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Baseball America 2019 MLB Staff Draft

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We’ve spent the better part of last year bearing down on the 2019 draft class here at Baseball America, and with the draft just three days away, we wanted to bring back a little experiment that we did a year ago.

What would happen if major league teams were foolish enough to give Baseball America writers the keys to their draft? Below, you can see the results of the first day of this “fake draft.” This obviously differs from a mock draft, as we aren’t trying to predict what teams will actually do on draft day, but instead what we would personally do if we were sitting in major league war rooms as decision-makers.

This is purely for the sake of entertaining ourselves and—ideally—readers as well. One thing we noticed while doing this is that we would absolutely not have enough time to get our picks in, and the financial equation of the draft makes things incredibly complicated.

Teddy Cahill, Carlos Collazo, J.J. Cooper and Kegan Lowe each participated in the exercise, with each person getting a random number to determine which teams he would pick for. Let the games begin.

First, here are the results. Scroll past the table to find our pick-by-pick rationale.

Team Pick Round Player Slot Writer
Angels 15 1 Brett Baty $3,885,800 Carlos Collazo
Angels 55 2 Tommy Henry $1,307,000 Carlos Collazo
Astros 32 1 Tyler Callihan $2,257,300 J.J. Cooper
Astros 68 2 Hayden Dunhurst $953,100 J.J. Cooper
Athletics 29 1 Matt Wallner $2,424,600 Teddy Cahill
Athletics 66 2 Noah Song $1,003,300 Teddy Cahill
Blue Jays 11 1 Nick Lodolo $4,547,500 Carlos Collazo
Blue Jays 52 2 Anthony Volpe $1,403,200 Carlos Collazo
Braves 9 COMP Bryson Stott $4,949,100 J.J. Cooper
Braves 21 1 Brennan Malone $3,132,300 J.J. Cooper
Braves 60 2 Josh Wolf $1,157,400 J.J. Cooper
Brewers 28 1 Davis Wendzel $2,493,900 Carlos Collazo
Brewers 65 2 Jimmy Lewis $1,025,100 Carlos Collazo
Cardinals 19 1 Greg Jones $3,359,000 Carlos Collazo
Cardinals 58 2 Bryce Osmond $1,214,300 Carlos Collazo
Cubs 27 1 Quinn Priester $2,570,100 J.J. Cooper
Cubs 64 2 Brandon Williamson $1,050,300 J.J. Cooper
Diamondbacks 16 1 Matthew Allan $3,745,500 Kegan Lowe
Diamondbacks 26 COMP Keoni Cavaco $2,653,400 Kegan Lowe
Diamondbacks 33 COMP Seth Johnson $2,202,200 Kegan Lowe
Diamondbacks 34 COMP Gunnar Henderson $2,148,100 Kegan Lowe
Diamondbacks 56 2 Ryan Garcia $1,276,400 Kegan Lowe
Diamondbacks 74 CBB Cameron Cannon $844,200 Kegan Lowe
Diamondbacks 75 CBB Chris Newell $831,100 Kegan Lowe
Dodgers 25 1 Maurice Hampton $2,740,300 Teddy Cahill
Dodgers 31 COMP Isaiah Campbell $2,312,000 Teddy Cahill
Dodgers 78 COMP Matt Cronin $793,000 Teddy Cahill
Giants 10 1 Shea Langeliers $4,739,900 Teddy Cahill
Giants 51 2 Brooks Lee $1,436,900 Teddy Cahill
Indians 24 1 Michael Busch $2,831,300 Kegan Lowe
Indians 63 2 Jack Kochanowicz $1,076,300 Kegan Lowe
Mariners 20 1 George Kirby $3,242,900 Kegan Lowe
Mariners 59 2 Kyren Paris $1,185,500 Kegan Lowe
Mariners 76 CBB Zach Watson $818,200 Kegan Lowe
Marlins 4 1 Andrew Vaughn $6,664,000 Kegan Lowe
Marlins 35 CBA Daniel Espino $2,095,800 Kegan Lowe
Marlins 46 2 Brady McConnell $1,617,400 Kegan Lowe
