The 3rd Man In

2019 MLB Draft: Top 10 Prospects

2019 MLB Draft

The 2019 MLB draft is about seven months away, but it is never too early to look at the top prospects in the class. This list will change as the spring moves along and scouts continue to observe these prospects. Here’s a mock top-10 draft for the 2019 MLB draft:

1. Baltimore Orioles: Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Colleyville Heritage High (Texas)

Prep shortstop Bobby Witt is the top prospect in the 2019 MLB draft class due to his five-tool potential. The son of the former major league pitcher, Witt consistently squares up pitches and has surprising power for his 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame.

Remaining the top prospect in the class won’t be an easy task, just ask Brice Turang. Turang was the favorite to go No. 1 overall as a prep shortstop from California at this time last year, before being nitpicked and falling to the Milwaukee Brewers with the 21st pick in the 2018 draft.

2. Kansas City Royals: Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State

Adley Rutschman’s draft stock rose when he led Oregon State to a College World Series win and received the honor of the event’s Most Outstanding Player, after tallying 17 RBIs and 13 hits in the series.

He’s an above-average defender with a strong arm and advanced receiving skills. He’s a switch-hitter and possesses intriguing raw power.

3. Chicago White Sox: Shea Langeliers, C, Baylor

Shea Langeliers opted to attend college and bypass the professional ranks as a high school senior in 2016. The decision will pay off, as he’s right behind Rutschman as the top catcher in the 2019 MLB draft class.

He drives the ball to all fields and has displayed his power potential in his first two years at Baylor, racking up two double-digit home run seasons. He’s also an above-average defensive catcher with an impressive arm. He threw out 69.7 percent of would-be base stealers in 2018.

4. Miami Marlins: Riley Greene, OF, Hagerty High (Florida)

Riley Greene, a 6-2, 190-pound outfielder, 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.

A Florida commit, Greene has experience playing against quality competition. He hit .405 with 17 extra-base hits, 26 RBIs, 12 stolen bases and posted a 23-to-9 walk-to-strikeout ratio as a junior in 2018.

5. Detroit Tigers: CJ Abrams, SS, Blessed Trinity High (Georgia)

CJ Abrams has the potential to hear his name called in the first three picks of the 2019 MLB draft. He’s an elite runner with the potential to hit a high amount of triples and steal double-digit bases in the professional ranks. He bats from the left side and is more of a gap-to-gap hitter.

He has the skills and intangibles to stick at shortstop. He’s an Alabama commit.

6. San Diego Padres: Hunter Barco, LHP, The Bolles School (Florida)

Hunter Barco is a 6-4, 208-pound left-hander with a mid-to-low three-quarters arm slot. He likes to work quick and attack hitters.

His fastball sits in the low-90s consistently and features late run and sink. He also throws a changeup and slider. His changeup is his best secondary pitch with his slider needing some refining, as he struggles at times to throw it for strikes. Barco is a Florida commit.

7. Cincinnati Reds: Zack Thompson, LHP, Kentucky

Zack Thompson missed time with an elbow issue as a sophomore in 2018. The 6-3, 225-pound lefty didn’t duplicate his freshman All-American season last year, posting a 4.94 ERA with 42 strikeouts and 20 walks in 31 innings.

He was impressive this summer with the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. He allowed zero runs and three hits while striking out seven and walking five in 8 2/3 innings.

If he’s healthy and displays consistency, the junior hurler will be a top-10 pick. He has a mid-90s fastball and solid secondary pitches. He was an 11th round pick by Tampa Bay in 2016.

8. Texas Rangers: Matthew Thompson, RHP, Cypress Ranch High (Texas)

Prep right-hander Matthew Thompson is an intriguing hurler with top-3 pick potential. He’s 6-3 and 184 pounds with an easy delivery from a high three-quarters arm slot. His fastball sits in mid-90s, but his best pitch is his 12-6 curveball, which has tight spin with late life that buckles hitters. He’s a Texas A&M commit.

9. Atlanta Braves: Logan Davidson, SS, Clemson

Scouts considered Logan Davidson an early-round selection coming out of high school in 2016. But the North Carolina native opted to attend Clemson instead, which has paid off. He’s played in every game since arriving at Clemson and owns a career average of .289 with 27 doubles, 27 home runs, 87 RBIs and 20 steals in his first two seasons.

He’s a switch-hitter who hits for average and power. He has respectable speed and has improved defensively since his freshman year.

10. San Francisco Giants: Carter Stewart, RHP, Eastern Florida State College

The Braves selected prep righty Carter Stewart with the ninth overall pick in the 2018 MLB draft. But disagreements over Stewart’s post-draft physical led to a snag in negotiations. The Braves reportedly discovered a ligament in his right wrist.

If Stewart is healthy and pitches well this spring, the 6-6 righty will be a top-10 pick once again. He has a three-pitch mix, featuring a mid-90s fastball, a devastating power curveball and a changeup.

Other top prospects: Drew Mendoza, 3B, Florida State; Nick Quintana, 3B, Arizona; Andrew Vaughn, 1B, California; Rece Hinds, SS/3B, Nicewille High (Fla.); Matt Wallner, OF, Southern Miss; Nick Lodolo, LHP, Texas Christian; Corbin Carroll, OF, Lakeside High (Wash.); Spencer Jones 1B/LHP, La Costa Canyon High (Calif.), Daniel Espino, RHP, Georgia Premier Academy.

(Photo of Bobby Witt Jr.: MLB.com)

You can find more MLB draft coverage here.

10 Comments

  1. Trey Hickman

    October 25, 2018 at 5:10 am

    Righty fireballer Daniel Espino is certainly looking like a top-10 candidate at this point.

    • Dan Zielinski III

      October 27, 2018 at 1:56 am

      He’s an intriguing arm. Will be curious to see where he ends up. He has the potential to go in the top 10 picks but scouts aren’t usually high on prep right-handers real early in the draft.

      • Trey Hickman

        October 27, 2018 at 2:11 am

        When an HS RHP finally goes 1-1, that’ll surely be a day for jubilation! Ha-ha!

        • Trey Hickman

          October 29, 2018 at 3:47 am

          The law of averages says that it’ll happen. I did a feature piece on OF David Dahl for Baseball America prior to the 2012 Draft, and that’s the year Lucas Giolito fell to 16th because of injury, whereas he could have made history had he not gotten hurt. Of course we’ll never know, but that guy was certainly lights out.

          • Dan Zielinski III

            October 29, 2018 at 12:52 pm

            Yes. It has almost happened a few times recently. We will have to see how they draft plays out.

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