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2018 MLB Draft: Recapping and Grading the Day Two Picks

A closer look at how all 30 clubs did on the second day of the draft.

Roger Clemens signs with the Houston Astros
Kody Clemens grew up a lot since this picture to become the first pick of day two.
Photo by Brett Coomer/Getty Images

Day two of the 2018 MLB Draft is in the books and we’ve seen a very eventful day, starting with the youngest son of Roger Clemens being picked and ending with a bunch of senior signs coming off the board.

I will take a look at and grade the second day for all 30 teams in this article. Note that I will factor the first day into the grades if picks are lacking because of limited bonus pool space remaining.

Arizona Diamondbacks

After a strong, but also expensive, first day the Dbacks went college heavy on day two. Seven of their eight picks came from the college side, with the lone exception coming in the eighth round. Still they found some upside plays, particularly Kansas right hander Jackson Goddard, who has premium stuff but battled injury this spring. Oregon right hander Matt Mercer broke out in the Cape last summer, and although he saw his stuff backup this year he is still a strong fifth round pick. IMG Academy right hander Levi Kelly would be a huge add if they can sign him away from LSU. Tyler Holton, the pitchability lefty from Florida State who needed Tommy John surgery early in the spring would be another nice pick if he signs- but he grew up a diehard FSU fan and may want to stick around. I also like the Ryan Weiss and Nick Dalessandro picks. Bonus points for the name of Tennessee Tech senior sign pitcher Travis Moths.

Grade: B+

Atlanta Braves

Despite having no third round pick the Braves came away with a potential first round talent in Stanford pitcher Tristan Beck. They followed that in the fifth round with high upside JUCO arm Trey Riley, a player who wouldn’t have been out of place in the second round. Throw in a seventh round pick of UNC Greensboro’s very productive centerfielder Andrew Moritz and bloodline pick shortstop AJ Graffanino, and it was an outstanding day for the Braves.

Grade: A

Baltimore Orioles

I’ll admit I was puzzled by the Orioles first day, but they made some solid day two picks. Arkansas hurler Blaine Knight is great value 87 picks into the draft, and they added some upside with a pair of prep arms in Puerto Rican righty Yeancarlos Lleras, and especially Kentucky lefty Drew Rom. Adding Iowa outfielder Robert Neustrom gives them a bat with power potential.

Grade: B

Boston Red Sox

I love the pick of TCU right hander Durbin Feltman, but to be honest this day feels a little light by a team who has received good grades from me in the past few drafts. Dallas Baptist outfielder Devlin Granberg is very talented for a senior, and a favorite pick of mine. I also like Long Beach State second baseman(or maybe outfielder) Jarren Duran. I would be willing to grade this draft a tick higher if I thought Kole Cottam would be able to stick behind the plate with his bat.

Grade: B-

Chicago Cubs

Based on this draft pool and the prep talents the Cubs grabbed on day one, I’m grading them based on them drafting on a budget. A pair of college centerfielders who can both hit and run, but have power questions, highlight the day. Duke’s Jimmy Herron and Liberty’s walk machine DJ Artis are those players. I love the pick of Southern Miss third baseman Luke Reynolds, who if he wasn’t already 23 years old, would have been taken much sooner than the 10th round.

Grade: B

Chicago White Sox

Mississippi State’s Konnor Pilkington was an absolute steal in the third round, as successful SEC lefties with his stuff just don’t fall. Indiana’s right handed Jonathan Stiever is another strong pitching addition on the college side, as he’s got middle of the rotation potential as well. They also added a pair of pitchers with stuff that are likely relief assets in Wichita State’s Codi Heuer and South Florida’s Andrew Perez. I’m a big fan of raw Georgia prep outfielder Cabera Weaver, and think the Lency Delgado pick was strong even if he does need to move to third. A pair of starters, pair of likely relievers, and pair of high upside prep bats is a great day- and maybe the best day two in the league.

Grade: A+

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds went big in their first two picks of the day, and it appears to have used up a lot of their bonus pool. Illinois slugger Bren Spillane can really hit, and is a good value on day two. Pennsylvania prep outfielder Mike Siani in the fourth round is probably the pick that ate the bonus pool up, but the toolsy centerfielder is the type of talent that is worth it. I also like Puerto Rican prep arm Yomil Maysonet.

Grade: B+

Cleveland Indians

Cleveland came into the day after taking three high upside preps on day one, so they likely had limited funds. The Raynel Delgado pick in the sixth round was my favorite pick, as the Florida prep third basmean has real talent in the stick. Towson shortstop Richard Palacios has some upside and was a strong, but not too expensive pick while Oregon State outfielder Steven Kwan has the potential to become a fourth outfielder. I do like Wofford senior lefty Adam Scott as well.

