The 2019 MLB First Year Player Draft will get under way on Monday. In my first mock draft, I predicted that the Philadelphia Phillies would select left-handed pitcher Zack Thompson with the 14th overall pick.
My second mock has many similarities to the first one, especially at the top of the draft. However, some changes as the first round moves along are likely going to affect the Phillies.
That leads me to another possibility whom the club may choose to select as the next hot new prospect to enter the organization.
MLB 2019 Draft: Mock 2.0
- Baltimore Orioles- C Adley Rutschman (Oregon State)
- Kansas City Royals- SS Bobby Witt Jr. (Colleyville HS)
- Chicago White Sox- OF J.J. Bleday (Vanderbilt)
- Miami Marlins- 1B Andrew Vaughn (Cal)
- Detroit Tigers- OF Riley Greene (Hagerty HS)
- San Diego Padres- SS C.J. Abrams (Blessed Trinity Catholic HS)
- Cincinnati Reds- LHP Nick Lodolo (TCU)
- Texas Rangers- OF Hunter Bishop (Arizona State)
- Atlanta Braves- C Shea Langeliers (Baylor)
- San Francisco Giants- Alek Manoah (WVU)
- Toronto Blue Jays- SS Bryson Stott (UNLV)
- New York Mets- LHP Zack Thompson (Kentucky)
- Minnesota Twins- RHP Jackson Rutledge (San Jacinto College)
- Philadelphia Phillies- RHP George Kirby (Elon)
Who is George Kirby?
The junior went 8-2 in 14 starts with a 2.75 ERA. Over 88.1 innings this past season, Kirby struck out 107 opposing college hitters while walking only six.
Kirby generates velocity with his 6’3 frame, sitting in the mid-90s with his fastball which has reached 98 MPH. His slider and curveball are considered above average, and he even adds in a solid changeup.
It is rare for someone so young and who throws as hard as Kirby to have such great control. In fact, he led all Division 1 NCAA pitchers with a 17.5 strikeout-walk ratio during the 2019 regular season. That’s why I believe that he could prove to be a special arm. This snippet comes from his MLB Pipeline bio:
“He doesn’t have any problems throwing strikes but will have to refine his command. He has a sound delivery and arm action, so it’s easy to project him as a possible No. 3 starter.”
Sound like anyone we already know here in Philly? There looks to be a lot of Aaron Nola in that quote. The current Phillies young ace was also projected as a “safe” pick with a floor as a #3 starter when he was selected out of college five years ago.
Kirby is a very intriguing prospect, well known to the many big-league organizations who need pitching. I wouldn’t be too surprised if he’s picked before the Phillies are on the clock. Thankfully, this draft seems to be a little deeper than some years past, especially with college prospects. There is a high chance he will indeed be there.
Whether or not the Phillies take Kirby remains to be seen. But it seems fairly safe to assume that a high-end college prospect, someone who could reach the majors sooner rather than later, is most likely to be the direction taken by Phillies brain trust on Monday night.
The 2019 MLB Draft will take place over three days from June 3-5, with MLB Network covering the first round. That TV coverage begins with a pre-draft show airing at 6pm EDT on Monday evening, followed at 7pm by the opening of the first round. Both the first and second rounds will take place that night.
The Phillies forfeited their second round pick with the Bryce Harper signing. Their second pick will come in the third round with the 91st overall selection. The second through 10th rounds can be followed on MLB.com on Tuesday, June 4 starting at 1pm EDT. The draft process wraps up with rounds 11-40, which can also be followed at the MLB.com site on Wednesday June 5 beginning at 12 noon EDT.
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