Bats, bats and bats. This year’s crop of players are predominately excellent hitters. The lack of pitchers in the first round shouldn’t reflect on the strength of this class. As the rounds play out, there will be plenty of pitching steals in the draft who we will see blossom at the next level. Here is your first – 33 – 2019 Baseball Draft picks.
2019 Baseball Draft 1-10
Pick 1. Baltimore Orioles: Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State
There’s a rise in big-hitting catchers the past few years. For the longest time, only defensive gems with hitting potential would slide into the first rounds. Rutschman eerily compares to newest Giant Joey Bart. He’s the best all-around backstop in his class. Scouts rate him a plus defender with a rifle for an arm, and he’s a switch-hitter with raw power that GM’s will drool over in this 2019 baseball draft.
Pick 2. Kansas City Royals: Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Colleyville Heritage HS (TX) (Commit: Oklahoma)
Reminiscent of Brewers pick Brice Turang in 2017, Witt has a lot of hype coming into 2019. He’s everything a team would want with a high first round pick. Good makeup, five-tool potential and strong MLB bloodlines. High school position players are tough to evaluate in their junior years as they’re still growing into their bodies, so it’s hard to say if Witt will remain a top-five pick in the 2019 baseball draft or if he’ll fall like Turang did.
Pick 3. Chicago White Sox: Andrew Vaughn, 1B, California
No one knew who Vaughn was coming out of high school. After his freshman year at California, he’s the talk of the state now. He brought home Freshman of the Year honors after the season. Some say Vaughn is the best all-around hitter in this Draft class, but that term is always thrown around with top-10 picks. Will he continue to rip homers and rack up RBI’s like points on a pinball machine? Or will he suffer the curse of the sophomore slump?
Pick 4. Miami Marlins: Shea Langeliers, C, Baylor
While Rutschman is the top catcher in the 2019 Baseball Draft class, Langeliers isn’t far behind. He, too, is a great defensive catcher with a great arm and pop in his bat. Langeliers can drive to all fields and can hit for average and power. The Marlins’ best catcher prospect is 19-year-old Will Banfield, but his hitting tools are far less than Langeliers. Plus, when J.T. Realmuto departs, they’ll need to replace him with a prospect not too far from making the show.
Pick 5. Detroit Tigers: Josh Jung, 3B, Texas Tech
This pick is purely out of need for Motown. And it’s by luck he’s the best player available at this spot too. Jung is a decorated collegiate player who can absolutely rip the ball. There is no doubt he’s one of the more well-rounded offensive players in this draft. He’s a patient hitter and knows how to find the barrel to the ball and his frame allows him to possess explosive power. The Tigers need more hitters on the farm, and if Jung is the pick, he’ll be their future third baseman, which will then ultimately slide Jeimer Candelario to first base.
Pick 6. San Diego Padres: Riley Greene, OF, Hagerty HS (FL) (Commit: Florida)
There’s a lot to like about Riley Greene. Of course many say he’s the best pure hitter in the class, but that’s an overstatement for a senior in high school. Greene is a left-handed hitter with recently developed-power and a plus hit tool. He’s an average defender who will most likely end up in one of the corners of the outfield.
Pick 7. Cincinnati Reds: CJ Abrams, SS, Blessed Trinity Catholic HS (Commit: Alabama)
Abrams is a tremendous athlete with a plus arm to go along with his 75 speed rating. His ceiling is extremely high. There’s some comparison here to Nander De Sedas, who at one time was considered a top-10 in 2018 but drastically fell in the draft and decided to commit to Florida State. Abrams also fills the void left after the Reds traded away their best shortstop prospect Jeter Downs.
Pick 8. Texas Rangers: Rece Hinds, 3B, IMG Academy (FL) (Commit: LSU)
This might be a Kyler Murray sort of reach here, but I’m big on Hinds. And let’s face it, the Rangers need more positional players who can hit. The sort of raw power Hinds has is special and he’s quickly developing into a corner guy teams wish they had. To go along with his power bat he has a plus arm. He has played short but his size and arm strength are surely better for the hot corner. The LSU Tigers made sure to get this stud-recruit to commit quickly, however, if he’s selected in the top-10, he’ll most likely forego college to become a pro.
Pick 9 (Compensation). Atlanta Braves: Carter Stewart, RHP, Eastern Florida State JC
Carter Stewart was one of the better arms to come out of high school in 2018. The Braves selected him eighth overall, but Stewart didn’t sign after concerns of his health, which lowered the agreement he was offered. A year later, looks like it’s deja vu. The Braves nab their guy a pick later than before with their compensation pick they received for Stewart’s rejection, and would you know it, this time he signs is a prediction I’ll confidently make here. Stewart is 6’6″ and throws hard. He can touch 97 with his fastball and the life on his throws is ridiculous. He will be the first pitcher selected in this draft.
