Baseball fans, far and wide, better mark their calendar for June 4. The 2018 MLB Draft will be here before you know it. All 30 teams will be looking for the next future face of their franchise, as well as replenishing the ranks of needed positions. Like every other draft, every team has certain prospects in their sights.
Three days and 40 rounds of drafting will showcase the next generation of baseball players as they walk across that stage. Like the past drafts, every general manager is working for different purposes for their respective teams. Some are trying to give their struggling squads new wind in their sails, while others seek to keep hot streaks alive.
Here is a brief overview of who goes first, as well as a few draft prospects to watch for.
2018 MLB Draft Overview: first five picks
1. Detroit Tigers, 2017 result: 64-98
Last season, the Detroit Tigers held a tie for the worst record in baseball with the San Francisco Giants. In addition, their pitching unit boasted the highest ERA and the highest batting average surrendered in the big leagues. Selecting a pitcher first overall would be a wise move to help Detroit improve on the mound.
2. San Francisco Giants, 2017 result: 64-98
The San Francisco Giants shared the worst record of 2017 honor with Detroit. San Francisco’s pitching staff fared slightly better. But the Giants’ bats struggled more, hitting the fewest home runs and second fewest RBIs in the MLB.
3. Philadelphia Phillies, 2017 result: 66-96
The Philadelphia Phillies finished last in the NL East. In their defense, no one in that division could keep up with the Washington Nationals. The Nats ended up running away with the division, finishing 20 games ahead of the second-place Miami Marlins. As for the Phillies, their offense and pitching fell short in a lot of ways. Both departments will need attention as Philadelphia treads through the draft.
4. Chicago White Sox, 2017 result: 67-95
One major component to Chicago’s woes in 2017 was their fielding. The White Sox recorded 114 errors (the third most in baseball) and a fielding percentage of .981 (the second lowest in baseball). This also hurt their pitching unit. An emphasis on defense should be a top priority for the White Sox and their fourth overall pick.
5. Cincinnati Reds, 2017 result: 68-94
Similar to Detroit in the AL, The Cincinnati Reds’ pitching staff failed to find many high notes in 2017. The Reds surrendered the highest ERA in the National League, along with allowing the most home runs by an NL team. With their position in the draft and a draft class rich with pitchers, the Reds will need to select a top ace at the first chance they get.
2018 MLB Draft: Prospects on Radar
Casey Mize, Right-Handed Pitcher, Auburn University
The projected No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft has a new name: Casey Mize of Auburn University. MLB Pipeline has labeled Mize as the top pitching prospect in the class.
In his sophomore season, Mize went 8-2 with a 2.04 ERA. This season, he has gone 9-5 with a 3.07 ERA. Scouts have pointed out Mize’s splitter as among the best in his pitching arsenal, not to mention his above-average control.
Joey Bart, Catcher, Georgia Tech
MLB Pipeline has listed Georgia Tech catcher, Joey Bart, as the sixth overall prospect in the 2018 draft. Bart was named ACC Player of the Year for 2018, along with appearing on watch lists for the Golden Spikes and Johnny Bench Awards.
Bart has landed on several MLB teams’ radars not only through his defense, but also from his offensive production. Bart’s batting has improved significantly as a Yellow Jacket. This season, he recorded a career high .359 batting average, along with a career high 16 home runs.
Jonathan India, Third Baseman, University of Florida
The 21-year-old Florida Gator has landed at the No. 8 spot on MLB Pipeline’s Top 200 for next week’s MLB Draft. Jonathan India was part of Florida’s College World Series winning season in 2017. Since then, he was named 2018 SEC Player of the Year, no small part due to his batting prowess. India had a breakout season this year from the batter’s box, tallying 17 home runs and 42 RBIs. He is also boasting a .362 batting average.
Expect more from India this season. The Gators baseball team will now fight to defend their title in the 2018 College World Series Tournament.
As June 4 Approaches
For incoming players, The 2018 MLB Draft will become the next step to making their life-long dream a reality. For fans, it will be a great sight to see these young hopefuls walk the stage wearing the ball caps of their new homes. Though the road to the big leagues may be longer for some, these potential stars of the future now can show the baseball world what they are truly made of.
Featured image from MLB.com
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