The Orioles get the best player in this years class to rebuild their team which is in a dire state. The 6-2 207 lb Adley Rutschman is the top player in this draft. The three time catcher at Oregon State helped Oregon State as an MVP during the 2018 College World Series which Oregon State won.
Rutschman can hit home runs, line drives, grounders, and bunts. Rutschman had a .408 batting average, 9 home runs, 83 RBI's, a .628 slugging percentage, and a .987 fielding percentage in 2018. Rutschman has a .427 batting average, 16 home runs, 55 RBI's .772 slugging percentage, and a .990 fielding percentage so far in 2019.
I'll have a film session on Adley Rutschman at some point. This is a no brainer for the Baltimore Orioles to secure this 5-tool batter considering I have him graded ahead of Nick Madrigal and Joey Bart. Bart got drafted ahead of Madrigal, but I had Madrigal graded higher then Georgia Tech's catcher. I got Rutschman graded higher then both of my top 2 College Batters making him an ideal first pick to begin my 2019 MLB Mock Draft.
This years draft has 39 batters in my top 50. Most preliminary 2020 MLB Mock Drafts have 18 pitchers going in the first round and only 12 batters going in the first round. That's why teams out of contention should load up on batters in all 40 rounds of the 2019 MLB Draft and then load up on pitchers in 2020.
With the Baltimore Orioles pushing the Miami Marlins for the top pick next year, taking the best player on your board is the smartest thing you can do. Adley Rutschman goes to Baltimore and becomes their best catcher since Matt Wieters.
Adley Rutschman is a special player. He's considered a better catcher prospect than San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey who went fifth overall out of Florida State after winning the Dick Howser Award for the top player in College Baseball. Posey has three World Series Championships during his career.
I also have a film session of Adley Rutschman on my Youtube Channel. I posted his tape versus UCLA.
The Royals appear to have outstanding pitching for the future. You got one good starter in Danny Duffy locked up to an extension plus all four of the pitchers they drafted in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft including Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch, and Kris Bubic have done well in the minor leagues so far. As a Cleveland Indians fan this scares me because when Kluber and Lindor leave in 2021, the Royals will be one of the teams pushing for the AL Central each year in the next decade starting in 2020 or 2021 depending on when their prospects arrive.
Without Eric Hosmer or Mike Moustakas in the infield, it is time to rebuild the infield. With this being a batter heavy draft, the Royals can do that with this second overall pick.
Bobby Witt Jr. can hit home runs, line drives, grounders, and bunts. Bobby Witt Jr. has a batting average of .521 with 14 home runs in 2019. His 16 stolen bases and .989 fielding percentage in 2019 is also pretty impressive. Bobby Witt Jr. is a 5-tool batter and the top High School batter in this draft class. He is also the first High School Player to be named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award.
With Bobby Witt Jr., you can move shortstop Adalberto Mondesi to his natural position at second base. You will also have Hunter Dozier replacing Moustakas at third base after being a 2013 first round pick. You will also have Nick Pratto, a 2017 first round pick, replacing Hosmer. Salvador Perez will remain catcher until 2022.
This gives the Kansas City Royals potentially a stronger infield core then their team that won the 2015 World Series down the road if the Royals keep doing an awesome job of developing players in their farm system. Kansas City can load up on batters in this draft and find some bullpen arms in the later rounds. Kansas City is also pushing Miami and Baltimore for a top pick in the 2020 MLB Draft so they could get another really good prospect in next years class as well.
Bobby Witt Jr. is a special player for a High School prospect. Since 1987, the only one shorstop had a higher grade entering the MLB Draft and that shorstop was Alex Rodriguez. This guy is graded higher then Derek Jeter was coming out of High School even though that sounds crazy.
I also have a film session of Bobby Witt Jr. on my Youtube Channel. I posted his tape versus Grapevine.
Outside of Lucas Giolito, who has stepped up this year, the rest of Chicago's starting rotation is awful. Despite impressing early in 2019, this is not a team I see contending anytime soon even though they are building a similar core of batters to what the Cleveland Indians have done with Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez.
C.J. Abrams is the best player on the board with Tim Anderson and Nick Madrigal expected to headline the infield for the Chicago White Sox in the next decade. This is a weak pitcher class, so Chicago drafts Abrams at 3 even if it means keeping him in the minor leagues until 2025.