Mets 12 1 Alek Manoah $4,366,400 Kegan Lowe
Mets 53 2 Sammy Siani $1,370,400 Kegan Lowe
Nationals 17 1 Josh Jung $3,609,700 J.J. Cooper
Orioles 1 1 Adley Rutschman $8,415,300 J.J. Cooper
Orioles 42 2 Hunter Barco $1,771,100 J.J. Cooper
Orioles 71 CBB James Beard $884,200 J.J. Cooper
Padres 6 1 Hunter Bishop $5,742,900 Teddy Cahill
Padres 48 2 Jerrion Ealy $1,543,600 Teddy Cahill
Padres 73 CBB Will Holland $857,400 Teddy Cahill
Phillies 14 1 Zack Thompson $4,036,800 Teddy Cahill
Pirates 18 1 Will Wilson $3,481,300 Teddy Cahill
Pirates 37 COMP Ethan Small $1,999,300 Teddy Cahill
Pirates 57 2 Drew Mendoza $1,243,600 Teddy Cahill
Pirates 72 CBB Ryne Nelson $870,700 Teddy Cahill
Rangers 8 1 Corbin Carroll $5,176,900 Kegan Lowe
Rangers 41 CBA Matthew Thompson $1,813,500 Kegan Lowe
Rangers 50 2 Ethan Hearn $1,469,900 Kegan Lowe
Rays 22 1 Braden Shewmake $3,027,000 Teddy Cahill
Rays 36 CBA Drey Jameson $2,045,400 Teddy Cahill
Rays 40 CBA Rece Hinds $1,856,700 Teddy Cahill
Rays 61 2 Matthew Lugo $1,129,700 Teddy Cahill
Red Sox 43 1 Chase Strumpf $1,729,800 Carlos Collazo
Red Sox 69 2 Nick Quintana $929,800 Carlos Collazo
Reds 7 1 Riley Greene $5,432,400 Carlos Collazo
Reds 49 2 Matt Canterino $1,507,600 Carlos Collazo
Rockies 23 1 Kody Hoese $2,926,800 Carlos Collazo
Rockies 62 2 Trejyn Fletcher $1,102,700 Carlos Collazo
Rockies 77 CBB Kendall Williams $805,600 Carlos Collazo
Royals 2 1 Bobby Witt Jr. $7,789,900 Teddy Cahill
Royals 44 2 John Doxakis $1,689,500 Teddy Cahill
Royals 70 CBB Ryan Zeferjahn $906,800 Teddy Cahill
Tigers 5 1 CJ Abrams $6,180,700 J.J. Cooper
Tigers 47 2 Josh Smith $1,580,200 J.J. Cooper
Twins 13 1 Jackson Rutledge $4,197,300 J.J. Cooper
Twins 39 CBA Nasim Nunez $1,906,800 J.J. Cooper
Twins 54 2 T.J. Sikkema $1,338,500 J.J. Cooper
White Sox 3 1 JJ Bleday $7,221,200 Carlos Collazo
White Sox 45 2 Blake Walston $1,650,200 Carlos Collazo
Yankees 30 1 Kameron Misner $2,365,500 Carlos Collazo
Yankees 38 CBA JJ Goss $1,952,300 Carlos Collazo
Yankees 67 2 Michael Toglia $976,700 Carlos Collazo


1. Orioles
Player: Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: Don’t overthink this. Yes, you could save money, and if I was Andrew Vaughn I’d be happy to cut a deal here, but players like Rutschman don’t come around often. I’ll take the best player with the best pick.

2. Royals
Player: Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Colleyville (Texas) Heritage HS
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: He’s a premium shortstop who has as much upside as anyone not named Adley Rutschman.

3. White Sox
Player: J.J. Bleday, OF, Vanderbilt
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: I was torn between Vaughn and Bleday and would be fine with either of those bats here, but I’ll let the SEC history and positional value be the tiebreaker.

4. Marlins
Player: Andrew Vaughn, 1B, California
Writer: Kegan Lowe

Rationale: I was hoping to land Bleday. But now that he’s gone, give me the best available college hitter in Vaughn. Yes, I know he’s a sub-six foot right/right first baseman, but the dude can flat-out hit. Maybe I’ll regret passing on C.J. Abrams, but I’ll have a top-five pick again next year, and Vaughn feels like a nice starting place.

