Author Archive

One Last Top 100 Prospects Shuffle

As we approach the 2019 minor league season’s September epilogue, we’re making our last few changes to THE BOARD before cementing the rankings until offseason lists start rolling out. We focused this week on curating the top 100’s midsection, which resulted in us moving around about 10% of 50 FV and above players, which we’ve found to be typical each time we’ve made a concerted effort to refine the very top of the roughly 1250 pro players on THE BOARD on whom we have thoughts. Note that most of the action is taking place on the seam between the 50 and 55 FV tier, a sort of weigh station for rising potential stars, and players with issues exposed at the upper levels.

Let’s quickly touch on the handful of players in this area who have moved down from the 55 FV tier into the 50s. Recent Marlins RF acquisition Jesus Sanchez continues to have below average discipline and trouble lifting the ball consistently. Perhaps a change of scenery will prove meaningful for one or both of these traits, but they’re relevant issues for a corner outfield prospect.

We also slid Braves pitcher Kyle Wright and Pirates pitcher Mitch Keller down a bit due to our doubts about their fastballs missing bats as currently constituted, despite their respective velocities.

We also dropped some players who we consider higher probability, lower impact types — like New York’s Andres Gimenez, Washington’s Luis Garcia, Philly’s Adonis Medina, Baltimore’s Yusniel Diaz, and Cardinals catcher Andrew Knizner — down below 50 FVs who we think have a wider range of potential outcomes, and more ceiling. Their FVs didn’t change at all, but we prefer players who have more obvious growth potential due to bigger tools, more projectable frames, and other physical traits almost always present in top big leaguers. Read the rest of this entry »

Here Are Some Recent Prospect Movers

We have a sizable collection of players to talk about this week because the two of us have been busy wrapping up our summer looks at the 2020 Draft class over the last couple weeks. This equates to every prospect added to or moved on THE BOARD since the Trade Deadline.

Top 100 Changes
We had two players enter the 50 FV tier in Diamondbacks SS Geraldo Perdomo and Padres C Luis Campusano. Perdomo is in the “Advanced Baseball Skills” player bucket with players like Vidal Brujan, Brayan Rocchio and Xavier Edwards. He’s added visible power since first arriving in the States and had as many walks as strikeouts at Low-A before he was promoted to the Cal League, which has been Campusano’s stomping ground all summer. He’s still not a great catcher but he does have an impact arm, big power, and he’s a good enough athlete that we’re optimistic he’ll both catch and make the necessary adjustments to get to his power in games down the line.

We also moved a D-back and a Padre down in RHP Taylor Widener and 1B Tirso Ornelas. Widener has been very homer prone at Triple-A a year after leading the minors in K’s. His fastball has natural cut rather than ride and while we still like him as a rotation piece, there’s a chance he continues to be very susceptible to the long ball. Ornelas has dealt with injury and swing issues.

On Aristides Aquino
Aristides Aquino was a 50 FV on the 2017 Reds list; at the time, he was a traditional right field profile with big power undermined by the strikeout issues that would eventually cause his performance to tank so badly that he became a minor league free agent. A swing change visually similar to the one Justin Turner made before his breakout (Reds hitting coach Turner Ward comes from the Dodgers) is evident here, so we’re cautiously optimistic Aquino will be a productive role player, but we don’t think he’ll keep up a star’s pace. Read the rest of this entry »

The 40-Man Situations That Could Impact Trades

Tampa Bay’s pre-deadline activity — trading bat-first prospect Nick Solak for electric reliever Peter Fairbanks, then moving recently-DFA’d reliever Ian Gibaut for a Player to be Named, and sending reliever Hunter Wood and injured post-prospect infielder Christian Arroyo to Cleveland for international bonus space and outfielder Ruben Cardenas, a recent late-round pick who was overachieving at Low-A — got us thinking about how teams’ anticipation of the fall 40-man deadline might impact their activity and the way they value individual prospects, especially for contending teams.

In November, teams will need to decide which minor league players to expose to other teams through the Rule 5 Draft, or protect from the Draft by adding them to their 40-man roster. Deciding who to expose means evaluating players, sure, but it also means considering factors like player redundancy (like Tampa seemed to when they moved Solak) and whether a prospect is too raw to be a realistic Rule 5 target, as well as other little variables such as the number of option years a player has left, whether he’s making the league minimum or in arbitration, and if there are other, freely available alternatives to a team’s current talent (which happens a lot to slugging first base types).

Teams with an especially high number of rostered players under contract for 2020 and with many prospects who would need to be added to the 40-man in the offseason have what is often called a “40-man crunch,” “spillover,” or “churn,” meaning that that team has incentive to clear the overflow of players away via trade for something they can keep — pool space, comp picks, or typically younger players whose 40-man clocks are further from midnight — rather than do nothing, and later lose players on waivers or in the Rule 5 draft.

