2018 MLB Draft: First Impressions
The 2018 MLB Draft is in the books! After the dust settled, most of the prospects detailed in the 2018 Top MLB Draft Fantasy Prospects, May 2018 found homes. Some did not. Where do these prospects potentially fall among the Top 200 Fantasy Prospects?
The MLB Draft Is Weird
As an initial matter, the MLB Draft is strange and confusing. Unlike other professional drafts, teams may not trade draft picks, except compensatory picks. Further, MLB assigns each draft pick in the first ten rounds a slot value, the bonus amount the pick should be worth. The total slot values of all picks determines the team’s bonus pool- how much a team can spend on draft picks. If a team exceeds its bonus pool by five percent or less, it must pay a luxury tax on the excess amount. Penalties escalate to include a higher tax and draft picks for exceeding the bonus pool by over five percent.
As such, the MLB Draft involves a lot of behind-the-scenes direct negotiation with agents and immense amounts of strategy. Indeed, teams with many picks often select players early who will sign below slot value. Then, such teams push players down the draft, by promising an over-slot deal at a later selection. Consequently, where a team selects a player in the draft often is not a proper gauge of value. Instead, the bonus amount is the best guide to player value.
2018 MLB Draft Fantasy Fallout
The 2018 MLB Draft is deep and talented. Unlike in past years, the draft contains few high-end talents. However, fantasy owners can find value throughout Day 1 and even in parts of Day 2. Since the publication of the 2018 Top MLB Draft Fantasy Prospects, May 2018, and following the draft, there has been some movement in the rankings. Given the influx of talent from the MLB Draft, especially in the 151-200 range, June’s Top 200 Fantasy Prospects will extend to 240! Where can we expect MLB Draft prospects to fall in the Top 240?
Day 1 Prospects
Teams selected 78 players during Day 1 of the MLB Draft, including Rounds 1 and 2, compensatory picks, and competitive balance picks. Among the prospects selected during Day 1, eight likely are top 100 prospects.
Top 50 Day 1 Prospects
1. Casey Mize, RHP, Detroit Tigers: plus repertoire and plus command
3. Alec Bohm, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies: above-average hit, plus power
4. Nick Madrigal, 2B/SS, Chicago White Sox: elite hit and speed, modest power
Top 51-100 Day 1 Prospects
2. Joey Bart, C, San Francisco Giants: poor landing spot, average hit, plus power
5. Jonathan India, 3B, Cincinnati Reds: average to above across the board, high floor
6. Jarred Kelenic, OF, New York Mets: plus hit, above-average speed, power potential, high upside
10. Travis Swaggerty, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates: average hit and power, plus speed, patient hitter, high upside
18. Brady Singer, RHP, Kansas City Royals: above-average repertoire and command, nearly MLB ready
Top 101-150 Day 1 Prospects
8. Carter Stewart, RHP, Atlanta Braves: mid-90s fastball, 70-grade curveball, projectable, high upside
13. Connor Scott, OF, Miami Marlins: double-plus speed, above-average hit, projectable power, high upside
15. Cole Winn, RHP, Texas Rangers: above-average four-pitch mix and command, headlined by two plus pitches
16. Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays: above-average four-pitch mix and command, projectable, high upside
19. Nolan Gorman, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals: 70-grade raw power, uncertain hit, high upside
20. Trevor Larnach, OF, Minnesota Twins: average hit, plus power, prototypical corner outfield bat
Top 151-200 Day 1 Prospects
7. Ryan Weather, LHP, San Diego Padres: likely under-slot deal, above-average repertoire and command
9. Kyler Murray, OF, Oakland Athletics: reach, extreme athlete, playing quarterback for Oklahoma in the fall, plus speed, average power, questionable hit, high risk, high reward
11. Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Baltimore Orioles: reach, poor landing spot, mid-90s fastball, four pitches, projectable
14. Logan Gilbert, RHP, Seattle Mariners: average to above four-pitch mix and command
17. Jordyn Adams, OF, Los Angeles Angels: elite speed, average hit, projectable power, high upside
21. Brice Turang, SS, Milwaukee Brewers: plus speed, above-average hit, questionable power
26. Triston Casas, 3B/1B, Boston Red Sox: 70-grade raw power, uncertain hit, big-bodied
31. Shane McClanahan, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays: 70-grade fastball, inconsistent secondaries and command, high upside
33. Jackson Kowar, RHP, Kansas City Royals: two plus pitches, average command
35. Ethan Hankins, RHP, Cleveland Indians: plus fastball, four pitches, average command, projectable, high upside
49. Greyson Jenista, OF/1B, Atlanta Braves: plus power, questionable hit and speed
70. Jeremy Eierman, SS, Oakland Athletics: above-average power and speed, questionable hit
