2018 MLB Draft: One Last Mock For The Road

Casey Mize, Auburn Athletics

Here’s one last Mock Draft to peruse as written by Andrew Lawrence from our friends at the Sporting News.

Unlike other major professional sports, the MLB draft is unique in the sense that there is a rarely a consensus on who the top prospects are and where they will be drafted, with much more depending on projection, as many of the players taken in early in the draft are seniors in high school and have yet to fully develop physically.

It’s not uncommon for all 30 teams to have a different ranking for a single player, making it that much harder, even for experts, to predict where the player may ultimately end up being drafted. Nevertheless, it’s fun to try.

MLB Mock Draft 2018

1. Detroit Tigers — Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn

Mize is as close to a consensus top pick as there has been in recent memory.  Not only has the right hander dominated competition in the SEC, but he also performed well on the international stage with Team USA last summer before being shut down with arm fatigue.

Mize can run his fastball into the upper-90s and complements it well with an advanced splitter.  He has great size at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds. He looks the part of a future front-end starter in the big leagues.

The thing scouts love about him: he rarely walks batters, as he’s issued only eight free-passes this season in 89 innings, while striking out 124.

2. San Francisco Giants — Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech

As draft day has gotten closer, there has been more and more talk of the Giants taking Bart with the second overall pick on June 4.

As the best catching prospect in the class, this may make sense for San Francisco, as current starter Buster Posey isn’t getting any younger and a move to first base could happen in a few years’ time, lining up perfectly with when the Giants could expect Bart to be ready for a call to the big leagues.

3. Philadelphia Phillies — Brady Singer, RHP, Florida

The Phillies have opened some eyes through the first month and a half of the MLB season, as they’re currently battling the equally surprising Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals for control of the NL East. They’ll perhaps gain some immediate help on the mound in that endeavor by drafting Singer, who has a chance to make it to the big leagues by the end of this season, like Brandon Finnegan did with Kansas City in 2014.

Singer comes from a Florida program that has been stacked with power pitchers over the last four seasons and produced multiple first rounders, but he may be the best yet.  His fastball sits in the upper-90s and he features a good slider, giving him the opportunity to move quickly through the minors, especially if he begins his career in the bullpen.

4.  Chicago White Sox — Nick Madrigal, 2B, Oregon State

Standing only 5-8 and 160 pounds, Madrigal may not look the part of a top-five pick in the draft — but he hits like one.

Though he missed roughly half of this season with a broken wrist, Madrigal is hitting .438 for the Beavers in 21 games and has returned, fully healthy, in time for their postseason push. Scouts love the way he plays the game and his overall baseball IQ, comparing him to a young Dustin Pedroia.

He may not hit for as much power as the Red Sox star, but he gets on base a lot thanks to a developed approach at the plate that has allowed him to walk more than he has struck out in all three of his collegiate seasons. Look for Madrigal to be the first hitter off the board in June.

5. Cincinnati Reds — Carter Stewart, RHP, Eau Gallie (Fla.) HS

A year ago, the Reds took flamethrower Hunter Greene with the second overall pick and will look to add another this year at No. 5 with Stewart.  Like Greene, Stewart is a big-bodied, hard-throwing right-hander, but with more developed secondary pitches that his counterpart, namely a sharp 12-6 curveball that he throws in the mid-80s.  Though he has the tools in place to be a front of the rotation starter, Cincinnati will likely give Stewart time to develop in the minors before calling him up.

Jonathan India, Univ of Florida

6. New York Mets — Jonathan India, 3B, Florida

With Joey Bart off the board at No. 2, the Mets could go with India at No. 6 as their third baseman of the future.

Considered one of the more complete college hitters in the draft, India added some pop to his swing by smashing 16 home runs (and counting) this season.  He’s also defensively sound, leading most scouts to believe he’ll be able to stay at the hot corner as a professional.

7. San Diego Padres — Shane McClanahan, LHP, South Florida 7

With concerns about prep right-hander Ethan Hankins’ shoulder injury growing, Padres could opt to take a more polished and accomplished arm in South Florida’s McClanahan.  The lefty has been known to run his fastball into the triple digits and pairs it with an above average slider.  The question concerning McClanahan is whether he can remain a starter in the long-term, or if he profiles better for a role in the bullpen.

8.  Atlanta Braves — Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Mountain Ridge (Ariz.) HS

Liberatore has the talent and upside to go within the first three picks of the draft, but the Giants interest in Joey Bart will cause him to slide to Atlanta at No. 8.  His bad luck will be the Braves’ good fortune, as the 6-5 lefty should have plenty of time to develop in Atlanta’s farm system before being called up to the big leagues.

9. Oakland A’s — Alec Bohm, 3B, Wichita State

Even though Wichita State’s season ended in the American Athletic Conference Tournament last week, Bohm’s stock has been steadily rising as of late and has put him in contention to be a top-10 pick on June 4.  His natural power from the right side would play well in the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum and, though his lack of range will likely move him from third base to first as a professional, his offensive prowess is something the A’s can build around in the future.

10. Pittsburgh Pirates — Cole Winn, RHP, Orange Lutheran (Calif.) HS

One of the more complete high school arms in the 2018 draft, Winn displays three above-average pitches with a fastball that sits in the mid-90s.  He has an athletic frame at 6-2 and 195 pounds and has worked this spring to sharpen his slider into a true out pitch.  The risk-adverse Pirates could gladly scoop up Winn at No. 10 and give him the time he needs to further develop in the minors.

Check out the rest of this mock draft at Sporting News.

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