2019 Top 300 MLB Draft Prospects
Baseball America’s MLB Draft Prospects rankings are compiled in consultation with scouts and evaluators from major league clubs.
By Carlos Collazo
After having conversations with scouts over the last two months and watching many of the top prospects at both the college and high school levels, we’re happy to bring an update to our 2019 Draft rankings and expand our list to 300 players.
While we believe this ranking presents an accurate snapshot of the current state of the draft class, this is just another step in the process. Teams continue to scout players around the country, adding to their looks and previous data points, while here at Baseball America we are consistently working towards the BA 500 list that will arrive in May.
There are plenty of changes from the last update, both at the top and bottom of the list, with significant developments already shaping up how the draft will unfold in June.
At the top of the board, four players seem to have put themselves into a tier among their own, with Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman retaining the No. 1 spot, followed by California first baseman Andrew Vaughn at No. 2 and then high-upside prep shortstops Bobby Witt Jr. and C.J. Abrams checking it at No. 3 and 4, respectively.
It’s also possible that the college hitters in that group have done enough to elevate themselves into 1a and 1b territory, while Witt and Abrams are a tick below, but still in a tier above the players below them.
Unsurprisingly, the three biggest risers on the list are all college hitters, as Nevada-Las Vegas shortstop Bryson Stott, Missouri outfielder Kameron Misner and Arizona State outfielder Hunter Bishop have all hit enough to move themselves into the top of the first round. Stott and Misner were both seen as potential first-round picks prior to the season, but both have elevated themselves from the back end of the first round into the draft’s top 10. Bishop has made the most radical jump, going from No. 119 on our preseason list to No. 13 now thanks to an overhauled offensive approach and a robust set of tools.
There are also a pair of notable pop-up players on the high school side, with Eastlake High (Chula Vista) Calif. third baseman Keoni Cavaco and St. Thomas High (Houston) righthander Josh Wolf putting themselves solidly into Day 1 consideration with strong showings to start their senior seasons.
We touched on all of these players in more detail in a recent MLB Draft Stock Watch, but we’ll continue to report and see how they progress as the season continues and as the college hitters are challenged with conference schedules.
Pitching talent in the 2019 draft class is notably down from years past, and there hasn’t yet been a pitcher who has established himself as the top arm in the class, but there are a trio of arms who could continue to impress and make that move in coming weeks.
Georgia Premier Academy (Statesboro, Ga.) righthander Daniel Espino is the de-facto top arm and checks in at No. 10 thanks to the best pure stuff of the class, but he’s currently in the same tier as Texas Christian lefthander Nick Lodolo, who has missed more bats this season, and Seminole (Fla.) HS righthander Matt Allan who’s stuff has been crisp from the get-go.
Teams will line those arms up in different orders depending on their risk aversion and their preferences with mechanics and body type, but that does seem to be the top cluster of arms at this point, with Kentucky lefthander Zack Thompson, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) righthander Brennan Malone, West Virginia righthander Alek Manoah, Elon righthander George Kirby and San Jacinto (Texas) JC righthander Jackson Rutledge not far behind.
Two of the more notable falling prospects include Duke lefthander Graeme Stinson and Florida righthander Tyler Dyson. Stinson was the top pitcher in the class on our preseason list before showing a drop in velocity from what he showed in a relief role last summer, while Dyson has been bumped from the Gators’ Friday night role and has struggled to both miss bats and throw strikes.
There’s been plenty of movement already, and more is certain to come with 75 days still remaining between today and the June 3 draft. We’ll be there every step of the way to track what happens and see which players are taking big steps forward and which stumble.
For now, here are the top 300 players in the 2019 MLB Draft.
- 1 –Last: 1Notes:
Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 185 | B-T: S-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.
- 2Last: 4Notes:
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.
- 3Last: 2Notes:
Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 183 | B-T: R-R
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.
- 4Last: 3Notes:
Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 185 | B-T: L-R
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.
- 5Last: 33Missouri OFNotes:
Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 210 | B-T: L-L
Commit/Drafted: Royals '16 (33)
Scouting Report: Drafted in 2016 in the 33rd round by the Royals, Misner continued on to Missouri, where he has been a regular in the lineup since his arrival on campus. He this year was slowed by a broken foot, which limited him to 34 games in the spring and kept him out this summer. Listed at 6-foot-4, 219 pounds, Misner has a powerful, athletic frame and an easy lefthanded swing. His approach is geared toward hitting line drives up the middle, and he makes consistent hard contact. His size and bat speed give him solid raw power, but he’s still learning to make the most of it. His speed and arm are both above-average, giving him a chance to play all three outfield positions.
