Welcome to the second edition of our mock and big board for the 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
We have some changes and additions to the big board, along with some changes in the mock.
Mize at 1
The Tigers seem to be locked in on Auburn ace Casey Mize, and they have every reason to be. Mize did struggle in his last start, giving up four earned in six innings, but his overall performance this year has been stellar.
Could Bart Go at 2?
Georgia Tech catcher Joey Bart has had a monster year, hitting .368 with 16 home runs, and he’s apparently caught the attention of the San Francisco Giants. Bart makes a lot of sense for the Giants: he’s an offensive minded catcher, something that is seen as somewhat of a rarity; plus, Bart would help prolong the career of current Giants catcher Buster Posey. A move to first base would allow the Giants to keep his bat in the lineup while adding Bart’s in a couple years.
When the college season started, Shane McClanahan had a legit chance to go first overall. He started off red hot and him playing in Florida allowed the Phillies to see plenty of him while in spring training. McClanahan has met some struggles since then: his ERA is now 3.53 and he’s walked 39 in 66.1 innings. McClanahan still has the stuff to be a very good big leaguer, but he may fall out of the top five in the draft.
Good Chance It’s a Bat
Between Alec Bohm, Nick Madrigal, Bart, and Jonathan India, who we’ll cover later, there are a few college hitters that could go No. 3 to the Phillies. Brady Singer seems to be the only pitcher in play with Mize primed to go at one and McClanahan struggling.
Updated Big Board
1. Casey Mize, RHP from Auburn
2. Brady Singer, RHP from Florida
3. Nick Madrigal, INF from Oregon State
4. Alec Bohm, INF from Wichita State
5. Jonathan India, INF from Florida
India is new to our big board, so let’s get to know him. He’s a great athlete and has the range and arm to stay at third base, unlike Bohm who looks destined for first base. India also has an exceptional bat, hitting .365 with 16 homers. He’s also walked the same amount of times he’s struck out, giving him a .506 on-base percentage.
6. Joey Bart, Catcher from Georgia Tech
7. Shane McClanahan, LHP from USF
8. Travis Swaggerty, OF from South Alabama
Also new to the list, Swaggerty has a lot of similarities to Adam Haseley when he was coming out of college. Swaggerty has a strong arm and has the speed to play all three outfield positions. He’s hitting .295 with 13 home runs. He’s also walked 13 more times than he has struck out.
The Pick: Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn
The only thing that would keep this from happening would be if Mize suffered a major injury before the draft. Mize has the stuff and the command to be very good, but will his recent “struggle” have the Tigers looking at other prospects.
San Francisco Giants
The Pick: Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech
This seems like a perfect fit. As mentioned above, bringing Bart on board would help Buster Posey, who is now on the wrong side of 30. Bart’s bat should play in the majors and help him fly through the minors.
The Pick: Alec Bohm, INF, Wichita State
Last week, the pick was Madrigal, but the Phillies have a log jam with middle infielders, so they may opt for a corner infielder in Bohm or India, India has a better chance to stay at third, but the Phillies may like Bohm’s bat more. At the end of the day, the Phillies have a lot of choices and they may not make up their mind until draft night.
We’ll do this again next week and see if there’s more changes at the top.