As we sat twiddling our thumbs, waiting for it to rain trades or not, we compiled quick breakdowns of contending teams’ 40-man situations, using the Roster Resource pages to see who has the biggest crunch coming and might behave differently in the trade market because of it. The Rays, in adding Fairbanks and rental second baseman Eric Sogard while trading Solak, Arroyo, etc., filled a short-term need at second with a really good player and upgraded a relief spot while thinning out their 40-man in preparation for injured pitchers Anthony Banda and Tyler Glasnow to come off the 60-day IL and rejoin the roster. These sorts of considerations probably impacted how the Cubs valued Thomas Hatch in today’s acquisition of David Phelps from Toronto, as Hatch will need to be Rule 5 protected this fall.

For this exercise, we used contenders with 40% or higher playoff odds, which gives us the Astros, Yankees, Twins, Indians, Red Sox, and Rays in the AL and the Dodgers, Braves, Nationals, Cubs, and Cardinals in the NL, with the Brewers, Phillies, and A’s as the teams just missing the cut. Read the rest of this entry »

We Adjusted Several Prospects’ Rankings

The two of us recorded a podcast during which we combed through our Futures Game notes. This announced update to THE BOARD is that discussion made real on the site. All of the guys with new FVs are noted below, along with brief notes on why their FVs changed. If a player moved within their FV tier, there is a stock up or stock down arrow on THE BOARD. The updates noted here don’t include players who have been added to our rankings and went from 35 FV to 35+ FV, since that happens pretty often. We’re also fully updated to reflect recent trades. Lastly, if you’d like to see who is set to graduate from the list next, check the right sidebar on the FG Prospects homepage. And remember to follow @FG_prospects on Twitter for live BOARD updates.

Moved Up

Jo Adell, CF, Angels and Bo Bichette, INF, Toronto Blue Jays (60 FV to 65 FV):
Both move up due to increased confidence that they’ll be stars, with the ZiPS updates Kiley received for the Trade Value Series also helping. Adell seems fully recovered from a scary ankle and hamstring injury suffered during spring training, and he’s hitting .376/.442/.673 as a 20-year-old at Double-A. Bichette has a 116 wRC+ as a 21-year-old at Triple-A and Toronto seems inclined to leave him at shortstop.

Yordan Alvarez, DH, Astros (50 FV to 55 FV):
Alvarez is generating huge power with ease and comfort. Houston’s handling of his playing time while the team was in Colorado is an indication that he’ll offer no defensive value while his skillset is that of an older player, but his offensive tools are a cut above some of this year’s more productive DHs.

Drew Waters, CF, Braves (50 FV to 55 FV):
Waters continues to rake as a young-for-the-league, up-the-middle prospect, and while the .459 BABIP isn’t sustainable, scouts are split on him vs. Cristian Pache long-term, so they’re a little closer on our list now.

Nate Pearson, RHP, Blue Jays (50 FV to 55 FV):
Pearson belongs in the same FV tier as Sixto Sanchez as they each have monster stuff, questionable builds, and no track record of pitching for a full season. Read the rest of this entry »

Draft Odds & Ends

Because we are maniacs, we’re already midway through a clean sweep of all of our rankings. Since the signing deadline for the draft is July 15, we won’t know who is going back to school and who is joining a pro club for sure until then, but we have a way around this. Any player drafted in the top 10 rounds, as well as any college draftees, are assumed to be signing, while any high school player drafted outside the top 10 rounds is assumed to be going to the school to which he’s committed. There will likely be a handful of unsigned top 10 round prospects, who are often impossible to handicap at this point since post-draft physicals are usually the reason, and some college players will head back for their senior season, but we’ll just adjust those as we learn their fates. This means the 2020, 2021, and new 2022 draft boards all have our up-to-the-second rankings, thoughts, and tool grades, and will be updated regularly throughout the summer as prospects sign and we attend amateur showcases, tournaments and summer leagues.

With this in mind, next week we’ll add all of the top 10 round prospects and any 11th round or later with confirmed deals and 35+ or better FVs to team prospect lists. We’ll also take graduated prospects off, and re-do the top 100, likely with about a half dozen more prospects jumping into the 50 FV tier. Just after this, we’ll do a sweep through each team list to update based on what’s happened this spring, and also do a refreshed farm rankings based on all these changes. This will lead into trade deadline season, which will lead to more changes and another farm rankings update. You can find our current minor league prospects rankings and draft prospect rankings on THE BOARD and our pre-draft farm rankings here.