- 6Last: 27Notes:
Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 195 | B-T: L-R
Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
Scouting Report: One of the top shortstops in the 2019 class, Stott has hit well in two years with Nevada-Las Vegas in the Mountain West Conference, posting a combined .333 /.405/.474 slash line during his first two years. Stott joined the Collegiate National Team this summer and impressed the coaching staff with his defensive work up the middle, with improved footwork as well as solid body control and accurate throws to the bag. He showed solid feel for the barrel, but scouts were disappointed with the amount of impact Stott generated with an approach that was too frequently slap-heavy. The look raised some concern for his overall offensive package, but Stott does have a solid wood-bat track record outside of Team USA, in both the Cape Cod and Northwoods Summer Leagues.
- 7Last: 5Notes:
Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 197 | B-T: L-L
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.
- 8Last: 7Notes:
Ht: 5-10 | Wt: 160 | B-T: L-L
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.
- 9Last: 8Notes:
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.
- 10Last: 11Notes:
Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 196 | B-T: R-R
Commit/Drafted: 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.
- 11Last: 16Texas Christian LHPNotes:
Ht: 6-6 | Wt: 180 | B-T: L-L
Commit/Drafted: Pirates '16 (1 comp)
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.
- 12Last: 18Notes:
Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 210 | B-T: R-R
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.
- 13Last: 119
Hunter BishopArizona State OFNotes:
Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 215 | B-T: L-R
Commit/Drafted: Padres '16 (24)
Scouting Report: Bishop was noted for an impressive set of tools coming out of high school, but he made it to campus as scouts were concerned about his hit tool and approach at the plate. He struggled in his first two seasons with the Sun Devils, but significantly refined his approach at the plate in 2019 and cut his strikeout rate substantially through the first month of the season. He has a quick swing with now improved plate coverage and 70-grade raw power. He's an above-average athlete for his size and those who are most optimistic think he has a chance to stick in center field at the next level as an above-average runner with a solid arm, but the impact he's shown offensively as a junior has risen his stock substantially and catupaulted him into the top tier of college hitters in the 2019 class.
- 14Last: 12Notes:
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.
- 15Last: 6Notes:
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.
- 16Last: 10Notes:
Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 210 | B-T: R-R
Commit/Drafted: 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.
- 17Last: 19Notes:
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.
- 18Last: 22Notes:
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-7, 270 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.
- 19Last: 38Notes:
Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 205 | B-T: R-R
Commit/Drafted: Mets '16 (32)
Scouting Report: Kirby ranked as the No. 50 player in the Cape Cod League last summer and will form an impressive 1-2 punch in Elon’s rotation along with fellow righthander Kyle Brnovich. While he threw just five innings in the Cape, Kirby posted excellent numbers (1.71 ERA, 12.60 K/9) during his sophomore season at Elon, and area scouts were thrilled with his progress last fall. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound righthander throws a fastball in the mid-90s and has touched 97 mph recently, and he locates the pitch well to both sides of the plate. He throws both a curveball and a slider, with scouts seeing both offerings as future average—the former in the 78-82 mph range and the latter a more firm, 85-87 mph breaking ball. He also breaks out a changeup that could be his second-best offering behind a plus fastball. While Brnovich has the gaudier strikeout numbers from last season, Kirby has an above-average, clean arm action and plenty of starter traits that get teams excited.
- 20Last: 95San Jacinto (Texas) JC RHPNotes:
Ht: 6-8 | Wt: 260 | B-T: R-R
Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
Scouting Report: The top junior college prospect not named Carter Stewart, Rutledge was ranked No. 183 on the 2017 BA 500 coming out of high school. A built righthander at 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds, Rutledge has a frame that could potentially handle a large workload, even as the game trends in the other direction at the major league level. He has a premium fastball that was in the low 90s out of high school and has ticked up since then, and it has outstanding downward, running life thanks to the natural angle he gets from his three-quarter arm slot. Rutledge also has a slider that could wind up being a putaway offering.
- 21Last: 29Vanderbilt OFNotes:
Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 205 | B-T: L-L
Commit/Drafted: Padres '16 (39)
Scouting Report: A two-year starter at Vanderbilt, Bleday led the Commodores in hitting this spring and he followed it up with a strong summer in the Cape Cod League. Bleday is listed at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds and looks the part of a right fielder. He has good pitch recognition and does a good job of consistently barreling the ball. The lefthanded hitter has a balanced swing, produces good bat speed and got to his plus raw power better this summer than he has previously. Bleday has plus arm strength and covers ground in the outfield. Players with his profile don’t often go in the first round, but if he makes a jump with his power, like Oregon State’s Trevor Larnach did this spring, he could become an exception to the rule.
- 22Last: 21Notes:
Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 218 | B-T: L-R
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.
- 23Last: 15Notes:
Ht: 6-6 | Wt: 200 | B-T: R-R
Commit/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.
- 24Last: 23Notes:
Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 200 | B-T: L-R
Commit/Drafted: 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.
- 25Last: 24Notes:
Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 210 | B-T: R-R
Commit/Drafted: 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.