No position is more abundant in the 2018 Draft class than outfielders, a group that has 39 players ranked on MLB Pipeline's list of the Top 200 Draft Prospects.Many of those players rank toward the top of the list, too, with 13 outfielders placed inside the Top 50 and 21
No position is more abundant in the 2018 Draft class than outfielders, a group that has 39 players ranked on MLB Pipeline's list of the Top 200 Draft Prospects.
Many of those players rank toward the top of the list, too, with 13 outfielders placed inside the Top 50 and 21 in the Top 100. Overall, this year's Top 200 features 23 outfielders from four-year college programs and 16 from the high school ranks.
Wisconsin prepster Jarred Kelenic and South Alabama's Travis Swaggerty are candidates to be selected early in the first round, possibly even within the first 10 picks. Connor Scott, a tooled-up Florida prep player, also could come off the board early, while advanced college hitters like Trevor Larnach and Steele Walker are likely to be selected somewhere in the mid- to late first round.
The 2018 Draft will take place on June 4-6, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, June 4. MLB Network will broadcast the first 43 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, with a preview show beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at noon ET.
Go to MLB.com/draft to see the Top 200 Draft Prospects list, mock drafts, complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.
10. Kelenic, Waukesha West (Wis.) HS
- Swaggerty, South Alabama
- Scott, Plant (Fla.) HS
- Larnach, Oregon State
- Walker, Oklahoma
- Jameson Hannah, Dallas Baptist
- Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
- Jordyn Adams, Green Hope (N.C.) HS
- Nick Schnell, Roncalli (Ind.) HS
- Jake McCarthy, Virginia
Top tools (grade on 20-80 scouting scale in parentheses)
Best hitter: Kelenic (60)
Kelenic's track record against high-end competition is well known, as he was the leading hitter on the 18-and-under U.S. National Team as a rising junior in 2016 and helped the squad win a gold medal for the second straight summer in '17. At 6-foot-1 and 196 pounds, Kelenic, a Louisville commit, is explosive and quick through the zone, showing excellent feel for the barrel as well as an advanced approach from the left side of the plate that has led scouts to project him as a plus hitter at the next level.
Best power: Larnach (55)
Larnach's Draft stock has improved this spring behind his uptick in power. While already known for his advanced approach and knack for making consistent hard contact from the left side of the plate, the 6-foot-4 junior showed that he could apply his raw power in games in 2018 by hitting 17 home runs in 55 games for the Beavers after totaling three homers in 88 games during his first two seasons.
Fastest runner: Max Marusak, Amarillo (Texas) HS (80)
The fastest player on the Top 200 Prospects list, Marusak (No. 187) possesses game-changing speed that earns elite grades from evaluators. The Texas Tech commit can get from the right side of the plate to first base in less than four seconds and cover 60 yards in 6.4 seconds. That speed allows Marusak to turn routine ground balls into infield hits, create havoc on the bases and chase down balls from gap to gap in center field.
Strongest arm: Joe Gray Jr., Hattiesburg (Miss.) HS (70)
Gray, No. 61 on the Draft Top 200, might have the best arm among 2018 high school position players, having been clocked at 98 mph from the outfield at the Perfect Game National showcase last June. The Mississippi recruit's accuracy does leave something to be desired, but there's little doubt among scouts that Gray, with his cannon arm and power bat, has the requisite tools to profile as a right fielder in the professional ranks.
Best defender: Mike Siani, William Penn (Pa.) Charter (60)
A two-time member and gold-medal winner of USA Baseball's 18-and-under national team, Siani (No. 40) can flat-out go get the ball in center field. The Virginia commit should have no problem staying at the position long term, as his plus speed and outstanding instincts make him one of the best defensive outfielders in the Draft class.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.