2018 MLB Draft: College Pitcher Rankings
Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Last Updated: May 29, 2018.
- Casey Mize, P, Auburn Projected Round Top 5 Pick
- 2018 Season Recap The 6-3 208 lb Casey Mize led Auburn pitchers with the lowest ERA on Auburn with a 3.52 ERA as a true freshman. He stood out immediately and is now the favorite to go first overall in the 2018 MLB Draft. He began the season 9-3 with a 2.78 ERA. He's now 9-5 with a 3.07 ERA after losing his last two starts.
Casey Mize SWOT Report
- Strengths: Casey Mize has a 95-mile per hour 4-seam fastball, a 93-mile per hour 2-seam fastball, a 91-mile per hour splitter, a 84-mile per hour power curveball, a 83-mile per hour slider, a 75-mile per hour curveball, a 74-mile per hour split change which is a mix of a splitter and an changeup, and a 73-mile per hour changeup. Mize works from a low 3/4 arm slot.
- Casey Mize is a strikeout machine on tape. I said heading into August of 2017, that Mize is someone who deserved to go in the top 10 when many mocks had him in the top 15. He's creeped up the boards and is now the consensus top prospect in the 2018 MLB Draft. Has an excellent workload with 3 complete games in 2018.
- Weaknesses: Casey Mize doesn't have a lot of weaknesses on tape. He's one of the most complete pitchers I've seen on tape. He lost his last two starts at Auburn, but he will probably have a strong outing when the Super Regionals begin.
- Opportunities: 1. Detroit Tigers. Casey Mize is the top prospect in this class. It's hard to see the Detroit Tigers passing on Mize at 1.
- Threats: I don't see any threats with Casey Mize. I see a future number one starter that can anchor an MLB rotation.
- Potential Grade: 99/99
- Casey Mize led Auburn pitchers with the lowest ERA on Auburn with a 3.52 ERA as a true freshman. Mize went 8-2 with a 2.04 ERA as a sophomore in 2017.
- Brady Singer, P, Florida Projected Round Top 5 Pick
- 2018 Season Recap The 6-5 200 lb Brady Singer is 10-1 with a 2.25 ERA with 92 strikeouts in those thirteen starts. Singer began the season 5-0 before a rough outing against Arkansas where he gave up 6 runs. Brady Singer hasn't lost since that demoralizing March 23rd contest against the Razorbacks going 7-0 since his horrendous home performance versus Arkansas. Singer hasn't pitched since his May 11 win over Georgia.
Brady Singer SWOT Report
- Strengths: 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.
- Singer has improve his command and improved his ERA as the #1 guy in 2018. Those were the two big issues you wanted to see Singer fix on tape. Was extremely clutch during the 2017 College World Series.
- Weaknesses: He has less then 100 strikeouts in 2018. His one complete game this season is disappointing to a degree. A lot of his mistakes on the mound due to him placing his feet on the mound too late before he fires the ball which is more of a mechanics and footwork. He's improved on this in 2018, and I expect him to have this issue corrected by the time he gets to the minors.
- Opportunities: 1. Detroit Tigers, 2. San Francisco Giants, 3. Philadelphia Phillies, 4. Chicago White Sox, and 5. Cincinnati Reds. Brady Singer is a top 5 talent.
- Threats: Brady Singer hasn't pitched since May 11, 2018. He missed the 2018 SEC Tournament due to being injured. Durability may be a concern and his fastball maxing out at 94 worries some scouts.
- Potential Grade: 99/99
- 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.
- Shane McClanahan, P, South Florida Projected Round Top 10 Pick
- 2018 Season Recap The 6-2 188 lb Shane McClanahan has pitched 34.2 innings with a 3-2 record so far in 2018 with a 1.56 ERA. He also has 1 perfect game which was a complete game shutout in 2018. Well fast forward two months later McClanahan has an ERA of 8.24 in conference play at South Florida. He's now 2-4 since starting the season 3-2 now with a 5-6 record and a 3.41 ERA after previously having a 1.56 ERA. McClanahan is still a top ten talent, but his sloppy play as of late will cause him to go from being that sure fire top 5 pick to a borderline top 10 selection despite his 117 strikeouts.