The 2020 Draft Class
We aren’t putting out a 12-months-early mock draft because that’s unnecessary, and if you want to know who the top players are for the 2020 class, we’ve been regularly updating that list for over a year now. The list currently has 188 players and will probably have close to 300 by the end of the summer. Our version of a mock draft would be pointing to the top tier of our list, which goes 34 deep and is essentially what a first round would be, and just assume they go in that exact order. We’ve also included blurbs and tool grades. Read the rest of this entry »

The Untitled McDongenhagen Project: Draft Review Pod

UMP: The Untitled McDongenhagen Project, Episode 17

This is the 17th episode of a sorta weekly program co-hosted by Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel about player evaluation in all its forms. The show, which is available through the normal FanGraphs Audio feed, has a working name but barely. The show is not all prospect stuff, but there is plenty of that, as the hosts are Prospect Men.

This episode is focused on Monday’s MLB Draft and our coverage of it, which is featured in the widget above and on THE BOARD. We spent a few minutes on each team, the timestamps for which below so you can get to the part you’d like to hear:

2:20 – Arizona Diamondbacks
5:23 – Atlanta Braves
8:01 – Baltimore Orioles
10:38 – Boston Red Sox
13:00 – Chicago Cubs
15:17 – Chicago White Sox
17:39 – Cincinnati Reds
20:41 – Cleveland Indians
23:18 – Colorado Rockies
25:59 – Detroit Tigers
28:33 – Houston Astros
30:25 – Kansas City Royals
32:28 – Los Angeles Angels
35:09 – Los Angeles Dodgers
37:38 – Miami Marlins
40:36 – Milwaukee Brewers
43:04 – Minnesota Twins
45:45 – New York Mets
48:10 – New York Yankees
51:02 – Oakland A’s
53:20 – Philadelphia Phillies
56:15 – Pittsburgh Pirates
59:05 – San Diego Padres
1:01:40 – San Francisco Giants
1:04:20 – Seattle Mariners
1:06:40 – St. Louis Cardinals
1:08:40 – Tampa Bay Rays
1:12:30 – Texas Rangers
1:15:15 – Toronto Blue Jays
1:17:40 – Washington Nationals

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @kileymcd or @longenhagen on Twitter or at

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximately 85 min play time.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Day 1 Draft Review

Draft Week rolls on with breakdowns of all the picks from Day 1. We don’t do grades, as it would be silly to project how these picks are going to work out five-plus years from now the day after they happen, and because you can get a sense of our opinion of a pick from our rankings and the tone of our comments. As you can see above, there will be a podcast reviews Days 1 and 2 with a couple of minutes spent on each team, then a notebook wrap-up of the odds and ends we’ve heard when the draft concludes. For more complete reports and tool grades on these players, head over to THE BOARD.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
16 9 45+ Corbin Carroll CF 18.8 Lakeside HS contact, spray, speed
26 34 45 Blake Walston LHP 17.9 New Hanover HS spin, physical proj
33 23 45 Brennan Malone RHP 18.8 IMG Academy HS body, arm strength, slider
34 50 40+ Drey Jameson RHP 21.8 Ball State multiple + pitches
56 69 40 Ryne Nelson RHP 21.4 Oregon fb life/angle, hook, RP
74 64 40 Tommy Henry LHP 21.9 Michigan extension, spin axis
75 57 40 Dominic Fletcher RF 21.8 Arkansas spray, contact quality
The D’backs had a cornucopia of Day 1 one picks and did about what the industry expected, going prep/upside high and more college/certainty lower, but not every pick fit perfectly into that dichotomy. Carroll is a dynamic speed/defense/contact center fielder who raked against good pitching last summer. Walston is a young-for-the-class, super projectable, athletic lefty who has one of the draft’s best curveballs. Malone is a more developed power arm who has hit 99, and uses four pitches well. Jameson and Nelson are college power arms who profile more in late or multi-inning relief than as 180-inning starter types. All three of the college arms have vertical arm slots. We like Fletcher as a stout, aggressive power bat who’s sneaky good defensively given his frame and mediocre long speed.

Atlanta Braves
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
9 14 45 Shea Langeliers C 21.6 Baylor arm and glove +, power
21 54 40 Braden Shewmake 2B 21.6 Texas A&M frame, polish
60 HM 35 Beau Philip SS 20.6 Oregon State age, contact feel, MIF
The Braves opted for safety with a catch-and-throw college backstop at nine. Langeliers is a complete defender with a mixed offensive track record, though he was hot during Big 12 play. We were on the low end of the Shewmake spectrum, with many teams having him in the 30-40 range and a couple in the 20s. He lacks a plus tool but is a good athlete with a solid performance resume. Philip is an infield fit with above-average bat speed, but his swing is pretty rough. He’s also young, but we thought he was a Day 2 player.

