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2019 Top 100 MLB Draft Prospects

MLBDraft.jpg
Members of the 2018 Draft Class. (Getty Images)

By Carlos Collazo

Baseball America’s MLB Draft Prospect rankings are compiled in consultation with scouts and evaluators from major league clubs. These rankings are an attempt to capture the industry’s current consensus on the talent, track record and experience of the 2019 class as it stands in January. As always, while we are concerned with reporting how the draft will unfold, these rankings do not reflect where we believe these players will be taken, but how the industry values each player’s major league potential and the risks that coincide.

While the draft is still six months away, here at Baseball America we can’t help but to get excited. With that, we are happy to release our first combined 2019 draft list, which includes four-year college, junior college and high school prospects.

We’ll continue to gather information throughout the high school and college seasons, and much is sure to change as we get closer and closer to June 3. By the time the final version of the BA 500 is released in May, many players on this list will have moved thanks to performance, injuries and the fact that BA will have much more information from scouts, evaluators and coaches.

However, we still believe it’s valuable to get a snapshot of how the draft class looks before scouts start heading out to ballparks en masse.

Unsurprisingly, the class is led by Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman, who remains the consensus top prospect in the class, followed by Colleyville (Texas) High shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., who is safely the top prep prospect in the class.

Six hitters follow Rutschman and Witt on the list before a pitcher makes an appearance, with Duke lefthander Graeme Stinson ranked No. 9 and IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) righthander Brennan Malone rounding out the top 10.

As the first ten players illustrate, the 2019 class is heavy on hitters.

Position players comprise 57 percent of the top 100 at this point, which is a significantly higher share than the 2018 draft class, which was hailed for its strong pitching depth on both the high school and college sides.

Pitchers made up 51 percent of the top 100 of the final BA 500 last year.

Coincidentally, the breakdown of four-year, junior college and high school prospects is identical from year to year, with 50 players coming out of four-year universities, 48 from the high school ranks and two junior college prospects.

Here’s a complete breakdown of the class demographics at this point, compared with the top 100 prospects from the final 2018 BA 500:

20192018
Catcher45
Corner Infield127
Middle Infield2314
Outfield1823
LHP108
RHP3343
Updated on: 1/10/2019 See Full List
  1. 1

    Adley Rutschman

    Oregon State C
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 185 | B-T: B-R
    Commit/Drafted: Mariners '16 (40)
    Scouting Report: The consensus top college prospect, Rutschman led Oregon State to a College World Series title during his sophomore season while leading the Beavers in hitting. He then joined USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team shortly after his college season and led all USA hitters in each triple slash category. Rutschman has been on scouts’ radars since he was in high school, where he had impressive raw power, touched 94 mph off the mound and was also an elite kicker—he served as the Beavers’ place kicker during his freshman season before turning his focus completely to baseball. After polishing his game in all facets in Corvallis, Rutschman has no holes in his game, with plus defensive tools ranging from receiving ability to a strong, accurate arm. He’s a plus hitter from both sides of the plate with a long track record of hitting, and he’s also a fierce leader on the field and the favorite to become the first overall pick next June.

  2. 2

    Bobby Witt Jr.

    Colleyville (Texas) Heritage HS SS
    Notes:

    School: Colleyville (Texas) Heritage HS
    Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 183 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: Oklahoma
    Scouting Report: A five-tool talent out of Texas and the son of a former 16-year major leaguer, Bobby Witt Jr. has an expansive toolset that includes plus power, speed, arm strength and defensive ability at shortstop. How high Witt Jr. goes in the draft next spring will depend on the conviction that scouts have in his hit tool, as evaluators have questions about the amount of swing-and-miss in his game after his performance this summer. Still, he hit massive home runs at multiple events this summer against top competition and routinely impacts the game defensively thanks to his elite hands, quick footwork and the ability to throw on the run and from multiple arm slots. Witt Jr. is committed to Oklahoma.

  3. 3

    C.J. Abrams

    Blessed Trinity HS, Roswell, Ga. SS
    Notes:

    School: Blessed Trinity HS, Roswell, Ga.
    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 185 | B-T: L-R
    Commit: Alabama
    Scouting Report: A speedy shortstop out of Georgia, Abrams has some of the best bat-to-ball skills of the 2019 class with a simple, clean stroke from the lefthanded batter’s box. He uses his elite contact ability and plus-plus speed to drive balls to both outfield gaps for extra-base hits, and he beats out infield singles by routinely posting 70-grade run times from home to first. Abrams has below-average raw power and rolls over on the ball at times, leading some scouts to question his future impact potential, but his defensive ability at shortstop is among the best in the class. He has a short arm action, quick hands and a fast exchange with excellent range, allowing his arm to play up. He also logged a few innings in center field this summer, where he chased down balls well. Abrams is committed to Alabama.