5. Tigers
Player: C.J. Abrams, SS, Blessed Trinity HS, Roswell, Ga.
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: Didn’t expect Abrams to be here, so I’m happy with getting a shortstop/centerfielder with significant tools and a lot of defensive value while also being a pretty impressive high school bat.

6. Padres
Player: Hunter Bishop, OF, Arizona State
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: I feel like the combination of the breakout and the raw tools give him a chance to keep getting even better in pro ball.

7. Reds
Player: Riley Greene, OF, Hagerty HS, Oviedo, Fla.
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: I’m thrilled to get Greene with this pick and think the real-life Reds would be as well. Give me the best high school hitter in the class.

8. Rangers
Player: Corbin Carroll, OF, Lakeside HS, Seattle
Writer: Kegan Lowe

Rationale: I would have taken any of the seven players picked before this spot had they dropped. Of course, they didn’t, so I’m grabbing Carroll. There’s not a pitcher in this draft class that I feel comfortable taking with a top-10 pick, so give me a high-upside prep hitter that can impact the game in several ways.

9. Braves
Player: Bryson Stott, SS, Nevada-Las Vegas
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: I thought about taking Shea Langeliers here, but Stott is a very nice demographic as a college middle infielder who can hit with a lefthanded bat. The Braves having to figure out where to fit him in with Albies/Swanson/Riley/et al is a good problem to have.

10. Giants
Player: Shea Langeliers, C, Baylor
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: I think it’s hard to overlook his defensive ability, and yes, they just drafted Joey Bart, but you can never have too much catching, especially for a rebuilding team who needs as many assets as it can get.

11. Blue Jays
Player: Nick Lodolo, LHP, Texas Christian
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: I’m not enamored with this year’s pitching class, but at a certain point Lodolo has to stop falling. I would have preferred a bat, but I didn’t think any on the board warranted being taken over the Texas Christian lefty at this spot. I thought hard about taking Jack Leiter and think the Blue Jays would have a chance to sign him in this spot, but the demographic scared me off.

12. Mets
Player: Alek Manoah, RHP, West Virginia
Writer: Kegan Lowe

Rationale: Plain and simple, I think Manoah is the best pitcher available. After hitters filled the top 10 picks, now feels like the time to start grabbing some of these college pitchers. All of them have questions marks, sure, but Manoah feels like the safest bet to give me value in the future, whether it’s as a starter or shut-down reliever.

13. Twins
Player: Jackson Rutledge, RHP, San Jacinto (Texas) JC
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: A few years ago, Nate Pearson showed top-of-the-draft stuff but fell to the bottom of the first round in part because he was coming out of a JuCo program. Rutledge has similar stuff and in a draft deficient in pitching, there are not many pitchers with his upside.

14. Phillies
Player: Zack Thompson, LHP, Kentucky
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: At his best, he’s potentially the best pitcher in college baseball. A polished lefthander, if he can stay healthy you’re getting a premium arm.

15. Angels
Player: Brett Baty, 3B, Lake Travis HS, Austin
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: I don’t think the real-life Angels would do this, but I’m keeping it simple here and taking who I think is the best player on the board in Baty, regardless of the age. Push him aggressively and see what happens. I thought about Keoni Cavaco, Matt Allan and Logan Davidson here as well.

16. D-backs
Player: Matthew Allan, RHP, Seminole HS, Sanford, Fla.
Writer: Kegan Lowe

Rationale: As the D-backs’ decision-maker, I have a lot of picks and a lot of money to spend, so let’s grab the best prep pitcher in the class to start off. I feel confident I can sign Allan away from his Florida commitment, and I think there will be some solid hitters available in the 25-35 range, when I pick three more times.

17. Nationals
Player: Josh Jung, 3B, Texas Tech
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: Thrilled he’s still on the board here. Love the bat. Think he can play third base long term as well. College performer who has been a leader for a very good Texas Tech team for multiple years.

18. Pirates
Player: Will Wilson, SS, North Carolina State
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: A polished hitter, and I feel good about his chances to stay in the infield even if it’s not at shortstop.