Pick 10. San Fransisco Giants: Grame Stinson, LHP, Duke
The first lefty comes off the board. Stinson enters his junior year as a starter, despite spending the majority of his sophomore season as a reliever. Stinson has a knack for strikeouts and could pass Marcus Stroman as the highest-drafted Duke Blue Devil ever. His best pitch is his slider that’s considered a plus-plus pitch.
2019 Baseball Draft 11-20
Pick 11. Toronto Blue Jays: Nick Lodolo, LHP, TCU
The big lefty was snagged by the Pirates in the 2016 Baseball Draft with the 41st pick. He opted to go back to school, which has proved to be a heck of a choice. He’s become the veteran leader of his TCU rotation with a mid-90s fastball and an improving breaking ball. Even at 6’6” many say he’s still growing, which is scary. There are command issues at times, which he will look to fix this coming season.
Pick 12. New York Mets: Kameron Misner, OF, Missouri
Misner is this year’s Travis Swaggerty. Though he hasn’t gotten much hype from high school til now, his track record of performance should speak for itself. He can hit for power and average and is my sleeper to enter the top-10 in mocks before June.
Pick 13. Minnesota Twins: Brennan Malone, IMG Academy (FL) (Commit: North Carolina)
His fastball consistently runs up to 96-97 mph with a quick arm and an athletic 6’3″ frame. He also has a plus curve and a changeup, though he barely throws it. His command could use a lot of work though.
Pick 14. Philadelphia Phillies: Bryson Stott, SS, UNLV
Too many times has Stott been compared to a young Brandon Crawford. Not just because of his hair flow, but his tools too. He’s a solid all-around player across the board with not one tool that stands out above the others.
Pick 15. Los Angeles Angels: Jerrion Ealy, OF, Jackson Prep (MS) (Commit: Mississippi)
Ealy is a tremendous athlete. If he can put it all together he can be a 20-homer guy who steals a lot of bases. He plays football at his school too and has committed to become a two-sport athlete at Mississippi, which could hinder his signability.
Pick 16. Arizona Diamondbacks: Corbin Carroll, OF, Lakeside HS (WA) (Commit: UCLA)
Carroll’s hit and run tools are his most notable. There is some leverage he has that most prospects in this draft don’t, especially among prep hitters. He can spray the ball to all fields. He is small (5’11”, 161 lbs.) and lacks power, which draws comparisons to Jacoby Ellsbury.
Pick 17. Washington Nationals: Daniel Espino, RHP, Georgia Premier Academy (Commit: LSU)
During last summer’s showcase, Espino broke Hunter Greene‘s Under Armour All-American Game record with a fastball that was clocked at 99 mph. We know he can also touch triple digits, as he’s done the feat before, but he usually stays in the 94-97 range. Although he can throw fire through water, his control and command are inconsistent.
Pick 18. Pittsburgh Pirates: Zack Thompson, LHP, Kentucky
Thompson was highly touted out of high school. He was one of the best left-handed pitchers in the country in 2016. Concerns about his shoulder and his love for UK made the southpaw slip to the Rays in the 11th. He has four pitches, each just as good as the other. With Pittsburgh trading away some of there pitching prospects recently, they’ll need to inject some more into their system and Thompson is a hell of a start.
Pick 19. St. Louis Cardinals: Braden Shewmake, SS, Texas A&M
Braden Shewmake fits into the Cardinal mold. He’s not flashy, nor does one tool giant any other. Shewmake always makes good contact with the ball and does everything right. While he’s a decent shortstop, his arm is more accurate than strong, so second base might be his calling in the pros.
Pick 20. Seattle Mariners: Will Holland, SS, Auburn
One of the best things about Holland is that he gets better every year. He’s a coaches dream, really. His power is better than his hitting ability, which makes him a bit lopsided. It might be because of his unconventional right-handed swing and his over aggressive approach. He also has plus speed but isn’t much of a threat on the bases.
2019 Baseball Draft 21-33
Pick 21. Atlanta Braves: Spencer Jones, LHP/1B, La Costa Canyon HS (CA) (Commit: Vanderbilt)
Spencer Jones is a unique prospect. He’s about as good as a pitcher as he is a positional player. No one really knows where his future lies at the moment. He has a wallop of a swing but he’s pretty unpolished. He’s a plus runner, which is abnormal for a 6’7″ player. On the mound, his fastball sits in the early-90s and his curveball is solid which could eventually be a plus pitch. It’s safe to say his upside is huge, more so than anyone in this 2019 baseball draft.