Grade: B+

Colorado Rockies

It was an interesting day for the Rockies. I considered Minnesota shortstop Terrin Vavra a nice sleeper in the fifth round or later, but the Rockies jumped on him in the third round. Ohio State right hander Ryan Feltner was a decent pick with quality stuff, but probably a reliever longterm. The Niko Decolati pick out of Loyola Marymount is one that caught my eye, as there is major upside if the Rockies can help him turn his considerable tools into production. The Rockies took a lot of guys who have some tools I like, but none of those guys is a true home run

Grade: B-

Detroit Tigers

Detroit had another strong day, taking Roger Clemens’ youngest son Kody, 6’10” Whitworth College right hander Hugh Smith, upside outfielders Kingston Linkak and Eric De La Rosa, Louisville pitcher Adam Smith, and a pair of seniors with upside in Brock Deatherage and Tarik Skubal.

Grade: A-

Houston Astros

The Astros were solid on day two. Cal Poly outfielder Alex McKenna was the best pick of the day, as he has a promising bat. I also liked the Arizona battery of Cody Deason and Cesar Salazar, slick fielding Maine shortstop Jeremy Pena, and Pitt pitcher RJ Freuere.

Grade: B+

Kansas City Royals

The Royals spent their money on a very strong first day, so day two was a little more quiet. UNLV outfielder Kyle Isbel is one of my favorite guys that doesn’t quite get talked about enough. Florida State outfielder Jackson Lueck has some potential if he can fix some holes in his swing. Site manager and Arkansas outfielder Eric Cole(they’re really two different people) and Mercer lefty Austin Cox were also guys I liked.

Grade: B

Los Angeles Angels

The Angels spent a lot of their pool on the first day, but did land three pitchers I like. Texas A&M Corpus Christi right hander Aaron Hernandez has big stuff and with some coaching could unlock potential. New Mexico State’s Kyle Bradish has some questions about his role, but he’s a guy capable of racking up strikeouts in either spot. Detroit prep pitcher William English is young for the class and raw, but he’s got considerable upside.

Grade: B

Los Angeles Dodgers

I love the Braydon Fisher draft pick, as the projectable prep arm has big upside. Hofstra lefty John Rooney is an interesting mix of solid stuff and huge results. Louisville second baseman Devin Mann has some ability in his bat, as does Sacramento State outfielder James Outman. Senior signs Luke Heyer and Josh McLain are quality players. If they can sign 10th round infielder Deacon Liput from Florida as a junior this class looks even better.

Grade: B+

Miami Marlins

The Marlins spent their money on Monday, but I love the Tristan Pompey pick. The Kentucky star should have gone on day one, but gives the Marlins a big bat. Ole Miss catcher Nick Fortes could also be a big bat if he’s able to stick back there. Arkansas State pitcher Peyton Culbertson could be huge in the pen with nasty stuff. Prep catcher Cameron Barstad was a decent pick as well.

Grade: B+

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers spent a ton on the first day, but landed three pitchers I really love. JUCO lefty Aaron Ashby, Andy’s nephew, has large upside that he is still growing into. Prep arm Justin Jarvis is another talented high school arm in this class. Oregon State star Drew Rasmussen was a first rounder last year, but didn’t pass his physical. He’s got a scary injury history and needed a second Tommy John surgery in the fall, but he represents great value here.

Grade: A-

Minnesota Twins

It was an interesting day for the Twins. I loved the pick of Utah outfielder DaShawn Keirsey. New York prep bat Charles Mack can really hit, but his defensive home is a question. Clemson slugger Chris Williams is a steal if he can still catch following some injury issues. Speaking of injuries, Florida State pitcher Cole Sands dropped to the fifth round after leaving his NCAA Tournament start with an injury.

Grade: B+

New York Mets

The Mets hit the state of South Carolina hard on day two, leading off the day with a pair of Gamecocks and then going to in-state rival Clemson. The first two picks were bat first outfielder Carlos Cortes- who I may like more than anyone, and pitcher Adam Hill, a guy capable of being an asset as a starter or reliever. Clemson reliever Ryley Gilliam has huge stuff, and can be a late inning reliever if he improves his command. Cal Poly glove first catcher Nick Meyer has a high floor, while Missouri senior pitcher Bryce Montes De Oca can hit 100 MPH.

Grade: A-

New York Yankees

I really like Tennessee prep outfielder Ryder Green as a power bat in the third round. North Florida pitcher Frank German really shot up boards late after impressing scouts in a matchup with Logan Gilbert. Troy outfielder Brandon Lockridge is another very solid player, and I like Gonzaga pitcher Daniel Bies later in the day.