19. Cardinals
Player: Greg Jones, SS, UNC Wilmington
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: “Jones is a toolshed, and I think there’s a chance he goes off the board higher than this in the draft. There’s plenty of risk, but he had a strong season and I don’t care much if he’s a shortstop or a center fielder at the next level. Give me the blazing speed and offensive upside.

20. Mariners
Player: George Kirby, RHP, Elon
Writer: Kegan Lowe

Rationale: This feels similar to the Mariners drafting Stetson righthander Logan Gilbert with last year’s first-round pick, and you can never have too much pitching. I think Kirby is the safest of the first-round talents remaining.

21. Braves
Player: Brennan Malone, RHP, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: I went back-and-forth between Malone and Quinn Priester. I trust the Braves ability to develop high school pitchers, however, their secret sauce that determines which pitcher they take has not been provided to me. Malone is among the most talented pitchers in the class, and the Braves are an organization who can get the best out of young pitchers.

22. Rays
Player: Braden Shewmake, SS, Texas A&M
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: Premium bat-to-ball skills. I like his speed and track record of hitting for three years in the SEC. There are questions about his defense, but I think he’ll find a home in pro ball whether that’s in the infield or outfield.

23. Rockies
Player: Kody Hoese, 3B, Tulane
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: For me, this pick was between Michael Busch, Kameron Misner and Blake Walston because I love the idea of pairing the projectable lefty with Colorado’s development. But I’ll go with an impactful college bat whose breakout this spring I’m buying into.

24. Indians
Player: Michael Busch, 1B/OF, North Carolina
Writer: Kegan Lowe

Rationale: As the most polished college hitter remaining, I’m confident Busch is going to hit at the next level. Sure, we’ll have to figure out where he fits defensively, whether it’s in left field, first base or somewhere else, but as an American League club, let’s just take the best available hitter and worry about defense later.

25. Dodgers
Player: Maurice Hampton, OF, Memphis University HS
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: Maybe the best athlete in the draft. He’ll need some more developmental time, but the Dodgers have the system depth to afford him patience.

26. D-backs
Player: Keoni Cavaco, 3B, Eastlake HS, Chula Vista, Calif.
Writer: Kegan Lowe

Rationale: In a similar vein to the Allan selection 10 picks earlier, we’re going all upside here. Cavaco is full of above-average or better tools, and with this many first-round picks, I’m looking to make a splash. Maybe we’ll go safer with picks 33 and 34. Or maybe not.

27. Cubs
Player: Quinn Priester, RHP, RHP Cary-Grove HS, Cary, Ill.
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: The Cubs should do backflips if this happens. Taking a high school pitcher in the top 10 picks is quite risky. Taking one of the best prep arms in the class—who is also from Illinois—at the end of the first round is an easier pick to make.

28. Brewers
Player: Davis Wendzel, 3B, Baylor
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: With such a small bonus pool, I’m going to go a little bit off the board here, but still take a bat that I am excited about at a historically strong demographic. I’m hoping to save some money that I could spread around to my next few picks.

29. Athletics
Player: Matt Wallner, OF/RHP, Southern Mississippi
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: Like the Brewers, the A’s are dealing with a small bonus pool, so I’m going to reach a bit to grab Wallner, who has big raw tools and overcame a slow start to finish strong this season.

30. Yankees
Player: Kameron Misner, OF, Missouri
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: I think it’s around time to stop Misner’s fall. There are some serious swing-and-miss issues, but his tools are elite and I could be getting a premium talent if everything breaks right in player development.

31. Dodgers
Player: Isaiah Campbell, RHP, Arkansas
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: After going upside with Hampton six picks ago, let’s go a little safer with Campbell. While he did miss a season due to bone chips in his elbow, he’s pitched great for Arkansas this year and has the size and stuff you want in a college righthander.

32. Astros
Player: Tyler Callihan, 3B, Providence HS, Jacksonville
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: Under Jeff Luhnow, the Astros have long been happy to take excellent bats with defensive questions. Callihan can hit. The Astros will count on their player development program to figure out where he will fit best defensively long term.

