The MLB First-Year Player Draft is finally upon us as all 30 big league clubs are set to select the future of their respective franchises.
Beginning at 7:00 PM (EST), first round selections will kick off with the Houston Astros, as they will take the first-overall pick in the draft for the second straight year (Carlos Correa was selected first-overall in 2012).
We will be updating each first round selection throughout the night, along with a brief analysis of each respective pick.
1. Houston Astros: Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford University
The Astros couldn’t pass up the most advanced, big league-ready pitcher in the draft, that being Mark Appel. BNS had Appel going first-overall, as the Stanford ace will be a quick mover to the majors and should provide Houston with a future front of the rotation starter.
2. Chicago Cubs: Kris Bryant, 3B, University of San Diego
Chicago went with the best pure bat in this year’s draft, San Diego’s Kris Bryant. BNS had the Cubs selecting Jonathan Gray in its latest mock draft, but in our draft surprise mock draft, Bryant was first-overall. The Cubs will be getting a power-hitting stud with huge upside and is more than able to remain at third base at the next level.
3. Colorado Rockies: Jonathan Gray, RHP, University of Oklahoma
Coming into the draft, Gray was one of the premier favorites to be selected first-overall; however, both Houston and Chicago passed on the flamethrowing right hander. Not expecting to see either Appel or Gray fall to number three, the Rockies certainly received a great prospect in Gray as the Sooners ace projects to be a future workhorse and solid top of the rotation anchor.
4. Minnesota Twins: Kohl Stewart, RHP, St. Pius X HS (TX)
The Twins selected the best pure high school starting pitcher in the draft, as Stewart’s plus pitching arsenal and seasoned approach are exactly what Minnesota needs in a future top of the rotation arm.
5. Cleveland Indians: Clint Frazier, OF, Loganville HS (GA)
One of, if not the toolsiest player in this year’s draft, Clint Frazier will be a great fit in Cleveland, as he will provide the Indians with an athletic and all-around talented ball player. Frazier has outstanding bat speed and raw power that will translate to a valuable offensive power threat for Cleveland in years to come. BNS had Frazier going seventh overall to the Red Sox in its latest mock draft.
6. Miami Marlins: Colin Moran, 3B, University of North Carolina
Miami went ahead and selected the best bat remaining in the draft, North Carolina’s Colin Moran. Drawing comparisons to Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto, Moran is one of the best pure hitters in the draft. Great plate discipline and plus bat speed have highlighted Moran’s productive season with the Tar Heels. BNS had Moran going to the Marlins with the sixth overall pick, a solid selection for the “Fish.”
7. Boston Red Sox: Trey Ball, LHP, New Castle HS (IN)
Boston selected the top prep southpaw in the draft, taking Trey Ball with their first pick. Ball has a projection to be a workhorse and top of the order starter, which will only increase the talent of Boston’s pitching arsenal (which already includes the likes of Matt Barnes and Anthony Ranaudo).
8. Kansas City Royals: Hunter Dozier, SS, Stephen F. Austin
The first big surprise of the draft came with the eighth overall pick, as the Royals selected Hunter Dozier, who was not predicted to be selected in the first round by BNS. Dozier is a solid prospect at shortshop and should be a staple at short for years to come. This pick may be seen as a financial one, wherein the Royals could be allocating their money around as their next pick is the first pick of the supplemental round.
9. Pittsburgh Pirates: Austin Meadows, OF, Grayson HS (GA)
A smooth-swinging prep star out of Georgia, Meadows offers Pittsburgh multi-tool ability and high-ceiling talent. BNS had Meadows going tenth overall to the Toronto Blue Jays, however, Meadows will give the Pirates plenty of future solid seasons alongside star outfielder Andrew McCutchen.
10. Toronto Blue Jays: Phil Bickford, RHP, Oaks Christian HS (CA)
Toronto selects right handed prep star Phil Bickford who has come on strong this spring with a mid-90s fastball and sharp curveball with developing off-speed offerings. Although BNS had him going 18th overall to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bickford will suit the Blue Jay very well and solidify the Toronto organization.
11. New York Mets: Dominic Smith, 1B, Serra HS (CA)
Dominic Smith offers the Mets one of the most talented bats in this year’s draft, as he boasts a smooth swing, powerful bat, and all-around solid hitting ability. The Mets will receive an athletic first baseman who projects to become a staple in the infield for years to come.
