First round: Pick-by-pick analysis

June 4th, 2018

The 2018 Draft got underway on Monday night in Secaucus, with the Tigers taking right-hander Casey Mize with the first overall pick. Draft and prospect expert Jim Callis analyzes every pick from the first round. The Draft continues today with Rounds 3-10. The preview show begins at 12:30 p.m. ET, with exclusive coverage beginning at 1 p.m.
Draft Tracker
1. Detroit Tigers: RHP Casey Mize, Auburn University
As expected, MLB Pipeline's top-rated prospect goes No. 1 overall. You can't argue with this selection. Mize has the best pitch in the Draft -- a nearly-unhittable splitter. He has the best combination of stuff and polish of any pitcher in the 2018 Draft class.

2. San Francisco Giants: C Joey Bart, Georgia Tech
Bart stands out as easily the best catcher in a Draft thin at that position. His power was evident going back to his days at Buford (Ga.) HS and he's improved tremendously as a hitter in three years at Georgia Tech. Similarly, he's gotten better behind the plate, developing into a solid receiver with a plus arm.
3. Philadelphia Phillies: 3B Alec Bohm, Wichita State University
The players taken with the first three picks have been tied to these three teams for almost two months. Among college hitters, Bohm may offer the best combination of hitting for average and power. He also is a magnet for walks, which endears him to analytically minded teams, though he probably will wind up at first base in the long run.

4. Chicago White Sox: 2B Nick Madrigal, Oregon State University
Madrigal is the best player in college baseball, and he's the best pure hitter in this Draft, hitting a cool .406 this year for the Beavers with 13 walks and just five strikeouts. He may be only 5-foot-8, but size isn't an issue because he can hit, he can really run and he can really play second base. The comparisons are a bit much because Madrigal doesn't have that kind of power, but he's not a slap-hitter, either.

5. Cincinnati Reds: 3B Jonathan India, University of Florida
He was the breakout player in college baseball's best conference (the SEC) this year. He's got close to solid tools across the board, starting with the ability to hit, growing power and a fine approach at the plate. His defensive versatility intrigues me, and I wonder if the Reds might try him in the middle infield. They already have at third, which is also the natural position of Nick Senzel, the second overall pick in 2016 and their No. 1 prospect. Senzel is also seeing time at second this year.
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6. New York Mets: OF Jarred Kelenic, Waukesha West (Wis.) HS
Kelenic is a high-upside selection, as he's the best prep hitter available and has developing power and a chance to stay in center field. One of my favorite comps I got in this Draft was when a scout compared Kelenic to a more athletic Mark Kotsay.
7. San Diego Padres: LHP Ryan Weathers, Loretto (Tenn.) HS
He is one of the two best left-handers in this Draft, along with Phoenix high schooler Matthew Liberatore. Weathers has solid pitches -- a riding 90-95 mph fastball, a hard curveball and an advanced changeup. The son of 19-year big leaguer David Weathers, Ryan has a good delivery, repeats it well and has deceptive athleticism.
8. Atlanta Braves: RHP Carter Stewart, Eau Gallie (Fla.) HS
He has the best breaking ball in this Draft class, with the spin rate on his curve reportedly exceeding 3,000 rpm, which is Charlie Morton territory. Stewart also has touched 97-98 mph on his fastball throughout the spring, giving him one of the more impressive two-pitch combinations in the Draft. Stewart should fit in nicely with Atlanta's collection of outstanding pitching prospects.

9. Oakland Athletics: OF Kyler Murray, University of Oklahoma
Here's our first stunner of the night. A few weeks ago it was unthinkable that Murray -- the quarterback at Oklahoma with Baker Mayfield now in the NFL -- would go this high. But over the last couple of days it became clear that Murray was interested in pursuing a baseball career and would sign. The expectation is that he will play quarterback at OU in the fall and then focus solely on baseball. He would've been an easy first-round pick out of high school three years ago if he'd been signable, and he's arguably the best athlete in the Draft. What also sticks out about Murray is that he made a dramatic improvement this year with the Sooners after not playing much baseball the previous two seasons.

10. Pittsburgh Pirates: OF Travis Swaggerty, University of South Alabama
Up-the-middle college athletes are hard to find, and Swaggerty is the best in the 2018 Draft class. He's got a chance to have solid or better tools across the board, as his sneaky power and plus speed could make him a 20-20 player. He has a penchant for drawing walks but also can get overly aggressive at times. Swaggerty is definitely going to stay in center field, but he has the arm for right field if needed.

