The annual MLB amateur draft is less than an hour away, and the Tigers will be on the clock with the No. 1 overall pick at 7:00pm ET tonight. Those interested in doing some research on tonight’s draft will want to check out Baseball America’s Top 500, MLB.com’s Top 200, Law’s 2018 big board and Fangraphs’ sortable draft board, each of which contain scouting info and insight into the prospects in this year’s class. (The MLB.com and Fangraphs list are free of charge, while BA and ESPN require a subscription.)
Here are some rumblings leading up to tonight’s event:
- The latest mock drafts (updated as of 5:48pm CST) from MLB.com, ESPN, Fangraphs and Baseball America all have Auburn right-hander Casey Mize going to the Tigers with the No. 1 pick tonight. While there have been occasional rumblings about other players at the top of the draft, ESPN’s Keith Law calls Mize the “clear 1-1 talent” in the 2018 draft. MLB.com’s Jon Morosi, meanwhile, tweets that with just a couple of hours until the draft begins, Mize remains favored to go first overall. For those interested in a more in-depth look at the Auburn ace, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com recently interviewed both Mize and his college coaches about the right-hander’s rise from an undrafted high school talent to the presumptive top overall pick in the 2018 draft.
- In their earlier mock draft at Fangraphs, Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel lay out a scenario in which Mize could fall to the Phillies with the third pick, though they caution that it’s not considered likely. However, the two hear that Mize’s camp is “driving a hard bargain” and that the Giants aren’t interested in going over slot for him at No. 2. The Phillies, Longenhagen and McDaniel posit, could put pressure on the Tigers by communicating to Mize’s camp that they’re willing to offer a considerably over-slot deal. In that scenario, the Tigers could take Bart first overall, with high school right-hander Cole Winn going second to the Giants and Mize going third to the Phillies. If the Tigers do take Mize, which is what McDaniel and Longenhagen project, then the Giants would very likely select Bart with the second overall pick.
- There’s always loads of potential intrigue as the draft unfolds, of course. Another pick to keep an eye on is number six, which is held by the Mets. ESPN.com’s Keith Law posits on Twitter that the New York organization may work out a deal with infielder Noah Naylor that would keep some of the team’s first-round bonus allocation to apply toward other selections. Of course, Law’s latest mock predicts outfielder Jaarred Kelenic will be the choice. Mike Puma of the New York Post agrees (via Twitter) that the club is likely to use its selection on a position player, though he suggests Jonathan India as a likely target.