Live Looks: 2018 1st Round Picks Edition

First year player drafts are starting up soon. We at Prospects Live are here to give you every advantage possible to crush your draft. Before we release our Top 200 FYPD rankings, we want to first dive in to what we saw live.

1. Casey Mize, RHP, DET

Signed $7.5m

Prototypical SP build at 6’3” 220 lbs. Strong lower half. Fast arm action. Plus command. 4-pitch mix: FB 94-96, Cutter 85-87, Splitter 87-89, and a Slider 81-82. Sequencing was FB dominant. Cutter has sharp horizontal movement. SL has 2-plane tilt, and the Splitter has sharp downward bite. Floor is a SP 3. Ceiling of SP 1. Improvement in sequencing and changing eye-level is the biggest room for improvement. Overall, I think he is a safe arm. Jason Woodell

2. Joey Bart, C, SFG

Signed $7.025m

Made his professional debut behind the plate and not as a DH as most do. His confidence in his defensive abilities is more like that of a veteran than a kid who was just a few weeks off the campus of Georgia Tech. 

Listed at 6'3" and 220lbs and that looks to be accurate. He's tall, lean, and muscular yet has no problem getting small before he receives a pitch. Bart looks comfortable wearing the gear, even in 110 degrees at 7 o'clock at night. Though he's taller than many home plate umps, he positions himself so they can see over him as he holds his glove in place for an extra beat to get the called-strikes. He's light on his feet as he springs out of his crouch and fires to first to complete a strike out.

At the plate, he's a right handed batter with a compact swing. He has a pre-pitch routine that includes repositioning of the batting gloves, the "rip, rip" of the Velcro, tapping the bat on three corners of the plate, and then spinning it in his left hand before coming set to await the pitch. 

I didn't see him register a hit in the two games I saw him before he was promoted to Salem Keizer. But there was enough hard contact outs to show it only a matter of time before his bat got hot. In fact the day he moved up to the Northwest League, he hit two home runs and just kept going. 

Watching him interact with his teammates, coaches and fans, just like watching him behind the plate, this is a confident leader and a mindful person. Kim Contreras VIDEO

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3. Alec Bohm, 3B, PHI

Signed: $5.85m

XL frame with a strong and athletic build. High-waisted. Good feel for solid contact facing inexperienced pitchers. Gets to front foot a bit too quick, fooled on change-ups, Patient hitter. Bat speed at times looks a little slow. Swing is linear. No hard contact of fly balls in 2 looks. Soft hands at 3rd. Moves well for a big guy. Arm is average in my looks. 4.5 home-to-first. Overall, profiles as middle of the order bat. Would like to see some pull power, more line-drives/flyballs. Jason Woodell

4. Nick Madrigal, SS, CWS

Signed: $6.411m

Short, diminutive frame. Quick with solid IF actions; looks like a guy who can stick at short. Soft hands and easy feeds. Above average arm. Palpable polish defensively. In a short look, aggressive early in counts, with little swing and miss but a linear bat path, which produced line drive or ground ball contact. Considering his age, questionable power projection. Ceiling of a first-division regular if he can make an adjustment to hit for more power. Unlikely to reach this ceiling. The more likely scenario is he settles in as a second-division regular, who plays every day but is not a team centerpiece. While this assessment may be a disappointment, his defensive abilities and bat to ball skills at least provide a high floor. It is hard to see him not playing everyday. Jason Pennini VIDEO

5. Jonathan India, 3B, CIN

Signed: $5.297m

Average frame, physically does not stand out as being an athlete at first glance. Then you see him swing the bat. Man, that is fiiiine. India’s hands and bat speed are elite. The bat path is direct to the ball. He uses his lower half and hips well. India peppers the ball to all fields with authority.  It’s a beautiful swing and its attributes give India a good chance to hit for power and average while limiting strikeouts. Having only seen him DH, reports are he projects to be an average to above average defender. Assuming that is what he becomes, he has a chance to be a role 70 player, a perennial All-Star whose profile is carried by the bat. The bat suggests he should be an above-average everyday player even if he does not reach this lofty ceiling. Jason Pennini

6. Jarred Kelenic, OF, NYM

Signed: $4.5m

Kelenic is an extremely polished young hitter. He hits from a closed stance and a moderate crouch. The feet are shoulder width apart and he has a very balanced swing. The swing is short, fast and linear. He lets the ball travel, keeps his weight on his back foot and uncorks the hips and explodes to the ball. I love the way the ball comes off of his bat. He's an extremely patient hitter, batting average and OBP should be a strength. It's 55 raw power right now with a chance for 60 or more at peak. Game power is dictated by launch angle, there could be 25+ HR in that bat but with current approach high teens is much more likely. There's more physicality here then I was expecting. At 6'2"195 lbs, Kelenic looks lean and muscular with strong legs. And conservatively he could add another 10 lbs of muscle. Easy to see a scenario where he's 6'2" 210-215 at 25 and in an OF corner. He'll have to work to stay up the middle. But the bat should play everywhere. Current 55 runner. I didn't get a great read on the CF defense in my one look.  John Calvagno