33. D-backs
Player: Seth Johnson, RHP, Campbell
Writer: Kegan Lowe

Rationale: Johnson is relatively new to pitching and could still be considered raw on the mound, but this is yet another high-upside play for the D-backs. Plus, taking a college pitcher here may help in the signing of all these prep players, which leads me to this next pick . . .

34. D-backs
Player: Gunnar Henderson, SS, Morgan Academy, Selma, Ala.
Writer: Kegan Lowe

Rationale: I considered Henderson with the No. 26 pick, so getting him eight spots later seems like a win. The hope is that he and Cavaco solidify the left side of the D-backs’ infield for many years to come, but what I’m really interested in here is Henderson’s power potential at a premium defensive position.

35. Marlins
Player: Daniel Espino, RHP, Georgia Premier Academy, Statesboro, Ga.
Writer: Kegan Lowe

Rationale: After selecting a proven college bat with the No. 4 overall pick in Vaughn, I’m thrilled to get Espino all the way down here at pick No. 35. Armed with perhaps the best pure stuff in the class, this is exactly the type of talent influx the Marlins need at this stage of their rebuild.

36. Rays
Player: Drey Jameson, RHP, Ball State
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: Jameson feels like a good combination of upside and polish. He’s athletic and still has room to develop but also piled up strikeouts this spring. As an added bonus for the Rays, he has history as a two-way player.

37. Pirates
Player: Ethan Small, LHP, Mississippi State
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: Small isn’t the most overpowering pitcher, but he as a great feel for his craft and a strong track record for success. After swinging and missing on some prep arms in this area in the past, let’s get a safer pick here.

38. Yankees
Player: J.J. Goss, RHP, Cypress Ranch HS, Houston
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: While Misner is a risky pick at No. 30, I like the value of getting Goss here at No. 38. He’s had an exceptional season, and there’s a chance for three legit plus pitches and good strike-throwing. I’m much more comfortable with a prep arm in this range than in the first round,

39. Twins
Player: Nasim Nunez, SS, Collins Hill HS, Suwanee, Ga.
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: After taking Rutledge with the Twins’ first pick, I thought about going with a steady college performer, but Nunez’s defense, athleticism and promising bat are appealing.

40. Rays
Player: Rece Hinds, 3B, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: Having gone college with the first two picks for the Rays, let’s make an upside play. Hinds has plenty of that thanks to his plus-plus raw power.

41. Rangers
Player: Matthew Thompson, RHP, Cypress Ranch HS, Houston
Writer: Kegan Lowe

Rationale: Thompson entered the season as a potential top-10 pick, so I’m more than willing to take a chance on the prep righthander with the 41st overall selection. He has all the traits of a future top-end starter, even if it will take some time to iron out the kinks. Plus, he’s a Texas kid, and that’s never a bad thing for the Rangers’ organization.

42. Orioles
Player: Hunter Barco, LHP, Bolles HS, Jacksonville
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: I’m much happier taking high school pitchers in the second round than early in the first. Barco was shut down for a period late in the season with a shoulder strain, but this is excellent upside at No. 42.

43. Red Sox
Player: Chase Strumpf, 2B, UCLA
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: I thought about going for Blake Walston here, but with some concerns about the price tag and being able to sign him with the smallest bonus pool, I’ll take a productve college hitter. Strumpf’s teammate Michael Toglia would have been another fine choice here.

44. Royals
Player: John Doxakis, LHP, Texas A&M
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: There’s a pretty good chance taking Witt ate a lot of the Royals’ bonus pool. So a dependable college pitcher who won’t break the bank like Doxakis fits here.

45. White Sox
Player: Blake Walston, LHP, New Hanover HS, Wilmington, N.C.
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: I think this is good value for the second-best prep lefty in the class. Pairing some upside with one of the most reliable college bats in the class seems like a win.

46. Marlins
Player: Brady McConnell, SS, Florida
Writer: Kegan Lowe

Rationale: McConnell was a highly rated draft prospect coming out of high school in 2017, and then he performed well in the SEC this year as a draft-eligible sophomore. I’m a fan of that kind of track record and pedigree, and it gives the Marlins a second productive college bat in this draft to go along with Vaughn.

47. Tigers
Player: Josh Smith, SS, Louisiana State
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: In the actual draft, I’m not sure Smith will even last this far as college middle infielders who can produce are one of the most coveted of draft demographics.

