The 2019 MLB draft is about one week away. The first round is starting to take shape, especially the top 10 picks. There is a lack of high-end pitching in this year’s draft with no pitchers likely going in the first five picks.
There will be plenty of movement until the draft begins June 3, especially with signability concerns. I also will continue to release feature stories on top prospects as the draft approaches. Here’s a glimpse of how the first round, compensation picks and the first competitive balance picks may play out:
1. Baltimore Orioles: Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State
He’s the best player in the draft and has a chance to move through a system quickly. Hard to find well-rounded switch-hitting catchers.
2. Kansas City Royals: Bobby Witt Jr, SS, Colleyville Heritage HS (Texas)
Witt has five-tool potential and comes from strong bloodlines, as his father is a former major-league pitcher who went No. 3 overall in the 1985 draft.
3. Chicago White Sox: C.J. Abrams, SS, Blessed Trinity HS (Ga.)
Abrams is an elite runner with the potential to hit a high amount of triples and steal double-digit bases in the professional ranks. Read more about Abrams here.
4. Miami Marlins: J.J. Bleday, OF, Vanderbilt
Bleday profiles as a corner outfielder in the professional ranks but consistently has hit at Vanderbilt. Many of the Marlins’ decision makers saw Bleday dominate in the SEC Tournament.
5. Detroit Tigers: Andrew Vaughn, 1B, California
Vaughn was college baseball’s top hitter and likely would be the top pick if he wasn’t a first baseman. He’s an elite hitter and will move through the minor leagues quickly. Read more about the Cal first baseman here.
6. San Diego Padres: Riley Greene, OF, Hagerty HS (Fla.)
Greene is a left-handed hitter with a smooth swing that generates power. He hits for average and has impressive plate discipline for a prep batter. He profiles as a corner outfielder in the professional ranks. He’s the best prep hitting prospect in this year’s draft class.
7. Cincinnati Reds: Nick Lodolo, LHP, TCU
I’ve had Lodolo to the Reds since March. Sticking with that, as he seems to be a lock to go at No. 7. Read more about the left-handed pitcher here.
8. Texas Rangers: Jackson Rutledge, RHP, San Jacinto Junior College
There’s no question on who the top seven picks will be, it’s just a matter of where they are drafted. One the draft gets to the Rangers, that changes, though. The Rangers want an underslot deal and Jackson Rutledge has the highest celling of any college arm. Read about Rutledge here.
9. Atlanta Braves: Hunter Bishop, OF, Arizona State
The Braves want a bat and would be thrilled if Bishop is available. Bishop has made a significant jump up draft boards this spring. He has displayed power and better plate discipline this spring. He has five-tool potential.
10. San Francisco Giants: Bryson Stott, SS, UNLV
I’ve had Stott going to the Giants since March. He fits the Giants’ mold and gives them an impact college bat. Read more about Stott here.
11. Toronto Blue Jays: Alek Manoah, RHP, West Virginia
Manoah has been a reliable No. 1 starter for West Virginia this spring. He has a big frame and throws a high-90s fastball. Read more about Manoah here.
12. New York Mets: Zack Thompson, LHP, Kentucky
Thompson has a solid four-pitch mix and generates a lot of strikeouts. Read more about the lefty here.
13. Minnesota Twins: Shea Langeliers, C, Baylor
Twins are tied to college players. Langeliers was a potential top-five pick entering this spring. A broken hamate caused him to miss significant time. Read about the elite catching prospect here.
14. Philadelphia Phillies: George Kirby, RHP, Elon
Kirby is another college player who’s had a strong spring. He has a quality three-pitch mix and leans on his fastball and curveball. Read more about Kirby here.
15. Los Angeles Angels: Corbin Carroll, OF, Lakeside HS (Wash.)
An advanced high school hitter who hits for average and has above-average speed. He also is a solid defensive center fielder.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks: Matthew Allan, RHP, Seminole HS (Fla.)
Allan is the top prep pitcher in this year’s draft and throws a mid-90s fastball and mixes in a solid 12-to-6 curveball. He’s represented by the Boras Corporation.
17. Washington Nationals: Josh Jung, 3B, Texas Tech
Jung hasn’t displayed his power this spring, but his track record as a power-hitting third baseman will help his draft stock. He’s a high-floor player who will move quickly through a minor-league system.
18. Pittsburgh Pirates: Gunnar Henderson, SS, Morgan Academy (Ala.)
The Pirates have been interested in Henderson all spring and were hoping to select him with their compensation pick at No. 37, according to sources. He’s improved his draft stock with a strong spring and likely will be a first-round pick.
Since he probably won’t make it to No. 37, the Pirates could draft Henderson to a below-slot deal and save bonus pool money for their compensation selection. Read more on the prep shortstop here.
19. St. Louis Cardinals: Brett Baty, 3B, Lake Travis HS (Texas)
Baty has some of the best raw power in this year’s draft class. His biggest question mark is his defense. He’s one of the best prep hitters, but his age (19) hurts his draft value. Read more about Baty here.
20. Seattle Mariners: Michael Busch, 1B/OF, North Carolina
Busch is a solid college hitter with question marks surrounding his future defensive position. He was a shortstop in high school before moving to first base in college. He played second base in the Cape Cod League during the summer and left field in fall baseball. Read more about Busch here.