Shane McClanahan SWOT Report
- Strengths: His velocity was off the charts. McClanahan clocked at 100 miles per hour prior to the 2018 season so both his 4-seam fastball and 2-seam fastball can go up to 100 miles per hour. He possesses excellent delivery and command on his fastball.
- Most of the time he throws a 96-mile per hour 4-seam fastball and a 95-mile per hour 2-seam fastball. He's capable of getting both up to 100 miles per hour. He also possesses a nice 85-mile per hour slider and a 75-mile per hour changeup. You want to see him develop his curveball more and improve his command on some pitches, but his delivery and mechanics are incredible. One scout believes his mechanics compare to Greg Maddux. Shane McLanahan is a strikeout machine.
- Weaknesses: McLanahan had an 8.24 ERA in Conference Play this year. That is really alarming when you put things into perspective. He also had a losing record like Kyle Wright out of Vanderbilt.
- Opportunities: 8. Atlanta Braves, 9. Oakland Athletics, and 10. Pittsburgh Pirates. Shane McLanahan is a top 10 prospect. I see either the Athletics or Pirates taking him.
- Threats: Shane McClanahan's ERA was up and down throughout the season. I don't believe there is a threat with McClanahan, but I am concerned about how lackluster his ERA was at times this season.
- Potential Grade: 93/99
- Shane McClanahan redshirted in 2016 after dominating as a high school pitcher in Florida due to injuries. McClanahan went 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 2017 in his first full season as a starting pitcher.
- Logan Gilbert, P, Stetson Projected Round Top 10 Pick
- 2018 Season Recap The 6-6 225 lb Logan Gilbert has been a force for Stetson in 2018. So far in 2018, Gilbert is 10-1 with a 2.52 ERA in 14 starts. Gilbert is showing why he's a potential top 10 pick with his strong season.
Logan Gilbert SWOT Report
- Strengths: Gilbert has the winning track record Kluber had. His 134 strikeouts bested the 117 strikeouts Kluber had at Stetson back in 2007. Gilbert has great delivery and pinpoint pitching accuracy at times on tape.
- Weaknesses: Logan Gilbert needs to refine his command. He also needs to develop some secondary pitches to compliment his fastball and changeup.
- Opportunities: 10. Pittsburgh Pirates. Logan Gilbert is a top 10 talent in this draft. Pittsburgh is a cheap team and this is a guy they can underpay and still get premium value with.
- Threats: Scouts are worried that Logan Gilbert's fastball maxes out at 92-miles-per-hour. I'm not worried about this because I've seen his fastball go up to 96 and 97-miles-per-hour.
- Potential Grade: 92/99
- Logan Gilbert went 2-1 with a 2.74 ERA as a true freshman in 2016. Gilbert improved on that with a career season in 2017 where he went 10-0 with a 2.02 ERA and 107 strikeouts in his sophomore season joining Corey Kluber in 2007 and Kurt Schluter in 2011 as the ASUN Pitcher of the Year.
- Jackson Kowar, P, Florida Projected Round 1st Round
- 2018 Season Recap The 6-5 180 lb Jackson Kowar began Jackson Kowar is 9-2 with a 2.56 ERA in 2018. Kowar is 0-2 in his last two starts with a 9-4 record and now has has a 3.21 ERA in 2018.
Jackson Kowar SWOT Report
- Strengths: Kowar has a 98-mile per hour 4-seam fastball and a 95-mile per hour 2-seam fastball. Kowar's secondary pitch to his fastball is his changeup. Can pitch out of the bullpen as well as the starting rotation.
- Weaknesses: Kowar needs to develop his slider and curveball. That's the big issue with Kowar even though he's shown more velocity on the mound then Brady Singer at times. Struggles at the end of the year. He won't win you a playoff game.
