The 2018 MLB Draft was held the first-week of June 2018. Now that enough time has passed, we thought it would be interesting to take a look back and see how the top ten players have done so far (especially with the upcoming 2020 Draft). As well, we will use Sports Illustrated’s draft grades to see how well they have stood the test of time.
1. Casey Mize, Pitcher – Detroit Tigers (SI Grade: A)
Mize was clear the best player in the draft and the Tigers absolutely made the right pick in selecting him. After finishing his 2018 season at Auburn, Mize made the transition to the professional ranks and spent time in A+ with Lakeland and in the Rookie League. During this short time frame, he only threw roughly 13 innings of work.
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It wasn’t until 2019, at AA Erie and A+ Lakeland, that Mize had a large workload. This past season, he threw 109.1 innings between the two teams and had a combined 8-3 record. He also recorded 106 strikeouts through the campaign.
Clearly Mize is going to continue climbing through the ranks.
2. Joey Bart , Catcher – San Francisco Giants (SI Grade: A)
Drafting Bart was a solid choice after Mize immediately went off the board. Early indications pointed to Bart easily becoming a strong starting catcher. Some pre-draft projections even made the argument that he had the talent to become one of the best in the game.
After concluding his 2018 season at Georgia Tech, he spent time in A- with Salem-Keizer and in the Rookie League. In A-, he had a .298 batting average and a .261 average in the Rookie League.
In 2019, he has been with three different teams – at AA with Richmond, A+ with San Jose, and with Scottsdale in the Fall League. So far, he has a .284/.343/.532 slash line. He has also shown signs of power, with 29 homeruns and 88 RBIs.
2020 Baseball Futures Guide
3. Alec Bohm, 3B – Philadelphia Phillies (SI Grade: B)
Bohm was projected to be a run-of-the-mill run producer likely to be slotted in the middle of the order. Some draft analyst were confused by this pick, as Nick Madrigal from Oregon State was still on the board (and was thought to be a better all-around player). The biggest knock on Bohm was some serious question marks regarding his fielding ability.
After leaving Wichita State, Bohm was immediately sent to A- in Williamsport where he registered 121 plate appearances to the tune of a .223/.314/.290 line. Afterwards, he was sent to multiple teams throughout the Rookie League.
In 2019, he spent the majority of his time in AA Reading and A+ Clearwater, with a short stint in A with Lakewood. During his latest appearances in A, his slash line is .367/.441/.595.
In regards to the concerns about his fielding, during all of his time in the pro ranks combined, Bohm has a .920 fielding percentages and has committed 22 total errors.
4. Nick Madrigal, 2B – Chicago White Sox (SI Grade: A)
Nick Madrigal was considered to be an elite hitter coming into the draft. Some were concerned about his size (he is 5-foot-7 and weights 165 pounds), but those concerns were largely erased with the success of other small framed players such as Pedroia, Altuve, and Albies.
After concluding his time with Oregon State, Madrigal was sent to A+ Winston-Salem where, in 107 plate appearances, he registered a .306/.355/.347 slash line, accounting for zero homeruns.
He was then opted to A-level Kanapolis and to the White Sox Rookie League.
Throughout 2019, he spent time in AAA Charlotte. While there, he had 118 plate appearnaces and lived up to the hype with a .331/.398/.424 slash line. He also hit his first professional homerun while in Charolette.
Afterwards, he was sent to AA Birmingham and back to A+ Winston-Salem.
Through his first two seasons in the Minors, Madrigal has four homeruns, 71 RBIs, 21 strikeouts, and a .309/.371/.398 slash line.
5. Jonathan India, 3B – Cincinnati Reds (SI Grade: B+)
Jonathan India was a player on many team’s radars since his time in high school. He was considered a elite-level talent, especially once his power increased during his 2018 campaign at the University of Florida. Some scouts saw similarity between India and Martin Prado.
The Red sent India to A ball in Dayton before shipping him to Rookie League ball in both Greeneville and Billings. During his first pro season in 2018, India had a .240/.380/.433 line with six homeruns and 44 strikeouts.
India started 2019 in AA Chattanooga before being sent down to A+ in Daytona and finishing the campaign in the Fall Ball League in Glendale. Combined, 2019 was a solid year for India, who hit a combined .259/.365/.402.
6. Jarred Kelenic, OF – NY Mets (SI Grade: B+)
The Mets opted to go for developing talent, drafting Kelenic out of high school. Most scouts agreed that Kelenic had very promising offensive skills.
Kelenic spent all of 2018 in the Rookie League, where he built a .286/.371/.468 line with six homeruns and 42 RBIs.
In 2019, Kelenic traveled between AA, A+, and A before ending the season in the Fall Ball League in Peoria. Kelenic continued to show flashes of potential during the season, with a .291/.364/.540 line and 24 homeruns to go with 68 RBIs.
7. Ryan Weathers, Pitcher – San Diego Padres (SI Grade: B+)
Following the Reds, the Padres decided to go with Weathers, whom scouts considered to be a talented prep arm whose floor was higher than most prep pitchers.
He bounced back in forth in 2018 between A Fort Wayne and the Rookie League. He finished the 2018 campaign with a 0-3 record, having appeared in seven games with 18.1 innings pitched. He allowed 19 hits, 2 homeruns, and recording 18 strikeouts.
In 2019, the Padres ent him to A-level Fort Wayne where he finished with a 3-7 record. Appearing in 22 games, Weathers threw 96 innings of work, struckout 90 batters, and finished with a 3.84 ERA.
8. Carter Stewart, Pitcher – Atlanta Braves (SI Grade: A)
Many scouts were including Carter Stewart as a potential top five pick, as his upside was unmatched with two 70-grade pitches.
However, Stewart rejected the Braves’ bonus of roughly $2 million and instead played a season of college ball at Eastern Florida State.
9. Kyler Murray, OF – Oakland Athletics (SI Grade: B)
Looking back at it, this was obviously a weird pick. But, the A’s were willing to take a risk on what scouts argued was a very high upside bat.
He initially signed with the Athletics, which included a $4.66 million signing bonus. But, after his Heisman campaign with the Sooners, he opted to enter the NFL Draft.
Oakland retains the rights to Murray, if he were to return to baseball.
2020 Baseball Prospectus
10. Travis Swaggerty, OF – Pittsburgh Pirates (SI Grade: B+)
Scouts agreed that this is a fantastic pick for the Pirates, as they were getting a player with a similar skillset to Brett Gardner as it was believed that Swaggerty was able to do a little bit of everything.
Swaggerty spent the 2018 campaign in A and A- with West Virginia, hitting a combined .239/.322/.383 including five homeruns and 58 strikeouts.
He spent the entire 2019 season in A+ Bradenton where he finished .265/.347/.381 with nine homeruns, 40 RBIs, and 116 strikeouts.