2018 MLB Mock Draft: Debut
Round 1 Picks 1-15
My first 2018 MLB Mock Draft is now up. Enjoy!
Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Last Updated: August 1, 2017.
Philadelphia Phillies: Brady Singer, P, Florida
- The Phillies have loaded up on batters by taking a bat in the first round in four of the last five MLB Drafts. Minnesota took a batter first overall in a pitcher friendly MLB Draft. I feel like the Phillies will take a pitcher first overall in a hitter friendly MLB Draft in 2018.
- The 6-5 200 lb Brady Singer went 9-5 with a 3.21 ERA in 2016. Can get down 3-0 in the count and still get a strikeout. Singer also had 129 strikeouts in 126 innings pitched. Singer was a #2 starter behind Alex Faedo, but was huge for Florida during their 2017 College World Series Championship team with 21 strikeouts in 14 innings pitched during the 2017 College World Series. Singer has a 94-mile per hour 4-seam fastball, a 93-mile per hour 2-seam fastball, a 92-mile per hour splitter, a 91-mile per hour cutter fastball, a 83-mile per hour slider, a 81-mile per hour curveball, and a 79-mile per hour changeup.
- You'd like to see Singer improve his command and improve his ERA as the #1 guy in 2018. A lot of this is due to him placing his feet on the mound too late before he fires the ball which is more of a mechanics and footwork issue that I expect Singer to correct in 2018 or in the minors once he gets drafted. Right now he's earned the right to be the top pick simply based on how much velocity he brings on his pitches along with how clutch he was during the 2017 College World Series.
San Francisco Giants: Seth Beer, RF, Clemson
- The Giants are loaded with outfield prospects in their minor league farm system. The 6-3 200 lb Seth Beer was the top High School recruit to play College Baseball in 2016 after graduating a semester early in 2015 and is the best player on the board at 2. Beer is an exceptional power hitter that gives the Giants life after Hunter Pence.
- Seth Beer is versatile enough to play left fielder, right fielder, third baseman, or first baseman. He dominated as a true freshman.
- Beer had a .369 batting average, 57 runs, 18 home runs, 70 RBI's, and a .700 slugging percentage as a true freshman. Those numbers were simply unreal for a true freshman in 2016 which is why Seth Beer became the true freshman in College Baseball History to win the Dick Houser Award which is like the Heisman Trophy in College Baseball.
- Previous Dick Howser Trophy Winners include David Price, Buster Posey, Stephen Strasburg, Anthony Rendon, Kris Bryant, and Andrew Benintendi. Brendan McKay won this award in 2017 after Beer failed to repeat as a sophomore. That's pretty good company to be in when you consider recent MLB success with Dick Howser Trophy Winners in the NCAA.
- Beer had a .298 batting average, 51 runs, 17 home runs, 53 RBI's, and a .606 slugging percentage as a true sophomore in 2017. His numbers dropped, but he still has a career batting average of .333 and is a very consistent power hitter.
Chicago White Sox: Kris Bubic, P, Stanford
- The 6-3 210 lb Kris Bubic went 7-6 with a 2.79 ERA in 2017. His 96 strikeouts were a best for Stanford last season. Bubic could rise into the top 5 with a huge season in 2018.
Cincinnati Reds: Kumar Rocker, P, North Oconee HS (GA)
- The Cincinnati Reds have dominated the last two MLB Drafts with as many as 20 future MLB prospects in their farm system including 13 future batters and 7 future pitchers giving them the luxury to bring batters up long-term and reload at pitcher as well. The fact that they are getting another top 5 pick is absolute highway robbery for the Reds since they are loaded with prospects despite a poor record.
- The 6-5 240 lb Kumar Rocker is a two sport athlete. He was a starting pitcher at North Oconee High School as well as their edge rusher at defensive end with 10 career sacks and 20 quarterback hurries in two seasons of HIgh School Football before committing to baseball full time in 2017.
- Rocker went 5-0 with a 1.59 ERA in 2017. He has a 98-mile per hour 4-seam fastball and a 95-mile per hour 2-seam fastball. Rocker is a boom or bust prospect, but he's someone the Reds have the luxury of gambling on at 4 here.
Oakland Athletics: Nick Madigral, SS, Oregon State
- The Athletics are in a position where they have the luxury to ignore need and take the top player on the board. The 5-7 161 lb Nick Madigral may be undersized, but he's versatile enough to play third base, shortstop, second base, or first base like Nick Senzel was.
- Madigral is an excellent defender. He batted .380 with 20 doubles, 40 RBI's and 16 stolen bases winning PAC 12 player of the year in 2017. Madigral is a top 5 talent based on the tape I've seen, but he gets a landslide edge over the next shortstop who most have ahead of Madigral at this preliminary phase in the MLB Draft Process.
San Diego Padres: Brice Turang, SS, Santiago HS (CA)
- The Padres missed out on local Hunter Greene who was taken second overall in the 2017 MLB Draft. Now they get Brice Turang here with the sixth overall selection.
- Brice Turang is the son of former MLB Draft pick Brian Turang who was taken in the 51st round of the MLB Draft only to work his way up to the MLB. Brian Turang had five different kids that played sports and Brice was the youngest one so he got to watch everyone in his family develop as athletes with four older sisters that played soccer, softball, volleyball, and basketball. Each one of Brice's sisters played one of those different sports.
- Brice Turang is 6-0 155 lbs and is a two-sport athlete that plays football and baseball in High School, but expects to commit to baseball once he gets drafted in the MLB. He batted .485 in High School last season and only struck out once in 101 batting apperances so his batter discipline at the plate as well as overall discipline is through the roof despite his lack of size.
