Like every year, The 2018 MLB Draft stands as the next step for promising prospects in making their dreams a reality. Most of us have imagined ourselves walking on the stage, shaking the commissioner’s hand and wearing the cap of the team who drafted us.
Of course for all 30 franchises taking part, many questions appear and need answers. Which position needs the most improvement? How can these new additions help set the tone for success? What traits/tools are we looking for that the team fall short on? Additionally, which of these prospects have that “IT” factor with the game on the line?
Some teams will have more work to do than others.
1st Pick of the Draft
This year, the Detroit Tigers will hold the first pick of this year’s MLB draft. Last season, the Tigers finished the regular season tied for the worst record in the lead at 64-98 (shared with San Francisco Giants) and their pitching staff ranked last in the league in ERA (5.36).
In addition, All-Star first baseman Miguel Cabrera did not have a normal season. In his tenth season with Detroit (15th year in the league) Cabrera posted up a .249 batting average, only 16 home runs and only 60 RBI. In addition, these are his lowest season numbers since his rookie season. On average, “Miggy” composes a .317 batting average, hits 34 home runs, and scores 117 RBI in a season.
According to MLB.com The first 10 picks of the Draft are as follows:
- Detroit Tigers
- San Francisco Giants
- Philadelphia Phillies
- Chicago White Sox
- Cincinnati Reds
- New York Mets
- San Diego Padres
- Atlanta Braves
- Oakland Athletics
- Pittsburgh Pirates
The full draft order can be found here.
Notable Draft Pitchers
The pitcher is among the most celebrated positions in baseball, and arguably the most scrutinized. Pitchers can ignite a whole defense, shut out an entire batting roster, and come in clutch when the team needs it most. According to MLB Pipeline.com, seven of the first ten projected picks are pitchers.
Many experts predict that University of Florida right-handed ace, Brady Singer, will be the number 1 overall pick in the next MLB Draft.
As a sophomore in the 2017 season, Singer pitched his way to a 9-5 record in 20 appearances and led the team in innings pitched with 126. He earned All SEC Second-Team Honors, along with a spot on the 2017 College World Series (CWS) All-Tournament team. He also helped lead the Florida Gators team to its first CWS title in program history, beating fellow SEC team, Louisiana State University (LSU), in the finals.
With this new hardware, the University of Florida became only the fourth collegiate athletic program to win a championship title in football, baseball and basketball (joining Ohio State, Michigan and UCLA).
Singer is not the only prospect from the Florida Gators looking to make an impression.
Fellow pitcher, Jackson Kowar, looks to take it to the next level. Last season, as a sophomore, he posted a 12-1 record (.923 percentage), therefore tying the best season record in school history. Furthermore, his 12 wins led the SEC and sat second in the entire country.
During the second game (and last) in last year’s CWS finals against LSU, Kowar came in as a relief pitcher and shut down the Tigers while he was on the mound. This effort would additionally win the Gators their first World Series title.
MLB. Pipeline lists projects Kowar to be drafted 10th overall.
Although the MLB Draft does not begin until June, all 30 organizations will have plenty of chances to prepare. They will be able to analyze positions on the team that require more depth and which ones can wait during spring training and the start of the regular season. Who will step up? Does the starting field look as well or better than last year?
Like the adage goes, one player can make a difference. Like any sport, baseball is no stranger to new faces taking names and being the talk of the league. But for the most part, superstars will take time to mold, to mature and to sharpen their talents so they can help their team get to the next level.
For some organizations, it is going to take more than drafting the right guys to improve a team. Whether a franchise is rebuilding, looking for the right people to step up after losing a prominent starter, or repeating the success of the previous season: Whatever the case may be, everything has to work, and not just on draft day.
On June 4th, baseball fans across the country and the world will tune in and watch who will dawn their favorite team’s colors.
“From Our Haus to Yours”