- Opportunities: 23. New York Yankees. I mocked Jackson Kowar to the New York Yankees at 23.
- Threats: Jackson Kowar dominated as a number two guy. He never showed the potential to be a number one starter when Brady Singer was injured and that concerns me to a point.
- Potential Grade: 88/99
- Jackson Kowar went 12-0 as a starter before losing his final start of the year to TCU in 2017. Kowar was used out of the bullpen and got the Gators a save that clinched them the 2017 College World Series.
- Sean Hjelle, P, Kentucky Projected Round 1st Round
- 2018 Season Recap The 6-11 215 lb Sean Hjelle is 7-4 with a 3.56 ERA in 2018 so far in 14 starts in 2018. Hjelle's 2018 campaign is a disappointment compared to his 2017 campaign where he beat out Casey Mize, Brady Singer, Alex Faedo, and Kyle Wright to win 2017 SEC Pitcher Of The Year.
Sean Hjelle SWOT Report
- Strengths: Hjelle has a 91-mile per hour 4-seam fastball, a 90-mile per hour 2-seam fastball, and a 81-mile per hour knuckle curveball. He's probably the only pitcher in this class that has mastered the knuckle curveball at such an early age.
- Weaknesses: Sean Hjelle didn't dominate in 2018 like he did in 2017. I have some concerns about his consistency for this reason.
- Opportunities: 24. Chicago Cubs. I mocked Sam Hjelle to the Chicago Cubs at 24.
- Threats: I don't see any threats with Sam Hjelle. He seems like a sound prospect to groom for the future.
- Potential Grade: 88/99
- Sean Hjelle was Kentucky's closer as a true freshman in 2016. He went 11-4 with a 3.89 ERA in 17 starts in 2017. Hjelle won 2017 SEC Pitcher of the year too beating out both Brady Singer and Casey Mize.
- Ryan Rolison, P, Ole Miss Projected Round 1st Round
- 2018 Season Recap The 6-3 205 lb Ryan Rolison is 9-4 with a 3.79 in 15 starts with 107 strikeouts in 90.1 innings pitched in 2018. Rolison can play out of the starting rotation or the bullpen. The sophomore redshirt turns 21 this season making him eligible for the 2018 MLB Draft.
Ryan Rolison SWOT Report
- Strengths: Rolison has a 94-mile per hour 4-seam fastball, a 91-mile per hour 2-seam fastball, an 82-mile per hour slider, an 81-mile per hour power curveball, a 75-mile per hour curveball, and a 75-mile per hour change up. He works from a 3/4 arm slot just like Casey Mize. Strikeout machine. Can be used as a starter or a reliever.
- Weaknesses: Rolison needs to improve his command and pitching accuracy on tape despite having a variety of pitches. He also lacks the velocity you want your number one or number two starter to have. Rolison has the ceiling of a number three starter at best, but you can try him as a three, four, or five starter in your rotation before moving him to your bullpen.
- Opportunities: 25. Arizona Diamondbacks. I have a top 25 grade on Ryan Rolison. Rolison should be picked in the top 25 of the 2018 MLB Draft.
- Threats: He won't wow you with velocity or command. He has a good variety of pitches and will be a great starter on the right team with the right coaching and development in the minor leagues.
- Potential Grade: 87/99
- Ryan Rolison went 9-0 with a 0.12 ERA as a senior in High School before being drafted by the Padres out of high school. Rolison decided to enroll at Ole Miss and went 6-3 with a 3.06 ERA in 2017 in ten starts after redshirting in 2016.
- Tristan Beck, P, Stanford Projected Round 1st Round
- 2018 Season Recap The 6-4 190 lb Tristan Beck decided to return to Stanford rather then enter the 2017 MLB Draft. Tristan Beck made the move from reliever to starter in 2018 at Stanford. He's 7-3 with a 2.90 ERA this season. I still think he will be better in the bullpen in the MLB.