Pick 22. Tampa Bay Devil Rays: Tyler Dyson, RHP, Florida
The Florida Gators have been a pitcher factory, churning out some great arms in the past five years. Whether these arms provide legitimate impact for their respected teams is a wait-and-see kind of process for now. He’s 6’3” and still developing with a lively fastball. Much like other pitchers in this year’s class, his command and control need some work.
Pick 23. Colorado Rockies: Matt Wallner, OF, Southern Mississippi
Wallner is a two-way player but primarily an outfielder. His bat is too good for the mound, but make no mistake, his arm is no joke. He’s a closer for Southern Miss and has a mid-to-upper 90s fastball with serious life. His bat, however, is intriguing. And for his 6’5″ frame, he’s uniquely athletic.
Pick 24. Cleveland Indians: JJ Bleday, OF, Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt churns outfielders out like butter (Jeren Kendall, Bryan Reynolds, Rhett Wiseman), and Bleday has a higher ceiling at the plate than all of them. He’s a pure hitter and if he adds onto his impressive sophomore season, will improve his draft stock further.
Pick 25. Los Angeles Dodgers: Jack Leiter, RHP, Delbarton HS (NJ) (Commit: Vanderbilt)
Another prospect with good MLB bloodlines, Jack Leiter is the son of 19-year big-leaguer Al Leiter. Leiter has a strong four-pitch mix and knows what to do with all of his offerings. He’s not going to blow anyone away with his velocity but he’s an intelligent pitcher, which says a lot for a high-schooler.
Pick 26 (Compensation). Arizona Diamondbacks: Logan Davidson, SS, Clemson
Davidson keeps rising on draft boards because from the outside he’s what scouts want to see. His size is good (6’3″, 185 lbs.), he’s a switch-hitter and displays above-average athletic ability. There’s no flash here, but he is reliable, which suits many teams just fine.
Pick 27. Chicago Cubs: Michael Busch, 1B, North Carolina
Michael Busch is another prospect that looks to rise from this current draft position. He compares somewhat to Seth Beer from the 2018 class. For the Cubs this selection is a security pick. If Anthony Rizzo ends up walking for a better deal, Busch, 21, could be the guy to replace him eventually. Busch’s power and hit ability are in line for starting material one day. He’s not very big for a first baseman, and will need much polish. Is he Rizzo? No. But there’s enough here to develop him into a solid, every day player.
Pick 28. Milwaukee Brewers: Matthew Allan, RHP, Seminole HS (FL) (Commit: Florida)
The biggest thing that scouts like about Allan is his consistency. His style doesn’t change and he delivers the same ever time. That’s something coaches can work with. He’s got a good frame and can touch the high-90s with his fastball. He is a Florida commit and it might be hard to sign him if he’s drafted this low though.
Pick 29. Oakland A’s: Matthew Thompson, RHP, Cypress Ranch HS (TX) (Commit: Texas A&M)
He’s a gunslinger– through-and-through. He has ultra-quick arm action and a very athletic delivery that helps his fastball fluctuate from low-90s to 97 mph. There’s not much life to his fastball and at times his curve flattens into a slider, so there is work to be done with this selection. Oakland needs more arms in their system and with this low of a pick, and with pitchers dropping their stocks, they should get a pretty solid arm, regardless
Pick 30. New York Yankees: Brett Baty, 3B, Lake Travis HS (TX) (Commit: Texas)
Baty has been compared to fellow Texan Josh Jung without the college marks and is a less defender. Baty has sneaky power that goes above his 55 grade at times and has been noted by scouts as being an advanced hitter. The Yanks get a steal with this pick. However, I don’t expect Baty to remain at pick 30 when his season starts.
Pick 31. (Compensation) Los Angeles Dodgers: Hunter Barco, LHP, The Bolles School (FL) (Commit: Florida)
Much like most pitchers that will go in the first, Barco is a big boy with a strong arm. He throws three pitches and gets good marks on all of them. Look for his stock to rise after his season begins.
Pick 32. Houston Astros: Kyle Stowers, OF, Stanford
Don’t sleep on Stowers. He’s another one that looks to rise when his season starts. From aluminum to wood, he’s carried consistent offensive numbers throughout his college career. His strikeouts are a little high and he needs to learn to be more patient at the plate, but there’s plenty to work with here.
Pick 33. Boston Red Sox: Will Wilson, SS, North Carolina State
Wilson can hit, there’s no doubt about that. There is some hidden power there, but not enough to really make him a top-15 guy. The biggest knock against him is his below-average-speed. He has a legit glove so if he doesn’t stay at short, he’ll most likely land at second.