Baltimore Orioles
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
1 1 60 Adley Rutschman C 21.3 Oregon State everything
42 40 40+ Gunnar Henderson 3B 17.9 Morgan Academy HS age, + arm/power proj
71 32 45 Kyle Stowers RF 21.4 Stanford modern swing, power
The Orioles eschewed any funny business and took the best player. Henderson was a nice value and is probably a safer alternative to the prep arms. He could be a bag full of 55s at maturity. Stowers was a hot name before the draft and had some interest in the 30s. His swing is geared for lift and he’ll play good defense.

Boston Red Sox
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
43 48 40+ Cameron Cannon 3B 21.6 Arizona big stats, + bat, INF
69 26 45 Matthew Lugo SS 18.1 Beltran Academy HS age, frame, ath
The Red Sox should be thrilled with their haul yesterday, despite having the smallest draft pool in the league. Cannon was right there with a handful of major conference college infielders we liked in that range. Lugo looked likely to go in the 25-40 range and somehow lasted until 69 as our 26th ranked prospect. It isn’t completely clear what caused the slide, but it wasn’t bonus demands.

Chicago Cubs
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
27 55 40 Ryan Jensen RHP 21.5 Fresno State velo, fastball mvmt, ath
64 51 40 Chase Strumpf 2B 21.3 UCLA up-the-middle, stats
Jensen had late helium into the 25-40 range as he’d been performing well, holding his mid-90s velo late into games all year, and he purportedly has unique fastball characteristics that attracted him to progressive clubs. He could move quickly in a multi-inning role and continues the trend of college arms for the Cubs. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported the Cubs kicked the tires on prep RHP Matthew Allan and it sounds like the D’backs did as well. Allan seems likely to go to Florida now. Strumpf is a nice value as another college infield performer who needs a bit of a swing change to turn him into an everyday player. He also homered for UCLA in their regional just seconds after being drafted.

Chicago White Sox
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
3 4 50 Andrew Vaughn 1B 21.2 Cal elite approach, + hit & power
45 86 40 Matthew Thompson RHP 18.8 Cypress Ranch HS frame, delivery, occ. arm spd
Vaughn continues Chicago’s run on college bats under Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn. We heard if they had cut at three (which they likely won’t with Vaughn), it would have been in anticipation of taking a prep arm at 45, and they got one in Thompson anyway. We were a bit lower on him, as his stuff that flashed plus over the summer was less dynamic this spring. Some clubs thought he may have plateaued. That said, he’s still a long-limbed teenager with a great delivery who has been into the mid-90s for years.

Cincinnati Reds
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
7 7 50 Nick Lodolo LHP 21.3 TCU frame, breaking ball
49 89 40 Rece Hinds RF 18.8 IMG Academy HS elite power
Working under the assumption they wouldn’t get a chance to take one of the six top bats, the Reds had been fixated on Lodolo for a while. He’s the consensus best pitcher in the draft, and Cincy still needs more of that at the big league level. Hinds is one of the bigger boom or bust hitting prospects in the draft, with 70 raw power undermined by whiff issues. He’s a hulking 6-foot-4 with something close to average long speed and he can do backflips, but at times he looks lost at third base. He could be a monster, he could be Jake Gatewood.

Cleveland Indians
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
24 33 45 Daniel Espino RHP 18.4 Premier Academy HS velo, spin
63 85 40 Yordys Valdes SS 17.8 McArthur HS age, athleticism
Cleveland drafts young guys and famous, accomplished prep pitching. Their two picks were exactly that. Scouts worry the bat is light, but Valdes is athletic defensively and super young for the class, so he’s got a shot. Espino at times has shown about the best stuff a prep pitcher has shown (hits 100 mph, with two plus breakers and he knows how to use them) while other times he’s a bit of a bull in a china shop with 55 to 60-grade stuff.

Colorado Rockies
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
23 46 40+ Michael Toglia 1B 20.8 UCLA power, + glove
62 41 40+ Aaron Schunk 3B 21.9 Georgia power, arm
77 HM 35+ Karl Kauffmann RHP 21.8 Michigan slider
Toglia had late helium after a slow start and returned to the back half of the first, roughly where he started the spring. He’s a solid hitter with power and defensive value, but he was brutal for the first month of the season or so, skewing his season stats. He was hot in conference play against the best pitching UCLA faced. Schunk is a swing change candidate with above average defensive ability. Kauffman continues the Rockies’ trend of taking sinkerballers exclusively, with a shot to be a backend starter.

Detroit Tigers
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
5 6 50 Riley Greene RF 18.7 Hagerty HS polish, hit/power combo
47 43 40+ Nick Quintana 3B 21.7 Arizona pop, glove, hair
Greene was long-rumored (like, six months or more), to the Tigers pick. He has a shot to be a 60 hit/60 power right fielder but there’s still some margin for error for him to end up comfortably as an everyday type, especially with his added speed this spring. Quintana is a power-over-hit third baseman with above average defensive ability and a five-year track record on the national stage.

