Top 300 MLB Draft Prospects In 2019
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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 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.