Before we get into the first-round picks of the MLB Draft, I’ll give a short overview of the entire thing. Three out of the first six picks were high school students. A catcher was taken first overall for the first time since 2003. A lot of these picks probably won’t have any real effect in the MLB for quite a while.
Finally, maybe the best thing about this draft, is that the Toronto Blue Jays drafted Braden Holladay, Roy Halladay’s son, in the 32nd round, because his late father wore number 32 while with the team. Braden has elected to still fulfill his commitment to Penn State University, but it was still a nice gesture by the Blue Jays.
Okay, now let’s get into the first-round of the MLB Draft.
With the first pick in the draft, the Baltimore Orioles drafted Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman. Now, while I do love this pick and it was the obvious choice, it’s going to be interesting to see what the Orioles do with Rutschman over the next couple years. They have a lot of depth at the catcher position. Pedro Severino and Chance Sisco are the two catchers on the main roster currently. While Austin Wynns isn’t currently on the active roster, he’s going to be a good catcher for the Orioles’ organization going forward if they choose to keep him.
Bobby Witt Jr. is also a pick I love by the Royals. Yes, they have Adalberto Mondesi as their current MLB shortstop, and he’s only 23, but at that same time, Witt Jr. is being regarded as the best shortstop since Alex Rodriguez in 1993. I don’t really see it taking long for Witt Jr. to make it to this big-league roster and having an immediate impact. This kid can do it all. Even though he just graduated from high school, he may be the best player in this draft, other than the number one overall pick, which is why it’s perfect Witt Jr. went second.
With the third pick, the Chicago White Sox made history by picking first basemen Andrew Vaughn. Vaughn is the first right-handed hitting and throwing first basemen to be drafted in the top five picks of the draft. Jose Abreu is the White Sox’ current All-Star first basemen, so this pick is kind of confusing to me, because Vaughn would almost be better as just a DH. He can field, obviously he got drafted third in the MLB draft, but his hitting is what really will drive him to the majors someday.
I absolutely love J.J. Bleday to the Miami Marlins with the fourth pick. This a player who I could see being the first one to make the majors out of this draft, just because of the team he’s now on. The Marlins need help. They’re in a total rebuild and have no real stars on that team. Bleday has been a star at Vanderbilt for a few years now, and that’s a college that has consistently been good for many years. The only thing missing from his game is having lighting quick speed, but other than that, he’s going to be a great player for many years.
Riley Greene is young, and also the second high school player taken in this draft. Being an outfielder getting drafted this high is always considered to be a good thing, because there is such a big need for outfielders. With him being in Detroit, he probably won’t make the majors for four to five years. His batting will more than likely carry him because of how quick his swing is, and he’s still growing into his power. Overall, this a good pick by the Tigers.
I went into deatil with the top five picks, for the rest if just going to be saying whether it was a good pick just because there is so many players to analyze.
Picks six through 32
6: Padres: SS C.J. Abrams– This is a great pick. Looking to the future, you could pair him with Manny Machado on the left side of the infield.
7: Reds: LHP Nick Lodolo- Great pick by the Reds, as he is the top pitching prospect in the draft.
8: Rangers: 3B Josh Jung- Jung is not very good on the base paths in terms of his speed, but he’s very athletic and has a great bat. With Adrian Beltre just retiring, Jung could surprise people and be the Rangers’ first basemen of the future. This is a good pick.
9: Braves: C Shea Langeliers- I like this pick, but I don’t love it if I’m going to be honest. He is probably the best defensive catcher in the draft. Hopefully he can recover from the broken hamate bone. I can see him being in the majors in about five years.
10: Giants: OF Hunter Bishop- I love this pick by the Giants. I’m surprised Bishop fell all the way to 10. In my opinion, Bishop is the best outfielder in the draft.
11: Blue Jays: RHP Alek Manoah- Manoah needs to work on his delivery and control consistency, but with his 6’6” 260 pound frame, he has the potential to dominate. The Blue Jays certainly would benefit from some more bullpen arms.
12: Mets: 3B Brett Baty- I’m skeptical about this pick because of his field instincts and range. His defense is something that needs to be worked on, but his offense is very good.
13: Twins: SS Keoni Cavaco- My thoughts on this pick are pending on whether he fulfills his commitment to San Diego State to attend college and work on his game.
14: Phillies: SS Bryson Stott- This is a great pick by the Phillies because Stott is probably the best college middle infielder out of the draft class. His versatility will allow him to be valuable for many years.
15: Angels: SS Will Wilson- This is an okay pick. Not a great one, but it works. He could eventually flow nicely with Simmons, depending on if he makes the majors, although it would probably benefit his career to move to second base.
16: Diamondbacks: OF Corbin Carroll- Again, my thoughts on this pick are pending on his commitment to UCLA.
17: Nationals: RHP Jackson Rutledge- I love this pick by the Nationals. I see Rutledge making his way through the farm system very quick.
18: Pirates: RHP Quinn Priester- Once again, a great high schooler taken in the first-round. Priester is committed to Texas Christian University.
19: Cardinals: LHP Zack Thompson- This pick is both risky and questionable. Thompson has had a history with injuries since high school.
20: Mariners: RHP George Kirby- This is a great pick by the Mariners. Kirby will be a mainstream in rotations for a while once he makes it to the show.
21: Braves: SS Braden Shewmake- For their second pick in the draft, this was a safe pick, but a good one at that. He will eventually be a good utility player if I had to guess.
22: Rays: SS Greg Jones- This a good pick because he will turn out to be a long-term lead off hitter and will be very dangerous on the base paths.
23: Rockies: 1B Michael Toglia- I’m not sure I really like this pick, just because his contact concerns me.
24: Indians: RHP Daniel Espino- Really like this pick by the Indians because he has so much versatility. Drafted as a reliever, but could very well turn into a starter.
25: Dodgers: Kody Hoese- Great pick for a future star at the hot corner. He has clear power and doesn’t strike out very much.
26: Diamondbacks: LHP Blake Walston- This is a great pick by the Diamondbacks. I really love this pick, because out of high school this kid is throwing a fastball in the low 90’s. He is quickly going to turn into one of the better prospects.
27: Cubs: RHP Ryan Jensen- This is a great pick. As long as Jensen works on his changeup and slider, he will easily make his way through the farm system.
28: Brewers: LHP Ethan Small- Small is still working on development form Tommy John surgery a few years ago, so that makes this a good, but risky pick because he’s so young.
29: Athletics: SS Logan Davidson- Going to be honest, I don’t like this pick. Yes, it was a late first round pick and he can switch hit, but he struggles very badly with hitting when it comes to using a wood bat. He has a lot of his game that needs to develop.
30: SS Anthony Volpe- This is an okay pick. Not a great one, but an okay one because of how many young players the Yankees have. He’s a high schooler, so he will probably go to college.
31: Dodgers: 2B Michael Busch- This is a confusing pick because the Dodgers are a National League team. Busch would work better as DH, because he’s not a very good fielder, but can hit very well.
32: Astros: C Korey Lee- This is a good pick and I like it. He only needs to work on developing his swing and miss rate. Other than that, he is a good defender who can hit.