Houston Astros
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
32 45 40+ Korey Lee C 20.9 Cal power, arm, ath
68 HM 35+ Grae Kessinger SS 21.8 Ole Miss def fit, SEC peripherals
Lee is an athletic catcher with power, unusual speed for his position, and a good arm. He also put up big numbers this spring; we moved him up our board a bit seemingly every few weeks. Kessinger walked more than he struck out in the SEC, he’s a middle infield fit, and he’s an obvious swing change candidate, something Houston is good at implementing.

Kansas City Royals
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
2 2 50 Bobby Witt, Jr. SS 19 Coleyville Heritage HS everything
44 56 40 Brady McConnell SS 21 Florida power/speed, SS tools
70 113 40 Alec Marsh RHP 21.1 Arizona State command, breaking stuff
Witt is a potential superstar. McConnell could be a shortstop with power, but we think there’s a chance he ends up with a 30 bat. Marsh is deadly when he has breaking ball feel, as both of them are big league out-pitches when located.

Los Angeles Angels
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
15 15 45 Will Wilson 2B 20.9 North Carolina State age, pop, MIF fit
55 39 40+ Kyren Paris SS 17.6 Freedom HS age, frame
Both players are on the young end of their respective subgroups, college and high school. Wilson has great hitting hands, his power output is real. Paris’ frame has gotten broader and longer over the last eight months, and he’s now a very projectable, speedy shortstop. Strong first day here.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
25 16 45 Kody Hoese 3B 21.9 Tulane stats, ath, body
31 24 45 Michael Busch 1B 21.6 North Carolina power, stats
78 79 40 Jimmy Lewis RHP 18.6 Lake Travis HS frame, spin axis
Hoese is the spring’s most significant pop-up guy and we think it’s real. Busch was good value at 31, and Jimmy Lewis and his curveball will now be developed by one of the better arm-grooming orgs. Busch played some second base on the Cape and some left field this spring, but first base is his best position.

Miami Marlins
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
4 3 50 J.J. Bleday RF 21.6 Vanderbilt everything
35 31 45 Kameron Misner RF 21.4 Missouri LH power
46 30 45 Nasim Nunez SS 18.8 Collins Hill HS elite glove
Bleday is just a great player who has had a great amateur career and passes every eye test. It’s interesting that Misner, who has huge power but a rough swing, was often mentioned with the Yankees and instead ends up with Miami, which is somewhat staffed with ex-Yankees personnel. Nunez is the best infield defender in the class and he’s got a shot to hit from both sides of the plate. A strong first day from Miami restocking the system with upside bats.

Milwaukee Brewers
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
28 58 40 Ethan Small LHP 22.3 Mississippi State spin axis, approach angle
65 110 40 Antoine Kelly LHP 19.5 Wabash Valley JC velo, TrackMan stuff
Small has the Clayton Kershaw-style delivery that creates fastball rise, though Small has heavy fastball usage and relies on deception. Kelly is a big-framed, young lefty with burgeoning arm strength (up to 98 mph) and some favorable pitch design traits.

Minnesota Twins
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
13 22 45 Keoni Cavaco 3B 18 Eastlake HS body, power, speed
39 44 40+ Matt Wallner RF 21.5 Southern Mississippi titanic power, + arm
54 109 40 Matt Canterino RHP 21.5 Rice velo, vertical action
The Twins took power bats with their first two picks for the second consecutive year, then took mechanically eccentric Canterino in round two. He’s probably a relief fit and was in the mid-90s with a plus hook in that role, with more vanilla/inconsistent stuff this spring as a starter. Wallner was also turned in by some teams as a better pitcher than hitter before the year, but didn’t pitch this season due to a forearm strain. Wallner has been streaky in his college career, but there are elements of his game that remind you of various major league stars.

New York Mets
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
12 8 45+ Brett Baty 3B 19.6 Lake Travis HS hit/power combo
53 60 40 Josh Wolf RHP 18.8 St. Thomas HS spin, spin axis, velo
Yes, his age is a factor that moves Baty down the board, but he’s a very talented hitter and we think 12 was last night’s first really great value pick since he could be the best bat in the draft and can play third base for a while. Wolf’s delivery and build is a little scary but he throws really hard (94-97 with life) and creates terrific vertical action on his breaking ball.

New York Yankees
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
30 38 45 Anthony Volpe SS 18.1 Delbarton HS glove, contact
38 78 40 T.J. Sikkema LHP 20.9 Missouri pitchability, velo climbing
67 53 40 Josh Smith 2B 21.8 LSU pop, infield fit
We’re not sure the Yankees are getting a mystique discount on Volpe or if they’ll pay him the $3 million to $3.5 million he supposedly wants; two college guys behind him is evidence of the latter. Sikkema came into more velo this year and retained his pitchability and slider. His delivery was already hard to time. Smith is a lift/hand speed infield prospect who was hurt as an underclassman and has a boxy frame but catches everything.