Top 201-240 Day 1 Prospects
12. Jordan Groshans, 3B/SS, Toronto Blue Jays: reach, likely under-slot deal, average hit, projectable to plus power
27. Mason Denaburg, RHP, Washington Nationals: above-average repertoire, average command, high upside
28. Seth Beer, 1B/OF, Houston Astros: extremely patient, plus power
29. Noah Naylor, C, Cleveland Indians: above-average hit, average power, teenage catcher far away
32. Nick Schnell, OF, Tampa Bay Rays: average hit, projectable power, plus speed, high upside
38. Xavier Edwards, SS, San Diego Padres: elite speed, average hit, modest power, high upside
42. Grant Lavigne, 1B, Colorado Rockies: great landing spot, plus power, average hit, high upside
44. Parker Meadows, OF, Detroit Tigers: plus speed, projectable power, high upside
46. Steele Walker, OF, Chicago White Sox: advanced, average hit and power
52. Griffin Conine, OF, Toronto Blue Jays: plus power, questionable hit
Outside Top 240 Round 1 Prospects
22. Ryan Rolison, LHP, Colorado Rockies: terrible landing spot, above-average repertoire, average command
23. Anthony Seigler, C, New York Yankees: above-average hit, average power, teenage catcher, far away
24. Nico Hoerner, 2B/SS, Chicago Cubs: plus speed, above-average hit, below-average power
25. Matt McLain, 2B/SS, Arizona Diamondbacks: above-average hit, below-average power
30. J.T. Ginn, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers: two plus pitches, below-average command, relief risk
34. Daniel Lynch, LHP, Kansas City Royals: average, but deep, repertoire, average command
36. Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates: average repertoire, average command, projectable
37. Cadyn Grenier, SS, Baltimore Orioles: plus speed, below-average bat, good defender
39. Jake McCarthy, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks: plus speed, average hit, below-average power
40. Kris Bubic, LHP, Kansas City Royals: average repertoire, average command
41. Lenny Torres, RHP, Cleveland Indians: above-average repertoire, below-average command, high upside
43. Griffin Roberts, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals: 70-grade slider, relief risk
Outside Top 240 Intriguing Round 2 Prospects
57. Jeremiah Jackson, SS, Los Angeles Angels: above-average hit, average power
60. Joe Gray Jr., OF, Milwaukee Brewers: plus speed and power potential, questionable hit
62. Brennen Davis, OF, Chicago Cubs: plus speed and power potential, questionable hit
63. Alek Thomas, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks: above-average hit, plus speed, modest power
64. Nick Decker, OF, Boston Red Sox: average hit, above-average power
75. Luken Baker, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals: plus power, uncertain hit
Notable Day 2 Prospects
Day 2 of the MLB Draft included Rounds 3 to 10, the last picks assigned slot values. Despite falling out of Day 1, many fascinating, high upside fantasy prospects populate these later rounds.
79. Kody Clemens, 2B, Detroit Tigers. The son of Roger Clemens, Kody led the Big 12 with 21 home runs (.346/.433/.706). With rare pop for a middle infielder, he should be on the radar of fantasy owners.
82. Bren Spillane, OF/1B, Cincinnati Reds. Among the college leaders in home runs (23), Spillane has plus power and an underrated hit tool (.389/.498/.903). With many big sluggers, he is prone to swing-and-miss (57 strikeouts).
88. Adam Kloffenstein, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays. With likely high bonus demands, Kloffenstein fell into the third round. The Blue Jays scooped him up. By signing first round pick Jordan Groshans and fifth round pick Christopher Bec to likely under-slot deals, the Blue Jays should be able to sign him. Projectable, with an above-average repertoire, Kloffenstein has nice upside.
89. Tristan Pompey, OF, Miami Marlins. Included in the 2018 Top MLB Draft Fantasy Prospects, Pompey has power/speed upside with major league bloodlines.
97. Ryder Green, OF, New York Yankees. With huge raw power, Green profiles as a prototypical right field masher.
109. Mike Siani, OF, Cincinnati Reds. Likely falling due to high bonus demands, Siani possesses plus speed and a well-rounded skillset.
Unsignable Top Prospects
Every year, high schoolers and underclassmen enter the MLB Draft with incredible leverage. With seven-figure demands, some top prospects fall through the cracks of the draft. Likely due to signability concerns, the following top 2018 MLB Draft prospects fell (some out of the draft entirely):
- Kumar Rocker, RHP, North Oconee HS: committed to Vanderbilt (Round 38)
- Mike Vasil, RHP, Boston College HS: committed to Virginia (removed name from draft)
- Cole Wilcox, RHP, Heritage HS: committed to Georgia (Round 37)
- Nander De Sedas, SS, Montverde Academy: committed to Florida State (Round 29)
- Slade Cecconi, RHP, Trinity Prep School: committed to Miami (Round 38)
- Zach Watson, OF, LSU (Round 40)