Abrams may not be a home run hitter. He has game-changing speed for a batter and ran a 6.29 60-yard dash. The three sport athlete plays football, basketball, and baseball and ran a 4.40 40-yard dash.
Abrams has had a career batting average of .402 or higher in all four seasons at Blessed Trinity High School. Abrams also has 100 career stolen bases in his four year career at Blessed Trinity High School.
The 6-1 179 lb shortstop has speed that you just can't teach. His fielding percentage is down this year, but still respectable at .917. Abrams has 100 career RBI's in addition to his 100 stolen bases.
If you put the 18-year-old Abrams in the minor leagues until 2025, he would be 24-years-old or 25-years-old when he got called up to replace a 32-year-old Tim Anderson who has an opt out clause in 2023 if Abrams is ready by then.
I also have a film session of C.J. Abrams on my Youtube Channel. I posted his tape versus Westminster.
The Miami Marlins draft a first baseman. Neil Walker is a good infielder, but he's not a first baseman in my eyes. Luckily for the Marlins, they land a franchise first baseman at 4 with Andrew Vaughn out of California.
The 6-0 214 lb Andrew Vaughn has a .385 batting average and 15 home runs in 2019. Vaughn had 12 home runs in 2017 as a freshman and 23 home runs in 2018 as a sophomore. Vaughn may not be the base stealer with good speed like the top 3 batters in this class. At the same time you could argue he's the top home run hitter in this entire draft class which is why the Marlins should draft Vaughn. Vaughn also has gold glove ability with a fielding percentage of above .990 in all three seasons at California.
Miami can get a pitcher in the 2020 MLB Draft just like the other three teams that will likely miss the 2019 MLB Playoffs. If the season ended today, the Miami Marlins would have the first pick in the 2020 MLB Draft.
I also have a film session of Andrew Vaughn on my Youtube Channel. I posted his tape versus Washington.
Riley Greene is a pure hitter with game-changing speed. He's not the home run hitter Andrew Vaughn is, but everything about his game except for his home run hitting checks out. The 6-2 180 lb prospect is both an outfielder and pitcher at Hagerty High School. You can go to our 2019 MLB Draft Game for an in depth look at our rankings.
Detroit has Casey Mize, Alex Faedo, Beau Borrows, Matt Manning, and Franklin Perez in their farm system on their AA team the Erie Wolves pushing each other for roster spots. Once these guys get called up and once Ron Gardenhire gets fired, this is another team that will have a chance to challenge the Cleveland Indians for the AL Central much like the Kansas City Royals.
Detroit, like Kansas City can get another batter in the 2020 MLB Draft considering they are worse then the Chicago White Sox record wise in 2019. Detroit uses this pick on the best available player in Riley Greene at 5.
None of Detroit's batters have more then 4 home runs. Greene has 0 home runs with Hagerty this season, but he swings the ball with elite contact and you can argue he's a top 5 prep hitter in this class just based on how he swings and makes contact with the ball so effortlessly. Riley Greene is someone Detroit can develop into a home run hitter.
I also have a film session of Riley Greene on my Youtube Channel. I posted his tape versus Timber Creek.
The Padres take the best player on the board at 6. The 6-5 210 lb Hunter Bishop has a .356 batting average, 22 home runs, and 11 stolen bases in 2019. The Padres' current center fielder Manuel Margot only has 2 home runs.
Mackenzie Gore and Ryan Weathers will make a good 1, 2, punch in the future. The Padres can go with the best player on their board and with their unrivaled depth at right fielder by taking the top center fielder in a batter heavy class. Hunter Bishop is the best option for the Padres in my mind.
I also have a film session of Hunter Bishop on my Youtube Channel. I posted his tape versus UCLA.
The Cincinnati Reds get the best player on their board. Like the rest of these teams they can go pitcher in 2020 so they get the best batter on the board.
Cincinatti's starting rotation has been decent, but none of their batters have a batting average of above .300. J.J. Bleday could be the eventual replacement for Yasiel Puig at right fielder.
The 6-3 205 lb J.J. Bleday had a .368 batting average, a 1.000 fielding percentage which is perfect, and won SEC Player of the year in 2018. This season Bleday only has a batting average of .346, but Bleday has also broke out with 25 home runs this season along with a .957 fielding percentage. The Reds can draft Bleday to go with Jonathan India and Nick Senzel as they continue to stockpile their roster with SEC studs.
I also have a film session of J.J. Bleday on my Youtube Channel. I posted his tape versus Georgia.