  4. 4

    Andrew Vaughn

    California 1B
    Notes:

    Ht: 5-11 | Wt: 214 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Scouting Report: The 2018 Golden Spikes award winner, Vaughn put up one of the best offensive campaigns in Cal’s history, with a .402/.531/.819 slash line and 23 home runs—tying the Cal record previously set by Xavier Nady in 1999. He had a quiet summer with the Collegiate National Team, but scouts and coaches alike rave about Vaughn’s feel to hit, which is coupled with a preternatural feel for the strike zone and tremendous raw power. He’s walked 63 times compared to 42 strikeouts in two seasons with Cal, and he’s also a solid defender at first base. Vaughn should get drafted near the top of the first round as he is arguably the best all-around hitter in the 2019 draft class.

  5. 5

    Riley Greene

    Hagerty HS, Oviedo, Fla. OF
    Notes:

    School: Hagerty HS, Oviedo, Fla.
    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 197 | B-T: L-L
    Commit: Florida
    Scouting Report: An outfielder out of Florida, Greene is arguably the best overall hitter in the high school class. He entered the 2019 draft cycle as one of the most anticipated hitters, and he did nothing to dispel that status by performing in several events this summer, routinely squaring up the best pitchers in the class. Greene has a small hitch in his smooth, lefthanded swing, but he has more than enough bat speed to avoid it being a red flag. He has a patient approach and a great understanding of the strike zone, with solid power and a chance for more as he fills out his 6-foot-1, 192-pound frame. He likely fits best in a corner at the next level as a below-average runner with questionable jumps at times, but he has an accurate arm. He is committed to Florida.

  6. 6
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 190 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Blue Jays '16 (34)
    Scouting Report: In a typical draft class, the Baylor backstop would be a safe bet as the top catcher in the class, but Langeliers has to deal with Rutschman ahead of him in the 2019 group. Still, Langeliers has a solid, all-around toolset with no weaknesses in his game aside from being a below-average runner—which is the least important tool for a pro catcher. He projects as a solid-average hitter with average power, and even more juice to the pull-side, with a strong defensive skill set behind the plate. Langeliers has above-average receiving and blocking ability as well as a strong, accurate arm, which he used to throw out almost 70 percent of basestealers last spring.

  7. 7

    Corbin Carroll

    Lakeside HS, Seattle OF
    Notes:

    School: Lakeside HS, Seattle
    Ht: 5-10 | Wt: 160 | B-T: L-L
    Commit: UCLA
    Scouting Report: Carroll established himself as one of the best pure bats in the class over the summer after dominating at the plate in every high-profile event he attended. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound outfielder has a quick, balanced swing and a terrific feel for the barrel, as well as a keen understanding of the strike zone and a patient approach in the lefthanded batter’s box. Carroll is more than willing to take a walk and then cause havoc on the bases as a plus runner, but he also has sneaky pop in his bat that allows him to hit for extra bases. Defensively, Carroll projects to stick in center field and be a solid defender there. Add everything up and there are no real holes in Carroll’s game—unless you want to nitpick his size. He is committed to UCLA.

  8. 8

    Josh Jung

    Texas Tech 3B
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 215 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Scouting Report: The Big 12 Freshman of the Year after a solid 2017 campaign with Texas Tech, Jung took a step forward during his sophomore season this spring, posting a .392/.491/.639 slash line and doubling his home run output from six to 12. A physical, 6-foot-2, 215-pound third baseman, Jung has a solid, backside-heavy approach at the plate with plenty of strength and bat speed. More power should come for him down the road as he learns how to pull the ball more aggressively, but for now Jung seems content to keep his hands inside the ball and drive it the other way. Defensively, opinions range from below-average to plus on Jung’s work at the hot corner, as he’s more capable coming in on balls than moving laterally. He has below-average quickness but solid hands and a strong arm.

