We are into the college baseball season and there are some familiar faces on many mock drafts and some that have seen their stock rise dramatically. Let’s check in with a handful of potential picks that will see in the 2019 MLB draft come June.
Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State
Easy choice for the #1 pick. Rutschman has video game numbers , and he can switch hit! Since Nick Madrigal’s departure following last season’s National Championship win, Rutschman picked up where his former teammate left off, leading the team on and off the field. Right now him and the Beavers are 31-14-1 and have fell out of the top five in rankings, due to their four-game skid, three of which were losses against #18 Oklahoma State.
2019 Season: 46 GS; .429 BA; 69 H; 16 HR; 53 RBI
Highlights: February 17: Hit a grand slam in 4th to lead his crew to a 13-1 over the Minnesota Gophers; March 12: Drove in two runs to help the Beavers edge out state-rival Oregon 7-6; March 17: Hit two home runs against #1 ranked UCLA Bruins in loss; April 9: Drove in four runs against Oregon in loss; April 26: Hit second grand slam of season in win over Washington State.
Andrew Vaughn, 1B, California
Like Rutschman, Vaughn is a polished hitter capable of being a big bat in any lineup he is in. There’s a lot to like here. While his Golden Bears are on the outside looking in on the top 25, there is hope that they will pick up as summer roles in. Vaughn will surely be a top five pick in this year’s MLB draft, and any team that gets him will draft him only for what he can do at the plate, not on the field.
2019 Season: 44 GS; .376 BA; 59 H; 13 HR; 44 RBI
Highlights: March 3: Homered twice in route of Saint Mary’s 9-3; March 20: Hit three home runs in win against USF; Defeated Adley Rutschman and his reigning national champs Oregon State 3-2; Slammed two homers in win against 13-6.
J.J. Bleday, OF, Vanderbilt
No one’s stock has risen more since the start of the college baseball season than J.J. Bleday’s. When the first 2019 mock drafts started to fade in, Bleday was seen as an end of first round pick. As preseason workouts and practices came, Bleday saw himself as definitely a top-20 pick. And now, here we in the thick of the college season with his team ranked third in all of D1 baseball, and with less than a month away from the draft he is now seen as a top-10 pick.
2019 Season: 50 GS; .344 BA; 67 H; 23 HR; 61 RBI
Highlights: March 21-23: Bleday homers twice, leading Vanderbilt in a 3-0 series sweep against the #14 Florida Gators; April 5: Bleday leads team to win against #4 Georgia Bulldogs; April 12-14: Bleday helps take two of three against #12 Arkansas Razorbacks; April 25-27: Vanderbilt rides the back of Bleday to sweep #25 Auburn; Bleday scores two runs to defeat #6 Louisville.
Nick Lodolo, LHP, TCU
Lodolo has been seen all over mock drafts as low as 25 and even has slid into the top-10 in others. This goes all the way back to last year. He might very well be the first pitcher off the board. He has the highest ceiling of any lefty in this class, there is no doubt.
2019 Season: 13 GS; 6-4 W-L; 100 SO; 19 BB; 2.39 ERA
Highlights: March 1: Struck out 13 in win against Houston 10-6; March 8: Struck out eight and picked up win against Long Beach State; March 15: Pitched a one-hitter and struck out 13 in win against Eastern Michigan; Struck out eight and only threw one walk in victory against #18 Oklahoma State; May 3: Went head-to-head against Alex Manoh of #22 West Virigina and picked up win, striking out nine and walking only two.
Alex Manoh, RHP, West Virginia
Manoh came out of nowhere, in a draft that is offensively deep but lacks arms. He is a pitcher that can pitch deep into games and absolutely shuts down teams. He’s leap-frogged over a few other pitching prospects to become either the first pitcher selected in the draft or at least the second.
2019 Season: 13 GS; 7-3 W-L; 121 SO; 22 BB; 1.89 ERA
Highlights: Struck out 13 in season opener against Kennesaw State; March 9: Picked up win against Kent State, striking out 12 and allowing only one walk; April 5: Went eight innings, striking out 11 and picked up win against #18 Oklahoma State; April 12: Went the distance, striking out 15 and allowed no walks in win against #11 Texas Tech; April 20: Fanned 15 in 1-0 win against Kansas Jay Hawks, where he also tallied a complete game; May 10: Allowed only a walk and struck out 13 in route of Kansas State.
Kameron Misner, OF, Missouri
While Misner has fell on some boards, he’s still a player to watch out for. His season hasn’t been as successful as a Rutschman or a Vaughn, but he’s still a player with more pros than cons and would be a steal in the first round of June’s draft. His projectables make him someone a team can develop for a few years into a solid everyday starter.
2019 Season: 52 GS; .291 BA; 55 H; 10 HR; 31 RBI
Highlights: February 16: Hit two homers in 5-4 squeaker against North Florida; April 3: Scored 3 runs and brought in one in crushing of Kansas State 17-2; Hit a towering home run to lead team to win against #8 LSU; May 3: Scored three of Missouri’s six runs in a 6-2 victory over #23 Tennessee
Bryson Stott, SS, UNLV
Maybe the best of the shortstops in this draft class, Stott has a knack for getting on base and when he does he is a threatening base-stealer. He’s stands at 6’3″ and weighs 200 pounds, so he’s a bigger shortstop with an amazing hit tool, but will need to work on his power to really drive the ball.
2019 Season: 50 GS; .371 BA; 72 H; 10 HR; 35 RBI
Highlights: February 20: Scored two of UNLV’s nine runs and hit a double against #16 UC Santa Barbara for a victory; March 20: Had four hits and led team to win against rival Nevada 7-6; May 11: Went 5-9 and had seven total runs scored in doubleheader sweep of New Mexico.
Hunter Bishop, OF, Arizona State
Much like Bleday, Bishop’s stock this college season has been going up, up, up! He’s the younger brother of Seattle Mariners outfielder Braden Bishop, so the bloodlines are there. While he is having an incredible season, his lack of success in his first couple years in college should be noted. There isn’t much of a track record there. But he looks good on tape as he can hit for power and average and his fielding isn’t bad either. It helps that he has a great supporting cast around him too, one being future 2020 first rounder Spencer Torkelson. Currently, his Sun Devils have dropped out of the top-25.
2019 Season: 48 GS; .365 BA; 70 H; 22 HR; 60 RBI
Highlights: February 17: Went 3-5 with a double and a homer, bringing in three against Notre Dame; March 1: Crushed two majestic home runs in an 8-0 route of Michigan State; March 8-10, May 7: Went 7-11 with a five homers and nine ribbies in 3-0 series sweep of Xavier; March 13: Homered twice in 7-3 win against New Mexico State; Led team with two home runs, seven RBI’s in 4-0 season series sweep of state rival Arizona Wildcats; May 5: Scored two runs, hit a home run plated four in upset of #1 UCLA.