Texas drafts a center fielder to groom for the future. The 6-4 213 lb Kameron Misner shows 5-tool ability on tape and the potential to be a complete batter despite his .287 batting average in 2019. I feel Misner could develop into a solid batter with the right development in a farm system that the Texas Rangers have. Misner is versatile enough to play left fielder, center fielder, or right fielder anywhere in the outfield as well.
I also have a film session of Kameron Misner on my Youtube Channel. I posted his tape versus Ole Miss.
Atlanta gets the best pitcher on the board at 9 after failing to sign Carter Stewart. The 6-2 200 lb Daniel Espino has the ability to pitch in warm weather and in the cold despite being a high school arm.
Daniel Espino has a 99-mile per hour 4-seam fastball, a 98-mile per hour 2-seam fastball, an 85-mile per hour slider, and a 75-mile per hour curveball. Espino is also 9-0 with a 0.32 ERA and 1 complete game shutout in 9 starts this season at Georgia Premier Academy.
Espino has a good breaking ball as well as some bite on his slider and curveball. Espino has the velocity and command that you want in a starting pitcher anchoring your rotation.
The tape and the stats are congruent with each other and despite this scouts are knocking his game worried he will be injured after traveling to four different High Schools before Espino found his home at Georgia Premier Academy in 2019.
Some scouts think his lack of command may make him a better option for the bullpen. Atlanta will have pitchers like Sean Newcomb, Max Fried, Kyle Wright, Bryse Wilson, and Kolby Allard who will be under contract until 2024 or later in the starting rotation. While Newcomb and Fried have thrived, Wright, Wilson, and Allard have struggled with the Gwinnett Strippers in AAA this season. I didn't even mention that Ian Anderson, the third overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft is in AA.
Daniel Espino gives the Atlanta Braves a prospect they can develop in the minor leagues until 2022 at the earliest and 2025 at the latest. The other luxury to this pick is that with Atlanta having an abundance of starting pitchers in their farm system, they can take as much time as they need with Espino without rushing him up which will only make him more successful down the road.
I also have a film session of Daniel Espino on my Youtube Channel. I posted his tape versus All Star Baseball Academy.
The Giants will take the best player on their board at 10. Last year they got Joey Bart as a successor to Buster Posey. Now they get Texas Tech team captain Josh Jung as a successor to Evan Longoria so they got two young batters ready to be called up by 2024.
The 6-2 215 lb Josh Jung had a .306 batting average with 6 home runs as a freshman in 2017. In 2018, Jung had a .392 batting average with 12 home runs getting Texas Tech to the College World Series. Jung was so impressive as a sophomore that he got promoted to team captain as a junior. Jung has a .333 batting average and 9 home runs in 2019.
His play in 2019 has decreased from his sophomore season due to some of the responsibilities as a team captain, but he's still posting a batting average of .333 and hit 9 home runs in 2019. At the same time, Josh Jung is someone that the Giants are capable of grooming for the future.
I also have a film session of Josh Jung on my Youtube Channel. I posted his tape versus West Virginia.
New York drafts Nick Lodolo to be a future starting pitcher. The 6-6 185 lb pitcher can develop in the minor leagues. Outside of Jacob deGrom, the New York Mets do not have a pitcher locked up until 2024. Also the fact that Mickey Calloway hasn't been able to do much with an effective rotation when healthy says a lot.
Back in the 2016 MLB Draft, Nick Lodolo was a third round prospect on my rankings when the Pittsburgh Pirates reached for him in the compensation portion of the first round. Lodolo wisely turned down a deal with the Pirates to go play College Baseball at TCU.
Most experts have Lodolo as the top pitcher in this years draft even though I like Daniel Espino more from an upside standpoint. Nick Lodolo put everything together in 2019 so far in 14 starts going 6-4 with 4 no decisions and a 2.18 ERA. Lodolo had ERA's of 4.35 and 4.32 prior to 2019 which is one reason why I'm lower on Lodolo then most scouts. I think the concerns with Daniel Espino are being overblown while the concerns with Lodolo are getting underlooked.
One thing I'll give Lodolo credit for is improving his strikeout total each season from 72 as a freshman in 2017, to 96 as as sophomore in 2018, and so far in 2019, Lodolo has 113 strikeouts. Lodolo has a 94-mile per hour 4-seam fastball, a 90-mile per hour 2-seam fastball, a 96-mile per hour sinker, arguably the best changeup in this class at 70-miles per hour, and a 75-mile per hour curveball that needs to improve.