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7. Ryan Weathers, LHP, SDP

Signed: $5.226m

Weathers is a young, malleable prospect who shines with his ability to command the zone. I had an inclination on draft day that Preller would go with Carter Stewart, but after Stewart didn’t sign, I began to realize that San Diego may have hedged against the situation the Braves ran into. The Padres’ draft motto has been pitching. You have to go all the way back to 2014 to find a first pick of theirs that wasn’t an arm. Weathers is a “legacy” pick, with his dad Dave Weathers pitching over 15 years with multiple teams.

His body oddly enough resembles his dad’s. His mechanics aren’t particularly athletic, with an upright motion he repeats very well. There could be plans to engage his lower half more as his development progresses, but he thrives on his command of the zone and I think that comes in part because of his simple motion.

The start I saw of his for Fort Wayne was scripted. Establish fastball early, mix heavy curveball in the second, blend it all together in the third. He was pulled before I got comfortable enough to form a well-thought-out opinion. Next season he should be in Fort Wayne for most of the season, which means a ton more looks for me. I’m excited to see how my perception of him develops.

At the moment, he’s a fringe top-100 prospect with an above average curveball and good command. Not enough to raise eyebrows, but surely can push himself onto that path.

Lance’s talk with Weathers

Lance Brozdowski

8. Carter Stewart, RHP, ATL

Did not sign

9. Kyler Murray, OF, OAK

Signed: $4.66m

**Will see in Spring 2019

10. Travis Swaggerty, OF, PIT

Signed: $4.4m

**Will see in Spring 2019

11. Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, BAL

Signed: $4.3m

Prototypical pitcher’s body. Listed 6’5” 230 pounds. Max. body projection. Looks bigger than listed size. Brings a physicallity to the mound. Easy delivery with smooth actions. Good lower half utilization. FB velo 90-94. Elevates FB for swing-and-miss offering. Punched out 2 of 6 hitters faced on high FBs. SL 83-84 with glove side run, acts like a cutter, inconsistent tilt, consistently missed spots with it in this look. CH firm. CV is a tight-spinning hammer at 75-76. Throws with confidence. Looks like a future beast. Jason Woodell VIDEO

12. Jordan Groshans, 3B/SS, TOR

Signed: $3.4m

Tall, lanky, athletic. Strong wrists. Can drive balls to RCF gap with authority. Line drives have carry. Maximal body projection. Should be able to add 15-20 pounds to current frame without sacrificing athleticism. Strong throwing arm. 3B long-term. Great instincts/intangibles. Looks like an on-field leader. Overall, I think Groshans wll get stronger which will lead to improved game power. Currently struggles with pitch recognition but should improve with reps. Jason Woodell VIDEO

13. Connor Scott, OF, MIA

Signed: $4.038m

Looks from high school season: Plus athlete with a lanky, wiry build. Will need to add strength to hit professional pitching. Plus bat speed, strong wrists. Poor use of lower half. I have read reports that the Marlins have cleaned up the hitting mechanics a bit. Patient hitter. Uses all fields but struggles to pull with authority. Slap hitter at present. Plus runner. Will leg out infield hits to left side. Strong throwin arm. Above-Average defender that will stick in CF. Overall, I think Scott is a ways off depsite an aggressive assignment to the Sally. Athletic with enough bat speed to develop the hit tool. Jason Woodell

14. Logan Gilbert, RHP, SEA

Signed: $3.883m

**Will see in Spring 2019

15. Cole Winn, RHP, TEX

Signed: $3.15m

Listed at 6’2” 190 lbs, the body projects to be near prototype for a pitcher at maturity. Winn is very polished/refined for his age: smooth mechanics. The body and mechanics give Winn a chance to join a shrinking group of SPs capable of tossing 200 innings a year. He also sports an impressive, deep repertoire with four pitches that should play at the major league level. Winn works off the fastball, which sits 91-94 with cut at the lower end of that band. The FB also featured spin rates of up to 2660 rpm at NHSI. His CB features tight spin and 11 to 5 shape and projects to plus. The changeup feel is advanced for a recent high school player and can be plus with more reps. The slider lags behind the other offerings at present, but it has a chance to get to average or possibly above average if you’re feeling frisky. Winn has weapons to attack both-sided hitters and the depth of his arsenal should allow him to turn over a lineup three times. Winn’s ceiling is a #2 starter with a reasonable chance to make it. The floor is perhaps more impressive: I think worst case scenario is a backend starter. Jason Pennini VIDEO