  9. 9
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-5 | Wt: 250 | B-T: L-L
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Scouting Report: A big, physical lefthander with tantalizing upside as a high schooler in the 2016 draft class, Stinson has steadily climbed closer and closer to his ceiling during his collegiate career. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound southpaw significantly lowered his walk rate from his freshman to sophomore season and also impressed scouts as the top arm on USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team this summer. Armed with a plus fastball and slider—which some scouts label a grade higher at plus-plus—Stinson has the potential to be an innings-eating workhorse in the starting rotation. However, he’ll need to establish a track record of success as a starter next spring to convince scouts, as he’s pitched more frequently out of the bullpen to this point, and teams wonder about his athleticism and ability to repeat his delivery. He’s got some of the best stuff in the class and is trending in the right direction, but will need to put it all together during his junior season.

  10. 10

    Brennan Malone

    IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. RHP
    Notes:

    School: IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 203 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: North Carolina
    Scouting Report: A 6-foot-3, 203-pound righthander, Malone put himself at the top of the high school pitching class thanks to an excellent package of starter traits, premium stuff and projection for more down the line. His fastball is among the best in the class, touching 97 mph and sitting in the low to mid-90s in short stints this summer. His quick and loose arm action, combined with a terrific frame, lead scouts to believe he will touch 100 mph at some point. Malone throws a slider and curveball that are presently inconsistent, but have shown flashes at times this summer. His low-80s slider is currently ahead of a mid- to upper-70s curveball, and he also throws a mid-80s changeup with solid arm speed. Malone transferred out of North Carolina and will play his final high school season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He’s committed to North Carolina.

  11. 11

    Daniel Espino

    Georgia Premier Academy, Statesboro, Ga. RHP
    Notes:

    School: Bulloch Academy, Statesboro, Ga.
    Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 196 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: Louisiana State
    Scouting Report: The Georgia righthander has the best present stuff of any pitcher in the high school class—with no exceptions. His fastball touched 100 mph this summer, and the pitch regularly sat in the 94-98 mph range in short stints. His mid-70s curveball is a plus pitch presently, with sharp, late break, and he also throws a slider in the low 80s with late life that could become another plus offering. Espino infrequently throws an 86-89 mph changeup that needs refinement. Born in Panama, Espino lacks the future projection of other arms in the class. Some scouts worry about the length to his arm action, but he has a strong lower half and gets off the mound with tremendous force, allowing others to worry less about the stress he’ll endure on his elbow and shoulder.

  12. 12

    Zack Thompson

    Kentucky LHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 225 | B-T: L-L
    Commit/Drafted: Rays '16 (11)
    Scouting Report: An elbow injury limited Thompson to just 31 innings of work this spring, but the 6-foot-2, 225-pound lefthander impressed scouts in a brief, three-appearance look with the Collegiate National Team, where he sat in the low 90s and complimented his fastball with an 82-84 mph, high-spin rate slider. Thompson also throws a fringe-average curveball and solid changeup, which give him the tools to become a middle-of-the-rotation starter if he stays healthy and lowers a walk rate that’s been just under five batters per nine innings at Kentucky. Scouts like Thompson’s athleticism and delivery, which allow them to be optimistic about the walk rate trending in the right direction. He could go high in the first round with a solid junior campaign.

  13. 13

    Tyler Dyson

    Florida RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 210 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Scouting Report: Dyson opened the spring as Florida’s Sunday starter, pitching behind Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar in the rotation. A nagging shoulder injury limited him in the second half of the season, but he was able to get back on the mound and pitched well in the Cape Cod League. At his best, Dyson can be as electric as his former Gators teammates. He can run his fastball into the mid-90s and mixes in a sharp slider and an effective changeup. Listed at 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, he has the size, stuff and control to start. Dyson still needs to improve his consistency—he loses his crispness for an inning at times and things go sideways—and prove his durability in the rotation for a full spring. But if he can put it all together, Dyson can front the Gators’ rotation and follow the well-worn path from Gainesville to the first round.

  14. 14

    Jerrion Ealy

    Jackson (Miss.) Prep HS OF
    Notes:

    School: Jackson (Miss.) Prep HS
    Ht: 5-9 | Wt: 179 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: Uncommitted
    Scouting Report: A dynamic, quick-twitch athlete, Ealy was committed to Mississippi as both an outfielder and a four-star running back but decommitted earlier this week. Arguably the fastest runner in the class, Ealy ran a 6.49-second 60-yard dash at East Coast Pro in August. He also brings a plus arm, plus bat speed and elite hand-eye coordination to the table. Ealy rarely swings and misses at the plate, and while he might be a tough aggressive in the box now, has all the tools to become a dynamic offensive player if he ever decides to focus exclusively on baseball. He also gets excellent jumps in the outfield and could be a plus defender in the future.