Oakland Athletics
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
29 29 45 Logan Davidson SS 21.5 Clemson frame, power, infield fit
66 102 40 Tyler Baum RHP 21.4 North Carolina velo spike, slight frame
Davidson was drafted where we had him ranked. He was very productive at Clemson but it always came with strikeouts and he wasn’t great on the Cape with wood bats, but he’s a switch hitting shortstop with power. Baum’s velo was up in the last handful of starts to his best velos from high school, and his breaker was also sharper (92-96, above CB), but he still maintained his command. This is a good pick if he can keep all those elements together, which some doubt given his frame and track record.

Philadelphia Phillies
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
14 11 45+ Bryson Stott SS 21.7 UNLV SS, power
A great get for Philly, as Stott not only fits the club’s competitive timeline better than a high school player would, but he’s also pretty good value, despite industry disagreement about his swing and defensive projection.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
18 17 45 Quinn Priester RHP 18.7 Cary-Grove HS frame, spin, delivery
37 66 40+ Sammy Siani CF 18.5 William Penn Charter HS pop, speed
57 HM 35 Matt Gorski RF 21.5 Indiana frame, power
72 96 40 Jared Triolo 3B 21.3 Houston frame, hand-eye
Lots of upside here, as Pittsburgh ends up a cold-weather prep arm who may just be scratching the surface in Priester. They also get Siani, who loves to swing. He has feel for contact and at least gap power, plus speed, and a chance to stay in center field. Gorski has a big frame and power but might not hit at all. Triolo probably will, but his downward cutting swing needs a tweak if he’s going to hit for any power. He’s more of a standout right now on the defensive side.

San Diego Padres
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
6 5 50 C.J. Abrams SS 18.7 Blessed Trinity HS speed, contact, ath
48 HM 35+ Josh Mears LF 18.3 Federal Way HS XL frame, power
73 HM 35+ Logan Driscoll C 21.6 George Mason bat, body, D potential
In Abrams, the Padres added another top 100 prospect to the best system in baseball. His approach is not geared for power, but he has the raw strength to do pro damage right now. The next two picks caught us by surprise but it sounds like some other teams had Mears in rounds two to three, so it’s not a clear overdraft. Teams did the bulk of their defensive eval on Driscoll on the Cape, because he caught better stuff there. He’s muscular and has a violent but pretty swing, with tools to catch.

Seattle Mariners
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
20 19 45 George Kirby RHP 21.3 Elon command, deep mix
59 138 40 Brandon Williamson LHP 21.2 TCU pitchability, breakers
76 93 40 Isaiah Campbell RHP 21.8 Arkansas pitchability, stats
Kirby walked just six hitters all year and has a bunch of above-average stuff headlined by a fastball. Williamson has trouble holding his peak, mid-90s velo deep into games, but he can pitch and has four different offerings. Campbell is an SEC strike-thrower who some scouts think has above-average stuff, and he really came on last year after being a medical hesitation for clubs in last year’s draft because he missed most of his sophomore year.

San Francisco Giants
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
10 10 45+ Hunter Bishop CF 21 Arizona State power, speed
51 HM 35+ Logan Wyatt 1B 21.6 Louisville power, patience
Bishop has star tools and joins an org whose new leadership comes from an org that was good at extracting the most out of hitters. Wyatt has one of the better eyes for the strike zone in the class and has solid average raw power that he doesn’t fully tap into yet.

St. Louis Cardinals
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
19 18 45 Zack Thompson LHP 21.6 Kentucky secondaries, delivery
58 105 40 Tre Fletcher CF 18.1 Deering HS power/speed combo
The Cardinals scooped up a falling value for the second straight year, as Thompson was in the mix close to pick 10. He’ll probably move quickly like most Cardinals college draftees do, in part because Thompson has such distinguished changeup feel and the 3000-plus rpm curveball to get whiffs. Fletcher was a bit of a surprise because not all teams even bothered seeing him. He reclassified as a 2019 during March, he had a strong commitment to Vanderbilt, and it was rainy in the northeast this spring, making it hard to scout him, not to mention the weak competition. There are arguably 60s on his power, speed, and arm but there’s a lot of risk.

Tampa Bay Rays
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
22 27 45 Greg Jones SS 21.3 UNC Wilmington speed, bat speed
36 28 45 J.J. Goss RHP 18.5 Cypress Ranch HS arm strength, slider
40 59 40 Seth Johnson RHP 20.7 Campbell age, spin axis, ath
61 111 40 John Doxakis LHP 20.8 Texas A&M elite SL feel
Tampa had a good day, adding a college prospect with rare tools, an athletic righty with power stuff, and two young college arms who have traits indicative of further development. Doxakis’ slider specifically has among the best in-zone whiff rates in the class despite looking like a 55-grade pitch, and his velo tailed off a bit late, but the Rays lead the charge in using pitchers for outing lengths that suit their skills.