48. Padres
Player: Jerrion Ealy, OF, Jackson (Miss.) Prep HS
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: Oh, we’re all in on upside here. It’s going to be tight to get him signed, potentially, but if you can get it done, you have one of the best athletes in the draft.

49. Reds
Player: Matt Canterino, RHP, Rice
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: I’m not sure how Canterino is still on the board, unless my fellow decision-makers are holding a previous Rice pitching bias against him in 2019. I’ll take advantage of that here.

50. Rangers
Player: Ethan Hearn, C, Mobile (Ala.) Christian HS
Writer: Kegan Lowe

Rationale: Hearn is the best prep catching prospect in the class, so let’s take a chance here in the second round. It’s a risky pick considering the track record of high school catchers in the draft, but I’ll take a chance on the power potential and the potential that Hearn could be a plus defender in the future.

51. Giants
Player: Brooks Lee, SS, San Luis Obispo (Calif.) HS
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: Solid value here early in the second round to get a high school hitter as polished as Lee with a chance to stay up the middle.

52. Blue Jays
Player: Anthony Volpe, SS, Delbarton HS, Morristown, N.J.
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: Volpe has a chance to go higher than this, and he produced well all season with the bat and the glove. I love his high-energy style of play and don’t want to risk him going to Vanderbilt and exploding in three years.

53. Mets
Player: Sammy Siani, OF, Penn Charter HS, Philadelphia
Writer: Kegan Lowe

Rationale: The Mets drafted a tooled-up prep outfielder with their first-round pick a year ago in Jarred Kelenic, only to trade him six months later in the Robinson Cano deal. Let’s go back to the well and select Siani, who has a chance to hit for a high average and flourish in center field.

54. Twins
Player: T.J. Sikkema, LHP, Missouri
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: A combo of Rutledge and Sikkema gives the Twins one of the highest-upside pitchers in the draft class as well as one of the best performers. Scouts love Sikkema’s feel and guts.

55. Angels
Player: Tommy Henry, LHP, Michigan
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: I thought about nabbing Kyren Paris here to get the oldest and youngest players in the high school class, but felt that Henry was the best player available—and that matches an organizational need as well, so it works out.

56. D-backs
Player: Ryan Garcia, RHP, UCLA
Writer: Kegan Lowe

Rationale: The D-backs have a lot of money to spend, and I think I’ve spent it. Allan, Cavaco and Henderson all project to cost a pretty penny, so let’s add Garcia, who throws everything for strikes and seems like a safer bet than my previous four picks, assuming he stays healthy.

57. Pirates
Player: Drew Mendoza, 3B, Florida State
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: Love the raw tools. He’s done a pretty good job of getting to them so far, but there may be more gains to be made in pro ball.

58. Cardinals
Player: Bryce Osmond, RHP, Jenks (Okla.) HS
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: This is simply a best player available pick, after considering another prep righty in Josh Wolf and prep shortstops Kyren Paris and Matthew Lugo.

59. Mariners
Player: Kyren Paris, SS, Freedom HS, Oakley, Calif.
Writer: Kegan Lowe

Rationale: After going with the safer, college pitcher demographic in the first round, Paris represents a high-upside play. At only 17 years old, Paris is one of the youngest players in the draft, but he has the raw tools to excel at shortstop and hit for a high average—even if it takes a few years to develop.

60. Braves
Player: Josh Wolf, RHP, St. Thomas HS, Houston
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: The Braves have done an excellent job of develop high school pitchers. Hopefully there’s a little money savings in the first round that can help get Wolf signed later in the second round.

61. Rays
Player: Matthew Lugo, SS, Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy, Florida, P.R.
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: With so many picks, the Rays have to find a balance with their picks. Getting Lugo here gives them solid upside.

62. Rockies
Player: Trejyn Fletcher, OF, Deering HS, Portland, Maine
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: I thought hard about one of the prep arms left on the board in Jimmy Lewis or Kendall Williams, but the Rockies struck gold with a hitter from the Northeast last year in Grant Lavigne. Fletcher has the better toolset, despite less conviction about his hitting ability.