  15. 15

    Carter Stewart

    East Florida State JC RHP
    Notes:

    School: East Florida State JC
    Ht: 6-6 | Wt: 200 | B-T: R-R
    Drafted Braves '18 (1)

    Scouting Report:Ranked No. 9 on the BA 500 in 2018, Stewart was the second high school pitcher selected last year when the Braves grabbed him with the draft’s eighth overall pick. Stewart radically improved his draft stock after a spring season with Eau Gallie (Melbourne, Fla.) High where he improved his fastball velocity and touched 97-98 mph to complement the best breaking ball in the class—a low-80s curveball with an absurdly high spin rate in the 3,000 rpm range. Medical concerns with a wrist injury prevented the Braves and Stewart from agreeing to a deal, leading Stewart to file a grievance against the team—which the Braves won. He then enrolled at Eastern Florida State JC instead of Mississippi State, where he was originally committed. If healthy, Stewart’s pure stuff compares well with any pitcher in the 2019 draft class. He’s got an impressive frame at 6-foot-6, 200-pounds with advanced body control, but teams will need to be convicted in his health after seeing how the 2018 draft situation unfolded.

  16. 16

    Nick Lodolo

    Texas Christian LHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-6 | Wt: 180 | B-T: L-L
    Commit/Drafted: Pirates '16 (1s)
    Scouting Report: The Pirates drafted Lodolo 41st overall in 2016 but he decided not to sign, opting instead to play for TCU. He immediately joined the Horned Frogs’ rotation, where he has been solid, but not dominant, over the last two years. Lodolo has a long, lean, projectable frame at 6-foot-6, 185 pounds. His lively fastball sits in the low 90s and he uses his height to throw it from a steep downhill angle. He mixes in a sharp curveball and a changeup. He can create plenty of swings and misses (he averaged 10.87 strikeouts per nine innings last spring) but he also has been hit more than would be expected for a pitcher with his stuff (9.35 hits per nine innings). Lodolo’s upside is significant, and with a strong spring he could be the top college pitcher off the board.

  17. 17

    Matthew Thompson

    Cypress Ranch HS, Houston RHP
    Notes:

    School: Cypress Ranch HS, Houston
    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 184 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: Texas A&M
    Scouting Report: The top pitcher out of Texas, Thompson is an immensely athletic righthanded pitcher who jumped onto national radars as an underclassman last fall. Thompson’s fastball ranged from 88-93 mph early in the summer before ticking up into the 91-93 mph range as the season progressed. He throws from a high, three-quarter slot with electric arm speed and shows great feel to spin the baseball. Thompson throws a low-80s slider that has hard, late break and two-plane action that routinely draws whiffs and causes batters to expand the zone. He also showed some feel for a solid, 76-79 mph curveball with 11-to-5 break. Thompson is committed to Texas A&M.

  18. 18

    Will Holland

    Auburn SS
    Notes:

    Ht: 5-10 | Wt: 181 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Scouting Report: Holland is toolsy and in 2018 established a strong track record for performance as one of the top hitters for the Tigers. He’s an aggressive hitter, but he can put a charge into the ball. He has more power than his 5-foot-11, 185-pound frame suggests, and he produces a lot of hard-hit balls. He is a plus runner who knows how to use his speed on the bases. Holland can make highlight reel plays at shortstop and has both the range and arm strength for the position. Much like he is at the plate, he is still a bit raw defensively, but his tools will play at shortstop if he can smooth out some of the rough edges.

  19. 19

    Matthew Allan

    Seminole (Fla.) HS RHP
    Notes:

    School: Seminole (Fla.) HS
    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 210 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: Florida
    Scouting Report: A 6-foot-3, 210-pound righthander committed to Florida, Allan is a strong, physical pitcher with a pair of potential plus offerings in a fastball that has touched 96 mph and a big, 12-to-6 downer curveball. Allan works out of a slow windup and throws from a three-quarter arm slot, but he struggled with command at times throughout the summer. He will need to improve the consistency of his fastball command during the spring, as he would land his breaking ball for strikes more consistently than his heater. Allan occasionally threw a firm, 87-89 mph changeup that could develop into a quality third pitch as well.