Texas Rangers
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
8 12 45+ Josh Jung 3B 21.3 Texas Tech raw power, 3B fit, stats
41 82 40 Davis Wendzel 3B 22.0 Baylor stats, well-rounded
50 122 40 Ryan Garcia RHP 21.4 UCLA fastball movement, slider
It’s unclear if Jung is underslot at eight. He wasn’t in the mix until about 13, but Boras doesn’t typically cut underslot deals at high picks. Jung needs a swing change to get to his raw power in games and to be able to pull the ball often enough to be well-rounded. Wendzel was taken late last year, then had a loud return season with a bag of 50 to 55-grade tools as a 22-year-old. Garcia has a four-pitch mix and a fastball that misses bats in the zone, but isn’t physically huge.

Toronto Blue Jays
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
11 13 45+ Alek Manoah RHP 21.4 West Virginia power heater/slider
52 83 40 Kendall Williams RHP 18.8 IMG Academy HS size, above stuff, ext.
Two power arms here. Manoah is a big, power arm who relies on a fastball/slider along with having a workhorse frame that he shaped up this spring. The changeup/command are both about a 50 so we think he can be a mid-rotation starter. Williams’ slot value is about $1.4 million and he had some late helium as a 6-foot-6 righty who was easy to see and flashed three average to above pitches and plus extension.

Washington Nationals
Pick Rank FV FirstName LastName Position Age School Strengths
17 21 45 Jackson Rutledge RHP 20.2 San Jacinto JC 6’8, up to 101, easy + slider
After he was in the 8-14 range a week ago, Rutledge falls to Washington at 17. He’s good value there, even if he does have significant risk of becoming a reliever and has a medical history that makes some pause (two hip surgeries, multiple broken bones). But the raw stuff was arguably the best in the draft and his short arm stroke is becoming more accepted by clubs.

Mock Draft 4.1: The Final Mock

Here is our final mock draft. You can see the rest of our Draft Week content on the widget above. For those picks where we think it’s down to two guys, we’ve made note of it.

First Round
1. Orioles – Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State
Alternative: Vaughn
2. Royals – Bobby Witt, Jr., SS, Colleyville Heritage HS (TX)
3. White Sox – Andrew Vaughn, 1B, Cal
4. Marlins – J.J. Bleday, RF, Vanderbilt
5. Tigers – Riley Greene, RF, Hagerty HS (FL)
6. Padres – C.J. Abrams, SS, Blessed Trinity HS (GA)
Alternative: Langeliers
7. Reds – Nick Lodolo, LHP, TCU
Alternative: Langeliers
8. Rangers – Brett Baty, 3B, Lake Travis HS (TX)
Alternative: Manoah
9. Braves – Shea Langeliers, C, Baylor
Alternative: Carroll
10. Giants – Hunter Bishop, CF, Arizona State
Alternative: Stott
11. Blue Jays – Alek Manoah, RHP, West Virginia
12. Mets – Bryson Stott, SS, UNLV
Alternative: Thompson
13. Twins – Josh Jung, 3B, Texas Tech
Alternative: Cavaco
14. Phillies – Jackson Rutledge, RHP, San Jacinto JC (TX)
15. Angels – Keoni Cavaco, 3B, Eastlake HS (CA)
Alternative: Thompson
16. D’Backs – Corbin Carroll, CF, Lakeside HS (WA)
17. Nationals – Matthew Allan, RHP, Seminole HS (FL)
Alternative: Kirby
18. Pirates – Quinn Priester, RHP, Cary-Grove HS (IL)
19. Cardinals – Zack Thompson, LHP, Kentucky
Alternative: Wilson
20. Mariners – Greg Jones, SS, UNC Wilmington
Alternative: Kirby
21. Braves – Kameron Misner, RF, Missouri
22. Rays – Will Wilson, 2B, North Carolina State
23. Rockies – Michael Busch, 1B, North Carolina
Alternative: Toglia
24. Indians – George Kirby, RHP, Elon
25. Dodgers – Daniel Espino, RHP, Premier Academy HS (GA)
26. D’Backs – Matthew Lugo, SS, Beltran Academy HS (PR)
27. Cubs – Kody Hoese, 3B, Tulane
28. Brewers – Hunter Barco, LHP, Bolles HS (FL)
29. A’s – Kyren Paris, SS, Freedom HS (CA)
30. Yankees – Anthony Volpe, SS, Delbarton HS (NJ)
31. Dodgers – Kyle Stowers, RF, Stanford
32. Astros – Matt Wallner, RF, Southern Mississippi