11. Baltimore Orioles: RHP Grayson Rodriguez, Central Heights (Texas) HS
Rodriguez's stuff took off over the past year as he got in better shape, and his stock improved accordingly. His best pitch is a heavy 92-94 mph fastball that will break bats, and both his slider and curveball are solid options.
12. Toronto Blue Jays: SS Jordan Groshans, Magnolia (Texas) HS
Groshans has some of the best raw power in this Draft, and what I really like about it is he knows he doesn't have to sell out for home runs. He makes a lot of hard contact, and there's room to add a lot of strength to his 6-foot-4 frame, so he's gonna do a lot of damage. Groshans may get the opportunity to play shortstop as he breaks into pro ball, but he projects as a third baseman in the long run.
13. Miami Marlins: OF Connor Scott, Plant (Fla.) HS
He is from the same high school as star Astros prospect Kyle Tucker and his brother, Preston, of the Braves. Like those two, Scott is also an outfielder -- but a different type of player. His plus-plus speed is his best tool, and it makes him dangerous on the bases and an asset in center field. His hit tool stands out more than his power, and his fastball has been clocked at up to 93 mph on the mound.

14. Seattle Mariners: RHP Logan Gilbert, Stetson University
Gilbert excels at missing bats. His velocity was down early in the season, and he still racked up strikeouts -- then he was back in the mid-90s and touching 97 mph by the end of the year after making a mechanical adjustment. Both his slider and changeup are solid offerings that make it difficult to sit on his fastball.
15. Texas Rangers: RHP Cole Winn, Orange Lutheran (Calif.) HS
Winn is more polished than the typical high schooler, but we shouldn't sell his stuff short. He's got a low-90s fastball that hits 96, a pair of quality breaking balls and some feel for a changeup. He's got an exceptionally high floor for a prep pitcher.

16. Tampa Bay Rays: LHP Matthew Liberatore, Mountain Ridge (Ariz.) HS
I'm stunned that Liberatore lasted this long, because I think you could have argued for him going as early as No. 2 overall. His stuff is so advanced that he's more like a college pitcher than a high school one. Liberatore already has four solid pitches that could become plus pitches as his 6-foot-5 frame gets stronger. He has tremendous feel for pitching -- and a lot of moxie.

17. Los Angeles Angels: OF Jordyn Adams, Green Hope (N.C.) HS
This is another really interesting selection, because it indicates to me that Adams is going to be fully signable away from a commitment to play two sports at North Carolina, where his father's a defensive line coach. He's a four-star wide receiver recruit and a great athlete who gets top-of-the-skill running grades from some evaluators. Even though his attention has been divided between two sports, he's not extremely raw at the plate and has the upside of a .275 hitter with 15-20 home runs per season.

18. Kansas City Royals: RHP Brady Singer, University of Florida
I really like this pick for the Royals, who need pitching and couldn't have expected Pipeline's No. 2 Draft prospect to last until No. 18. I'm not sure what happened here, but Kansas City got a nearly MLB-ready pitcher who has a lively fastball and tremendous feel for his slider. I really like the way Singer attacks hitters, and his competitiveness is off the charts.
19. St. Louis Cardinals: 3B Nolan Gorman, O'Connor (Ariz.) HS
Another tremendous value in the late teens, Gorman is the best power hitter in this Draft -- which he showed off by winning the Home Run Derby at the Under Armour All-American Game last summer. Some clubs had some swing-and-miss concerns and worried about his ability to stay at third base, but I think Gorman will make enough contact and believe he's an underrated defender.

20. Minnesota Twins: OF Trevor Larnach, Oregon State University
Larnach has always had obvious power potential, and he began to deliver on it this season, propelling him into the first round after hitting 17 homers in 58 games for the Beavers. He also draws a healthy amount of walks and has an arm suited for right field.
21. Milwaukee Brewers: SS Brice Turang, Santiago (Calif.) HS
He had a chance to go near the top of the Draft heading into last summer, but scouts seemed to sour on him a bit this spring. This pick has a chance to pay off huge for the Brewers because Turang -- the son of former big leaguer Brian Turang -- is a legitimate shortstop with bat-to-ball skills and plus speed. The key for him will be to add some strength to handle the physical demands of pro ball.
22. Colorado Rockies: LHP Ryan Rolison, University of Mississippi
As with Turang, Rolison lasted longer than expected after coming into the year as a potential top-10 choice. While he didn't quite have the season expected of him, scouts think he can be a better pitcher at the next level once he starts using his promising changeup more often. Rolison's money pitch is one of the best curveballs in the draft, which combines power and depth. He also works in the low 90s and can reach 95 mph with his fastball.
23. New York Yankees: C Anthony Seigler, Cartersville (Ga.) HS
Seigler attracts a lot of attention because he's a switch-pitcher and a switch-hitter, but that overshadows how good he is as a prospect. He's a promising receiver behind the plate, with a solid arm and a quick transfer, and his athleticism as a catcher reminds scouts of . Seigler makes hard line-drive contact from both sides of the plate and might even profile as an everyday second baseman if he weren't so valuable behind the plate.

