2018 MLB Draft Top 50 player rankings Doug Gray December 5, 2017 20 Comments Jonathan Mayo of MLBPipeline.com has released the first version of the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft prospect list. The list goes 50 players deep and is led by Florida Gators right handed pitcher Brady Singer. As a sophomore last season he posted a 3.21 ERA in 126.0 innings with 32 walks and 129 strikeouts. Right now he seems like a clear cut favorite for the top spot in the draft. The Cincinnati Reds will have the fifth overall pick in the draft in 2018. As things stand right now they will also have the 44th overall pick, which is their second round pick. Currently the #5 prospect is South Florida left handed pitcher Shane McClanahan. He missed 2016 after having Tommy John surgery, but was very strong in his 2017 return. The stuff is very strong, but there are some control concerns that he will need to address, too. He walked 36 batters with 104 strikeouts in 76.0 innings last season. The top 10 rankings are pitching heavy, but also include two high school shortstops at #6 and #7. The two players are quite a bit different, though. Nander De Sedas seems like there’s a little more bat than defense at the position. Brice Turang on the flip side seems like there’s a little more defense than bat. A rather interesting name shows up on the list at #15 in Ryan Weathers, a left handed pitcher from Loretto High School in Tennessee. He’s the son of former Cincinnati Red Davis Weathers. And he looks just like him (shocker, I know). There’s a whole lot of baseball to be played between now and the draft next June. There will be plenty of movement up-and-down the draft boards, but this list is probably a good place to start for you as you get your follow chart ready in February when college baseball kicks things off. 20 Responses Patmc December 5, 2017 Very, very early obviously, but guys I’d like to see the reds grab (1-5 because then we’re guaranteed to get one), in order: 1. Ethan Hankins 2. Casey Mize 3. Nander De Sedas 4. Brady Singer 5. Nolan Gorman AlphaZero December 5, 2017 Here’s my top 5: 1. Brady Singer – Great stuff, good command, ideal frame, and a clean injury history. Looked every bit the part of a 1-1 pick in the CWS last year. 2. Nander de Sedas – Solid to plus across the board with a decent chance to stick at SS. There’s enough offense here to accommodate a move down the defensive spectrum if necessary. 3. Casey Mize – Great stuff and eye popping K/BB numbers at Auburn last season. There is some injury risk here to be sure, but he’s already very polished and could move quickly. 4. Shane McClanahan – LHP with really good stuff and nice results for South Florida last year. Already had TJ surgery, so there is some risk here. 5. Matthew Liberatore – The top end velocity isn’t really there, but the off speed stuff is really good. Already very polished for a HS guy. Guys I would stay away from: Nolan Gorman – Too much swing and miss. Nick Madrigal – Jose Altuve is the exception, not the rule. I’d stay away from a 5’ 7” guy at the very top of the draft. Ethan Hankins – This one will be controversial. Throws hard, but the breaking pitches are very much a work in progress. Ceiling is through the roof, but he has a lot of development ahead of him. The Reds already have a better version of Hankins in last year’s number 2 overall pick, Hunter Greene. A couple others to watch: Brice Turang – Will stick defensively at SS and his tool is solid. If he shows a little development in the power department, he could shoot into my top five easily. Jarred Kelenic – I think he can stick in CF, and he has good tools across the board. If he produces well in the Spring, he’s also a top 5 type of talent. Patmc December 5, 2017 I like the idea of Mize (as well as Singer) moving quickly because I think the major league squad is quickly approaching our optimal competitive window, with a lot of younger guys ready to break through (Suarez, Senzel, Winker, and our glut of pitchers) and Vottos time remaining the best hitter on the planet. Can you expound a little more with Hankins? I am absolutely enamored with his stuff. His fastball grades higher than Greene, and they are comparable with where their secondary offerings currently are. Patmc December 5, 2017 And I absolutely agree on your couple others to watch, If I made my lsit 7 deep that’s who’d be in it. If Turang hits well this spring I’d be very happy to see the reds grab him. And Kelenic is my darkhorse candidate to shoot up boards. Swing is very sweet to look at AlphaZero December 5, 2017 Just personal preference with Hankins. Even though I can’t really dispute that Greene was the BPA at the time he was drafted, I am not a fan of taking HS pitchers with big arms but a lot of projection left at the very top of the draft. I think there’s too much risk. If you’re picking in the 10-30 range, I’m okay with it, but at the very top of the draft, I want a little higher