  20. 20

    Will Wilson

    North Carolina State SS
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 175 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Scouting Report: An All-ACC first team selection after posting a .307/.376/.588 slash line with 15 home runs this past spring, Wilson became the first member of the Wolfpack to be named ACC player of the week three separate times. The 6-foot, 175-pound infielder has great bat-to-ball skills and instincts, projecting as an offensive-oriented second baseman at the next level with a track record of hitting that dates back to his high school days. Wilson’s below-average speed make him a better fit for the keystone, where he’s solid with the glove and could be at least an average defender. His feel for hitting and above-average power potential are the main tools that will get him drafted, perhaps as high as the first round if he has a strong junior season.

  21. 21

    Brett Baty

    Lake Travis HS, Austin
    Notes:

    School: Lake Travis HS, Austin
    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 218 | B-T: L-R
    Commit: Texas
    Scouting Report: If there’s a player who could rival Rece Hinds for the most raw power in the 2018 class, Baty might be the best bet. The corner infielder from Texas brings plenty of pop to the table with a physical, 6-foot-3, 218-pound frame and quick, uppercut swing from the left side. Baty hit the ball hard more consistently than most prep hitters throughout the summer and routinely stands out during batting practice with power to all fields. Like many big, power-hitting high school infielders, defense will be the question with Baty. He’s a more natural fit for first base and will need to improve his glovework, exchange and throwing accuracy to continue at third base. Baty is committed to Texas.

  22. 22

    Alek Manoah

    West Virginia RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-6 | Wt: 260 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Scouting Report: Manoah has mostly worked out of the bullpen over the last two years for West Virginia, but this summer he was one of the best starters on the Cape. Manoah strikes an imposing figure on the mound at a listed 6-foot-6, 260 pounds and has the fastball to match. He pitches in the mid-90s and can touch 98 mph in shorter stints. His slider is his best secondary pitch and has the makings of a plus offering. He also mixes in a good changeup. Manoah fills the strike zone and holds his velocity well, giving plenty of indications that he can remain in the rotation. He figures to become one of the highest drafted players in West Virginia history, with a chance to become the program’s first first-rounder since 1997.

  23. 23

    Tyler Callihan

    Providence HS, Jacksonville 3B/2B
    Notes:

    School: Providence HS, Jacksonville
    Ht: 5-11 | Wt: 211 | B-T: L-R
    Commit: South Carolina
    Scouting Report: The state of Florida is loaded once again on the prep side, as the Jacksonville-based Callihan has an argument to be one of the top hitters in the class. He has a quick lefthanded swing with lots of strength in his 5-foot-11, 211-pound frame. Callihan routinely hits deep, towering fly balls in batting practice and also showed off his raw power during USA Baseball’s 18U trials, homering against an elevated 90 mph fastball. Defense will be the biggest question with the South Carolina commit. He has a chance to stick at third base, but plenty of work needs to be done in terms of improving his hands and footwork for the position.

  24. 24

    Rece Hinds

    IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. 3B
    Notes:

    School: Niceville (Fla.) HS
    Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 210 | B-T: R-R
    Commit: Louisiana State
    Scouting Report: Looking for the biggest power in the class? Look no further than Hinds, who packs a tremendous punch into his righthanded swing. His power is easily plus right now, and multiple evaluators say it could be 80-grade juice in the future. With a strong, 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame, Hinds muscles balls out to all fields with ease, though in-game he’s had real swing-and-miss issues that scouts will bear down on in the spring. Defensively, he’s got one of the strongest arms in the class from the left side of the infield, though he’s likely too big for shortstop already. He also has plenty of work to do in refining his glovework and improving his throwing accuracy on the run to stick at third base. Hinds is committed to Louisiana State.

  25. 25

    Ryne Nelson

    Oregon RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 182 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Scouting Report: Nelson was a two-way player at Oregon this spring, playing shortstop and closing games for the Ducks. He has one of the most electric arms in the country. He touched 99 mph this spring and focused on pitching this summer in the Cape Cod League. Nelson has a power arm and electric stuff. His fastball reached 95 mph in the Cape Cod all-star game, and he mixes in a sharp, hard slider as well as a changeup. Listed at 6-foot-4, 182 pounds, he has a long, lean, athletic frame and a clean delivery. Nelson has never started but is expected to do so at Oregon next spring, and scouts are eager to see how he handles the role. Even if he ultimately fits better in the bullpen, he’ll still likely be one of the premium arms for the 2019 draft, which is short on slam-dunk starters.

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