12. Seattle Mariners: D.J. Peterson, 1B/3B, University of New Mexico
The Seattle Mariners just drafted one of the best pure hitters in the draft, possessing tremendous power to all fields, a fluid swing, and a seasoned approach to the game. BNS had Peterson going ninth overall to the Pirates, however, the sweet swinging slugger from New Mexico has the most polished bat this year and will move quickly to the majors.
13. San Diego Padres: Hunter Renfroe, OF, Mississippi State University
San Diego drafted one of the better all-around players in the draft in Hunter Renfroe, who brings with him a powerful bat and plus defensive ability. The future and strength of the Padres’ outfield is uncertain, however, Renfroe should offer San Diego a burst of energy in the outfield at the next level. BNS had Renfroe going 12th overall to the Seattle Mariners, who received another big bat in Peterson.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates: Reese McGuire, C, Kentwood HS (WA)
The best catching prospect in the draft according to BNS, Reese McGuire will give the Pirates a plus prospect behind the plate. McGuire has the offensive and defensive ability to become a solid big league catcher, and Pittsburgh should be happy with a future hand-off between Russell Martin and McGuire at the next level.
15. Arizona Diamondbacks: Braden Shipley, RHP, University of Nevada
Although he slipped to 15th overall (as BNS had him going fifth overall to Cleveland), Shipley will bolster one of the strongest farm pitching systems in the country, which already includes the likes of Archie Bradley and Tyler Skaggs. Solid pick for the Diamondbacks.
16. Philadelphia Phillies: J.P. Crawford, SS, Lakewood HS (CA)
The Phillies went ahead and selected the best overall shortshop in the draft in J.P. Crawford, who projects to be a staple at short for years to come. Crawford is an athletic and versatile middle infielder with plus defensive ability and should be a the perfect replacement for Jimmy Rollins as the shortstop of the future.
17. Chicago White Sox: Tim Anderson, SS, East Central Community College
The southside crew selected Tim Anderson, a speedy shortstop with a crafty bat, with the 17th overall pick. BNS did not have Anderson going in the first round, but the speedster projects as a solid prospect who will become seasoned with proper development in the White Sox system.
18. Los Angeles Dodgers: Chris Anderson, RHP, Jacksonville Anderson
BNS originally had Anderson going to the Dodgers in our first mock draft, but moved him up to 15th with Arizona’s selection. Anderson boasts a solid three-pitch repertoire comprised of a plus fastball, slider, and changeup. A history of drafting high school arms, Los Angeles will add the projectable right-hander to their solid pitching arsenal.
19. St. Louis Cardinals: Marco Gonzales, LHP, Gonzaga University
For the past two springs, Gonzales has been one of the most consistent and effective pitchers in college baseball. Though not a power pitcher, Gonzales has a four-pitch arsenal and can locate the ball with great control to both sides of the plate. He projects as a middle of the rotation, which would give St. Louis another strong young arm in their rotation of the future along with Shelby Miller and Michael Wacha.
20. Detroit Tigers: Jonathon Crawford, RHP, University of Florida
The Tigers went ahead and took a solid college arm in Jonathon Crawford, who BNS projected to be taken by Detroit in its first mock draft. Crawford has a big arm and would be a quick mover to the majors, which would be a plus for Detroit who loves quality, big arms.
21. Tampa Bay Rays: Nick Ciuffo, C, Lexington HS (SC)
Tampa Bay have been in need of a solid catching prospect and Ciuffo should be that prospect. Ciuffo offers the Rays a very solid offensive threat behind the plate. Aside from a strong arm, his defense needs improvement (Tampa Bay would ensure that his game would be developed), but he projects as a hitter who hits for average with decent pop.
22. Baltimore Orioles: Hunter Harvey, RHP, Bandys HS (NC)
Harvey has a big arm and a good ceiling, despite having rather raw talent. After drafting Kevin Gausman in the first-round a couple of years back, Baltimore could add Harvey to a highly talented pitching arsenal that is big on command and quality pitch offerings.