I also have a film session of Nick Lodolo on my Youtube Channel. I posted his tape versus Oklahoma.
The Twins starting rotation has done better then I expected early in the season with strong bullpen play. The Twins' batters are hitting home runs out of the park as well despite having inconsistent batting averages. Minnesota has started strong and capitalized in the AL Central while Cleveland got hit with the injury bug.
With the top two players on my board being shortstops, and Minnesota having two good shortstops in their farm system, it would only make sense to get the best non shortstop on the board. My best player on the board that is not a shortstop is third baseman Brett Baty who can be a long-term project for Minnesota to develop in their farm system.
Miguel Sano is only under contract until 2022. Bret Baty has a .658 batting average, 16 home runs, and 9 stolen bases for Lake Travis High School in 2019. His fielding percentage needs work, but from a hitting standpoint Bret Baty can hit home runs, line drives, grounders, and bunts. He bats like a 5-tool player, but he will need to improve as a defender when it comes to throwing quicker and fielding better in the minor leagues.
Philadelphia has good batting and pitching so far in 2019. It's only May, but the Phillies look like a team that could emerge as a challenger to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League if they keep this level of play up in October. They get the best player on my board at 14.
The 6-3 200 lb Bryson Stott had a career high .971 fielding percentage as a freshman in 2017. He didn't really excel as a batter right away. In 2018, he improved his batting average from .294 to .365 and had 14 stolen bases. So far in 2019, Stott has a .361 batting average, 10 home runs, and 15 stolen bases with a .967 fielding percentage.
Bryson Stott is a top 10 player on my board. The Phillies are getting a massive steal at 14.
The Angels get the best player on the board here. Will Wilson gives the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim a future starting shortstop. Wilson is also one of the most consistent players in this years draft class and he could go even earlier than this.
The 6-0 184 lb Will Wilson had a batting average of .300 with 8 home runs, 21 doubles, 48 RBI's, a .504 slugging percentage, and a .973 fielding percentage as a freshman. Will Wilson improved in different categories including a .307 batting average, 15 home runs, 53 RBI's, and a .588 slugging percentage. Wilson still had 16 doubles and a .923 fielding percentage after having more errors as a sophomore in 2018.
Will Wilson has a .356 batting average and 16 home runs so far in 2019. Wilson has the ability to hit with power and generate home runs and line drives at will. He relies on his strength and his bat to help teams win. He's a good defender, but his timing on throws and his speed are two things Wilson will need to improve in the minor leagues. He's consistent enough at the plate to succeed as a batter despite being undersized and that's why Will Wilson is a top 15 prospect.
Arizona drafts for upside. The 6-4 190 lb Braden Shewmake gives Arizona a future shortstop.
Braden Shewmake dominated as a freshman with a .335 batting average, 11 home runs, 17 doubles, 68 RBI's, and a .986 fielding percentage in 2017. Shewmake declined in every category in 2018, after winning NCAA freshman of the year. Despite this, Shewmake still won the Lorane B. and William B "Breazy" Breazeale RBI award for the second year in a row.
Braden Shewmake improved his batting average to .314 in 2019 as a junior. Arizona drafted Dansby Swanson first overall before dealing him to the Atlanta Braves with the first pick in the 2015 MLB Draft. Now they make ammends for that by selecting Shewmake.
Washington drafts a future pitcher to compliment Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Matthew Corbin. Allan has experience in every pitching role whether it be starting pitcher, long reliever, middle reliever, set up pitcher, or closer. He's pitched in all of those roles throughout his career growing up before becoming the ace pitcher for Seminole High School, and that versatility will intrigue a team like the Washington Nationals at 17.
The This team has a very good batting lineup, a starting rotation that's done better then expected when healthy, a strong bullpen, and a remarkable manager in Clint Hurdle who is fighting to keep his job and showing he can mold a team into a winner even with a front office as bad as the Pirates have considering the last first round pick they hit on was Gerritt Cole. Pittsburgh is 24-22 so far in 2019 even with 12 different players injured.
It's only May though. I'm giving the Pirates a local College pitcher here.
