Here’s a look at our first MLB mock draft for 2018, where we’re just projecting the first 10 picks. As things begin to sort themselves out over the next week or so, our subsequent mocks will feature the entire first round.
Here’s our current projection for the first 10 picks:
1. Detroit Tigers: Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn
The Tigers get a potential ace here. Casey Mize is head-and-shoulders ahead of the other pitchers in this draft. He’s got great size at 6’3″ and 220 pounds, can hit 96 mph, has a devastating splitter and has the makings of a plus slider and a decent changeup. It would take a shocking turn for him to slip past No. 1.
2. San Francisco Giants: Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech
The San Francisco Giants have to begin to plan for life after Buster Posey, or at least plan for his eventual full-time move away from the catcher spot. Bart has solidified himself as the best backstop in the draft. He’s 6’3″ and 225 pounds with legit power, a solid arm and good receiving skills. So far this year he’s slashing .371/.480/.649 with 15 home runs and 36 RBIs, with 37 walks and just 49 strikeouts.
The Giants are reportedly also in on South Alabama center fielder Travis Swaggerty and Singer.
3. Philadelphia Phillies: Alec Bohm, 3B, Wichita State
The Philadelphia Phillies are focusing on college bats mostly, and Alec Bohm is a high-contact/hard-contact third baseman with power and a great eye at the plate. At 6’5″ and 220 pounds, he’s big for third base, but his bat will get him drafted early. So far this season Bohm is slashing .333/.435/.611 with 14 home runs, 51 RBIs and just 22 strikeouts against 36 walks.
4. Chicago White Sox: Nick Madrigal, 2B, Oregon State
The Chicago White Sox love Madrigal, a high-average, high-contact hitter with a long track record of success. It doesn’t look like there’s any power in his future, but the kid will definitely hit. In 23 games during the 2018 season, Madrigal is slashing .458/.514/.635, with just four strikeouts and 10 walks.
Swaggerty and Singer are options here.
5. Cincinnati Reds: Brady Singer, RHP, Florida
Singer was the consensus top prospect in this class a year ago, and while he’s fallen a bit, he can still be a dominant starter. While he’s been up to 96 mph this spring with two solid breaking pitches, Singer’s delivery is a concern, as is his lack of a good changeup. Still, he’s easily worth this pick if he can stay healthy.
6. New York Mets: Travis Swaggerty, CF, South Alabama
Swaggerty does everything well, plays a good center field (he’s not elite, but very solid), walks a lot and runs well. He’s hovered around .300 in 2018, which isn’t good enough for a player of his caliber but he’s shown more power than expected. This year he’s slashing .303/.459/.564, with 13 home runs, 38 RBIs, and has struck out just 35 times against 47 walks.
He’s the perfect low-risk college bat who adds other dimensions to his game and should stick in center.
7. San Diego Padres: Carter Stewart, RHP, Eau Gallie HS (FL)
The San Diego Padres went with a stud prep pitcher last year in MacKenzie Gore, and they are poised to go that route again. The Pads are all over the prep pitchers in this class and could go a number of ways, with Liberatore, Ryan Weathers and Kumar Rocker all possibilities here.
In this scenario they take Carter Stewart, who might have the highest upside of any player in this draft. He’s been up to 98 with a devastating curveball and the makings of a solid changeup. At 6’6″ and 200 pounds there’s plenty of projection there as well.
8. Atlanta Braves: Nolan Gorman, 3B, O’Connor HS (AZ)
The Atlanta Braves have been scouting everyone drafted above this, as well as Kelenic, California prep righty Cole Winn and Liberatore. They’d love for Bart to fall this far, but that’s unlikely. Instead here they’ll snag Arizona prep Nolan Gorman, a high-upside power bat who may not stick at third base. Gorman has legit 80-grade power (on the 20-to-80 scale), but has had issues making contact this spring. Still, he’s got a good track record of success and enormous potential.
9. Oakland Athletics: Shane McClanahan, LHP, South Florida
The Oakland A's could go in a number of directions, but a hard-throwing college lefty is never a bad bet. Shane McClanahan can get up to 99 mph, but doesn’t have much in the way of secondary stuff. If he can harness his control and settle on a breaking pitch, he could move quickly. If not, he’d be ticketed for a bullpen role. Still, he’s worth the risk here.
Swaggerty and Kelenic are also possibilities here.
10. Pittsburgh Pirates: Jarred Kelenic, OF, Waukesha West HS (WI)
A pure value play here for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Kelenic has tools on par with the best in this class, but he hasn’t played much this spring. He doesn’t actually play for his high school, instead playing for a club team in Kenosha. He was a star on the scouting circuit last summer with a sweet lefty swing and loud tools scouts fell in love with. He’s the top prep bat in this class. At 6’1″ and 195 pounds, he has good size and a well-built body already and could add some more strength.