Grade: B+

Oakland Athletics

The A’s were very heavy on college picks, but they were strong college picks. Their lone prep pick is Georgia outfielder Lawrence Butler, who I love the potential of. UL Lafayette pitcher Hogan Harris and Arizona outfielder Alfonso Rivas both have risk, but both have upside. JJ Schwarz is a good bet in the eighth round as a power bat who has some chance at catching. College arms Charlie Cerny, Brady Feigl, and Clark Cota are all guys I liked. It’s hard to do a better job of loading up with a number of talented players.

Grade: A

Philadelphia Phillies

I can’t figure this one out. The Phillies didn’t pick in the second or third round and their fourth rounder, Colton Eastman, was a solid pick who should get slot money. Unless they saved real money on Alec Bohm, I can’t see how they afford sixth rounder, high upside Georgia prep shortstop Kendall Logan Simmons, or ninth rounder California prep arm Dominic Pipkin. If they sign them, I give this group an A, if not and they come out with just Eastman and Notre Dame’s Matt Vierling, it’s more of a C grade.

Grade: A or C (see above)

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates had a solid day overall. They didn’t chase upside, but let a number of solid college players come to them. Arkansas catcher Grant Koch has the most upside, if he can tweak his swing. NC State outfielder Brett Kinneman isn’t far behind. Arizona pitcher Michael Flynn and Vandy shortstop Connor Kaiser are both solid, steady performers. Finally Zach Spears of Miami(OH) has some potential.

Grade: B+

San Diego Padres

The pick that stands out is Missouri State pitcher Dylan Coleman, who brings fourth round value even in relief. A pair of college outfielders with untapped potential stand out as well, Rutgers’ Jawuan Harris and East Carolina’s Dwanya Williams-Sutton. Illinois State shortstop Owen Miller is solid and Kentucky senior second baseman Luke Becker is a quality senior. There are some good players, but I felt the Padres could have done a bit more.

Grade: B

San Francisco Giants

This was a very strong day two. Grand Canyon pitcher Jake Wong has real value. You can make a case that JUCO pitcher Blake Rivera was the top pure reliever in the draft. Another JUCO arm, Keaton Winn, has a chance to start. Then athletic toolsy Arkansas prep outfielder PJ Hilson and Puerto Rican shortstop Edison Mora have upside. Great day by the Giants.

Grade: A

Seattle Mariners

The picks of Florida State catcher Cal Raleigh and Illinois reliever Joey Gerber have great value, and really pushed an otherwise below average day up for me. Missouri’s Michael Plassmeyer and JUCO arm Joey O’Brien have some potential, but the class relies heavily on Raleigh and Gerber.

Grade: B-

St. Louis Cardinals

The Cards are known for strong drafting, and day two was just that. Texas Tech lefty Steven Gingery would have gone much higher if not for an injury this year. Maryland second baseman Nick Dunn has a nice bat, while prep shortstop Mateo Gill(Benji’s son) has a well rounded tool set. They filled in with quality college players like USC slugger Lars Nootbaar, Dallas Baptist senior catcher Matt Duce, and South Alabama’s versatile infielder Brendan Donovan.

Grade: A

Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa’s money all went on the first day, but they landed Georgia prep arm Taj Bradley and Rice’s solid shortstop Ford Proctor. Tulane outfielder Grant Witherspoon is rated higher by other people, but at worst is decent value and at best a steal. This grade comes with a curve after the first day spending.

Grade: B+

Texas Rangers

Texas had a second day nearly as strong as their first. A pair of Arizona prep shortstops, high upside Jonathan Ornelas, and the solid Jayce Easley(Damion’s son) highlight the day. The big pick was prep arm Mason Englert, a projectable high upside type with promising stuff. Jax Biggers, Sean Chandler, and Tim Brennan also stand out. This was one of the best day two’s in the league.

Grade: A+

Toronto Blue Jays

It is hard to not love the pick of Texas prep arm Adam Kloffenstein, as he should have been off the board Monday. TCU’s Sean Wymer was another strong pick, and prep shortstop Addison Barger can hit. Adding Nick Podkul and Joey Murray for depth was a solid finish.

Grade: A

Washington Nationals

Washington had a solid day on the second day. I really love Arizona State outfielder Gage Canning in the fifth round, and the two college arms they took in Vandy’s Reid Schaller and Oklahlma’s Jake Irvin both have potential. The rest of the picks were signability picks, which makes sense as they spent a lot on day one and Schaller is a draft eligible sophomore.

Grade: B+