The teams in baseball who consistently compete and make the playoffs are the ones who draft well and develop talent from within. Although the MLB Draft doesn’t receive the attention it deserves, it is a crucial part of building a competitive major league roster.
The 2018 MLB Draft doesn’t start until June 4, but here’s an early look at the top 10 picks as of March 9.
1. Detroit Tigers: Brady Singer, RHP, Florida
Over the last two years, Florida pitcher A. J. Puk and Alex Faedo failed to live up to No. 1 overall pick expectations, as their draft stocks took a hit throughout the months leading up to the draft.
Right-hander Brady Singer could end that trend this year, as he possesses a three-pitch mix, featuring two above-average offerings in his mid-90s fastball and devastating slider. A 6-foot-5, 180-pound hurler, Singer will have to show improvement in his changeup and control to go No. 1 overall in 2018.
2. San Francisco Giants: Ethan Hankins, RHP, Forsyth Central (Ga.) HS
A prep right-handed pitcher has never gone No. 1 overall, but Ethan Hankins could make history, after a strong performance on the showcase circuit over the summer.
Hankins has the potential to become an ace caliber pitcher in professional baseball. He possesses the best fastball in the draft class, which sits in the mid-to-upper-90s, and also throws a curveball, slider and changeup.
3. Philadelphia Phillies: Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn
Casey Mize is one of the top college pitchers in the 2018 MLB Draft class. Read a feature story on the Auburn right-hander here.
4. Chicago White Sox: Shane McClanahan, LHP, South Florida
Shane McClanahan could be the first college pitcher drafted this June, but poor mechanics and a lack of command could hurt his chances. If he can improve in those two areas this spring, to go along with his mid-90s fastball, above-average changeup and developing slider, he’ll have a shot to go No. 1 overall.
5. Cincinnati Reds: Ryan Rolison, LHP, Mississippi
Ryan Rolison is one of the top college pitchers in the 2018 MLB Draft class. Read a feature story on the Mississippi left-hander here.
6. New York Mets: Nolan Gorman, 3B, O’Connor (Ariz.) HS
Nolan Gorman is a left-handed hitting third baseman and possesses as much raw power as anyone in the 2018 MLB Draft class. He has holes in his swing, which leads to a higher amount of strikeouts, but if he can show consistency, he’s another No. 1 overall pick candidate.
7. San Diego Padres: Nander De Sedas, SS, Montverde (Fla.) Academy
The Padres like high-risk, high-reward prospects and prep Nander De Sedas fits the bill. De Sedas possesses plus raw power and an advanced approach at the plate. His one major weakness is his speed.
8. Atlanta Braves: Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Mountain Ridge (Ariz.) HS
At 6-foot-5, 200 pounds, Matthew Liberatore is the top prep left-handed pitcher in the 2018 MLB Draft class. He has the potential to have three above-average offerings, as he throws a low-90s fastball, curveball and changeup, which is his best pitch.
9. Oakland Athletics: Travis Swaggerty, OF, South Alabama
Despite playing at a mid-major school, Travis Swaggerty is one of the top college outfielders in the 2018 MLB Draft, after strong collegiate seasons and summer performances. Read a feature story on the South Alabama outfielder here.
10. Pittsburgh Pirates: Jeremy Eierman, SS, Missouri State
Jeremy Eierman is one of the top college position players in the 2018 MLB Draft. Read a feature story on the Missouri State shortstop here.
Find more 2018 MLB Draft profiles here.