In less than two months, the 2018 MLB Draft will kick off on June 4. Although the MLB Draft doesn’t receive the attention it deserves, it is a critical part for sustained success for major league teams.
The teams in baseball who consistently compete and make the playoffs are the ones who draft well and develop talent from within. Here’s how I see the first 10 picks playing out in the 2018 MLB Draft, as of April 21:
1. Detroit Tigers: Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn
Casey Mize has solidified himself as the top prospect in the 2018 MLB Draft class, remaining durable and showing consistency on the mound this spring.
Read an in-depth story about the Auburn right-handed pitcher here.
2. San Francisco Giants: Brady Singer, RHP, Florida
Over the last two years, Florida pitchers A.J. Puk and Alex Faedo were top prospects entering the spring. Each pitcher posted respectable seasons, but neither heard their name called in the first five selections because their numbers didn’t jump off the page.
Teams that passed on them are regretting it now and don’t expect teams to make the same mistake a third time around. While Singer isn’t blowing anyone away, he’s still having a solid season in a difficult Southeastern Conference. The Giants will go the college route and Singer fits the bill. Singer will move through the minor leagues quickly.
3. Philadelphia Phillies: Alec Bohm, 3B, Wichita State
Bohm has the best raw power in the draft class and will have a chance to stick at third base in pro ball. Read an in-depth story about the Wichita State star draft prospect here.
4. Chicago White Sox: Nick Madrigal, SS/2B, Oregon State
Nick Madrigal is only 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds, which could hamper his draft stock. He’s also missed all but eight games with a fractured hand this spring. However, since returning from injury, Madrigal is hitting .531 with two doubles, two home runs and nine RBIs. He’s also 3-for-3 on stolen base attempts and hasn’t committed an error at second base.
5. Cincinnati Reds: Jarred Kelenic, OF, Waukesha West (Wis.) HS
The Reds could go in multiple directions with the fifth overall pick. While selecting a pitcher or South Alabama outfielder Travis Swaggerty are options, Jarred Kelenic’s five-tool potential will be too much to pass on.
Read an in-depth story about Kelenic and his development here.
6. New York Mets: Ryan Rolison, LHP, Mississippi
South Alabama outfielder Travis Swaggerty and prep left-hander Matthew Liberatore are also options for the Mets.
7. San Diego Padres: Carter Stewart, RHP, Eau Gallie HS (FL)
The Padres drafted prep lefty MacKenzie Gore with the third overall pick last year and will likely add another high-ceiling prep arm in June’s MLB Draft. A 6-foot-6, 200-pound righty, Carter Stewart has moved up draft boards this spring, as his fastball velocity has increased to the mid-90s. He also continues to flash the best curveball in the draft class.
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. He could go as early as the No. 2 overall pick and would be a great value selection for the Athletics if he falls to the ninth overall pick.
Read an in-depth story on the South Alabama outfielder here.
10. Pittsburgh Pirates: Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech
Joey Bart is putting together an impressive spring, hitting .367 with 12 home runs and 25 RBIs in 38 games. He’s moving up draft boards and might even end up going in the first five picks by the time June’s MLB Draft rolls around.
Read an in-depth story on the highly-regarded catcher here.