The 6-6 260 lb Alek Manoah is the Friday Night Starter for West Virginia. The upside to be the number one starter on the Pittsburgh Pirates down the road is definitely there. His 8-3 record, 1.91 ERA, and 125 strikeouts in 2019 are jaw dropping to the point where Neal Huntington and 93.7 the Fan are dreaming about the local Alek Manoah falling to the Pittsburgh Pirates at 18 after winning Big 12 Pitcher of the year in 2019. In this mock draft, that dream comes true for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Alek Manoah has a 97-mile per hour 4-seam fastball, a 94-mile per hour 2-seam fastball, a 95-mile per hour sinker, a 84-mile per hour slider, and a 55-mile per hour changeup that could develop into a 70-mile per hour changeup if he improves his velocity on his changeup. Despite not having good velocity on his changeup, he has excellent command and control of that pitch even with his massive frame.
Manoah also played out of the bullpen in High School playing long reliever, middle reliever, set-up pitcher, and closer in High School. He even earned his way up the ladder to become West Virginia's Friday Night Starter and ace pitcher once enrolling in West Virginia.
That's why the Pirates attendance while high right now, will fizzle as soon as this team goes into a slump. Huntington and Hurdle are both doing well enough to keep their jobs, but that doesn't change the fact that Bob Nutting is the cheapest owner in sports which means the Pirates will probably take a player that they know they can sign rather then the best player on the board.
Manoah's biggest issue is his ability to pitch in big games. He's 1/4 in big games as a Friday Night Starter with his best game being a complete game shutout against Texas Tech where he had 15 strikeouts in 9 innings. Texas Tech made the 2018 College World Series as one of the final 8 teams which is why this game makes his MLB Draft resume so impressive.
His other big games involved a loss to Oregon State, the defending College World Series Champions where he had an ERA of 18.00 in that game. He also lost to Baylor with a 6.14 ERA in that contest despite pitching 7 1/3 innings against Baylor's star catcher Shea Langliers. He also lost a heads up pitchers duel to Nick Lodolo, who turned down a contract with the Pirates as a first round pick coming out of High School. Manoah had an ERA of 6.00 VS TCU in that pitchers duel between the two best NCAA pitching prospects in the Big 12 as well as the 2019 MLB Draft.
Alek Manoah's next game will be a rematch against Texas Tech team captain Josh Jung in the Big 12 tournament. He could boost that stock with another strong performance. The odds of him pitching another complete game with 16 strikeouts are not favorable after such a strong regular season outing. If he struggled against Texas Tech in the Big 12 Tournament, Manoah would be 1/5 in big games this season.
I love how Manoah has pitched this season too. At the same time, the fact that Manoah has struggled in big games this season does have to concern you to a point.
Despite this, you could argue he's the only College Pitcher left that could develop into a number one starter down the road in this entire draft class, plus the Pirates dealt their 2017 first round pick Shane Baz to the Tampa Bay Rays in the Chris Archer trade. Baz struggled in the Pirates' farm system, but has done much better in Tampa Bay's farm system. Manoah can be a starter or a reliever with his versatility which makes him a safe pitching prospect for Pittsburgh to draft.
The 6-3 220 lb Brennan Malone is 11-0 with a 0.27 ERA in 2019. He relies on his 97-mile per hour 4-seam fastball. This is his top pitch. He also has a 2-seam fastball, sinker, 12-6 curveball, sliders, and circle changeup pitches. He hasn't mastered these pitches on a consistent basis despite his nearly flawless season in 2019 where he only has 69 strikeouts in 51 innings pitched which may be another variable teams take into consideration which is why I don't see Malone becoming a number one starter at the next level. He's talented enough to work his way into a starting rotation as a back-end starter perhaps.
The St. Louis Cardinals have 5 starting pitchers with ERA's of over 4.00. ` Even the Pittsburgh Pirates are outpitching the Cardinals so far in 2019 with half of their MLB roster currently on the DL.
Seattle gets a future pitcher. The 6-4 201 lb George Kirby has a 2.07 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 82 2/3 innings pitched in 2019. Kirby is 8-1 on the year with Elon and had 2 no decisions in two games that Elon lost thanks to having one of the worst bullpens. Elon also doesn't face any Division 1 teams so that's another thing scouts will use against him. Despite that, Kirby is probably the best prospect to ever come out of Elon. He's also expected to be the highest draft pick to ever be drafted out of Elon.
Atlanta gets the top bat on the board that is not a shortstop at 21. Corbin Carroll can do everything on tape except hit home runs with power. He can hit line drives, grounders, and bunts. He also has deadly speed and the ability to steal bases consistently.