Tristan Beck SWOT Report
- Strengths: Tristan Beck has a 95-mile per hour 4-seam fastball, a 92-mile per hour 2-seam fastball, a 12-6 curveball, and a changeup. Beck's variety of pitches make him lethal. Beck added 30 lbs of muscle this offseason after previously being 6-4 160 lbs. He's had a huge 2018 season since moving from the bullpen to the starting rotation after adding 30 lbs.
- Weaknesses: Beck's only weakness was a lack of muscle, but he added 30 lbs of muscle to improve to 6-4 190 lbs after previously being 6-4 160 lbs. If you draft Beck as a bullpen guy, he can probably work his way through the minor leagues pretty quickly.
- Opportunities: 29. Cleveland Indians. The Indians lost Bryan Shaw. Cody Allen their closer and set up pitcher Andrew Miller are Free Agents after the 2018 MLB Season. With relievers like Tristan Beck and Blaine Knight, I think the Indians will take a relief pitcher in the first round. The scary thing is they could double up at relief pitcher in the 2018 MLB Draft and reload right now if they wanted to.
- Threats: Tristan Beck missed all of 2017 with a shoulder stinger. Durability is an issue with Tristan Beck.
- Potential Grade: 86/99
- Tristan Beck was the third Stanford freshman in school history to be the #1 starter on opening day and the first freshman since Cal Quantril. Beck has the same durability issues that Cal Quantril has.
- Kris Bubic, P, Stanford Projected Round 1st Round
- 2018 Season Recap The 6-3 220 lb Kris Bubic took over as the number one starter in 2017 when Tristan Beck got injured. Bubic has improved his curveball in 2018. Bubic is 8-1 in 14 starts with a 2.73 ERA.
Kris Bubic SWOT Report
- Strengths: Kris Bubic has a 94-mile per hour 4-seam fastball, a 94-mile per hour 2-seam fastball, and a 89-mile per hour changeup. He's made his curveball an average pitch at 71-miles per hour.
- Weaknesses: Kris Bubic needs to develop his slider. He relies a lot on his fastball changeup combination and has the skill set of a reliever with his limited pitches despite having the experience of a starting pitcher.
- Opportunities: 32. Tampa Bay Rays. Kris Bubic is a first to second round prospect. I have him going thirty second to the Tampa Bay Rays in the compensation part of the first round. Some believe Bubic could fall to the second round, but I see a first rounder on tape.
- Threats: Kris Bubic has no threats. He may not have the upside you want, but he's one of the safer prospects in this years 2018 MLB Draft.
- Potential Grade: 86/99
- Kris Bubic went 7-6 with a 2.79 ERA in 2017. His 96 strikeouts were a best for Stanford last season.
- Jason Bilous, P, Coastal Carolina Projected Round 1st Round
- 2018 Season Recap The 6-2 190 lb Jason Bilous has stepped up in 2018. Bilous is 7-2 with a 3.39 ERA in 2018. Coastal Carolina won the 2016 College World Series when Bilous was a freshman. He's learned from that and is ready to apply himself.
Jason Bilous SWOT Report
- Strengths: Bilous is a strikeout machine. He exceeded 100 strikeouts for the second year in a row. Was the Friday Night starter and the number one pitcher for Coastal Carolina the last two seasons.
- Weaknesses: He needs to develop some plus pitches. He has fantastic leadership and analytics, but he needs to develop some plus pitches that scouts consider MLB ready.
- Opportunities: 36. Pittsburgh Pirates. Jason Bilous is a late first round prospect. A team like the Pittsburgh Pirates at 36 would be a great spot for him.
- Threats: He had Tommy Johns Surgery in High School. He was completely healthy at Coastal Carolina and checks out medically which is why I'm willing to look past that. I see a first round pick on tape. He won a College World Series as a freshman and has grown by leaps and bounds since then. He's a top 40 player for me.
- Potential Grade: 85/99
- Jason Bilous went 4-2 with a 3.61 ERA. He played like a future first rounder during Coastal Carolina's 2016 College World Series Championship team, but struggled as a sophomore in 2017. He needs a huge junior season in 2018.