63. Indians
Player: Jack Kochanowicz, RHP, Harriton HS, Rosemont, Pa.
Writer: Kegan Lowe

Rationale: Kochanowicz has all the traits you want to see in a prep pitcher from the Northeast, including fastball velocity in the low 90s and a feel for throwing strikes with multiple secondary offerings.

64. Cubs
Player: Brandon Williamson, LHP, Texas Christian
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: He’s not Lodolo, but there were a few weekends this year where Williamson looked every bit as good as his TCU teammate. I’m not counting on that, but I do think he can start.

65. Brewers
Player: Jimmy Lewis, RHP, Lake Travis HS, Austin
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: Hopefully we saved some money with the first pick to make sure we can sign Lewis out of an LSU commitment here, but I love his size and current arsenal of pitches.

66. Athletics
Player: Noah Song, RHP, Navy
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: Song has a complicated situation due to his Naval commitment, but if you can successfully navigate it, you’d end up with one of the most accomplished players in the country.

67. Yankees
Player: Michael Toglia, 1B/OF, UCLA
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: I feel like I’ve gotten great value at every pick as the Yankees’ scouting director in this situation. That can only mean my fellow SDs are sleeping at the wheel. The Evil Empire continues to thrive.

68. Astros
Player: Hayden Dunhurst, C, Pearl River Central HS, Carriere, Miss.
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: There’s a chance Dunhurst could end up being as good as Hearn, so I’ll go a little off the board at the end of the second round.

69. Red Sox
Player: Nick Quintana, 3B, Arizona
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: I like Quintana’s power potential and defense at third base. I was temped by a few of the prep players still on the board here, but with so few picks I’m going to play it safer.

70. Royals
Player: Ryan Zeferjahn, RHP, Kansas
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: Carlos picked my pocket here on Quintana, so while I’d like to get some bats into a system that loaded up on pitching a year ago, you can’t ignore Zeferjahn’s power stuff.

71. Orioles
Player: James Beard, OF, Loyd Star HS, Brookhaven, Miss.
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: The day he signs, Beard may become the fastest player in professional baseball (Byron BuxtonBilly Hamilton and Terrance Gore watch out). But he also developed some strength in his bat this year as well.

72. Pirates
Player: Ryne Nelson, RHP, Oregon
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: Having mostly played it safe with my first three Pirates picks, it’s time to roll the dice a bit. Nelson has one of the biggest arms in the draft, and maybe with better health he’ll be able to stick in the rotation in pro ball.

73. Padres
Player: Will Holland, SS, Auburn
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: As previously noted, I’m all in on upside with the Padres. Holland has exciting raw tools. He struggled this year at Auburn, but if he can put it together, he has a chance to be special.

74. D-backs
Player: Cameron Cannon, 3B/2B, Arizona
Writer: Kegan Lowe

Rationale: Cannon is a productive college bat who is capable of playing multiple positions. The D-backs drafted him in the 21st round out of high school in 2016, so let’s try again after three solid seasons at the University of Arizona.

75. D-backs
Player: Chris Newell, OF, Malvern (Pa.) Prep HS
Writer: Kegan Lowe

Rationale: With our seventh and final pick of Day 1, let’s take a swing with another toolsy prep hitter. Newell has some questions regarding his hit tool, which is why I was able to get him with the 75th pick, but he has exciting raw power with above-average speed and arm strength.

76. Mariners
Player: Zach Watson, OF, Louisiana State
Writer: Kegan Lowe

Rationale: A plus defender in center field with plus speed, Watson has tools I can count on. He’s hit over .300 in each of his three seasons with Louisiana State as well, and all of these things intrigue me with the Mariners’ final Day 1 pick.

77. Rockies
Player: Kendall Williams, RHP, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: We’ve got two intriguing bats with the Rockies, so I’ll take the best pitcher on the board here in Williams, who I think has a chance to go in the supplemental first round or second round.

78. Dodgers
Player: Matt Cronin, LHP, Arkansas
Writer: Teddy Cahill

Rationale: Having taken Isaiah Campbell, let’s double up on Razorbacks. Cronin doesn’t have a big ceiling, but he has a very high floor and could quickly help in the big leagues.

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