Carroll has a good arm as well as experience at left fielder, center fielder, and right fielder. He also considered the best High School prospect at hitting pitches on the left side of the strike zone in the entire draft class. That's probably why I've seen some mocks project Carroll in the top 5 let alone the top 10 depsite not being a consistent power hitter yet who blasts home runs constantly.
The Tampa Bay Rays get their future shortstop as well as the best player on the board at 22. Logan Davidson had 12 home runs as a freshman in 2017 and did so well that he got named co-captain behind Seth Beer as a sophomore in 2018 when he hit 15 home runs. He already matched his home run total as Clemson's team captain in 2019. Davidson never had a batting average of .300 at Clemson and that's the big concern with Davidson despite his impressive 42 career home runs in 3 seasons at Clemson so far.
The 6-8 250 lb Jackson Rutledge has a 95-mile per hour 4-seam fastball and a 95-mile per hour 2-seam fastball that can go up to 99-miles per hour when Rutledge warms up out of the bullpen. He also displays a curveball and slider that could be developed into plus pitches down the road.
Jackson Rutledge pitched out of the bullpen in High School before enrolling into Arkansas with experience at long reliever, middle reliever, set-up pitcher, and closer. Rutledge was 3-0 at Arkansas in 2018 with a 3.45 ERA before transferring to Jacinto Junior College in Texas where he's 9-2 in 13 starts with 4 complete games, a 0.87 ERA, 82.2 innings pitched, 134 strikeouts, 14.5 strikeouts per game, and 30 walks in 2019. Colorado could certainly use the top junior college pitcher in this class as a future prospect.
The Chief Wahoo logo will be up until the Indians win a World Series regardless of how much it offends Rob Manfred. At the rate the team is declining, I'm expecting to keep this logo up until I stop breathing.
The 6-4 205 lb Quinn Priester has an ERA of 1.15 with 80 strikeouts in 54 innings pitched in 2019. Priester helped Cary Grove win a regional tournament game with 78 pitches, 7 strikeouts, and 7 and 1/3 innings pitched.
Priester obtained experience at long reliever, middle reliever, set-up pitcher, and closer as a freshman before earning his way into the starting rotation. Priester finally took over as Cary Grove's number one starter as a junior in 2018.
Priester has a 97-mile per hour 4-seam fastball and a 97-mile per hour 2-seam fastball. He also has three different variatians of curveballs including a regular curveball which is considered the best curveball in the draft, a power curveball, and a slurveball which acts as a slider curveball.
Priester has 0 saves despite having experience in all four reliever roles. I'm looking at a pitcher who projects as a long reliever or middle reliever out of the bullpen in the worst case scenario. Best case scenario you get a quality back-end starter who can be a future starter. Cleveland has Carlos Carasco, Mike Clevinger, and Shane Bieber locked up until 2023.
You also got Ethan Hankins who could come up as a number four starter in 2022 if you develop him correctly and the same could be said with Priester if you don't rush him. Let's face it, Priester would thrive as a number five starter to round out the starting rotation once Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer move on from Cleveland.
Cleveland may be able to do just enough to stay in contention in the AL Central if Ethan Hankins last year's first round pick who I had a top 10 grade on and Quinn Priester both pan out. Cleveland's bullpen also has regressed so putting Priester in the bullpen as a long reliever or middle reliever could also work out in due time if Priester gets demoted to the bullpen.
Five different mock drafts have Quinn Priester going before Cleveland at 24. That's why this is a steal and a fabulous value pick for Cleveland with five of their top nine minor league prospects currently injured in their farm system.
The Dodgers get Justin Turner's successor here. The 6-4 200 lb Kody Hoese did not do much in his first two seasons. Hoese has dominated with Tulane in 2019 with a .388 batting average, 23 home runs, 87 hits, and 60 RBI's so far this season.
He's someone that the Dodgers could groom for the future to replace Turner. He's also the best player on my board making this an easy pick for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Arizona drafts for upside. The 6-4 210 lb Hunter Barco made the Bolles High School varsity baseball team in eighth grade, a year earlier then most amateur baseball players. He pitched out of the bullpen as a long reliever, middle reliever, set-up pitcher, and a closer in eighth grade before earning his first start as a freshman.