23. Texas Rangers: Alex Gonzalez, RHP, Oral Roberts University
The Rangers added to their pitching arsenal by selecting right hander Alex Gonzalez who has come on strong this spring for Oral Roberts. Gonzalez has a plus fastball that has tremendous cutting action, serving almost as a second slider. Although he may not make it as a starter, Gonzalez would make a very solid reliever who will be able to move to the majors quickly.
24. Oakland Athletics: Billy McKinney, OF, Plano West HS (TX)
McKinney is an athletic, multi-tool talent with a fluid swing and the ability to hit for average and power, which should bode well for an aggressive young team that is the Oakland Athletics. BNS projected McKinney to go 27th overall to the Cincinnati Reds, but McKinney should be a great fit in the Oakland outfield of the future.
25. San Francisco Giants: Christian Arroyo, SS, Hernando HS (FL)
Probably the second-biggest draft-day surprise thus far, the Giants selected Christian Arroyo with their first pick in the draft. Arroyo was not projected to be selected in the first round by BNS and can be labeled as a quesstionable pick, much like Kansas City’s selection of Hunter Dozier at eighth overall.
26. New York Yankees: Eric Jagielo, 3B, Notre Dame University
The third baseman out of Notre Dame has great plate discipline and a big bat, as well as a strong arm with decent range at third. Jagielo would be a great addition to New York’s core of young offensive talent and should be a quick mover through the organization.
27. Cincinnati Reds: Phillip Ervin, OF, Samford University
Ervin is pure speed across the boards. He has great bat speed and can fly across the bases and the outfield. Ervin projects as an athletic, speedy defender for a talented Cincinnati outfield. BNS had Ervin going 19th overall to the Cardinals in its latest mock draft.
28. St. Louis Cardinals: Robert Kaminsky, LHP, St. Joseph Regional HS (NY)
St. Louis went ahead and drafted their second left handed pitcher in this year’s draft, following their selection of Marco Gonzales with the 19th overall pick. Kaminsky boasts one of the better curveballs in the draft and has a rather smooth delivery with good velocity, which will go well along with Gonzales who boasts plus off-speed offerings as well. St. Louis’ pitching talent looks phenomenal for the future.
29. Tampa Bay Rays: Ryne Stanek, RHP, University of Arkansas
One of the biggest questions throughout the night has been why Stanek is not being selected, perhaps due to his inconsistent season this spring. However, the Rays went ahead and took the Arkansas ace in typical Rays draft fashion, that of taking a solid pitching prospect. Stanek will join the likes of last year’s first round pick Taylor Guerrieri in the minors, a pretty strong farm pitching system.
30. Texas Rangers: Travis Demeritte, 3B, Winder Barrow HS (GA)
Demeritte has solid bat speed, contact, and can hit the ball to all fields. He has shown decent pop this spring and projects to garner more power with time, which is exactly what the Rangers love. Texas should have a solid third baseman of the future in Demeritte, who possesses a good combination of offensive and defensive ability.
31. Atlanta Braves: Jason Hursch, RHP, Oklahoma State University
It may be highly likely that the Braves selected Hursch with closer Craig Kimbrel in the back of their mind. Hursch is similar in approach to Kimbrel, boasting a plus fastball that he commands very well with excellent sinking action; however, his secondary arsenal needs work. Due to such, Hursch may be a great bullpen option for the Braves, wherein he could move quickly to the majors and create a formidable punch along with Kimbrel.
32. New York Yankees: Aaron Judge, OF, Fresno State University
The Yankees took a talented big man in Aaron Judge, who possesses plus raw power. Judge’s large, strong frame (6-7, 240) gives him the projection to become a physically imposing slugger with plus power at the next level. For a big man with a big swing, Judge has great plate discipline, can run for decent speed, and offers an impressive glove in the outfield. Judge was originally slated by BNS to go 24th overall to the Oakland Athletics.
33. New York Yankees: Ian Clarkin, LHP, Madison HS (CA)
After selecting two position players with their first two picks, the Yankees finished off the first round with a left handed pitcher, a talented one at that. Another draft-day surprise was Clarkin falling pick by pick in the first round, as he was projected to go 13th overall to the San Diego Padres by BNS. Ian Clarkin is one of the premier prep arms in this draft, offering a diverse pitching arsenal, great command, and the ceiling to become a top of the rotation arm. The Yankees scored a very solid prospect with the final pick of the first round.