floor. I’m at peace with the Greene selection at this point, but I don’t want to go the same route again in the 2018 draft. Wes December 5, 2017 Be nice to see singer slip like top college arms have over past couple years. Madrigil is another interesting guy to watch. If reds think he can play short his bat may fast track to mlb. Gotta like both top prep arms pairing w Greene! Righty has an 80 grade fastball (say what!?!) and lefty is named Liberatore- I’d draft him on name alone! Good talks ahead! The Duke December 5, 2017 I saw Mize pitch last year against one of the top 2017 draft arms and came away super impressed. If he can put the health concerns behind him, he’d be a steal at 5. Brice Turang is the better bet to stick at SS, but Nander De Sedas has the more intriguing bat if he can stick at short. Given his frame, I’d be shocked if Liberatore doesn’t add some velo as his body matures and adds muscle. Have to like the control and multiple pitches already as well, albeit I’m not a huge fan of the slow curve at the MLB level, especially when it’s considered his 3rd pitch. Small size aside, all Nick Madrigal does is hit. He’s been a top performer for two years now and most of what I have read thinks he can play SS, Oregon State has just had a better shortstop there at the same time. I’ll be shocked If Singer falls to 5, but stranger things have happened. Reaganspad December 5, 2017 You are right Duke, Madrigal and Cadyn Grenier came to OSU at the same time and Nick has been at 2nd. He has spotted some at SS and has the arm to play there. But Granier is good with a lesser bat MK December 5, 2017 Do we know his Top 5 at this time last year? Doug Gray December 5, 2017 I don’t, though if someone wanted to try and google it, it’s probably out there. Case December 5, 2017 Found the 2017 list. Top 5 last year at this time were: 1. Hunter Greene, RHP 2. Jeren Kendall, OF 3. Royce Lewis, SS/OF 4. Alex Faedo, RHP 5. Kyle Wright, RHP Case December 5, 2017 Here’s the link to the article. http://m.mlb.com/news/article/210974064/hunter-greene-2017-draft-top-50-prospects-list/ Brad December 5, 2017 My Board: 1-5: 1. Singer 2. Gorman 3. Turang 4. de Sedas 5. Hankins 2-41: 1. OF Gray Jr 2. OF Scott 3. RHSP Knight 4. OF Thomas 5. RHSP Becker Piggly Wiggly December 5, 2017 Have to be aware of who is drafting ahead of you. 1. Detroit. 2. SF 3. Philadelphia 4. Chicago White Sox 5. Cincinnati I too saw the Auburn pitcher Casey Mize pitch last year on TV. Excellent pitcher. Love Oregon St.’s Nick Madrigal. He is a hitter and OBP machine. LSU’s Zach Hess is one to keep a keen eye on to this coming spring. Amazing pitcher. Mize, Madrigal or Hess and the Reds will have a very successful 1st round of the draft next year. By the way, lets all root very hard for Reds SS Zack Cozart to get a $50M+ contract in free agency. If it happens, the Reds will get a supplemental pick after the 1st round. Somebody show Zack the money. Case December 5, 2017 Reds won’t get the pick because they didn’t give him the QO. He can sign for over $50mil and the Reds will get no compensation. Piggly Wiggly December 5, 2017 That is what I thought too. But then I read on MLBTR that under the new CBA, since the Reds were a revenue sharing team and lose a free agent to a new $50M+ contract, the team is in line for a supplemental pick after 1st round. We’ll take it. But it is more doubtful that Cozart gets that high $$ of a contract. When he is mentioned in with 2B too it might drive up the price a little, but nowhere near $50M I am afraid. We need a team to overpay. Colorado Red December 5, 2017 Piggly, That is only if a Qualifying offer is given. If they are not a revenue sharing team, they get a round latter (more or less) Billy December 5, 2017 I’m confused by this report: https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/12/royals-sign-former-braves-prospect-yefri-del-rosario.html It seems that the Royals have signed one of the Braves penalty prospects. They signed him for $650K, but they’re currently barred from spending more than $300K. However, I guess it sounds like they won’t be barred from spending more than $300K next year, so they were able to use next years pool to exceed $300K in order to sign him this year. I knew that teams could either use this year’s pool or next year’s pool, but I assumed they’d still be under any restrictions that applied this year. I guess that’s not the case. Unfortunately, the Reds (and anyone else who went over their pool last year – when the Braves were signing many of these guys) won’t be able to take advantage of this because they’re in the penalty box both this year and next year. (Also, Mikolas signed with the Cardinals…) Colorado Red December 5, 2017 Unfortunately , As I understand it, we are in the penalty phase next year also. Soooo 300K is it. Doug Gray December 5, 2017 I don’t think you are confused at all. You seem to get it. It punishes teams who went over the penalty in 2016/2017.