love Osiris. Bloodlines, tools, surprising power that shot him up draft boards. The Marlins add another premium bat to the system tonight.
54 Seattle Mariners - Josh Stowers, CF - Louisville
I’m down here because I don’t see a ton of upside here. The good news is that he has a high floor.
55 Texas Rangers - Owen White, RHP - Jesse Carson HS
The Rangers found a second arm with huge potential. With four pitches that could grade as plus, or at least above average there is some similarity to Cole Winn.
56 Tampa Bay Rays - Tyler Frank, SS - Florida Atlantic
Frank is a nice player who knows how to hit and brings plenty of versatility.
57 Los Angeles Angels - Jeremiah Jackson, SS - St. Luke’s Episcopal School (HS)
Jackson may be the highest upside infielder left, and for a team suddenly known for buying upside it’s a great match.
58 Kansas City Royals - Jonathan Bowlan, RHP - Memphis
The Royals were smart to take an affordable college player to go with their expensive upside guys. Bowlan is a large framed starter with the body to handle 200+ innings and the stuff to become a #3/4 starter.
59 Minnesota Twins - Ryan Jeffers, C - UNC-Wilmington
Jeffers had an extremely productive college career but there are many who don’t believe that production translates.
60 Milwaukee Brewers - Joe Gray, OF - Hattiesburg HS
If you like upside this is your guy. Gray has a similar profile to Jo Adell last year- though his tools aren’t quite as loud as Adell’s. But the arm, speed, power, and also the hit tool questions are there for both on draft day.
61 New York Yankees - Josh Breaux, C - McLennan CC
I’m not that high on Breaux as a power hitting catcher because of the swing and miss, but I’ll bump this up to a B because he has a special arm. If catching doesn’t work out he could be a power reliever.
62 Chicago Cubs - Brennen Davis, OF - Basha HS
Davis is very raw, but the upside is big. I’ve seen a comp to a young Lewis Brinson and can see that making sense.
63 Arizona Diamondbacks - Alek Thomas, OF - Mt. Carmel HS
Thomas was expected by almost everyone to be off the board here, but he’s a steal this late.
64 Boston Red Sox - Nick Decker, OF - Seneca HS
This is a little earlier than I expected as a prep outfielder with average power and run tools. What he does bring to the table is a very advanced hit tool.
65 Washington Nationals - Tim Cate, LHP - Connecticut
Cate is a talented and productive college lefty. He’s got some real reliever risk, but this late he is too good to pass on.
66 Houston Astros - Jayson Schroeder, RHP - Juanita HS
Schroeder caught some helium and moved up draft boards. His stuff won’t overpower but with refinement he could be a middle of the rotation starter.
67 Cleveland Indians - Nick Sandlin, RHP - Southern Mississippi
This is an interesting profile. Sandlin is undersized, but has quality stuff. He closed for two years with great success, then pitched well in the Cape. He began starting this year and had a strong season. He may or may not start longterm, but has value in either role
68 Los Angeles Dodgers - Michael Grove, RHP - West Virginia
Grove hasn’t pitched in a game this year after Tommy John surgery last spring, but pre-injury he was a guy expected to go higher than this.
Competitive Balance Round B
69 Miami Marlins - Will Banfield, C - Brookwood HS
70 Oakland Athletics - Jeremy Eierman, SS - Missouri State
71 Tampa Bay Rays - Tanner Dodson, RHP - UC-Berkeley
72 Cincinnati Reds - Josiah Gray, RHP - Le Moyne College
73 Milwaukee Brewers - Micah Bello, OF - Hilo HS
74 San Diego Padres - Grant Little, OF - Texas Tech
Second Round Comp Round
75 St. Louis Cardinals - Luken Baker, 1B - TCU
76 Colorado Rockies - Mitchell Kilkenny, RHP - Texas A&M
77 Chicago Cubs - Cole Roederer, OF - Hart HS
78 Chicago Cubs - Paul Richan, RHP - University of San Diego