Compensation Picks
33. D’Backs – Blake Walston, LHP, New Hanover HS (NC)
34. D’Backs – Tyler Callihan, 3B, Providence HS (FL)
35. Marlins – Logan Davidson, SS, Clemson
36. Rays – Brooks Lee, SS, San Luis Obispo HS (CA)
37. Pirates – Gunnar Henderson, SS, Morgan Academy HS (AL)
38. Yankees – Drey Jameson, RHP, Ball State
39. Twins – J.J. Goss, RHP, Cypress Ranch HS (TX)
40. Rays – Brennan Malone, RHP, IMG Academy HS (FL)
41. Rangers – Nasim Nunez, SS, Collins Hill HS (GA)

Second Round
42. Orioles – Ryan Jensen, RHP, Fresno State
43. Red Sox – Cameron Cannon, 3B, Arizona
44. Royals – Ethan Small, LHP, Mississippi State
45. White Sox – Maurice Hampton, CF, Memphis University HS (TN)
46. Marlins – Josh Smith, SS, LSU
47. Tigers – Dominic Fletcher, CF, Arkansas
48. Padres – Seth Johnson, RHP, Campbell
49. Reds – Sammy Siani, CF, William Penn Charter HS (PA)
50. Rangers – Braden Shewmake, SS, Texas A&M
51. Giants – Drew Mendoza, 3B, Florida State
52. Blue Jays – Tommy Henry, LHP, Michigan
53. Mets – Brady McConnell, SS, Florida
54. Twins – Ethan Hearn, C, Mobile Christian HS (AL)
55. Angels – Chase Strumpf, 2B, UCLA
56. D’Backs – Nick Quintana, 2B, Arizona
57. Pirates – T.J. Sikkema, LHP, Missouri
58. Cardinals – Aaron Schunk, 3B, Georgia
59. Mariners – John Doxakis, LHP, Texas A&M
60. Braves – Matt Cronin, LHP, Arkansas
61. Rays – Jordan Brewer, CF, Michigan
62. Rockies – Michael Toglia, 1B, UCLA
63. Indians – Yordys Valdes, SS, McArthur HS (FL)
64. Cubs – Trey Faltine, RHP, William Travis HS (TX)
65. Brewers – Jamari Baylor, SS, Benedictine HS (VA)
66. A’s – Kyle McCann, C, Georgia Tech
67. Yankees – Rece Hinds, RF, IMG Academy HS (FL)
68. Astros – Isaiah Campbell, RHP, Arkansas
69. Red Sox – Ryne Nelson, RHP, Oregon

Compensation Picks
70. Royals – Hudson Head, CF, Churchill HS (TX)
71. Orioles – Ryan Pepiot, RHP, Butler
72. Pirates – Josh Wolf, RHP, St. Thomas HS (TX)
73. Padres – Dasan Brown, CF, Abbey Park HS (CAN)
74. D’Backs – Davis Wendzel, 3B, Baylor
75. D’Backs – Erik Miller, LHP, Stanford
76. Mariners – Tyler Baum, RHP, North Carolina
77. Rockies – Bryce Osmond, RHP, Jenks HS (OK)
78. Dodgers – Spencer Jones, 1B/LHP, La Costa Canyon HS (CA)

Eric and Kiley’s Day 1 Mega Draft Night Chat

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Mock Draft 4.0: The Morning Of

With the MLB draft set to kickoff this evening, here is our latest mock, compiled using industry chatter from team personnel and player reps, our own in-person scouting, and educated guesses informed by how we believe individual teams have operated recently. For more information on the players mentioned below, head over to The BOARD, which we’ll continue to flood with player info over the next few days, as well as our first three mocks.

We’ll do one more names-only mock tonight just before the draft kicks off, and based on how we characterize the process surrounding a few of the picks, we expect some behind-the-scenes fireworks just before dinner time on the East Coast tonight.

1. Orioles – Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State
Clubs still think there’s a real chance for a cut-rate option here, with Vaughn and Bleday the two leading candidates and Witt less likely. This crew keeps a tight lid on things, and may not call someone’s adviser to really get down to brass tacks until sometime late this afternoon. Even the advisers of those potential backup options don’t yet know if they’re going 1-1, or how to handicap it. Contact hasn’t been made with Rutschman’s reps for weeks, which is also to be expected to maximize leverage. We think a lot of the buzz here is being mentioned as posturing, and that the odds are high the pick is just Rutschman; it’s something like an 80% chance, but by no means a slam dunk. It’s worth noting that some of the concerns on Rutschman’s medical are more likely to be flagged by Baltimore given their specific medical staff. Read the rest of this entry »