Hunter Barco dominated as a freshman going 12-0 in 14 starts with a 0.54 ERA in 2016. Barco went 7-2 with a 1.84 ERA as a sophomore in 2017. Barco went 8-1 with a 1.98 ERA in 2018. This season Barco has matched his 1.84 ERA with a 5-0 record in 9 starts during his senior season.
Hunter Barco also has the ability to bat and field the ball as a defender to get outs. He's mainly a pitcher though. You'd think with Greinke being 35-years-old, a new number one starter for the future is needed since Greinke's contract runs through 2022. Barco has the potential to be that guy as well as a pitcher that you'd be able to move to the bullpen if he couldn't cut it in a starting rotation.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo, shortstop Javier Baez, and third baseman Kris Bryant all have expiring deals in 2022. Nico Hoener, Chicago's 2018 first round pick out of Stanford is already in AA doing better then I expected so he's probably gonna replace Baez.
That means Kris Bryant probably gets extended. Not only is Anthony Rizzo the only first baseman on the Cubs' MLB roster. There is no first baseman in the top 30 of the Chicago Cubs pipeline for minor league prospects. Basically if Rizzo gets injured the Cubs have nobody that can step in for the 29-year-old first baseman who will be 32-years-old when his contract is up in 2022.
The 6-0 207 lb Michael Busch had a batting average of .317 and led North Carolina with 13 home runs in 2018. Busch also has 12 home runs so far in 2019. There is no guarantee Busch pans out, but he's the closest thing to a potential successor or replacement for Rizzo down the road when he approaches his thirties in a few years.
The Cubs could have Kris Bryant just turning thirty mentoring two young infielders in Nico Hoener and Michael Busch. Chicago could still be competitive in the National League even without Rizzo if they hit on their three pitching prospects from 2017 with Brendon Little, Alex Lange, and third round pick Keegan Thompson who looks like the best of that group.
The Brewers grab the best player on my board at 28 in Rece Hinds who was my twenty sixth best player on my MLB Draft Game. The 6-4 210 lb Rece Hinds has a .361 batting average and 14 stolen bases. He can hit line drives, grounders, and bunts effectively.
He needs to add more muscle since he's not hitting very many home runs. He forces quick outs. My big issue with Hinds is his awful fielding percentage. Hinds needs time to develop as a defender.
The Athletics get the best player on their board at 29. The 6-3 185 lb Gunnar Henderson is killing it in 2019 with a .559 batting average, 11 home runs, 17 doubles, 9 triples, 57 hits, 75 RBI's, and a mind boggling 32 stolen bases. No wonder they call him Gunnar. Not only is Henderson the best player on the board, but he gives Oakland more competition at shortsop in their farm system.
The Yankees get the top starter on the board. J.J. Goss is a 6-3 190 lb pitcher with experience in both a starting rotation and a bullpen. He struggled as a closer and as a set-up pitcher during his freshman year in 2016. He did better as a middle reliever in 2017 with a 1.91 ERA.
J.J. Goss finally broke out as a junior cracking the starting rotation for Cypress Ranch High School with 10-2 record, 1.45 ERA, and 93 strikeouts in 2018. Goss continues to dominate in 2019 so far with a 10-1 record, a 0.65 ERA, and 132 strikeouts so far in 2019. He gave up his first career home run after going two years in a row without allowing a home run.
J.J. Goss has a 94-mile per hour 4-seam fastball, a 92-mile per hour 2-seam fastball, a 82-mile per hour slider, and a 60-mile per hour changeup. Goss has elite command and pitching accuracy. His velocity and throwing power will improve with his frame once he adds more strength.
J.J. Goss helps the New York Yankees. I feel like I ranked him too low initially after doing more research on Goss.
The Dodgers have the luxury to ignore need and take the best player on the board. Matt Wallner was once considered a top 5 pick before his injury in 2019. Wallner can push Jeren Kendall, the Dodgers 2017 first round pick for the future center fielder spot.
Wallner has a .312 batting average and 20 home runs in 2019 since returning from his injury. Wallner had 19 home runs in 2017 and 16 home runs in 2018. Wallner has also maintained a batting average of .312 or higher in all three seasons at Southern Mississippi making him one of the safer batters for the Dodgers to draft.
The 5-10 205 lb Tyler Callihan gives Houston a backup shortstop behind Alex Bregman. I don't see the Astros moving on from Bregman, but Callihan gives you a long-term third baseman to develop if he does go somewhere, plus Callihan is the best player on the board being the only top 30 prospect still on my draft board.