24. Chicago Cubs: SS Nico Hoerner, Stanford University
I'm a little surprised the Cubs passed on a couple of the college arms that were available here, but Hoerner is an offensive-minded middle infielder with a track record of hitting in college. Those are hard to find, and he should continue to hit at the next level, with good power for his position. A lot of scouts see Hoerner more as a second baseman than a shortstop, but he should definitely be able to stay up the middle.
25. Arizona Diamondbacks: SS Matt McLain, Beckman (Calif.) HS
It was no secret among scouts that the D-backs loved McLain, and the question was whether they'd take Pipeline's No. 54 Draft prospect this high. Now we have our answer. McLain is a line-drive hitter with plus speed and sure hands at shortstop. If he can stay at short, that will really enhance his value, though he may be more of an offensive-minded second baseman.
26. Boston Red Sox: 1B/3B Triston Casas, American Heritage (Fla.) HS
Casas ranks right with Nolan Gorman as one of the best high school power hitters in this Draft. He had a chance to go as high as No. 13 to his hometown club in Miami, and a few other spots in the teens, so getting him at No. 26 is a nice grab for the Red Sox. While he has some athleticism for his size (6-foot-4, 240 pounds), Casas is most likely a first baseman, albeit one with a strong arm who can delivery 94 mph fastballs on the mound.

27. Washington Nationals: RHP Mason Denaburg, Merritt Island (Fla.) HS
The Nationals have not shied away from drafting pitchers with physical question marks in recent years, selecting the likes of (first round, 2012), (first round, 2014) and Jesus Luzardo (third round, 2016) despite injury concerns. They grabbed another one here. Denaburg was pushing his way into the top 10 early in the year before coming down with bicep tendinitis, but he came back strong right before the Draft. He can reach 97 mph with his fastball, snap off a plus curveball, and flash a solid changeup as well.
28. Houston Astros: 1B Seth Beer, Clemson University
Beer is probably the most polarizing player in the first round. He's been as productive as any college hitter over the last three years while walking twice as much as he's struck out. But he has no history of hitting with wood bats, struggling the last two summers with Team USA and on the showcase circuit. He's also probably limited to first base only, rather than the outfield.
29. Cleveland Indians: C Noah Naylor, St. Joan of Arc (Ont.) HS
The younger brother of Padres slugging prospect and former Marlins first-round pick Josh Naylor, Noah is one of the more promising prep hitters available, and he has a chance to hit for both average and power. The question is, do you try to develop him into an average catcher -- which will take time and a toll on his bat -- or put him at third base and expedite the bat? I'd put him at the hot corner.
30. Los Angeles Dodgers: RHP J.T. Ginn, Brandon (Miss.) HS
I really love this arm. I think Ginn might have the best fastball-slider combination among all the pitchers in this Draft. He can reach 99 mph with late life on his fastball and wipe hitters out with a slider in the mid-80s. Though he's smaller than your prototypical righty (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) and throws with effort, he has a changeup and is a good athlete, so I believe he has a chance to make it as a starter.