Detroit Tigers: Maeto Gil, SS, Deer Creek HS (TX)
- The Tigers have loaded up with three consecutive first round pitchers in each of the last three MLB Drafts. Gil provides an upgrade over what Detroit currently has at shortstop plus he threw a no hitter in High School as well. Gil is so good at hitting home runs and line drives with power that it's scary.
Atlanta Braves: Jarred Kelenic, CF, Waukesha West HS (WI)
- Jarred Kelenic finished third in the 2017 High School Home Run Derby. He's a complete 5-tool bat that can hit home runs, line drives, grounders, bunts, maintain a .300 batting average, steal bases, throw well, and field well.
- He's generating top 5 consideration for a reason. I didn't like that his bat was lacking in power on one of his tapes when I watched him, but this guy is going to get picked in the top 10 since he's versatile enough to play left fielder, center fielder, or right fielder. I'll give him to the Braves in my first 2018 MLB Mock Draft, but he's probably going to move up in my next mock.
Toronto Blue Jays: Casey Mize, P, Auburn
- Toronto drafts the top pitcher on the board. The 6-3 208 lb Casey Mize led Auburn pitchers with the lowest ERA on the team with a 3.52 ERA as a true freshman. Mize went 8-2 with a 2.04 ERA as a sophomore in 2017.
- Casey Mize has a 95-mile per hour 4-seam fastball, a 93-mile per hour 2-seam fastball, a 84-mile per hour power curveball, a 83-mile per hour slider, and a 75-mile per hour curveball. Works from a low 3/4 arm slot. Casey Mize is a strikeout machine on tape and outpitched Brady Singer in 2017 so he deserves a top 10 grade heading into 2018.
New York Mets: Jackson Kowar, P, Florida
- New York drafts a pitcher here. They get the 6-5 180 lb Jackson Kowar who went 12-0 as a starter before losing his final start of the year to TCU. Also was used out of the bullpen and got the Gators a sae that clinched them the 2017 College World Series. With all the injuries the Mets had, they could use a guy like Kowar here. Kowar's ERA over 4.00 may be shaky, but the guy is a winner so until he loses more games he remains in the top 10 due to having a fastball that can go up to 97-miles per hour.
Miami Marlins: Sean Guilbe, SS, Berks Catholic HS (PA)
- Sean Guilbe is a 6-2 190 lb power hitter who hits with a ton of power on tape despite only having one home run in 2017. He's a guy who could easily become a home run machine in the MLB if he continues to add muscle while perfecting his outstanding technique. Guilbe is a plug-in-play batter like Royce Lewis with the versatility to play anywhere in the infield or the outfield. He also played wide receiver and outside linebacker on his High School Football team which won the State Championship in Hershey, PA this past season.
- Guilbe had a .488 batting average, 19 runs, 21 hits, 14 RBI's, 8 doubles, 3 triples, 1 home run, a .600 on base percentage, and an .883 slugging percentage as a junior in 2017. He throws it deep too and has a .996 fielding percentage meaning he defends exceptionally well. If Guilbe improves on that as a senior he's going to be someone that gets talked about in the top half of the first round.
Texas Rangers: Chandler Day, P, Vanderbilt
- Chandler Day is a 6-5 180 lb pitcher. Day went 7-2 with a 3.78 ERA in 2017. He'll probably be the #1 starter in 2018.
- Day possesses a variety of pitches including a 93-mile per hour 4-seam fastball, a 92-mile per hour 2-seam fastball, a 91-mile per hour cutter fastball, a 86-mile per hour circle changeup, a 85-mile per hour changeup, a 76-mile per hour slider, and a 75-mile per hour curveball. Day needs to add more muscle, increase velocity, and improve his command if he wants to sneak into the top 10, but right now he's a first round pick heading into next season.
Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim: Jonathan India, 3B, Florida
- The 6-0 195 lb Jonathan India hit .303 as a true freshman. His batting average decreased as a sophomore, but he was .339 with runners in scoring position which is one reason why Florida won the 2017 College World Series. India is also a great defensive player. India stole 13 bases without getting caught once in 2017. India is a prospect who could build on his freshman success and be the top third baseman taken or he may fall in the draft like other Florida Gators did with a bad season. It really comes down to what he does in 2018. I see a 5-tool batter if he can add some muscle and power to his swing. Durability is another concern, but potential is there.
Minnesota Twins: Jon Gray Jr., CF, Hattiesburg HS (MS)
- Byron Buxton has been a huge bust since the Twins took him second overall back in the 2012 MLB Draft. Whether or not the Twins rushed him is debatable, but everyone expected Houston to take Buxton over Correa, and the Astros decision worked heavily in their favor. At the same time, Minnesota's decision to take Buxton ended up working against them.
- Minnesota gets Buxton's future replacement here. The 6-3 195 lb Jon Gray Jr. has really good raw power. The speed is there too with a 6.75 60-yard dash. Gray had a .485 batting average and hit 7 home runs in 2017. The arm and fielding is there too. Gray may be another 5-tool bat that deserves to go in the top 10. He may be a guy I move into the top 10 in my next MLB Mock Draft since I really like his tape.
Baltimore Orioles: Tristan Casas, 1B, American Heritage HS (FL)
- The 6-4 235 lb Tristan Casas had a .446 batting average, 4 home runs, and 18 RBI's in 207. He's versatile enough to play first base, third base, left fielder, or right fielder. He has excellent defensive skills and seems like a star in the making. He began the season batting over .600 in his first ten games. Casas was supposed to graduate in 2019, but he reclassified for the 2018 MLB Draft so he is now a top 15 pick as a result, and he may even creep into the top 10 with another strong season.
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