16. Matthew Liberatore, LHP, TBR

Signed: $3.497m

The tall lefty has a room for some good weight in his back and torso. He may see velocity gains as a result of this body projection and had spurts throughout the spring when he displayed mid-high 90s heat. Mechanically, there is little effort in the delivery, which uses his lower half strength well. Libertore lacks quick-twitch athleticism of many of his peers, but makes up for it with his stuff and advanced feel for his age. Libertore’s CB is a MFer and future 70 pitch with immense depth and two-plane break. He also has a changeup which flashes plus but lacks consistency at present. The shape of his slider has taken strides this season and has a chance to be above average. Libertore’s slider improvement inspires hope he will be able to make future adjustments if necessary. I think he can be a #2 starter, but has some risk considering due to the consistency of his changeup and slider. Jason Pennini

17. Jordyn Adams, OF, LAA

Signed: $4.1m

Elite athlete with UNC football/baseball commitment if he chose to forgo the MLB draft. Explosive first step and long strides: 3.94 home to first from the right an easy 80 run time and 10.94 on triple (TO LF!) even more impressive. His speed and pure athleticism give him an excellent chance to stick in CF. Unpolished hitter with flashes of immense offensive potential: big leg kick and approach with inconsistent bat path. Has chance to be the best player in the draft and a bonafide superstar, but his rawness offensively also leaves him with a low floor. Jason Pennini

18. Brady Singer, RHP, KCR

Signed: $4.25m

Very athletic delivery with has excellent (and light) feet. Special blend of momentum and balance. The FB was 90-to 93-mph, dancing to both sides with life. In this look, it was left up too often and consequently hit hard. His slider sat 80-82 and flashed plus, but with inconsistent shape. Singer also had sporadic feel for the changeup in the 85-87 range. It was not a great outing, but the ingredients are here for a mid-rotation starter with number-two upside if things go right. Jason Pennini VIDEO

19. Nolan Gorman, 3B, STL

Signed: $3.231m

Strong, athletic build. Plus bat speed. Struggled with soft away in my look. Consistently on front foot with decent plate coverage but did not show ability to keep hands back and drive off-speed away. Will crush anything inside. Swing has natural loft. Average defender at 3rd. May move to 1B with increased strength, size as the body matures. Love the bat speed and natural power. Will need to sure up the hit tool but all signs point to a future middle of the order hitter with 70 game power. Jason Woodell VIDEO

20. Trevor Larnach, OF, MIN

Signed: $2.55m

Some healthy game-power projections exist with Larnach. The polished college bat hits the ball hard, with a refined swing from his days with Oregon State. He sets up crouched, making his 6-foot-4 frame more compact than it looks standing straight up. There’s a little length in his hands as he loads, but he seems to use it for timing and I have no concerns it comes back to bite him against higher velocity. His bat speed is borderline double plus, with his long limbs creating leverage and torque in a way that doesn’t result in swing length. I’d love to see some exit velocity numbers on him, but some things might just be too good for the public eye.

Larnach might be the steal of the draft at 20 overall. I wonder whether it can be greater than 60 game power at the major league level. If it isn’t, the biproduct is going to be doubles and consistent contact, so fret not.

I think he gets to Double-A by next season and continues to hit with a solid OBP and little to no strikeouts. He should be valued equally, if not higher than, Groshans, Scott and Swaggerty.

Lance’s talk with Larnach

Lance Brozdowski

21. Brice Turang, SS, MIL

Signed: $3.411m

Defense-first profile with a chance for an average bat. Some quick-twitch athleticism. Smooth at short with solid hands and infield actions. Quick first step and nice range. Plus arm. Good bet to sick at shortstop. At the plate, very patient hitter with good feel for the zone; took 11 pitches, zero swings in first 2 ABs. Wide base stance geared for contact, keeping weight back and bat path was linear, maybe a slight uppercut in his one swing. Power more XBH than over the fence variety in my looks between NHSI and instructs. Chance to be a role 60, but the floor of a utility player if the bat flounders. Jason Pennini

22. Ryan Rolison, LHP, COL

Signed: $2.912m

**Will see in Spring 2019

23. Anthony Seigler, C, NYY

Signed: $2.815m

Small frame but solidly built. Strong lower half/wrists. Switch-hitter. Wide stance. Minimal use of lower half. Slap/contact approach. Power is more gap power (35-40 grade) at present. Patient hitter. Sees a lot of pitches. Uses the whole field. Athletic defender behind the plate. 70 throwing arm. Aggressive thrower, quick out of the crouch, likes to show off the cannon. Overall, I think Seigler could stick behind the plate but he is athletic enough to move to 2B or OF. Jason Woodell

24. Nico Hoerner, SS, CHC

Signed: $2.724m

Bat-first middle infielder. Quiet hands and fairly short, easy stride. Hands slot at shoulder length which has made him seemingly vulnerable to pitches down in the zone. Serious, loud contact when he connects. Has shown more success vs FBs in my looks and has expanded the zone on several occasions on breaking pitches down and away. Should stay up the middle defensively. Fluid infield actions. A chance to stick at shortstop but also may move to second because his range is just ok at short.