If a team that loses a qualifying free agent is a revenue-sharing recipient, then the team -- if and only if the lost player signs for at least $50 million -- is awarded a compensatory pick between the first round and Competitive Balance Round A. If the player signs for less than $50 million, the compensation pick for the team comes after Competitive Balance Round B .
31. Tampa Bay Rays: LHP Shane McClanahan, University of South Florida (Compensation for Alex Cobb, who signed with the Orioles. Baltimore forfeited its second-round pick.)
Tampa Bay has to be thrilled with both of its first rounders so far, getting two premium left-handers in Liberatore and McClanahan. McClanahan can hit 100 mph and back up his heat with a plus changeup, though his slider and command need some work. He was better earlier in the season than late, which caused him to fall much further than expected.
32. Tampa Bay Rays: OF Nick Schnell, Roncalli (Ind.) HS (Compensation for not signing Drew Rasmussen)
The first round shaped up nicely for the Rays, who add a potential five-tool outfielder to their two premium southpaws. Schnell has a chance to hit for some average and power, and he also has plus speed and arm strength. He has a chance to stay in center field, and even if he loses a step, he still profiles well in right.
33. Kansas City Royals: RHP Jackson Kowar, University of Florida (Compensation for , who signed with the Brewers. Milwaukee forfeited its third-round pick.)
I never would've thought that Kansas City could have gotten Gators teammates Singer and Kowar at No. 18 and 33. There are some scouts who even think Kowar is better than Singer. He has a mid-90s fastball and a plus changeup, though improving his curveball and consistency are on his to-do list.
34. Kansas City Royals:  LHP Daniel Lynch, Virginia (Compensation for , who signed with the Padres. San Diego forfeited its second-round pick.)
Make that three college pitchers in a row for the Royals in the first round. Lynch was rising up Draft boards late in the season when his fastball ticked up a bit and he continued to throw a solid changeup. He's more of a high-floor than a high-ceiling guy, a good bet to be a No. 4 starter.
35. Cleveland Indians:  RHP Ethan Hankins, Forsyth Central (Ga.) HS (Compensation for , who signed with the Phillies. Philadelphia forfeited its second-round pick.)
Hankins came into the year with a chance to be the first high school right-hander ever selected No. 1 overall, but he came down with a muscular issue behind his throwing shoulder that cost him a month and some consistency when he returned. When Hankins is 100 percent, he has the best fastball in this Draft: 92-98 mph with electric life and promising command and projectability. He also has one of the better high school changeups. The big question is how much he can refine a breaking ball, which he has struggled to do in the past.

All teams that have either one of the 10 smallest markets or 10 smallest revenue pools receive an additional pick at the end of the first or second round. In 2017, six picks were assigned between the first and second rounds based on a formula that considers winning percentage and revenue. The remaining eight eligible teams received a supplemental selection between the second and third rounds. In 2018, the groups of teams switch places, meaning there will be eight Comp Round A picks and six in Round B.
Competitive Balance picks may be traded and are not subject to forfeiture.
36. Pittsburgh Pirates: RHP Gunnar Hoglund, Fivay (Fla.) HS
37. Baltimore Orioles: SS Cadyn Grenier, Oregon State
Video: Draft 2018: Edwards on being 38th overall pick
38. San Diego Padres: SS Xavier Edwards, North Broward Prep (Fla.)

39. Arizona Diamondbacks: OF Jake McCarthy, Virginia
40. Kansas City Royals: LHP Kris Bubic, Stanford
41. Cleveland Indians: RHP Lenny Torres Jr., Beacon (N.Y.) HS
42. Colorado Rockies: 1B Grant Lavigne, Bedford (N.H.) HS
43. St. Louis Cardinals: RHP Griffin Roberts, Wake Forest
Competitive Balance Round A analysis: Strong and athletic, RHP Gunnar Hoglund (Pirates) is an elite strike-thrower with a fastball that reaches 96 mph and feel to spin. ... Both SS Cadyn Grenier (Orioles) and RHP Griffin Roberts (Cardinals) made our list of the Draft's best tools, Grenier as the top defender and Roberts as best slider. ... SS Xavier Edwards (Padres) easily could have fit in the first round as a guy at a premium defensive position with feel to hit and well above-average speed. ... OF Jake McCarthy (Diamondbacks) drew first-round interest as well for the same reasons. ... Not only does LHP Kris Bubic (Royals) have one of the better changeups in the Draft, he also commands his 89-94 mph fastball very well. ... RHP Lenny Torres (Indians) isn't physical but he is electric, reaching 97 mph with his fastball and flashing a plus slider. ... 1B Grant Lavigne's (Rockies) hitting ability and big raw power nearly made him the first New Hampshire high school position player selected in the first round.