21. Atlanta Braves: Brennan Malone, RHP, IMG Academy (Fla.)
Malone, a 6-3, 220-pound right-handed pitcher, has a low-effort, repeatable delivery and throws from a slight three-quarter arm slot. Read more about Malone here.
22. Tampa Bay Rays: Logan Davidson, SS, Clemson
Davidson has the talent to be the first college shortstop drafted. The consistency hasn’t always been there this spring, though. He’s an athletic and solid defensive shortstop. Read more about Davidson here.
23. Colorado Rockies: Will Wilson, SS, North Carolina State
Wilson’s top trait is his hitting ability. He’s struggled at times defensively through his college career but has displayed glimpses of improvement this season. Read more about Wilson here.
24. Cleveland Indians: Kameron Misner, OF, Missouri
Misner is an intriguing college bat. He has struggled to hit against SEC this spring but has the talent, especially his above-average raw power, to produce in the pro ranks.
25. Los Angeles Dodgers: Daniel Espino, RHP, Georgia Premier Academy
Espino possess an advanced four-pitch repertoire. He overpowers hitters with his fastball, which occasionally reaches triple digits. Read more about the right-handed pitcher here.
26. Arizona Diamondbacks: Quinn Priester, RHP, Cary-Grove HS (Ill.)
Priester, a 6-3, 190-pound righty, has a low-effort delivery. He’s made notable strides over the last year and is mostly self-taught, never having a personal pitching coach. Read more on Priester here.
27. Chicago Cubs: Kody Hoese, 3B, Tulane
Hoese has been one of the top risers in this year’s draft class. After two average seasons, Hoese has exploded at the plate, featuring impressive power. Read more on Hoese here.
28. Milwaukee Brewers: Tyler Callihan, 3B, Providence HS (Fla.)
Callihan is one of the better prep hitters in this year’s draft class. The biggest question mark is where he profiles defensively. Some believe he could be an offensive-minded catcher. Read more about Callihan here.
29. Oakland Athletics: Greg Jones, SS, UNCW
Greg Jones won’t get past the Athletics. He has intriguing tools and is a draft-eligible sophomore. Read more about him here.
30. New York Yankees: Keoni Cavaco, 3B, Eastlake HS (Calif.)
Cavaco popped up this spring as a draft prospect. He didn’t even start receiving interest from scouts until last fall. He has intriguing tools that will make a team grab him early in the draft. Read more about Cavaco here.
31. Los Angeles Dodgers: Braden Shewmake, SS, Texas A&M
Shewmake has produced throughout his college career. Scouts wonder if he can stick at shortstop in pro ball, but Shewmake believes his work in the offseason and attributes make him ideal for the position. Read more about Shewmake here.
32. Houston Astros: J.J. Goss, RHP, Cypress Ranch HS (Texas)
Goss might be the top prep pitcher from the state of Texas in this year’s MLB draft class. The 6-3, 185-pound right-hander throws an intriguing three-pitch mix with his slider being one of best in the prep class. Read more about the right-hander here.
33. Arizona Diamondbacks: Seth Johnson, RHP, Campbell
He was struggling as a shortstop at the junior college level the last two years but received an opportunity to pitch at Campbell. about his transformation into a top draft prospect here.
34. Arizona Diamondbacks: Kyren Paris, SS, Freedom HS (Calif.)
Paris has moved up draft boards this spring. He’s one of the best prep shortstops with a chance to develop into a four-tool player, as he doesn’t profile as a power hitter in the pro ranks. He also is one of the youngest players in this year’s draft. Read more on Paris here.
Competitive Balance Round A
35. Miami Marlins: Matthew Lugo, SS, Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy (Fla.)
The Puerto Rican prep shortstop is a well-rounded player with his biggest strength being his bat.
36. Tampa Bay Rays: Drey Jameson, RHP, Ball State
Jameson is an undersized right-handed hurler. He’s generated a plethora of strikeouts this spring. Read more on Jameson here.
37. Pittsburgh Pirates: Kendall Williams, RHP, IMG Academy (Fla.)
The 6-6, 190-pound righter has improved this spring. He has a solid fastball-curveball combination and the projection teams seek in a prep hurler. Read more about Williams here.
38. New York Yankees: Chase Strumpf, 2B, UCLA
Strumpf’s best tool is his hitting ability. He doesn’t possess a ton of power but he has a strong command of the strike zone and consistently barrels up pitches.
39. Minnesota Twins: Isaiah Campbell, RHP, Arkansas
Campbell relies a lot on his fastball and slider. He’s featured consistency this spring after being a draft-eligible sophomore last year. The Twins hired pitching coach Wes Johnson before the season after he served in the same role at Arkansas. Read more about Campbell here.
40. Tampa Bay Rays: Logan Wyatt, 1B, Louisville
Wyatt has consistently produced the last two years after learning behind Brendan McKay his freshman year. He’s a disciplined hitter who hits for average and some power. Read more about Wyatt here.
41. Texas Rangers: Josh Wolf, RHP, St. Thomas HS (Texas)
The 6-2, 165-pound prep righty has an above-average fastball-curveball combination. He’s improved his stock this spring and his projection intrigues teams. Read more about Wolf here.
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for four years. He’s interviewed 133 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he’s appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.