25. Matt McLain, 2B, AZ

Did not sign

26. Triston Casas, 3B, BOS

Signed: $2.552m

Huge frame at 6-foot-4, 238 pounds. Below average range at third fielding some ground balls to his left. Almost a forgone conclusion he will move to 1B. Big power potential offensively. The swing reminds me a little of Jay Bruce who continues to raise his hands even as he strides forward. I think Casas will strike out a lot, but the bat speed is pretty good, and he’s strong as hell. The “U shaped” bat path should produce a lot of power while also exposing him to strikeout risk. Utility of the profile will vary greatly depending on his strikeout rate. He could be a role 60 or AAAA player. Jason Pennini Video

27. Mason Denaburg, RHP, WAS

Signed: $3m

**Will see in Spring 2019

28. Seth Beer, OF, HOU

Signed: $2.25m

Large, athletic frame. Minimal projection. Mature hitter. Stays closed and trusts his hands. Good plate coverage with power to all fields. Swing has natural loft. Hands and hips work well together. Saw him in LF. Looked like a slimmer version of Matt Adams. Poor reads, lack of foot speed lead me to believe he ends up at 1B long term. Overall, I like the approach and the potential for power. Jason Woodell

29. Bo Naylor, C, CLE

Signed: $2.578m

Known to his teammates as Bo and the younger brother of Padres Josh Naylor, Naylor was one of the better hitters from the 2018 draft class to spend time in the AZL. Naylor's swing is reminiscent of his brothers where it can be a bit compact, he doesn't extend fully in every at-bat. He reacts to pitches rather than guess, which is an advanced thing for many players in rookie ball, but because of the raw power the ball can still fly. Naylor had two home runs in 117 at-bats in the AZL in 2018, but three doubles and three triples to go along with it, two of those extra base hits I witnessed and could have been home runs in different venues. He's more athletic than his brother. He has a strong arm, but still refining his skills behind the plate. The Indians gave him some time at third base during the AZL, which could be a sign of things to come in the future. Wherever Naylor ends up, he's going to hit, and he'll hit for 20+ power. I would project him to be a better prospect than his brother in a year or two, as he develops. Chris Welsh

30. J.T. Ginn, RHP, LAD

Did not sign

31. Shane McClanahan, LHP, TB

Signed: $2.23m

Athletic lefty with a fast arm. FB can touch 100 but he pitches at 92-94. Poor FB command. Will overthrow FB with 2 strikes instead of trusting off-speed stuff. FB flashes run at times. Slider is plus pitch. Hgh 80’s with 2 plane tilt. CH is firm but has good seperation and arm speed. Mechanically, McClanahan is a bit of a mess. 3/4 arm slot. Stiff hips. Arm will lag behind the hips which leads to some of his control issues. Needs to improve sequencing and trust his off-speed more. Gets himself in trouble by gearing up the FB with 2 strikes, overthrowing it, and losing command. Jason Woodell VIDEO

32. Nick Schnell, OF, TB

Signed: $2.297m

Athletic build with projection. Loose, lefty swing. Moderate stride. Can get on front foot early. Swings hard which may expose to swing and miss, but should have solid power on contact. Opponents attacked down and away with changeups with relative frequency. Jason Woodell/Jason Pennini

33. Daniel Lynch, LHP, KC

Signed: $1.697m

**Will see in Spring 2019

34. Ethan Hankins, RHP, CLE

Signed: $2.246m

Hankins is a giant presence on the mound. Listed at 6'6 200, but might be closer to 6'7 240 from when I saw him for his pro debut. Hankins has a 4-pitch mix, though it's mainly fastball and changeup right now. His fastball moves from 90-96 depending how manipulates it. He uses both sides of the plate with his fastball. his changeup is developing into a plus pitch. He has a Slider and Curve as well. His slider was hit early during his pro debut, which resulted in him reverting back to his fastball. One of the notable characteristics of his delivery is how he seems to throw it with ease, almost as if he isn't trying. His body stays upright, as the ball fires out of his hands. He has to develop his off-speed, to help set up his fastball which is a plus to plus plus pitch right now. Hankins I believe has the highest upside of any pitcher from the 2018 draft class. Chris Welsh

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