Post-Draft Odds and Ends

Since it’s always draft-evaluation season, I thought it might make sense to start this post-draft notes column with some names for future draft classes. It’s too early to really rank these guys with any depth since we (and scouts) will be seeing all these players over the next couple months, so they will shuffle themselves a good bit this summer, but we definitely have a sense of who the top tier of talent is in the amateur ranks. These names are all in order of preference within the group in which they are identified.

2019 MLB Draft

For the 2019 class, there is a top tier of five prep standouts, while the college side is very deep in hitters. College pitching is very shallow at this early juncture, however. On the prep side, we have SS C.J. Abrams (Georgia), SS Bobby Witt, Jr. (Texas), LHP Hunter Barco (Florida), 3B Rece Hinds (Florida), and RHP Brennan Malone (North Carolina).

Atop the very deep college hitter class, we have SS Bryson Stott (UNLV), C Adley Rutschman (Oregon State), SS Logan Davidson (Clemson), C Shea Langliers (Baylor), SS Greg Jones (UNC Wilmington), RF Michael Toglia (UCLA), 3B Josh Jung (Texas Tech), RF Michael Busch (North Carolina), RF Matt Wallner (Southern Miss), and SS Braden Shewmake (Texas A&M).

As for that second tier of college bats, we have 3B Drew Mendoza (Florida State), 1B Andrew Vaughn (Cal), SS Will Holland (Auburn), CF Kam Misner (Missouri), 2B Chase Strumpf (UCLA), CF Wil Dalton (Florida), SS Will Wilson (North Carolina State), 1B Spencer Brickhouse (East Carolina), and 2B Nick Quintana (Arizona). All of those college hitters have top-two-round type profiles and the depth of the class means Team USA and the Cape will be deep with bats to watch this summer. There isn’t a clear top college pitcher, and none project for the top 15 picks at this point.

2020 MLB Draft

In the 2020 class, we have something unique at the top: if, as expected, Georgia prep RHP Cole Wilcox opts not to sign he and his future teammate at Georgia, RHP Emerson Hancock, would be the top two prospects in the whole 2020 draft class. At this juncture, the rest of the top of the 2020 class is overwhelmingly SEC-oriented, led by CF Daniel Cabrera (LSU), RHP Jack Leftwich (Florida), RHP Tanner Burns (Auburn), RHP Tommy Mace (Florida), LF Edouard Julien (Auburn, RF Steven Williams (Auburn), and C Brady Smith (Florida).

The non-SEC contingent is led by RHP C.J. Van Eyk (Florida State), LF Spencer Torkelson (Arizona State), and two prep standouts, RF Austin Hendrick (Pennsylvania) and RHP Mick Abel (Oregon). There are also four players who were just drafted out of high school, may not sign a pro contract, are old enough to be eligible again in two years, and would be in contention for this sort of list: 3B Nick Northcut (Vanderbilt), RHP Slade Cecconi (Miami), SS Blaze Alexander (South Carolina), and 3B Cory Acton (Florida).

2021 MLB Draft

There aren’t any compelling 2021 prep prospects to note at this point, but there may be some by the end of this summer. On the college side, it’s just the prep players who aren’t old for the class and also aren’t likely to sign contract out of high school this year. I won’t go too deep, but the top of this class would be, given what we know right now on signability, RHP Mike Vasil (Virginia), RHP Kumar Rocker (Vanderbilt), CF Max Marusak (Texas Tech), and C Kam Guangorena (Fullerton). You can click over to THE BOARD to see the rest of this potential list. It’s also worth noting that RHP Chandler Champlain (USC) and SS Nander De Sedas (Florida State) are likely 2021-eligible, but if the draft gets moved back by a week or so, they may end up being eligible for 2020.

How the Draft Is Impacting College

We don’t know for sure who will end up signing, but the early buzz on how these things will fall suggests that some schools will be greatly impacted by the draft. LSU has had a great week, looking like they’ll lose only three recruits (SS Brice Turang, RF Elijah Cabell, RHP Levi Kelly) but likely getting a number of prospects with pro potential to campus (C C.J. Willis, RHP Landon Marceaux, RHP Jaden Hill, RHP Cole Henry, RHP Rye Gunter, RHP Easton McMurray and RHP Chase Costello). In addition to that, LSU had two eligible sophomores in CF Zach Watson and RHP Zack Hess who were seen as second- to third-round talents, and both set their prices high enough that they are expected to return as well.

Louisville looks likely to lose three key players (LHP Adam Wolf, LF Josh Stowers, 2B Devin Mann) and two recruits who went in the first round (CF Jarred Kelenic and CF Nick Schnell) but will again reload, as they have nearly even year in recent memory. They look poised to get three board-worthy recruits on campus (RHP Kerry Wright, RHP Jack Perkins, C Henry Davis) and four more who could’ve easily been included, as well (SS Timmy Borden, SS Alex Binelas, 3B Jared Poland and LHP Carter Lohman).

Florida was savaged, likely losing three players in the first round (RHP Brady Singer, RHP Jackson Kowar and 3B Jonathan India), a couple more contributors later, and likely five of their recruits (RHP Mason Denaburg, C Anthony Seigler, RHP Lyon Richardson, CF Connor Scott, and SS Addison Barger). That said, they look poised to reload again, as well, with seven recruits featuring pro potential expected to get to campus (3B Cory Acton, RF Kendrick Callilao, RHP Nick Pogue, RHP Christian Scott, CF Jacob Young, 3B Roberto Pena, and RHP David Luethje). In addition, there’s a chance that closer Michael Byrne doesn’t sign and joins the weekend rotation.

Lastly, Vanderbilt was hit hard, likely losing five recruits (LHP Ryan Weathers, 2B Xavier Edwards, C Will Banfield, RF Ryder Green, RHP Ethan Hankins) and a couple key players (RHP Reid Schaller, SS Connor Kaiser) along with some role players, but it’s looking like they’ll get a half-dozen board-quality recruits on campus (RHP Kumar Rocker, RHP Austin Becker, LHP Brett Hansen, 1B John Malcom, RHP Ethan Smith, and 3B Cam McMillan), although it’s still unclear if Northcut will sign with the Red Sox.

Organizational Prospect List Update

We will have a new top-100 and new team lists coming in the next week or so. You can also use THE BOARD to get an idea of how the drafted players will slot into the team prospect lists. For instance, the Royals’ top-five ranked draftees are 40+ FV or higher and their team list isn’t especially deep, so those 40+ FV players go down to about 10th on the list or so. (We will add the 40+ and 45+ FV grades to THE BOARD in this update, as well.) As a result, those top five Royals draftees will be peppered from slot Nos. 2 through 10, from the 40+ to 45+ FV range, behind the system’s only 50 FV, RF Seuly Matias.

Using this rough estimation and the 40+ FV cutoff, the Indians added three players who would fit in the top 10, the Blue Jays added three players who would fit in their top 12, the Rangers added three players who would fit in their top 15, and the Rays added four players who would fit in their (very deep) top 25.

Kiley McDaniel has worked as an executive and scout, most recently for the Atlanta Braves, also for the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates. He's written for ESPN, Fox Sports and Baseball Prospectus. Follow him on twitter.

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5 years ago

The Langliers are coming… Crunching, chomping, and smacking…