We’ve updated our 2019 MLB Draft rankings in a big way, moving a couple dozen players after two weeks of games, expanding to list 200 players total, and adding trend arrows. We also made some slight tweaks to the 2020 and 2021 rankings. Here’s a quick rundown of what we saw and heard over the last few weeks to prompt us to move some players into the top half of the first round on the 2019 list:
1. Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State
After Eric watched him go off again this weekend, we’ve upgraded him to a 60 FV and would have him right behind Keibert Ruiz at 16 on the Top 100. He’s creating more distance between himself and the field for the top pick.
2. C.J. Abrams, SS, Blessed Trinity HS (GA)
The next couple players behind Rutschman are still pretty tightly packed, but Abrams looks stronger (55 present raw power) and is still a 70 runner, though scouts are still split on his best long-term positional fit. He appears to be solidly in every club’s top five, and is now the industry consensus for the Royals at pick number two.
9. Kameron Misner, RF, Missouri
We had Misner in a “wait and see” bucket after he skipped the summer, and the early returns are very positive. Scouts who generally hadn’t seen him other than in scrimmage looks in the fall are dropping 70 raw power grades on him, and think he’ll work his way into the conversation for the best college bat behind Rutschman, with some clubs in the top 10 rumored to have him on their shortlist already, including the White Sox at three.
12. Shea Langliers, C, Baylor
Langliers broke his hamate bone and will miss a few weeks. He likely won’t show much game power before the draft, so he may slide even lower than this after the prospects rising behind him have a chance to string together a month of performance at their new levels.
14. George Kirby, RHP, Elon
Kirby dealt in his first outing, delivering on the first round rumors we heard entering the spring. The stuff is above to plus and there are starter traits present.
15. Matthew Allan, RHP, Seminole HS (FL)
We noted last week in print and on the podcast that Allan was up to 97 and flashed a plus curveball in his season debut.
Jackson Rutledge and Alek Manoah both look more starter-ish and have maintained their plus stuff. Graeme Stinson’s velo was down in his starting debut and scouts are concerned. Logan Davidson’s hit tool has always been a question and it still is. Michael Toglia was too passive in Kiley’s look this weekend and his righty swing leaves a lot to be desired. J.J. Bleday looks more athletic than some expected. Hunter Barco has a higher slot and firmer stuff. Seth Johnson was up to 98 mph in his season debut and many think he can start. Carter Stewart had a really rough start after a couple that were fine. J.J. Goss has had better velocity and consistency than teammate Matthew Thompson.
Hunter Bishop, Brett Baty and Rece Hinds have all hit more than expected and all have huge power; one likely ends up in the first round. Hunter Gaddis is generating buzz early, showing both above average stuff and feel. Brandon Williamson and Drey Jamison were mentioned last week in Eric’s Arizona looks as deserving of the Top 100; Grant Gambrell was the top new arm he saw this week. Tyler Dyson and Ryan Zeferjahn have both come out of the gate slowly; Dyson is joined in that regard by teammates Austin Langworthy and Wil Dalton. JuCo righty Orlando Ribalta has been up to 97 and shown starter traits, gaining steam with scouts despite not pitching last season.
The White Sox look like they could have an interesting choice of college bats between Vaughn, Misner, Busch, and Stott.
What do you think the odds are that teams will actually pass on Langeliers because he doesn’t show game power? Let’s say, hypothetically, he won’t go before #12 (the Mets). Do the Mets pass on him because he wasn’t able to show power? The Twins? Phillies? Angels? It feels like between the Twins, Angels, D-Backs, Nationals, and Cardinals there are enough opportunistic teams that would be willing to write off the lack of game power as due to injury.