The 2018 Draft crop is shaping up as the best since '11, a once-in-a-decade collection of talent that included Gerrit Cole, Trevor Bauer, Dylan Bundy, Anthony Rendon, Archie Bradley, Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, George Springer and the late Jose Fernandez in the first 14 picks.While the high schoolers tantalize more
The 2018 Draft crop is shaping up as the best since '11, a once-in-a-decade collection of talent that included Gerrit Cole, Trevor Bauer, Dylan Bundy, Anthony Rendon, Archie Bradley, Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, George Springer and the late Jose Fernandez in the first 14 picks.
While the high schoolers tantalize more with their upside, which is normally the case, the collegians are better than usual. Led by Florida right-hander Brady Singer, a trio of pitchers stand out the most, but there's also depth with position players as well.
"It's a pretty good college group," an American League scouting director said. "The high school group is strong and the college group is solid. It's going to be a good Draft."
Now that Team USA's collegiate squad and the summer leagues have concluded play, here's how MLBPipeline.com ranks the best college prospects for 2018. We'll present a high school Top 10 later this week.
1. Brady Singer, RHP, Florida
For the third straight time, a Gators pitcher will enter the year as the top college prospect and a strong favorite to go No. 1 overall. After playing a major role in Florida's 2017 College World Series championship, Singer once again will look to carve up hitters with a 92-96 mph fastball with nasty life and a slider with which he can alter the depth and speed at will.
2. Shane McClanahan, LHP, South Florida
McClanahan redshirted in his first year with the Bulls while recovering from Tommy John surgery, then came back this spring and maintained a 93-96 mph fastball. He needs to further refine his secondary pitches and command, but he's a lefty with a big arm.
3. Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn
Unlike Singer and McClanahan, who took the summer off, Mize pitched for Team USA -- but got shut down with a tired arm after having the same thing happen during the spring. When healthy, he offers the best combination of stuff (lively 93-96 mph fastball, devastating 83-88 mph splitter) and command of any college pitcher.
4. Nick Madrigal, 2B/SS, Oregon State
Scouts have to get past Madrigal's small stature (5-foot-7, 161 pounds), but they do so pretty easily because he has outstanding instincts in all phases of the game and good tools as well. He is a premium hitter with some gap power and plus speed, and defensively he'll become either a respectable shortstop or a quality second baseman as a pro.
5. Griffin Conine, OF, Duke
The son of former All-Star Jeff Conine, Griffin led the Cape Cod League with nine homers and scouts voted him the top prospect in the prestigious summer circuit. He provides left-handed power to all fields, manages the strike zone well and fits the right-field profile with his pop, athleticism and solid arm.
6. Jeremy Eierman, SS, Missouri State
Jake Burger became the first Bears position player to get picked in the first round this June, and Eierman should become the second next year. His right-handed power is his calling card, and he also has soft hands and a strong arm that could make him a plus defender at third base if he lacks the quickness to remain at shortstop.
7. Travis Swaggerty, OF, South Alabama
Swaggerty reached double figures in homers (11) and steals (19) during the spring before serving as a catalyst atop Team USA's lineup with Madrigal. He is an on-base type with plus speed and flashes of power, and he covers a lot of ground in center field.
8. Seth Beer, 1B, Clemson
Beer is the most polarizing player in the college crop. Scouts who like him point to his 1.157 OPS and 34 homers in two years with the Tigers and say he has the best combination of hitting ability and power in the 2018 Draft. Those who don't note Beer's .631 OPS in two summers with wood bats with Team USA and his lack of athleticism and defensive value.
9. Ryan Rolison, LHP, Mississippi
The Rebels' best starter as a freshman this spring, Rolison continued to shine in the Cape League and is on course to become a first-rounder as a sophomore-eligible. He can miss bats with both his low-90s fastball and his sharp curveball, and he continues to throw more strikes as he gains experience.
10. Logan Gilbert, RHP, Stetson
Another potential frontline starter from the program that produced Corey Kluber and Jacob deGrom. Gilbert rivaled Rolison as the Cape's top pitching prospect after winning Atlantic Conference Pitcher of the Year honors during the spring. He has size (6-foot-6), velocity (93-97 mph) and life on his fastball, plus deception and strike-throwing ability, though he needs to develop the rest of his repertoire after being more of a position player in high school.
Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.