USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team typified the 2018 college draft class in many ways, in terms of both its strengths and weaknesses.
|College National Team Top Prospects|
|1. Nick Madrigal, 2B/SS (Jr., Oregon State)|
|2. Travis Swaggerty, OF (Jr., South Alabama)|
|3. Seth Beer, OF/1B (Jr., Clemson)|
|4. Casey Mize, RHP (Jr., Auburn)|
|5. Steele Walker, OF (Jr., Oklahoma)|
|6. Jeremy Eierman, SS/3B (Jr., Missouri State)|
|7. Konnor Pilkington, LHP (Jr., Mississippi State)|
|8. Tim Cate, lhp (Jr., Connecticut)|
|9. Cadyn Grenier, SS (Jr., Oregon State)|
|10. Steven Gingery, lhp (Jr., Texas Tech)|
|11. Grant Koch, c (Jr., Arkansas)|
|12. Tyler Holton, lhp (Jr., Florida State)|
|13. Nick Sprengel, lhp (Jr., San Diego)|
|14. Jake McCarthy, of (Jr., Virginia)|
|15. Sean Wymer, rhp (Jr., Texas Christian)|
|16. Andrew Vaughn, 1b/3b (So., California)|
|17. Gianluca Dalatri, rhp (So., North Carolina)|
|18. Dallas Woolfork, rhp (Jr., Mississippi)|
|19. Joey Bart, c (Jr., Georgia Tech)|
|20. Tyler Frank, ss/3b/of (Jr., Florida Atlantic)|
|21. Bryce Tucker, lhp (Jr., Central Florida)|
|22. Johnny Aiello, ss/3b (Jr., Wake Forest)|
|23. Patrick Raby, rhp (Jr., Vanderbilt)|
|24. Braden Shewmake, 2b/3b (So., Texas A&M)|
|25. Ryley Gilliam, rhp (Jr., Clemson)|
|26. Kenyon Yovan, rhp (So., Oregon)|
|27. Jackson Lueck, of (Jr., Florida State)|
|28. Will Wilson, 2b/ss (So., North Carolina State)|
|29. Hunter Gaddis, rhp (So., Georgia State)|
|30. Nick Meyer, c (Jr., Cal Poly)|
That's often the case. Last year's club featured the highest-drafted college player for 2017 in Louisville's two-way star Brendan McKay and 11 of the 16 college players picked in the first round overall. This year's club likely won't produce 11 first-rounders, but it should come close with its clutch of the college game's top position players and depth of lefthanded pitchers. That's despite the fact that the top power arms in the college game--pitchers such as Florida righthanders Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar and South Florida lefthander Shane McClanahan--didn't pitch this summer. And like the college class, USA Baseball's position players were good--good enough to win the team's three key series against Cuba, Japan and Taiwan--but flawed.
"This is pretty typical of the college classes these days," one scouting director said. "The best players among the position players are the guys who were passed over for one reason or another out of high school."
1. Nick Madrigal, 2B/SS (Jr., Oregon State) 📹
Just 5-foot-7, 161 pounds, Madrigal will face durability questions as a pro, and scouts don't see him hitting for the kind of power that other stars at his size, such as Dustin Pedroia and Jose Altuve, have produced as big leaguers.
Madrigal's other tools, his baseball skills and makeup give him a high floor and likelihood of being a big league regular, however. One of the stars of Oregon State's 56-6 spring season, he took charge of Team USA upon arrival from Omaha, showing leadership on and off the field. He's at least a plus runner with 70-grade times to first base (as good as 3.97 seconds), with excellent baserunning and basestealing instincts. He has enough arm strength and plus footwork for shortstop and will be a plus defender at second base if he winds up there. His hands are his best asset defensively and offensively, and he makes consistent contact, with some power to his pull side. Madrigal's game awareness, instincts and feel also earn plaudits.