44. Detroit Tigers: OF Parker Meadows, Grayson (Ga.) HS
45. San Francisco Giants: RHP Sean Hjelle, Kentucky
46. Chicago White Sox: OF Steele Walker, Oklahoma
47. Cincinnati Reds: RHP Lyon Richardson, Jensen Beach (Fla.) HS
48. New York Mets: RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson, Kempner (Texas) HS
49. Atlanta Braves: OF Greyson Jenista, Wichita State
50. Oakland Athletics: OF Jameson Hannah, Dallas Baptist
51. Pittsburgh Pirates: RHP Braxton Ashcraft, Robinson (Texas) HS
52. Toronto Blue Jays: OF Griffin Conine, Duke
53. Miami Marlins: OF Osiris Johnson, Encinal (Calif.) HS
54. Seattle Mariners: OF Josh Stowers, Louisville
55. Texas Rangers: RHP Owen White, Carson (N.C.) HS
56. Tampa Bay Rays: SS Tyler Frank, Florida Atlantic
57. Los Angeles Angels: SS Jeremiah Jackson, St. Luke's Episcopal (Ala.) HS
58. Kansas City Royals: RHP Jonathan Bowlan, Memphis
59. Minnesota Twins: C Ryan Jeffers, UNC Wilmington
60. Milwaukee Brewers: OF Joe Gray Jr., Hattiesburg (Miss.) HS
61. New York Yankees: C Josh Breaux, McLennan (Texas) CC
62. Chicago Cubs: OF Brennen Davis, Basha (Ariz.) HS
63. Arizona Diamondbacks: OF Alek Thomas, Mount Carmel (Ill.) HS
64. Boston Red Sox: OF Nick Decker, Seneca (N.J.) HS
65. Washington Nationals: LHP Tim Cate, Connecticut
66. Houston Astros: RHP Jayson Schroeder, Juanita (Wash.) HS
67. Cleveland Indians: RHP Nick Sandlin, Southern Mississippi
68. Los Angeles Dodgers: RHP Michael Grove, West Virginia
Round 2 analysis: The younger brother of former Pirates first-rounder and current rookie sensation Austin Meadows, OF Parker Meadows (Tigers) is a similar long-limbed athlete with intriguing power potential. ... OF Steele Walker (White Sox) is one of the best pure hitters in the college crop and also stands out with his instincts. ... With his combination of hitting ability, speed and center-field defense, OF Jameson Hannah (Athletics) deserved to go higher. ... RHP Braxton Ashcraft (Pirates) set what is believed to be a national high school record with 37 touchdown receptions in 2016 and is a super-projectable athlete who starting hitting 94 mph toward the end of the spring. ... SS Jeremiah Jackson (Angels) has more offensive upside than most prep middle infielders in this Draft, though he may wind up sliding over to second base. ... Few players in this class have two louder tools than C Josh Breaux's (Yankees) massive raw power and an arm that has delivered 100 mph fastballs off the mound. ... Forearm tightness shelved LHP Tim Cate (Nationals) for much of the spring, but when healthy he showcases a well above-average curveball. ... Using a variety of arm slots and pitches, including a fastball that reaches 94 mph and a slider that hitters can't lay off, RHP Nick Sandlin (Indians) leads NCAA Division I in ERA (1.06) and WHIP (0.71).

69. Miami Marlins: C Will Banfield, Brookwood (Ga.) HS
70. Oakland Athletics: SS Jeremy Eierman, Missouri State
71. Tampa Bay Rays: RHP Tanner Dodson, California
72. Cincinnati Reds: RHP Josiah Gray, Le Moyne College
73. Milwaukee Brewers: OF Micah Bello, Hilo (Hawaii) HS
74. San Diego Padres: OF Grant Little, Texas Tech (Received from Twins in trade)
75. St. Louis Cardinals: 1B Luken Baker, TCU (Compensation for , who signed with the Twins. Minnesota forfeited its third-round pick.)
76. Colorado Rockies: RHP Mitchell Kilkenny, Texas A&M (Compensation for Greg Holland, who signed with the Cardinals. St. Louis forfeited its second-round pick.)
77. Chicago Cubs: OF Cole Roederer, Hart (Calif). HS (Compensation for , who signed with the Rockies. Colorado forfeited its second-round pick.)
78. Chicago Cubs: RHP Paul Richan, University of San Diego (Compensation for , who signed with the Phillies. Philadelphia forfeited its third-round pick.)
Competitive Balance Round B and Round 2 Compensation analysis: C Will Banfield (Marlins) has the highest defensive ceiling of any catcher in the Draft, with a plus-plus arm and solid receiving skills. ... A projected mid-first-rounder before slumping as a junior, SS Jeremy Eierman (Athletics) still has plenty of raw pop, deceptive speed and a cannon arm. ... 1B Luken Baker (Cardinals) could have gotten first-round money as a pitcher out of high school if he were signable, and few players in this Draft can match his power.